If the scholars are right, don’t expect pearly gates, golden streets, and jasper walls-even though that’s what John, wirter of the book of Revelation, said he saw in his vision of heaven.

Some Bible experts say John was trying to describe the indescribable. But there’s nothing on earth to compare it to. So the best John could do was draw from images of earth’s most precious objects. John also said heaven was a cube, fourteen hundred miles in every direction. Don’t take that literally, either, many scholars advise. A cube symbolized the perfect sacred space. The holiest room in the Jewish temple was a cube that contained the chest with the Ten Commandments.

THat room measured only thirty feet in every direction. Heaven is unimaginably more than the holiest spot on earth. Even though John didn’t say much about what heven looks like, he said plenty about what it’s like to live there:

“The home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evil are gone forever” (Revelation 21:3-4)

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