Should Heaven Be Capitalized? Why I Capitalize “Heaven”

As I write for sermons, I always try to be as grammatically correct as possible. I use proper punctuation and capitalization, but there is a word that always confused me about whether it should be capitalized or not. When I was writing the word, “Heaven,” the software I was using auto-corrected it to be lowercase. 

I was surprised to see the capitalization of, “Heaven,” get altered in my sermon. in my mind, I always thought that “Heaven,” should be capitalized, because it’s a place. I figured I would do some research on if, “Heaven,” should or should not be capitalized. 

After my research, I think that the capitalization of the word is determined by each particular person, but that technically, “Heaven,” does not need to be capitalized. 

There are a couple of reasons that I personally choose to capitalize Heaven, in spite of knowing it isn’t technically correct. 

The first reason that I capitalized the word, “Heaven,” is because capitalizing it follows the proper noun rule. 

Why I Capitalize “Heaven”

“Heaven” is a Proper Noun

In the English language, there are a couple types of nouns. Nouns are words that refer to people, places, things, or ideas. Within those categories, there are nouns that refer to something general and nouns that refer to something specific. 

Things like, a chair, a tv, or a toaster are all examples of common nouns. A Common noun is not something specific, so it doesn’t get capitalized. 

On the other hand, there are nouns that do refer to specific people, places, things, and ideas that should be capitalized. A person’s name and the name of a place are examples of proper nouns that should be capitalized. “Italy,” and, “Steve,” both should be capitalized, because they refer to a specific thing. 

Randy Alcorn, writer of Eternal Perspective Ministries had this to say about the capitalization, “Heaven,” “I have had to fight to get Heaven capitalized in my books, arguing that it is a proper noun, and just as real a place as Saturn or France. I argue the same for capitalizing the New Earth—if we capitalize New England, why not the redeemed creation that Scripture calls the “New Earth”? 

As a Christian, I believe that Heaven is a real place of eternal existence. 

The example of Heaven being an actual place

Jesus Christ told people this about Heaven in John 14:1-4, “ 1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 

Based on this verse, we can deduce that Heaven is an actual place. There would be nothing for Jesus to prepare if it wasn’t. 

Some people believe that the concept of Heaven is that it is not a real place, but rather it is a metaphorical place. I would argue that Jesus’ comments about preparing a place in the Kingdom of God, demonstrate differently.

Capitalizing, “Heaven,” Shows Respect

I do not believe people are being disrespectful for not capitalizing “Heaven”, but personally, Heaven is a sacred place. It’s my own conviction that Heaven should be capitalized to show respect. 

I am not the only one who holds this perspective though. Charalampos from Christian How said this, “Another reason why heaven is often capitalized is out of respect. This is because it is seen as a holy and sacred place, which deserves to be treated with reverence.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is a real place that is sacred. It is where Christians will be united in God’s presence, and I want to honor that. 

Beyond just the grammatical importance of capitalizing, “Heaven,” the spiritual importance of it is important too.

It’s the same reason that I don’t use lowercase pronouns for God. Whenever I refer to God as, “He,” or, “Him,” I always capitalize those pronouns. Technically it is not right, but it is a sign of honor towards God. 

Why People Do NOT Capitalize, “Heaven”?

Some people choose not to capitalize Heaven. Are they simply denying the existence of Heave? No, people don’t capitalize Heaven, because Heaven is not capitalized in the Bible. It might surprise people that Heaven is not capitalized in the Bible, but there is a reason for it. 

Charaloampos, an author at Christian How, said this about the capitalization of Heaven, “This happens because the bible has been translated from ancient languages into English (like the King James version). In these ancient languages, there were no rules regarding the capitalization of words.”

The original languages of the Bible did not have capital letters. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and Hebrew did not have rules for capitalization. The New Testament was written in Greek, and the Greek language did not have grammatical rules for capitalization either. 

Because the original sacred texts did not have, “Heaven,” capitalized, the translators left it lowercase. Although English calls for proper nouns to be capitalized, people are forced to choose between the English standard or the example in the Bible.”

We see the fact that “Heaven,” is not capitalized in 2 Peter 3:13 ESV, “But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” The new heavens and new earth are not capitalized, so we can assume that we don’t have to do it either. 

The Capitalization of “Heaven” Comes Down To Personal Conviction

Although Bible translations have made the word, “Heaven” lowercase, whether you capitalize, “Heaven” comes down to your own preference. If you are writing something for yourself, then you are welcome to capitalize the word Heaven. 

However, if you are trying to write professionally, you might want to leave, “Heaven,” lowercase. It has become proper English grammar to leave, “Heaven,” lowercase. 

Joseph M. Jordan, writer of Christian Faith Guide said this about Heaven’s capitalization, “Many people use language to manipulate words to achieve a desired result or message. This is standard procedure, and whether the word heaven is capitalized or not, its meaning remains the same a location believed to be the final resting place for Christians who accepted Christ while still living.”

Ultimately, you can choose whether or not you want to capitalize the term Heaven, but I would recommend leaving it lowercase for professional work. The good news is that regardless of if we do or don’t capitalize, “Heaven,” following God is the only prerequisite to enter Heaven. 

Understanding whether religious terms should or shouldn’t be capitalized is a difficult task. You might want to show reverence by capitalizing some words. If you have a hard time figuring out if other religious words are capitalized then check out our article on the word, “godly.”