How did the Old Testament portray the "New Heavens and the New Earth?"

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Well, there are at least two passages in Isaiah that use the expression new heaven and new earth. One of them is Isaiah 65 verse 17, and then there's a description that follows it. The interesting thing is that the description is very like the first heavens and first earth, except that it's transformed, it's better, it's blessed, it's blessed with God's presence and with the suppression of sin. And so, that's the background, actually, for the discussion of the new heaven and new earth in the New Testament. We believe that God will bring a transfiguration of this present heavens and earth when Christ returns.

Answer by Dr. Vern S. Poythress

Dr. Vern S. Poythress is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.