Scrupulosity saying the Apostle's Creed?


I seem to have a problem with the new way the church wants us to say the creed… yes, I was one who fell away and came back recently. I noticed we need to say that Jesus descended into Hell. I feel disturbed by saying that. What’s my problem?


It is referring to the place of the dead. Jesus’ death and resurrection opened the gates of heaven. So, the people who had passed away prior were now being brought to heaven. We don’t believe that He went to hell-where the eternally damned are.


You don’t like reverting to earlier English versions? :wink:

No, seriously. Saying “descended to the dead” is a translation that only goes back to the late 1960s and IMO didn’t really become popular until sometime in the 1980s. The earlier English translation of the Apostles’ Creed used the word “hell”. That is what people used to say when saying the Rosary.

As was mentioned, in this case “hell” is not referring to the state of eternal damnation. It is referring to the “place of the” (state of being) dead.


Ahh…I see. That makes more sense. So it’s not the actual hell! :slight_smile: That’s great, thank you both!


The Latin is descéndit ad ínferos

Inferus - “below, lower, of the lower world, the dead”

To provide a little perspective, Livy used the expression “ab inferis existere” (to rise from the dead). (from Cassell’s Latin Dictionary)

As always, if the English bothers you, say it in Latin.

Crédo in Déum, Pátrem omnipoténtem, Creatórem cáeli et térræ. Et in Jésum Chrístum, Fílium éjus unícum, Dóminum nóstrum: qui concéptus est de Spíritu Sáncto, nátus ex María Vírgine, pássus sub Póntio Piláto, crucifíxus, mórtuus, et sepúltus: descéndit ad ínferos: tértia díe resurréxit a mórtuis: ascéndit ad cáelos: sédet ad déxteram Déi Pátris omnipoténtis: índe ventúrus est judicáre vívos et mórtuos.
Crédo in Spíritum Sánctum, sánctam Ecclésiam cathólicam, Sanctórum communiónem, remissiónem peccatórum, cárnis resurrectiónem, vítam ætérnam. Amen.


Is it okay to say “into the dead” instead of “into hell”?



I like everyone posts. I just wanted to add that it is found in scripture so maybe that helps you.

“For Christ also suffered[d] for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you[e] to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water.”

1Peter 3:18-20

closed #9

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