Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Judgement and Punishment

Did Jesus descend into hell?

(1/6) > >>

This is a very important question which requires a very good answer because it's one of the key questions about Christianity.

Well, I read some articles about Lazarus and the rich man and that we can't tell for sure that sheol is divided into two literal places - Abraham's lair and a burning hell. BUT! In my church the pastor said that Jesus descended INTO THE ABRAHAM'S LAIR ... and got the believers with himself in paradise while the others remained in sheol. As a result when you die you go immediately with God if yo believe in Jesus OR you go to sheol ( hell ) if you are  an unbeliever.
What would you say?

Some would say that this life is Sheol....meaning this life can be a paradise or a hell.

If this is true.....it would mean that Jesus' Spirit was really slain prior to His physical birth......and that His incarnation into this realm is His descent into Hell and His resurrection was His ascension back to heaven.

Any thoughts??


--- Quote from: B_T on October 01, 2007, 10:41:05 PM ---
Well, I read some articles about Lazarus and the rich man and that we can't tell for sure that sheol is divided into two literal places - Abraham's lair and a burning hell. BUT! In my church the pastor said that Jesus descended INTO THE ABRAHAM'S LAIR ... and got the believers with himself in paradise while the others remained in sheol
--- End quote ---

Well, B_T perhaps you could ask the pastor of your church, what was the outcome of the Lord Jesus Christ preaching to "disobedient" spirits in the prison house of sh@owl/ hades?

1 Peter 3:18-20

"Christ once for all died for sins, the innocent One for the guilty many, that He might bring us near to God, being put to death in physical form, but His spirit entering upon new Life.

By which He also went and preached to imprisoned spirits which sometimes were disobedient and refused obedience long ago when the longsuffering of God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the construction of the ark, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved through passing through the waves." 

1. What was the purpose of Jesus Christ ministering to disobedient dead upon His resurrection from the dead?

2. Who were these disobedient spirits?

3. What was the outcome of the ministry of Jesus Christ to the spirits of disobedience?

4. What did many of the earliest church fathers believe transpired when Jesus Christ preached to these spirits of disobedience from the days of Noah?

5. What is Zao?

--- Quote ---Millions of hells of sinners cannot come near to exhaust infinite grace. -Samuel Rutherford-
--- End quote ---

ABRAHAM'S BOSOM by J. Preston Eby

The Parable

The Rich Man


The Deaths of the Rich Man and Lazarus

Abraham's Bosom
Lazarus In Abraham's Bosom

The Rich Man In Torment

The Great Gulf



--- Quote from: B_T on October 01, 2007, 10:41:05 PM ---Well, I read some articles about Lazarus and the rich man and that we can't tell for sure that sheol is divided into two literal places - Abraham's lair and a burning hell.

--- End quote ---

Here's something I posted on mychurch.com:

(quote) The good starting point I was referring to would be a quick easy study in the Hebrew and Greek concerning the words translated in the KJV as 'hell'. Almost every reference (all but 13) are Sheol (OT) and Hades (NT) which are synonymous terms. These two terms at NO TIME denote anything except (also translated as) the grave, the pit (holes where people are buried?) the state of the dead, the 'hidden state' ect.

All living persons who die, the good bad and ugly - ALL go there. Please DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. Study it out.

Now, the ONLY place which talks about 'fire' in Hades AND two compartments in Hades (the other compartment being the bosom of Abraham) is in the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man, which, incidently, never mentions anything about faith in God or salvation, just that one was rich and had a good life and the other was poor and sick and had a bad life.

Questions about this ONE referrence SHOULD be asked, since a huge theological doctrine has been built around it (which you're not supposed to do from one scripture!) This one 'hitch' in the absolutely certain meaning of hades and sheol throughout scripture MUST have an explanation, one that may surprise you. (end quote)

This should make it clear - there are no 2 compartments, angels don't escort people's spirits around after death, even 'Abraham's bosom' is never mentioned except in this one 'parable'. Also, this is the only place in scripture where sheol or hades have anything to do with fire at all (in the bible).

Pagan mythology, however, is replete with descriptions of the good and bad places - the 'two' compartments in death doctrine has it's origin in pagan mythology and apparently seeped it's way into the Jewish religious system (possibly while they were in captivity to one of these pagan nations?)

So, bottom line, the Pharisees had such a doctrine, the bible doesn't. Jesus took there OWN teaching and turned it upside down on them. (ie: they said the rich were obviously blessed by God and the poor/diseased obviously cursed)

So, in answer to your question, Yes - Jesus went to 'death', 'the grave' the only ONE there is to go to.

 - b

I had this exact question a few days ago and was looking for the verse.  No wonder I did not find it, I was looking for descend and hell as keywords, So it is Prison.

Well I did a word search on Prison and it translates Prison or Watch or Prisoner or Imprisonment.

Again this comes from the Apostolic Creed below.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.  
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
he descended into hell;
the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.  

I omitted the RCC tail piece

Some comments from creeds.net

The final clause in this sequence, "He descended into hell," is the most controversial in the Apostle's Creed. Indeed, some denominations consider it optional or refuse to include it at all. The problem with this phrase begins with what it connotes. To some, the descent into hell represents the physical agony of death upon the Cross. It was hellish in its pain. To others, the word hell means Hades or Sheol, the collective abode of the dead, divided into Paradise or Abraham's Bosom--the state of God-fearing souls--and Gehenna, the state of ungodly souls. Thus the descent into hell may suggest that the Son of God carried the sins of the world to hell; or the Son of God carried Good News of deliverance to the godly dead such as Lazarus the beggar and the repentant thief. A third-century Syrian Creed speaks of Jesus, "who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and departed in peace, in order to preach to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the saints concerning the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead."

Still others believe that the descent into hell account for the problem of God's justice by providing an opportunity for all mankind--in eternity as well as in time--to hear the message of redemption from the Word Himself. But whatever interpretation one accepts, the scriptural passages upon which this teaching is based must be studied closely. Some of the standard texts are Job 38:17, Psalm 68:18-22; Matthew 12:38-41; Acts 2:22-32; Romans 10:7; Ephesians 4:7-10, 1 Peter 3:18-20, and 1 Peter 4:6.

Now applying a 2nd witness principle, and knowing that some text was tampered with, I have a hard time believing anything else but Jesus descended into the grave.

1Pe 3:18-21  
For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit; in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, to disobeying ones.

When once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared (in which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water);   which figure now also saves us, baptism; not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

Here I have deliberately changed the punctuation without altering the text.  We know punctuation, chapters and verses were inserted by translators.

Read the way it is punctuated above, the story changes quite a bit.

in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, to disobeying ones

What does the in which also refer to?

1. For Christ also once suffered for sins,
2. the just for the unjust,
3. that He might bring us to God,
4. indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;

in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison5438, to disobeying ones.

Prison G5438 φυλακή phulakē foo-lak-ay'
From G5442; a guarding or (concretely guard), the act, the parson; figuratively the place, the condition, or (specifically) the time (as a division of day or night), literally or figuratively: - cage, hold, (im-) prison (-ment), ward, watch.

G5442 φυλάσσω phulassō foo-las'-so
Probably from G5443 through the idea of isolation; to watch, that is, be on guard (literally or figuratively); by implication to preserve. obey, avoid: - beware, keep (self), observe, save. Compare G5083.

G5443 φυλή phulē foo-lay'
From G5453 (compare G5444); an offshoot, that is, race or clan: - kindred, tribe.

G5083 τηρέω tēreō tay-reh'-o
From τηρός teros (a watch; perhaps akin to G2334); to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon; and thus differing from G5442, which is properly to prevent escaping; and from G2892, which implies a fortress or full military lines of apparatus), that is, to note (a prophecy; figuratively to fulfil a command); by implication to detain (in custody; figuratively to maintain); by extension to withhold (for personal ends; figuratively to keep unmarried): - hold fast, keep (-er), (ob-, pre-, re) serve, watch.

G5453 φύω phuō foo'-o
A primary verb; probably originally to "puff" or blow, that is, to swell up; but only used in the implied sense, to germinate or grow (sprout, produce), literally or figuratively: - spring (up).

The Greek word G5438 φυλακή phulakē foo-lak-ay' is used only once in Peter and every other occurance relates to prison, watch etc.  Now how prison becomes an allegory for Gehenna I cannot see it by this analysis.

Even the RCC's I have discussed this with on baptism, this verse comes up but they cite it as I have split it as one of their proof texts.

I would go along in part with SG's take except that whom Jesus' ministered to here on earth were prisoners to their lot in Adam and being under the law.

The descend into hell where hell elsewhere is viewed as Eternal Torment as opposed to grave is where the issues arise.  Notice it only appears in the creed and is not backed convincingly by scripture.

I would like to hear other's take on this

Edit: I looked at other proof texts that I forgot to copy in with the comments, but still do not see it.  In 1 Peter 4:6 For to this end the gospel was preached also to the dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the Spirit.

This in no way infers that this verse speaks of preaching in the grave only the dead.  "In Context" it is merely a statement of fact.

Matthews account tells of the graves opening up and many appeared at the time of Jesus' death, now they were dead.

In light of other views I have on UR, What would Jesus have needed to preach?  If the bit of Abraham's bosom is believed as a literal place, He would have just needed to stretch out His hand and take them with Him.  Had He appeared in this Abraham's Bosom, He sure would have looked differently to the rest of the folk there and would not have had to say one word except "Come".



[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version