What it is Not

When people talk about "heaven" as the place they want to go to when they die, they usually are thinking about the "streets of gold," the "throne of Grace," the "pearly gates," the "river of life," etc., as being located in this place. According to most theologians, "heaven" is a mystical and wonderful place and it is the place people should be striving to attain.

Actually, it is no such thing. Heaven is simply the sky. You can see it every time you look up, unless you are in some kind of enclosure with a restricted view. So where did this concept of heaven come from? Is it scriptural? We'll see.

As a general rule of translation, the concept that is meant by the original writer is the concept that should be translated into any other language if the translator truly expects the readers of his translation to understand what he was translating. The reader should not be required to be a scholar of the original languages in which the book they are attempting to understand was written. This is especially true of the Scriptures. The average reader should be able to grasp the entire idea of what was written in the original language without it having to be interpreted by some scholar of the language.

This word, heaven, and how it was rendered in the King James version has had great impact on our understanding of the Kingdom of our Eloah, whose name is Yahuwah (yah-hoo-WAH), that far outweigh its simple semantic impact. The translators did us a great disservice with this and other words. The Ibriy (Hebrew) word shamayim and the Greek word ouranos are rendered incorrectly as air, heaven, and even astrologer. (Many other words suffer this same fate. Their stories are told in other subject matter on this web page.)


    1. shamayim, shaw-mah'-yim; dual of an unused sing. shameh, shaw-meh'; from an unused root mean. to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perh. alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve):--air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).

    2. shameh {shaw-meh'} to be lofty, the sky. Rendered as astrologer, air, and heaven(s).

Since our most intense interest should be centered in the words that concern us the most, the Greek words and renderings are examined more closely here than the Ibriy (Hebrew).

The English word "heaven" is rendered 255 times in 237 verses for certain Greek words in the King James Version.

The Greek words that are rendered "heaven" are:

    1. ouranos - the sky. Also rendered as air, heavenly, and sky.

    2. ouranothen - from the sky. This word is rendered as the phrase "from heaven." It is found in Acts 14:17, and Acts 26:13.

    3. epouranios - celestial, above the sky. Rendered as heaven in Philippians 2:10.

    4. mesouranema - mid-sky. Alternately rendered as heaven, as the phrase, in the midst of heaven. Rev 8:13, Rev 14:6, Rev 19:1, 11, 14, and 17.

Well, if heaven is the sky, and not where Yahuwah lives, then just where is He?

Yahushua did NOT tell the thief that was next to Him at Calvary that he would go to "heaven." He said "you will be with Me in the Paradise."

Yahuwah said that "the earth is my footstool, and the sky is my throne," and Yahushua described it the same way.

Yahuchanan (John) and Sha'uwl (Paul) say that Yahuwah dwells in us!

Yahushua said that we would become one with Him, as He is one with the Father.

If you will read Revelation chapter 21, you will find the description of this place of which is spoken. Of course, the gates Yahuchanan describes aren't "pearly," and "Saint Peter" doesn't stand around to greet new arrivals there. According to Yahuchanan there are twelve of these gates, three on each side of the city, and each one of them is a single pearl.

However, for the purposes of this discussion, that's not germane. Look carefully at chapter 21, verses one and two. They tell us not only what Yahuchanan is describing but also where it came from and where it's going. It is NOT heaven, as the place where Yahuwah lives, and where we are hopefully going, but comes down OUT OF the sky (KJV heaven).

Think on these things, and study. Answers will come as you grow in the knowledge of our Master and Savior Yahushua, and our Blessed Father Yahuwah.

Related Article:
Do You Want to go to Heaven?

C.F. Castleberry