Apostle's Creed, Jesus and Hell


The Apostle’s Creed says that “…He descended into hell: on the third day He rose again from the dead…”
I have always wondered why Jesus, the Son of God, would need to go to hell since He has never committed a sin and did nothing but Good on earth. Since He lived live on earth as man would, does that mean we all have to spend some time in hell after we pass away?


To go and get Adam :slight_smile: his love knows no boundaries and will find us wherever we are.


In modern times we tend to use the word “Hell” to refer only to the “fiery pit of damnation,” but there are several Biblical worlds which are commonly translated as “Hell” but refer to different places/ideas. Hell, in this case, just means the abode of the dead. Jesus didn’t descend to the place of punishment, but to the place where the souls of all the righteous men and women who lived and died before Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross went, and he brought those righteous souls to Heaven. That is what we mean when we say he descended to Hell.

I make it all sound so physical, of course, but we’re talking spiritual concepts. I’m not saying Jesus had a physical key he used to unlock some physical doors or anything like that.


Thank you so much, Wesrock. Your answer makes much sense. I am grateful.


Thank you for your reply. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated.


To kick butt and take names . . .


As the Resurrection Matins repeatedly sing, “By death He traced death, and to those in the tomb, He granted life!”


The Creeds were written out of the early church councils. These councils affirmed doctrine and denied heresies.
One heresy or school of thought was Jesus was not really human so therefore could not really die, so therefore was not resurrected.
The line in the creeds ‘he descended into hell’. Affirms Jesus is and was human, did die, and subsequently was resurrected.

Hell was a place the dead went. In Jewish religion.


I have seen translations where it was softened to “He descended to the dead.”


That would probably be the better translation actually.


The Catechism discusses this in Paragraphs 633-637



Roseeurekacross: Thank you for your informative explanation. I am getting smarter :slight_smile:


PaulfromIowa: Many thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Catechism. Should have been one of my resources for the answer, but didn’t enter my mind. Thanks.


And Eve, and Abraham, and Moses and all the pre-Resurrection saints.


Me too, that was the original intention of the statement ‘He descended into Hell’ In both the Nicene and Apostles Creed.


One needs to have a fuller understanding of the term “hell” and a bit of church history

One of the major reasons for Christ coming to earth and His Resurrection was to UNLOCK the gate to heaven which had been in “LOCKOUT” before it even really became used {though Adan & Eve gave it a trial run. READ Genesis 3:24}

Consequently all the human Souls {rational and immortal Gen 2. 6:7} that died were literally LOCKED OUT {GOOGLE Limo of the Fathers} until Christ rose from the dead; and making possible OUR own resurrection AND Jesus having THEN unlocked the gate to heaven; making conditionally possible for ALL who merit it to enter in.

This 'hell" was the Limbo of the Fathers; the place that all the Souls that merited heaven but were locked out of it until the Resurrection. It was a place of NO suffering; BUT incomplete joy as they were for a time, were denied the Beatific Vision {BEING in Gods actual Pretense}

Jesus May Have made a quick stop in HELL to show HIS Mastery over it also.

God Bless you,


Thank you so much, Patrick, for your really good explanation. This makes so much sense.


You ARE so very welcome,

I’m grateful that I could help you,
Pray very much,


Ahha that’s where purgatory comes in. To be cleansed lightly with fire , hellfire’. Well Jesus is the one who cleanses away the sin so that a person can enter the fullness of Heaven rather than staying in prison paying back for all those sins until the last penny is paid. Jesus being the gate can open the doors… That’s why Jesus is there, opening doors and letting people into heaven


Thank you to all for your generous time and answers. They are all very much appreciated.
God bless you all.


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