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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paradise by Jan Bruegel.

Paradise is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness. It is often used in the same context as that of utopia.

Paradisaical notions are cross-cultural, often laden with pastoral imagery, and may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both. In eschatological contexts, paradise is imagined as an abode of the virtuous dead. In Christian and Islamic understanding heaven is a paradisaical relief, evident for example in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus tells a penitent criminal crucified alongside him that they will be together in paradise that day. In Native American beliefs, the other-world is an eternal hunting ground. In old Egyptian beliefs, the other-world 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. So for example, the Abrahamic faiths associate paradise with the Garden of Eden, that is, the perfect state of the world prior to the fall from grace.

The concept is a topos' in art and literature, particularly of the pre-Enlightenment era, a well-known representative of which is John Milton's Paradise Lost. A paradise should not be confused with a utopia, which is an alternate society.



"A Glimpse of Paradise", Ceramic art work by Armenian artist Marie Balian, Jerusalem

The word "paradise" entered English from the French paradis, inherited from the Latin paradisus, from Greek parádeisos (παράδεισος), and ultimately from an Old Iranian root, attested in Avestan as pairi.daêza-.[1] The literal meaning of this Eastern Old Iranian language word is "walled (enclosure)",[1] from pairi- "around" + -diz "to create, make". The word is not attested in other Old Iranian languages (these may however be hypothetically reconstructed, for example as Old Persian *paridayda-).

By the 6th/5th century BCE, the Old Iranian word had been adopted as Akkadian pardesu and Elamite partetas "domain". It subsequently came to indicate walled estates, especially the carefully tended royal parks and menageries. The term eventually appeared in Greek as ho parádeisos "park for animals" in the Anabasis of the early 4th century BCE Athenian gentleman-scholar Xenophon. Aramaic pardaysa similarly reflects "royal park".

Hebrew pardes appears thrice in the Tanakh; in the Song of Solomon 4:13, Ecclesiastes 2:5 and Nehemiah 2:8. In those contexts it could be interpreted as a park, a garden or an orchard. In the 3rd-1st century BCE Septuagint, Greek parádeisos was used to translate both Hebrew pardes and Hebrew gan, "garden": it is from this usage that the use of "paradise" to refer to the Garden of Eden derives. This usage also appears in Arabic firdaws.

The Zohar[citation needed] 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 פָּרְדֵּסp(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).

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 in New Persian pālīz, which denotes a vegetable patch.

Modern secular use


From a sociological perspective the term paradise, as social theorist Kyle Vialli explains, is "often used to reference a society (whether it be hypothetical or otherwise) whose organizational features serve to render, and are fully calibrated towards, the harmonious luxuriating development of the psychological, physiological and creative natures of mankind. As such, a society, continent or planet so constructed, naturally provides a suitably nourishing and convivial social and educational formulae apt to bring about unconditional joy and happiness within that populace".

Implicit in this definition is a socio-political milieu characterised by a social libertarian standard; set within an appropriately pure and abundant environmental habitat from which to dwell and prosper.

The word Paradise entered European languages from the Persian root word "Pardis" which was the name of a beautiful garden enclosed between walls. In this sense, paradise existed on earth and was a place that uplifted the human spirit. Through history, paradise started to mean heaven which implied a non-earthly place that could only be reached by the common person after death. Some philosophers have interpreted human paradise,[2] as a humanly escape method from reality. In this way, paradise has been described as a idealistic perfect place, tailored by individual societies. We know now that Pardis garden could be enjoyed fully by live humans with no need for a physical death of the body. This implies that happiness and peace can be obtained by living people and that in fact the picture of heaven was formed by what humans saw on this beautiful planet earth. Perhaps the idea of an outside paradise entered the minds of those who were not close to the Pardis garden and longed for its beauty and hoped that one day their soul could leave the physical limits of space and distance and enjoy the garden. Also, many people pondered the possibility of other beautiful gardens in the sky. Since as of today the average living person cannot easily go to far away places in the sky, it is believed that the souls of the good hearted people find their way to beautiful sky gardens that are even more spectacular than the original "Pardis" garden.

Religious use


In the Old Testament, the word 'Pardis' (a transliteration of the Persian word) occurs in Song 4:13, Eccl.2:5, and Neh. 2:8 meaning 'park', the original Persian meaning of the word, similar to the description of the parks of Cyrus the Great by Xenophon in Anabasis.

In Second Temple era Judaism 'paradise' came to be associated with the Garden of Eden and prophesies of restoration of Eden. 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 Jewish pseudepigrapha use of paradise varies. In the Apocalypse of Moses Adam and Eve are expelled from paradise after having been tricked by Satan and the serpent. Later after the death of Adam, the Archangel Michael carries the body of Adam to be buried in Paradise which is the Third Heaven.

Later in Rabbinical Judaism the word 'Pardis' reoccurs, but less often in the Second Temple context of Eden or restored Eden. Tosefta Hagigah14b uses the word of the veil around mystic philosophy.[3]


In the New Testament, paradise occurs three times:

  • 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 life

In early Christianity it was often connected to a paradise restored on Earth (Matthew chapter 5, verse 5 - the meek shall inherit the earth), similar to what the Garden of Eden was meant to be. Some early sects actually attempted to recreate the garden of Eden, e.g. the nudist Adamites.

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. 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.[4]

Tension between these two competing Christian views of paradise may be responsible for a textual difference in one of the three New Testament verses using the word, Luke 23:43. 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", whereas the Sinaitic Palimpsest reads "I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise". Likewise the two earliest Greek codices with punctuation disagree: Codex Vaticanus has a pause mark in the original ink after 'today', whereas Codex Alexandrinus has the "today in paradise" reading. Today almost all translations follow the "today in Paradise", although there is some support among classical Greek scholars for the reading "today that"[5]

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

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God's purpose from the start, was and is, to have the earth filled with the offspring of Adam and Eve as caretakers of a global paradise. After God had magnificently designed this earth for human habitation, however, Adam and Eve rebelled against Jehovah and so they were banished from the Garden of Eden, or Paradise. Jehovah's Witnesses also believe that the wicked people will be destroyed at Armageddon and that many of the righteous (those faithful and obedient to Jehovah) will live eternally in an earthly Paradise. (Psalms 37:9, 10, 29; Prov. 2:21, 22). Joining the survivors will be resurrected righteous and unrighteous people who died prior to Armageddon (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15). The latter are brought back because they paid for their sins by their death, and/or also because they lacked opportunity to learn of Jehovah's requirements prior to dying (Rom. 6:23). These will be judged on the basis of their post-resurrection obedience to instructions revealed in new "scrolls" (Rev. 20:12). This provision does not apply to those that Jehovah deems to have sinned against his holy spirit (Matt. 12:31, Luke 12:5).[6][7]

One of Jesus' last recorded statements before he died were the words to an evildoer hanging alongside him on a torture stake: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:43. Notice the placement of the comma is after the word 'today', indicating that there are two separate phrases, 1. 'I tell you today' and 2. 'You will be with me in Paradise'. This distinction differs from other Christian understanding of this verse where they read it as 1. 'I tell you' and 2. 'Today you will be with me in Paradise'. Some scriptures that Jehovah's Witnesses use to support their belief are (John 3:13-15); (Acts 24:15). Witnesses believe Scriptures such as Matthew 12:40 and 27:63 and Mark 8:31 and 9:31 show that Jesus himself expected an interval of three days between his own death and resurrection, making impossible a reunion in Paradise on the same day as Jesus' "you will be with me in Paradise" statement.[8]


In Latter Day Saint theology, paradise usually refers to the spirit world. That is, 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 termed "paradise".


In the Qur'an, Paradise is denoted as "Jannat" or Garden, with the highest level being called "Firdous". The etymologically equivalent word is derived from the original Avestan counterpart, and used instead of Heaven to describe the ultimate pleasurable place after death, equipped with houris to satisfy the believers sexual needs, accessible by those who pray, donate to charity, and read the Qur'an. Heaven in Islam is used to describe the Universe. It is also used in the Qur'an to describe skies in the literal sense, i.e., above earth.

The Urantia Book

The Urantia Book portrays Paradise as the beginning of all things and the dwelling place of God.

See also


  1. ^ a b New Oxford American dictionary
  2. ^ human paradise,
  3. ^
  4. ^ Church fathers: De Principiis (Book II) Origen,
  5. ^
  6. ^ What Does the Bible Really Teach? (Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 2005), Chapter 7
  7. ^ Insight on the Scriptures (Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 1988), 783-92
  8. ^ "Meeting the Challenge of Bible Translation", The Watchtower, June 15, 1974, page 362-363

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about paradise:


  • Aus dem Paradies, das Cantor uns geschaffen, soll uns niemand vertreiben können.
    • Translation: No one shall expel us from the Paradise that Cantor has created.
    • David Hilbert Über das Unendliche (On the Infinite), Math. Ann. 95
Look up paradise in Wiktionary, the free dictionary
  • Klopsch, Louis, 1852-1910 (1896). Many Thoughts of Many Minds.  

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There's more than one place called Paradise:




  • Paradise Island - near Nassau


United States of America

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PARADISE (Gr. 7rapci& uros), the name of a supernatural locality reserved for God and for chosen men, which occurs in the Greek Bible, both for the earthly "garden" of Eden (see Eden), and for the heavenly "garden," where true Israelites after death see the face of God (4 Esdras viii. 52; Luke xxiii. 43; 2 Cor. xii. 4; Rev. ii. 7). The Hebrew pardes (r), to which 7rapetSEC60s corresponds, occurs thrice in the Old Testament in late books, in the general sense of "park, grove"; it is derived somewhat hazardously from the Zend pairidaeza, an enclosure (once only in the Avesta), though another word (Vara) is used in the account of the mythical enclosure of Yima (see Deluge). But what interests us most is not the name, but the conception and its imaginative vehicle.

The conception is the original godlikeness of human nature, and the necessity of expecting a closer union between God and man in the future than is possible at present. The imaginative form which this conception takes is that before the present condition arose man dwelt near to God in God's own mountain home, and that when the mischief wrought by "the serpent" has been undone, man - or more strictly the true Israel - shall once more be admitted to his old privilege. According to the fullest Old Testament account (Ezek. xxviii. 12-19; see Adam), the holy mountain was in a definite earthly region, and certainly it was appropriate for worshippers of Yahweh that it should be so (1 Kings xx. 23, 28).

But there are traces in that account itself as well as in Gen. ii. that an earlier belief placed the divine and home in heaven. Similarly the Zoroastrians speak of their Paradise-mountain Alburz both as heavenly and as earthly (Bundahish, xx. 1, with West's note). It appears that originally the Hebrew Paradise-mountain was placed in heaven, but that afterwards it was transferred to earth. It was of stupendous size; indeed, properly it was the earth itself.' Later on each Semitic people may have chosen its own mountain, recognizing, however, perhaps, that in primeval times it was of vaster dimensions than at present, just as the Jews believed that in the next age the "mountain of Yahweh's house" would become far larger (Isa. ii. 2= Mic. iv. 1; Ezek. xl. 2; Zech. xiv. 10; Rev. xxi. Io); compare the idealization of the earthly Alburz of the Iranians "in revelation" (Bund. v. 3, viii. 2, xii. 1-8).

We now return to the accounts in Ezek. xxviii. and Gen. ii. The references in the former to the precious stones and to the "stones of fire" may be grouped with the references in Enoch (xviii. 6-8, xxiv.) to seven supernatural mountains each composed of a different beautiful stone, and with the throne of God on the seventh. These mountains are to be connected with the seven planets, each. of which was symbolized by a different metal, or at least colour.' Ezekiel's mountain therefore has come to earth from heaven. And a similar result follows if we group the four rivers of Paradise in Gen. ii. with the phrase so often applied to Canaan, "flowing with milk and honey" (Exod. iii. 8; Num. xiii. 27, &c.).

For this descriptive phrase is evidently mythical,' and refers to the belief in the four rivers of the heavenly Paradise which "poured honey and milk, oil and wine" (Slavonic Enoch, viii. 5; cf. Vision of Paul, xxiii.). In fact, the four rivers originally flowed in heavenly soil, and only when the mountain of Elohim was transferred to this lower earth could mythological geographers think of determining their earthly course, and whether Havilah, or Cush, or Canaan, or Babylonia, was irrigated by one or another of them. But what happened to Paradise when the affrighted human pair left it ? One view (see Eth. Enoch, xxxii. 2, 3, lx. 8, lxxvii. 3, 4, &c.) was that its site was in some nameless, inaccessible region, still guarded by "the serpents and the cherubim" (Eth. Enoch, xx. 7), and that in the next age its gates would be opened, and the threatening sword (Gen. iii. 24) put away by the Messianic priest-king (Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Levi, 18).

This agrees with the story in Gen. ii., iii., except that the original narrator knew the site of the garden. It is a sufficiently reasonable view, for if Paradise lay in some definite earthly region, and if no one knows "the paths of Paradise" (4 Esdras iv. 7), it would seem that it must have ceased to exist visibly. This idea appears to be implied by those Jewish writers, who, especially after the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), dwelt so much on the hope of the heavenly Paradise, reviving, partly under emotional pressure and partly as the result of a fresh influx of mythology, the old myth of a celestial garden of God.

To notice only a few leading passages. In Apoc. Bar. iv. 3 it appears to be stated that when Adam transgressed, the vision of the city of God and the possession of Paradise were removed from him, and similarly the stress laid in 4 Esdras iv. 7, vi. 2, vii. (36), 53, viii. 52, on the heavenly Paradise seems to show that no earthly one was supposed to exist. 4 Beautiful, indeed, is the use made of that form of belief in these passages, with which we may group Rev. xxi. 1, xxii. 5, where, as in 4 Esdras viii. 52, Paradise and the city of God are combined.

Some strange disclosures on this subject are made by the Slavonic Enoch (c. viii.; cf. xlii. 3), according to which there are two Paradises. The former is in the third heaven, which explains the well-known saying of St Paul in 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4; 1 It was the Babylonian "mountain of the lands," which meant not only mother earth, but the earth imagined to exist within the heaven; cf. Jeremias, Atao, pp. II, 12, 28, and Jastrow, Religion of Bab. and Ass., p. 558.

See Zimmern, K.A.T. (3), pp. 616 sqq.

See also I Esdras ii. 19. This explains Joel iv. 18; Isa. lv. 1 (wine and milk). See also Yasna, xlix. 5 (Zendavesta); and cf. Cheyne, Ency. Bib., col. 2104, and especially Usener, Rheinisches Museum, lvii. 177-192.

4 The statement in Gen. iii. 24 comes from a form of the story in which the "garden" was riot geographically localized.

the latter is conventionally called the Paradise of Eden. In fact, the belief in an earthly Paradise never wholly died. Medieval writers loved it. The mountain of Purgatory in Dante's poem is "crowned by the delicious shades of the terrestrial Paradise." See further The Apocalypse of Baruch and The Ethiopic and the Slavonic Enoch, both edited by R. H. Charles; also Kautzsch's Apocrypha, and Volz, Jiidische Eschatologie (1903), pp. 3748, whose full references are most useful. On the Biblical references, cf. Gunkel, Genesis (2), pp. 21-35; Cheyne, Ency. Bib., " Paradise"; and on Babylonian views, Jeremias, "Holle and Paradies" (in Der alte Orient).

The Mahommedan's Paradise is a sensuous transformation of the Jewish; see especially Koran, Sura lv., and note the phrase "gardens of Firdaus," Koran, xviii. 107. For the Koran and the Zoroastrian books see the Sacred Books of the East (Oxford Series). The doorkeeper of the mountain-Paradise of the Parsees is the Amshaspand Vohu-mano (Vendidad, xix. 31). (T. K. C.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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  • enPR: pă'rədīs, IPA: /ˈpærədaɪs/, SAMPA: /"pær@daIs/


From French paradis, from Latin paradisus, from Greek παράδεισος ‘royal park, orchard’, from Avestan 𐬞𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬸𐬛𐬀𐬉𐬰𐬀 (pairi.daēza) from 𐬞𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌 (pairi), around) and 𐬛𐬀𐬉𐬰𐬀 (daēza), wall).

Proper noun

Paradise (uncountable)

  1. (religion) Heaven.
  2. (religion) The Garden of Eden.




Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

a Persian word (pardes), properly meaning a "pleasure-ground" or "park" or "king's garden." (See EDEN.) It came in course of time to be used as a name for the world of happiness and rest hereafter (Lk 23:43; 2Cor 12:4; Rev 2:7). For "garden" in Gen 2:8 the LXX. has "paradise."

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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This article needs to be merged with PARADISE (Jewish Encyclopedia).


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Designer(s) Benoît Sokal
Release date 2006
Genre Adventure
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) PC
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough
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Simple English

Paradise (or often called heaven) is a place where you have a good time and many things are there when you need it.

Other uses

  • Some people refer paradise to vacations.
  • Paradise can also mean The Tropics.
  • Some people like doing something, so they call it their "paradise".

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