Paradise (abrahams bossom) and Hades different from Heaven and Hell?


I am doing a research paper on life after death in the christian tradition and in my readings i have come across such statements as:

“whereas paradies and Hades are temporary, prefinal judgement existences, heaven and hell are final domains for the re-embodied soul”

I alway understood in the RC tradition that upon death and our particular judgment we go fully to either heaven or hell, we just don’t expeirence it fully till the final jdugement and ressurection of our bodies. I didn’t think we had a waiting are or prefinal judgement existences?


I think that the Paradise you’re referring to was a holding tank for the O.T. Saints awaiting Christ and the Resurrection.

The Hades you’re probably referring to is where Christ’s soul descended (not the Hell of the damned) during his “death.”

Perhaps Paradise and Hades refer to the same thing?

Not sufficient information, I know.


No, the book is quite clear on its point that at death we go to a holding cell typ thing either paradise or hades then to Heaven or hell thereafter. The book si life after death: Christian Interpretation of Personal Eschatology

You say Christ descended to Hades not the Hell of the damned… i didnt know there was a dichotomy made between the two. I thought Christ descended to the dead, Hell, because that is where everyone went until Christ came and made it possible to enter heaven. He then released all the righteous souls and brought them with him to heaven?


Sheol, Hades and Purgatory may be different names for the same state…a place of cleansing before entering heaven.

Sheol - Hebrew
Hades - Greek
Purgatory - Latin

Gehenna was the word Jesus used for Hell proper.


You are correct regarding RC tradition and teaching. Abraham’s Bosom is OT. Abraham’s Bosom is where all of the “good” people went before the coming of Christ. When Jesus went down into the realm of the dead he brought those in Abraham’s Bosom to heaven. So now there is no bosom of Abraham, AFAIK.


but hades and sheol originally in the ot meant a shadowy underworld where everyone went (1 Samuel 28:8-9, Job 7:9, Psalm 6:4-5).

So, have we changed their original meanigns to fit a modern day interpretation of them?


dallas catholic - so then with your interpretation hades was the place for the bad ppl who were then sent to hell once jesus came? So there was no hell till He came?


No we have not changed their original meanings. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong…so here goes:
After the fall the gates of Heaven were closed to mankind. So no matter who you were you went to Sheol. The bosom of Abraham was a chamber of Sheol reserved for the righteous. It was separated from the rest of Sheol by a chasm. Those who were suffering torment in Sheol could look across the chasm at those who were in the bosom of Abraham.

When Christ died he went into Sheol and retrieved the righteous from the bosom of Abraham and took them to heaven. Since Christ opened the gates of heaven there is no longer a bosom of Abraham…or you can say the the bosom of Abraham now refers to Heaven.


awww that makes perfect sense. I get it now, is that officail teaching though?


i ask because im doing a paper and could incorporate that into it but i need official teaching and declaration. I can’t cite you as an authority :stuck_out_tongue: that wouldnt go over to well with my profs


How rude of them!:smiley: Maybe they will accept something from the Catholic Encyclopedia??

Or if they are really stuffy, maybe the Catechism?



the newadvent helps thank you


actually one problem:

“When Christ died he went into Sheol and retrieved the righteous from the bosom of Abraham and took them to heaven. Since Christ opened the gates of heaven there is no longer a bosom of Abraham…or you can say the the bosom of Abraham now refers to Heaven.”

this whole section is not part of the article you wrote and i can not find it in the CCC. Is this a unofiicial teaching and interpretation?

your first paragraph i found confirmed, not the above one


Whoa! I didn’t write the article in New Advent, I just found it after you asked for some other “authority”.
I don’t think there is any “official” Church teaching on the bosom of Abraham because it has never been questioned. I believe that you can argue, using the last sentance of the section of the Catechism that I cited, that since Christ took everyone out of the bosom of Abraham into heaven, and since there have been no righteous souls who cannot get into heaven since Christ redeemed all of mankind, that the bosom of Abraham no longer exists.

I think the last part of the article addresses the current status of the bosom of Abraham:

Since the coming of Our Lord, “the Bosom of Abraham” gradually ceased to designate a place of imperfect happiness, and it has become synonymous with Heaven itself. In their writings the Fathers of the Church mean by that expression sometimes the abode of the righteous dead before they were admitted to the Beatific Vision after the death of the Saviour, sometimes Heaven, into which the just of the New Law are immediately introduced upon their demise. When in her liturgy the Church solemnly prays that the angels may carry the soul of one of her departed children to “Abraham’s Bosom”, she employs the expression to designate Heaven and its endless bliss in company with the faithful of both Testaments, and in particular with Abraham, the father of them all. This passage of the expression “the Bosom of Abraham” from an imperfect and limited sense to one higher and fuller is a most natural one, and is in full harmony with the general character of the New Testament dispensation as a complement and fulfilment of the Old Testament revelation.

I guess to answer your question, it is a private interpretation since no official one is enumerated.


Thats what i was starting to wonder and believe, one of those cultural beleifs that extended beyond its initial boundaries.

p.s. i dont know why you said “whoa!” I wasn’t attacking you !!!


I know you weren’t attacking, my “whoa!” was in reference to your statement about me writing the article on New Advent:

this whole section is not part of the article you wrote and i can not find it in the CCC.

Both the Catechism and the New Advent article both teach that Christ brought everyone in Abraham’s bosom to Heaven…so even if it did continue to exist it would be empty. Hmmm now that I wrote that statement, I wonder… Maybe the Jews believe it still exists since they don’t accept Christ as the Messiah. I wonder if it is possible that some people might still wind up in the bosom of Abraham?


Oh i see what you meant, when i put you wrote i was referring to the part i quoted (your message on this thread) ahaha not the actual article :stuck_out_tongue: Misunderstanding lol.


I just wanted to make sure that years from now my journalistic integrity and career would not be blown to shreds because of charges of plagarism.:smiley:


Could you point me in the right direction of the CCC for this? I can’t find it. I looked on that site you gave me but it pulls up no references


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. 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.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit