By Swedenborg Project | October 21, 2014
The Swedenborg Project has a YouTube Channel.
Check out our video, “The Jesus Promise“
By Swedenborg Project | April 7, 2013
A copy of the Documents is now online in several formats
By Swedenborg Project | March 22, 2013
The Rotch Edition is unique since it was produced under the auspices of a major publisher, the Riverside Press of Houghton Mifflin. This presumably produced an editorially polished piece of work. It is thus of interest to compare the Rotch with completely in-house editions.
By Swedenborg Project | February 10, 2013
A scholarly but highly readable study guide, with discussion questions and organized readings.
From the Introduction:
“ This course is an “overview”that it involves a somewhat cursory view of the theology found in the whole body of Swedenborg’s theological writings, and also in the sense that this content will be seen as much as possible as a whole—with some attention to the structure of the theological system that is found in those volumes. It is something like a map-maker’s photograph of the earth from a high-flying plane or a satellite: it should provide a perception of enough detail that every part of the system can be recognized for what it is, but at the same time all the parts can be seen together, emphasizing their relationships to one another.”
By Swedenborg Project | July 3, 2012
The Swedenborg Concordance is now completerly online in a variety of formats.
By Swedenborg Project | May 30, 2012
Brian Kingslake’s superb introduction to the teachings of the Second Coming, Inner Light; Swedenborg Explores the Spiritual Dimension, is now online on the Swedenborg Digital Library. The text is lively and covers a lot of territory in a remarkably short space. One of the few introductory works that I’m aware of that you can hand to almost anybody.
By Swedenborg Project | August 22, 2011
Positive marriage-related teachings or images are cited repeatedly throughout the Bible. God created man, male and female, in His “image” and “likeness.” (Genesis 1: 26-28) God saw that it was not good for man to be alone and created a companion for him and this explains why a man leaves his parents and is joined to his wife and the two become one. (Genesis 2:18-24)
The heavens tell of God’s glory and the sun bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom. (Psalm 19:5)
Isaiah tells of joy in the Lord Who has dressed him in clothing of salvation and the robe of righteousness like a bridegroom and bride adorned. (Isaiah 61:10)
God loves Zion and gives it a new name, Bride of God, and rejoices over Zion as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. (Isaiah 62:1-5)
When the people return to God, the sounds of joy and voice of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again and people bringing thank offerings to God. (Jeremiah 33:11)
When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, He quoted Genesis about man leaving parents and joining his wife and added that no one should separate what God had joined together. When the disciples said the teaching about divorce and adultery was hard, He said that not everyone can accept it but those can whom God helps. (Matthew 19:3-11)
The Kingdome of Heaven is like a king who made a wedding for his son and invited guests to the wedding. (Matthew 22:1-14)
The Kingdom of Heaven is like the story of the wedding with the five wise and five foolish virgins and only those enter the wedding who have oil of love for their lamps. (Matthew 25:1-13 and Mark 10:2-12)
Jesus also performed His first miracle at a wedding. (John 2: 1-11)
John describes the marriage of the Lamb and his wife and how blessed they are who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev. 19:7, 9)
John saw the Holy City descending from God prepared as a bride for her husband and heard that the home of God is now among His people….An angel told John to come and see the bride, the wife of the Lamb and showed him the Holy City descending and filled with the glory of God. (Revelation 21:1-3, 9-11)
Why then would Jesus apparently turn around and say to the Sadducees that there is no marriage in heaven in answer to their story about the woman married to seven brothers in succession as each died? (Matthew 22:29-30; Mark 12:18-25; Luke 20: 34-37)
The picture clarifies when the audience Jesus was talking to is made clear. In the culture of that time, women had a very low status. Women could be “given” in marriage (Luke 20:27-33) like a piece of property as the women married to seven brothers. Women could be bought and sold as was Leah who was substituted for Rachel to marry Jacob (Genesis 29:14-30), Ruth was bought by Boaz (Ruth 4:9-10), and Hosea buying back his wife. (Hosea 3:2) And women were subject to polygamy as with Esau’s numerous wives. (Genesis 26:34, 28:9, and 36:2-3) Marriage as the people of that time understood it does not exist in heaven.
Those who have been spiritually regenerated, i.e. worthy of being raised from spiritual death, or hell, won’t have the kind of relationship, the legal-contract external marriage, His audience of Sadducees thought of as marriage. These people will experience the true internal spiritual marriage love of the angels.
Direct evidence that true marriage does occur in heaven is provided by Swedenborg’s experience there, where he saw weddings (e.g. Marriage Love 1,19-21, True Christian Religion 746-748) and spoke with married couples (e.g. Marriage Love 42, 137, 208, 355), wives (e.g. Marriage Love 293, 55) and husbands (e.g. Marriage Love 156c, 355).
Swedenborg tells us that “A spiritual wedding means being linked with the Lord, something that happens on earth, and if it has taken place on earth, it has also taken place in heaven. (Marriage Love 41:2)
“There are weddings in the heavens as there are on earth, but only for those for whom good and truth are married, for no others are angels. So it is spiritual weddings, the marriage of good and truth, which are meant by this passage….. So it is said of the five foolish maidens, who were also invited to the wedding, that they could not go in, because they lacked the marriage of good and truth; for they had no oil, but only lamps. (Matthew 25:1-13) Oil means good and lamps truth; and being given in marriage is entering heaven, where that marriage is.” (Marriage Love 44:10)
By Swedenborg Project | July 21, 2011
It has long been thought, and illustrated in many biblical paintings, that angels have wings and fly. This interpretation appears to be inspired by the representational, or symbolic, images of a flying angel mentioned in the book of Revelation (8:13, 14:6), though there is no mention of wings. Swedenborg cites these passages in several places in his published works (Arcana Coelestia 1925, Apocalypse Revealed 245, 387, 415, 626). More significantly here, he personally saw angels fly at least twice (Marriage Love 2, 136, True Christian Religion 731) , one of whom flew down and landed right next to him (Marriage Love 2). Swedenborg also mentions seeing “a number of young people …, flying down as if from heaven” (True Christian Religion 736). The “as if” makes the statement somewhat ambiguous, however, as to whether it is merely symbolic or representational rather than being a report of “real” flying. In any case, in Heaven and Hell 183 Swedenborg says that “angels are men, they have homes and dwellings, and do not fly about in the air.” The tone of this statement is admonitory, also indicated in the rest of this sentence – “It might be known …that as angels are men they have dwellings and places of abode, and do not fly about in air, as some think in their ignorance, which the angels call insanity.” So it seems plausible that the point of this statement was to dismiss any idea of the fantastic here.
One question that arises here is, Why would angels need to fly? There is no time or space as we know it in heaven (Heaven and Hell #162, 191). Change is controlled by the mental state a person puts themselves in. If, for instance, a person thinks about seeing a friend, that friend appears, instantaneously. (Heaven and Hell #92) No change of position is involved. In summary, there would appear no need for angels to fly since they have a much more rapid means of travel available.
By Swedenborg Project | March 23, 2011
The influential German philosopher Immanuel Kant has traditionally been thought to be very critical of Swedenborg and his work, based on a book Kant wrote, Träume eines Geistersehers (Dreams of a Spirit-Seer). However, close examination of the documents involved suggests that Kant had a more positive view of Swedenborg than has traditionally been thought. For details, see the “Kant on Swedenborg” section of the Wikipedia entry on Swedenborg.
Questions: About angels, free will, the snake, “light fallen from heaven,” salvation, sons of God and…
By Swedenborg Project | January 5, 2011
On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 5:56 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Re: A Quesion
Hello Swedenborg project.
Swedenborg is a interesting fellow, I have been studying him, on my own, for a few months. I recently became interested in him and am still learning much.
Swedenborg states that angel’s are former humans, and not a separate form from man, Do, I understand that correctly?
but, if Eve was tempted in the Garden by the snake, which is usually explained as Satan, how could this evil spirit be in the garden since no humans where yet born from Adam and Eve?
When was the angel of the evil snake created since Swedenborg states that angels are former humans? There could not have been any humans , as yet, been born or died.
Who is the “light fallen from Heaven” that Jesus say’s he saw fall?
Since man had not produced any off spring for anyone to be a fallen angel.
If a person is transformed to a angel, after death and is in heaven. Could he still be cast out if he decides, by free will, to challenge God as satan had at his fall?
if free will is given to all, will free will be active in heaven?
thank you for your reply.
From: The Swedenborg Project <email@example.com>
To: queckie1 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 5:02 pm
Subject: Re: A question
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve attempted some answers to your questions. I’ve also included a few citations in case you want to look up any of this material in the Writings themselves, which I recommend!
>> Swedenborg states that angel’s are former humans, and not a separate form from man,
>>Do, I understand that correctly?
Yes. Every inhabitant of the spiritual world, good and bad, lived first as a human being in free will in the physical world. The difference between the two worlds is that on this planet we live in physical reality, in the other world in spiritual reality.
>>but, if Eve was tempted in the Garden by the snake, which is usually explained as Satan, how could this evil spirit be in the garden since no humans where yet born from Adam and Eve?
One of the particularly interesting teachings of Swedenborg’s revelation is that the Bible had a predecessor in the early days of the human race, a book called the Ancient Word (True Christian Religion 279). Moses copied from that book what became the first 11 chapters of Genesis (Arcana Coelestia 482, True Christian Religion 279, Doctrine of the Sacred Scriptures 103). The rest of the Ancient Word is now lost, although the teachings of the Second Coming make a brief comment that it may one day be found (See Apocalypse Revealed 11, True Christian Religion 265, 269). It might be noted that later books of the Bible mention the Ancient Word’s books of Jasher, or The Book of the Upright (ibid., Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18) and the Wars of Jehovah (Numbers 21:14).
The significant aspect of the Garden of Eden story for your question is that the Ancient Word was not actual history but an allegory, with a spiritual inner meaning. In contrast, the rest of the Bible is a combination of spiritual allegory and actual history. For example, at the allegorical level the snake is a symbol of our five senses. Those senses are what put us in contact with the physical world, symbolized by a snake slithering along in direct contact with the ground. The temptation involved in the story is to base our principles of life on worldly values because we think we know better than God what principles are best. However “…God knows that on the day in which you eat of it [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3: 5) Choosing to do this is spiritually fatal, as the story of the two trees in the garden symbolizes (Genesis 3: 3).
This is a big subject and if you’d like to go into it further I’d recommend the 8th chapter of Swedenborg’s True Christian Religion and the first volume of his Arcana Coelestia.
>>When was the angel of the evil snake created since Swedenborg states that angels are former humans? There could not have been any humans, as yet, been born or died.
Again, we are looking at an allegory teaching spiritual principles, not actual history. There is no such angel.
The story in Genesis also says that there were “sons of God” and “daughters of humans” (Genesis 6; 1-4). Where did they come from if Adam and Eve were literally the first two people? Genesis doesn’t tell us. The whole story is an allegory (see Arcana Coelestia 569).
>>Who is the “light fallen from Heaven” that Jesus say’s he saw fall?
I assume you’re referring to Luke 10, particularly verses 17 and 18. The explanation that makes most sense to me is that Jesus is here telling his 70 disciples that He can see the results in the spiritual realm of the casting out demons that they had been doing.
>>If a person is transformed to a angel, after death and is in heaven. Could he still be cast out if he decides, by free will, to challenge God as satan had at his fall?
No one, angel or devil, changes their basic spiritual direction in the other nor would they want to. They have built up a heaven or hell orientation over the whole course of their life in this world and do not want to change it once they reach the spiritual world. Furthermore, far from being cast out of heaven, people go to and stay in heaven or hell of their own free will to be with others like themselves with whom they are comfortable.
>>if free will is given to all, will free will be active in heaven?
A big question. As I understand it, free will refers to the opportunity all through life on earth to build heaven or hell in ourselves, and this all comes out into the open in the other world after death. On the other hand, the angels choose to keep learning ever more about Jesus’ teachings into eternity, and so deepening their faith, and they can do this because they are in freedom to do so. So in that sense freedom continues in heaven.
I hope this provides some food for thought.
Personally, I try to focus as much as I can on the many uplifting and insightful teachings of the Second Coming.
On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 8:07 PM, <email@example.com> wrote:
thank you for your reply to my questions. Swedenborg is interesting and I am studying more of his thoughts.
an other question for you,
Swedenborg teaches that all that follow their “religion” can gain heaven , but if this is true, what is the point of Jesus coming to earth?
Can a person find salvation in the old Roman gods and Greeks, salvation in pagan faiths of today and those that deny God and Christianity? What would be the benefit for someone to be baptized a Swedenborgian if all religions can find salvation?
Is Swedenborg viewed as an equal with Matt, Mark , Luke and John? and with Old Testament prophets?
thank you for your reply
From: The Swedenborg Project <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: queckie1 <email@example.com>
Sent: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 12:08 pm
Subject: Re: A question
>>Swedenborg teaches that all that follow their “religion” can gain heaven
That is, assuming they acknowledge a Divine being and live a life of charity (Heaven and Hell 338, Arcana Coelestia 932, 2590, 10765). For overview, see section starting at Heaven and Hell 318.
>> but if this is true, what is the point of Jesus coming to earth?
Jesus came because the existing church had become so corrupt that it was interfering with people’s ability to get to heaven. He reordered the whole spiritual world to fix the problem. For details here, I’d recommend Chapter 14 of True Christian Religion (starting at number 753) and The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed, particularly Section VI, published in the book entitled Miscellaneous Theological Works.
>>Can a person find salvation in the old Roman gods and Greeks, salvation in pagan faiths of today and those that deny God and Christianity?
I think the pertinent teaching here is that “Saving faith is faith in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ” (Chapter VI of True Christian Religion, starting at number 337) and “Those who are outside the Church, and yet acknowledge one God, and live according to their religion in a kind of charity toward the neighbor, are in communion with those who are of the Church, because no one is condemned who believes in God, and lives well” (Arcana Coelestia 10765).
>> What would be the benefit for someone to be baptized a Swedenborgian if all religions can find salvation?
Let me say to begin with that I don’t like the term “Swedenborgian.” Followers of the teachings of the Second Coming are Christians, just like all other Christians. Other Christians would not refer to themselves as “Matthewists,” for instance, but just “Christians.” So the followers of the Second Coming are not “Swedenborgians,” but Christians as well. Turning to your question, then, my understanding, based on the numbers cited above, is that what we are talking about here is a matter of degree. A person not taught Christian truths and not baptized into the Christian church will not be have the basis for as much of the happiness built on those two things as the person who gets the whole package.
>> Is Swedenborg viewed as an equal with Matt, Mark, Luke and John? and with Old Testament prophets?
Swedenborg was, like those predecessors, a revelator. However, he was able to be aware of the process rationally, which those predecessors were not.
In closing, I would note, if you’re not already aware, that it appears that the books of Swedenborg’s theology are not always authoritative divine revelation. Only the books Swedenborg published himself are. For details on the matter see “Which of Swedenborg’s books are Divine Revelation?” online at
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