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  • Descended into hell

    Did Jesus descend into Hell after His death- I was reading an old creed and that is what is said.....any idea? How could Jesus go to hell and why would he?

    Alaina

  • #2
    The place where Jesus went after death in Hebrew is called “Sheol;” in Greek it is “Hades.” Both of those terms are used for the place where dead souls were said to go. This is why the Westminster Shorter Catechism says that Jesus’ humiliation consisted of, among other things, receiving “the wrath of God and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time” (Q 27). The Larger Catechism, with its larger answer, puts it, “Christ’s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, and continuing in the state of death, and under the power of death till the third day; which hath been otherwise expressed in the words, He descended into hell.” The main proof text for these answers is Psalm 16:10, along with its New Testament citation in Acts 2:24-27, 31, where Peter preaches the Pentecost sermon partly from this text. In Ps. 16:10, David says, “you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” Peter says in Acts 2:31, “Seeing what was ahead, he (David) spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.” In Ps. 16, the word “grave” is “Sheol,” and in Acts 2:31, it is “Hades.”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by godsgirl View Post
      The place where Jesus went after death in Hebrew is called “Sheol;” in Greek it is “Hades.” Both of those terms are used for the place where dead souls were said to go. This is why the Westminster Shorter Catechism says that Jesus’ humiliation consisted of, among other things, receiving “the wrath of God and the cursed death of the cross, in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time” (Q 27). The Larger Catechism, with its larger answer, puts it, “Christ’s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, and continuing in the state of death, and under the power of death till the third day; which hath been otherwise expressed in the words, He descended into hell.” The main proof text for these answers is Psalm 16:10, along with its New Testament citation in Acts 2:24-27, 31, where Peter preaches the Pentecost sermon partly from this text. In Ps. 16:10, David says, “you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” Peter says in Acts 2:31, “Seeing what was ahead, he (David) spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.” In Ps. 16, the word “grave” is “Sheol,” and in Acts 2:31, it is “Hades.”
      Hey... someone else quoting the Westminster Standards?!? I thought we were a dying breed!

      I think you might have misread them on this point though, check out chapter 32:1 of the Confession:

      32:1 The bodies of men, after death, return to dust and see corruption: but their souls (which neither die nor sleep) having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies: and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
      What is thy only comfort in life and death?

      That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
        Did Jesus descend into Hell after His death- I was reading an old creed and that is what is said.....any idea? How could Jesus go to hell and why would he?

        Alaina
        Hi Alaina,
        The Apostles Creed (aka Old Roman creed) has Hades in the Greek not Gehenna. Which is scriptural as it is just repeating what Peter said in Acts 2. Luther comments on it here:

        The first person to go to Hell was Jacob in Genesis - check out Youngs or www.blueletterbible.org to see how Hell No.1 (Sheol-Hades) which everyone goes to, differs from the future Hell No.2 (Hinnom-Gehenna) on judgment day.

        At the time of Jacob, and Peter, Sheol-Hades just meant the grave. So it was no problem for Christ to go there for three days. However in later years (from 4th Century I think?) it came to mean limbo, as in "Christ harrowing hell"


        Paul Cézanne - Le Christ aux limbes

        And so on.
        God bless
        Steven

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
          Did Jesus descend into Hell after His death- I was reading an old creed and that is what is said.....any idea? How could Jesus go to hell and why would he?

          Alaina
          Sometimes the word from that phrase that is translated as hell in that example, is also translated as the grave.

          Jesus' body descended into the grave, into the earth, at his death; prior to his resurrection.

          However, Jesus' spirit ascended into the hands of the Father in paradise, at his death.

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          • #6
            1 Peter 3:19 seems to allude to this, although there is debate surrounding exactly what Peter was speaking of.

            Comment


            • #7
              [quote=David Taylor;1414622]Sometimes the word from that phrase that is translated as hell in that example, is also translated as the grave. that makes sense

              Thanks - Steven3- awesome information.....

              is that when Jesus set the Captives free? Can anyone explain this to me?

              God Bless,
              Alaina

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                Thanks - Steven3- awesome information.....

                is that when Jesus set the Captives free? Can anyone explain this to me?

                God Bless,
                Alaina
                Hi Alaina
                As I understand it the commonest version of the doctrine of Christ harrowing hell (from Aelfric, Old English = harrying, raiding Hell) is that during the three days he first took the thief up to heaven "today in paradise" (based on the Latin version of Jesus' words to the thief, and contradicting John 20:17), then descended into the underworld, "preached to the spirits in prison", which were those that "sinned in the days of Noah", and (the preaching to these spirits having failed to bring about repentance after death), then went to the "Abraham's bosom" underworld-paradise and liberated those - such as Abraham - whose souls were held captive and "led captivity captive" so he could take Abraham's soul up from the underworld-paradise to the heavenly-paradise.

                Although there are dozens of different ideas about harrowing hell, that is a conflation of the most commonly heard idea; that during the three days Christ was somehow involved in moving the souls of the dead from one place to another.


                More information
                http://www.answers.com/topic/harrowing-of-hell
                Though there's a mistake here in the first line. They've quoted a later version of the Apostles' Creed where Christ descends into "the underworld" (τα κατώτατα) not into "Hades" which is what Acts2 and the original Apostles' Creed say.

                Personally I don't believe a word of it . Hippolytus and the others are taking the 1Pe3:19 and Eph4:8-10 verses out of context - both are speaking about preaching to, and gifts to, the living not the dead. And it's premised on a Platonistic concept of immortal souls in the underworld which is unknown in the Bible - outside the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which itself is a parody of these Platonistic ideas. Although many people are upset by the suggestion that it is only a parable.
                God bless
                Steven

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Steven3 View Post
                  Hi Alaina
                  As I understand it the commonest version of the doctrine of Christ harrowing hell (from Aelfric, Old English = harrying, raiding Hell) is that during the three days he first took the thief up to heaven "today in paradise" (based on the Latin version of Jesus' words to the thief, and contradicting John 20:17), then descended into the underworld, "preached to the spirits in prison", which were those that "sinned in the days of Noah", and (the preaching to these spirits having failed to bring about repentance after death), then went to the "Abraham's bosom" underworld-paradise and liberated those - such as Abraham - whose souls were held captive and "led captivity captive" so he could take Abraham's soul up from the underworld-paradise to the heavenly-paradise.

                  Although there are dozens of different ideas about harrowing hell, that is a conflation of the most commonly heard idea; that during the three days Christ was somehow involved in moving the souls of the dead from one place to another.


                  More information
                  http://www.answers.com/topic/harrowing-of-hell
                  Though there's a mistake here in the first line. They've quoted a later version of the Apostles' Creed where Christ descends into "the underworld" (τα κατώτατα) not into "Hades" which is what Acts2 and the original Apostles' Creed say.

                  Personally I don't believe a word of it . Hippolytus and the others are taking the 1Pe3:19 and Eph4:8-10 verses out of context - both are speaking about preaching to, and gifts to, the living not the dead. And it's premised on a Platonistic concept of immortal souls in the underworld which is unknown in the Bible - outside the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which itself is a parody of these Platonistic ideas. Although many people are upset by the suggestion that it is only a parable.
                  God bless
                  Steven
                  That does not make sense to me that Christ went to Hell to preach to the souls there who died in the flood. What does make sense is that by the Spirit, Christ preached thru Noah to those people who were unbelieving, during that time when Noah was building the ark. Noah was a preacher of righteousness by the same Spirit of Christ that raised Him from the dead. This was the testimony that Noah was giving them thru the building of the ark.

                  (1 Pet 3:18-20 KJV) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
                  {19} By which (by the same Spirit) also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison (to those who are now in prison);
                  {20} Which sometime (in a past time) were disobedient (were unbelieving), when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing (a period of 120 years), wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

                  The OT abode of the dead I do think is confirmed by Jesus using it for His parable about the rich man in torment. But I do not see Jesus descending there to preach the gospel to the ones in hell. I do think He declared His victory to the ones in Abraham's bosom (paradise) though, while He was 3 days in the earth.

                  The quote from Ps 68:18 is however curious.

                  (Eph 4:8 KJV) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

                  In the Babylon Captivity (Jer 29:14) these were the ones sent into captivity by the Lord. It implies that their rebellion led them to be taken captive. But God promises to overturn their captivity when the 70 yrs are up.

                  Paul quotes this verse from Psalms and likens it to Christ's descent into the grave to set the captives free; not those in hell but those in paradise. Christ descended into the grave and freed those held by death AND gave gifts to men (for building up the Body) when He ascended to the throne of the Father. His ascension accomplished a two fold purpose. From that point on, we can see that Paul sees that all men who die in Christ will be present with the Lord. This is what is new to the OT understanding of what happens at death. Before their comfort was with Abraham, now it will be with Christ.
                  Robin

                  Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
                  And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
                  Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
                  Those who compromise with Christ’s enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                    Thanks - Steven3- awesome information.....

                    is that when Jesus set the Captives free? Can anyone explain this to me?

                    God Bless,
                    Alaina
                    Just reposting the OP's latest question, lest it get overlooked and not addressed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by David Taylor View Post
                      Sometimes the word from that phrase that is translated as hell in that example, is also translated as the grave.

                      Jesus' body descended into the grave, into the earth, at his death; prior to his resurrection.

                      However, Jesus' spirit ascended into the hands of the Father in paradise, at his death.
                      Not so!

                      John 20:17.
                      Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.....
                      This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by disiple56 View Post
                        Originally Posted by David Taylor
                        Sometimes the word from that phrase that is translated as hell in that example, is also translated as the grave.

                        Jesus' body descended into the grave, into the earth, at his death; prior to his resurrection.

                        However, Jesus' spirit ascended into the hands of the Father in paradise, at his death.

                        Not so!

                        John 20:17.
                        Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.....
                        Hi Disciple 56
                        Actually David is correct; when Jesus died the soul (psyche) went down to Hades (Acts 2:31), the spirit (pneuma) went to God (John 19:30 and parallels in Matt, Mark, Luke). This is the same as what happens on death in OT verses - Genesis, Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, etc.

                        But you are also correct (John 20:17)
                        God bless
                        Steven

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Mograce2U
                          Originally posted by Mograce2U View Post
                          Paul quotes this verse from Psalms and likens it to Christ's descent into the grave to set the captives free; not those in hell but those in paradise.
                          Sorry, but what's the difference? Those who take the parable of the rich man and Lazarus as literally true still recognise that Abraham's Bosom is part of Hades-Sheol. It has to be because Jacob went to Hades-Sheol (Gen 37:35, 42:38, 44:29, 44:31). If we take "led captivity captive" as being about Jesus moving dead people from A to B during the three days, it really doesn't matter what we call location A or B.

                          Since Eph4:7 is talking about giving "grace" to living people, personally I take 4:8 as being about the same subject, "gifts" to living people:

                          But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                            ...is that when Jesus set the Captives free? Can anyone explain this to me?

                            God Bless,
                            Alaina
                            Hi Alaina,

                            The following is what I and many other Bible literalists believe:

                            None of the saints in the Old Testament went to Heaven when they died, the only two exceptions to that would be Enoch and Elijah but neither of them saw death!

                            In the OT, the saved went to a place of rest [1 Samuel 28:15] in the heart of the earth called Abraham's bosom [Luke 16:22]. In the same story told by Jesus in Luke 16 we learn that in the underworld there was that place of rest, and another place of torment called hell (where unsaved souls go), but both locations are separated by a great space so that the inhabitants of one place could not pass over to the other.

                            The OT saints were captive in the heart of the earth and were not able to go to heaven until Jesus paid for their sin at calvary. His blood applied on the mercy seat in heaven got them into heaven [Hebrews 9:23-24]. When Jesus died his soul went to hell [Acts 2:31] where he became a sin offering for them and us, to fulfil God's law! [Isaiah 53:10; Exodus 29:41; Ephesians 5:2]. While he was there he preached to those in hell [1 Peter 3:19-20] and then captured those captives in Ab's bosom who also appeared on the earth after his resurrection [Matthew 27:53].
                            Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
                            Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
                            Ab's bosom has been vacant since Jesus emptied it out back then, in the New Testament the saint who dies goes directly to Heaven to be with God [2 Corinthians 5:6-8]. Yet hell is still being filled up with multitudes every day, and I pray we are doing all we can to warn lost souls of that horrible reality and give them the good news that they don't have to go there!
                            Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
                            - Matt -
                            .
                            Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
                            of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steven3 View Post
                              Hi Mograce2U Sorry, but what's the difference? Those who take the parable of the rich man and Lazarus as literally true still recognise that Abraham's Bosom is part of Hades-Sheol. It has to be because Jacob went to Hades-Sheol (Gen 37:35, 42:38, 44:29, 44:31). If we take "led captivity captive" as being about Jesus moving dead people from A to B during the three days, it really doesn't matter what we call location A or B.

                              Since Eph4:7 is talking about giving "grace" to living people, personally I take 4:8 as being about the same subject, "gifts" to living people:

                              But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

                              And in Ephesians Paul seems to be extending that grace to both the dead and the living.
                              Robin

                              Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
                              And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
                              Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
                              Those who compromise with Christ’s enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

                              Comment

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