Q: #127. Is there a difference between the "kingdom of heaven" and the "kingdom of God" in the Bible?
A: No, I think it is pretty clear that they are the same. I know there are people who believe they mean different things, but I just don’t see that this is borne out. The term “kingdom of heaven” is used only in Matthew in the New Testament, while every other book uses the term “kingdom of God.”
A plausible reason as to why Matthew uses the word heaven instead of God in “kingdom of heaven” is because the audience that it was written to was the Jews. Jews do not like to write the word God, preferring to write G-d instead, out of reverence for His name. This was likely considered when writing Matthew, with the author choosing to use the term “kingdom of God” only 4 times, while using the term “kingdom of heaven” 28 times.
We can see that these terms mean the same thing in a number of Jesus’ parables. For example:
(Mt 13:11) He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
(Lk 8:10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables;…
(Mt 18:3) And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(Mk 10:15) Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
(Mt 4:17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
(Mk 1:15) and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Mt 13:33/Lk 13:20-21
Mt 13:31/Mk 4:30-31
Mt 19:23/Mk 10:23, Lk 18:24
*** Note: For those who believe the “kingdom of God” is only within us, I would point you to these verses: (Mk 14:25)(Mt 21:31)(Mk 9:47)(Lk 14:15)(1 Cor 15:50)
(Lk 21:31: end times)