Luke 23:43

Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise (Shmeron met emou esh en twi paradeiswi). However crude may have been the robber's Messianic ideas Jesus clears the path for him. He promises him immediate and conscious fellowship after death with Christ in Paradise which is a Persian word and is used here not for any supposed intermediate state; but the very bliss of heaven itself. This Persian word was used for an enclosed park or pleasure ground (so Xenophon). The word occurs in two other passages in the N.T. ( 2 Corinthians 12:4 ; Revelation 2:7 ), in both of which the reference is plainly to heaven. Some Jews did use the word for the abode of the pious dead till the resurrection, interpreting "Abraham's bosom" ( Luke 16:22 ) in this sense also. But the evidence for such an intermediate state is too weak to warrant belief in it.