Third Heaven

In II Cor. 12, Paul shares about a very unusual experience.

Vs 2 “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether is was in the body or out of the body I do not know- God knows… he was caught up to paradise.”

Third heaven? Out of body experience? Did anyone learn about this passage in Sunday School?
There are many theories on what this “third heaven” is.

One thing that might help: The world “paradise” comes from the Persian word, which means a “walled garden”. When a Persian king wished to honor someone very special to him, he made that person a “companion of the garden.” This gave the person the right to walk with the king in the royal gardens in close and intimate companionship (Barclay 286).

Jesus uses this analogy in Luke 23 on the cross when he tells the criminal “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

God walked with Adam in the “Garden of Eden” before the fall of mankind.

What is your theory of the third heaven?

Hebrew starts on Monday!


  1. Sounds good to me. Also, a note in my Bible says, "...This incident cannot be positively identified with a recorded event in Paul's career, although some think this may have been when he was stoned and left for dead." I personally suspect it happened when after his conversion Galatians 1:12, 16-21 tells us he went away into Arabia where he received direct revelation from Jesus Christ Himself.

  2. I've always thought Paradise and Third Heaven were the same thing. Also, I've also seen a translation that describes the third heaven as the "last" heaven or the last age mentioned in Revelation 21.