Q. 1. In the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, it states, "And I know that such a person - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows - was snatched up into the third heaven and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat." [2 Cor. 12:3-4] What did Saint Paul mean by the third heaven? Does that mean that there are three heavens?
A. 1. In modern versions of the Holy Bible, the "third heaven" has been replaced with the word "Paradise" which is what Saint Paul was referring to.
• In the days of Saint Paul, the space between ourselves and the stars was viewed as the first heaven.
• The space that contains the stars and the planets was viewed as the second heaven.
• Above these two areas, where God dwells (Paradise), was viewed as the third heaven.
As can be appreciated, this does not mean that there are three heavens. The different heavens as used in the days of Saint Paul represented different areas, one being further away than the previous one.