I wondered if there are more detailed descriptions than the hints in the bible, how life in heaven is.

Letting aside the more complicated questions like many inhabitants due to eternal life, I wonder how much life in the Christian heaven is like on earth.

I think of the seemingly simple questions, e.g., about infrastructure. Are there modern houses and roads? Do people drive cars? If there are modern houses, do they have electricity? And are the power plants like on earth or is somewhere a border where the magic (I am not sure what would be the correct word here) starts between the house that looks like usual and the power plant that is not needed in heaven?

In this context, heaven would have modernized its infrastructure, just like the people on earth had evolved the earthly infrastructure. The people from biblical times thought about the infrastructure and technology from their time, but when a modern person comes to heaven, they would miss a lot of their comfort when heaven still looks like it did thousand years ago according to the ideas about life in heaven at that time.

The next implication of a mirror earth in heaven would be if people need to work. The superficial hints about heaven I know about tell about an afterlife in which people don't have to worry about working and other earthly obligations. But the more heaven reflects earth, the more it would need to work the same. Someone would need to operate the power plant, that powers the house that provides the same home as the person had on earth.

I hope the question is not blasphemous, but someone must have thought about such things and there are probably better descriptions about how life in heaven works if one believes in heaven as a place and not only as a metaphor.

I only have basic knowledge of the bible and do not know if there are other texts which go into more detail, but probably there are already descriptions of how it probably can work which are more detailed than the bible text, which also describes a perspective that is thousands of years old.

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    It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9. Any conjecture at all has to be a matter of opinion.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 26 '21 at 12:06
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    You've sort of answered this yourself... "I wondered if there are more detailed descriptions than the hints in the bible". No, there aren't. Not that can be relied upon, anyway. Anything beyond what's in the bible is pure conjecture.
    – Matthew
    Aug 26 '21 at 13:10
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    This question asks for non-biblical sources of information, and almost every denomination will have its own writings, traditions, and doctrines, most of which will be different from the others. It is far too general a question. ¶ If you want an explanation about why there is so little information about this in the Bible, read my answer to … list of personages, which are Biblically stated to be … in heaven?. Hint: people don't go to heaven. Aug 26 '21 at 13:12
  • So asking the other way round: What are good sources about the afterlife besides the bible? Even when its not in a bible sermon, people talk about afterlife and heaven, so there must be sources about more concrete ideas than the bible text, the rather silly "walking on clouds" or ideas that end at the heaven's gate (which may be not biblical, too).
    – allo
    Aug 26 '21 at 13:32
  • If you specified a denomination you could ask if they have any extra-biblical knowledge of heaven, but leaving this open just makes it an opinion question on what is a "good source".
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 30 '21 at 2:52

That is a good question. While I agree with others that there is no definitive source for information about the afterlife other than Scripture, we can try to address your question about modern conveniences by a thought experiment. This experiment could start with the following two questions and then we can explore the possibilities.

Personally I think that "The Great Divorce" and "The Last Battle", both by C. S. Lewis, along with his various comments on Heaven in his other books and writings, provide lots of great material for additional thought experiments and reflection on what Heaven / new creation might entail.

  • Will Heaven / the new creation have laws of physics that are similar to those of earth? If not, then the types of things that people would invent would be entirely different. If so, then it would be rational to assume that if the same challenges met us in a similar environment, you would end up with similar technology, though it may have advanced well beyond what we have now, with quantum physics and all sorts of other fun things.

  • Will we need these modern conveniences in the new creation or will God, like in Eden, provide such a perfect habitat that we simply feel no need for them?

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of ‘Heaven’ ridiculous by saying they do not want ‘to spend eternity playing harps’. The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people (not all) music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour and power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven (gold does not rust) and the preciousness of it. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.”

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    If I may add, C.S. Lewis's "Heaven" chapter in The Problem of Pain is worth reading as well, which contrasts it with Hell (in the previous chapter). The comparison is similar to what C.S. Lewis did in The Great Divorce but in a different genre. Also the running theme throughout his writings that the pangs of "joy" (longing) we experience in this "shadowlands" are pointers to heaven where there is no more shadow. Aug 26 '21 at 18:57

I wondered if there are more detailed descriptions than the hints in the bible.

No, there aren't. None, anyway, that would be reliable. Anything extra-biblical is necessarily going to be pure conjecture.

That said, I think the bible may be able to answer some of your questions. (With respect to Ray Butterworth's comment, I'll assume that by "heaven" we're talking about "paradise" / "the New Earth" or wherever it is that the faithful end up in eternity. Which is, after all, the colloquial meaning.)

Are there modern houses and roads? Do people drive cars? If there are modern houses, do they have electricity?

Heaven is eternal, why would you be in a hurry to get anywhere? I expect either you'll walk everywhere (and enjoy doing so), or there will be some means of travel that is much better than mere automobiles. (Perhaps wherever you want to go is always just around the corner.)

Also, those in Heaven will need no lamps (Revelation 21:23). This book (which, BTW, seems to be the sort of thing you're trying to find) raises an interesting thought: "the dark world's lamps are copies of the sun". (The "dark world" here is a Narnian analogy for the Cursed Earth.) If artificial lights in this world are merely poor imitations of the True Light, what a wonder it will be when we no longer need such!

heaven would have modernized its infrastructure

Maybe, but why? I think they knew how to make comfortable chairs and beds (assuming we need them). Given that the climate is presumably idyllic, I'm not sure I'd even get worked up about not having indoor plumbing. What else do you really need? (Hint: I'm pretty sure people in Heaven won't be addicted to "smart phones"...)

Moreover, I would reiterate the previous point. The infrastructure (and transportation) we have created in this world is, at least partly, an attempt to make up for something we lost when Creation was Cursed. I would consider it quite likely that we won't need such things in the New Creation.

people need to work

No. God will provide for all our needs. The New Creation is in many ways a restoration of the original Creation, which means you ought to look to Genesis 1 and the Garden of Eden for inspiration. God's original plan was for man(kind) to live in the garden and eat of the food that the garden provided. The need to work the ground for food was part of the Curse.

Revelation speaks of believers serving God and singing His praises. It's unclear if individuals do this continually (which wouldn't leave much time for other things!) or if rather there is a continuous rotation of believers engaged in these activities. Keep in mind, however, this isn't "work" in the sense you might be thinking. Imagine, rather, something you want to do. Then imagine being able to devote all your time to this enjoyable activity.

Someone would need to operate the power plant

I would consider this unlikely. If there is electricity (see above), God Himself may simply supply it directly. Or maybe someone wants to operate a power plant, and does so.

This reminds me of something else I don't think you are considering, however, which is that entropy is part of the Curse. Even in biblical history, there are examples of God suspending entropy (the Israelites clothes not wearing out during the 40 years of wandering in the desert (Deuteronomy 29:5). In Heaven, any object that you have will never wear out, and because of this, if it isn't provided by God Himself, it is probably made lovingly and by hand by yourself or a fellow believer who enjoyed creating it. (Why wouldn't you make everything by hand? Time isn't an issue! Needing to replace it isn't an issue!)

My personal take: it's fun to speculate, but just remind yourself that it's Heaven. It will be wonderful, because you will be with God, face to face. Don't get too worked up wondering about the details.

You also mentioned:

I only have basic knowledge of the bible

I definitely recommend reading the bible. Ideally, all or at least most of it (maybe skip some of Leviticus that deal particularly with the Jewish ceremonial law). To your specific question, however, I would recommend Genesis 1-2, most/all of Revelation, and parts of Isaiah (chapter 65 in particular, but there might be others) and the Psalms.

  • My point is, that I'd like to know the perspectives outside of the bible. Things like electricity are only examples. There are many things we love to have today. It would be strange to be thrown in a paradise that scares us, because we do not have any of the modern day achievements. And I do now know, why this shouldn't include our desire for smart phones. Why should the paradise take away all things we like on earth? The interesting part about infrastructure is, that it includes the need for a boundary between which part is as we know it, and which part is supplied by god.
    – allo
    Aug 26 '21 at 14:36
  • I am speaking here about the idea of a happy eternal life, which provides for everything you ever wanted. A garden Eden which does not even provide (or require) clothes is another thing. But while Adam and Eve didn't know otherwise, it would be a huge changeover for a person like you and me and we would miss a lot of things we used to have. So to us, it would be more like becoming a monk or nun, who give up on most things, which others enjoy, to earn a special peace of mind. But that's not satisfying for most people, who rather enjoy their possessions and worldly pleasures.
    – allo
    Aug 26 '21 at 14:36
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    "Anything extra-biblical is necessarily going to be pure conjecture." That depends on your denomination. Aug 26 '21 at 14:37
  • @allo, on the one hand, I can see your point. OTOH, how many of the things you "like" are sinful desires? In Heaven, you won't have sinful desires (no lust, no greed, no gluttony, no sloth...), so comparing what makes you "happy" now... isn't straight forward. Beware, also, for those who chase worldly pleasures have their reward (sorry, can't find the verse right now). Your desires in Heaven will be satisfied, but trying to speculate on what those desires will be, other than to serve and praise God, is much harder.
    – Matthew
    Aug 26 '21 at 14:54
  • Also, why would you need clothes in Heaven? Decoration? Utility? If so, I'm sure they will be provided. Modesty? Why? You won't be ashamed of your body in Heaven.
    – Matthew
    Aug 26 '21 at 14:55

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