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Jesus decended into hell?

When Christians recite the Apostles' Creed they affirm their belief that Jesus descended into hell.

There is no mention of this incident in the gospels, and the few references elsewhere in the New Testament are vague and not necessarily relevant. How, then, did the descent into hell find its way into the Creed?


Asked by IhartU at 10:58 AM on Sep. 1, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (22)
  • Found one more link that does a good job explaining the creed and the different concepts of the word hell:


    Answer by erdavh at 12:43 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • The way it was explained to me was that he didn't go into "Hell Proper" He just went into the "realm of the dead" as it were to retrieve the souls that should have gone to heaven. I asked the same thing when I was younger because i didn't get it either. I'm not sure if I totally buy that explanation either but thats how it was explained to me by my Pastor at the time.

    Answer by KaleaLani at 11:02 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • The Apostle's Creed is specific to one denomination (the Reformed church). Most Christian churches don't hold it as a doctrine.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:02 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Where did you find this info? I don't think I've ever heard that one before. I'm not saying you haven't read that, just that I'd like to see it for myself. Thanks

    Answer by lighthousemom3 at 11:02 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I grew up in a Methodist church where we said the Creed and it was also said in Catholic school, so I'm not making it up:


    Answer by IhartU at 11:08 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • What I find interesting is that it's not mentioned in the Bible (it MAY be mentioned in the book of Nicodemus, which is NOT included in the Bible), but it IS mentioned in Zoroastrianism- which was a popular religion before Christianity replaced it. Also in Greek myths, Hindu myths and Egyptians myths, etc... there are mentions of descending into 'hell' and then rising again.


    Answer by IhartU at 11:15 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • The Jewish concept of hell is different than the concept of hell we have today. This is from the catechism:

    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


    Answer by erdavh at 11:39 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • well it wasnt the Christian Hell but more like the Greek Hades or realm of the dead. everyone who died went there. i believe in the book of Nicodemus it says Hades, not Hell.

    but the church i grew up didnt follow any Creeds so i dont know much about it or why it would be in there. sounds like the work of men not God, but again i know nothing about it.

    Answer by okmanders at 11:41 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • When we lived with my boyfriends Mom she used to always say that Jesus went to Hell to "take back the keys" I asked her what she was talking about & she just told me to read my Bible. I was Christian then & would have liked a more specific direction but, that's all she told me, LOL. She didn't belong to a church then she was just born again & I know she liked most of the people on TBN but, other than that I don't know where she learned of that teaching.


    Answer by BubbaLuva at 11:59 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • So, I'm confused... Is the idea of everyone going to hell after they die to await heaven only a Catholic teaching? Is this the same as Purgatory or something totally different, not taught any more or was the hell after death thing changed into the idea of Purgatory?


    Answer by IhartU at 11:59 AM on Sep. 1, 2009