paradise

[the expulsion from paradise] (Old Persian: pairidaeza, enclosure)

Christian tradition has long applied the name to the Scriptural Garden of Eden, the home of our first parents before their fall. In the New Testament it signifies the future abode of rest and enjoyment in store for the just after death. It occurs only three times in the New Testament, though the idea which it represents is frequently expressed in other terms, e.g., "Abraham's Bosom" (Luke 16:22). It first occurs in Luke (23:43), Jesus on the cross saying to the penitent thief: "Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in paradise." Saint Paul describing his ecstasy says he was "caught up into paradise" (2 Corinthians 12). Lastly in the Apocalypse (2:7), Saint John hears the words of the Angel of Ephesus: "To him that overcometh, I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is the paradise of my God." In all three passages the word refers to the heavenly kingdom.

New Catholic Dictionary

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