Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jesus in Hell?: Part 1

I haven't posted a debate in a while, so this should be fun. What follows is a debate currently taking place at the HCR "General Theology" board on whether or not Jesus descended into hell. The debate is mostly between me and a poster by the name of "exodus." His words will be in dark gray/silver/whatever you want to call it.
Hey I was having an interesting discussion with my friends and then the topic was, "Did Jesus go to Hell?" Without sayin what I think I wanna know what u guys think first. Did Jesus go to Hell? Use scriptures that we can read while we continue to discuss it. Thanks, Exodus
Yes, he went to hell, but by "hell" we should understand Hades, the abode of the dead, not Gehenna, the abode of the damned. That Jesus descended into "hell" is one of the most ancient Christian beliefs, as witnessed by the mention of it in the Apostle's Creed:
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 believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.
As for a Scriptural defense, we know first of all that Jesus was like us in all things, but sin (Heb 2:17; 4:15). The descent into Hades was something that every soul experienced, and Jesus did too. But, we need not worry about who shall go down to save him from this abyss (Rom 10:6-8). Thankfully, He was not abandoned there like David was (Acts 2:27-31). Instead, he conquered it! He preached the gospel even to the dead (1 Pet 4:6) and he ascended from that place, leading with him a host of captives (Eph 4:8). He now holds the keys to death and Hades (Rev 1:17-18), and we have the courage to say, "O death (thanatos), where is thy victory? O death (Hades), where is thy sting?" (1 Cor 15:55).

For more on this, you may also wish to read my debate with Seal on 1 Pet 3:18-20.

I hope that helps.

Pax Christi,

1 comment:

Maria Helena said...

"...the firey pit of the damned. That place is Gehenna. Instead, it is referring to Hades, the abode of the dead, the place where all souls--both the righteous and the unrighteous--went when they died. Jesus went there to save all of the righteous souls who came before him and to lead them up to heaven. After the righteous departed Hades, it became simply a place of torment for sinners, what we commonly think of when we hear the word "hell."

So, what is the diff b/n Hades & Gehenna? Honestly, I don't remember ever hearing of Gehenna or "another" Hell. Was there a Purgatory before Jesus went into Hades? Does Gehanna still exist? Is the past tense "...went when they died...", b/c righteous souls no longer go to Hades, but Purgatory instead? Did all people go to Hell or was that something special that Jesus did for us? Am I correct in thinking that Heaven-bound people go to Purgatory then Heaven and people who do not feel remorse for their sins go straight to (one place) Hell?

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