What Does Paradise Mean in the Bible?

What does the biblical term “Paradise” mean?

In Old Testament times (including the times referenced in the Gospels), when people died, their bodies went into a grave, but there was a temporary holding place for their souls. The Bible uses a term called hell, such as in Matthew 5:22, but the terminology is slightly different than what we normally use. Hell is actually the lake of fire where all unbelievers will spend eternity (Revelation 20:14-15). However, the temporary holding place (sometimes called Sheol, or Purgatory) had separate compartments for believers and unbelievers (paradise and Hades).  Unbelievers spent this period in the chamber called Hades (Luke 16:23), while believers spent this time in the chamber called paradise (Luke 23:43, 1 Corinthians 12:3-4, Revelation 2:3-7), or Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:19-31).

Then, upon the event of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the Old Testament saints were resurrected (Matthew 27:52-53), and transferred from paradise to Heaven. Today, now that Christ’s resurrection has already occurred, when Christians die, we are taken directly to heaven. The strongest argument I find for this is 2 Corinthians 5:3-8, which says, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” This says that for we believers of this age, being in this current body is mutually exclusive from being in the presence of God in heaven. So, at the point of death, we’re no longer in the body, but with the Lord.

In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke 16:19-31 refers to Hades, or torments, which is where the rich man was. This is the opposite of the place of Abraham’s bosom where Lazarus was.  Bible scholars have associated Abrahams’s bosom with the word “paradise.” This confirms that, in Old Testament times, those who died were taken to one of these temporary chambers, awaiting their transfer either from paradise to heaven or from Hades to Hell.

Incidentally, this probably also explains the origination of the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, which would equate to Hades in this case.

Also, the passage in Matthew 7:52-53 is a very difficult passage.  You may also be interested in my article on Matthew 27:52-53 at https://www.christiandataresources.com/matthew2752.htm.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

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What Happens to a Christian When He Dies?

What happens immediately after death for a believer? 

Thank you for your question.  Death means separation, and for a person, physical death means separation of the soul from the body.  For a Christian, since he also has a living spirit, it means separation of the soul and spirit from the body.  At the point of physical death for a Christian, his soul and spirit are immediately transferred to heaven to be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:3-8).  His body, of course, is left on earth to be buried, cremated, decay, etc.  This is all temporary.  At the point of the rapture, our (decayed) bodies will be restored for the us, and we will live in eternity with our resurrected (glorified) bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  We will return to the earth with Christ at His Second Coming to help with the administration of the 1000-year millennium (Revelation 19-21).  Then, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, and God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1), and our permanent home for eternity will be that new earth.

For more information, please see my FAQ article at https://www.christiandataresources.com/frequentlyaskedbiblequestions.htm.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

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Federal Employees Cost $1 Million per Minute

According to a new report, the federal government collectively paid 1.97 million federal employees $136.3 billion, That works out to $1 million per minute, $66 million per hour, and $524 million per day. Read the full article. 

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Highlights of Prophecy

Christian Data Resources presents:

Highlights of Prophecy

Featuring:

The World of Prophecy

The Jewish People

Jerusalem, City of Destiny

The Northern Confederacy

The Western Confederacy

The Southern Confederacy

The Eastern Confederacy

The Antichrist

The World Super Church

The False Prophet

Armageddon

The Rapture

Life in the Tribulation

The Judgment Seat of Christ

The Marriage of the Lamb

Life in the Millennium

 Basic Bible Doctrine      The Techniques of the Christian Life      Marriage     Christian Service and Human Government

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Paradise vs. Heaven

According to the bible what is the difference between paradise and heaven? The reason that I ask this is because Jesus told the thief on the cross that today they would be together in paradise. Why did he not say heaven? A Mormon friend of mine tells me it is a place in heaven that is nice but it is not with God. Thus, there are different levels in heaven, and only the very righteous get to be close to God? I always assumed that Jesus was talking about heaven but it does say paradise, so is that another place beside heaven? Did Jesus not go right to heaven but to this paradise until he was resurrected? I’m having more and more questions? 

Thank you for your question. Yes, the use of the word “paradise” in the Bible can be confusing. I believe that our definitive passage on this is the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.

When the rich man died, he went to a place called “Hades” (verse 23), which was a place of torments. When Lazarus died, he went to a place called “Abraham’s bosom,” which Bible scholars have associated with paradise.

Apparently, when people died in Old Testament times (including the times referenced in the Gospels), their bodies went into a grave, but apparently there was a temporary holding place for their souls. The Bible uses a term called hell, such as in Matthew 5:22, but the terminology is slightly different than what we normally use. Hell is the lake of fire where all unbelievers will spend eternity (Revelation 20:14-15). Apparently, however, the temporary holding place (sometimes called Sheol, or Purgatory) had a compartment for separate compartments for believers and unbelievers. (This is where the Catholics (mistakenly) built their doctrine of purgatory.) Unbelievers spent this period in the part called torments (Luke 16:23), while believers spent this time in a place called paradise (Luke 23:43).

However, with the resurrection of Jesus (the first resurrection), these Old Testament believers were transferred from paradise to Heaven. This is apparently what was going on in Matthew 7:53, which is a very difficult passage.

Now, for us, it’s completely different. Since the resurrection of Christ has already occurred, and He has ascended to Heaven, when believers die today, our bodies go to a grave, and our spirits go straight to Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1-8) to be with Christ.

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Owen

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Public Employees Cost Us Nearly $1 Trillion

OpenTheBooks.com just published an article saying that the 19 million public employees in the U.S. now cost us $1 trillion per year in salaries. Click here to read the full article.

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What is God’s name? 

Exodus 6:3 tells us that God’s name is “the LORD” (NIV), or “Jehovah” (KJV), and in the Hebrew this is “El-Shaddai.”

Thanks,

Owen

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Names for Jesus

Jesus is English for “Iesus” (Greek). Joshua is English for Yeshua (Hebrew). Everywhere I’ve looked on-line everyone says that Jesus and Yeshua are the same name. How can this be?

Thank you for your question. This is a bit confusing, and it gets somewhat technical. “Yeshua” is the contracted form of the Hebrew name “Yehoshua.” Both are used in the Old Testament, and the English spelling for both is “Joshua.” The specific use for this name in the Old Testament was for the man who succeeded Moses–not specifically for the Messiah, because the Old Testament does not refer to the Messiah by this name. Now, in about 200 B.C., the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew to Greek in a work known as the Septuagint, for the benefit of those Jews who spoke Greek. So, we can learn a lot from the way the Hebrew words were translated into Greek at that time.

In the Septuagint, in Numbers 13;16, the Hebrew name “Yehoshua” was transliterated into the Greek name “Iesou;” i.e., another form of “Iesous,” with a different case ending because of the way it’s used in the Greek grammar. (Note that “transliteration” just means changing each letter in the Hebrew name Yeshua into Greek, letter by letter, since names often cannot be specifically “translated.”) In Nehemiah 8:17, the Hebrew name “Yeshua” was also transliterated into the Greek name “Iesou.”

Since “Iesous” is the exact English transliteration of the Greek name “Iesou,” we can conclude that the Greek name “Iesous” equates to the Hebrew name “Yeshua,” and its English spelling is “Jesus.” Furthermore, the name “Joshua” is the English form of the Hebrew word “Yeshua,” and the name “Jesus” is the English form of the Greek word “Iesous.” So, the names “Joshua” and “Jesus” are essentially the same. It could be said that each one is an English pronunciations for the name of the Lord; one from the Hebrew and one from the Greek.

Thanks,

Owen

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I’m Pro-Life and Pro-Choice

Steven Crowder (I’m Pro-Life, Change My Mind) has a great argument for pro-lifers. When confronted for his pro-life stance, he says, “You act like I’m not for choice.” He goes on to say that he supports four choices in the argument: abstinence, contraception, motherhood, and adoption (but not murder / abortion). None of us has the choice or the right to commit murder (Exodus 20:13).

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Christian Service and Human Government

Christian Data Resources presents:

Christian Service and Human Government

featuring:

The Purpose of God

The Constitution

Christian Persecution

Government Restraint in the Ten Commandments

Religious Freedom in the United States

Civil Disobedience

The Christian Approach to Government

America Today

 

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