Stump the Rector

Ron posted:
A friend on FB posted this status today. “On this day, Jesus preached to the souls in Sheol. All who believed joined the processional on Resurrection morning when Jesus plundered hell and gave gifts to men.” I heard this reference to Jesus visiting hell before but don’t recall where it is found in the Scriptures.

Ron, the passage that is used to support this view is found in in 1 Pet 3

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

People are sometimes offended in the older version of the Apostles’ Creed, which declares that Jesus descended into hell, but they need not be offended as this passage from 1 Peter reveals. The issue really is a matter of how “hell” is interpreted. Moderns think of Dante’s Inferno and the place of ultimate punishment but ancients used it as a synonym for a place of the dead. The Hebrews called this place Sheol. The idea of Jesus plundering or harrowing hell is that He went to the place of the dead and preached to all those who came before Him.

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