top of page

The TRUTH about Paradise Earth

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

What is Paradise according to the Watchtower? Well according to the Watchtower Paradise is the restored future earth in the 1000 years of Christ's reign. The reasoning behind this teaching is that God's original purpose was to have Adam and Eve turn the whole earth into a Paradise like the garden of Eden. In fact when reading the Old and New Testament there are so many prophesies talking about this garden like earth in the future. So is this what Paradise is?

To be precise the Hebrew word for garden is 'gan' and not Paradise, in fact the word Paradise which is off Persian origin never appears in the Old Testament.The word only appears 3 times in the New Testament.When reading the 3 following verses from the New Testament one quickly surmises that what we're dealing with is not just a garden and if anything the Paradise of The New Testament is not a future garden like earth.

Luke 23:43:"And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” 2 Cor.12:2-4 :"I know a man in union with Christ who, 14 years ago—whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows—was caught away to the third heaven. 3 Yes, I know such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body, I do not know; God knows— 4 who was caught away into paradise and heard words that cannot be spoken and that are not lawful for a man to say. Rev. 2:7:"Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’"

As you can see from these 3 verses it is not clear at all whether Paradise is a future garden like earth, in fact if you pay closer attention to the verses in 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul seems to be having an out of body experience somewhere in heaven in this place called Paradise whereas Revelation 2:7 speaks of the tree of life that is , not will be, in the Paradise of God. So this place was already in existence when John wrote the book of Revelation.

It might come to you as a surprise that the first century Jews believed in a place called Paradise that was in existence at that time and it was not on earth, it definitely was not a garden. According to Jewish tradition all those dying are going to a place called Sheol, this is the place where all the dead go, it is a place of "silence" but this place evolved to a place of activity during the Babylonian exile to include concepts of the after life that were common amongst pagans. This place of "silence" in later writings becomes a place of action where the dead are being separated to the righteous ones occupying a place called Paradise or "Abraham's bossom" and the rest occupy Sheol or Hades.

This Jewish teaching of Paradise being a subdivision of Sheol is not unknown to the Watchtower, they are fully aware of this and they choose to ignore it because it doesn't fit their "panda bear" earthly paradise that they have invested into so much for such a long time. We read in the Awake magazine 1979, 8th August pages 24-28 about this Paradise :

If you were to read various comments of clergymen and scholars on Jesus’ words at Luke 23:43, you would find conflicting views about what Christ meant by paradise. (1) Some theologians contend that Jesus was drawing on a prevailing Jewish idea that the dead awaiting resurrection are in a portion of Sheol (the grave) called “paradise.”...Consider the first-mentioned view, that the paradise was part of the grave (Hebrew, Sheol; Greek, Hades). Typical of what many say, German Bible translator L. Albrecht states that by “paradise” Jesus meant “the place in the realm of the dead where the souls of the righteous await resurrection.” This is widely accepted because ancient Jewish literature shows that at some period Jewish rabbis taught that there is a blessed part of Sheol for the dead in God’s favor.

Now, of course Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the immortality of the soul, but this is not what is being contested here, what is argued here is the fact that the Watchtower admits that first century Jews believed that Paradise was a place in Sheol where the righteous ones go.

Considering the fact that for over 140 years have portrayed themselves as serious Bible Students it is strange they ignore this important piece of Jewish Literary Tradition of the exact meaning of Paradise.

So what did Jesus believe about Paradise? Did he consider Paradise a place on earth or place in the Underworld?

Join me next time in the second part, where I consider the parable of the rich man and Lazarus that deals with this issue

43 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page