The modern English word heaven is derived from the earlier (Middle English) spelling heven (attested 1159); this in turn was developed from the previous Old English form heofon. By c. 1000, heofon was being used in reference to the Christianized "place where God dwells", but originally, it had signified "sky, firmament" (e.g. in Beowulf, c. 725). The English term has cognates in the other Germanic languages: Old Saxon heƀan "sky, heaven", Middle Low German heven "sky", Old Icelandic himinn "sky, heaven", Gothic himins; and those with a variant final -l: Old Frisian himel, himul "sky, heaven", Old Saxon/Old High German himil, Dutch hemel, and modern German Himmel. All of these have been derived from a reconstructed Proto-Germanic form *Hemina-. In many languages, the word for "heaven" is the same as the word for "sky".
Entry into Heaven from EarthEdit
Main articles: Entering heaven alive and AfterlifeReligions that speak about heaven differ on how (and if) one gets into it, either in the afterlife or while still alive. In many religions, entrance to Heaven is conditional on having lived a "good life" (within the terms of the spiritual system) or "accepting God into your heart." A notable exception to this is the 'sola fide' belief of many mainstream Protestant Christians, which teaches that one does not have to live a perfectly "good life," but that one must accept (believe and put faith in) Jesus Christ as one's saviour, and then Jesus Christ will assume the guilt of one's sins; believers are believed to be forgiven regardless of any good or bad "works" one has participated in; the Bible teaches that man must be holy and perfect before seeing the Lord as recorded in Hebrews 12:14, which is achieved through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, wiping every human being's slate clean, so they may enter the perfect presence of the Lord. Catholic Christians too speak of heaven as unattainable by even heroic human effort and having been "opened" by the death and resurrection of Jesus. They see heaven as promised by God as a reward for good works made possible only by his grace, while "the works of the flesh" exclude from heaven.
It is inhabited by the Holy One (Heroes who have a Holy Power).