The meaning of paradise varies from the self-centered concept associated with Islam (especially as promoted by Muslim terrorist groups) to the Christian ideal of a mutual sharing of love with God and other saved believers.
Paradise is a place or experience likened to a many faceted diamond, different aspects, all true to the reality. The Tree of Life in Paradise in the New Testament book of the Revelation points to the origin. "Paradise" is from the Greek and refers back to the experience of the Garden of Eden. Garden = gan, Eden = delight or delicacy, in the Hebrew of Genesis - the Garden of Delight. Cognates of "Paradise" may be found in the Akkadian meaning a protected and bountiful enclosure, and in particular the royal enclosure.
Paradise in the New Testament may be conceived, under one aspect, as a reversal or overturning of the misery,corruption, and disgrace caused by sin and rebellion, that the redeemed soul, experiences immediately upon his casting himself upon the arms of the Savior - "Remember me Lord when you come in your Kingdom!", "I tell you, for certain," said Jesus", today you will be with me in Paradise!". Spatially, it may be considered as the portico, such as Solomon's grand portico to the Temple enclosure, to the Mansion prepared for the followers of Jesus - Heaven itself. Temporally, it may be considered as the very first experience after the redeemed soul dies, on its way, perhaps accompanied by the angels, into the "Bosom of Abraham", and the other saints of God. And essentially, the presence that we will meet in Paradise is Jesus Himself. He will greet us there and lead us further and we shall always be with Him whatever further plan He has for the Kingdom of God here on earth or with His Father. In paradise, there is nothing to defile, or cause heartache, no unrighteousness, and all tears will be wiped away from off our faces. Gan Eden has been restored and much more.
Because "Paradise" contains within it the understanding of the realization of the hopes of man for a better world, one in which, oppression, and unrighteousness are excluded and thus, making for a world better, fulfilling, of goodness restored, and a realization of the best that man could imagine for himself and for others, "Paradise" has often been used metaphorically for all that on earth approaches these qualities. "Paradise" thus has become secularized and come to signify some type of human utopia. In this way, "Paradise" has come to be viewed paradoxically, as both banal and its opposite, other worldly and pie-in-the-sky. In Hebrew language Paradise (Pardes) has come to mean merely "orchard". But even in this, the vestige of the original Biblical meaning remains - Garden of Eden.
- Jesus Christ
- Garden of Eden
- Midrash for the "Paradise" (Pardes) method of Jewish biblical exegesis
- Paradise Lost
- Some claim the word originates from a Persian word that roughly equates to the "heaven" side of the Heaven/Hell duality in Zoroastrianism. When the ancient Tribe of the Upper Kingdom was freed from Babylonian Exile, they adopted many cultural traits and parts of the language from the Zoroastrians, including the word "paradise". The English usage of paradise for Heaven comes through French, which takes its form "paradis" from the Latin. Latin borrowed from the Greek, which took the word more directly from the Persian word.