question - scriptures that prove a paradise earth

by atpeace 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • atpeace

    i was hoping for some help on proving that a paradise earth is in fact a true teaching. i've only found 3 that use the word "paradise" - but not sure if it refers to an earthly paradise.


  • Awakened07

    Umm.... You want us to help you prove that there will be a future paradise earth? That can't be proven, I'm afraid.

    But if by 'prove' you mean 'show from the Bible', I'm not sure even JWs really point to a lot of scriptures in order to show this.

    They do point to a couple of scriptures, like Jesus saying that the 'meek shall inherit the earth', and that the guys in Revelation are going to rule over the earth.

    But overall, I think it's more of a logical construct, based on the story of how the two first humans were placed in such a place, were told to multiply, and it's therefore inferred that if they had remained loyal, their descendants would have cultivated the entire earth into becoming a paradise as well, and we'd live happily ever after. And so it's further inferred that that paradise will be 're-created' in the future.

    JWs believe Adam & Eve were created to live forever in that paradise, but as far as I know, not all Christians agree with that (come to think of it, I guess no other Christians do - it would kind of negate the whole 'spirit going to heaven' thing).

    I'm not really sure what other Christians say the point of the physical earth and universe is, since we're all going to heaven anyway in the end according to them. I did ask once in a topic, but it's hard to get a straight answer sometimes.

    I don't really care either way anymore.

  • carla

    Here's a discussion on the subject with jw's and non jw's-

  • deaconbluez

    Witnesses depend on Jewish restoration prophecies to point to their new earth. As always, when it is convenient for the Watchtower, they call it a "dual-fulfillment".

  • BurnTheShips

    Most Jews believe in chaye ha olam haba, "world to come". Most Christians also believe in "a world to come" where they will resurrect in glorified physical bodies (1 Cor. 15:35–44.) I never knew that Christians believed this as a JW. I was always taught that they just believed in going to heaven.


  • Leolaia

    You need to examine more broadly at how the term "paradise" was used in early Jewish literature, as the NT usage of the term reflects notions developed in the intertestamental period. The word usually referred to the Garden of Eden, the dwelling of God and the first man Adam, i.e. the "paradise of Eden" in the LXX version of Genesis, which is presently located in heaven (cf. Testament of Abraham 11:1-10, Revelation 21:2-3, 22:1-2, 4 Ezra 4:7-8, 2 Baruch 4:6, 51:7-11, etc.) or specifically in third heaven (cf. Greek Life of Adam and Eve 37:5, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, 2 Enoch 8:1-7, Babylonian Talmud, Hagidah 12a; on the notion of a fourfold or sevenfold division of heaven, cf. Testament of Levi 3:1-5, Ascension of Isaiah 7:13-8:16, 2 Enoch 3:1-22:10, 3 Baruch 2:1-11:3). The idea was either that there existed a heavenly Eden that paralleled the one on earth, or that the actual Garden of Eden was preserved by God in heaven so that it would not be destroyed in the Flood (cf. 2 Baruch 4:6, but compare 3 Baruch 4:10). It was the abode of the righteous men of old, who dwell with God in heaven while awaiting their resurrection or as a final reward (1 Enoch 32:2-4, 60:8, 23, Greek Life of Adam and Eve 25:3, Testament of Abraham 11:1-10, 20:6-14, 2 Enoch 8:1-9:1, etc.). Here are some examples from the literature:

    "Take, then, my friend Abraham into Paradise, where there are the tents of my righteous ones and where the mansions of my holy ones, Isaac and Jacob, are in his bosom, where there is no toil, no grief, no moaning, but peace and exultation and endless life" (Testament of Abraham 20:13-14).
    "But those who honor the true eternal God inherit life, dwelling in the luxuriant garden of Paradise for the time of eternity, feasting on sweet bread from starry heaven" (Sibylline Oracles, fragment 3, in Theophylus, To Autolycus 2.36).

    This is the probable conceptual background for the reference to "paradise" in Luke 23:43, which is where the repentent would find themselves on the day they die, for there is a similar reference to the abode of the righteous in "the bosom of Abraham" in 16:19-31 in the intermediate state between death and resurrection. One may compare Josephus (Bellum Judaicum, 3.374) which says that those who await the resurrection "receive the most holy place in heaven", 1QH 3:19-23 refers to the righteous being "stationed with the host of the holy ones and entering into fellowship with the congregation of the children of heaven", 1 Enoch 39:4-5 refers to the "resting places of the righteous" as "with his righteous angels", 2 Corinthians 5:1-11 notes that "we have an eternal house in heaven" and refers to death as being "absent from the body and at home with the Lord", Revelation 6:9-11 describes the "souls" of the righteous martyrs as waiting for their resurrection in heaven, just as a "great multitude" who perish in the "great tribulation" are gathered "before the throne" and "in heaven" (7:14-15, 19:1), Polycarp of Smyrna similarly notes that Paul and the other apostles "are now in the place appointed to them with the Lord" (Philippians 9:1-2), the Martyrdom of Polycarp also claims that "the martyrs of Christ" are "exempted from eternal punishment" and were "no longer men but already angels" (3:4), and that the martyred Polycarp himself has "obtained the crown of incorruption, now celebrating with the apostles and all the righteous ones" (19:2), and Hermas of Rome states that those who "endure the coming great tribulation and not deny their life" will "gain entrance with the holy angels" (Vision 2.2.7), and that the righteous have "their place with the angels if they continue seving the Lord to the end" (Parable 9.27.3). In early Jewish and Christian literature, the heavenly paradise is also sometimes referred to as New Jerusalem and depicted as the heavenly archetype of the city with Edenic features (cf. Testament of Dan 5:11-12, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 21:1-2, etc.). In apocalyptic texts, this heavenly Eden or Jerusalem is depicted at the end of time as either returning to the earth, where God would again live with men (as he did with Adam and Eve), or as being opened up to the resurrected righteous to dwell therein forever:

    "And he shall open the gates of Paradise; he shall remove the sword that has threatened since Adam, and he will grant the saints to eat of the tree of life. The spirit of holiness shall be upon them, and Beliar shall be bound by him" (Testament of Levi 18:10-12).
    "And he shall take from Beliar the captives, the souls of the saints; and he shall turn the hearts of the disobedient ones to the Lord, and grant eternal peace to those who call upon him. And the saints shall refresh themselves in Eden; the righteous shall rejoice in New Jerusalem, which shall be eternally for the glorification of God" (Testament of Dan 5:11-12).
    "And the earth shall give up those who are asleep in it; and the chambers shall give up the souls which have been committed to them. And the Most High shall be revealed upon the seat of judgment, and compassion shall pass away, and patience shall be withdrawn, but judgment alone shall remain, truth shall stand, and faithfulness shall grow strong.... Then the pit of torment shall appear, and opposite it shall be the place of rest; and the furnace of Gehenna shall be disclosed, and opposite it the Paradise of delight. Then the Most High will say to the nations that have been raised from the dead, 'Look on this side and on that, here are delight and rest, and there are fire and torments!' " (4 Ezra 7:32-38).
    ""To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God....I saw the holy city, and the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven (i.e. to the newly-created earth) .... Then the angel showed me the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb [in heaven] and flowing crystal-clear down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure of the pagans" (Revelation 2:7, 21:2, 22:1-2).

    The JW notion that the whole earth would be cultivated into a paradise is not part of this early Jewish and Christian tradition. What was sometimes believed was that God would create a "new heavens and earth" (cf. 4 Ezra 7:29-31 on the world being "turned back to primeval silence for seven days" and then roused back to life), and Paradise would be restored once again on earth (as expressed especially in Revelation and 4 Ezra). Revelation depicts New Jerusalem as enormous -- the size of Brazil, if I remember correctly, but not encompassing the whole earth -- for the wicked would lie outside its walls beyond the reach of God's presence (22:14-15), i.e. those being tortured in the lake of fire. 4 Ezra similarly depicts Paradise and the furnace of Gehenna as established adjacent to each other on the recreated earth (cf. 7:26, 30-37). The Society is also at variance with the actual Jewish-Christian belief about paradise being in heaven by referring only to a "paradise earth" (a phrase unattested in the entire literature), and by interpreting 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 as only figuratively referring to a spiritual condition among JWs and not to any actual paradise in heaven. The vision that Paul has of paradise in "third heaven" not only parallels the references to third heaven in the Greek Life of Adam and Eve, 2 Enoch, 3 Baruch, etc., but it also resembles the famous vision reported in Hagigah 14b that claimed that four rabbis were taken up into the heavenly Eden -- one dying immediately, another becoming insane, another becoming a heretic, and only one (Rabbi Akiva) departing unhurt. This reflects the notion found in Philo of Alexandria and elsewhere that presumes that heavenly experiences require being out of the body, such that Moses could only experience divine music (cf. the inexpressible sounds heard in Paradise in 2 Corinthians 12:4, while being possibly "out of body") by "setting aside his body", for "if the sound ever reached our ears, frantic desires and furious impetuosity would be engendered, compelling us to give up food and drink", leading to death (De Somniis 1.35-36). Isaiah was similarly "out of the body" in his heavenly ascent in the Ascension of Isaiah, and Enoch had to be extracted from his "earthly clothes" (= fleshly body) and dressed in angelic clothes in order to be brought into God's presence in the highest heaven (2 Enoch 22:1-10).

  • WTWizard

    I don't think one could prove, from the Bible, a divinely created paradise earth. And even if one did exist, suppression of knowledge and having others controling ownership of everything on it would be necessary to keep it under divine control (and that is what starts Dark Ages).

    However, that does not disprove a man-made paradise earth. This would be the result of people working on solving problems through the free market. Without stupid regulations, the free market would take care of things. Science would eventually find cures for all diseases, and stop aging (and reverse it, so the 70- and 80-somethings would become like 16 year olds again). We would develop free energy in unlimited supply. We would be able to manipulate the universe so it never dies out, even creating galaxies from black holes and accessing other dimensions, as science and technology improve to levels we wouldn't even dream of today. We would be able to resurrect anyone at will. And, the best part is that no one would be able to own everything or control everyone.

    The choices are to let science and the free market create the paradise earth, which could never be anything that even remotely resembles a Dark Ages, or let God do it for us. Let God do it, and He would plunge us all into a Second Dark Ages where everyone would be in servitude to Him and live solely to do His will. Personally, I would prefer science and the free market to do it for me instead of some God Tyrant.

  • JosephMalik


    The reason that you do not find more on the paradise earth is because it is mostly referred to as the Kingdom of the Heavens or Kingdom of God in scripture. It was called Paradise to the thief that died with our Lord because the word Kingdom implies a position of office (priest in this case) in this Kingdom and Lord did not offer that to the thief. So the word Paradise would refer more to the general public that will also be resurrected while the word Kingdom refers to its administrators. Then again their is the resurrection promise to mankind. That should be enough to understand that we will be restored as humans again. There is no promise of a transmutation in scripture for anyone as a human was sacrificed for us and not a non-human being. Our existence as Jesus who now possess both natures is apart from this sacrifice and was not offered to us. This is why we are promised that Jesus will return once again as a human to rule in this Kingdom. Acts 1:11.


  • jgnat

    In typical cherry-picking fashion, here are some of the texts quoted in "Reasoning from the Scriptures".

    Matthew 5:5, 6:9, 10, Ephesians 1:9-11, Hebrews 2:5, Revelations 5:10, 21:1-5, 22:1, 2.

  • atpeace

    thank you all for your comments. i feel like everything i ever believed has been turned upside down. i have a lot to think about, for sure!

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