Where In The Bible Does It Say Jesus Descended Into Hell

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.

  1. During the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, this dogma was formally rejected and condemned.
  2. It was during the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 that the Nicene Creed was formulated.
  3. Constantine desired for the Christian church to have a declaration of faith that would unify all of the denominations under one roof.
  4. Apart from the establishment of these creeds, there are scripture passages that are held up as proof that Jesus was crucified and afterwards resurrected.
  5. 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.

  1. This term literally means “hell,” but it refers to the current version of Hell.
  2. The New Testament has a reference to hell written in the Greek language.
  3. The “abode of the dead” is difficult to translate from Greek to English because it is described by only two words.
  4. This term refers to a place of final punishment or a physical location.
  5. 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.
  6. Kenneth West, a theological researcher, describes this in the following remark about 1 Peter 3:18-22.
  7. This is a transformation that has occurred as time has progressed.
  8. 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 concept that Jesus went into hell is still held by many Christians today, although many have called this belief into doubt. Some people are unable to comprehend this notion for whatever reason. Fr. Sev Kuupuo explains why Jesus descended to hell and what the aim of His descent was: “Jesus went to Hell in order to release souls who had been imprisoned for a long period of time.” The mission of Jesus’ ascension into Hell was to bring about the release of the holy people of the Old Testament.

He had to save the holy people of the Old Testament who were waiting for Him in Abraham’s bosom as well as the rest of the world.

In conclusion, those who believe that Jesus descended into hell believe that He did so in order to save souls and to fulfill the sacrifice for our sins on the cross. It is not a notion that He traveled to that location and stayed for a time. Photograph courtesy of 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.

Sources:

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.

Did Jesus Descend into Hell?

Is It True That Jesus Descended Into Hell? No. The question mainly comes from the King James translation of Acts 2:27, 31 (which quotes Psalm 16:8-11), which states that Christ’s soul “was not abandoned in hell.” The answer is usually affirmative. The phrase “Christ descended into hell” (as found in the Apostles’ Creed) is the source of the notion, which is more widely accepted (descendit ad inferna). When we say ‘hell,’ we don’t always mean the endless punishment hell of Gehenna, but rather the land of the dead or the underworld in both circumstances (OT Sheol, NT Hades).

11:23; 16:18; Lk.

1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14); it is usually rendered hell in English translations, with the exception of 1 Cor.

There is some confusion because Hades, like the Hebrew Sheol, can refer to the unseen spirit world, the final resting place of all the departed, both righteous and wicked; whereas hell, at least in NT usage, refers to the state and place of eternal damnation, NT Gehenna, which occurs twelve times in the Greek Testament and is so translated in English versions, viz., Mt.

  • 10:7; Eph.
  • There have been other New Testament texts that have been linked to the descend, which have been understood as Christ’s teaching to the dead and the proclamation of his victory over death, claiming those who had anticipated his arrival (cf.
  • 3:19; 4:6; Mt.
  • 12:23).

Despite the fact that the Alexandrian fathers included the pagan dead among those who Christ delivered from Hades, the prevailing view, which eventually became the orthodox medieval view, was that only believers from the pre-Christian period were recipients and beneficiaries of Christ’s preaching while in Hades.

During his ascension, Christ’s victory over the devil and death was powerfully described in the passion plays that were immensely famous in the Medieval West, and it was graphically depicted in medieval art and drama.

According to three various interpretations, the importance of the descent in the Apostles’ Creed is as follows: 1) It is synonymous with “buried,” which refers to the status of being in a state of death and under the authority of death until the resurrection (Westminster divines).

The “harrowing of hell” is a real event that took place after Christ’s crucifixion, during which Christ appeared to the souls of the dead, freeing all believers from the powers of evil and death (Luther and the Formula of Concord).

—Bruce Corley, president of B.H Carroll Theological Institute, in a statement

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It is frequently asserted that Christ descended into hell after he died on the cross. The Apostles’ Creed, which is commonly used, states that Jesus “was crucified, died, and buried; he went into hell; on the third day, he rose again from the grave.” The expression “he fell into hell,” on the other hand, does not appear in the Bible. 1:060:00 Is it true that Jesus was sent into hell? Wayne Grudem discusses the phrase’s origins as well as what the Bible has to say about it. Please be advised that by submitting your email address, you acknowledge and agree that you will get email messages from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) with information on products and services offered by the company and its affiliates.

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Large portions of the phrase’s history are clouded by a confusing backdrop.

Unexpectedly, the phrase “he descended into hell” was not included in any of the earliest versions of the Creed (including the versions that were adopted by Christians in Rome, the rest of Italy, and Africa), and it was not included until one of two versions from Rufinus, which was adopted in A.D.

  1. After that, it was not included in any other version of the Creed until the year 650 A.D.
  2. 650, did not believe that it signified that Christ had fallen into hell, but rather that the term merely meant that Christ had been “buried,” according to the scholarly consensus.
  3. In addition, it should be pointed out that the phrase exists only in one of the two versions of the Creed that we have from Rufinus; it does not appear in the Roman version of the Creed that he kept.
  4. 650 does so with a different interpretation of the term.
  5. Three different interpretations have been presented throughout the history of the Christian church:
  1. While on the cross, some interpret this expression to signify that Christ was experiencing the agonies of hell. Calvin, as well as the Heidelberg Catechism, embrace this view
  2. Others, however, have interpreted it to suggest that Christ remained in the “state of death” until the time of his resurrection. This is the approach taken by Question 50 of the Westminster Larger Catechism, which states: “Christ’s humiliation after death consisted in his being buried, and remaining in his state of death, and under the power of death, until the third day
  3. Which has been expressed otherwise in these words, He descended into hell.” After everything is said and done, some have asserted that the phrase implies exactly what it appears to mean on first reading: that Christ did, in fact, descend into hell following his death on the cross.
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Learn more about Jesus’ life by visiting the following websites: One Jesus, shown in four different portraits What does the Bible say about this? There are five passages that are utilized to support the fall into hell. Christ’s descent into hell is supported by five verses from the Bible, according to those who believe that he did so between his death and resurrection. 1. Acts 2:27 (Acts 2:27) Part of Peter’s speech on the Day of Pentecost, in which he quotes Psalm 16:10, “for you will not abandon me to the land of the dead, nor will you allow your loyal one to experience decay,” is included here.

This is not always the case.

2.

30:13): “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will climb into heaven?'” and “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will descend into hell?'” (i.e., to bring Christ down from the cross) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (i.e., to bring Christ back to life from the dead).” However, this verse does not imply that Christ fell into hell as a result of his death.

9).

Ephesians 4:8–9 (Ephesians 4:8–9) “When I say, ‘He ascended,’ what does that signify other than that he had also plunged into the lower portions of the earth?” Paul asks.

It is initially unclear what is meant by “the lower parts of the earth,” but another translation appears to make the most sense: “What does ‘he ascended’ mean unless it also means that he descended to the lower, earthly regions?” (What does ‘he ascended’ mean except that he descended to the lower, earthly regions?) (NIV).

  • The following four words are a reasonable interpretation of the Greek text, which takes the phrase “the lower regions of the earth” to mean “the lowest regions of the earth,” which is an acceptable interpretation of the Greek text.
  • 10).
  • As a result, the passage refers to the incarnation rather than a descend into hell.
  • 1 Peter 3:18–20 (New International Version) “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unjust, in order to reconcile you to God,” reads the text above.

As soon as he was brought back to life, he went out into the world and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who had been rebellious long before, when God had waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being constructed.” This is the paragraph on this subject that many people find the most perplexing of the entire collection.

Some have interpreted the phrase “he went and preached to the spirits in prison” to mean that Christ went into hell and preached to the spirits who were there, either proclaiming the gospel and offering them a second chance to repent, or simply proclaiming that he had triumphed over them and that they were condemned to an eternity of torment and punishment.

Peter does not imply that Christ spoke to all spirits, but rather that he only preached to those “who had previously disobeyed.during the construction of the ark.” Such a small audience (those who rebelled during the construction of the ark) would seem to be an odd group for Christ to travel to Hell and teach to, wouldn’t you think?

  1. And, if he did grant a second opportunity at redemption, why did he choose only these sinners and not all others?
  2. 10:26–27), which is inconsistent with this position.
  3. Peter is challenging his audience to openly witness to hostile unbelievers in their immediate environment.
  4. If Peter were to preach that there is a second opportunity for salvation after death, this evangelistic image would lose its significance.
  5. Is it possible that Christ was teaching to fallen angels in 1 Peter 3:18–20?
  6. It is asserted that this would provide comfort to Peter’s readers by demonstrating that the demonic powers tormenting them will likewise be overcome by Christ in the end.
  7. To go from (1) certain demons who committed sin long ago to (2) other demons who are currently instigating your human persecutors to (3) those demons will likewise be condemned someday to (4) as a result, your persecutors will be judged at some point, they would have to use logic.

If Peter was aware that his readers would infer all of this from the text, does it seem a stretch to conclude that he foresaw it?

In addition, how did Peter’s readers come to believe that angelic beings had sinned “during the construction of the ark”?

And (contrary to what some have claimed), if we examine all of the traditions of Jewish interpretation of the flood myth, we will find no reference of angels sinning explicitly “during the construction of the ark,” as some have claimed.

If so, would Christ’s proclamation of release to the Old Testament saints in 1 Peter 3:18–20 fit the bill?

However, it is possible to dispute whether this interpretation fully accounts for what the text truly means.

Peter does not specifically mention Old Testament Christians in general, but rather those who were disobedient “during the days of Noah, throughout the construction of the ark,” according to the context (1 Peter 3:20).

5:24; 2 Sam.

16:11; 17:15; 23:6; Ec A more satisfactory interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18–20 According to Augustine, the most satisfactory explanation of 1 Peter 3:18–20 appears to be one that was proposed (but not really defended) many years ago: the passage refers not to something Christ did between his death and resurrection, but to something he did “in the spiritual realm of existence” (i.e., “through the Spirit”) during the time of Noah.

At the same time that Noah was constructing the ark, Christ “in spirit” was teaching to the hostile unbelievers who were surrounding him.

Considering the wider context of 1 Peter 3:13–22, this reading appears to be highly acceptable. There are various moments where the comparison between Noah’s predicament and the condition of Peter’s readers is obvious. For example:

  • Obtain further information on the life of Jesus by visiting the following websites: The same Jesus in four different portraits Which passages of Scripture do you want to look at? a collection of five chapters that provide as assistance for the journey into hell A total of five Bible texts, all of which are used to support the belief that Christ truly did descend into hell between his death and resurrection, have been identified. Acts 2:27 is a good place to start. Part of Peter’s speech on the Day of Pentecost, in which he quotes Psalm 16:10, “for you will not leave me to the land of the dead, nor will you let your loyal one to experience decay,” is included here. Has Jesus entered hell as a result of this? No, this is not always the case! As a result, unlike David, who “died and was buried, and his tomb remains here to this day,” Peter uses David’s psalm to demonstrate that Christ’s corpse did not decay. 2. See Romans 10:6–7 for further information. Again, Old Testament references (from Deuteronomy 30:13) are used in these passages, which include the following two rhetorical questions: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will climb into heaven?'” and “Who will descend into hell?” (i.e., to bring Christ down from the cross) or “Who will descend into the abyss?’ (i.e., to raise Christ from the dead).” Christ’s descent into hell, on the other hand, is scarcely taught in this chapter. To summarize, Paul is advising people not to ask these kinds of questions because Christ is not far away—in fact, he is quite close—and that trust in him is as close as confessing with our mouths and believing with our hearts (v. 9). 3) Ephesians 4:8–9 (the book of Ephesians). “When I say, ‘He ascended,’ what does it imply unless it also means that he descended into the lower portions of the earth?” Paul asks in this passage. If so, does this imply that Christ “descended” into Hell? The meaning of “the lower sections of the earth” is first unclear, but a different translation appears to make the most sense: “What does ‘he ascended’ imply if not that he sank to the lower, earthly regions?” (What does ‘he ascended’ mean save that he fell to the lower, earthly regions? (NIV). When the New International Version uses the word “descended,” it means that Christ was born as a baby in the ground (the Incarnation). It is permissible to interpret the Greek text in this way, considering the phrase “the lower parts of the earth” to mean “the lower regions of the earth,” as in “the lower regions which are the earth.” When Paul says that the Christ who went up to heaven (in his ascension) is the same Christ who came down from heaven previously, he is referring to Jesus Christ (v. 10). It goes without saying that Christ’s “descent” from heaven took place when He became a human being. As a result, the passage refers to the incarnation rather than to a journey into hell. 4. 1 Peter 3:18–20 (New International Version). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unjust, in order to reconcile you to God,” reads the verse. ” He was put to death in the physical body, but he was raised to life in the spiritual body of Christ. As soon as he was brought back to life, he went out into the world and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who had been rebellious long before, when God had waited patiently during the construction of the ark.” This is the section on this issue that many people find the most perplexing. In order to better understand this book, let us examine many questions that have been raised. Is Christ lecturing in hell mentioned in 1 Peter 3:18–20? The phrase “he went and preached to the spirits in prison” has been interpreted by some to mean that Christ went into hell and preached to the spirits who were there, either proclaiming the gospel and offering them a second chance to repent, or simply proclaiming that he had triumphed over them and that they were doomed for eternity. However, neither the passage nor its location in this context are fully explained by these readings. During the construction of the ark, Peter does not indicate that Christ taught to all spirits, but just to those who “had previously disobeyed.” It would be unusual for Christ to travel to Hell and teach to such a small number of people—those who disobeyed during the construction of the ark. Is it possible that Christ just announced his victory to these sinners and not to everyone else? What is the reason for just giving these sinners a second opportunity at redemption and not giving it to everyone? Adding to the difficulty of this position, several passages in the Bible imply that people do not have the option to repent after death (Luke 16:26
  • Heb. 10:26–27). The context of 1 Peter 3 also makes the notion of “preaching in hell” seem improbable. To witness openly to hostile unbelievers in their immediate surroundings, Peter encourages his readers. He just instructed them to “always be prepared to offer a response to everyone who asks you if you have any questions” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV). A second opportunity for salvation after death, as taught by Peter, would lessen the urgency of this evangelistic concept. A “preaching” of condemnation would also be incompatible with this. Is Christ teaching to fallen angels mentioned in 1 Peter 3:18–20? Many interpreters have postulated that “spirits in prison” refer to demonic spirits, the spirits of fallen angels, in order to provide a more satisfactory explanation for these issues. They have also stated that Christ condemned these demons. As a result, it is argued, Peter’s readers would be comforted because they will see that the demonic powers that torment them will likewise be overcome by Christ. When Peter does not directly explain this conclusion, his readers will have to go through an extremely intricate reasoning process in order to reach this conclusion. They would have to reason from (1) certain demons who sinned a long time ago were condemned, to (2) other devils are currently instigating your human persecutors, to (3) those demons will likewise be condemned eventually, to (4) as a result, your human persecutors will be judged at some point in the future, too. Once Peter’s readers understood his argument, they would say: (5) Don’t be afraid of your persecutors, as Peter says. If Peter knew his readers would read all of this into the text, does it seem a stretch to suggest that he foresaw it? Peter also stresses hostile individuals rather than devils in the context of this passage (1 Peter 3:14, 16). Who could have imagined that angels had sinned “during the construction of the ark,” as Peter’s readers did. The tale of the construction of the ark in Genesis does not contain any such information. As for angels sinning explicitly “during the construction of the ark,” we find no such reference in any of the Jewish traditions of interpretation of the flood myth, contrary to what some have asserted. It is also difficult to see how the argument that Peter is referring to Christ’s declaration of judgment to fallen angels could be convincing. Was Christ’s proclamation of liberation to Old Testament saints in 1 Peter 3:18–20 a reference to the event? Another theory is that Christ went to the Old Testament Christians after his death and declared their liberation, since they had been unable to enter heaven until Christ’s redeeming work was completed. The question is whether this interpretation appropriately accounts for what the text actually says this time around. However, it does not imply that Christ taught to those who were already believers or faithful to God, but rather to those “who formerly did not obey”—the focus is on their disobedience in the past. Peter does not specifically mention Old Testament Christians in general, but rather those who were disobedient “during the days of Noah, throughout the construction of the ark,” according to the text (1 Peter 3:20). Finally, there is no clear evidence in Scripture to lead us to believe that Old Testament believers were denied full access to the blessings of being in God’s presence in heaven when they died—in fact, several passages suggest that believers who died before Christ’s death did enter into the presence of God immediately because their sins were forgiven by trusting in the Messiah who was to come (Gen. 5:24
  • 2 Sam. 12:23
  • Pss. 16:11
  • 17:15
  • 23:6
  • Eccl More satisfactory explanation for 1 Peter 3:18–20. According to Augustine, the most satisfactory explanation of 1 Peter 3:18–20 appears to be one that was proposed (but not really defended) many years ago: the passage refers not to something Christ did between his death and resurrection, but rather to something he did “in the spiritual realm of existence” (or “through the Spirit”) during the time of Noah’s flood. At the time Noah was building the ark, Christ was teaching to the hostile unbelievers in his immediate vicinity “in spirit.” When taken in the full context of 1 Peter 3:13–22, this view is absolutely acceptable. There are various moments where the link between Noah’s circumstances and the condition of Peter’s readers is obvious.
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Such an interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18–20 appears to be by far the most plausible response to a perplexing passage in the New Testament. (5) 1 Peter 4:6 – “For this is why the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead,” reads the fifth and final scripture that confirms Jesus’ journey into hell. “For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though they were condemned in the body as men, they may live in the spirit as God.” This text implies that Christ visited Hell and proclaimed the gospel to those who had died.

  • Assuming this is true, it would be the only verse in the Bible to teach that there is a “second chance” for salvation after death, and it would be in direct opposition to passages such as Luke 16:19–31 and Hebrews 9:27, which appear to plainly rule out such a possibility.
  • This is a typical interpretation, and it appears to be much more appropriate for this poem.
  • In other words, Peter is claiming that it was because of the ultimate judgment that the gospel was proclaimed to the unbelievers who had died.
  • Thus, when examined in context, we find that this final verse does not give persuasive evidence for the belief of Christ’s fall into hell.
  • There are three verses that demonstrate that Jesus did not go to hell.
  • 1.

Those who disagree argue that “Paradise” refers to a place separate from heaven, but the word is clearly translated as “heaven” in both of the other New Testament instances where it appears: in 2 Corinthians 12:4 it refers to the place where Paul was caught up in his revelation of heaven, and in Revelation 2:7, it refers to the place where we find the tree of life–which is clearly referred to as heaven in Revelation 22:2 and 14.

  • 2.
  • This means that he would not fall into hell, but would instead enter immediately into the presence of the Father.
  • Luke 23:46 (KJV) Finally, Christ’s scream, “Father, into your hands I surrender my spirit” (Luke 23:46), shows that he anticipated (right) the immediate end of his agony and alienation, as well as the reception of his spirit into heaven by God the Father (cf.
  • What happened to Jesus when he died, if he didn’t go to hell as some believe?
  • Then, on the first Easter morning, Christ’s spirit was reunited with his body, and he was raised from the dead—just as Christians who have died will be rejoined with their bodies, and they will be resurrected to new life in their beautiful resurrection bodies when Christ comes.
  • We need not fear death not only because eternal life awaits us on the other side, but also because we know that our Savior has gone through exactly the same experience that we will go through.

Learn more about Jesus’ death and resurrection by visiting this website. Learn more about Jesus’ death, the atonement, and the resurrection—as well as why all of this is important. Enroll in Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology online course by clicking here.

Did Jesus Descend into Hell?

A common assertion in the Apostles’ Creed is that Jesus “descended into hell.” Most Christians are aware with this claim. My doubts are that they understand what this statement actually means or that they are able to reconcile it with the teachings of the Scriptures. What what happened when Jesus fell into hell, and when did it take place, is unknown. Is it true that Jesus died on the cross, as John Calvin claimed? Or did it take place after Jesus died and before He rose again from the grave, as many others have speculated and claimed?

  1. Is it possible that it was only figurative?
  2. It has been correctly pointed out that the word “descended into hell” does not appear anywhere in the Bible, and this is true.
  3. So, where can we turn for assistance in addressing these concerns?
  4. I believe that these scriptures provide the most accurate interpretation of the term “descended into hell” and demonstrate that the notion is in fact scriptural, despite the fact that the phrase itself does not appear in Scripture.
  5. At first glance, the sacrificial context of Hebrews 13:11 is obvious: “For the carcasses of those animals whose blood is carried into the holy regions by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burnt outside the camp,” says the author.
  6. 4:4–5).
  7. By doing so, he was impugning the animal with his own crimes (or the sins of the people around him), which meant that the animal had now been transformed into sin.

But why would you go outside the camp?

What was the message that sentence was intended to convey?

He dwelt in the midst of His people, and he did so in a manner that was distinct from the manner in which He dwelt outside the camp.

However, He was only covenantally and evangelically present within the camp, not outside of it.

Please allow me to clarify what I mean.

6:7; Jer.

Those who were outside the camp did not worship the covenantal God of Israel, and they did not belong to His people.

As a result, “outside the camp” referred to a location that was outside of God’s covenantal favor.

God was not evangelically present outside the camp, which means that God was exclusively working for the people’s benefit inside the camp, which is what I mean by “not evangelically present.” While God was certainly at work outside of the camp, He was not doing it for the benefit of those who were present, because they were not His people and He was not the God of those who were present.

  1. However, it is only applicable to Christians, or, as Paul puts it, to “those who love God” and “those who are called according to his plan,” respectively.
  2. In addition, the same fundamental concept may be applied to people who were living both within and outside of the camp.
  3. When God was outside the tent, he was only present in the form of judgment and anger.
  4. It is the only place whose residents may really and permanently assert that God is not their God, and that they are not His people, and that God is not their God.
  5. It should come as no surprise that Jesus alludes to hell as a region of “outer darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” on several occasions (e.g., Matt.
  6. That which is outside of God’s covenantal and evangelistic presence is known as the wilderness.
  7. That the Jews were compelled to transport their dead animals (whose guilt had been imputed to them) outside the camp and burn them in fire appears to reinforce this view, as the New Testament alludes to hell on several occasions as a place of burning.
  8. 25:41), “the unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43), and “the lake of fire.” It is also referred to as “the lake of fire” in Mark 9:43 and “the lake of fire” in Matthew 13:42 and 50.
  9. 20:14).
  10. 3:15) or as having been plucked “out of the flames” (1 Cor.
  11. (Jude 23).

Hebrews 13:12 is especially crucial in this context since it states: “SoJesus likewise suffered outside the gate in order to purify the people by his own blood.” To be clear, there is a direct relationship between Jesus’ death on the cross, which took place outside the city walls of Jerusalem, and the practice of burning animal offerings outside the camp in which he was raised in the Old Testament.

  • For just as animals were charged with the sins of their owners and then slaughtered before being transported to hell and completely devoured by fire, Christ was credited with the sins of His followers (2 Cor.
  • And the concept is that it all happened on the cross, which is where Jesus died.
  • This is when He spoke the well-known cry of dereliction, which goes as follows: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (See Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
  • As the sin-bearing sacrifice, Jesus was completely consumed by fire, and we are told that this took place “outside the gate” of the temple.
  • It was on the cross that He accomplished this, as He endured an eternity in hell for the sins of all His people who would ever live.
  • That means that there is no more hell for those who have placed their faith in Christ.
  • He stood in our place and accepted the judgment and wrath of God that was poured out against us as a result of our sin.

As a confirmation that His sacrifice had been accepted by God, He rose from the dead on the third day, confirming that He had been accepted by God. God, from whom all blessings flow, be praised!

Is It OK to Confess That Jesus Descended into Hell?

The Apostles’ Creed, which asserts that Jesus “descended into hell,” is well-known to most Christians. My doubts are that they understand what this term actually means or that they are able to reconcile it with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I’m curious as to how precisely Jesus fell into hell and when this occurred. Is it true that Jesus died on the cross, as John Calvin asserted? Or did it take place after Jesus died and before He rose again from the grave, as many others have speculated and believed?

  • Alternatively, was it just a metaphor?
  • In the Bible, the word “descended into hell” does not appear once, and this has been pointed out, and rightfully so.
  • So, where can we turn for assistance in addressing these issues?
  • Although the word “descended into hell” does not appear in Scripture, I believe that these scriptures provide the greatest meaning of the phrase and demonstrate that the notion is, in fact, scriptural, even if the phrase itself does not appear there.
  • At first glance, the sacrificial context of Hebrews 13:11 is obvious: “For the carcasses of those animals whose blood is carried into the holy regions by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burnt outside the camp,” says the Bible.
  • 4:4–5).
  • His actions were equivalent to imputing his own crimes (or the sins of others) to the animal, which resulted in the animal being transformed into a sinful being.

The reason for this, though, is outside the camp.

What did you want to communicate with that phrase?

Unlike the way He lived outside of the camp, He lived in the middle of His people and did so in a way that was distinct from the way He lived within it.

The only place He was physically present was within the camp, not outside of it, as a covenantal and evangelistic presence.

God was not covenantally present outside of the camp, which means that the promise “I will be your God, and you will be my people” was only applicable inside the camp, as opposed to outside of it (Ex.

7:23).

His covenantal presence did not extend beyond the confines of the camp, which was comprised of the twelve tribes of Israel who had assembled around the tabernacle to worship the Lord.

The location where He was not their God and they were not His people was the place where He was not their God and they were not His people.

While God was certainly at work outside of the camp, He was not doing it for the benefit of those who were present, because they were not His people and He was not the God of those who were there.

That is true, but it is only true for Christians or, as Paul puts it, for “those who love God” and “those who are called according to his plan.” People who are not part of God’s chosen people are not covered by this provision.’ In addition, the same fundamental concept may be applied to people who lived both within and outside of the camp.

  1. When God was outside the tent, he was only present in judgment and anger.
  2. God and His people are not their God, and they are not His people, according to the residents of this one and only spot on the face of the earth.
  3. It should come as no surprise that Jesus alludes to hell as a region of “outer darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” on many occasions (e.g., Matt.
  4. A location where God’s covenantal and evangelistic presence is not felt or seen.
  5. This view would appear to be confirmed by the fact that the Jews were compelled to transport the remains of the animals (that had become sinful by imputation) outside the camp and burn them in fire, because the New Testament often alludes to hell as a place of burning.
  6. 25:41), a “unquenchable fire,” and a “lake of fire” (Rev.
  7. The escape from hell is described as “as through fire” (1 Cor.
See also:  What Did The Shepherds Bring Jesus

3:15).

Once we get this, we can see that the Old Testament sacrificial system metaphorically necessitated that the corpses of the animals (which had become sinful as a result of imputation) be transported to hell and completely destroyed by fire.

For just as animals were credited with the sins of their owners and then slaughtered before being transported to hell and completely consumed by fire, Christ was credited with the sins of His followers (2 Cor.

16:26).

When Jesus died as our sin bearer, He went to hell, which is a realm outside of God’s covenantal and evangelistic presence, where He was completely destroyed by God’s wrath and judgement.

While serving as the sin-bearing sacrifice, Jesus was completely devoured by fire.

13:11–12 teaches that Jesus did in fact descend into hell.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

He went to the depths of hell so that we would never be forced to go there.

The judgment and anger of God against our transgressions was imputed to him as he stood in our place. Then, on the third day, He arose from the dead, confirming that His sacrifice had been accepted by the Supreme Being of the universe (God). Salute God, from whom all benefits emanate.

  • Why would he do such a thing? Did he suffer in that place? This is not stated anywhere in the Bible. Isn’t it clear from Luke 23:43 that Jesus was taken to paradise after he died?

And so forth. As a result of unanswered issues like these, some Christians choose to simply keep silent while their congregation recites this portion of the creed in their presence. Other churches have elected to remove the term entirely from their services. In fact, no other line of the Apostles’ Creed has elicited as much opposition from contemporary evangelicals as this one. In 1991, theologian Wayne Grudem published an article titled “He Did Not Descend into Hell: A Plea for Following Scripture Instead of the Apostles’ Creed,” which was published in the journal Theological Studies.

  1. As a result, if the Apostles’ Creed is at conflict with Scripture on this topic, we should plainly turn to the God-breathed source for our information (2 Tim.
  2. But even so, the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura has never dismissed the importance of creeds and confessions.
  3. Many of the questions and answers in the Heidelberg Catechism are based on the Apostles’ Creed, which is a central part of the Catholic faith.
  4. Is there a good explanation for this in this particular instance?
  5. Emerson is a professor at Oklahoma Baptist University, the executive director of The Center for Baptist Renewal, and the author of the blog Biblical Reasoning.

As Emerson argues in his new book, “He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday, in addition to being the ancient faith of the church, the doctrine of Christ’s descent is founded on a firm biblical foundation and has significant practical implications.

‘He Descended to the Dead’: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday

290 pages, published by IVP Academic in 2019. 290 pages, published by IVP Academic in 2019. This is a book that every evangelical and Reformed pastor, especially those who lead their congregations in reciting the Apostles’ Creed, should read. Emerson’s response will not be universally acclaimed. However, it deserves to be explored, and it has the potential to offer greater unity and understanding to the body of Christ if properly implemented. Three aspects regarding Christ’s descent from the cross that I wish to highlight from Emerson’s book will be discussed in this review.

What Christ’s DescentDoesn’tMean

First and foremost, it does not imply that Jesus suffered in the fiery depths of hell. Evangelicals, for whom the phrase “into hell” immediately conjure up pictures of Jesus being tortured, would benefit greatly from simply reading the title of the book. Emerson addresses this right away in his introduction: One issue that has to be made quite clear is that, before Calvin, the phrase “descended into hell” did not imply “descended into the abode of suffering.” Although the creedal Latin differs between ad inferna (which means “descended into hell”) and ad inferos (which means “descended to the dead”), both terms were used interchangeably until the Reformation.

  • (16) I don’t hold it against anyone who refuses to acknowledge that Jesus was tortured and killed in hell.
  • Consequently, I expect that one result of Emerson’s book will be that more churches will remove a superfluous stumbling barrier by modifying the language to something like “he descended to the dead” or something like (as many churches already have).
  • 42, 58).
  • Second, it does not just indicate that Jesus was subjected to the agonies of hell on the cross.
  • When taken as a theological statement, Emerson agrees with Calvin’s position: it is magnificently true that Jesus freed us from hell by suffering the terrible torments of God’s wrath on the cross.
  • The descend, in addition to being “completely unique” (100), disrupts the narrative framework of the creed, which places the descent after Christ’s crucifixion and death, as well as burial (107).
  • As a result, Reformed readers should be aware that Emerson’s point of view differs from Calvin’s and the Heidelberg Catechism’s.
  • 50, and with Emerson’s subtleties, it may be considered simply as an enlargement of that structure (205–6).
  • In particular, I’d recommend Jeffrey Hamm’s paper “Descendit: Delete or Declare?” for confessional Reformed readers.

During the Middle Ages, ideas like these were introduced into the religion, and they are still maintained by certain Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox today. They were not part of the ancient doctrine, however, and they are certainly not found in the Bible (91–97, 109), according to Emerson.

What Christ’s DescentDoesMean

Emerson summarizes it as follows:Jesus suffered death as all people do—his body was buried and his spirit was transferred to the land of the dead—and in doing so, he vanquished death and the grave by virtue of his divinity. (35–36) The fact that this term is so uncontroversial may appear surprising after wading through so much dispute. It’s hard to argue with the notion that Jesus’ soul “descended into the region of death.” Without a doubt, the point of contention is how you understand the phrase “the place of the dead.” However, even in this case, Emerson manages to dissipate a great deal of heat by his meticulous treatment of the language.

  1. Following Luke 23:43, Emerson observes that after Jesus died, he was reunited with the saints of the Old Testament in paradise.
  2. The deceased were always referred to as “descending into Sheol,” and the Creed employs the word “descended” rather than “ascended” when referring to the dead.
  3. In spite of this, it was not a place of anguish for Jesus, any more than it was for Abraham or Lazarus.
  4. The Old Testament saints do not need to be considered to be separated from God (Ps.
  5. As a Reformed Christian, I had always battled with the thought that Old Testament saints would have a different experience of the afterlife than we do, because it appeared to imply an excessive amount of discontinuity.
  6. If you believe in the traditional understanding of the incarnation, this should be self-evident to anybody who believes in it.
  7. According to Emerson, “the presence of Jesus in paradise.
  8. First, he is present with them in his human spirit throughout the descend, and then, following the ascension, he is present with them in his physical body.
  9. is paralleled in the New Testament by a change in the portrayal of the physical environment.
  10. This transition in the geographical depiction of paradise from the underworld to the third heaven (2 Cor.
  11. (135) There is a great deal more that might be stated regarding Emerson’s biblical argument.

Many of the passages are based on the prior work of Justin Bass’s The Battle for the Keys, which he acknowledges in the text. A number of scriptures, including Ephesians 4:9 and 1 Peter 3:18–22, as well as verses you may not anticipate, such Matthew 12:40 and Romans 10:6–7, support his position.

Why Christ’s Descent Matters

It is possible that you will be astonished by how many other theological concerns this concept touches on, even if you do not ultimately agree with Emerson’s reading of the biblical texts. The chapters in Part Two deal with the relationship between Christ’s descent and concepts such as:

  • A three-tiered cosmos is assumed (56, 134
  • Cf. Phil. 2:10
  • Eph. 4:9), with Jesus visiting and conquering on each tier. Anthropology: it is based on the assumption that human souls can live in a condition intermediate to that of their bodies (146–47)
  • 164
  • See also John 19:30). Soteriology: It serves as the beginning of Christ’s exaltation, coming as it does directly after the words “It is completed” (164
  • See. John 19:30).

These chapters clearly demonstrate the scholarly nature of the work. In contrast, the novel “He Descended to the Dead” opens and concludes with a pastoral heart (6–9, 208). Due to the fact that Christ’s ascension forces us to comprehend that he does not just understand what it is like to die. As a result, he understands what it’s like to be dead, to live in that blissful but unnatural condition of unclothed-ness (2 Cor. 5:4), and to dwell among the spirits of the dead. In the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection took place over three days and nights in the heart of the earth (Matt.

1:17, 2:16, and Luke 24:45).

Also also Matthew 12:40, Matthew 16:31, Matthew 27:63, Esther 4:16 and Esther 5:1).

He has experienced what it is like to be dead.

And when we or our loved ones find ourselves on the verge of death, we may take consolation in the knowledge that our Savior has already been there and done it.

1:18).

Do not remain mute the next time the Apostles’ Creed is being recited in your church.

Because the one who endured death on your behalf has now climbed to the highest realms and is even now preparing for his last descend into hell (1 Thess.

8 Bible Verses on Christ’s Descent into Hell

We studied the question “Why Did Christ Descend into Hell?” and discussed the four abodes of Hell in great detail. On this Holy Saturday, here are eight Bible scriptures that you should memorize and keep close by for apologetic purposes: It is in these eight passages that Christ is described as being lowered into the Limbo of the Fathers (also known as Abraham’s Bosom).

  1. In Ephesians 4:9, Saint Paul reminds us that Christ our Lord descended into Hell after giving His life on the cross for our sins. “Now that He has ascended, what is it except the fact that He initially descended into the lower sections of the earth?” says the author. Keep in mind that Hell is characterized as having “parts,” namely the four sections of Hell
  2. Saint Peter stated in Acts 2:24 that “God has raised up Christ, having loosed the pains of hell, since it was impossible for Him to be bound by it.” “Christ coming in spirit taught to those spirits that were in prison, who had for a long time been skeptical,” writes Saint Peter in 1 Peter 3:19 of the liberation of the Old Testament saints from torment. “Christ’s body was deposited in the sepulchre when He went to preach to those souls who were held in slavery, as Peter said,” Saint Athanasius explains in this passage. “O death, I will be thy death
  3. O hell, I will be thy bite,” Hosea prophesied in Hosea 13:14 as he placed these words into the mouth of the Messiah: “O death, I will be thy death
  4. O hell, I will be thy bite.”
  5. Zechariah prophesied about the redemption of those who were imprisoned in the Limbo of the Fathers in Zech 9:11: “Thou hast also sent The Messiah, according to Colossians 2:15, “despoiling the principalities and powers, He hath revealed them fearlessly.” What else could this indicate but that the Messiah will set mankind free from the underworld? Specifically, it alludes to Christ’s victory over the condemned angels, often known as the devils of Hell. Psalm 23:7: “Lift up your gates, O ye princes,” which the medieval Gloss translates as “that is–Ye princes of hell, take away your power, by which you have held men fast in hell”
  6. Psalm 23:8: “Lift up your gates, O ye princes,” which the medieval Gloss translates as “that is–Ye princes of hell, take away your power, by which you have held men According to Siracides (the author of Sirach), in Ecclesiasticus 24:45, “I shall penetrate to all the lower regions of the earth.”

I hope you find them to be of assistance. If you ever find yourself in a situation with a Protestant who believes simply in “Scripture alone,” you’ll want to have these in your toolbox. Please click here to join up for my newsletter and receive a free copy of one of my books. Please also look at Taylor’s works on Catholicism, which may be found on Amazon.com.

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