Paradise is the term for a place of timeless harmony.
The Abrahamic faiths associate paradise with the Garden of Eden, that
is, the perfect state of the world prior to the fall from grace, and
the perfect state that will be restored in the World to Come.[citation
Paradisaical notions are cross-cultural, often laden with pastoral
imagery, and may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both, often
compared to the miseries of human civilization: in paradise there is
only peace, prosperity, and happiness.
Paradise is a place of
contentment, a land of luxury and fulfillment.
Paradise is often
described as a "higher place", the holiest place, in contrast to this
world, or underworlds such as Hell. In eschatological contexts,
paradise is imagined as an abode of the virtuous dead. In Christian
and Islamic understanding,
Heaven is a paradisaical relief. In old
Egyptian beliefs, the otherworld is Aaru, the reed-fields of ideal
hunting and fishing grounds where the dead lived after judgment. For
the Celts, it was the Fortunate Isle of Mag Mell. For the classical
Greeks, the Elysian fields was a paradisaical land of plenty where the
heroic and righteous dead hoped to spend eternity. The Vedic Indians
held that the physical body was destroyed by fire but recreated and
reunited in the Third
Heaven in a state of bliss. In the Zoroastrian
Avesta, the "Best Existence" and the "House of Song" are places of the
righteous dead. On the other hand, in cosmological contexts 'paradise'
describes the world before it was tainted by evil.
The concept is a theme in art and literature, particularly of the
pre-Enlightenment era, a well-known representative of which is John
2.1 Hebrew Bible
2.2 New Testament
4.1 Jehovah's Witnesses
6 See also
8 External links
Nicolas Poussin, Four seasons of paradise, 1660–64
The word "paradise" entered English from the French paradis, inherited
from the Latin paradisus, from Greek parádeisos
(παράδεισος), from an
Old Iranian *paridayda- "walled
enclosure". By the 6th/5th century BCE, the
Old Iranian word had been
adopted as Assyrian pardesu "domain". It subsequently came to indicate
the expansive walled gardens of the First Persian Empire. The term
eventually appeared in Greek as parádeisos "park for animals" in the
Anabasis of the early 4th century BCE Athenian Xenophon. Aramaic
pardaysa similarly reflects "royal park".
Hebrew פַּרְדֵּס (pardes 'orchard') appears thrice in the
Tanakh; in the
Song of Solomon
Song of Solomon 4:13,
Ecclesiastes 2:5 and Nehemiah
2:8. In those contexts it could be interpreted as an "orchard" or a
"fruit garden". In the
Septuagint (3rd–1st centuries BCE), Greek
παράδεισος parádeisos was used to translate both Hebrew
פרדס pardes and Hebrew גן gan, "garden" (e.g. Genesis 2:8,
Ezekiel 28:13): it is from this usage that the use of "paradise" to
refer to the
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden derives. The same usage also appears in
Arabic and in the
Quran as firdaws فردوس.
The word's etymology is ultimately derived from a
PIE root *dheigʷ
"to stick and set up". It is reflected in Avestan as
𐬞𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌⸱𐬛𐬀𐬉𐬰𐬀 pairi-daêza-. The
literal meaning of this Eastern
Old Iranian language word is "walled
(enclosure)", from pairi- 'around' (cognate with Greek περί,
English peri- of identical meaning) and -diz "to make, form (a wall),
build" (cognate with Greek τεῖχος 'wall'). The word is
not attested in other
Old Iranian languages, though hypothetical roots
in these languages may be reconstructed, for example as in Old Persian
*paridayda-. The idea of a walled enclosure was not preserved in most
Iranian usage, and generally came to refer to a plantation or other
cultivated area, not necessarily walled. For example, the Old Iranian
word survives as Pardis in New Persian as well as its derivative
pālīz (or "jālīz"), which denotes a vegetable patch.
The word pardes does not appear before the post-Exilic period
(post-538 BCE); it occurs in the
Song of Songs
Song of Songs 4:13,
and Nehemiah 2:8, in each case meaning "park" or "garden", the
original Persian meaning of the word, where it describes to the royal
Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great by
Xenophon in Anabasis.
Second Temple era
Judaism "paradise" came to be associated
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden and prophesies of restoration of Eden, and
transferred to heaven. The
Septuagint uses the word around 30 times,
both of Eden, (Gen.2:7 etc.) and of Eden restored (Ezek. 28:13, 36:35
etc.). In the Apocalypse of Moses,
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are expelled from
paradise (instead of Eden) after having been tricked by the serpent.
Later after the death of Adam, the
Archangel Michael carries the body
of Adam to be buried in Paradise, which is in the Third Heaven.
The New Testament use and understanding of paradise parallels that of
contemporary Judaism. The word is used three times in the New
Luke 23:43 – by Jesus on the cross, in response to the thief's
request that Jesus remember him when he came in his kingdom.
2 Cor.12:4 – in Paul's description of a man's description of a third
heaven paradise, which may in fact be a vision Paul himself saw.
Rev.2:7 – in a reference to the Gen.2:8 paradise and the tree of
Heaven in Judaism
In Rabbinical Judaism, the word 'Pardes' recurs, but less often in the
Second Temple context of Eden or restored Eden. A well-known reference
is in the Pardes story, where the word may allude to mystic
Zohar gives the word a mystical interpretation, and associates it
with the four kinds of Biblical exegesis: peshat (literal meaning),
remez (allusion), derash (anagogical), and sod (mystic). The initial
letters of those four words then form פַּרְדֵּס –
p(a)rd(e)s, which was in turn felt to represent the fourfold
interpretation of the
Torah (in which sod – the mystical
interpretation – ranks highest).
World to Come
World to Come and Kingship and kingdom of God
Paradise According to Three Different Hypotheses, 1747
In the 2nd century AD,
Irenaeus distinguished paradise from heaven. In
Against Heresies, he wrote that only those deemed worthy would inherit
a home in heaven, while others would enjoy paradise, and the rest live
in the restored Jerusalem (which was mostly a ruin after the
Jewish–Roman wars but was rebuilt beginning with Constantine the
Great in the 4th century).
Origen likewise distinguished paradise from
heaven, describing paradise as the earthly "school" for souls of the
righteous dead, preparing them for their ascent through the celestial
spheres to heaven.
Many early Christians identified
Abraham's bosom with paradise, where
the souls of the righteous go until the resurrection; others were
inconsistent in their identification of paradise, such as St.
Augustine, whose views varied.
In Luke 23:43, Jesus has a conversation with one of those crucified
with him, who asks, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your
kingdom". Jesus answers him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be
with me in paradise”. This has often been interpreted to mean
that on that same day the thief and Jesus would enter the intermediate
resting place of the dead who were waiting for the Resurrection.
Divergent views on paradise, and when one enters it, may have been
responsible for a punctuation difference in Luke; for example, the two
early Syriac versions translate Luke 23:43 differently. The Curetonian
Gospels read "Today I tell you that you will be with me in paradise",
Sinaitic Palimpsest reads "I tell you, today you will be
with me in paradise". Likewise the two earliest Greek codices with
Codex Vaticanus has a pause mark (a single dot
on the baseline) in the original ink equidistant between 'today' and
the following word (with no later corrections and no dot before
Codex Alexandrinus has the "today in paradise"
reading. In addition, an adverb of time is never used in the nearly
100 other places in the Gospels where Jesus uses the phrase, "Truly I
say to you".
In Christian art, Fra Angelico's
Last Judgement painting shows
Paradise on its left side. There is a tree of life (and another tree)
and a circle dance of liberated souls. In the middle is a hole. In
Muslim art it similarly indicates the presence of the Prophet or
divine beings. It visually says, "Those here cannot be depicted".
Jehovah's Witnesses and salvation
Jehovah's Witnesses believe, from their interpretation of the Book of
Genesis, that God's original purpose was, and is, to have the earth
filled with the offspring of
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve as caretakers of a global
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve rebelled against God's sovereignty and
were banished from the Garden of Eden, driven out of paradise into
toil and misery.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that disobedient and wicked people will be
destroyed by Christ at
Armageddon and those obedient to Christ will
live eternally in a restored earthly paradise. Joining the survivors
will be the resurrected righteous and unrighteous people who died
prior to Armageddon. The latter are brought back because they paid for
their sins by their death and/or because they lacked opportunity to
learn of Jehovah's requirements before dying. These will be judged on
the basis of their post-resurrection obedience to instructions
revealed in new "scrolls". They believe that resurrection of the dead
to paradise earth is made possible by Christ's blood and the ransom
sacrifice. This provision does not apply to those whom Christ as Judge
deems to have sinned against God's holy spirit.
One of Jesus' statements before he died were the words to a man
hanging alongside him, "you will be with me in Paradise."[Luke 23:43]
The New World Translation places a comma after the word 'today',
dividing it into two separate phrases, "I tell you today" and "you
will be with me in Paradise". This differs from standard translations
of this verse as "I tell you today you will be with me in
Paradise". Based on scriptures such as Matthew 12:40, 27:63, Mark
8:31 and 9:31, Witnesses believe Jesus' expectation that he would be
bodily resurrected after three days precluded his being in paradise on
the same day that he died.
Latter Day Saint theology, paradise usually refers to the spirit
world, the place where spirits dwell following death and awaiting the
resurrection. In that context, "paradise" is the state of the
righteous after death. In contrast, the wicked and those who have
not yet learned the gospel of Jesus Christ await the resurrection in
spirit prison. After the universal resurrection, all persons will be
assigned to a particular kingdom or degree of glory. This may also be
Main article: Jannah
In the Quran,
Heaven is denoted as
Jannah (garden), with the highest
level being called Firdaus, i.e. Paradise. It is used instead of
Heaven to describe the ultimate pleasurable place after death,
accessible by those who pray, donate to charity, read the Qur'an,
believe in: God, the angels, his revealed books, his prophets and
messengers, the Day of Judgement and the afterlife, and follow God's
will in their life.
Islam is used to describe skies in the
literal sense and metaphorically to refer to the universe. In Islam,
the bounties and beauty of
Heaven are immense, so much so that they
are beyond the abilities of mankind’s worldly mind to comprehend.
There are eight doors of Jannah. These are eight grades of Jannah:
1. Jannatul Mava
2. Darul Maqaam
3. Darul Salaam
4. Darul Khuld
Jannatul Mava is in the lowest, Jannat-ul-Adan is the middle and
Jannat-ul-Firdous is the highest.
Imam Bukhari has also recorded the tradition in which the Prophet
(s.a.s) said, 'When you ask from Allah, ask Him for Al Firdaus, for it
is the middle of
Paradise and it is the highest place and from it the
Paradise flow.' (Bukhari, Ahmad, Baihaqi) In this tradition,
it is evident that Al Firdaus is the highest place in Paradise, yet,
it is stated that it is in the middle. While giving an explanation of
this description of Al Firdaus, the great scholar, Ibn Hibban states,
'Al Firdaus being in the middle of
Paradise means that with respect to
the width and breadth of Paradise, Al Firdaus is in the middle. And
with respect to being 'the highest place in Paradise', it refers to it
being on a height.' This explanation is in agreement to the
explanation which has been given by Abu Hurairah (r.a.) who said that
'Al Firdaus is a mountain in
Paradise from which the rivers flow.'
(Tafseer Al Qurtubi Vol. 12 pg. 100)
Qur'an also gave a warning that not all Muslims or even the believers
will assuredly be permitted to enter
Paradise except those who had
struggled in the name of God and tested from God's trials as faced by
the messengers of God or ancient prophets:
Or do you think that you will enter
Paradise while such (trial) has
not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you? They
were touched by poverty and hardship and were shaken until (even
their) messenger and those who believed with him said, "When is the
help of Allah?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near.
— Qur'an, chapter 2 (Al-Baqarah), ayah 214 (Saheeh International)
^ a b New Oxford American Dictionary
^ R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p.
^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
^ "An Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics".
Retrieved 15 January 2015.
^ "JewishEncyclopedia.com". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
^ Church fathers: De Principiis (Book II) Origen, newadvent.org
^ Jean Delumeau (1995). History of paradise. University of Illinois
Press. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-0-252-06880-5. Retrieved 3 April
^ "Luke 23". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
^ A. W. Zwiep (1997). The Ascension of the Messiah in Lukan
Christology /. BRILL. pp. 150–. ISBN 978-90-04-10897-4.
Retrieved 3 April 2013.
^ What Does the Bible Really Teach? (Watchtower Bible & Tract
Society, 2005), Chapter 7
^ Insight on the Scriptures (Watchtower Bible & Tract Society,
^ "Luke 23:43". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
^ "Meeting the Challenge of Bible Translation", The Watchtower, June
15, 1974, page 362–363
^ Duane S. Crowther - Life Everlasting Chapter 5 -
Paradise of the
Wicked - Retrieved 8 July 2014.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Paradise
Wikiversity has learning resources about Paradise
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: God and Religious
Etymology of "paradise", Balashon.com
Etymology OnLine, etymonline.com
7 Heavens and 7 Earths
Throne of God
Garden of Eden
Kingdom of God
Garden of Eden
Jannah (and Jabarut)
Tír na nÓg
Myth of Er
14 planetary systems
Happy hunting ground
Land without evil
Well of Souls
List of m