Abraham's Bosom and souls in hell

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Presbyter_Ian

Puritan Board Freshman
OK, first post, be gentle (but firm, LOL)...

I was doing a little digging on the teaching of “soul sleep,” and I came across Calvin’s “Psychopannychia.” It opened a bit of can of worms regarding Christ’s descent into hell to preach the gospel, as well as the concept of “Abraham’s Bosom” or generally what happened to Old Testament saints until Christ’s resurrection.

Here’s what I have at this point:

1) When we die, our bodies decay, but we are instantly in the presence of the Lord in heaven, where we rejoice with Him until He comes again, and we are given “resurrection bodies,” the earth is destroyed, and all things are made new.

2) Further, when Christ died, He descended to “hell,” not to suffer but to proclaim the gospel to those who could not have heard it before – those who God had credited their faith as righteousness (the elect) were redeemed and released from whatever state they were in.

So the souls of the elect were there waiting for final redemption -- they died in a state where they were redeemed by their faith but the atonement was not yet complete.

Here’s the rub – if the elect were there, it couldn’t be “hell” per se, and at this point final judgment had not been passed, because Christ had not returned.

It seems that according to Calvin, this wasn’t really “hell” per se but “Abraham’s Bosom” which sounds an awful lot like what the Catholics call “Limbo of the Patriarchs.” If that’s the case, when DID Jesus “descend into hell” as per the Apostle’s Creed? So here is my succinct list of questions:

1) Where do the souls of the elect go when they die, today? (I think the answer is “heaven, with Christ.”)
2) Where did the souls of the elect go before Christ’s death? (I think the answer is “Abraham’s Bosom, some odd in-between place.” I'd LOVE more information about this.)
3) Where do the souls of the nonelect go between death and final judgment? (My best guess would be that THEY “sleep” and aren’t aware of anything until judgment where they appear before Christ and are “sentenced” to hell.)
4) Did Christ actually descend to “hell” and if so, who was there? (I’m stumped on this one. The Apostles' Creed says He did but a) no one should be in hell before the final judgment, right?, and b) all the references I find point to the purpose of Him going being to redeem people, who would be the elect, and wouldn’t be in “hell” in the first place.)

Can you shed any light on this?
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Westminster Confession
Chapter XXXII
Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead


I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption:[1] but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them:[2] the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies.[3] And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day.[4] Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.

II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed:[5] and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.[6]

III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor: the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honor; and be made conformable to His own glorious body.[7]

[1] GEN 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. ACT 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.

[2] LUK 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. ECC 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

[3] HEB 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 2CO 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. PHI 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. ACT 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. EPH 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.

[4] LUK 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. ACT 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. JUD 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 1PE 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

[5] 1TH 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1CO 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

[6] JOB 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. 1CO 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

[7] ACT 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. JOH 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 1CO 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. PHI 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

From Robert L. Dabney's "Systematic Theology" Chapter 37, Christ's Humiliation and Exaltation

1. Christ’s Humiliation. Did He Descend Into Hell? Calvin’s View.

Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist? See Catechism, Qu. 27. That Christ should fulfill the work of a Redeemer in both estates was necessary for did He descend into the purchase and the application of Salvation? Calvin’s View. There is seeming Bible authority for the clause of the Creed, (inserted later than the body,) which says that "He went into hell." See Ps. 16:10, as quoted by Peter and Paul. Acts ii and xiii. The Hades into which Christ is there said to have gone, receives four explanations. 1. The grave. But it was not the grave into which His "soul" went. 2. The limbus patrum, the Papal. They quote, also, 1 Pet. 3:19, and explain it of the Old Testament saints, and thus explain Matt. 27:53. But we have shown that there is no limbus patrum . 3. Some earlier Lutherans understood 1 Pet. 3:19, to say that Christ went into the hell of the damned to show them His triumph over death, and seal their fate. Thus it was a part of His exaltation. Both this and the previous notion are contradicted by Luke 23:43. 4. Protestants, by hades of Ps. 16:10, now understand simply the invisible or spirit world, to which Christ’s soul went while disembodied. Calvin understands the creed to mean, by Christ’s descent into hell, the torments of spiritual death, which He suffered in dying, not after. His idea is, that the creed meant simply to asseverate, by the words, "descended into hell," the fact that Christ actually tasted the pangs of spiritual death, in addition to bodily, and in this sense endured hell torments for sinners, so far as they can be felt without sin. But Calvin expressly says that the whole of that torment was tasted before the Redeemer’s soul left the body. For thence it went to rest in the bosom of the Father. He even raises and answers this question. If this is the meaning of the Creed, why is the descent into hell mentioned after the death and burial, if the thing it means really occurred before? The answer is unsatisfactory, but this at least shows that I have not misunderstood Calvin in his peculiar view. And this is all the ground which exists for the charge so often made by persons who professed much more acquaintance with Calvin than they possessed, that he held to Christ’s actual descent into the world of damned spirits!
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
From Louis Berkhof's "Ststematic Theology"

THE SAVIOUR’S DESCENT INTO HADES.

a. This doctrine in the Apostolic Confession. After the Apostolic Confession has mentioned the sufferings, death, and burial, of the Lord, it continues with the words, “He descended into hell (hades).” This statement was not in the Creed as early nor as universally as the others. It was first used in the Aquileian form of the Creed (c. 390 A.D.), “descendit in inferna.” Among the Greeks some translated “inferna” by “hades,” and others by “lower parts.” Some forms of the Creed in which these words were found did not mention the burial of Christ, while the Roman and Oriental forms generally mentioned the burial but not the descent into hades. Rufinus remarks that they contained the idea of the descent in the word “buried.” Later on, however, the Roman form of the Creed added the statement in question after its mention of the burial. Calvin correctly argues that for those who added them after the word “buried,” they must have denoted something additional.[Inst. Bk. II, XVI, 8.; cf. also Pearson, On the Creed.] It should be borne in mind that these words are not found in Scripture, and are not based on such direct statements of the Bible as the rest of the articles of the Creed.

b. Scriptural basis for the expression. There are especially four passages of Scripture that come into consideration here. (1) Eph. 4:9, “Now this, He ascended, what is it but that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth?” They who seek support in this passage take the expression “lower parts of the earth” as the equivalent of “hades.” But this is a doubtful interpretation. The apostle argues that the ascent of Christ presupposes a descent. Now the opposite of the ascension is the incarnation, cf. John 3:13. Hence the majority of commentators take the expression as referring simply to the earth. The expression may be derived from Ps. 139:15 and refer more particularly to the incarnation. (2) I Peter 3:18,19, which speaks of Christ as “being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which He also went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” This passage is supposed to refer to the descent into hades and to state the purpose of it. The Spirit referred to is then understood to be the soul of Christ, and the preaching mentioned must have taken place between His death and resurrection. But the one is just as impossible as the other. The Spirit mentioned is not the soul of Christ but the quickening Spirit, and it was by that same life-giving Spirit that Christ preached. The common Protestant interpretation of this passage is that in the Spirit Christ preached through Noah to the disobedient that lived before the flood, who were spirits in prison when Peter wrote, and could therefore be designated as such. Bavinck considers this untenable and interprets the passage as referring to the ascension, which he regards as a rich, triumphant, and powerful preaching to the spirits in prison.[Geref. Dogm. III, p. 547. For still another interpretation, cf. Brown, Comm. on Peter in loco.] (3) I Pet. 4:4-6, particularly verse 6, which reads as follows: “For unto this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” In this connection the apostle warns the readers that they should not live the rest of their life in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God, even if they should give offense to their former companions and be slandered by them, since they shall have to give an account of their doing to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. The “dead” to whom the gospel was preached were evidently not yet dead when it was preached unto them, since the purpose of this preaching was in part “that they might be judged according to men in the flesh.” This could only take place during their life on earth. In all probability the writer refers to the same spirits in prison of which he spoke in the preceding chapter. (4) Ps. 16:8-10 (comp. Acts 2:25-27,30,31). It is especially the 10th verse that comes into consideration here, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.” From this passage Pearson concludes that the soul of Christ was in hell (hades) before the resurrection, for we are told that it was not left there.[Expos. of the Creed, in loco.] But we should note the following: (a) The word nephesh (soul) is often used in Hebrew for the personal pronoun, and sheol, for the state of death. (b) If we so understand these words here, we have a clear synonymous parallelism. The idea expressed would be that Jesus was not left to the power of death. (c) This is in perfect harmony with the interpretation of Peter in Acts 2:30,31, and of Paul in Acts 13:34,35. In both instances the psalm is quoted to prove the resurrection of Jesus.

c. Different interpretations of the creedal expression. (1) The Catholic Church takes it to mean that, after His death, Christ went into the Limbus Patrum, where the Old Testament saints were awaiting the revelation and application of His redemption, preached the gospel to them, and brought them out to heaven. (2) The Lutherans regard the descent into hades as the first stage of the exaltation of Christ. Christ went into the underworld to reveal and consummate His victory over Satan and the powers of darkness, and to pronounce their sentence of condemnation. Some Lutherans place this triumphal march between the death of Christ and His resurrection; others, after the resurrection. (3) The Church of England holds that, while Christ’s body was in the grave, the soul went into hades, more particularly into paradise, the abode of the souls of the righteous, and gave them a fuller exposition of the truth. (4) Calvin interprets the phrase metaphorically,[Inst. Bk. II, XVI, 8 ff.] as referring to the penal sufferings of Christ on the cross, where He really suffered the pangs of hell. Similarly, the Heidelberg Catechism.[Q. 44.] According to the usual Reformed position the words refer not only to the sufferings on the cross, but also to the agonies of Gethsemane. (5) Scripture certainly does not teach a literal descent of Christ into hell. Moreover, there are serious objections to this view. He cannot have descended into hell according to the body, for this was in the grave. If He really did descend into hell, it can only have been as to His soul, and this would mean that only half of His human nature shared in this stage of His humiliation (or exaltation). Moreover, as long as Christ had not yet risen from the dead, the time had not come for a triumphal march such as the Lutherans assume. And, finally, at the time of His death Christ commended His spirit to His Father. This seems to indicate that He would be passive rather than active from the time of His death until He arose from the grave. On the whole it seems best to combine two thoughts: (a) that Christ suffered the pangs of hell before His death, in Gethsemane and on the cross; and (b) that He entered the deepest humiliation of the state of death.
 

KeithW

Puritan Board Freshman
I also have been trying to study where does the soul go after death.

From what little I've been able to clearly determine, the body goes into the physical grave that we see. The soul goes to the place of the dead (hades). This is the place Jesus also descended into. (He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell [hades], neither his flesh did see corruption. Acts 2:31) Then there will be a resurrection of the dead, of all men, where all men will again have a body. Then on the day of judgment unbelievers are cast into the lake of fire, the second death, aka hell. (And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:15)

So I would also like to find some good reformed resources on death, hell, hades, gehenna, sheol. Trying to plug these words into a Google search gives a lot of resources which simply deny what the Bible obviously says.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
1) Where do the souls of the elect go when they die, today? (I think the answer is “heaven, with Christ.”)
Heaven, the presence of God.

2) Where did the souls of the elect go before Christ’s death? (I think the answer is “Abraham’s Bosom, some odd in-between place.” I'd LOVE more information about this.)
Heaven, the presence of God.

3) Where do the souls of the nonelect go between death and final judgment? (My best guess would be that THEY “sleep” and aren’t aware of anything until judgment where they appear before Christ and are “sentenced” to hell.)
Hell, torment, a place to wait for the final judgment.

4) Did Christ actually descend to “hell” and if so, who was there? (I’m stumped on this one. The Apostles' Creed says He did but a) no one should be in hell before the final judgment, right?, and b) all the references I find point to the purpose of Him going being to redeem people, who would be the elect, and wouldn’t be in “hell” in the first place.)
The "decendit" phrase from the Creed was originally a synonym for "buried." Both phrases being retained in the final form of the Creed, an erroneous interpretation of Christ's "spiritual" decent was overlaid and elaborated in the Middle Ages.

Our Reformers preferred to retain the historic phrase, but imbue it with theological truth in place of error (as opposed to the Lutherans who kept closer to the medieval idea in their explanations). Hence, we understand the spiritual "hell" that Christ did undergo was in the cross itself, in our place. And also that his descended body stayed in death's real grip until Christ rose again, breaking its power. (All this knowledge courtesy of Danny Hyde, "In Defense of the Decendit." In Defense of the Descent: A Response to Contemporary Critics - Explorations in Reformed Confessional Theology - Reformation Heritage Books )

Heidelberg Catechism
Question 44
Q. Why is there added: He descended into hell?
A. In my greatest sorrows and temptations I may be assured and comforted that my Lord Jesus Christ, by His unspeakable anguish, pain, terror, and agony, which He endured throughout all His sufferings[1] but especially on the cross, has delivered me from the anguish and torment of hell.[2]
[1] Ps.18:5-6; 116:3; Mt.26:36-46; 27:45-46; Heb.5:7-10. [2] Is.53:1-12.

Westminster Larger Catechism
Question 50: Wherein consisted Christ’s humiliation after his death?
Answer: Christ’s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day; which has been otherwise expressed in these words, he descended into hell.


All the fine parsing of conditions and locations of OT saints or the ungodly, etc., all of that is (in my view) much ado about nothing--besides mostly being false speculation. Here is a thread from a month ago where I was addressing a similar inquiry: http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/abrahams-bosom-compartment-hades-86277/#post1072957


Anyway, I hope you find some helpful information here for sorting through the issues.
 

Presbyter_Ian

Puritan Board Freshman
2) Where did the souls of the elect go before Christ’s death? (I think the answer is “Abraham’s Bosom, some odd in-between place.” I'd LOVE more information about this.)
Heaven, the presence of God.

Having finished digesting Calvin's Psychopannychia, I'm good with this. He has:

This, then, is the bosom of Abraham: for it was he himself who, with ready mind, embraced the promises made to his own seed, never doubting that the word of God was efficacious and true: and as if God had actually performed what he had promised, he waited for that blessed seed with no less assurance than if he had had it in his hands, and perceived it with all his senses.

I take that to mean that Abraham's Bosom is simply a peaceful place to be, i.e., the presence of God. Yes?

It does seem odd that the OT saints would be fully in heaven (redeemed, it would seem) before the atonement had been completed -- do you have any comment on that?

3) Where do the souls of the nonelect go between death and final judgment? (My best guess would be that THEY “sleep” and aren’t aware of anything until judgment where they appear before Christ and are “sentenced” to hell.)
Hell, torment, a place to wait for the final judgment.

This seems odd; that the nonelect would upon death have their souls sent to hell to be apart from God, then on the judgment day be raised and given flesh once again, then be judged and sent back to hell for eternity. Is that what you're saying?

4) Did Christ actually descend to “hell” and if so, who was there? (I’m stumped on this one. The Apostles' Creed says He did but a) no one should be in hell before the final judgment, right?, and b) all the references I find point to the purpose of Him going being to redeem people, who would be the elect, and wouldn’t be in “hell” in the first place.)
The "decendit" phrase from the Creed was originally a synonym for "buried." Both phrases being retained in the final form of the Creed, an erroneous interpretation of Christ's "spiritual" decent was overlaid and elaborated in the Middle Ages.

Our Reformers preferred to retain the historic phrase, but imbue it with theological truth in place of error (as opposed to the Lutherans who kept closer to the medieval idea in their explanations). Hence, we understand the spiritual "hell" that Christ did undergo was in the cross itself, in our place. And also that his descended body stayed in death's real grip until Christ rose again, breaking its power. (All this knowledge courtesy of Danny Hyde, "In Defense of the Decendit." In Defense of the Descent: A Response to Contemporary Critics - Explorations in Reformed Confessional Theology - Reformation Heritage Books )

Ah, the old misquote trap. It's fair to say then, the the descent into "hell" is to be understood as the pain resulting from separation with the Father as payment for our sin?

Anyway, I hope you find some helpful information here for sorting through the issues.

Very much so, thank you.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Having finished digesting Calvin's Psychopannychia,
Calvin wrote Psy. in 1534, among his first theological works. It is good--even excellent--so far as it addresses its aim. It is also, in the nature of the case, a young-scholar's endeavor; and may not have all the richness of additional decades of study and publication. In Psy. he writes, "If any of them still asks, What is to become of the sons of perdition? that is no matter of ours. I answer for believers." He keeps to his subject, and does not opine further.

And when he comments on Lk.16:25 (c.1558) he writes, "Wicked despisers of God, who are wholly engrossed in the pleasures of the flesh, and who by a sort of mental intoxication, drown every feeling of piety, will experience, immediately after death, such torments as will efface their empty enjoyments." The original parable is delivered to OT people for whom these words are resonant with their theological understanding.



Abraham's Bosom is simply a peaceful place to be, i.e., the presence of God. Yes?
For the Jews of that day, Abraham is the preeminent OT saint, the father of all the others. As the "friend of God," Jas.2:23; Is.41:8; 2Chr.20:7; it makes sense to think of nearness to him (his bosom) as nearness to God.



It does seem odd that the OT saints would be fully in heaven (redeemed, it would seem) before the atonement had been completed -- do you have any comment on that?
As your quote from Calvin makes clear, it is our understanding that what is promised to come in history (as the stage) is viewed by the faithful as certain, and complete, even before it takes place. And especially for those who have departed history, they immediately obtain the eternal perspective which they historically maintained by faith.

The efficacy of Christ's work at the pivotal moment of history is applicable to all the saints from the beginning of time to its end. This is not to claim that the accomplishment of redemption is ahistoric, or that application of said redemption does not take place for each person within his personal history; but it is applicable to the time of his faith.



odd; that the nonelect would upon death have their souls sent to hell to be apart from God, then on the judgment day be raised and given flesh once again, then be judged and sent back to hell for eternity. Is that what you're saying?
What is "odd" about it, precisely, in your view? Neither the blessings of the godly, nor the curses of the ungodly are yet perfected until the resurrection. Would someone with equal incredulity in the opposite direction say that the resurrection of the righteous appears pointless also?

Consciousness of some sort seems requisite for the survival/continuity of the soul. The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk.16) is clearly not eschatological in its perspective on the time of this "conversation" (cf. v28); an indication that an OT perspective on death included conscious discomfort for the ungodly paralleling the comforts afforded the saints. We don't need exquisite clarity of either condition to admit what they are. And we are better off with less speculations, not more.

We don't think it always unjust to put ordinary prisoners in jail awaiting trial. The wicked await their trial, confined to "gloomy dungeons" (2Pet.2:4) along with demons. They will be raised in bodies, as we confess WCF 32.1, "to dishonor" (see Jn.5:28-29; Act.24:15; Dan.12:2); the more correctly therefore to be punished everlastingly, Is.66:24. The rebels of the first creation are not yet as perfectly under the wrath of God and its effects as they shall be, 2Ths.1:9.



the descent into "hell" is to be understood as the pain resulting from separation with the Father as payment for our sin?
I'll just let Calvin in Psy. say it for me:
This is the confession which we make in the Creed, viz., that Christ "descended into hell," (in inferos; ) in other words, that He was subjected by the Father, on our account, to all the pains of death; that he endured all its agonies and terrors, and was truly afflicted, it having been previously said that "he was buried."
 

KeithW

Puritan Board Freshman
This seems odd; that the nonelect would upon death have their souls sent to hell to be apart from God, then on the judgment day be raised and given flesh once again, then be judged and sent back to hell for eternity. Is that what you're saying?

I agree that this sounds odd. In like manner, upon death the saved go to heaven, are taken out of heaven for judgment day, then go back to heaven. In addition, Rev. 20 says "hell" is cast into "hell". This all sounds odd.

Some of the oddness in this -- or the quotations in this thread from books, confessions, and catechisms -- can start to be sorted about by realizing we are reading English translations of the Bible. If we take the time to open a concordance and simply check the New Testament word "hell" we see that two different Greek words are being used: hades (the place of the dead) and gehenna (the place of eternal fire).

Gehenna as the lake of fire

KJV said:
Matt. 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [gehenna] fire.

KJV said:
Mark 9:43,44 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell [gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

In the story of Abraham's bosom: hades or gehenna?

KJV said:
Luke 16:22,23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell [hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Did Jesus descend into hades or gehenna?

Assuming that someone's soul has to be "in hell" to be "not left in hell"...

KJV said:
Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [hades], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

KJV said:
Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell [hades], neither his flesh did see corruption.

Of course this raises other questions to be sorted through about where Jesus was when He was buried -- "paradise".

"Hell" cast into "hell"? Or, who is cast into genenna, the lake of fire?

KJV said:
Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

KJV said:
Rev. 20:14,15 And death and hell [hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Summary so far

From these few verses we can see that upon death the unsaved souls go to hades, then there is a resurrection of the dead and the day of judgment, then the unsaved are cast into the lack of fire, gehenna, which is the second death.
 

Presbyter_Ian

Puritan Board Freshman
odd; that the nonelect would upon death have their souls sent to hell to be apart from God, then on the judgment day be raised and given flesh once again, then be judged and sent back to hell for eternity. Is that what you're saying?
What is "odd" about it, precisely, in your view? Neither the blessings of the godly, nor the curses of the ungodly are yet perfected until the resurrection. Would someone with equal incredulity in the opposite direction say that the resurrection of the righteous appears pointless also?

Consciousness of some sort seems requisite for the survival/continuity of the soul. The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk.16) is clearly not eschatological in its perspective on the time of this "conversation" (cf. v28); an indication that an OT perspective on death included conscious discomfort for the ungodly paralleling the comforts afforded the saints. We don't need exquisite clarity of either condition to admit what they are. And we are better off with less speculations, not more.

We don't think it always unjust to put ordinary prisoners in jail awaiting trial. The wicked await their trial, confined to "gloomy dungeons" (2Pet.2:4) along with demons. They will be raised in bodies, as we confess WCF 32.1, "to dishonor" (see Jn.5:28-29; Act.24:15; Dan.12:2); the more correctly therefore to be punished everlastingly, Is.66:24. The rebels of the first creation are not yet as perfectly under the wrath of God and its effects as they shall be, 2Ths.1:9.

OK, good points. I guess my brain just rebelled against the idea, but that makes quite good sense.

Thanks for your input!
 
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