Paradise means a place of splendor, happiness, and no want; it can be used synonymously for Heaven. 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".
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!".
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 modern Hebrew pardes has come to mean merely "orchard" but even there, the vestige of the original Biblical meaning of Garden of Eden remains.
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