The Assumption of Mary states that after she died on Earth she went to Heaven.

What is the Biblical basis for the idea that she, or any other person who died after Jesus' resurrection, is already in Heaven?

  • @ThaddeusB I was editing it just as you were ;)
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:15
  • @thaddeus not being snarky but is there value in editing a question that has an accepted answer? I still have a lot to learn about how the site works
    – user23657
    Dec 22, 2015 at 18:09
  • I'm VTCing as unclear rather than as a duplicate, because I believe the questioner is confused. The assumption doctrine is that Mary is bodily in heaven, which is unique to her. It's qualitatively different from what happened to "other saints" according to the traditions that believe it. Dec 22, 2015 at 18:15
  • @Pam Yes, any edit to make a question clearer is a good one. (The edit did not change the question/invalidate any answers, but rather just made it more clearly on-topic.)
    – ThaddeusB
    Dec 22, 2015 at 18:26

3 Answers 3


There are some confusion among Christians regarding Paradise, Heaven, Hell, lake of fire and Sheol. Already many questions are asked on these topics like; this, this,this and this.

I would like to explain what I understand about Heaven.

I believe that Paradise was a place where the Old Testament saints were waiting for Jesus to defeat Satan and bring them to Heaven. The first person to enter Paradise would be Abel and the last would possibly be the thief crucified at the right hand side of Jesus on the cross. Abraham was a notable figure there in paradise as we see in Luke 16:19-31. Now, all OT saints and anyone who believes in Jesus are now in Heaven with Jesus Christ as we can see in Rev 6:9-11, Rev 7:9-17 and more.

Heaven is not the permanent place where the believers will stay. God has a greater plan for all believers. God will create a New Earth for his holy people. Apostle John saw this future planet Earth in his vision.

Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV)

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Thus, there are 3 places appointed for the saints.

  1. Paradise (past)
  2. Heaven (present)
  3. New Earth (future)

Let's talk about Hell.

Paradise and Hell (Sheol) were very close to each other as we see in Luke 16:19-31. Any one who disobeys God in the OT times were in Hell. Now everyone who rejects Jesus Christ as their savior are in Hell. We don't know the first one to enter Hell but one of the first would be Cain. After the judgment day, all the people in Hell will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV)

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.


The main verse that people quote with regards to being in heaven immediately is the words of Jesus on the cross to the thief:

"I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise" Luke 23:43

Indicating that rather than just waiting until the 2nd coming, there is a paradise which people inhabit immediately upon death, similar to that spoken of in John 14:2, where the phrase indicates more of a temporary dwelling than a permanent one.

However, this would also seem to be separate from the Heaven described elsewhere in places like Revelation, as the descriptions involving God's people inhabiting Heaven all come after the 2nd coming


There's a difference between being in heaven completely (with body) and with soul only. We have biblical evidence for the first in case of Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2Kings 2:1-18), there is an apocryphal account of this happening to Moses (Assumption of Moses) and the tradition dogmatized in Catholic Church and believed by many in Orthodox Churches claims that something similar happened to Mary. It happened sometime near the end of the Acts of Apostles plotline, and since Acts doesn't tell us even about acts of most apostles (but mostly about Peter and Paul), it's no wonder that Mary's assumption wasn't recorded in books of canonic Bible, but only in an oral tradition.

About being in Heaven by soul only, Matt Taylor already addressed it qite well.

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