Monday, April 7, 2014

Why "heaven" is Never Capitalized

In the Bible I mean, or except at the beginning of a sentence or line of poetry. Jerusalem is, little Tekoa is, but not the dwelling place of God.

Who am I to try to figure this one out? Do I know better than the translators of the Bible? Of course not, yet I try.

Certainly, heaven is literal, as C.S, Lewis said, more literal, solid and real than where we dwell now. So that's not it.

Angels may fear to tread there, but here I go. When you think of all that you desire--like love, peace, joy, eternal life, everything good, true, sweet and desirable--they have no capital letters. Can it be that heaven is so great and large that we cannot confine it to mere "city limits"?

God has no such boundaries. Perhaps where He dwells has none either.


  1. We homeschooled our five children, four of them from near the beginning of their educations and one of them from his early teens (because we adopted him and this is when he came to us.) We used A Beka and BJU Press and in their English and grammar testbooks directions for capitalization, they include proper names, places, street names, towns, names like Mother when used as a title, titles like Mr. and Dr, the names of holidays, and the seasons. As a Christian school and university we were taught to capitalize "Him" when it refers to God, and Heaven as well. I very naturally made that adjustment myself. It wasn't until I wrote two books that the editorial team of both books corrected my use of capitalization of Heaven. Despite the fact that I wished to get through the editorial team quickly, I fought this. You will notice in my books, that "Heaven", and "Him" and "Bible" are all capitalized. If my village name is capitalized, how can I not do the same for the place we hope to spend enternity ?

  2. Jane, We are, of course, free to capitalize heaven or not. I am only saying that in Bibles it is not capitalized. The mystery of why it is not (there) interests me very much. You show your reverence and respect by doing so.

    1. It IS interesting that it is not capitalized. I don't really understand why the village in which I live now is capitalized, but the place where my youngest son and my parents and in-laws reside is not by most people. This is curious when Heaven is so much more permanent than the villages, counties, and cities of our own Earth.