Planning on going to heaven when you die?

Great, it’s easy to imagine St. Peter waiting in the clouds, a large book open before him as he stands at the Pearly Gates ready to check your name for admittance.

Wait, who said the gates are pearly? Are they covered with pearls? Where did this image come from?

The idea of there being “pearly gates” into heaven is based on a reference in the book of Revelation in the New Testament of the Christian bible: it describes twelve gates, not into heaven but into the city to come, New Jerusalem.

Revelations, Chapter 21, Verse 21 reads “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl.”

The pearly gates are around a city, not an entrance into heaven.

The city and Heaven are not exactly synonymous; the city is part of the new earth, again, that is from Revelation.

Why 12 gates?

They represent the 12 tribes of Israel.