Apostles Creed - Article 5?


#1

Please help me understand what is meant in the Apostles Creed, he descended into hell, the 3rd day, he rose again from the Dead. I thought Jesus Ascended into heaven? Why di he go to hell? What was his purpose in going there?


#2

[quote=CatMan]Please help me understand what is meant in the Apostles Creed, he descended into hell, the 3rd day, he rose again from the Dead. I thought Jesus Ascended into heaven? Why di he go to hell? What was his purpose in going there?
[/quote]

This is my understanding.

The hell that he decended into is not the hell of Satan. It was the place where all who died went to before Christ came. Heaven was closed until Christ’s resurrection. He went to release these souls so that they could enter Heaven.


#3

Also, there is a language/translation issue that must be taken into consideration. The Latin text is for the section you quote is:

…descendit ad inferos, tertia die ressurexit a mortuis…

The main issue of translation is the word “inferos” which is a form of infernus/infernum. This word, in the past, was always translated into English as “Hell” (to which it can refer). However, different languages do not always have equivalent words with equivalent meanings. In fact “infernus” also refers to the limbo of the fathers, limbo of infants, and even Purgatory as well. Probably a more correct translation for infernus/infernum would be “the place of the dead (that is not Heaven)”. In fact newer translations of the Apostle’s Creed don’t have “he descended into Hell”…they have “He descended to the dead”.

As for ascending to Heaven, that is the next part of the Creed:

“…He descended into Hell. The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty” or,

“…descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei, Patris Omnipotentis…”

As for what he did there, ByzCath is exactly right :thumbsup:


#4

I believe the hell our Lord was in for three days was simply the grave. Often times the word hell in the bible means simply the grave.


#5

I was under the impression that he went down to get those that had died who were under the protection of Abrahams bosom until he came to get them. Like in the story of Lazarus who is in Abraham’s bosom. I have already read about this in catholic answers library before.

Maybe you could look it up in there and you will get the answer you are looking for. I had wondered about that too and I found it in that library not that long ago.

Kerri


#6

By his death and Resurrection, Jesus opened heaven (Catechism, 1026). Prior to that time all who died went to “hell” however, the just went to a place in hell referred to as “the Bosom of Abraham” where they would be comforted. The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) indicates that there were two parts of hell. Both Lazarus and the rich man died and went to hell, but Lazarus was comforted in the bosom of Abraham while the rich man was in a place of torment. A great chasm separated the two parts.

The Catechism explains, “Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell”—Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek—because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him” (Catechism, 633)


Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Apologist

This was a question askedc in the ask an apologist question and this is what the apologists answered them. I hope this helps.

Kerri


#7

. CHRIST DESCENDED INTO HELL

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.477 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.478(Heaven had been closed, even to just men until Christ’s resurrection.)

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.479 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:480 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."481 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.482 (Today we call the “prison” where souls bound for heaven Purgatory.)

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."483 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."484 Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."485 Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."486

That e-mail you sent had 3 divisions of hell. I use the old word that the Early Church used. As the Greek and Hebrew were

more corecty translated we find that the place of the dead is not hell – as in the HELL AFTER FINAL JUDGEMENT. No, the damned , as I understand, are not now in the Final Firey Pit.

That comes After the Final Judgment. There are dead held in a “prison” yet they are bound for heaven when the chaff is burned away.

READ 1st PETER 3: 19 .“He preached to those who were in prison.”


#8

Jesus descended to the abode of the dead to preach to those who had died prior to his coming, and to whom the gates of heaven were closed until the coming of the saviour.


#9

[quote=CatMan]Please help me understand what is meant in the Apostles Creed, he descended into hell, the 3rd day, he rose again from the Dead. I thought Jesus Ascended into heaven? Why di he go to hell? What was his purpose in going there?
[/quote]

Jesus became a man to walk in our shoes. He took on our sins. Part of walking in our shoes is to decend into damnation for those sins. Jesus then conqured death and rose from the grave.


#10

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