Sunday School Question: Did Jesus Descended Into Hell?

Reader, where was Jesus human spirit on Holy Saturday if he hadn’t yet ascended to heaven? Following his death for sin, Jesus journeyed to Hades, the City of Death, and ripped the gates off the hinges. I remember being taught that and that Jesus fought Satan to win the Keys of the Kingdom. 

There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles' Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.

Some use Ephesians 4:7-10 to teach that Jesus went to hell or to Hades to release the prisoners held there and take them to heaven or into God’s presence. The idea is that before His death, all Old Testament believers were in Abraham’s bosom—the paradise part of Hades. Hades or Sheol was seen as the place of the dead with three areas or compartments: (1) the abyss or tartarus, the place of confinement for those demons who sinned in the days of Noah; (2) torments, the place of suffering for all unbelievers until the time of the resurrection of the unjust and the Great White Throne Judgment when they will be cast eternally into the lake of fire, and (3) a third place separated by a great gulf (see Luke 16), called Abraham’s Bosom, the place of blessing for believers. Because Christ had not yet died to pay the penalty for their sin, they were not yet able to go directly into the presence of God. After His death, however, the barrier was removed and He took them out of prison and into God’s presence.


  1. Miss Ann,

    From the time I set out to understand God's WORD, I have learnt to take everything I was taught in the church with not a pinch is salt, but a handful of salt. Example: the apostles' creed has no biblical support other than that "under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, each of the 12 apostles contributed an article of the creed." And the creed was written by Ambrose from a council of Milan to Pope Siricius in ~390AD (Wikipedia) - when all the apostles were long dead. So this man creeps in unawares (Jude 4) and spreads this mess!

    "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom... between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot..." Luke 16:23-26

    So yes, Ephesians 4 refers to the place Abraham was before resurrection. Remember there is a fixed gulf between the two places.

  2. We don't know, and this is needless speculation. It is sufficiently precise to state that he died and was separated from God for the only time in eternity...and then was raised again as testimony that he was the powerful Son of God.

  3. Jesus, the second person of the trinity did not die spiritually. It is impossible for God to be separated from God!

    1. Not Happy, if indeed it is true what you say, then Jesus' death on the cross did not fulfill its purpose. If "God cannot be separated from God", then did God not turn his back on his son at the cross? Did Christ not truly take the punishment (complete separation from god) that was due us?

  4. Ms.Ann I never believed that He descended into Hell. I felt this was a time of God-given rest, and considered His promise to be with the man on the other cross in paradise. I do not repeat that phrase when repeating the creed. I have never found any scriptural justification for its inclusion.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. When Jesus cried out, (From translation of Hebrew) "Father Why has thou forsaken me," God turned his face from the sin that Christ bore in his body of the word. At that very moment was separation.


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