Did Jesus descend to hell after he died?


1 Peter 4:6

NKJV - 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 09 2023 A1b6a1d2 5fa9 4d61 9d7d ccd7aa767b40 M Loyd

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
My understanding is that, prior to Jesus' resurrection, the abode of the dead -- regarded as Hell, Hades, or Sheol -- was divided into two parts -- one a place of blessing (Paradise) and the other a place of punishment. It was to this abode that (as noted in the Apostles' Creed) Jesus descended prior to His resurrection to proclaim the atonement that He had gained through His death. When He was bodily resurrected and then ascended to Heaven, He took with Him the souls of the redeemed that had previously been in Paradise.

November 11 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Myface icon Rick Baugh Follower of Christ cleverly disguised as a software engineer
FIrst off, I might suggest that your scripture reference of 1 Pe 4:6 is likely not a good fit for your question. This epistle, in general, seems intended by Peter to encourage and uplift Christians facing horrific persecution at the hands of the Romans and sinners. This particular verse is not speaking of preaching the gospel to the lost who have died, by Christ or other Christians. Rather, in context of the paragraph, it is clearly speaking of Christians who were once lost, became reviled by former "friends" for no longer engaging in former sins, and ultimately killed for their faith. To make the meaning of the context more clear, many translations will state verse 4:6 as "...was preached to those who are _now_ dead...". Peter is saying that the gospel was preached to those who were killed for their faith so that, not only could they be justified before God and live by His standards, but also so that the vileness of those who will be judged by God will be fully exposed and their punishment justified. The same is true today.

A better fit for your question might be Eph 4:7-10, which does make reference of Jesus descending someplace, and then ascending again bearing gifts, gifts which Paul then states have been given to believers by Christ. The exact meaning of this descent/ascent is somewhat controversial, and many scholars do indeed think this is reference to Christ descending into hell. But then that would mean that the "captives" would be unsaved souls, and Revelation seems to suggest that the lost will not be raised until the Great White Throne judgement at the end of this Earth. Others believe this descent was to what the OT called "Sheol", where those who believed God and died dwelled before Christ. In this case, the "captives" would be the faithful, like Abraham, Joseph, Jacob and David, who were then released from Sheol to live with Christ in heaven, just as we will do so immediately when we die.

So in the first case, the answer to you question would be "Yes", but in the second case "No". I tend to think the 2nd case is a better fit to the full context of the Bible, for my 2¢.

November 11 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining