What is the Definition of Heaven?

Just like the definition of Hell in the King James Bible and other religious texts, the definition of heaven seems to have evolved in its interpretations throughout the centuries.

In the bible’s opening passages, in the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, there is of course no sparing of the word heaven. In this first context, it would seem that heaven merely refers to the sky and stars, the firmament above the mountains and earth. But not until well into the Old Testament, in The Book of Psalms, do these mentions of heaven tie themselves to the idea of a new existence beyond Earth. With Psalms 72, we are introduced to the concept of everlasting rule by a Messiah, a King or High Priest. Similar verses are found in The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 31:33, Zechariah 2:10, and in the New Testament in The Gospel of Matthew 16:27 and The General Epistle of Jude 2:3.

And in The Book of the Prophet Isaiah, verse 2:2, we read that The LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. So the idea of heaven has now evolved into one in which there is a peace among men, in a place beyond life. A “new earth”, so to speak, is referred to throughout Isaiah (who claims it will be ruled by an heir of David), as well as in Ezekiel, Zechariah, and more.

In The Gospel of John, verse 17:24, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world, it would seem that we now have a reference to a pre-life as well, and a place where one can know God directly. More references of a place where one can have direct contact we can find in The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians 13:12, and in The First Epistle General of John 3:2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

In these verses, we can interact with God in the afterlife.

The idea that we can live eternal, absent of hunger or thirst, or sickness, and also be found in Isaiah, In The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 31:12, Micah 4:6, Zephaniah 3:9, in the Gospel of Matthew 13:43 and elsewhere.

And the first mention of kingdom of heaven is in Matthew 3:1. In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Out of these references was the modern idea of heaven shaped.

This entry was posted in Bible Studies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.