Apostles' Creed


#1

The Methodist Church has the Apostles’ Creed as “He ascended into Heaven” while the Catholic Church Creed says “He descended into Hell” Can someone explain why?


#2

[quote=1Stephen1]The Methodist Church has the Apostles’ Creed as “He ascended into Heaven” while the Catholic Church Creed says “He descended into Hell” Can someone explain why?
[/quote]

…He was crucified, died, and was burried.
He descended into hell.
The third day, he rose again.
He ascended into heaven…

That’s the part of the Apostles Creed. Both statements are in it, at least in the historic creed. The reason is that he, indeed, descended into Hades, and then subsequently ascended into heaven.


#3

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.

The above is from the Sicklerville United Methodist Church. As you see, it has both “descended to the dead” AND “ascended into heaven”.

The one below is from the Catholic.org.uk site.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and Earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church,
the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

Same thing. “Descended to the dead”, “ascended into heaven”.

There is NO DIFFERENCE.


#4

Traditional Version

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 Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he come again to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

This is the version that I was raised with…so it is all I ever knew! There is the Ecumenical version on this same website, gbgm-umc.org, that I had never seen before, that does have the phrase you quoted. I’m sounding pretty ignorant here…but what is the scripture reference for the “descended to Hell”?


#5

The traditional Methodist version that I learned all those years ago is:
I believe in God the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his son our Lord, who was concieved by the Holy Ghost [Spirit], born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified,dead, & buried.
** He descended into hell**. The third day He rose again from the dead.** He ascended into heaven**, & sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the quick & the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost [Spirit]; the holy catholic church,the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

I have never heard it without both these phrases!! I have no idea why you have heard it another way…This is the way it is said in the UMC, the Free Methodist, the Wesleyan Methodist, the Nazarenes, & the Pilgrim Holiness churches.


#6

gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/apcreed.html
That is the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC website. My mother, that has been in the Methodist Church forever, was asking me the same question I’m asking here. She has recently joined a Lutheran Church and heard the “descended to Hell”, which she had never heard before! That’s 45 years in Methodist Churches from Southern California to Northeast Oklahoma. So, likewise, it’s the only thing I ever knew.
I really feel that God is calling me to understand more about my faith, on a faith level as well as a scholar level, and really want to understand this. Did Jesus descend into Hell to take the punishment for the sins of us before he ascended?


#7

I have always been taught that “descended into hell” or “descended to the dead” are references on how Christ conquered sin…sin results in hell/death and to conquer sin, Christ had to experience it in order to rise above it and truly come out as the savior of our souls


#8

Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens."476 The Apostles’ Creed confesses in the same article Christ’s descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth:

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.478 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.479

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")">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.480 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”:481 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."482 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.483


#9

**“HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN” **

631 Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens."476 The Apostles’ Creed confesses in the same article Christ’s descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth:

Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.477

Paragraph 1. 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.478 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.479

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.480 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”:481 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."482 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.483

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. 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."485 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."486 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."487

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."488

**IN BRIEF **

636 By the expression “He descended into hell”, the Apostles’ Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil “who has the power of death” (*Heb *2:14). 637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.


#10

1 Peter 3:19 is believed to be a reference to his descent.


#11

For a more complete discussion, check out the Catechism of Catholic Church (CCC) at the Profession fo Faith, Section Two, Article 5 - “HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN”

In brief it states, "By the expression “He descended into hell”, the Apostles’ Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil “who has the power of death” (Heb 2:14).

In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him."

This link will take you on line to this particular section of the CCC.
christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed7.html


#12

sorry. i was typing up my response above while John Henry beat me too it - the CCC.


#13

Jesus did not go to hell to pay any debt. He finished the work of salvation on the cross. Right before he died and commended His spirit to His Father, he said, "It is finished" or ***“It is accomplished”***.
The debt had been paid in full. To espouse the theory that He had to go to hell to finish paying the debt is heresy.
God bless you on your spiritual journey as you walk in your faith.

“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” - St. Jerome


#14

[quote=1Stephen1]gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/apcreed.html
That is the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC website. My mother, that has been in the Methodist Church forever, was asking me the same question I’m asking here. She has recently joined a Lutheran Church and heard the “descended to Hell”, which she had never heard before! That’s 45 years in Methodist Churches from Southern California to Northeast Oklahoma. So, likewise, it’s the only thing I ever knew.
I really feel that God is calling me to understand more about my faith, on a faith level as well as a scholar level, and really want to understand this. Did Jesus descend into Hell to take the punishment for the sins of us before he ascended?
[/quote]

OK, we’re all in the :ehh: [weird music begins to swell] twilight zone…I just looked it up in the Book of Worship. The “He descended into hell” is to be :confused: omitted when it is said at the:confused: dedication of a church building.(I can think of several inappropriate jokes about that!!
One spot does say that it is “optional”–but also “traditional”. So I checked John Wesley’s “order for worship”; it is right in there the way I have always said it.
I haven’t got a clue!! The only thing I can think of is that since the phrase is not in the Nicene creed, and since we rarely say that one, that the 2 have somehow been conflated…
My understanding is that Jesus descended into hell[the place of the dead, the grave, sheol] to “preach to the spirits in prison”–ie, those who had died in faith before His coming to earth.


#15

[quote=petro]For a more complete discussion, check out the Catechism of Catholic Church (CCC) at the Profession fo Faith, Section Two, Article 5 - "HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN"
In brief it states, "By the expression “He descended into hell”, the Apostles’ Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil “who has the power of death” (Heb 2:14).
In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him."
This link will take you on line to this particular section of the CCC.
christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/creed7.html
[/quote]

That’s what I learned in the Methodist church, too…which is why I’m so bewildered…Maybe there is some new liberal teaching I’m not aware of?? Maybe I need to ask Pastor…


#16

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