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Archive for the ‘Seven Last Words’ Category

Today you will be with me in paradise

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

On the second of the Seven Last Words of Jesus (Luke 23:43)

The word paradise comes from a Persian word that had been incorporated into Greek. This passage is the only time it is used in the New Testament, and it is used in the ancient Greek version (Septuagint) of the Hebrew Testament also only once: to refer to the Garden of Eden. We didn’t start using it in English until around the year 1200.

The Persian word pairidaeza means a walled garden, especially a beautifully maintained royal garden where the king would walk in the cool of the evening. The pairidaeza was held in such high regard that even the King of Persia would plant trees there himself and tend to the flowers.

So why did Luke use this unusual word when recounting the promise of Jesus to the Good Thief? We can’t know for sure, but it does offer some tantalizing insights. (more…)