Did Jesus go to Hell


Taken from the Apostle’s Creed

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.
He descended into hell;
The third day He rose again from the dead;

Is it true Jesus descended into hell??


In reality, the ‘hell’ that Jesus descended into is a poorly translated idea of the old Hebrew belief of (and I am probably going to spell it wrong, so look it up in the Catholic Encyclopedia online) Shaol.
No one could go to heaven before Jesus’ death and resurection. Jesus descended into ‘hell’ where the people of the Old Covenant waited His death and resurection. He ‘liberated them’ so to speak, and granted them access to heaven.

That is what that passage means.


Jesus didn’t actually go to what we call Hell. The place he actually went was called the Limbo of the Fathers.



[quote=LSK]In reality, the ‘hell’ that Jesus descended into is a poorly translated idea of the old Hebrew belief of (and I am probably going to spell it wrong, so look it up in the Catholic Encyclopedia online) Shaol.



Jesus gave a parable about two places: the bosom of Abraham, and hell. So it had some divisions or levels.

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell.

This was before Jesus opened heaven.

Here is a verse which refers to a “prison” where Christ descended to preach to the souls from the times of Noe:

2 Peter 3:19 In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: 20 Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.

This shows that there is a place that is temporary for holding souls, and that it is not heaven. What is interesting is that He “preached” to them.

The Catechism says that the main point being made is that Jesus really did die, and go where all the others who had died had gone.

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.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

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

634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.” 483 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."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


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.



Hello Archangel-Jon,

according to the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, he did descend into Hell:



Whether this is accurate is a different matter.

God bless,


Then Anne Catherine Emmerich is wrong.

read Shades of Sheol by Johnson.


OK Daniel, I rushed out and bought a copy. Which page(s)
should I look in?

What does Johnson have to say?



He paid for all our sins…

personally, i believe He may have actually went to hell…

here is something i think about in relation to that…

We say, and it’s almost universally accepted, that hell is
the absence of God… being totally separated from Him…

we know that God is omnipresent… all time is now to
God, and God is every place…

when Jesus was on the cross, he said, “Eli, Eli, lema
sabachthani”, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken

i know what a lot of people say Jesus was saying here,
what this meant,but…

what if at that moment, He had decended into hell
to receive the punishment for our sins?? not the days
he was in the tomb, but while he was on the cross…
when he was ‘in the tomb’, i’m sure he was delivering the
message to those in the ‘bosom of Abraham’…

afterwards, the first thing He said was, 'it is accomplished’
and then afterwards, ‘Father into your hands I commend my spirit’…

My God, why have you forsaken Me?.. was that a cry
from hell??

just something to think about…



that is a very good thought…


By definition Jesus could not have entered inot hell because hell is the complete seperation from the Beatific Vision. Jesus as the second person of the Holy Trinity could not be apart from the Beatific Vision.

Further, Jesus did not receive punnishment for our sins but rather made atonment for them upon the Cross. There is an important distinction between the two. Jesus is the unblemished Lamb of God that was freely offered in Sacrafice for the atonment of our sins by the High Priest (hence a free gift of the self to the Father for us men). This sacrificial Lamb is not punnished but is the means of atonment for the sin of Adam.


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