What does Heavens, New mean in the Bible?


Holman Bible Dictionary - Heavens, New
A technical, eschatological term referring to the final perfected state of the created universe. It often is connected with the concept of a new earth.
The promise of a re-creation of the heavens and earth arose because of human sin and God's subsequent curse (Genesis 3:17 ). The biblical hope for mankind is tied to the conviction that persons cannot be completely set free from the power of sin apart from the redemption of the created order—earth as well as the heavens. The idea of a renewed universe is found in many passages of the Bible (Isaiah 51:16 ; Matthew 19:28 ; Matthew 24:29-31 ; Matthew 26:29 ; Mark 13:24-27 ,Mark 13:24-27,13:31 ; Acts 3:20-21 ; Romans 8:19-23 ; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ; Hebrews 12:26-28 ; 2 Peter 3:10-13 ). However, the phrase “new heavens” is found in only four passages (Isaiah 65:17 ; Isaiah 66:22 ; 2 Peter 3:13 ; Revelation 21:1 ).
The nature of the “new heavens and earth” is variously described in the Bible. First, God is the cause of this new creation (Isaiah 65:17 ; Isaiah 66:22 ; Revelation 21:22 ). In Hebrews 12:28 the new heaven and earth are described as a “kingdom which cannot be moved.” This new heaven and earth will last forever ( Isaiah 66:22 ). In 2 Peter 3:13 the new world is described as one “in which righteousness dwells” (NAS).
In Revelation, the nature of the new heaven and earth stands in marked contrast to the old heaven and earth. The Greek word translated “new” designates something which already exists, but now appears in a new way. The new world is the old world gloriously transformed. Purity (Revelation 21:27 ) and freedom from the wrath of God (Revelation 22:3 ) are marks of the new heaven and earth. Further, the new world is marked by perfect fellowship of the saints with one another and with God. God and His people dwell together in the new age (Revelation 21:1 ,Revelation 21:1,21:3 ).
Clearly, God will bring the new order into existence at the end of history. But, scholars disagree as to when this will occur within the events associated with the end times. Two main views are held. First, the new heavens and earth are created immediately after the second coming of Christ. Even among those within this camp there is disagreement. Some believe that the creation of the new heavens and earth will occur immediately after the “great white throne” judgment. Amillennialists generally hold to this theory. Some premillennialists associate the creation of the new heavens and earth with the beginning of the thousand year millennial reign of Christ. A second viewpoint commonly held by many premillennialists is that the new heaven and new earth are created at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. See Angel ; Creation ; Eschatology ; Heaven ; Hell ; Kingdom; New Jerusalem .
Paul E. Robertson