Where Is Paradise?

Q. In a recent question you said that Paradise is part of Hades where those who died in faith went to wait for Jesus to die for them. You said after the Resurrection He took them to Heaven. But in 2 Cor. 12:2 and 4 Paul spoke of going to the 3rd Heaven which he called Paradise, and in Rev. 2:7 it speaks of the tree of life being in the paradise of God. Based on these two verses which are written after the cross and happened after the cross, it appears to me that paradise is not part of Hades.

A. There’s a lot of confusion here because obviously the verses you cite don’t refer to Hades. Paradise is a word of Persian origin that means garden and is meant to invoke visions of the Garden of Eden. In 2 Cor 12:2 Paul said he went to the 3rd heaven, which means the Throne of God. Then in verse 4 he called it Paradise. In Rev. 2:7 the same location is called the Paradise of God.

According to Strong’s concordance the word paradise was used for both places. It seems that Jews thought of Paradise as being part of Hades, while the early church Fathers believed that “the paradise in which our first parents dwelt before the fall still exists, neither on the earth or in the heavens, but above and beyond the world.”

We know that when Jesus spoke to the thief about going to Paradise with Him that very day, He wasn’t talking about the Throne of God, because in John 20:17 on Resurrection Morning He told Mary He hadn’t gone there yet.

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