Via Andrew Sullivan:
A history of the Wikipedia back-and-forth over the word:
The battles over Paradise begin in earnest in 2004. After a few minor and often redundant additions and corrections by various early sources, the first volley is fired by a man with the username Mani1, a clear reference to a valiant and ancient Iranian prophet. Rather than inserting an additional meaning or word, Mani1, a resident of Tehran, Iran, starts right at the top.
“Paradise,” he writes, “is a Persian loanword into English (from the Persian word Pardis). This word has the following usages in English…”, after which the previous list of meanings and places, including the American paradises, follow unaltered. It is made clear that every meaning that follows or can possibly follow, including heaven itself, which by now has turned into “the heaven of bliss,” along with all the paradises of America, issue from the Persian seed word. Before all else, Paradise is Persian. We can say that at that moment, 21:35, August 6, 2004, on Wikipedia, Paradise was politicized.
Interesting throughout. It is true though that “paradise” has Persian origins. We get it from Persian, through Hebrew, Greek, and then Latin. This word is one reason that many scholars date Ecclesiastes around the 3rd or 4th century BCE.