2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (New International Version)
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
Here Paul is relating a story of an experience that (presumably) he had, where he mentions going to 'the third heaven' also called 'paradise' in the same passage.
- What is he referring to? Is he talking about a distinct place other than heaven, the abode of God'?
- Is this phrase, 'the third heaven' have some meaning in Greek that is lost in English?
- How would a first century Corinthian have understood this?