He Descended into Hell?
Joseph purchased a linen shroud, and after lowering him to the ground, he wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut 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?
Sheol is the location of the souls of the deceased in the Old Testament, including both the good (such as Jacob in Genesis 37:35 and Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:13–14) and the wicked (such as Abel in 1 Samuel 28:13–14). (Psalm 31:17). According to the New Testament, the Hebrew wordSheolis is translated asHades, and the portrayal of Sheol in both the Old and New Testaments has a striking resemblance to the Greek mythological figure of Hades. It is located under the surface of the earth (Numbers 16:30–33), and it resembles a city with gates (Isaiah 38:10) and bars (Numbers 16:30–33).
- In this country of darkness, the shadowy spirits of mankind can be found, as can be found in any other area of gloom (Isaiah 14:9; 26:14).
- The most essential aspect of Sheol is that it is a realm where no one praises God (Psalm 6:5, 88:10–11, 115:17, Isaiah 38:18, among other passages).
- From there, we learn that the biblical Sheol is divided into two compartments, similar to the Hades of Greek mythology, namely, Hades proper (where the wealthy man is transferred, according to Luke 16:23), and “Abraham’s bosom” (where the angels carry Lazarus, Luke 16:22).
- While Abraham’s bosom is within hearing distance of Hades, it is separated from it by “a huge gap” (Luke 16:26), and it serves as a haven of solace and repose, similar to the Greek Elysium.
- In Sheol/Hades, all deceased souls are sent, but Sheol is separated into two different sections, one for the virtuous and another for the evil.
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.
Holy Saturday: What Did Jesus Do in Hell?
Currently, the earth is enveloped in a profound hush and stillness, a huge silence and stillness caused by the King’s sleep; the earth trembled and stood still as God slept in the flesh and awoke those who had been asleep over the years. The underworld has shook as a result of God’s death in the flesh. An ancient homily for Holy Saturday is cited in this passage. On this Holy Saturday, as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, we might recall the words of the Apostles’ Creed, which affirms our conviction that Jesus ‘descended into hell’ before his death.
What was the reason for Jesus’ descent into hell?
Monsignor Stuart Swetland, host of the popular television showGo Ask Your FatherTM, recently explained the Catholic Church’s teaching on Our Lord’s descent into hell, stating, “There is the traditional way that the Church has understood that part of the Creed, and you’ll see that in theCatechism of the Catholic Church.” Within the Catechism, there is an entire section devoted to this topic, beginning with paragraph 631.
- That passage of the New Testament, on the other hand, reminds us that one of the most important and frequently repeated assertions in the New Testament is that Jesus resurrected from the grave.
- Swetland emphasized, however, what we mean when we claim that Jesus descended into hell by stating, “Now, according to ancient knowledge, the home of the dead was known as sheolandhades in Greek.
- According to the parables of Jesus, there was also Abraham’s bosom, which we may hear Jesus speaking about.
- As a result, the story holds that He did not go to the land of the damned, but rather to the area that is referred to as Abraham’s bosom.” “And that, my friends, is the enigma of Holy Saturday.
To put it another way, he brought them salvation.” Please listen to the following explanation in its entirety: Ask Your Father airs on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App on weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 a.m. Pacific and is available on the Relevant Radio website.
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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Did Jesus Actually Descend into Hell?
In the Christian church, there has always been a hot button issue that comes up every so often. This issue is concerned with the question of whether or not Jesus went to hell. There are schools of thinking that believe He did and schools of thought that believe He did not. Scripture does not provide a straightforward response to this topic; nevertheless, with more study, a more complete understanding can be gained. In some parts of the world, Christianity has always been viewed with suspicion, and this is no exception.
The outcome of these conferences was a collection of creeds that served as expressions of religious belief.
The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed are the two most well-known creeds in the Christian church, and they are both written in Latin.
The image is courtesy of Getty Images/Kesu01.
Where Did The Idea of Jesus Descending to Hell Originate? And Did Jesus Descend to Hell?
The Apostles’ Creed is an enlarged form of the Old Roman Creed, which was in use as early as the second century and was adopted by the Church of Rome. The grounds for the formation of the Apostles’ Creed are not well understood by academics. Historically, early church leaders believed the credo was penned by the apostles themselves, although we don’t know for sure. That Jesus had gone into hell is thought to have been added later, about AD 390, to the Bible. This would have occurred at the same time as a bishop by the name of Apollinarius was giving a lecture.
- During the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, this dogma was formally rejected and condemned.
- It was during the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 that the Nicene Creed was formulated.
- Constantine desired for the Christian church to have a declaration of faith that would unify all of the denominations under one roof.
- Apart from the establishment of these creeds, there are scripture passages that are held up as proof that Jesus was crucified and afterwards resurrected.
- Together with Ephesians 4:9, this passage contributes to the development of the belief that Jesus may have gone into hell following his death on the cross.
Understanding the Language and Meaningof the Apostles Creed
It is vitally crucial to be able to comprehend the language of a paper. A person must be familiar with the language and understand the meaning of the terms in that language. When there is a miscommunication, the entire meaning of a document or statement might be altered. Christians and researchers today must recognize that writings from the early church were written in a variety of languages that can be difficult to decipher and interpret. When it comes to translating Hebrew or Greek into English, we must proceed with caution.
- This term literally means “hell,” but it refers to the current version of Hell.
- The New Testament has a reference to hell written in the Greek language.
- The “abode of the dead” is difficult to translate from Greek to English because it is described by only two words.
- This term refers to a place of final punishment or a physical location.
- The phrase “he descended into Hell” is included in the Apostles’ Creed, and it is written in the Greek language as “Hades.” The Greek term for death, Hades, alludes to the condition of being dead.
- Kenneth West, a theological researcher, describes this in the following remark about 1 Peter 3:18-22.
- This is a transformation that has occurred as time has progressed.
- More specifically, the term “hell” came to refer to the location where Satan resides.
This was not what hell was like according to the languages of the Bible. Many churches nowadays do not say the Apostle’s Creed, which is a sad state of affairs. The ones who still do so often do so without including this statement. Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden via Unsplash.
Did Jesus Descend to Hell?
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke provide accounts of the events that occurred soon after Jesus’ death. Each report provides a vivid and understandable explanation of the events that took place. The Bible tells us that Jesus cried out and surrendered His spirit in Matthew 27:50-53. Then the curtain of the sanctuary came crashing down, and the ground shook violently. The tombs of the saints were revealed when the rocks were divided. As recorded in Mark 15:38, “Then the curtain of the Temple was split in half from top to bottom.” According to Luke 23:44-45, It was now around midday, and because the sun’s light had departed, darkness fell over the entire country until three o’clock.
- Daniel, Elijah, and Zechariah all foretold of an earthquake and a period of darkness, which he describes in detail in his narrative of the event.
- It is referenced in all three narratives, which demonstrates the significance of this event in human history.
- Located in the Temple, it was suspended above and above the entrance to the Holy of Holies.
- Aaron was permitted to enter the tent of meeting on the Day of Atonement, according to Exodus 26.
- The Israelites were not permitted to enter the presence of the Lord at their leisure.
- Is it possible that Jesus went to hell?
- It had been decided to make the ultimate sacrifice.
- Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Tanya Sid
Why Do Some People Think Jesus Descended into Hell?
The belief that Jesus descended into hell is found in Christian churches today and many have questioned this. Some just cannot wrap their minds around this concept. Fr. Sev Kuupuoexplains why Jesus did descend to hell and what the purpose of His descent was:“Jesus went to Hell to liberate souls who have been held in prison. The mission of Jesus’ ascension into Hell was to bring about the liberation of the holy people of the Old Testament. Some theologians explain that Jesus Christ went into Hell to experience the full rigor of suffering, which is the full impact for human sin, so as to give a comprehensive atonement for the sin of humanity.” It is believed that the fulfillment of Jesus atoning for our sins could not happen without Jesus going into the place of Hell.
R.C Sproulbacks this thought up with his statement: “He goes to hell to liberate those spirits who, from antiquity, have been held in prison.
It is not a belief that He went there and stayed awhile. Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Tomertu
Why Do Some People Believe Jesus Did Not Descend into Hell?
Many different reasons are used by those who profess their opinion that Jesus did not descend into hell in order to support their position. The most widely held belief is that Jesus was God manifested in human form. He is the one who created the area we know as hell. He forbade Satan from enteringheavent and living in hell for the rest of his days. After all, if God created hell and decided its purpose, how could he possibly visit it? Wasn’t Jesus a holy figure who had no business being in this place?
They have comprehended the significance of this sentence.
How Should Christians Respond to This?
There are numerous possible responses to this topic, and each answer will be shaped by the individual’s viewpoint. The fact that Christians do not live in Greek culture makes it difficult for them to understand what is meant by this remark. They are unable to communicate in Greek. We just do not understand what some terms in Greek mean. Our answer should be to devote the necessary time to studying the Scriptures. Investigate the Biblical languages in greater depth. Inquire of your pastor or a fellow believer in Christ about anything.
According to John Jones of the First Presbyterian Church, “no confessional declaration should be confirmed unless the affirmer understands what the statement entails.” According to its appropriate interpretation, the Apostles’ Creed expresses a fundamental theological truth.” It has been suggested that the Apostles Creed contains a sentence that is problematic among certain Christians.
Before taking a position on anything, we must first conduct thorough research.
He was executed by hanging on a cross.
The brilliance of this is that he did not remain in that location.
Millard J. Erickson’s “Introducing Christian Doctrine” was published in 1992 by Baker Publishing Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “The Veil Was Torn in Two,” by Daniel M. Guertner, is available online. Having a strong desire for God. The 19th of April, 2019. (Retrieved on March 4, 2020) . Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament is available online. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1973. Credit for the image: Getty Images/nu1983 The author, Ashley Hooker, works as a freelance writer while also educating her two children, serving alongside her husband as he serves as the pastor of a rural church in West Virginia, and blogging about her Christian faith.
When Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey wreaked havoc on the United States, she traveled to Mississippi and Texas with the North Carolina Baptist Men’s Missionary Society.
She also traveled to West Virginia and Vermont to share the Gospel with others. Her desire is to spend her time writing and spreading the love of Christ to everyone she comes into contact with.
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 opposing this belief are based on statements made by Jesus at his crucifixion.
First and foremost, in John 19:30, Jesus declares, “It is finished.” This was right before he was killed.
When Jesus stated, “It is completed,” he was referring to the completion of his active obedience.
There was nothing further that could be done in that situation.
Because death is a component of the punishment for sin, he is effectively dead during his descent.
He took our place and endured the brunt of our wrath.
He wasn’t attempting anything new this time.
As a result of what I’ve already done, here’s what happened: “I’m the winner!” His accomplished labor on the cross was applied to his physical existence, his post-resurrection teaching and ministry, and the domain of the earth after his resurrection.
Christ now has complete authority over all things as a result of his sinless life and atoning death.
The applications of what he has already done to rescue people in every domain of reality—under the earth, on the earth, and in the heavens—are as diverse as the people he has saved.
Several figurative names are used in Scripture to allude to the righteous section of the land of the dead, one of which is “paradise,” as you may recall.
When the dead are waiting for the resurrection, they are waiting “down” in the place of the dead, to use the Bible’s spatial and metaphorical language.
The nature of paradise has changed as a result of Jesus’ resurrection, which took place on Easter Sunday.
As a result, we’re talking about going to heaven today because that’s where Jesus is and where the righteous dead are, respectively.
“Yes, Jesus went down to the place of the dead, to paradise, to the righteous compartment, because he was righteous,” would have been the universally acknowledged conclusion.
As a result, the spatial language shifts.
He’s in the throne room of heaven, and the rest of the angels have accompanied him there.
Please keep in mind that Dr.
Brian Arnold go into greater detail about this doctrine on Episode 25 of Faith Seeking Understanding.
Matthew Emerson is a professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he also holds the Floyd K.
He is the author of “He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday, which was published in 2008. (IVP Academic, 2019). Dr. Emerson graduated with honors from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned his Ph.D.
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 word 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.
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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.
What Jesus Really Said About Heaven and Hell
Everyone dislikes thinking about death, yet there are moments when we have no option but to confront it. As the infection spreads, hospitals become overcrowded, and systems become overburdened. Survival is the most pressing of our concerns, both personally and nationally. Many people – including the otherwise healthy – have, however, found themselves confronted with the specter of death itself, which has become our constant companion, despite our best efforts to ignore it the majority of the time.
- While NBC’s smash hit comedy seriesThe Good Place was the most recent and most memorable effort, the humor even there was rooted precisely in terror, as Eleanor Shellstrop and her companions desperately tried to avoid the afterlife they deserved in the Bad Place and its eternal torments.
- After learning he will spend forever groveling in dust and being devoured by worms, Gilgamesh writhes with misery in the epic poem The Epic of Gilgamesh.
- The prospect of endless sorrow, on the other hand, makes many people shiver.
- In the globe, there are more than two billion Christians, with the great majority of them believing in the existence of a heaven and a hell.
- In spite of an increasing number of “nones,” Americans continue to expect a version of the options shown in The Good Place: independent of religious affiliation, 72 percent believe in a genuine paradise and 58 percent believe in a literal hell, according to the Pew Research Center.
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The great majority of these individuals understandably believe that this is what Jesus personally told them. However, this is not the case. Neither Jesus nor the Hebrew Bible, which he translated, supported the notion that departed souls went to either paradise or everlasting punishment. Ancient Jews, in contrast to the majority of Greeks, historically did not think that the soul could exist independently of the body. The opposite was true for them; they saw the soul as more like “breath.” Adam, the first human being God created, began as a lump of clay, then God “breathed” life into him after that (Genesis 2: 7).
- Afterwards, everything was reduced to dust and ashes.
- It is not true that when we cease breathing, our breath does not leave our body.
- In the same way, the “soul” does not continue to exist outside of the body, where it may experience postmortem joy or anguish.
- It is assumed by the Hebrew Bible itself that the deceased are simply dead—that their corpse rests in the grave and that they will never regain awareness again.
- However, in the majority of cases, the term “Sheol” is just a synonym for “tomb” or “grave.” It’s not a location where people really go to hang out.
- The fact that there was no life at all, and so no family, friends, talks, food, drink – and even communion with God – made death so depressing: nothing could make an afterlife existence more pleasant since there was no life at all, and hence no wonderful afterlife existence.
- To be honest, the most one could aspire for was an enjoyable and exceptionally long life in the here and now.
The belief that there was something beyond death—a form of justice to come—began to spread among Jewish philosophers some two hundred years before the birth of the Messiah.
However, the flaws in that line of reasoning were immediately apparent: God’s own people Israel suffered repeatedly, brutally, and frustratingly as a result of natural disasters, political crises, and, most significantly, military defeat.
Some philosophers came up with a solution that described how God would bring about justice, but one that did not require eternal happiness in a paradise above or eternal pain in a hell below, as had previously been proposed.
In spite of the fact that God is the ultimate master of the universe, he has temporarily ceded authority of this planet for an unexplained cause.
Heaven and earth are about to be thrown into chaos when God intervenes to destroy everything and everyone who stands in his way, and to usher in a new kingdom for his loyal followers, the Kingdom of God, a paradise on earth.
Indeed, God will breathe life back into the dead, bringing them back to earthly existence, and God will bring all the dead back to life, not just the virtuous, to be with him forever.
The crowd who had stood in the path of God will also be raised.
During the time of Jesus, this notion of the impending resurrection dominated the outlook of Jewish thought in general.
The end of time is approaching quickly.
God will soon annihilate everything and everyone who stands in his way, and a new order will be established on the planet.
All of the others will be wiped out.
Unlike other Jewish leaders, Jesus preached that no one will inherit the glorious future kingdom by strictly adhering to all of the Jewish laws in their most minute details; or by meticulously following the rules of worship involving sacrifice, prayer, and the observance of holy days; or by pursuing one’s own purity by fleeing from the vile world and the tainting influence of sinful others.
- For the most part, this is placing God first in one’s life, despite personal difficulties, and dedicating one’s time and energy to the benefit of others, even when doing so is extremely difficult.
- (Leviticus 19:18).
- In the same way that the Good Samaritan helped anybody in need, genuine love includes assisting everyone in need, not just those in your chosen social circles, as depicted in the parable of the Good Samaritan.
- Only a small number of individuals are.
- It’s no surprise that it’s easier to get a camel through a needle than it is for the wealthy to get entry into the kingdom.
Although Jesus does not explicitly mention “Hell” in the Sermon on the Mount, standard English translations suggest that he does so sometimes — for example, in his cautions that anybody who labels another a fool, or who permits their right eye or hand to transgress, will be put into “hell” (Matthew 5:22, 29-30).
- However, the name does not allude to a perpetual tormenting region, but rather to an infamous valley just outside the walls of Jerusalem, which was widely considered by many Jews at the time to be the most unholy, god-forsaken area on earth.
- For anyone who died in the ancient world (whether they were Greek, Roman, or Jewish), being refused a proper burial was the harshest punishment they could get after death.
- Souls would not be tortured in that place, according to Jesus.
- The emphasis that Jesus places on the complete destruction of sinners may be found throughout his teachings.
- There are two paths to “life.” One is narrow and demands an arduous road, yet it leads to “life.” That is a route used by few.
- However, it results in “destruction.” It is an extremely essential term.
- In the same way, Jesus compares the coming kingdom to a fisherman who brings in a vast net of fish (Matthew 13:47-50).
He does not subject them to torture.
Alternatively, the kingdom might be compared to a person who collects the plants that have grown in his or her field (Matthew 13:36-43).
These do not burn indefinitely.
Other verses, on the other hand, may appear to imply that Jesus believed in the afterlife.
Some are referred to as sheep, while others are referred to as goats.
These are welcomed into the “kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” as the Bible states.
Upon first glance, that surely sounds like a hellish creation of the public imagination.
They are not “eternal joy” and “eternal misery,” as some people believe.
As a result, annihilation is the penalty.
This is due to the fact that the fire never goes out.
And what is the significance of the term “eternal” punishment?
These individuals will be exterminated for all time.
In this way, Jesus followed in the footsteps of a long line of respectable philosophers who have refused to accept the notion that a benevolent God would torture his beings for all eternity.
Yet neither Jesus nor his original Jewish followers preached about the torments of hell; rather, they emerged among later gentile converts who did not believe in the Jewish concept of a future resurrection of the dead, as did the apostle Paul.
A large number of Greek thinkers, dating back at least to Socrates’ time, have advocated for the idea of the immortality of the soul.
Following the example of gentile Christians, later Christians who emerged from these circles adopted this viewpoint for themselves, reasoning that if souls are built to last forever, their ultimate fates will do the same.
As a result of this innovation, an unsatisfactory amalgamation of Jesus’ Jewish beliefs and those found in parts of the Greek philosophical tradition has resulted.
Nonetheless, in an interesting and comforting way, Jesus’ own views on either eternal reward or complete annihilation are similar to Greek notions that were propagated more than four centuries before Jesus.
His “Apology” (that is, “Legal Defense”), which was recorded by his most famous pupil, Plato, is still available for reading today.
He is, on the contrary, energised by the prospect of passing from this life to the next.
On the one hand, it may result in the deepest, most uninterrupted sleep that anyone could possibly imagine.
It may, on the other hand, imply the presence of a conscious being.
It would mean continuing on with life and all of its pleasures while avoiding all of its suffering.
As a result, there are no bad choices in the afterlife, only good ones.
Two thousand and four hundred years later, with all of our advances in our understanding of our world and human life within it, surely we can conclude that both Jesus and Socrates were correct about a great many things.
We should pay attention to what he has to say.
Of course, none of us can predict what will happen to us after we leave this world of transience behind.
On the one hand, we may lose our consciousness because we will no longer be concerned about anything in this world.
Both scenarios result in the cessation of all suffering.
To that end, the greatest teacher of the Greeks and the founder of Christianity agreed on the following: when we finally depart from this earthly realm, we may have something to look forward to, but we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife, Ehrman’s latest book from which this essay is adapted, is available now. TIME Magazine has more must-read stories.
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