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A STUDY OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMITTING A PAPER TO BE EXAMINED FOR A HIGHER DEGREE

The Third Heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 With reference to subject of cosmology in the Pseudepigrapha, what does Paul mean when he speaks of the third heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 ?

Julian P.W.Thompson Student Number: 090088

Submitted to the University of Wales Trinity St David in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Theology

Word Count: 4390 University of Wales Trinity St David March 2011

The Third Heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4

Research Question With reference to the subject of Cosmology in the Pseudepigrapha, what does Paul mean when he speaks of the third heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 ?

Introduction In both the Old and the New Testaments the term third heaven is found only once, namely, and when it is mentioned, very little is said about it. This creates difficulties for biblical scholarship, for it suggests that a satisfactory answer to the question, what does Paul mean, when he speaks of the third heaven ? , may not be readily available within the biblical canon itself. As a result it becomes necessary to examine the writings of the intertestamental period to ascertain what the cosmological beliefs of the time were, and how and if they shed any light upon Pauls thinking on this subject.

Statement of Purpose The purpose of this paper therefore, is to assess what Paul may have understood the third heaven to be in light of the cosmologies found in the Second temple literature.

Limitations The collection of literature from the intertestamental period is notoriously vast consisting of the Targumim, the Rabbinic Literature, the Septuagint, the Qumran Scrolls, the Pseudepigrapha, , the writings of Philo and the writings of Josephus. Due to spatial limitations it is not possible to consider all of the intertestamental literature

here in detail. Most analyses of the third heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 have proceeded through a concentration on the Pseudepigrapha and this paper will do the same. The Pseudepigraphal sources that will be used in this paper are; The Book of the life of Adam and Eve, II Enoch, III Baruch and The Testament of Levi. In like manner, Spatial limitations also mean that our analysis of the third heaven in the New and Old Testaments will be limited to comparative word studies, rather than the more extensive comparative category of allusions.

Methodology This paper will adopt a comparative methodology. To set the context for comparative analysis this paper will proceed with a close reading of the concept of the third heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4. This will be followed by an analysis of the concept of the third heaven in the New Testament, the Pseudepigrapha and the Old Testament. Conclusions will then be evaluated in light of II Corinthians 12.2-4.1

1. The Third Heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 1.1 Introduction Within biblical scholarship today there is general agreement that in II Corinthians 12.2-4 Paul is using a personal ecstatic experience to justify his authority as an apostle, in the wake of opponents who were ecstatically inclined.2 Much debate has

Unless otherwise stated the Bible Texts in this paper will be taken from the NRSV The Holy Bible: The New Revised Standard Version, Electronic Edition (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989). 2 Peter Schafer, New Testament Hekhalot Literature: The Journey into Heaven in Paul and in Merkavah Mysticism, Journal of Jewish Studies, 35 (1984), 19-34 (p. 23).C.R.A Morray-Jones, Paradise Revisited (2 Cor 12:1-12): The Jewish Mysitcal Background of Pauls Apostolate. Part 2 Paul's Heavenly Ascent and Its Significance, 3

surrounded the matter as to what Paul in II Corinthians 12.2-4 understood the third heaven to be.

1.1.1 The Traditional Position on the third heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 Traditionally scholarship has understood the experience of Paul in II Corinthians 12.2 and verse 4 as being distinct from one another, some suggest that they were separate events, whilst others have suggested that the third heaven and paradise represent the two stages of a single event. 3 Support for this position has centred around four main features; Firstly , scholars have argued that unless in verse 3 functions as a means of separating two different accounts, its purpose becomes redundant.4 Secondly, some have argued that if II Corinthians 12.3-4 is just a repetition of II Corinthians 12.2 and both verses are thereby describing the same event, there would be no need for Paul to repeat himself. 5 Thirdly, in support of this position others argue on the basis that most of the Patristic writers propose a notion of two separate raptures in II Corinthians 12.2.6 Fourthly, Rowland has suggested that because it is only in Paradise that Paul hears unutterable words, and no such experience is described in the third

Harvard Theological Review, 86 (1993), 177-217 (p. 266).Jeremy Barrier, Visions of Weakness: Apocalyptic Genre and the Identification of Paul's Opponents in 2 Corinthians 12: 1-6, Restoration Quarterly, 47 (2005), 33-42 (p. 42). 3 Andrew Lincoln, Paradise Now and Not Yet: Studies in the Role of the Heavenly Dimension in Paul's Thought with Special Reference to Eschatology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 77. 4 Alfred Plummer, The International Critical Commentary: II Corinthians (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1915), p. 344. 5 Margaret E. Thrall, The International Critical Commentary: II Corinthians, ed. by J.A. Emerton, C.E.B. Cranfield and G.N. Stanton, The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd, 1994), I, p. 790. 6 Plummer, p. 344; Ralph P. Martin, Word Biblical Commentary: 2 Corinthians, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1986), XL, p. 403. 4

heaven, Paul may have had a different experience in the third heaven to that of paradise.7

1.1.2 The Modern Position on the Third heaven in II Corinthians 12.2-4 Recent Scholarship however has tended to adopt a different view, namely, that II Corinthians 12.2-4 speaks of one unified account. In support of this view scholars have noted that Firstly, when II Corinthians 12.2-4 is considered as a unified experience the in verse 3 does not become redundant, Instead assumes and ascensive quality creating a connective rather than a disjunctive link between paradise in verses 2 and the third heaven in verse 4.8 Secondly, Scholars have suggested that the reason why Paul only gives one description of the content of paradise, hear[ing] things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat is because he only had one experience.9 Thirdly, in relation to the interpretation of the patristic fathers it had been noted that they may have been quoted loosely and that they were influenced by altered perceptions of the heavens. 10 Fourthly, although it is only in paradise that Paul states that he heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat, Some of the Second Temple literature such a II Enoch describe paradise and the third heaven as the same thing.11 Fifthly, in II Corinthians 12.2-4 only one date, fourteen years ago is given, the assumption being

Christopher Rowland, The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity (London: SPCK, 1982), p. 791. 8 Martin, XL, p. 403.Thrall, I, p. 791., for more information on the ascensive nature of See. Victor P. Furnish, The Anchor Bible: II Corinthians, ed. by William Allbright and David Freedman (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1984), p. 526.Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, ed. by Fredrick, William. Danker, 3rd edn (London: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), p. 494. 9 Martin, XL, p. 403. 10 Plummer, p. 344; Thrall, I, p. 791. 11 Thrall, I, p. 790. 5

that if there were two raptures or two stages, Paul would have given another date.12 Finally, Klauk demonstrates that in II Corinthians 12.2-4 the term third heaven and paradise are in fact parallel to one another in the structure of the passage.13

1.1.3 Summary Within biblical scholarship the evidence weighs heavily in favour of the argument that the third heaven and paradise are synonymous, as such, this is the position that will assumed in this paper.14 At the same time however, the information given by Paul on the third heaven and paradise is very limited. II Corinthians 12.2-4 also shows that any attempt to understand what Paul means when he speaks of the third heaven, cannot depend on II Corinthians 12.2-4 alone. This makes it necessary for us to now consider how the third heaven can be understood in light of the rest of the New Testament.

2. The Third Heaven and Paradise in the New Testament 2.1 Introduction Whilst the term occurs only once in the bible, this does not mean that the context for our understanding of the third heaven is limited to one text. On the contrary the fact that the third heaven ( ) and Paradise ()
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Martin, XL, p. 403.Lincoln, p. 77. Klauck demonstrates that II Corinthians 2e that this one was caught up to the third heaven and 4a that he was caught up into paradise are parallel to one another, the designation third heaven in the first stanza becomes paradise in the second.HansJosef Klauk, With Paul Through Heaven and Hell: Two Apocryphal Apocalpses, Biblical Research, 52 (2007), 57-72 (pp. 57-58). 14 With this the following agree; Thrall, I, p. 791; C.K. Barrett, A Commentary on The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2nd edn (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1973), p. 304; Furnish, p. 526; Klauk, 57-72 (p. 58).Martin, XL, p. 403; Lincoln, p. 77.Bonnie B. Thurston, Caught Up to the Third Heavens and Helped by the Spirit: Paul and the Mystery of Prayer, Stone-Campbell Journall, 11 (2008), 223-233 (p. 226). 6

are synonymous indicates that an analysis of the concept of in the New Testament would be just a valid, and help to shed more light upon what the third heaven ( ) might have been understood to be. 15 A survey of the New Testament reveals that is not a common word, and only occurs in two other places in the New Testament namely; Luke 23.43 and Revelation 2.7 which we shall now examine.

2.1.1 The New Testament Understanding of The first of the two additional texts in which is used is Luke 23.43. 16 Speaking to one of the criminals hanging on the cross beside him, Jesus says Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in . Whilst the passage gives no direct description of , Scholarly understanding of this verse had tended to center around the notion that paradise is here referring to a presently existing but hidden abode of the blessed. 17 The second of the two texts is Revelation 2.7 which states; Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the
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According to Liddel and Scott the lexical meaning of is an enclosed park, or pleasure ground, garden, orchard or abode of the blessed. Henry Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), p. 1309. 16 Lincoln argues that Paradise in Luke 23.43 obviously refers to a presently existing state and is similar to II Corinthians 12.4 indicating that it is the place of the righteous departed. See Lincoln, p. 80. 17 There is disagreement here as to what means in Luke 23.43 this context. Plummer s Jesus will this very day have him in His Company in a place of security and bliss.Alfred Plummer, The International Critical Commentary: St Luke, ed. by Alfred Plummer, Samuel Driver and Charles Briggs, 5th edn (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1969), p. 536. According to Fitzmeyer is most likely refers to, a place of expected bliss, and even more specifically as the mythical place or abode of the righteous after death. Joseph Fitzmeyer, William Allbright and David Freedman, The Anchor Bible: The Gospel According to Luke X-XXIV (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1985), XXVIII, p. 1511.According to Nolland, Paradise here refers to the pleasant resting place of the privileged dead prior to the great day of ressurection. John Nolland, Word Biblical Commentary: Luke 18:35-24:53, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Dallas, TX: Word Books), XXXV, p. 1153. 7

of God. Scholarly understanding of in Revelation 2.7 has tended to be centred in a eschatological context, where it is thought that the paradise here spoken of will be relocated upon the earth. 18 Within Revelation 2.7 clear parallels can also be seen between and the Old Testament garden of Eden, This association is drawn through the fact that within this escatological account we find the tree of life (Genesis 2.9) .

2.1.2 Summary The use of in the rest of the New Testament clearly suggests that it has connotations of a presently existing abode of the blessed, it also takes on eschatological dimensions in that Revelation suggests , with its imagery of Eden, will one day be established on the earth.

3. The Third Heaven & Paradise in the Pseudepigrapha A survey of the Pseudepigrapha reveals that belief in a third heaven was not foreign to the inter-testamental period (200 B.C. 200 A.D.). Indeed the third heaven is discussed in four Pseudepigraphic sources; The Book of the Life of Adam and Eve, 2

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Again there is disagreement at to what is here meant by ; Charles argues that here has become equivalent to the heavenly Jerusalem, which is to descend from heaven before the final judgement R. H. Charles, The International Critical Commentary: Revelation, ed. by S.R. Driver, A. Plummer and C. A. Briggs (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1971), I, p. 55. Aune asserts that here refers to a heavenly region that will hencefore be permenantly relocated upon the new earth. emphasis added.David Aune, Word Biblical Commentary: Revelation, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1997), p. 154. Contrary to the popular tide of opinion Massyngberde Ford Suggests that Paradise need not be understood in an eschatological sense, rather it can simply be understood stood as a place to which people strove to enter.J. Massyngberde Ford, The Anchor Bible: Revelation (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975), XXXVIII, p. 391. 8

Enoch, 3 Baruch and the Testament of Levi. 19 In this section of the paper we shall examine these sources and assess what they reveal in relation to what the third heaven was considered to be, we shall proceed in chronological order.20,21

3.1 The Third heaven in The Book of the Life of Adam and Eve.22 3.1.1 Description The Cosmology of the Book of the Life of Adam and Eve suggests the presence of at least seven heavens, with Eve stating that she sees the seven heavens opened (LAE Apocalypse, 35.2). Reference to the third heaven occurs After Adams death, where the Lord commands the archangel Michael to take [the soul of Adam] into paradise, to the third heaven. (LAE Apocalypse, 37.5) Important to note, is the distinction that is made between the earthly paradise, which is located in the garden of Eden, and the heavenly paradise which is located in the third heaven. Whilst a description of the

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Charlesworth would suggest a different chronological order for these texts, The Testament of Levi (137-107 B.C.) , The Book of the Life of Adam and Eve (100 B.C. 200 A.D), 2 Enoch (1-50 A.D.) and 3 Baruch (136 A.D.) see The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Expansions of the "Old Testament" and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works, ed. by James H. Charlesworth (London: Darton,Longman & Todd, 1985), II; The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments, ed. by James H. Charlesworth (London: Darton,Longman & Todd, 1985), I.The order proposed by Charlesworth however has been increasingly challenged by scholars such as De Jonge, who argues that the testament of Levi is a Christian writing for the compilation of which many Jewish elements have been used. See M. De Jonge, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Study of Their Text Composition and Origin, 2nd edn (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1975), p. 52. 20 Kautzsch Suggests that only 13 books should qualify as Pseudepigrapha whereas Charles Argues that the Number should be 17 See. James H. Charlesworth, The Pseudepigrapha And Modern Research, Septuagint and Cognate Studies 7 (Missoula, MN: Scholars Press, 1976), pp. 17-18. 21 All References from the Pseudepigrapha will be taken from Charlesworth; Charlesworth, II; Charlesworth, I. 22 According to Charlesworth this book is a Haggadic Midhrash on Genesis 1-4 See. Charlesworth, p. 74. 9

heavenly paradise is not given, we do find numerous descriptions of the earthly one, which is likened very much to the Garden of Eden in the genesis account. In Genesis Man was expelled from the Garden of Eden as a result of sin, the same is true in the Book of the Life of Adam and Eve, where the couple were expelled from paradise as a result of their disobedience (LAE Apocalypse, 27-29.1) Another element to note is the fact that the entrance of Adams soul into the third heaven appears to be premised on his having received pardon from God (LAE Apocalypse, 37.5-6). Adams Body is then buried in the earthly paradise with Abel, however in order to dress the bodies the archangel Michael, is commanded go into Paradise into the third heaven and bring [God] three cloths of linen and silk. (LAE Apocalypse, 40.4).

3.1.2 Analysis In The book of the life of Adam and Eve a clear connection can be seen between paradise and the third heaven, here they are twice pictured as being synonymous. The reason as to why only the earthly paradise is described and the heavenly one is not , is unclear. Whilst it may be assumed that the use of the word Paradise in connection with both Eden, and the third heaven could indicate a similarity between the content and nature of the two domains; The fact that we are not provided with any information as to the content of the Third heaven other than the fact that silk and linen cloth appears to be kept there, makes it more difficult to maintain such an assumption. However there is one area in which we do find a link between the nature of the two paradises, and that is the underlying need for righteousness. From the Book of the Life of Adam and eve we can see that In order to dwell in the earthly paradise one had to be right with God, likewise the pardoning of Adam suggests that the soul who is taken to the third heaven must also be righteous.

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3.2 The Third heaven in II Enoch 3.2.1 Description The Cosmology of the Book of Enoch contains 10 heavens with the tenth heaven being clearly depicted as the place that God dwells, says Enoch For what is there on the Tenth heaven since the Lord dwells here. (2 En. J 20.3) In this account Enoch is described as being taken to the third heaven, Enoch states that he was placed in Paradise (2 En. A 8.1). Enoch states that paradise was inconceivably pleasant (2 En. J 8.1), he saw trees in full flower; fruit all of which was ripe, four rivers flowing gently, every garden producing every kind of fruit, four rivers and the tree of life (2 En. A 8. 2-4) Two streams are described as coming forth one a source of honey, and one a source which produces wine. (2 En. J 8.5) The streams are said to divide into four and flow around the Paradise of sic Edem before dividing into 40 parts. (2 En. J 8.5-6) According to Enoch there are 300 angels looking after Paradise who sing unceasingly (2 En. J 8.8). Paradise is further described as a place prepared for the righteous(2 En. J 9.1). Enoch then describes another part of the Third Heaven which he describes as the Northern Region which was a very frightful place containing all kinds of torment and torture (2 En. J 10.1). Enoch states that Northern region has , no light, black fire, freezing ice, cruel places of detention, and dark merciless angels (2 En. J 10. 2-3). Enoch describes the Northern region as a place for those who do not glorify God and practice sin on the earth. Enoch then proceeds to list the sins of these individuals (2 En. J 10.4).

3.2.2 Analysis In II Enoch the third heaven and paradise are again pictured as being synonymous. Here however, paradise is not distinguished from Eden, rather Eden is portrayed as

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being located within it. This is seen in Enochs fairly detailed description of the third heaven , not only is paradise described as Eden, further connections with the Eden of the Old testament are made there is a Tree of life (Genesis 2.9) there are four rivers (Genesis 2.10) the Lord walks there (Genesis 3.8) and unless you are right with God you cannot dwell there. (Genesis 3.22). Paradise however is not all that is contained in Enochs account of the third heaven, for in addition to Paradise, there is the Northern region, which stands in stark contrast to Paradise. Enoch does not describe the features of the Northern heaven in as much detail as he does with Paradise, rather in speaking of the Northern region Enochs focus is upon the unrighteous nature of those who find themselves there.

3.3 The Third heaven in III Baruch 3.3.1 Description III Baruch presents a cosmology containing five heavens; the fifth of which is where God is located (III Bar. 14.1). Baruchs experience of the third heaven appears to have come in the form of a vision (III Bar. 1.1-8). Although not explicit, scholarship suggests that the account the third heaven in III Baruch begins in chapter four.23 In the Third Heaven Baruch states that he sees Hades and its appearance was gloomy and

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Speaking of chapter 4 Charles states: There is no mention here of entry into a third heaven, and when the next heaven is entered in ch. 10, the scribe has changed its number from fourth to third, as is evident from the fact that in ch. 11 the fifth heaven is mentioned. At what point in the narrative is the entry made into the third heaven? In ch. 7 the angel says to Baruch, All that I showed thee is in the first and second heaven, and in the third heaven the sun passes through, and gives light to the world. It would harmonize with this to place the entry into the third heaven at the commencement of ch. 6. But against this is the fact that Hades (ch. 4) is usually located in the third heaven (cf. 2 En.). It seems best therefore to follow James in placing the transition here. It should be noted that the Slavonic account of the third heaven shows fewer signs of mutilation than the Greek.23Robert Henry Charles, Commentary on the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Electronic (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems Inc., 2004). 12

unclean (III Bar. 4.3). According to Baruch, surrounding Hades is a great dragon who eats the bodies of those who pass through life badly (III Bar. 4.5). Baruch requests to see and is shown the tree which caused Adam to stray, and in this account Baruch is shown that although many trees were planted, the tree which caused Adam to stay was in fact The Vine (III Bar. 4.8). The account then elaborates on the history of the vine and the earthly paradise, describing is as containing flowers before returning to a description of the third heaven (III Bar. 4.10). The third heaven is described as the place where the sun goes forth proceeded by a phoenix (III Bar. 6.4 -16).24 The account then finishes allusions to the fall of Adam and detailed descriptions of the phoenix, the sun and its movements. (III Bar. 6 9).

3.3.2 Analysis The account of the third heaven as found in III Baruch appears to function more on a theological than a descriptive level. This is due to the fact that the conversation between Baruch and the angel is permeated predominantly with what appears to be allegorical explanations, rather than actual descriptions of the content of the third heaven itself. What we are told in relation to the third heaven is that Hades is a gloomy and unclean place and it is surrounded by a dragon who eats those who lived badly, suggesting that, Hades is a place for the unrighteous. Whilst in the Third Heaven Baruch is shown the tree that led Adam astray, and we are told that in addition to that specific tree many other trees were planted. Aside from these facts we are told little else about the third heaven apart from the fact that the third heaven is the

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It has been suggested that the phoenix and sun in III Baruch had come to be seen as evidence of Gods Glory. See Martha Himmelfarb, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 89. 13

place from which the sun goes forth with the Phoenix. Nevertheless what is interesting to note is the fact that Baruchs desire to see the tree that led Adam astray suggests that Baruch expected to find the tree on the third heaven. The mention of this tree and the allegorical discussion of the fall account serve to create further parallels between the third heaven and Eden.

3.4 The Third Heaven in the Testament of Levi 3.4.1 Description The Cosmology of the Testament of Levi suggests the presence of three heavens with the third heaven being the highest; the angel guiding Levi describes it as the uppermost of all (T.L, 3.4). Levis journey through the heavens is described as occurring whilst sleep fell upon [him] suggesting that what he experienced was given to him through a dream or vision (T.L, 2.5). After giving a brief description of the first heaven (TL, 2.7), Levi is shown a second heaven which was more bright and lustrous that the first (T.L, 2.5), Then angel explains that there is a third heaven which is more lustrous than the second heaven beyond compare, and that once Levi reaches the third heaven he will stand near the Lord (T.L, 2.10). In the third heaven sanctuary imagery is used and the God the Great Glory is described as dwelling on the third heaven in the Holy of Holies with the Archangels (T.L, 3.45).25

3.4.2 Analysis The Testament of Levi identifies the third heaven as the highest and most glorious heavenly realm and where God resides. Aside from the sanctuary imagery the
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The term Great Glory was a favourite name for God in Merkabah Circles. See footnotes in. Charlesworth, I, p. 789. 14

description as to the aesthetic features of the third heaven is not extensive. From the information provided, the most that can be said is that the third heaven is a glorious place with a temple in which God dwells in the company of archangels.

3.5 Summary of the Third Heaven and Paradise in the Pseudepigrapha From the Pseudepigrapha it is apparent that writers did not always think it necessary or important to describe what the third heaven contained. However in the accounts where details as to the nature of the third heaven are presented we find strong associations between the third heaven and paradise; and In most instances the two are portrayed as being one and the same thing. In like manner the Pseudepigrapha reveal the presence of parallels between the Third heaven, Paradise and the Old Testament Eden.26 Another distinct feature of the accounts of the third heaven as described in the Pseudepigrapha is the fact that it is portrayed as being a place to which the righteous departed go, nevertheless some accounts do subdivide the third heaven into two parts; Firstly, Paradise to which the righteous departed go, and Secondly; Hades or the Northern region to which the unrighteous departed go. This Concludes our analysis of the third heaven in the Pseuepigrapha, we now move to analyse the Old Testament understanding of the third heaven.

4. The Third Heaven & Paradise in the Old Testament 4.1 Introduction Although some have argued that the concept of three heavens is alluded to in the Old Testament, these arguments have proved to be largely unsatisfactory, and therefore provide an inadequate basis for drawing comparisons with Pauls concept of the third
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The only source that doesnt draw clear parallels between the third heaven and Eden is the Testament of Levi, in which the description of the third heaven is sparse. 15

heaven in II Corinthians 2.2-4.27 Due the absence of the term third heaven in the Old Testament it is necessary to focus on the Old Testament concept of paradise. The Hebrew equivalent of the Greek is and both words come from the same Persian etymological root, pardesu meaning a marvellous garden.28 A comparative analysis of the use of the word in the Old Testament will reveal

the Old Testament understanding of Paradise, and help to shed further light on what Paul may have meant when he speaks of the third heaven and paradise in II Corinthians 2.2-4.29 In the Masoretic Text the Hebrew root occurs three times; in Nehemiah 2.8; in Ecclesiastes 2.5 and in Song of Songs 4.13.

4.1.1 The Old Testament understanding of The first of the three texts in which is used is Nehemiah 2.8, where he asks for wood from the kings in order to help with the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple, here is generally understood to be referring to a kings forest. 30 The

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Some have used 1 Kings 8.27 to justify such a position for discussion see. F.F. Bruce, New Century Bible: 1 And 2 Corinthians, ed. by Ronald Clements and Mathew Black (London: Oliphants, 1971), p. 246. 28 For discussion of the Lexical roots of pardesu ,and see Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of The Old Testament, ed. by M.E.J Richardson (New York, NY: E.J.Brill, 1996), p. 963; Melvin, K.H. Peters, The Anchor Bible Dictionary:O-Sh 'Septuagint', ed. by David Freedman (London: Doubleday, 1992), V, p. 154. 29 The Targums Neofiti and Pseudo Jonatan Translate do not adopt the translation paradise instead they like the masoretic text view genesis as speaking of a garden See Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis, ed. by Kevin Cathcart, Michael Maher and Martin McNamara, trans. by Michael Maher (Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd, 1992), I, p. 57; Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis, ed. by Kevin Cathcart, Michael Maher and Martin McNamara, trans. by Michael Maher (Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd, 1992), I, pp. 22-23. 30 According to Williamson paradise here clearly refers to the royal domain or estate.H.G.M. Williamson, Word Biblical Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1985), XVI, p. 181.Battern suggests that it may not have been a park but a preserve containing animals. This argument however is premised on a rewriting of the original Hebrew text. see Loring Batten, The International Critical Commentary: Ezra and Nehemiah, ed. by S.R. 16

second instance in which is used is Ecclesiastes 2.5, here we find a park made by a King, in it are all kinds of fruit trees, and pools to water the forest of growing trees. Again here can be seen to refer to the garden of a king. 31 The final occasion that is used in the old testament is Song of Songs 4.13, here appear to be used as a metaphor of the Kings bride, here is described as containing; an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices. It can clearly been seen that here takes on a luxuriant sense, referring to a kingly garden of magnificent splendour. 32 In the Masoretic text of the Old Testament is always used in connection with a park, garden or

area of greenery belonging to a king. The surrounding contextual association with kingship, often creates an impression of grandeur and richness, such as might not be found in a more ordinary concept of a garden ( . ) In the Masoretic text the usage of

Driver, A. Plummer and C. A. Briggs (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1972), XII, p. 197. Meyers highlights the fact that that during the time of Nehemiah there were local parks under the care of Persian officials.Jacob Myers, The Anchor Bible: Ezra, Nehemiah (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1965), XIV, p. 98. That .here refers to a woodland or park area, is the most probable 31 Most Scholars agree that here refers specifically to the Garden of a king. See C.S. Seow, The Anchor Bible: Ecclesiates, ed. by William Allbright and David Freedman (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1997), XVIII, p. 128; Roland Murphy, Word Biblical Commentary: Ecclesiates (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992), XXIII, p. 18; George Barton, The International Critical Commentary: Ecclesiastes, ed. by A. Plummer, S.R. Driver and C. A. Briggs (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1971), p. 80. 32 Murphy and Carm suggest that here refers to a park stocked with all kinds of exotic plants.Roland Murphy and O. Carm, Hermenaia:A Commentary on the Book of Cantiles or the Song of Songs, ed. by S. Dean, Jr. McBride (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1990), p. 157.Garret and House suggest that here conveys the idea of a place that is intensely beautiful, and park-like in that it contains trees of all kinds, but gardenlike in that it has spices, flowers and edible plants. Duane Garret and Paul House, Word Biblical Commentary: Song of Songs/Lamentations, ed. by Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004), XXIII, p. 197. Pope agrees Marvin, H. Pope, The Anchor Bible: Song of Songs, ed. by William Allbright and David Freedman (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977), p. 491. 17

indicates that the Old Testament concept of paradise does appear to be limited to a more secular sense. 33 This however is not true of the Septuagint.

4.1.2 The Septuagint Understanding of Written Between 3 1 B.C.E scholarship has noted that the Septuagint concept of paradise differs in nuance to that of the Masoretic text.34 Where the Hebrew equivalent of the greek refers only to a garden, park or area of greenery belonging to a king; in the Septuagint , we find that is used in a broader sense refering primarily to the Garden of Eden, and items that The LORD is has planting. 35 . In instances such as Genesis 2.8, where the Masoretic text uses the usual Hebrew word for garden the septuagint does not use the corresponding greek word instead it uses .36,37,38 The effect of this nuance is that the concept of Paradise in Septuagint is extended to the religious sphere and becomes consistently associated with the garden of Eden and its corresponding imagery. A Number of explanations could suffice, firstly, the Septuagints use of instead of in instances such as Genesis 2.8 could indicate a deliberate effort to link the
33

See.James H. Charlesworth, The Anchor Bible Dictionary:O-Sh 'Paradise', ed. by David Freedman (London: Doubleday, 1992), V, p. 154. 34 See. Peters, V, p. 1094. 35 Here is a list of all the texts wherein the Septuagint uses the Greek instead of . Genesis 2.8 , Genesis 2.9 Genesis 2.10, Genesis 2.15, Genesis 2.16, Genesis 3.1, Genesis 3.2 , Genesis 3.3, Genesis 3.8 , Genesis 3.10, Genesis, 3.23, Genesis 3.24, Genesis 13.10, Numbers 24.6, 2 Chronicles 33.20, Isaiah 1.30, Isaiah 51.3, Jeremiah 29.5, Ezekiel, 28.13, Ezekiel 31.8, Ezekiel 31.9 and Joel 2.3 36 For a more in depth discussion on the Hebrew usage of the word see Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. by G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren, trans. by John T. Willis, Geoffrey Bromiley and David E. Green (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978), pp. 34-48. 37 According to Muroaka, in the Septuagint the lexical meaning of are ; an enclosed spacious plantations for cultivating fruits, orchard, and luxuriant garden.T. Muraoka, The Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2009), p. 525. 38 The lexical meaning of is garden , orchard , rich, highly cultivated region. Liddell and Scott, pp. 947-948. 18

garden of Eden with paradise; Secondly, this nuance could suggest that the Septuagint was translated from an extant Hebrew Manuscript, that differed to that of the ; and thirdly, in instances such a Genesis 2.8 the use of could be down to the fact that as a Persian word pardesu is unlikely to have entered the Hebrew vernacular at the time the Genesis account was written. 39 Whilst we cannot know for sure, it is clear that in the Septuagint a shift has occurred.

4.1.3 Summary Where the concept of paradise in the Masoretic texts refers primarily to a park, garden or area of greenery belonging to a king, this is not the case in the Septuagint. In the Septuagint the concept of paradise also includes strong associations with the Garden of Eden in the Genesis account as well as the idea that paradise is something that The LORD had planted. What is also important , is the fact that from our analysis paradise in the OT does not refer to a future resting place of the righteous.40

5. Conclusion Although the term third heaven is mentioned only once in the Bible, evidence from the Pseudepigrapha suggests that notions of a third heaven were fairly widespread. The Pauline concept that the third heaven and paradise are synonymous, is also evident in the Pseudepigrapha, as are the inferences of Luke and John that paradise is a presently existing abode for the righteous, With John going a step further linking paradise back to the garden of Eden. The Pseudepigrapha as well as linking the third
39

Charlesworth suggests that the religious meaning of [] entered Jewish thought and vocabulary after the Babylonian exile, Charlesworth, V, p. 154. 40 With this Lincoln agrees Nowhere in the OT does it refer to a future resting place of the righteous. Lincoln, p. 79. 19

heaven and paradise to the Garden of Eden, also portray paradise as an abode for the righteous departed. Some accounts identify in the third heaven, a place distinct from paradise that is for the unrighteous, this concept however is found in neither the Old or New Testaments. The notion of paradise being a place for the righteous departed and containing imagery reminiscent of Eden is not present in the Masoretic Texts of the Old Testament concept of paradise. The link between paradise and Eden can however be found in the Septuagint which invests the concept of paradise with a religious quality associating it with The LORD and Eden . In Conclusion, in light of the above it is likely that Paul understood the third heaven, to be a presently existing Eden, an abode for the righteous, which God in an eschatological act would one day restore to the earth. With the current Adventist understanding of paradise being limited to that of paradise being synonymous with heaven, this conclusion is likely to have a number of implications for Seventh-day Adventist theology. 41,42 Further study is needed.

41

Traditionally, Seventh-day Adventist Theology has viewed paradise as being synonymous with heaven and containing the many mansions spoken of by Jesus in John 14.1-3. See. Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary: Matthew to John, ed. by Francis Nichol (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald Publishing Association, 1980), V, pp. 877-878; Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Dictionary: Commentary Reference Series, ed. by Francis Nichol (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald Publishing Association, 1979), VIII, p. 839. 42 An exploration of the such implications is likely to include the following: If Paradise as a presently existing Eden will, one day be restored to the earth, can Paradise and heaven be understood as being same thing? If they are not the same thing how might they differ? At what point in time will the eschatological act of Paradise being restored to the earth take place? Is paradise synonymous with the New Jerusalem? What are the implications of paradise being a presently existing abode of the righteous? If paradise is a presently existing abode for the righteous do the righteous inherit it before or after the resurrection? if they inherit it before in what way does this impact the Adventist position on the state of the dead ?

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Bibliography Aune, David, Word Biblical Commentary: Revelation, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1997). Barrett, C.K., A Commentary on The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2nd edn (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1973). Barrier, Jeremy, Visions of Weakness: Apocalyptic Genre and the Identification of Paul's Opponents in 2 Corinthians 12: 1-6, Restoration Quarterly, 47 (2005), 33-42. Barton, George, The International Critical Commentary: Ecclesiastes, ed. by A. Plummer, S.R. Driver and C. A. Briggs (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1971). Batten, Loring, The International Critical Commentary: Ezra and Nehemiah, ed. by S.R. Driver, A. Plummer and C. A. Briggs (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1972), XII. Bauer, Walter, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, ed. by Fredrick, William. Danker, 3rd edn (London: The University of Chicago Press, 2000). Botterweck, G. Johannes, and Helmer Ringgren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, trans. by John T. Willis, Geoffrey Bromiley and David E. Green (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978). Bruce, F.F., New Century Bible: 1 And 2 Corinthians, ed. by Ronald Clements and Mathew Black (London: Oliphants, 1971). Cathcart, Kevin, Michael Maher, and Martin McNamara, eds., Targum Neofiti 1: Genesis, trans. by Michael Maher (Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd, 1992), I. Cathcart, Kevin, Michael Maher, and Martin McNamara, eds., Targum PseudoJonathan: Genesis, trans. by Michael Maher (Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd, 1992), I. Charles, R. H., The International Critical Commentary: Revelation, ed. by S.R. Driver, A. Plummer and C. A. Briggs (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1971), I. Charles, Robert Henry, Commentary on the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Electronic (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems Inc., 2004). Charlesworth, James H., The Anchor Bible Dictionary:O-Sh 'Paradise', ed. by David Freedman (London: Doubleday, 1992), V. Charlesworth, James H., ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments (London: Darton,Longman & Todd, 1985), I. Charlesworth, James H., ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Expansions of the

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"Old Testament" and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works (London: Darton,Longman & Todd, 1985), II. Charlesworth, James H., The Pseudepigrapha And Modern Research, Septuagint and Cognate Studies 7 (Missoula, MN: Scholars Press, 1976). De Jonge, M., The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Study of Their Text Composition and Origin, 2nd edn (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1975). Fitzmeyer, Joseph, William Allbright, and David Freedman, The Anchor Bible: The Gospel According to Luke X-XXIV (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1985), XXVIII. Furnish, Victor P., The Anchor Bible: II Corinthians, ed. by William Allbright and David Freedman (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1984). Garret, Duane, and Paul House, Word Biblical Commentary: Song of Songs/Lamentations, ed. by Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004), XXIII. Himmelfarb, Martha, Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Klauk, Hans-Josef, With Paul Through Heaven and Hell: Two Apocryphal Apocalpses, Biblical Research, 52 (2007), 57-72. Koehler, Ludwig, and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of The Old Testament, ed. by M.E.J Richardson (New York, NY: E.J.Brill, 1996). Liddell, Henry, and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968). Lincoln, Andrew, Paradise Now and Not Yet: Studies in the Role of the Heavenly Dimension in Paul's Thought with Special Reference to Eschatology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Martin, Ralph P., Word Biblical Commentary: 2 Corinthians, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1986), XL. Massyngberde Ford, J., The Anchor Bible: Revelation (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1975), XXXVIII. Morray-Jones, C.R.A, Paradise Revisited (2 Cor 12:1-12): The Jewish Mysitcal Background of Pauls Apostolate. Part 2 Paul's Heavenly Ascent and Its Significance, Harvard Theological Review, 86 (1993), 177-217. Muraoka, T., The Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2009).

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Murphy, Roland, Word Biblical Commentary: Ecclesiates (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992), XXIII. Murphy, Roland, and O. Carm, Hermenaia:A Commentary on the Book of Cantiles or the Song of Songs, ed. by S. Dean, Jr. McBride (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1990). Myers, Jacob, The Anchor Bible: Ezra, Nehemiah (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1965), XIV. Nichol, Francis, ed., Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary: Matthew to John (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald Publishing Association, 1980), V. Nichol, Francis, ed., Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Dictionary: Commentary Reference Series (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald Publishing Association, 1979), VIII. Nolland, John, Word Biblical Commentary: Luke 18:35-24:53, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Dallas, TX: Word Books), XXXV. Peters, Melvin, K.H., The Anchor Bible Dictionary:O-Sh 'Septuagint', ed. by David Freedman (London: Doubleday, 1992), V. Plummer, Alfred, The International Critical Commentary: II Corinthians (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1915). ---, The International Critical Commentary: St Luke, ed. by Alfred Plummer, Samuel Driver and Charles Briggs, 5th edn (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1969). Pope, Marvin, H., The Anchor Bible: Song of Songs, ed. by William Allbright and David Freedman (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977). Rowland, Christopher, The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity (London: SPCK, 1982). Schafer, Peter, New Testament Hekhalot Literature: The Journey into Heaven in Paul and in Merkavah Mysticism, Journal of Jewish Studies, 35 (1984), 19-34. Seow, C.S., The Anchor Bible: Ecclesiates, ed. by William Allbright and David Freedman (New York, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1997), XVIII. The Holy Bible: The New Revised Standard Version, Electronic Edition (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989). Thrall, Margaret E., The International Critical Commentary: II Corinthians, ed. by J.A. Emerton, C.E.B. Cranfield and G.N. Stanton, The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd, 1994), I. Thurston, Bonnie B., Caught Up to the Third Heavens and Helped by the Spirit: Paul

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and the Mystery of Prayer, Stone-Campbell Journall, 11 (2008), 223-233. Williamson, H.G.M., Word Biblical Commentary: Ezra, Nehemiah, ed. by David Hubbard and Glen Barker (Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1985), XVI.

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