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3 days in Hell?


JesusFightClub

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So I read on the other thread that many people and many fundies were taught Jesus spent 3 days in hell after he died. This is confusing.

We were basically taught "He wis juist hingin' aboot, deid likes" ;) That was the physical bit of him dying, like the human part. Then at the resurrection he was all the God part. But not that he went to hell!

So my question for all those taught that, and ex fundies, is what if anything was Jesus actually supposed to be doing in Hell? Was he being punished? A fight with Satan? Helping people get out?

I do not at all remember this from the Bible and where we live, we've not got one. It is a puzzling question.

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Guest Anonymous

Great question. :P

I can't really remember being taught specifically on where he was for the three days .... although much was made of the fact that he said to the other guy on the cross next to him "Today you will be with me in Paradise". Which implies that he went straight on to heaven and it was just his body that was hung around for a bit longer?

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I was raised a Christian, but by no means even close to being "fundie". We were always taught Jesus decended into Hell after dying on the cross. (Friday) On Easter Sunday, he then rose (came out of Hell, walked the earth for a time, eventually going into Heven). I don't believe the Bible teaches exactly what he "did" in Hell other than suffering in "our" place.

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Here's an explanation: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/descendit.htm

Apparently there is some controversy.

Recently, some of the TV preachers/prosperity gospel guys have been passing around this little tale about how not only did Jesus "descend" into hell, but he let Satan chain him up and torture him for 3 days, and then KAPOW! he burst the chains, beat up Satan, and was resurrected. It's good drama and all, but nothing I can find in Scripture. The scripture given in the link above, a lot of it is kind of iffy as a reference to hell. There is one though, which seems to indicate that Jesus and his message are not limited by death or the strictures of time and space (which should be obvious, if he's God Incarnate, I would think), and that he went, in some way, to redeem those who had died prior to his coming as the Messiah.

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I was taught (in a pentacostal church) that Jesus was in hell to pay for all humans sins, that he was given the worse punishment that the Devil had. That is why non Fundies are so bad, something about throwing Jesus' suffering in his face by rejecting Christianity.

I never heared this in the Southern Baptist church we attended when I was a teen, but it was fundie-lite.

Dusti

I know I probably have some really bad spelling in this....I have only had about half a cup of coffee and it's not even 6:30 am, I'm not fully awake yet.

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I was always taught that he descended to Hades and offered the unsaved the chance for salvation. I write Hades because some people speculate that he didnt' descend into hell but that there is another place where the unsaved, righteous people are kept. It is actually a softer version of Christianity than those who believe that no one can get into heaven without Jesus. This would mean that Noah and Abraham are suffering in hell!

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Here's an explanation: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/descendit.htm

Apparently there is some controversy.

Recently, some of the TV preachers/prosperity gospel guys have been passing around this little tale about how not only did Jesus "descend" into hell, but he let Satan chain him up and torture him for 3 days, and then KAPOW! he burst the chains, beat up Satan, and was resurrected. It's good drama and all, but nothing I can find in Scripture. The scripture given in the link above, a lot of it is kind of iffy as a reference to hell. There is one though, which seems to indicate that Jesus and his message are not limited by death or the strictures of time and space (which should be obvious, if he's God Incarnate, I would think), and that he went, in some way, to redeem those who had died prior to his coming as the Messiah.

What is up with some Christians trying to remake Jesus into the image of a badass, Rambo type man? It's like they can't stand their own founder's gentleness so they have to remake him. Is preserving their image of traditional American manhood more important than actually following Jesus?

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I have no idea debrand, and these aren't particularly patriarchal people, not VF types or anything. Joyce Myers (big time female evangelist) has participated in this too. It's wierd.

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I was taught that he was fighting with satan for the 3 days. I remember this well because it was one of my questioning marathons that got me in trouble and upset my mom. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it took this guy, who was supposed to be the best at everything, he was GOD for crying out loud, 3 whole days to beat the wimp we were taught that satan was.

The theory was that he did all of the fighting with Satan so that we wouldn't have too. But...what about the spiritual warfare that the pastor is always talking about, I asked. Then it was confusing and frustrating, now I find it funny :)

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I was always taught he went straight to heaven and hung out with God till he came back. Never heard the hell thing.

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I refer you to the ever-handy Wikipedia, and this article about the "Harrowing of Hell."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrowing_of_Hell

What I was taught as a Catholic child is that Jesus did go down to Hell, to rescue and bring forth to Heaven the good people who died before he came to earth. They'd been in kind of a holding cell in Hell. Catholics believed there was a part of Hell that wasn't so bad, where you didn't suffer any actual torment except being deprived of seeing God--which, according to them, was the worst possible mental torment, so I always scratched my head over how they could stay at the same time that you were not suffering and that you were suffering. Anyway, that was where they put the "virtuous pagans" who were very good people but didn't believe in Jesus. Also all of those Old Testament prophets and such. However, it was a one-time deal, so if you had the misfortune to be a virtuous pagan after the resurrection of Jesus, too bad.

I think this is pretty standard belief for Catholics and Orthodox. There's also a tradition that I don't know as much about, that says Jesus somehow tricked the Devil by dying--that the Devil received Jesus into Hell because he thought Jesus was just another damned soul, and then Jesus busted out of prison and took a bunch of the other captives with him--kind of a Jesus Jail Break movie. I must say I kinda like that as a story, although again it occasions a lot of head-scratching if you really think about it.

Here's a link to a famous Easter sermon/hymn by John Crysostom (i.e. "the Golden-Mouthed") that talks about this.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2007/apr5.html

[edited to fix stoopid html mistake]

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Dim memory from my Anglican childhood of the Apostle's creed included the phrase: He was crucified dead and buried. He descended into Hell. On the 3rd day he rose again from the dead.

So it's not just fundies and Catholics.

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I was always under the impression that it similar to what I gleaned from Dante...

that he descended and 'rescued' those in the Elysian Fields (where Virgil lives, basically those who were 'good enough' but before his coming)--although being Protestant, it wasn't the Elysian Fields, it was something vauge and never described.

I suppose I need to find out what my church actually believes

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The Apostles Creed says:

He descended into hell.

On the third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.

So Catholics believe he went to hell during those three days, anyway. I think Dante mentions it in the Inferno too.

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What is up with some Christians trying to remake Jesus into the image of a badass, Rambo type man? It's like they can't stand their own founder's gentleness so they have to remake him. Is preserving their image of traditional American manhood more important than actually following Jesus?

Extremists don't follow the words of the god they claim to worship, and they twist the holy book they claim to live by. Happens in all religions.

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I have also heard the creed as "He descended to the dead", which could just mean he died and went nowhere.

In Catholic religious ed I don't recall hearing a lot about Jesus in Hell. I do remember when I took up Protestantism (conservative, non-fundie) I was told he went to Hell. However, I'm not sure he was there 3 days. I heard he went to Hell at the very moment the sky turned black and the temple curtain ripped and he screamed that God had abandoned him.

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The Apostle's Creed I was taught totally left out the part about him going to hell. LOL

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I am pretty sure I learned "was crucified, died, and was buried" but I'd have to pull out the hymnal and check.

but I got the "went to Hell and rescued people" thing from Dante, so it's at least an old part of Western Christianity.

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Southern Baptist learned here: I was never taught Jesus did anything when he died. The way I learned was died on the cross, rose three days later. Nothing in between, asleep and awake.( I don't believe in it, just a different view :) )

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I've never heard that Jesus spent three days in Hell, though I am not Christian. That just seems soooooo weird for me. No offence to anyone who believes that, i just never considered that was a thing. I do find it very fascinating that some people were taught that, and some were not.

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I was always under the impression that it similar to what I gleaned from Dante...

that he descended and 'rescued' those in the Elysian Fields (where Virgil lives, basically those who were 'good enough' but before his coming)--although being Protestant, it wasn't the Elysian Fields, it was something vauge and never described.

I suppose I need to find out what my church actually believes

There is no understating the effect that Dante Alighieri's writing had on the Christian afterlife teaching. Many beliefs on Heaven and Hell are based on The Divine Comedy more than the Bible.

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