Jesus Went to Hell, But Nobody Wants to Talk About It

“It was Saturday that Jesus Christ went to Hell.”

This is one phrase that Christians, whether mainline or evangelical, Catholic or Protestant, will likely not hear from the pulpit this week. And yet the story of Christ’s descent to the underworld has deep roots in tradition.

The fourth century Apostle’s Creed tells us that following his crucifixion, but before his resurrection, Jesus “descended to the dead.” The Athanasian Creed of at least a century later is more explicit, Christ “descended into hell.” Depending on context and translation Jesus either journeyed to Sheol, Hades, or Hell. But allowing for differences in language Christianity held—and technically still holds as a central tenet—the view that Jesus spent the gap between his death and resurrection “harrowing” Hell, that is journeying to the underworld to liberate the imprisoned souls of the Hebrew patriarchs who had been imprisoned there since their deaths.

Contemporary congregations will often translate “hell” into a more palatable “death” or “the grave.” There is something unseemly in the idea of Jesus among the murders, rapists, fornicators and heretics of Hell. And yet it was central to Christological accounts of salvation for two millennia that God Himself be present in the lowest rung of creation  to justify redemption for all mankind.

Holy Saturday was a day in which God was not in His heaven, but rather in his Hell.

It was a theme fervently embraced in the medieval world. Christ’s “harrowing” (a word that comes to us from Middle English) seems to have been prefigured in classical sources: Ulysses visits Hades; Orpheus, the father of poetry, barely made his escape from the underworld. Perhaps it’s these pagan associations that make the idea so unpopular today. In the Inferno Virgil tells Dante of the “mighty one” who spirits the Hebrew patriarchs off to heaven (as he is in hell the Latin poet is unable to actually speak Christ’s name). The Middle English poem of Sir Orfeo conflated Orpheus and Christ in their harrowing, and one can easily see the war-like Anglo-Saxons being attracted to the militarism of a conquering Jesus crashing through the gates of hell as if through a medieval city.

As far as credal confessions of Christianity go, the harrowing of Hell may be the least remarked upon in the contemporary world. Some Protestants, citing a lack of scriptural backup, have abandoned it; others have softened the edges around the word “hell.”

I’d argue that this relative silence reflects a discomfort with some of the frankly weird aspects of Christianity. As a faith Christianity has always been defined by its paradoxes: God can become a man, God can die, God can be one and three at the same time, the King of Heaven can spend a day in Hell. If anything the heresies of the patristic era—Arianism, Monophysitism, Nestorianism and so on—are attempts to make Christianity more rational. It’s a fascinating aspect of Christianity that often the heretics are the more sober and rational ones while orthodoxy embraces enigma. Broadly speaking, the Eastern Orthodoxy has been more comfortable with paradox and the irrational, but in the Latin West Catholics and their Protestant inheritors have attempted to tame the scandal of Christianity with the rational equations of systematic theology.

In this way the positivist and the fundamentalist are strangely unified in their opposition to Tertullian’s infamous aphorism: credo quia absurdum (“I believe it because it is absurd”). The fundamentalist with his embarrassment over paradox denies the weirdness of his faith. The positivist can do no such thing and like Mr. Jefferson takes his razor to the Bible to excise the strangeness.

But central to the Christian vision is a profound and undeniable weirdness, and one of its strangest accounts is passed over in many a Holy Week homily. The passion story is filled with puzzles and uncertainty, from the harrowing to Christ’s cry of “My God, why have you forsaken me?” when, as GK Chesterton noted, God Himself seemed to be an atheist.* It’s these moments that constitute what the Slavoj Zizek names “the perverse core of Christianity,” the anti-Gospel as Gospel—a tradition that is too often silent during Holy Week.

 

* “…let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.”

–GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy

145 Comments

  • georgeclifford@bellsouth.net' GMClifford says:

    For another perspective on Jesus’ descent to the dead, read my Ethical Musings blog post on the subject, http://blog.ethicalmusings.com/2015/02/jesus-descent-to-dead.html .

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    A kinder gentler time produced the post mortem traveling Jesus. We today are tasked with unraveling the gospel accounts of the passion/death/resurrection without unravelling our faith. Like the rolling stone blocking the entrance to the tomb, we shed light only when we move away from the devil-inhabited details.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It helps if you can first move away from any belief in the devil.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    Already there, thanks!

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    No devil, no heaven and hell, no turning water to wine. Those are easy, but after that it starts to take more effort. It might ultimately turn out that unraveling the rest of the gospel account without unraveling faith doesn’t work.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    The parables of Jesus contain everything anyone needs to lead an imperfectly perfect life, so there is that.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I agree, and that is enough, now that we no longer have to worry about eternity.

  • tojby_2000@yahoo.com' apotropoxy says:

    Gods descending into the underworld had a multi-thousand year tradition going before the Christians used it. Inanna was probably the first (Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian).

  • lmarquisv@gmail.com' Mwatuangi says:

    There was no hell as far as Abrahamic faith was concerned, only an afterlife known as Sheol where both the good and the bad went upon dying. Later, the idea that there were separate areas in Sheol for the deceased depending on their life deeds came about, but the lake of fire depicted in the NT’s mythos was nonexistent. This is elementary information that I’m surprised the author hasn’t considered.

  • whiskyjack1@gmail.com' Whiskyjack says:

    The separate areas were probably imported from Greek mythology. Originally, there was just Hades, where everyone continued in a shadowy existence. Later myths introduced Tartarus, a fortress where particularly evil people went and were confined and tortured for eternity.
    You can see the NT version of hell in Second Temple Judaism in 1 Enoch and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QS – Community Rule and the 1QM – the War Scroll.) Hell was pretty much dropped as rabbinical Judaism evolved.

  • sbailey1047@shaw.ca' Steve Bailey says:

    Forget the theological niceties; such speculation is ultimately meaningless. What we have in this account of Jesus ‘descending into hell’ is a beautiful and powerful account of love triumphing over death, hatred and separation from God. It is our Good News. Celebrate it.

  • princeliberty@aol.com' Johnny Davis says:

    How do you decide which parts of the Bible to believe and not to believe? The Bible states it is the Word of God so is God mistaken at times?

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    Perfect choice of word in your second question. Yes, men mistake God all the time, especially those who brandish the bible as a weapon.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Just don’t believe in it.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Society is evolving. It would be a mistake to accept any of the Bible as authority when we have more advanced ways of establishing human systems today.

  • juliekindredpdx@gmail.com' BooBooGlass says:

    Still proselytizing, Jim?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It’s an educational thing. I help the Christian world understand they are splitting into two groups, and the gap between the groups is growing. The conservative group believes all of the beliefs without question, heaven and hell, the devil, the trinity, the creeds, everything they see as biblical. On the other side the progressives are trying to make some sense out of the insanity, so everything is optional. You don’t have to believe in heaven and hell, or the creeds There is no actual devil, and even Jesus is open to interpretation. The important thing is love. It is a work in progress. Ultimately I think it will be the same as secular humanism.

  • princeliberty@aol.com' Johnny Davis says:

    Men do misuse the Bible but that does not change the truth of the Bible. Satan misapplied and twisted God’s word in his tempting of Eve.

  • cjkrisinger@gmail.com' Falcon 78 says:

    Mr Simon writes, “This is one phrase that Christians, whether mainline or evangelical, Catholic or Protestant, will likely not hear from the pulpit this week.” As Catholics,we will hear this–indeed profess this–every time we hear or say the Apostles’ Creed. “He descended into Hell; the third day he arose again from the dead.”

  • cjkrisinger@gmail.com' Falcon 78 says:

    It would be a mistake not to. Your life on this earth is but a grain of sand on the beach compared to eternity. As Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits wrote, “Human beings are created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by means of doing this to save their souls.” I do not agree with your “enlightened” view of humans today. How’s that working out for us?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The mistake of many religions is assuming as you go back in time, people and God had a closer relationship, so the older scriptures need to be regarded as more truthful than what we know today. The general concept, at least in Christianity, is if you go back far enough in time, you reach a point where God was walking among us and giving people direct instructions about science and morality and everything else, and this direct teaching from God became an oral tradition that was pass down through many generations until writing was invented, and then it was written down and the first thing people wrote was the scriptures. In the modern world we can now see the more deeply people believe in this ancient God instruction idea, the more screwed up their thinking becomes.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    Some folks conflate God and Betty Crocker, convinced that if you follow their recipes to the letter, you’ll get your just desserts.
    I do not think of the bible as a cookbook and I have never had a satisfying discussion with those who do.

  • bholle1443@gmail.com' BP says:

    Maybe the creeds were saying, in today’s venacular: “He died. He, yes God, Jesus, did really die.”? The whole phrase being a way to emphasize a factual death and not a metaphorical death. Who knows?

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    But not as much as women who don’t.

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    You can’t “move away from the devil” without moving away from God. But if that is your choice, so be it.

  • turtleairships@hotmail.com' campbell says:

    regarding this excellent article, I invite all to read:
    Section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    When everything is optional, you really don’t have anything do you?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Nothing left of Christianity. Lose the religion and gain the world.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It helps demonstrate the split that we are going through. Traditional belief in God also requires a belief in the devil. Secular humanism says we can move beyond that state, and humanity can move on from here. We don’t have to rely on end times belief that the world will keep getting worse until Jesus comes and punishes all non-believers. There is a better way.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Does that reveal more details about the myth?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The only way to know is to just believe with all your strength until the belief becomes solidified in your brain.

  • matthew144000@yahoo.com' Michael Edwards says:

    1 Peter 3:18-20 and 4:6 suggest Christ preached the Gospel to the dead, to the spirits in prison, that they might have life.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    I’ve never understood how some people find consolation in their belief in devils. Even as a child, I understood devils to be nothing more than the personification of something otherwise hard to express. I’ve never understood how some people do not understand the bible as literature. They seem to think of it as created by God and given to mankind as a package which when unwrapped is completely accessible and efficient (like an appliance from Sears!) Where do those odd notions come from? They don’t come from God.

  • princeliberty@aol.com' Johnny Davis says:

    What is your view of the Bible?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    They came from the church. It took a lot of patience and hard work through the generations to develop. But in the end, the reward is control over a significant portion of society. I have to wonder, does man need religion, or has religion been an evolutionary force driving its own need? If religion drives out doubters, and sometimes even kills them, it is breeding a world that is more and more focused on going along with belief in the church.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It was an attempt by people of the distant past to understand what they had no way to understand, and write it down so that everyone in that society could believe the same thing.

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    Consolation in their belief in devils? What silliness!

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    Now why would I want to do that?

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    the bible is collection of books of various types: poetry, law, genealogy, fables, prescriptions for health, correspondence, tools for proselytizing, history, prayers, songs, explanations for mysteries, and the converted-to-writing oral traditions of a nomadic people. It is literally fabulous. It is certainly not a novel in the strict definition. No reason to read it from start to end. It’s not an essay that follows the neat rules of, say, the French essay style. It is messy, repetitive and incomplete and modified over the centuries by the pens of those who wanted it to say what they wanted it to say. None of this bothers me because despite the fact that it is a weedy garden, it is brilliant and contains enough guidance to live the best life a human being might want to live.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It is this concept of the split that keeps growing and is probably unbridgeable now. The conservative beliefs keep getting more crazy, or at least they keep looking more crazy as the modern world advances. On the progressive side Christianity keeps decaying into what will ultimately be nothing but secular humanism. There is no longer any middle ground, so you have to decide which side you are on. Of course you can later change your mind, and that is how the conservative side will ultimately shrink to nothing.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    We don’t need religions. Religions are clubs that give some people consolation. Jesus did not start a religion. Jesus tried to facilitate a conversation between God and man.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    Oh yes, they are indeed silly. Some people hear voices. Some see things that scurry out of the corner of their eye. Others dread their dreams. Others have only a vague ennui that dogs their days. Some have bodies that battle diseases that seem like curses. Some look up into the sky at the unbearable silence of the universe and give its contents names for the good and the bad, the attractive and the repulsive. Some folks do not fear the unknown.

  • office@brothermel.com' Mel C. Montgomery says:

    First of all, the name “Apostles’ Creed” is misleading. The authorship of the creed is unknown.

    Also, as theologian Wayne Grudem notes in his book, “Systematic Theology,”

    “. . . the Apostles’ Creed was not written or approved of by a single church council at one specific time. Rather it gradually took shape from about A.D. 200 to 750.”

    The phrase, “he descended into hell,” does not appear in the earliest forms of the Creed. It first appears in one of two versions by Rufinus in A.D. 390.

    As Grudem notes, “Moreover, Rufinus, the only person who included it before A.D. 650, did not think that it meant that Christ descended into hell, but understood the phrase to mean that Christ was ‘buried.'”

    Additionally, Grudem writes,

    “But later when the phrase was incorporated into different versions of the Creed that already had the phrase ‘and buried,’ some other explanation had to be given to it. This mistaken insertion of the phrase after the words ‘and buried’–apparently done by someone around A.D. 650–led to all sorts of attempts to explain ‘he descended into hell’ in some way that did not contradict the rest of Scripture. . . Concerning the doctrinal question of whether Christ did descend into hell after he died, the answer from several passages of Scripture seems clearly to be no.”

    I disagree with the headline, “Jesus Went to Hell and No One Wants to Talk About it.” On the contrary, this false teaching has been discussed and written about, ad nauseum for approximately the last eighty years when it began to be popularized by a New Age teacher in somewhere in the 1930’s. Mr. Simon’s statement, “I’d argue that this relative silence reflects a discomfort with some of the frankly weird aspects of Christianity.” This is indeed a “weird” teaching that, in fact, has never been a part of mainstream Christian thought. Just because a teaching is “weird” does not mean it is biblical. And just because Ulysses went to Hell doesn’t mean that Christ did too.

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    Jesus said to the thief “And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, TODAY you will be with me in Paradise.” The hell he suffered was on the cross, When He said “it is finished ” ,it was finished. The cry “My God ,My God ,Why have you forsaken me ” was said because Jesus had become the embodiment of sin and God the father could not have communion with him as he couldn’t with Adam when he sinned,so the man Jesus was separated from God at that time.

  • douglasjbender@hotmail.com' Douglas J. Bender says:

    If no one can enter Heaven, and God’s presence, without their sins being forgiven, and if no one can have their sins forgiven without accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins, then none of the “patriarchs” of the Jews (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc.), and no “righteous” or “innocent” person, could have entered Heaven until after Jesus’ sacrifice. And none of these could have heard and accepted the Gospel unless it was preached to them. Hence, upon Jesus’ death, He entered “Abraham’s Bosom” (where all the “righteous” were kept in a place of comfort), and preached the Gospel to them. All those who were there were prepared to receive the Gospel, and when it was preached to them, they all accepted it, and thus were “officially” saved and forgiven. At this point, God could justly allow them to enter Heaven, which they did. Therefore, “Abraham’s Bosom” is now apparently empty; but Hades, the place of torment located near “Abraham’s Bosom”, is still “active”. At the very End, when God does away with sin and death forever, Hades, and all its inhabitants, will be cast into the Lake of Fire (“Hell”) forever.

  • douglasjbender@hotmail.com' Douglas J. Bender says:

    How do you know what happens upon death? And why would the Apostles testify to having seen the risen Jesus, and have been willing to die for that testimony, if they hadn’t actually seen the risen Jesus?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    You can’t believe everything you read.

  • imjessietr@yahoo.com' Kelly says:

    This is only a problem if you equate a book with God. The bible can be wrong without God having to be.

  • imjessietr@yahoo.com' Kelly says:

    How many atrocities are committed when Christians are involved? You don’t have to go waaaaay back to the Crusades, you know. It still happens today. How’s that “salvation” working out for us?

  • imjessietr@yahoo.com' Kelly says:

    And since Satan isn’t in that story nor is there any lie (God Himself verifies the real reason He’s upset afterward), that means someone in the NT is lying or at least is using a source not in the canon.

  • imjessietr@yahoo.com' Kelly says:

    Peter is characterized throughout the entire story as someone who tries to be someone he’s not: he tries to walk on water like Jesus and fails, He tries to dispel demons and fails … He KNEW the Guy, denied Him THREE times, and even afterward escaped jail instead of “standing up for one’s beliefs”. This is a man who would sell you melted butter as Jesus’ urine if it would get you to listen to him.

  • imjessietr@yahoo.com' Kelly says:

    I thought God gave us free will. If everything is mandatory, you have no choice at all.

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    ” Jesus had become the embodiment of sin” ??????

    I think you may have some trouble selling that one. Doctrine is that Jesus was without sin, but took upon himself the burden of everyone’s sins. That is very different from becoming the “embodiment” of sin.

    Rather, as Mr. Simon says, the statement about being forsaken is one of the many contradictions – paradoxes to the faithful – of the Biblical accounts.

    Your post contains another problem. You say that God could not have communion with Adam when he sinned. And yet Genesis 3 clearly has Yahweh speaking in person in the garden to Adam and Eve. And presumably Abraham was not sinless, and yet he and Yahweh had their regular evening walk in the garden. The bigger theological problem with your statement is that it places a limit on a god that is supposed to be omnipotent.

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    Not to mention the even more recent Ugaritic tradition that has El as the creator god and Baal and Yahweh among his 70 offspring. Baal loses a struggle with Mot (death) and dies for seven years. Those seven years are so bad for the world (think of Moses and the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine) that El has a dream and declares Baal to be alive again.

    El, by the way, is the god of creation in Chapter 1 of Genesis (which came from the northern kingdom). Yahweh is the god of creation in Chapter 2 of Genesis (which came from the southern kingdom). Finally in Chapter 6 of Exodus, an editor had to resolve all this by having Yahweh tell Moses from the burning bush that he was known as El Shaddai (“El almighty”) to the (northern) patriarchs, but that his name is properly Yahweh and he would appreciate being called that from now on.

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    And I do not agree with your view that humans are brought into being to run a race of any kind, let alone the kind you describe with the consequences of failure so dire. That makes humans merely “playthings of the gods” to quote Plato’s Laws.

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    Really? I remember once reading that God accused Adam, Adam in turn accused Eve, and Eve then accused the Serpent, who had the good grace to remain silent and not point out to God that it was God himself set them up for failure. Whenever in any myth (and the Adam and Eve story is a myth) there is One Forbidden Thing, you know from the outset that the protagonist(s) is/are going to do the One Forbidden Thing. Otherwise, there is no story.

    There are many who read the Adam and Eve myth as a patriarchal rewriting of the role of woman, degrading and denigrating it from the matriarchal role held in early societies before militarism set in. It was very common for the mother goddess to be depicted in the company of a protecting serpent. Often the serpent was wrapped around the tree of life. (Compare to the Rod of Aesculapius or the Caduceus.) One purpose of the Adam and Eve myth then is to establish the primacy of the male over the female.

  • tojby_2000@yahoo.com' apotropoxy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • tojby_2000@yahoo.com' apotropoxy says:

    Circular logic is worthless.

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    Jesus was sinless but Jesus took upon himself all the sin of man thus becoming sin on our behalf “He made Him who knew no sin “to be sin” on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    When Adam sinned there was the loss close fellowship with God.

  • jrs_goodman78@yahoo.com' egee says:

    Thank you for writing this! Finally, someone understands at least this one part of the Bible about Jesus and the Resurrection, and where Jesus was before He appeared to Mary and ascended to Heaven. I am so glad someone “gets it”. Wow. I have been told I am going to hell ( which does not exist) for saying exactly what this article said.

    Jesus told Mary to touch Him not for He had not yet ascended to His Father. Where is Jesus’ Father? In Heaven. How many days before Jesus resurrected? Three. So where was Jesus for three days if He had not yet ascended to His Father in the Heavens? He was in Sheol. There are many frescos/paintings from the middle ages and before that show Jesus pulling up Abraham and others from Sheol. The early Christians knew this! This teaching and belief was somehow gotten rid of. Don’t know why.

    Paradise is another name for Sheol. Jesus told the thief they would be in Sheol, because that is where Jesus was before He resurrected.
    After Jesus told Mary to not touch Him, Jesus told her to tell everyone He lives again. After Jesus ascended to His Father in the Heavens Jesus came back to teach the Apostles.

    The modern belief of Hell by Christians today comes from paganism.

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    Of course he gave us free will. Just because we have that gift does not mean that we use it wisely.

  • n1k0lau5.v.myra@aol.com' T_Ford says:

    I’m sorry you misunderstood, but then you seem to misunderstand a lot. It was your notion that people take consolation from belief in devils. Satanists possible might, but not Christians.

  • ntgoss31@gmail.com' Nathan Goss says:

    Where’s the biblical account of this? I think any Christian idea that comes up after the last book of the bible was written needs to be seriously questioned. Otherwise, we can all just make up whatever religion feels right at the moment.

  • lang.steven@yahoo.com' Steve Lang says:

    All religions use god to justify atrocities when they’re also the Government. Like the papacy, the churches of England and France, and the caliphates. God and religion aren’t the problem Governmental and pious tyrants are. That is why America isn’t a conqueror and hasn’t colonized other countries. That is a direct result of the 1st amendment of our constitution That there be no law establishing a Religion We don’t do things in the name of god, Justice and freedom is what we cherish!

  • lang.steven@yahoo.com' Steve Lang says:

    All religions use god to justify atrocities when they’re also the
    Government. Like the papacy, the churches of England and France, and
    the caliphates. God and religion aren’t the problem Governmental and
    pious tyrants are. That is why America isn’t a conqueror and hasn’t
    colonized other countries. That is a direct result of the 1st amendment
    of our constitution That there be no law establishing a Religion We don’t do things in the name of god, Justice and freedom is what we cherish!

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    I remember reciting the Apostle’s Creed almost every Sunday in the Presbyterian Church of my youth, and the phrase after “he was crucified, dead and buried” (to confirm Jesus was fully human) was “He descended into hell.”

    Maybe they’ve squeezed that out by now. I haven’t seen a “modern” version of the creed lately. Anyway, yes, there are paradoxes and contradictions in Christianity. I’m fine with that. Life itself is full of contradiction and paradox, and as Kierkegaard said, the thinker without a paradox is like the lover without a beloved.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    Mormons teach Christ went to hell. The other comments below fit neatly inside LDS theology that Adam had God’s religion and priesthood from the beginning. From his progeny arose these other ideologies, each with a small a piece of the original.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    Oh I did not misunderstand. I’m inverting your quaint religiosity in a gentle way and serving it back to you. It’s so much nicer than swinging at it as if it were a pignata stuffed with nonsense and primitive fears, don’t you think? I have no appetite for battling.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    The bible is not the complete history of God’s religion over time.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    That is one translation of the original. There are other versions of what the text says. It is important to know that there are many translations each with differences from the others. At last count I believe there are some fifty. We should also remember the original text was in Aramaic and Hebrew and I think some Syriac before there was the Latin vulgate from which the King James comes.

    We should be careful to not assume that which ever English version you read is God’s only or truest version.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The record of the New Testament is enough to show there was no actual Jesus Christ since the story was a later creation of Christianity, and not the original. I don’t think the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS can deal with no Jesus Christ.

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    Tony Houghton: come now…. Jesus’ saying can just as easily be heard and read at “TODAY I say to you, truly, you will be with me in Paradise.” …And that’s the common way to read it.
    And for the Lord’s sake .don’t play a silly game of “He can’t be in two places in the same day.” …… ??
    “It” that was finished as He spoke on the cross didn’t include ALL things; obviously, Easter morning, He had things left to do, so he could not touch Mary….etc….

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    Granted but that is what faith is about isn’t it? We do not know for sure but if we want to know, and are willing to make a few personal sacrifices in order to put faith to the test, maybe we can know, at last as far that supernatural sense is concerned.

    Faith is based on a supernatural sense of right and wrong. We develop a sense that we are being guided in some way that makes us uncomfortable when we do some things and peaceful when we do others.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The religions also have to be careful to avoid the temptation to put themselves above science. Once they make the break with what can be scientifically demonstrated, they are on the path to ever increasing error.

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    It is self evident that he was speaking on that day.Why, when speaking anything caused great pain would he waste in on stating the obvious. And if you look how it is written”And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”” and just move the comma ,for there was no punctuation in the hebrew , to the other side of today then it can leave the impression that before he was not telling the truth on other days “Truly I say to you today,… ” Jesus is God , God is omnipresent ,he is present even in Hell .

    When Jesus said “it is finished ” that is the price that was needed to pay the price for sin .That is finished ,it can not or need not be added to ,the work is done for all time.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    There may certainly be some people of faith who believe science is un-Godly but I never did. I was raised believing science teaches us the elements of God’s creation. It seems only natural to believe that science is another way of teaching us about God’s accomplishments, ways and methods.

  • mark@guardiancommunications.com' Mark McNeil says:

    Sometimes Scripture has not given us a lot of information and so we must speculate, knowing God’s self-declared attributes. Ignorance isn’t “weird”, it’s ignorance. But on certain essentials, we need not speculate, e.g. whether there is a judgement and a final Resurrection. Jesus was in the “grave” three days and had not ascended to the Father as of John 20:17. His body did not see decay but we are not told when, during the three days, his spirit reunited with his resurrected body. I speculate Sunday morning with the earthquake. I’m sure Jesus had a full itinerary during the three days and wasn’t just exchanging high-fives with Abraham. No doubt there are books in heaven written about it which some will have access to after the judgement and final Resurrection.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    A careful reading of the Bible teaches us Jesus was not really a human person, and was the invention of the gospel stories. That should teach us the religions can be wrong. Beliefs can be an illusion.

  • joerogers67@gmail.com' joeyj1220 says:

    Thank you JL. Reading these comments I was getting frustrated that folks kept trying to make “Jesus’ words” fit historically as if the passion narratives were biographical recordings that were happening in ‘real time’. I am always surprised that people are surprised at theological and narrative inconsistencies in scripture.

  • joerogers67@gmail.com' joeyj1220 says:

    Nonsense… the scriptural authors were hardly attempting to get “everyone” to believe the same thing. That is such an over-simplistic statement of a complex history of the coming together of ideas and stories. It would be the equivalent of attempting to sum up and make cohesive the ancient Greek philosopher’s ideas into one sentence.

  • jastaggsr@gmail.com' James Stagg says:

    If you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you will find this in the Office of Readings: “An Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday”. Here is an article explaining it: http://www.churchpop.com/2015/04/03/this-ancient-homily-for-holy-saturday-will-give-you-chills/

    Does no one understand Heaven was CLOSED from the original agony in a perfect garden, until the day after the perfect agony in another garden?

    You are right, though. In seventy-five years, I have never heard this “Ancient Homily”, or a version of it, at the Easter Vigil, during Holy Week, or anytime during the rest of the year.

    And please don’t argue about the “timing” of events at the Crucifixion and Resurrection…….For God, time is immediate, not temporal. He is NOW. He does not use “I WAS” or “I WILL BE”. He says “I AM”.

    Peace be with you.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    Jim, I disagree. Jesus was a very real person with a human body, who sacrificed Himself on our behalf which was God the Father’s plan from before the foundation of the world and that we, in a pre-mortal yet fully developed spirit form, agreed with the plan.

    This was done so we too could come to earth to be tested, get a body of flesh and bone like the Father’s, die and through the power of Christ’s sacrifice, be resurrected with our now refined, eternal body, and be reunited with our Father and eternal family including our Heavenly Mother. You and I just see things differently.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The gospel story gives an account like that, but before the gospels there was the Christianity of mid century that was written about by Paul. At that time, Jesus was a spirit being that Christians were finding in old testament scriptures, and not an actual human who lived at the beginning of the first century. I guess to me Christianity has grown to see both of these as true, and so the reality of history shows Christianity is false.

  • johnlucia1965@gmail.com' Veritas says:

    The bible is to be believed, but how? With as many translations into English, not to mention other languages, are we to believe that every translation is without error in every language that it was translated into? A good deal of discerning is required and an open mind and heart to who God is, especially in Jesus. Jesus is the word of God, what is written on the page may or may not accurately represent him, but a written word cannot encompass ALL that Jesus is or said. It is why we must pray and encounter Him directly. (The end of Johns Gospel says as much, not all that He did is recorded, but what has been is so that you may believe)

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    Jesus did not become sin, he was the “sin-bearer”, The sin of the world was laid upon him, and yet he was never tainted by sin. The work of redemption and atonement were indeed finished on the Cross.

    1st Peter chapter 3 is often times misinterpreted to mean that Jesus had to descend into hell to finish the work of redemption. Nothing could be further from the truth. Peter is speaking of souls that have left their body prior to the Lord’s crucifixion. And the words of Jesus are as real to them, as to all believers.

    2000 years later and billions still worship Him, as the Lord who spoke, and the universe leaped into existence. Articles like this do nothing to change the message that Jesus Christ came to the earth to deliver to His creation. Accept the gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He died so that your sins could be forgiven through his love and sacrifice.

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    The God who created the Universe could certainly finish the work of atonement on the Cross.

    Jesus did not become sin, he was the “sin-bearer”, The sin of the world was laid upon him, and yet he was never tainted by sin. The work of redemption and atonement were indeed finished on the Cross.

    1st Peter chapter 3 is often times misinterpreted to mean that Jesus had to descend into hell to finish the work of redemption. Nothing could be further from the truth. Peter is speaking of souls that have left their body prior to the Lord’s crucifixion. And the words of Jesus are as real to them, as to all believers.

  • johnlucia1965@gmail.com' Veritas says:

    An easier to access example is in the Aeneid, by Virgil, which you can find in online versions. Aeneas travels to the underworld to speak to his father, the description will be familiar to Christians.
    What does it mean that Jesus went to hell? In his humanity or in His Divinity? Can the soul of the sinless One suffer? God has dominion over even hell, and it bends to His will, so it released those “many who desired to see this day” including the “great cloud of witnesses”

    The Gospel of Matthew describes the tombs opening and many saints who had fallen asleep were raised that day, at the death of Jesus. (Chapter 27)

    How this all happened, like many things in The Gospel, are not described in detail.

    Belief in the love and mercy of God, made incarnate in the life of Jesus, is what really matters

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    Interesting points Jim. However, consider that the earliest reports of Jesus which were closer to the actual events. First and even second hand stories are better than those that came later on. That is especially true when you consider that the later views arose at a time a when the church had taken on a political or official view. Politicians came to control the official church. That is, the men who controlled the official view were power brokers in the Roman government centric church hierarchy. This became evident during the Councils at Nicaea in the fourth and fifth centuries.

  • adriannecs@sbcglobal.net' MormonForever says:

    Exactly. Thank you for your post

  • johnlucia1965@gmail.com' Veritas says:

    How does Adam blaming Eve establish his superiority over her? This action seems more to show his weakness in not taking responsibility for his own actions.

    Would you prefer to be led by Adam, the supposedly superior, who blamed others, or Eve, who accurately faced her mistake?

    This story shows man as his weak and fallen self, which is stated in their “punishment ” that she would be subject to him…. He would not lead as he should, in service to her, but lord it over her. Adams fall meant that he chose his own dark side, God did not choose it for him, He only warned Eve what was to come.
    People will find what their hearts seek in reading scripture. Reinforcement of their world view, or the truth…. It is up to them.

    God set them up for failure by giving them free will, which is a loving action, it is not an evil scheme. Just as our parents, out of love, eventually let us choose instead of demanding we under their totalitarian rule, just to,keep us “safe”

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The earlier writings of Paul talked about Paul’s preachings and teachings, and his works, and miracles. The later writings of the gospel talked about the preaching and teaching of Jesus, and his works and miracles. Those stories weren’t around when Paul was writing. I think the gospels were all just made up later, and none of it actually happened. But it is Christianity today, so Christianity is based on nothing real. Of course Paul’s Christianity was based on earlier scriptures, and visions, so it wasn’t based on anything real either, but it was a different Christianity from gospel Christianity.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying the time frame of the writing determines its accuracy. Maybe. However it makes sense to look to the subject area experts for guidance. What sources are you using? If a single source opinion is the only source then the doubt is greater.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I am going by the Bible. In this subject, experts tend to consider the apologetics, so I wouldn’t pay much attention to them.

  • jlf9999@gmail.com' JL99 says:

    Let me perfectly frank. Experts look at a broad range of related topics from which they draw conclusions. The bible is insufficient in too many areas. While you are certainly allowed to decide for yourself, people who want a clearer, more historical perspective of the early Church must have as many of the facts as are available.

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    Tony, I found you response interesting, but a bit sad. Everything in the Old and New Testament point to the person of Jesus Christ. The beauty of the myriad of translations is that taken together they all basically say the same thing. From Genesis to Revelation the message is clearly about salvation and redemption through faith in Jesus Christ. Please read Isaiah again, and the wonderful prophecy.

    Some critics like to say that so many translations have diluted or lessened the message of the scripture. Just the opposite, if you have many translations of any text, it allows you to always be able to work your way back to the original text and/or message. By comparing many translations you can weed out where there is an obvious transcription mistake.

    You are correct in observing that the different authors may tell the story in their own unique ways, leaving out details that other authors chose to add. The Bible is certainly a work of literary genius, but it is so much more than a book of rules to provide guidance. My hope is for you to let the true message of the Bible resonate in your mind and soul. It is the Word of God.

  • farmboyz@mac.com' Tony Adams says:

    People find what they want to find in the bible. Someone else will find the opposite of what you find. Like reading tea leaves. Don’t waste your time on it. And, if you can prove something, you can’t have faith in it.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    In the new testament we can see the record of the gospel stories written toward the end of the century, about a man who lived at the beginning of the century. In the middle we have another pretty extensive account of Christianity, and one the is also in the New Testament, the letters of Paul. They show a Christianity with none of the stories of the later gospels. That seems like enough to make a judgment, the gospels are not a record of actual events, just stories that were written at a later date.

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    Well said. God gave us free will, and we chose/choose darkness. We now have the free will to choose the gift of salvation through faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I don’t think that message works any more.

  • disqus@jbburnett.com' john burnett says:

    Jesus certainly did not go to “Hell”, if by “Hell” you mean what most people in Western culture mean by the term, which is a place of eternal fiery punishment and conscious eternal torment. What most people mean when they think of “Hell” is what the New Testament calls “Gehenna”. Also, the King of Heaven descending to Hades (not “Hell”) may seem “paradoxical”, as the author of the piece above states, but Eastern Christianity isn’t just “comfortable with paradox”, as if it had some supposedly admirably greater tolerance for logical nonsequiturs; it’s just that you have to properly understand what the Scriptures are talking about. The terms Gehenna, Hell, Hades, She’ol, and so forth, and what the Bible and Christian Tradition say Christ did, may need some discussion though. Ed Simon is clearly confused and not really familiar with the territory.

    “Gehenna”— (Matt 5.22, 29–30; 10.28; 18.9; 23.15, 33; Mark 9.43–47; Luke 12.5; Jas 3.6— all of them referring in one way or another to Isaiah 66.24 etc)— is the only word in the Bible that might plausibly be translated as “Hell” in modern parlance. The “Valley of the [Sons of] Hinnom” (Hebr. “Ge (b’nei) Hinnom”; Aram. “Ge-henna”) was Jerusalem’s garbage dump at the time of Christ, but earlier it had been a place of idolatry and human sacrifice, and hence of defilement and abomination: 2 Kgs 23.10; 2 Chr 28.3; 33.6; Jer 7.31–32; 19.2, 6; 32.35. So the story in Isaiah 66, to which all the NT references allude, is that when God finally restores Jerusalem to the glory she was intended to have, all the trash (evil kings, corrupt priests, murderers, adulterers, and so forth) will be hauled out to the dump and burned. Once Jerusalem is purified, then “all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD” (66.23). And after they’re done worshipping, “they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh” (66.24). So “Gehenna” is the final fate reserved for all that presently sullies God’s Holy City. Our modern notion of “Hell” is basically this biblical idea of “Gehenna” plus the poetic visions of Dante. Nothing in the Bible or in Christian Tradition suggests that Christ went to Gehenna.

    Christ *did* go to “Hades” (that’s Greek; the Hebrew term is “She’ol”), and the Bible and Tradition are both quite clear on what that means. “Hades”, of course, is just the place of the dead, the Grave (with a capital “G”), which is the common destiny of all humankind. That is what death is: you go down to Hades; thus Christ, who died, went down to Hades. But whereas we go unwillingly and by force of necessity, Christ went there freely, in order to free us from death.

    The Apostles’ Creed says that Christ “descended into Hades”. Since perhaps your translation says that he “descended into Hell”, it’s worthwhile to look at the word “Hades” in the Greek version of the Bible (the Septuagint), on which it’s based. I’ll give all the references below; but if you take the trouble to look them up in your KJV, you’ll find that sometimes the English has “grave”, and sometimes “hell”. We shouldn’t let this confuse us. Apparently for the KJV translators, there wasn’t much difference, but today we think of “Hell” as more than just the Grave; it’s a place of conscious eternal punishment. By the way, the Nicene Creed, which was based on but supersedes the Apostles’ Creed, only says, “he suffered, and was buried”; obviously, for the fathers of the Church, who would not have permitted any loss or change of doctrine, being “buried” and “descending into Hades” was one and the same thing. “Hades” never means anything other than “the Grave”, and that is where Christ went when he died.

    “Helle” in Old English used to mean any pit or hole (the words “hell” and “hole” are related), but the matter gets confused by the fact that there was a Nordic goddess named Hel who presided over an underworld of torment where evil people were said to end up. Northern European Christianity did retain some vestiges of the old mythology, so the biblical notion of Hades/She’ol and the Nordic myth of Hel and her realm got somewhat confused, and thus both “Hades” (e.g. Gen 37.35; 42.38) and “Gehenna” (Matt 5.22, 29–30; etc), which I discussed above, were sometimes translated into English as “hell”. Dante’s lurid political tract (The Inferno) then firmly established in popular culture the picture of “Hell” that we still have in our minds today. At the same time— again not least because of Dante— the idea of “Heaven” as the destination of the righteous took hold, but this is not an idea found in the Bible, shocking as that may be to most people today. The biblical view of death (She’ol/Hades/Grave) and resurrection is quite different from what popular Western culture now imagines.

    So nothing in the Bible suggests that people “go to hell” before the final judgment and purification. But it also doesn’t suggest that they “go to heaven”, either, but that’s a different, although related, matter which I won’t go into here, except to say that In the very last chapters of the Bible, people don’t go up to heaven; heaven comes down to earth. Christian eschatology is not about “heaven when you die” but about resurrection from the dead.

    In the Bible, when people die, they go to the Grave, where “the dust does not praise you” (Psalm 30.9). Since the praise of God is part of the fullness of life, their condition is not a happy one; Hades is variously called the “home of silence” (Ps 94.17) or the “land of oblivion” (Ps 88.12— “Will your wonders be made known in the darkness? And your righteousness in the land of oblivion?”); it is a place of inertness, where “the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more… are cut off from thy hand” (Ps 88.5), a prison from which one “cannot get forth” (Ps 88.8), and so on. This is the hapless condition of man after Adam sinned. Christ was buried in order to free the dead of all the ages past who were imprisoned in the Grave. That is the significance of Matthew’s note that at Jesus’ death, “The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many” (Matt 27.52-53).

    So the descent of Christ to the Grave is the very **story** of the Gospels, and Eastern Orthodox hymnography does make a great deal of it. The fact that he did so is, indeed, our very salvation itself. Christ went down into Hades but was “not tested by it”; he was “free among the dead” (Ps 88.5), for “he was not left in hades, neither did his flesh see corruption” (Ac 2.27,31). (Here, the KJV has— incorrectly, for modern parlance— has “hell” for “hades”)— and he went there precisely to fill it with his own Life and to make Death itself the antechamber of our final Resurrection on the Last Day.

    This is the universal teaching of the New Testament and of all the Fathers of the Church, both East and West, up till the Renaissance. After that, the Western story got confused by several other currents, and there is great need for us to recall the original story and its clarity today.

    Hades (in the Septuagint): Gen 37.35; 42.38; 44.29, 31; Num 16.30, 33; Deut 32.22; 1 Sam 2.6; 1 Kgs 2.6, 9, 35; Esth 13.7; Tob 3.10; 13.2; 2 Macc 6.23; 3 Macc 4.8; 5.42, 51; 6.31; Ps 6.6; 9.18; 15.10; 17.6; 29.4; 30.18; 48.15–16; 54.16; 85.13; 87.4; 88.49; 93.17; 113.25; 114.3; 138.8; 140.7; Odes 2.22; 3.6; 6.3; 11.10, 18; Prov 1.12; 2.18; 5.5; 7.27; 9.18; 14.12; 15.11, 24; 16.25; 27.20; 30.16; Eccl 9.10; Song 8.6; Job 7.9; 11.8; 14.13; 17.13, 16; 21.13; 26.6; 33.22; 38.17; Wis 1.14; 2.1; 16.13; 17.13; Sir 9.12; 14.12, 16; 17.27; 21.10; 28.21; 41.4; 48.5; 51.5–6; Sol 4.13; 14.9; 15.10; 16.2; Hos 13.14; Amos 9.2; Jonah 2.3; Hab 2.5; Isa 5.14; 14.9, 11, 15, 19; 28.15, 18; 38.10, 18; 57.9; Bar 2.17; 3.11, 19; Ezek 31.15–17; 32.27; Dan 3.88

    Hades (in the New Testament): Matt 11.23; 16.18; Luke 10.15; 16.23; Acts 2.27, 31; Rev 1.18; 6.8; 20.13–14.

    Gehenna: Matt 5.22, 29–30; 10.28; 18.9; 23.15, 33; Mark 9.43–47; Luke 12.5; Jas 3.6.

    Valley of Hinnom: Josh 15.8; 18.16; Neh 11.30; once a place of idolatry and human sacrifice, and hence of defilement and abomination: 2 Kgs 23.10; 2 Chr 28.3; 33.6; Jer 7.31–32; 19.2, 6; 32.35.

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    True enough. I could say I “found” gold in a bar of soap, but I would be wrong. The Bible is pretty clear in it’s message. If it was not I would have no use for it. You remind me a little bit of Pontius Pilate when he asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

    Peace be with you

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    So what your saying is that scripture can’t be trusted

  • ebedeynsof@aol.com' Gary says:

    Psalm 139:8 If I ascend to heaven, thou art there! If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!

  • joerogers67@gmail.com' joeyj1220 says:

    For historical accuracy? Absolutely NOT

  • stevehistory@yahoo.com' steveduncan1 says:

    Before his resurrection Christ went to the spirit prison to preach to those who have never been taught the fulness of the gospel according to Peter. 1 Peter 3: 18-19, and 1 Peter 4:6. People are not condemned to hell forever because they never had the opportunity to fully understand the pure gospel of Christ, because they lived in that part of the world where it was never taught, thus the Savior said HIS gospel would be preached in all the world before he returns to earth, and those who chose to follow him would be baptized in the one true church of Jesus Christ by immersion with one having authority form Jesus himself to perform these baptisms. Now what church is noted for sending over 80,0000 missionaries throughout the world today with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, of which church has a foundation of apostles and prophets today?

  • edwardnathansimon@googlemail.com' Ed Simon says:

    Jesus, you kids quibble about the details, don’t you?

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    Not really sure what your point is Gary? The Psalmist is acknowledging that the presence of the Lord is everywhere. I take that to mean he is in our minds, and with us spiritually at all times and in all places. I do not take this to mean that Jesus descended to hell. I don’t think you can take that from this Psalm.

    I think God knew what he was communicating to us when he told the thief that “today you will be with me in paradise”, along with, “it is finished”.

    We should all take great comfort in those words.

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    quite a few things could be “further from the truth,”…good grief;; whenever someone ends up resorting to that phrase, it’s clear their thinking cap isn’t on…..how about “unicorns will save you and also make you candy corn every day for the rest of your life.”
    THERE: something “further from the truth.” was that so hard????

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    You’re being silly: why would you say “Today I say…” if you you think the “today” is so self-evident it doesn’t need to be said how about saying, “I say to you” while you are SAYING IT?????
    get real… Jesus was speaking, not writing; these are colloquial ways of speaking… as he would say (and we translate) LO,,, or BEHOLD,

    before going on… like saying “LIstion UP….’;;; Hear me…
    Today I say….. “I’m telling you” “Get this….”
    It’s not abundantly clear He was saying that “You will be with me, in Paradise, TODAY, this day, 24 hours, Friday, the day we die….more than He was saying > LIsten up, right now, TODAY, I’m telllig you, face to face, You will be with me in Paradise….”
    and of course, it doesn’t matter either way… I think the LORD could have been withthat thief in paradise on friday, in a real way, and also gone to the preach to the spirits in hades, the dead, on, say, Saturday….;
    You are being sillly. stop it.

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    PS: to belabor my point: you said “It is self evident that he was speaking on that day.Why, when speaking anything caused great pain would he waste in on stating the obvious.”
    Good grief; you are hoist on your own petard. what would be even more self -evident and unnecessary to say, in great pain, as you argue, than to say “I say” when you are SAYING it? You ARE saying something, so why waste all that breath and paid to SAY “I say to you,” when you already ARE saying it…?? that’s your logic…. it’s silly.
    Like many things in scripture, usually on the non-significant type, it’s not entirely clear from the text which way to read this use of “today”….
    …but I lean toward the reading that the Lord was saying, in effect, to get the guiy’s attention,..” Listen to me now, I’m tellin’ ya……”

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    no, we’re saying you are being a poop head…. scriptures can be trusted.
    Your brain can’t.
    No offense…. just saying, lighten up, so many things that you , apparentlly, think are so clear, that there’s only one way to read a certain text, are not really that clear… that’s why you have been ordered, or remonstrated with, to study the scriptures,,, shake each limb, leaf, keep studying…. in this little exchange you have been shown to be way off in how you approach just one line of scripture, one word…so lighten up and get your nose to the grindstone and study some more…
    language is heavy, deep and real.
    it’s hard enough for you to understand what other people in your life mean when they speak English to you…how much more when you are reading translations of texts centuries old from languages you have no ken with?
    come on….

  • danj@jsyinc.com' DJ in AZ says:

    The doctrine that Christ, after His crucifixion but before His resurrection, visited and preached the gospel to those spirits who had previously lived on earth is part of LDS theology. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/138?lang=eng

  • danj@jsyinc.com' DJ in AZ says:

    “18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

    19 “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

    20 “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:18–20.)

  • danj@jsyinc.com' DJ in AZ says:

    “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6.)

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    Adam blaming Eve was just part of the story overturning the ancient matriarchal order. First, we are told that Adam came first, and that Eve was an afterthought. That gives primacy to Adam, even though all ancient cultures, including the Sumerian and Babylonian out which Hebrew culture grew, gave primacy originally to the Great Mother Goddess, an earth goddess from whom all sprang. The Mother Goddess was often associated with a serpent symbol, of which Joseph Campbell gives numerous examples in his study “Occidental Mythology: The Masks of God”. This feminine force was benign and powerful.

    Somewhere in the 3rd millennium BCE, as military-political forces began to dominate societies, the old legends were re-written to favor the male, and in doing so, the female had to be disparaged. So, in the Yahwist creation story, Eve associates with the serpent who leads her to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and she then gets Adam to do likewise. The female and the serpent are portrayed as having corrupted the male, hence the inferiority of the female and she is positioned as not being worthy to be heard in council. Yahweh punishes Adam for having listened to Eve, but Eve suffers all the punishments given to Adam and then some. She is punished more.

    Yahweh set them up for failure, not by giving them free will, but by denying them any knowledge of good and evil and then forbidding them to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And, I note, the serpent did not lie; eating the fruit of the tree gave them that knowledge, knowledge which Yahweh then remarks that had been reserved to the gods. So, how, with free will but without knowledge of good and evil, were they to judge the rightness or wrongness of eating from the fruit of that tree? They were meant to fail.

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    Christianity has done a wholesale reinterpretation of the Jewish Bible to further the ends of Christianity without regard to Jewish interpretations. A lot of Christian ideas about fallen angels and Satan arose from the Book of Enoch, a pre-Christian Jewish text that never made it into the Jewish Bible.

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    Sorry the phrase upsets you, but if you read that verse in it’s proper context, you would understand that it has nothing to do with Jesus descending to hell. Perhaps “nothing could be further..” is too strong for you, but I am okay with it. Putting the thinking cap on means taking the verse in context, not criticizing a descriptive phrase. Tell me what the verse means to you, and why you believe that.

  • ntgoss31@gmail.com' Nathan Goss says:

    I will agree with you on that point. The true history of God is not limited to the accounts in the Bible. I understand that the Bible is just a collection of different writings or oral stories that were compiled into what we call the Bible. The question the Bible, the Torah, and the Quaran attempts to answer is what is the nature of this all powerful God? Versions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have been established and forgotten over time, which gives us varying interpretations of the core text. What I’m arguing is this: It’s one thing for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to give varying accounts of the same story that they all experienced, but it’s quite another thing to look back in history and state that something happened when you weren’t even alive to experience it. I think the “Jesus went to hell” idea comes from the fact that Jesus cried out “God why have you forsaken me” on the cross. You can take this as a simple cry of agony, or you can extrapolate this idea to believe that Jesus’ soul was actually forsaken by God. Thus, Jesus went to hell because his soul was temporarily forsaken. I’m not saying that the “Jesus in Hell” idea is wrong. I’m just saying that as far as biblical text goes there is hardly any textual evidence to support that assumption. Maybe he did; maybe he didn’t. The only thing I can gather from what I’ve read is that Jesus died and rose again on the third day, and that’s good enough for me.

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    So what your saying is that scripture can be trusted but the words and intend are questionable. It seems that there has been about 1500 years of study but what I find is that people just don’t like what they have come up with so they continually muddy the waters to keep people second guessing as to what the truth really is.
    -poop head

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    “I think the LORD could have been with that thief in paradise on Friday,
    in a real way, and also gone to the preach to the spirits in hades, the
    dead, on, say, Saturday ” So do I . What I am talking about is the idea that Jesus when to Hell on our behalf .

  • douglasjbender@hotmail.com' Douglas J. Bender says:

    You didn’t answer my questions. Pretending that the Apostles didn’t die for their testimony, in spite of wide and reputable evidence to the contrary, simply in order to avoid addressing the point, is not “noble-minded”.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The apostle Paul saw Jesus in a vision. That doesn’t count as seeing him for real. The gospels were stories written at the end of the century about a man who lived at the beginning of the century, but in between we have the writings of Paul from the middle of the century about a Christianity that said nothing from the gospels. That means the gospels were just made up, and didn’t actually happen.

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    The disciples were with Him for years and weren’t always sure what He meant when He said something…. we’ve all had centuries and we aren’t all sure what He said based on what has been written…..
    that’s why you are told to study, study…
    ….I’m not worrying about the main stuff, but, what He experienced in His Passion, ..there is much mystery…much of it isn’t ours to know, I’m sure… but quit thinking you know it all, and that’s plain as the smirk on your face… it’s not.

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    I’m saying now we see through a glass darkly……
    you can quote me on that…..
    there is much mystery about what all the Lord did in His Passion…

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    I think He went to preach to the spirits still in prison… along with a few other verses, I think it means Jesus is Lord of all, and Hell cannot overcome Him; He surely could have or could go there, it seems to me..
    I think there is much mystery about His Passion, what all happened, much of it i snot for us to know, I suppose… but I think is a real sense the Lord “went to Hell,’ or the place of the dead, or whatever, totally overcame death, and Death, and …
    why are you so adamant about the Lord not going to Hell,…. yes, the names of the place are a problem, translations, etc… Hades, the place of the dead, the trash heap, …

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    PS: and why wed yourself to using a phrase that is so clearly untrue, by definition, and that you couldn’t know anyhoo…. “nothing could be further from the truth?” how would you ever know….??? but if you are so easy to sprinkle your speech, writing and thinking, with that kind of balderdash, well, what else is dashing past the balder…
    clean up your talk , your thoughts… don’t muddy it more than it already might be, with stock cliches that obviously don’t mean what you are using them to mean… what’s the percentage in that?

  • mplstim56@yahoo.com' mplstim says:

    well, good grief.;; the Lord did know what He was saying, no poop, sherlock.. that’s not the point;;; which is , do YOU know.. or are hyou confusing yourself with the Lord?? big mistake, there.
    what He meant about It is finished doesn’t mean HE had nothing more to do… he obviusly did.. why could He not accept Mary’s embrace in the garden? Had he ascended yet? no…. quit using that weird logic that since He said “It is finished,” that, what? nothing else could be done by Him, that day, or the next or the next? good grief….

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    “The disciples were with Him for years and weren’t always sure what He meant when He said something.” this is true but they at that time did not have the Holy Spirit who ” will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears,” I know very little but god has not left us in the dark but has given us His word and His Holy Spirit to help guide us into all truth and righteousness.

  • 9bogeys@gmail.com' Dave says:

    There is some basic Christian doctrine that is important to understand. Jesus Christ paid the price for our sin debt with his death on the Cross. That is where it was completed, … finished. Nothing else was needed to be added to that final act of love.

    God is omniscient and all powerful so He can certainly do whatever he chooses, and go wherever he chooses. But we should not get that confused with the final act of his atonement for our sins. There was no more work to be done. His death on the Cross was the final sacrifice, and Christians need to understand that nothing else was needed to atone for our sins.

    I am not adamant about God not being able to go to hell, I just want to make the point that no further “work” was needed to add to the atonement. It is important to note that this is a big issue with major Word of Faith preachers like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Hagin, et-al. They all teach versions of Christ needing to go to hell and spend 3 days fighting for our salvation. I am not sure what motivates them to push this theory, other than to confuse. But the critical message of salvation, is that the FINAL sacrifice for our sins took place on the Cross, and nothing can be added to that.

    This is probably the most important Christian doctrine for believers to understand, so I do get a little fired up when there is discussion that leads people to believe that more work was needed in hell. Jesus paid the price on the Cross. There is no mystery, it is clear from Genesis throughout the New Testament. Christ came as the final sacrifice for our sin debt.

    Remember that this is God, who spoke and the universe came into existence. So it is not like he needs to run around in a physical sense tying up loose ends, in different geographical locations. He finished the act of salvation on the Cross, thus giving His creation the free choice to accept this gift.

  • johnlucia1965@gmail.com' Veritas says:

    They were to trust God. They knowledge of good and evil is really then arrogance to judge what is right and wrong, apart from what God told them. What problem in the world is not a conflict of people judging wrongly what is right and what is wrong, usually salted with their own selfish view of a world revolving around them?

  • This piece is pretty hilarious and ignorant, but there’s something happening in churches that’s even funnier!

    It involves dancing and Moses . . .

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/cosmostheinlost/2015/04/09/so-you-think-moses-cant-liturgical-dance-forget-salonchristianitysecrets/

  • wesseldawn@gmail.com' duck says:

    Only the thief on his ‘right’ went to Paradise, so what happened to the guy on Jesus’ ‘left’?

  • wesseldawn@gmail.com' duck says:

    Hell, death, the grave – these are all synonyms and used interchangeably in repetitious sentences. If you use repetitious information (accounting for synonyms) it reveals the true meaning. But you will not hear that in any Church.

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    He died in his sin as all who do not acknowledge Jesus as Lord

  • das417@yahoo.com' W Kumar says:

    I remember thinking that it was strange my evangelical church didn’t teach this explicitly. If the Bible says that Jesus went to hell after his death, then why don’t we talk about it? It seems like something embarrassing as the author claims. Something that seems almost too hard to believe in for whatever reason.

    “In this way the positivist and the fundamentalist are strangely unified in their opposition to Tertullian’s infamous aphorism: credo quia absurdum (“I believe it because it is absurd”). The fundamentalist with his embarrassment over paradox denies the weirdness of his faith. The positivist can do no such thing and like Mr. Jefferson takes his razor to the Bible to excise the strangeness.”

    Exactly. I can’t explain why the positivist would want to do this, but the fundamentalist is quick to make his faith look “scientific” in that it is rational and not absurd in anyway. In doing so they reduce the mystery that is faith.

  • aikido7@aol.com' james warren says:

    If there really is a hell, Jesus will be there with ice water.

  • mmartha48@gmail.com' Murmur1 says:

    Were they “meant to” fall, or was it simply inevitable that they would? In a myth, the characters are trapped in the roles they play.

    I like your point about God not giving them the knowledge of good and evil, then expecting them to not eat the forbidden fruit. That’s key to the truth of the story. I think Yahweh wanted them to obey him out of love for Him, much as a parent might want to shield his or her children from the knowledge of good and evil (i.e., keep them innocent), while at the same time wanting them to heed the parent’s warnings about dangers. And God warned Adam about the fruit before Eve was created. So was it Adam’s job to warn Eve? And, not knowing about good and evil, why would Eve suspect the serpent? And did she even know what it means to die? And can an infallible God change His mind? The story provides a lot of food for thought, doesn’t it?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    “I believe it because it is absurd” can only be applied where it fits, and not where it doesn’t fit. The world is created by the creation story.

  • das417@yahoo.com' W Kumar says:

    So you disagree?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    If everyone wants to believe something, but it logically makes no sense, then this is a way they can believe and have a mutual agreement not to question each other about it.

  • Brucehorst@gmail.com' DataguyII says:

    I’d like to respond to you on you comment from the previous website, but it seems they blocked me for quoting Scripture. Ha!

  • Brucehorst@gmail.com' DataguyII says:

    Like for silencing women or refusing service to gays?

  • thoughton@shaw.ca' Tony Houghton says:

    Unfortunately there are sites that do that

  • faminiter@comcast.net' FA Miniter says:

    Yes, it is very deep.
    By pointing out to Adam the one forbidden thing, Yahweh pointed to the elephant in the room. Curiosity is a powerful driver.
    Also interesting is Gen. 3:22, where Yahweh says, “Behold, the man is become like one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever:” So despite the threat of Yahweh in Gen. 2:17 that Adam would die on the day he tasted the fruit of the tree, that was not true, either literally or figuratively, since immortality could only be gained (not lost) by eating from the tree of life. So, the serpent was telling the truth and Yahweh was lying. Not a good start to man’s relationship with the divine.

    Also note, Yahweh in the passage I quoted is speaking to the divine council. At this point in the development of theology, Yahweh is not the only god. He may be the prime god, in which case, theology has reached the stage of monolatry, a first change from polytheism, but it is still far from monotheism.

  • emilyk04@gmail.com' Fired, Aren't I says:

    WHAAAAT?! HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST THE GOD OF THE TORAH IS ANYTHING BUT UNIQUELY CREATED BY HEBREWS, IT MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT COME FROM A MUCH RICHER PREVIOUS HUMAN TRADITI—

    yeah, I think you’ll find most intelligent religious people either 1) know this or 2) don’t really mind it and therefor continue to practice their religion.

    As for ME, I come down on the side of Richard Elliott Friedman, who expressed marvel that the texts could amalgamate so many different traditions into one people’s “history.”

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