Theology Thursday: Where Did Jesus Go When He Died?
Dr. Valerie J. De La Torre contributed to this article. When it comes to Jesus Christ, who is the second member in the Trinity, the second article of the Apostles’ Creed is a broader grouping of assertions that are centered on him. This section reveals Christ’s birth, suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, as well as his predicted return to judge all of mankind (Matthew 25:31-46). In order to understand the short phrase that proclaims that Jesus “descended into hell,” we must first understand what it means.
We discover early references to Christ experiencing human mortality, whether viewed literally or symbolically, which makes it a fascinating factor to consider (Acts.
So, what exactly happened to Jesus when he passed away?
Did Jesus Go to Hell?
The area referred to as “hell” in this creedal declaration was formerly referred to in the Bible asGehenna, which means “the land of the dead” in Greek. It is seen as a region of perpetual torment for individuals who are rejected at the final judgment. The Hebrew name Sheol is used to describe the location in the Old Testament, and it alludes to the grave — a place far removed from God’s presence where the virtuous and the wicked both stay — in the Old Testament. As a result, the issue must be raised as to whether this is the location where Jesus was taken after his death.
- According to a subsequent interpretation, this site of descent represents Christ’s victory over the Kingdom of Satan, which was accomplished in death.
- That is, the promise of the approaching judgment at Christ’s return, in which the final victory over death and evil will be revealed, is supported by this second viewpoint.
- Although a later medieval opinion argued once more that only Christians of the pre-Christian time were in fact recipients and beneficiaries of Christ’s preaching in Hades, as intimated in Matthew 27:52 and again in Hebrews 12:23, this position was rebutted by a later medieval view.
- In other words, the anguish of the crucifixion alone was a vicarious suffering of what it could be like to be separated from God in hell.
Resolution in the Context
When spoken as part of one’s baptismal vows in ancient times, this credo was intended to draw attention to the Trinitarian nature of the ceremony, and we must examine this fact. This was seen as a profoundly symbolic and representational experience of dying and rising, which it was. The old life was now dead, and the new life was now being physically performed in the same way that Jesus’ death and dying, as well as his resurrection from this real grave experience, had been modeled. It seemed like life had triumphed over death all over again.
When considering this essential portion of the Apostles’ Creed, let us also take into consideration an updated version of the phrase which states: “he descended to the grave.” In the following creedal statement, the emphasis is on Christ’s resurrection on the third day, which points to the larger picture of this creedal declaration as a whole, and leaves no mistake as to its goal.
As a result, we can argue that Jesus came from the highest reaches of heaven only to descend to the lowest depths of hell on our behalf, ensuring that this would never become our permanent home.
Check out all of the articles from Theology Thursday and make sure to check back each week for a new installment.
These are the author’s own views and opinions, and they do not necessarily reflect those of Grand Canyon University. The views and ideas stated in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the university. Any sources that were quoted were up to date at the time of publication.
He Descended into Hell, or Did He?
The Apostles’ Creed is one of the oldest ancient confessions of the Christian faith. To this day, it is still in use by a large number of Protestant groups as well as the Roman Catholic Church, among others. In spite of this, it has a particular phrase that has sparked much dispute throughout history. The creed is as follows: I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, and I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, as revealed in the Bible.
- He was sent into the depths of hell.
- He has climbed to the throne of God the Father Almighty and is now sitting at the right hand of the Almighty.
- For the sake of my own salvation, I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic (or Universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiving of sins, the resurrection of the body, and a hereafter in which we will live forever.
- It is the statement “he fell to hell” that has been the source of ongoing debate in the church for centuries.
- Is it possible that he truly went to hell?
- Let’s take a look at this crucial and intriguing issue in further detail.
- When the question “Did Jesus genuinely fall into hell?” is posed, we must first clarify the concepts used in the discussion.
Jesus didn’t go to that place.
As a result, when early Christian writers wrote things like “He went to hell” or “He descended to the dead,” they were referring to this.
His body was laid to rest, and his spirit was transported to the land of the dead.
One such phrase is “the abyss,” which appears in Romans 10:7.
“Paradise,” for example, is a representation of the last resting place of the virtuous dead.
Then there are words like as “Gehenna” and “Hades,” which relate to the location where the unrighteous dead are buried.
What Do You Think of 1 Peter 3?
The text reads as follows: For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order that he might reconcile us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but raised to life in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they had previously refused to obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, namely, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has ascended into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, with angels, authorities, and powers subjected to him, baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus’ descent is mentioned here, but Peter also speaks about the entire path of Christ’s obedience—his life, death, and resurrection—in this passage.
- If you take that term to apply to the time period between Christ’s death and resurrection, it refers to the time when Christ went out and “announced” his triumph over Satan, death, and all evil, which was accomplished via his substitutionary death.
- At one point during the fall, it’s almost as if Jesus is shouting, “Hey everybody, I won!” and proclaiming his victory to everyone there in the land of the dead.
- In 1 Peter 3, he is preaching it to people who live under the surface of the earth.
- At the end of both 1 Peter 3 and Philippians 2, we see that he is being recognized as Lord by all people in heaven, on earth, and under earth—that is, the place where the dead are interred.
- Jesus is referred to as “King” in that country as well.
- What makes Jesus the King that he is?
According to author Michael Heiser’s book The Unseen Realm (which I do not endorse in its whole), this land of the dead is actually a representation of the dominion of the serpent as described in the Old Testament.
During his ascension, Jesus kicked down the gates of the kingdom of the serpent, demonstrating that he is also King there.
God, in the person of Jesus, penetrated even the realm of death and announced his victory as he descended into the depths of the earth.
The most important reason is that it provides a clear picture of why the old heresy of Apollinarianism is not real.
To put it another way, according to Apollinarian philosophy, Jesus was merely a material creature on earth, in terms of his human nature, during his time here.
And what better theory to use to oppose this error than the concept of Jesus’ descent, which holds that Jesus, according to his human soul, deliberately went to the region of the dead and declared triumph there?
According to my research, the emphasis placed on the descending clause in successive revisions of the Apostles’ Creed may have been due to the church’s ardent opposition to Apollinarianism at the time.
As a result, it is significant in terms of soteriology.
During his ascension, Jesus was victorious over the dominion of the adversary.
In his slide, he wasn’t attempting anything novel.
In the face of death and the world of the dead, he has achieved victory by his death on the cross.
In addition to his victory over death and, thus, his capacity to raise us from the grave and into new life in him, this substitution has a number of other consequences.
In many cases, the arguments against this belief are based on statements made by Jesus during his crucifixion.
First and foremost, in John 19:30, Jesus declares, “It is finished.” This was just before he was killed.
When Jesus said, “It is finished,” he was referring to the completion of his active obedience.
There was nothing else that could be done in that situation.
In his descent, he’s really dead because death is part of the penalty for sin.
He took our place and bore our punishment.
Again, he wasn’t doing anything new.
I win!” After the resurrection, he applied his finished work on the cross to his bodily life, his post-resurrection teaching and ministry, and the realm of earth.
Now, because of his perfect life and atoning death, Christ rules over all things.
They’re applications of what he hasalreadydone to save, in every realm of reality—under the earth, on the earth, and in the heavens.
You can’t dig into the dirt and find the place of the dead where human souls reside.
When Jesus dies, he goes “down” to paradise, so to speak.
The righteous dead are no longer waiting for the Messiah, but the Messiah is currently in their midst.
But going down—in terms of his death on the cross, and what he says to the thief, and how that’s related to Old and New Testament language about the place of the dead—that would have been normal.
So the spatial language changes.
He’s in the throne room of heaven, and they’re up with him.
Brian Arnold discuss this doctrine in further detail onEpisode 25 of Faith Seeking Understanding.
Matthew Emerson is professor of Religion, Floyd K.
He is the author of“He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday(IVP Academic, 2019). (IVP Academic, 2019). Dr. Emerson received a Ph.D. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?
QuestionAnswer Currently, there is a considerable degree of uncertainty around this subject. According to the Apostles’ Creed, which declares, “He descended into hell,” the belief that Jesus went to hell after His death on the cross is essentially derived from this verse. The Bible contains several passages in which Jesus is described as going to “hell,” depending on how the passages are interpreted. Prior to delving into this topic, it is critical to grasp what the Bible has to say regarding the realm of the dead.
- Sheol/hades, according to other passages in the New Testament, is a transitory realm where souls are held while they await the final resurrection and judgment.
- The lake of fire serves as a permanent and ultimate repository for the souls of the dead.
- Many people refer to both hades and the lake of fire as “hell,” which can lead to a lot of misunderstanding.
- As described in Matthew 11:23–18, Luke 10:15–16:23, and Acts 2:27–31, sheol/hades was a realm divided into two divisions—a region of blessing and a place of condemnation.
- The abodes of the rescued and the abodes of the lost are divided by a “huge gap” (or abyss in Hebrew) (Luke 16:26).
- The aspect of sheol/hades that deals with judgment has remained constant.
- Is it true that Jesus died and went to sheol/hell?
Some of the misunderstanding has originated from texts such as Psalm 16:10–11, which is translated as follows in the King James Version: “For thou wilt not abandon my soul to the depths of hell; nor wilt thou allow thine Holy One to be corrupted.
The term “the grave” or “sheol” would be a more accurate translation.
As a result, in various editions of the Bible, translators are not consistent or accurate in their rendering of the Hebrew and Greek terminology for the afterlife, hell, and the afterlife after death.
This is a profoundly unbiblical notion to have.
It was His spilt blood that was the means by which we were cleansed from sin (1 John 1:7–9).
His sacrifice for us was sin: “God caused him who had no sin to be sin for us, in order that through him we could become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
As Jesus was on the verge of death, He said, “It is completed” (John 19:30).
His soul/spirit was sent to Hades (the place of the dead).
Jesus’ agony came to an end at the time of His death.
He then anticipated the resurrection of His body and His ascension into glory, both of which would occur at the same time.
Is it true that Jesus went to hell? No. Is it true that Jesus died and went to sheol/hell? Yes. Questions regarding Jesus Christ (return to top of page) Is it possible that Jesus spent time in hell between His death and resurrection?
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Did Jesus ‘Descend into Hell’ after his death?
Following his crucifixion, did Jesus “Descended into Hell,” as millions of Christians say in The Apostles’ Creed every week during their weekly church services? It is supported by nearly 2,000 years of Christian tradition, as well as a biblical reference in 1 Peter 3:19-20: “After being raised from the dead, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – to those who had been disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.” (This is the New International Version.) What is referred to as the “harrowing of hell” is what Christ experienced while descending into Hades or hell between his death and resurrection.
During the early centuries of the Christian church, it was thought that after his death, Christ went into hell in order to save the souls of the righteous, such as Adam and Eve.
Ancient paintings from the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as similar icons that are still in use in Greek and Russian Orthodox churches today, depict Christ standing over the broken gates of hell, angels binding Satan and Satan crushed under the gates of hell, while Christ pulls out two figures representing Adam and Eve who have been imprisoned because of their sin.
The Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus, written around 215 A.D., is an early version of the Apostles’ Creed that alludes to Christ’s ascension into the world of the dead.
He was raised to life again on the third day, after which he ascended into heaven, where he is now sitting at the right side of the Father, and he will return to judge those who are alive and those who are dead.
2.27 and 31 of Acts as a result of your refusal to abandon me to the world of the dead, as a result of your refusal to allow your holy one to witness deterioration As a foreshadowing of what was to come, he talked of the Messiah’s resurrection, stating that he had not been abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor had his body begun to decay.
- 10 He who descended is also he who soared far beyond all the heavens, in order that he may fill all things with himself.) 17th chapter of Revelation When I first saw him, I collapsed at his feet, like if I were dead.
- What exactly is Hell?
- Damnation, according to historian Alan Bernstein, author of the book “The Formation of Hell,” has a rich cultural past that predates the Christian doctrine of hell.
- While in Babylonia, Jews were introduced to Zoroastrianism, which holds that there is an unending battle between good and evil, with virtue ultimately triumphing.
- Between around 300 B.C.
- Translations from Hebrew to Greek were made by using the phrases Tartarus, Hades, and Gehenna in place of the Hebrew ones.
- Historically, the name Gehenna was used to refer to a ravine outside of Jerusalem that served as a waste dump.
- As a waste dump, it was almost certainly a frequent source of fire as trash was burnt, further stressing the idea of the fires of everlasting damnation as the source of all evil.
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He Descended into Hell?
Joseph purchased a linen shroud, and after lowering him to the ground, he covered him in the linen shroud and placed him in a tomb that had been carved out of solid rock. And he rolled a stone on the tomb’s entrance to seal it off for good. (Matthew 15:46) We’re all aware that Jesus passed away. “‘Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!'” says the speaker. And it was after saying this that he took his last breath” (Luke 23:46). What occurred, though, when he passed away? Even while we know that his body was interred in Joseph’s tomb, we don’t know what happened to his soul.
What Is Death?
First and foremost, what precisely is death. In death, there is a division between things that should be joined together. Fundamentally, it is a state of being separated from God. According to Ephesians 2:1–2, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins,” which means “dead in your former way of life.” It is to be dead, to be enslaved to evil spirits, to be alienated from God, and to be offspring of his wrath to continue to live in sin. It is an estrangement, a hostility, and an alienation from the life and hope of the living God when this form of separation occurs.
- Death, on the other hand, is more than merely being separated from God.
- Death shatters the bond that God created between embodied souls and ensouled bodies, and death is the tearing apart of that union.
- Psalm 16:10 provides us with a window into the teaching of the Bible.
- “God created human beings to be both embodied souls and ensouled bodies,” says the author.
- In addition to the spirit being abandoned “to Sheol,” the body also saw degeneration or decay.
- As a result, before to Jesus, when a person died, their souls were often sent to Sheol (or Hades) and their bodies (flesh) rotted.
The latter is something we’re all familiar with, while the former is a little more difficult to grasp. A brief look at the Bible will reveal why Peter believes David’s prophesy in Psalm 16 is such excellent news for the world.
What Is Sheol?
The first question is: What do you mean by death? In death, there is a division between things that should be together. To put it simply, it is a state of being separated from God. According to Ephesians 2:1–2, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins,” which means “dead in your previous way of life.” It is to be dead, to be subjected to evil spirits, to be alienated from God, and to be offspring of his wrath to wander around in sin. It is an estrangement, a hostility, and an alienation from the life and hope of the living God when we experience this form of separation from him.
- Yet death represents more than just a separation from God, as we shall see later in this chapter.
- Mortality is the dissolution of this relationship, which God established when He created human beings as embodied souls in ensouled bodies.
- It is possible to get insight into biblical teaching through the passage in Psalm 16:10.
- It is said that “God created human beings as embodied souls in ensouled bodies.” “Death tears this family apart.” When a human being dies before to the death and resurrection of Jesus, the regular explanation of what happened is directed to us in this chapter.
- Interestingly, Peter informs us that David predicted the resurrection of Christ when he wrote this psalm, saying, “that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see decay” (note that Peter interprets the second verse as a reference to Jesus’s body or flesh).
- Both the latter and the former are well-known to us, although the latter is less clear.
Where Did Jesus Go When He Died?
In the aftermath of his atoning death for sin, Jesus travels to Hades, the City of Death, and pulls the gates off their hinges. As a result, what can we infer about Jesus’ whereabouts on Holy Saturday from this? Several Christians believe that following Jesus’ death, his soul was taken up into heaven to be in the presence of the Father, in accordance with Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross recorded in Luke 23:43. In contrast, the passage in Luke 23:43 states that Jesus would be in the presence of the thief (“Today you will be with mein paradise”), and based on the Old Testament and Luke 16, it appears likely that the now-repentant thief would be at Abraham’s side, a place of comfort and rest for the righteous dead, which Jesus here refers to as “paradise.” Following his death on the cross for sin, Jesus travels to Hades, the City of Death, and pulls the gates off their hinges in a show of defiance.
John the Baptist and the rest of the Old Testament faithful are ransomed from Sheol’s tyranny by him.
Following his resurrection, Jesus ascends to heaven, bringing with him the ransomed dead, resulting in paradise no longer being located down near the region of agony, but rather up in the third heaven, the highest heaven, where God resides (2 Corinthians 12:2–4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13).
But the wicked remain in Hades in torment until the final judgment, when Hades releases the souls of the dead who dwell there and they are judged in accordance with their deeds, and then Death and Hades are thrown into hell, where they will burn for an eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13–15).
Good News for Us
In what ways does this have ramifications for Holy Week? Christ’s journey to Hades indicates that he was, in fact, created in the same manner as we are. Along with bearing God’s wrath on our behalf, he had to undergo death, which was the severance of his spirit from his physical body. In Luke 23:50–53, his body was in Joseph’s tomb, and his spirit had been in Sheol, which means “in the depths of the ground,” for three days (Matthew 12:40). The celestial choir and the saints of old come together in worship of the Lamb when we die.
- However, unlike our bodies, Jesus’ body did not deteriorate after burial.
- As the firstfruits of the resurrection harvest, God resurrected him from the grave and rejoined his soul with his now-glorified body, making him the firstfruits of the resurrection crop.
- As an alternative, when we die, we unite with the heavenly choir and the saints of old to sing praises to the Lamb who was killed on the cross for our sakes and the salvation of all mankind.
- The Lord has certainly risen from the dead.
Did Jesus Go to Hell Between His Death and Resurrection?
We know from Jesus’ response to the thief that when someone dies, they are instantly brought into the presence of the Father. Luke 23:42states, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” This remark also informs us that Jesus died and was resurrected by His Father. Beyond this we know very little about where Jesus was for three days. One must be careful not to read too much information into a parable or fable.
Did Jesus Go to Hell? Bible Verses for this Theory
1 Peter 3:18-20 is the scripture of Scripture most frequently cited by people who believe in the existence of hell. “Because Christ also died for sins once and for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, namely, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” “In which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,” they say, referring to the verses in question.
According to legend, Jesus descended into Hell and preached to the souls of the damned.
There is no indication in the Bible that a lost soul who has died receives a second opportunity at redemption.
Is it possible that Jesus went to hell just to punish the lost souls even more? However, there is another reading of this verse that is more logical. Here’s where you can get your FREE Holy Week Guide. You may have daily words of encouragement emailed to your inbox.
Interpreting the Scripture
Jesus was crucified in the body, yet he was raised to life by the Holy Spirit after his death. The term “brought alive” is a passive verb, which means that someone other than Jesus was responsible for bringing Jesus back to life. Either Jesus was brought back to life by the Spirit, or He was brought back to life by His spirit. In either case, the Spirit had to have played a role. The chapter then goes on to tell us who these souls in prison are: they are those who did not listen to Noah (who was preaching repentance to the world in the power of the Holy Spirit under the direction of God at the time of his imprisonment).
However, just eight persons heeded the warning and were saved—”brought safely through the floodwaters” The term “jail” is used in a metaphorical sense.
Furthermore, a wide gap has been established between us and you, in order that anyone who seek to pass over from here into you will not be able to do so, and that none who wish to cross over from there will be able to do so.” Jesus did not go to hell for those three days, according to the Bible, which is not mentioned anywhere else.
Most people believe Jesus’ physical body stayed in the tomb, just as ours will remain in the grave once we die.
The distinction is that God did not allow Jesus’ body to degrade like other people’s bodies did.
Other Bible Verses and Sources Used to Support the Hell Theory
Other Bible scriptures, such as Romans 10:6-7, Ephesians 4:8-9, and Acts 2:27, that have been cited to support the belief that Jesus went to hell between his crucifixion and resurrection have also caused confusion. However, as discussed in this ZondervanAcademic.com article, these verses are frequently taken out of context and given meaning that is not intended by the author. The Apostle’s Creed was later amended to include the phrase “and he fell into hell.” Did Jesus Descend into Hell Before He Was Resurrected?, a film by Garrett Kell, explored this question.
Christ Suffered for Our Sins, but He Didn’t Go to Hell for Them
The Apostles’ Creed is considered to be one of the most important expressions of Christian faith. Every Sunday during church services all throughout the world, faithful chant it without hesitation. However, there is one component of the creed that is likely to cause misunderstanding and distrust. It is a confusing confirmation that Christ “descended to hell” that is sandwiched between its depiction of the events of Good Friday (“He was crucified, died, and was buried”) and Easter Sunday (“On the third day he rose again from the dead”).
- Professor of biblical theology at Oklahoma Baptist University, Matthew Emerson, wants to concentrate our attention on the period of time between Christ’s death and resurrection.
- Professor Brad East of theology at Abilene Christian University spoke with Emerson about what happened (and didn’t happen) on Holy Saturday—and what it all implies for our religious beliefs.
- It is my contention in the book that Christ suffers a human death, just as all humans do.
- Consequently, he goes through the process of dying like any other human being.
- His presence at the location serves to announce his triumph over the powers of death.
- Another aspect of Christ’s victory is the liberation of the Old Testament saints from captivity, which is another aspect of his victory.
- Is it possible to list some typical misunderstandings concerning the notion of descent?
- Many individuals object to the wording used in the Apostles’ Creed because it appears on the surface to indicate that Jesus is the Son of God.
- There are two other significant cautions to be mentioned.
- It does not give a means for everyone in hell to go out of their misery.
- It has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of purgatory.
As a result, it is critical to emphasize: In no way does the descent imply that Christ was tormented in hell, nor does it suggest that universalism or the Roman Catholic view of purgatory are incompatible with one another, whether we’re discussing the traditional view of purgatory or the innovative way in which Balthasar connects the descent to purgatory.
- Where, in your opinion, did Calvin depart from the path?
- Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli are the others with whom I feel the least sympathy.
- In Calvin’s view, the descending clause relates to Jesus’ bodily and mental agony on the cross on Good Friday, rather than to whatever he achieved between his death and resurrection.
- He was suffering the wrath of God on behalf of those who had sinned against him.
- In the book, I speculate on some of the reasons for Calvin’s pioneering work in this field, but I acknowledge that they are mostly conjectural.
- However, I believe he is guilty of tossing the baby out with the bathwater in this case.
- What aspects of his interpretation of the descent clause do you find objectionable?
You may get a feeling of his dissatisfaction just by reading the title.
His primary issue, of course, is that people have been made to believe that Jesus was tormented in hell on Holy Saturday, which he believes is untrue.
There is no biblical support for the notion that Jesus was tormented in hell on Holy Saturday, according to the Bible.
So, to summarize, Balthasar feels that the descending phrase relates to Christ having a vision of death, which is diametrically opposed to a vision of salvation (the beatific vision).
That point of view, like Grudem’s, strikes me as biblically and theologically problematic.
Rather than the church’s historic interpretation of the Apostles’ Creed and its descending clause, I feel he is mistaken in conflating Balthasar’s twentieth-century invention with that of the church.
In this verse, Peter claims that Christ was “put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit” (v.
19), a phrase that is famously difficult to understand and interpret.
For what it’s worth, in my book, I argue that this text is most likely a reference to Christ’s descent in some form, but I acknowledge that I may be completely incorrect.
There is no compelling reason to interpret Christ’s ascension solely through the lens of 1 Peter.
The first set of texts to keep in mind is those that speak of Jesus experiencing death in the same way that all human beings do.
The tale of Lazarus and the wealthy man (Luke 16:19–31) and Jesus’ speech to the thief on the cross (John 18:36) are both appropriate additions.
A second series of lines is concerned with Jesus’ declaration of triumph over the forces of death and destruction.
Additionally, you may cite Matthew 16, which predicts that the “gates of Hades” would not be able to overpower the church.
These are, without a doubt, the most difficult to understand and interpret accurately.
The book of Ephesians 4:8–10 has a quotation from Psalm 68:18, which states that when Christ “ascended on high, he carried many prisoners” (p.
Throughout the book, I acknowledge that scholars disagree about the exact meaning of these verses, but I believe there’s a compelling argument to be made that Paul is referring to liberating these captives from the underworld or the place of the dead, rather than liberating them from the physical earth.
- For the reasons we’ve already covered, evangelical dissatisfaction with the idea of descent is frequently a result of dissatisfaction with the exact phrasing of the descent clause in the Apostles’ Creed.
- Is it conceivable that any of the information in them is incorrect?
- To put it another way, the church’s creeds are not authoritative in and of themselves; rather, they are only authoritative to the extent that they are true to the Scriptures.
- They are not without flaws and are not flawless.
- The church’s lengthy history is not represented by one-time occurrences like as a pastor’s sermons, which, even if they are loyal to Scripture, do not bear the weight of the church’s ancient tradition.
- The most appropriate answer is to re-examine the Scriptures to ensure that we haven’t overlooked anything.
- The fact that Christ came down to earth has profound consequences for our understanding of Christology.
This is the heresy of God the Son taking on a human body but not a human soul, as is commonly believed.
Consequently, if we discount the descending clause, we run the danger of overlooking important insights about the way in which the church has grasped the human essence of Christ throughout history.
Also affected is the doctrine of humanity in its various manifestations.
In addition, if Christ’s descend indicates what death is like for all humans, then it must entail the termination of life in the body, followed by the soul’s departure to the land of the dead.
However, according to the doctrine of Christ’s descent, when we die, we reach an intermediate state in which the soul retains consciousness.
What role do you think Scripture plays in drawing on that cosmology when it shows where individuals “go” after death?
The gods reside in the celestial realms.
The dead, on the other hand, are buried in the underworld.
Various schools of ancient thought held that you could enter the underworld through specific portals, which were known as access points.
However, I believe that drawing this conclusion is erroneous.
When it comes to describing the underworld, both the Old and New Testaments employ a great deal of figurative language, and the variety of examples leads me to believe that the Jews of this era were not thinking of it as a “place” in the traditional sense of a location accessible by ordinary human means.
God, who is spirit, is said to have a specific dwelling place, either in the heavens or in the temple, where he can be found.
Even while I believe the Scriptures are accurate in their depiction of these events, we must be careful not to interpret figurative language as proof of a belief in physical worlds that match to the metaphorical language.
Heaven (or Abraham’s bosom) is reserved for the righteous, while Gehenna, Hades, Sheol, and the abyss are all used to describe the place where the unrighteous are destined.
They are unable to express their gratitude to God in the temple.
He has not left the righteous section of the abode of the dead, where he continues to be present.
However, that is precisely what occurs during the descent.
This is the only way that paradise can be changed.
Even if they are not subjected to the torments of hell, the Old Testament saints have frequently been depicted as languishing in a kind of prison after death, according to Christian tradition.
In all honesty, I believe that death is a form of incarceration.
As a result, until that job is completed, the dead are still considered to be imprisoned in some sense.
The termLimbus Patrum (also known as “Limbo” in popular usage) refers to a place where Old Testament saints were imprisoned until Christ arrived and freed them from their imprisonment.
As a result, in the book, I’m attempting to convey the message that “This is not torment.” This is not the same as being separated from God.” Death, on the other hand, is a prison.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about Christ’s descent before we wrap things up?
It informs us that Jesus, like all of us, had an encounter with death.
He has risen from the dead and has triumphed over the very nature of death. No longer is death a threat to us. Death is not in charge; Jesus is in charge. When we understand the doctrine of Christ’s descent, we can see that it is a remarkably hopeful doctrine to believe in.