Archive for the ‘Sheol’ tag
On this website, under the “My World View” link, I use the Apostles’ Creed as a succinct statement of what I believe. I was recently asked about the statement “He descended into Hell.” Did Jesus really descend into Hell? All I could say was, “I think so, but I’ve never studied this in depth; I’ll have to get back with you with a more informed response.” The following essay captures what I’ve learned after some recent study.
The phrase “He descended into Hell” does not occur in the Bible, however, it is commonly found in the Apostles’ Creed. The Apostles’ Creed was defined over a long period of time from about A.D 200 – 750. The phase in question has been added and dropped a few times over the years and is now found in most, if not all, versions of the Creed. For example, it can be found in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
The phrase remains somewhat controversial based on what I’ve read. For example, there are many websites containing very detailed studies of this topic that conclude Jesus did indeed descend into Hell after he died. On the other hand, I have a book titled “Systematic Theology” by Wayne Grudem that has a Chapter 27, Section C.2.f “Did Christ Descend Into Hell? that concludes “Concerning the doctrinal question of whether Christ did descend into hell after he died, the answer from several passages of Scripture seems clearly to be no.”
With that said, here are the notes I’ve captured on the topic and my conclusion.