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Encyclopedia > Harrowing of Hell

The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult), which states that Jesus "descended into Hell". His descent to the underworld has been termed the most controversial phrase in the Apostles' Creed.[1] Christian doctrine redirects here. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      The... The Athanasian Creed (Quicunque vult) is a statement of Christian doctrine traditionally ascribed to St. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... This article is about the theological or philosophical afterlife. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with life-death-rebirth deity. ...

Contents

Terminology

Christ's Descent into Limbo by Andrea Mantegna and studio, c. 1470.
Christ's Descent into Limbo by Andrea Mantegna and studio, c. 1470.

The Greek wording in the Apostles' Creed is κατελθόντα εἰς τὰ κατώτατα, ("katelthonta eis ta katôtata"), and in Latin descendit ad inferos. The Greek τὰ κατώτατα ("the lowest") and the Latin inferos ("those below") may also be translated as "underworld", "netherworld", or as "abode of the dead". Thus, sometimes this phrase is translated as "descended to the dead." The first use of the English "harrowing" in this context is in homilies of Aelfric, ca.1000. Harrow is a by-form of harry, a military term meaning to "make predatory raids or incursions"[2]. The term "Harrowing of Hell" refers not merely to the idea that Christ descended into Hell, as in the Creed, but to the rich tradition that developed later, asserting that he triumphed over inferos, releasing Hell's captives, particularly Adam and Eve, and the righteous men and women of Old Testament times. Image File history File links MantegnaDescentLimbo. ... Image File history File links MantegnaDescentLimbo. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... The Agony in the Garden (1455) is the pinnacle of Mantegnas early style. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Underworld (disambiguation). ... lfric, called the Grammarian (c. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism...


Biblical sources

The doctrine is inferred from a particular interpretation of the following verses.

  • Acts 2:27 and 2:31 declare in effect that Hades ("place of the dead") could not hold the crucified Christ.
  • Two passages of 1 Peter principally have been used as a basis for the ancient doctrine.
  • 1 Peter 3:19–20 says that Jesus "went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah…."[3]
  • 1 Peter 4:6 says that the gospel was "proclaimed even to the dead…" (NRSV). ("εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ νεκροῖς εὐηγγελίσθη ")

A reference in 2 Corinthians 2:14 has been interpreted[citation needed] by some to include the harrowing of Hell: "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him"[4] In Christianity, the First Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament. ... Categories: Stub | 1989 books | Bible versions and translations ...

The Harrowing of Hell, depicted in the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, 14th c. illuminated manuscript
The Harrowing of Hell, depicted in the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, 14th c. illuminated manuscript
This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the Heavens, in order to fill the whole universe). (NRSV)
διὸ λέγει, ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. τὸ δὲ ἀνέβη τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς γῆς; ὁ καταβὰς αὐτός ἐστιν καὶ ὁ ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν, ἵνα πληρώσῃ τὰ πάντα.
This is a truncated paraphrase adapting Psalm 68:18, with a changed point of view: "When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious—that you, O LORD God, might dwell there." (NIV) The parenthetical verses 9–10 of Ephesians are widely read as an exegetical gloss on the text. The word for "lower parts" (the comparative form: τὰ κατώτερα) is similar to the word used for "Hell" in the Greek version of the Apostles Creed (the superlative form: τὰ κατώτατα, English: "lowest [places]"). Noted New Testament theologian Frank Stagg identifies three views of this passage from Ephesians:[5]
  • Jesus' burial, or
  • His descent into the underworld or Hell, or
  • His Incarnation as an act of deep humility. (see Philippians 2)
  • Zechariah 9:11 refers to prisoners in a waterless pit. "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water." The verses' reference to captives has been presented as a reflection of Yahweh's captives of the enemy in Psalm 68:17–18: "God's chariots were myriad, thousands upon thousands; from Sinai the Lord entered the holy place. You went up to its lofty height; you took captives, received slaves as tribute. No rebels can live in the presence of God."
  • Isaiah 24:21-22 also refers to spirits in prison, reminiscent of Peter's account of a visitation to spirits in prison: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited."

The Harrowing of Hell, from a fourteenth century manuscript This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... In the strictest definition of illuminated manuscript, only manuscripts decorated with gold or silver, like this miniature of Christ in Majesty from the Aberdeen Bestiary (folio 4v), would be considered illuminated. ... Described by William Barclay as the Queen of the Epistles, the Epistle to the Ephesians is one of the books of the Bible in the New Testament. ... Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ... The Apostles Creed (in Latin, Symbolum (Credo) Apostolicum), is an early statement of Christian belief, possibly from the first or second century, but more likely post-Nicene Creed in the early 4th Century AD. The theological specifics of the creed appear to be a refutation of Gnosticism, an early heresy. ... Look up incarnation, incarnate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Epistle to Philippians is a book included in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Psalms (Tehilim תהילים, in Hebrew) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, and of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ...

Early Christian teaching

In Harrowing of Hades, fresco in the parecclesion of the Chora Church, Istanbul, c.1315, raising Adam and Eve is depicted as part of the Resurrection icon, as it always is in the East.
In Harrowing of Hades, fresco in the parecclesion of the Chora Church, Istanbul, c.1315, raising Adam and Eve is depicted as part of the Resurrection icon, as it always is in the East.

The Harrowing of Hell was taught by theologians of the early church: St. Melito of Sardis (died ca 180) Homily on the Passion; Tertullian (A Treatise on the Soul, 55), Hippolytus (Treatise on Christ and Anti-Christ) and Origen (Against Celsus, 2:43). and, later, St. Ambrose (died 397) all wrote of the Harrowing of Hell. Image File history File links Kariye_ic. ... Image File history File links Kariye_ic. ... Chora Church The Chora Church (Turkish Kariye Müzesi, Kariye Camii, or Kariye Kilisesi — the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. ... Istanbul (Turkish: , Greek: , historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see other names) is Turkeys most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... For the architectural structure, see Church (building). ... Saint Melito of Sardis (died c. ... Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. ... Statue of Hippolytus, 3rd century. ... Origen Origen (Greek: Ōrigénēs, 185–ca. ... Contra Celsus, or (in correct classical Latin) Contra Celsum, is the title of a major work by the Church Father Origen, refutating the anti-Christian writings of Celsus the Platonist. ... For other uses, see Ambrose (disambiguation). ...


The Gospel of Matthew relates that immediately after Christ died, the earth shook, the veil in the Temple was torn in two, and many people rose from the dead and walked about in Jerusalem testifying. According to the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, the Harrowing of Hell was foreshadowed by Christ's raising of Lazarus from the dead prior to his own crucifixion. The hymns proper to the weekend suggest that John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus in Hell by prophesying to those held there that Christ would soon release them, just as he prepared the way for Jesus on earth. The Acts of Pilate (Latin Acta Pilati) is a book of the New Testament apocrypha. ... Resurrection of Lazarus by Juan de Flandes, around 1500 For other uses, see Lazarus (disambiguation). ...


In the Acts of Pilate—usually incorporated with the widely-read medieval Gospel of Nicodemus—texts built around an original that might have been as old as the 3rd century A.D. with many improvements and embroidered interpolations, chapters 17 to 27 are called the Decensus Christi ad Inferos. They contain a dramatic dialogue between Hades and prince Satan, and the entry of the King of Glory, imagined as from within Tartarus (see link below). The richest, most circumstantial accounts of the Harrowing of Hell are found in medieval dramatic literature, such as the four great cycles of English mystery plays which each devote a separate scene to depict it, or in passing references in Dante's Inferno. The subject is found also in the Cornish mystery plays and the York and Wakefield cycles: see Mystery play. These medieval versions of the story do not derive from the bare suggestion made in the Epistle ascribed to Peter, but come from the Gospel of Nicodemus.[citation needed] The Acts of Pilate (Latin Acta Pilati) is a book of the New Testament apocrypha. ... Mystery plays are one of the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... Look up inferno, Inferno, infernal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Mystery plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. ...


Conceptions of the afterlife

Christ leads the patriarchs from Hell to Paradise, by Bartolomeo Bertejo, Spanish, ca 1480: Methuselah, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and Adam and Eve lead the procession of the righteous behind Christ.
Christ leads the patriarchs from Hell to Paradise, by Bartolomeo Bertejo, Spanish, ca 1480: Methuselah, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and Adam and Eve lead the procession of the righteous behind Christ.

The Old Testament states that Job and other righteous men went to Sheol when they died, as did David and the other psalmists. No Hebrew figure ever descended into Sheol and returned, although an apparition of the recently deceased Samuel briefly appeared to Saul when summoned by the witch of Endor. Parts of the New Testament can be read as drawing a distinction between Sheol, the common "place of the dead" in Hebrew [sh°'ôl], and Gehenna, the lake of eternal fire where the evil dead are tormented. English accounts are not always mindful of this distinction, and the two destinations may both be rendered Hell. Download high resolution version (630x950, 175 KB)Bartolomeo Bermejo, Christ Leading the Patriarchs to Paradise c. ... Download high resolution version (630x950, 175 KB)Bartolomeo Bermejo, Christ Leading the Patriarchs to Paradise c. ... Methuselah or Metushélach (Hebrew: / Standard  / Tiberian  /  ; Man of the dart, or alternatively when he dies/died, it will be sent/has been sent) is the oldest person whose age is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. ... This article is about the Biblical character . ... The Queen of Sheba, (Hebrew מלכת שבא , Arabic ملكة سبأ , Geez: ንግሥተ ሳባ Nigista Saba), referred to in the Hebrew scriputures (Old Testament), Bible books of 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, the New Testament, the Quran, and Ethiopian history, was the ruler of Sheba, an ancient kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament). ... Michelangelos The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Adam, with Eve in His arm. ... Michelangelos The Creation of Eve, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Eve from the side of Adam. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ... In Hebrew, ²² Sheol (שאול, Shol) is the abode of the dead, the underworld, the common grave of humankind or pit.[1] In the Hebrew Bible, it is a place beneath the earth, beyond gates, where both the bad and the good, slave and king, pious and wicked must go at... David and Goliath, by Caravaggio, c. ... Psalms (Tehilim תהילים, in Hebrew) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, and of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Witch of Endor: from the frontispiece to Sadducismus Triumphatus by Joseph Glanvill In the Hebrew Bible, the Witch of Endor of the First book of Samuel, chapter 28:4–25, was a witch, a woman who possesses a talisman, through which she called up the ghost of the recently... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The Hellenistic views of heroic descent into the Underworld and successful return follow traditions that are far older than the mystery religions popular at the time of Christ. The Epic of Gilgamesh includes such a scene, and it appears also in Odyssey XI. Writing shortly before the birth of Jesus, Vergil included it in the Aeneid. What little we know of the worship in mystery religions such as the Eleusinian Mysteries and Mithraism suggests that a ritual death and rebirth of the initiate was an important part of their liturgy. Again, this has earlier parallels, in particular with the worship of Osiris. The ancient homily on The Lord's Descent into Hell may mirror these traditions by referring to baptism as a symbolic death and rebirth. (cf. Colossians 2:9–15) Or, these traditions of Mithraism may be drawn from early Christian homilies. Mystery religions, or simply Mysteries, were belief systems of the Graeco-Roman world full admission to which was restricted to those who had gone through certain secret initiation rites. ... The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Babylonia and is among the earliest known literary works. ... This article is about Homers epic poem. ... For other uses see Virgil (disambiguation). ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598 Galleria Borghese, Rome The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos) is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC (between 29 and 19 BC) that tells the legendary story... Taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony on the eve of Diwali. ... The Eleusinian Mysteries (Greek: Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια) were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A liturgy is the customary public worship of a religious group, according to their particular traditions. ... For other uses, see Osiris (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Christian religious act of Baptism. ... The Epistle to the Colossians is a book of the Bible New Testament. ...


Interpretations of the doctrine

Roman Catholic

There is an ancient homily on the subject, of unknown authorship, usually entitled The Lord's Descent into Hell that is the second reading at Matins on Holy Saturday in the Roman Catholic Church. In the Roman Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Church, a homily is usually given during Mass (or Divine Liturgy for Orthodox) at the end of the Liturgy of the Word. ... Canonical hours are ancient divisions of time, developed by the Christian Church, serving as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. ... Holy Saturday is the day before Easter in the Christian calendar. ... Catholic Church redirects here. ...


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "By the expression 'He descended into Hell', the Apostles' Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil 'who has the power of death' (Heb 2:14). In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened Heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him."[6] The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC, is an official exposition of the teachings of the Catholic Church, first published in French in 1992 by the authority of Pope John Paul II.[1] Subsequently, in 1997, a Latin text was issued which is now the official text of reference...


As the Catechism says, the word "Hell" — in Latin, infernus, infernum, inferi; in Greek, ᾍδης (Hades); in Hebrew, שאול (Sheol) — is used in Scripture and the Apostles' Creed to refer to the abode of all the dead, whether righteous or evil, unless or until they are admitted to Heaven (CCC 633). This abode of the dead is the "Hell" into which the Creed says Christ descended. His death freed from exclusion from Heaven the just who had gone before him: "It is precisely these holy souls who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into Hell", the Catechism states (CCC 633), echoing the words of the Roman Catechism, 1,6,3. His death was of no avail to the damned. Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure Apulian vase made in the 4th century BC. For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... The Catechism of the Council of Trent (or Roman Catechism) differs from other summaries of Christian doctrine for the instruction of the people in two points: it is primarily intended for priests having care of souls (ad parochos), and it enjoyed an authority within the Catholic Church equalled by no...


Conceptualization of the abode of the dead as a place, though possible and customary, is not obligatory (Church documents, such as catechisms, speak of a "state or place"). When used, this involves assigning to different sections of it the souls of people whether good or evil. In this case it can be said that Christ did not go to the imagined place of the damned, which is what is generally understood today by the word "Hell". For instance, Thomas Aquinas taught that Christ did not descend into the "Hell of the lost" in his essence, but only by the effect of his death, through which "he put them to shame for their unbelief and wickedness: but to them who were detained in Purgatory he gave hope of attaining to glory: while upon the holy Fathers detained in Hell solely on account of original sin, he shed the light of glory everlasting."[7] Aquinas redirects here. ... Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... Original Sin redirects here. ...


Eastern Orthodox

Russian icon of Christ leading the righteous out of Hades (17th century, Solovetsky Monastery).
Russian icon of Christ leading the righteous out of Hades (17th century, Solovetsky Monastery).

Saint John Chrysostom's Paschal Homily also addresses the Harrowing of Hades, and is typically read during the Paschal Vigil, the major service of the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Pascha (Easter). Andrei Rublev Trinity c. ... Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure Apulian vase made in the 4th century BC. For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... Solovetsky Monastery Solovetsky Monastery (Соловецкий монастырь in Russian), a monastery on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea. ... This article refers to the Christian saint. ... The Paschal homily or sermon of St John Chrysostom is read aloud in every Orthodox parish on the morning of Pascha (a. ... This article is about the Christian festival. ...


In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Harrowing of Hades is celebrated anually on Holy and Great Saturday, during the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil. At the beginning of the service, the hangings in the church and the vestments worn by the clergy are all somber Lenten colours (usually purple or black). Then , just before the Gospel reading, the liturgical colors are changed white and the deacon performs a censing, and the priest strews laurel leaves around the church, in celebration of the harrowing of Hades then taking place, and in anticipation of Christ's imminent resurrection. Orthodox icon of Pentecost. ... Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgies of the canonical hours. ... The altar in St. ... Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religions, especially the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Methodists, Lutheran and Anglican Churches. ... Great Lent is the greatest fasting period in the church year in Eastern Christianity, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Easter (or Holy Pascha). Although it is in many ways similar to Lent in Western Christianity, there are important differences in the timing of Lent... For other uses, see Gospel (disambiguation). ... Liturgical colours are colours of vestments and church decorations within a Christian liturgy. ... Laurel may refer to: // Lauraceae, the botanical laurel family, including Bay laurel Laurus nobilis, the original true laurel that is the source of bay leaves used as a seasoning California Laurel Umbellularia californica is a related tree or large shrub True Cinnamon or Ceylon Cinnamon Cinnamomum verum, the inner bark...

Harrowing of Hades, an icon by Dionisius, from the Ferapontov Monastery.
Harrowing of Hades, an icon by Dionisius, from the Ferapontov Monastery.

The Harrowing of Hades is generally more common and prominent in Orthodox iconography compared to the Western tradition. It is the traditional icon for Holy Saturday, and is used during the Paschal season and on Sundays throughout the year. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 439 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 2182 pixel, file size: 766 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works cannot attract copyright in the U.S. according to the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 439 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 2182 pixel, file size: 766 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works cannot attract copyright in the U.S. according to the rule in Bridgeman Art Library v. ... Dionysius, also spelled Dionisy or Dionisius the Wise, was acknowledged as a head of the Moscow school of icon painters at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries. ... Difficulty of access helped preserve the monastery intact since the 17th century The Ferapontov convent, in the Vologda region of Russia, is considered one of the purest examples of Russian medieval art, a reason given by UNESCO for its inscription in the World Heritage list. ... Look up Iconography in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the religious artifacts. ... Holy Saturday is the day before Easter in the Christian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The traditional Eastern Orthodox icon of the Resurrection of Jesus does not depict simply the physical act of Jesus' coming out of the Tomb, but rather it depicts what Orthodox Christians believe to be the spiritual reality of what his Death and Resurrection accomplished. The resurrection of Jesus is an event in the New Testament in which God raised him from the dead[1] after his death by crucifixion. ... The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, called Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis) by Eastern Christians, is a Christian church now within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. ... A diagram of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre based on a german documentary, claimed to be the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Jesus. ...


The icon shows Jesus, vested in white and gold to symbolize his divine majesty, standing on the brazen gates of Hades (also called the "Doors of Death"), which are broken and have fallen in the form of a cross, illustrating the belief that by his death on the cross, Jesus trampled down death (see Paschal troparion). He is holding Adam and Eve and pulling them up out of Hades. Traditionally, he is not shown holding them by the hands, but by their wrists, to illustrate the theological teaching that mankind could not pull himself out of his ancestral sin, but that it could come about only by the work (energia) of God. Jesus is surrounded by various righteous figures from the Old Testament (Abraham, David, etc.); the bottom of the icon depicts Hades as a chasm of darkness, often with various pieces of broken locks and chains strewn about. Quite frequently, one or two figures are shown in the darkness, bound in chains, who are generally identified as personifications of Death and/or the Devil. The Paschal troparion is the characteristic hymn for the celebration of Easter in the Eastern Orthodox Church. ... Michelangelos The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Adam, with Eve in His arm. ... Michelangelos The Creation of Eve, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Eve from the side of Adam. ... An artists conception of a Soviet Buran space shuttle lifting off atop the Energia booster. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... For other uses, see Abraham (name) and Abram (disambiguation). ... David and Goliath, by Caravaggio, c. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ... This is an overview of the Devil. ...


Protestant

Martin Luther, in a sermon delivered in Torgau in 1533, stated that Christ descended into Hell. Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ...


The Formula of Concord (a Lutheran confession) states, "we believe simply that the entire person, God and human being, descended to Hell after his burial, conquered the devil, destroyed the power of Hell, and took from the devil all his power." (Solid Declaration, Art. IX) (1577). ...


Lutherans believe that Jesus went to Hell to celebrate his victory over Satan and to preach to the spirits in prison. (1 Peter 3:18-20) He did not suffer in Hell because his suffering ended when he said, "It is finished." (John 19:30) Christ's atonement for sin was over on the cross.


The Calvinist position is that if Christ had descended into Hell (place of eternal suffering), he would have had to bear God's Curse.[citation needed] John Calvin expressed his concern that many Christians "have never earnestly considered what it is or means that we have been redeemed from God's judgment. Yet this is our wisdom: duly to feel how much our salvation cost the Son of God." Calvin's conclusion is that "Christ's descent into Hell was necessary for Christians' atonement, because Christ did in fact endure the penalty for the sins of the redeemed.[8] In an unadorned church, the 17th century congregation stands to hear the sermon. ... “Dammit” redirects here. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was a central developer of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism or Reformed theology. ... For other uses, see Atonement (disambiguation). ...


Latter-day Saints

The Harrowing of Hell has been a unique and important doctrine among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its founding in 1830 by Joseph Smith, although members of the church ("Mormons") usually call it by other terms, such as "Christ's visit to the spirit world." Like Christian exegetes distinguishing between Sheol and Gehenna, Latter-day Saints distinguish between the realm of departed spirits (the "spirit world") and the portion (or state) of the wicked ("spirit prison"). The portion or state of the righteous is often referred to as "paradise". The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ...


Perhaps the most notable aspect of Latter-day Saint beliefs regarding the Harrowing of Hell is their view on the purpose of it, both for the just and the wicked. Joseph F. Smith, the tenth president of the Church, explained in what is now a canonized revelation, that when Christ died, "there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, . . . rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand. They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death" (D&C 138:12, 15-16). Joseph Fielding Smith, Sr. ...


In the LDS view, while Christ announced freedom from physical death to the just, he had another purpose in descending to Hell regarding the wicked. "The Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them; but behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces . . . and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead . . . to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets" (D&C 138:29-30, 32).


In literature

The Harrowing of Hell, by Michael Burghers (1647/8–1727)
The Harrowing of Hell, by Michael Burghers (1647/8–1727)
  • In Dante's Inferno the Harrowing of Hell is mentioned in Canto IV by the pilgrim's guide Virgil. Virgil was in Hell in the first place because he was not exposed to Christianity in his life time, and therefore he actually describes in generic terms Christ as a 'mighty lord' who rescued the Hebrew forefathers of Christianity, but left him behind in the very same circle. It is not clear that he fully understands the significance of the event.
  • The Medieval romance of Sir Orfeo has often been seen as drawing parallels between the titular character and Jesus freeing souls from Hell.
  • In Stephen Lawhead's novel Byzantium, a young Irish monk is asked to explain Jesus' life to a group of Vikings, who are particularly impressed with Jesus' "Helreið."
  • In I.L. Peretz's short story Neilah in Gehenna, a Jewish hazzan descends to Hell and uses his unique voice to bring about the repentance and liberation of the souls imprisoned there.
  • In Andrew Reimann's The Lost Kings, the Harrowing of Hell is used as an explanation for why demons do not inhabit the city of Dis and that souls are free to make their own choices in damnation.

DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... Look up inferno, Inferno, infernal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Sir Orfeo is an anonymous Middle English narrative poem. ... Stephen R. Lawhead (born July 2, 1950) is an American writer known for novels, both fantasy and science fiction and more recently his works of historical fiction. ... It has been suggested that Schottenklöster be merged into this article or section. ... The name Viking is a loan from the native Scandinavian term for the Norse seafaring warriors who raided the coasts of Scandinavia, Europe and the British Isles from the late 8th century to the 11th century, the period of European history referred to as the Viking Age. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with life-death-rebirth deity. ... Isaac Leib Peretz (May 18, 1852–1915), a. ... Jewish services are the communal prayer recitations which form part of the observance of Judaism. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A hazzan or chazzan (Hebrew for cantor) is a Jewish musician trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the synagogue in songful prayer. ... The demon Satan In folklore, mythology, and religion, a demon is a supernatural being that is generally described as an evil spirit, but is also depicted to be good in some instances. ... Look up dis,dis- in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

References

  1. ^ D. Bruce Lockerbie, The Apostle's Creed: Do You Really Believe It ( Victor Books, Wheaton, IL) 1977:53-54, on-line text.
  2. ^ OED
  3. ^ New Revised Standard Version. In the original Greek: "ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασιν πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν, ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε ."
  4. ^ NRSV "τῶ δὲ θεῶ χάρις τῶ πάντοτε θριαμβεύοντι ἡμᾶς ἐν τῶ χριστῶ καὶ τὴν ὀσμὴν τῆς γνώσεως αὐτοῦ φανεροῦντι δι᾽ ἡμῶν ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ."
  5. ^ Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Nashville: Broadman, p. 311.
  6. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church 636–7
  7. ^ Summa Theologica, III, 52, art. 2
  8. ^ Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics

OED stands for Oxford English Dictionary Office of Enrollment & Discipline This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

See also

Christian mythology is the body of traditional narrative associated with Christianity. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with life-death-rebirth deity. ...

External links

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Harrowing of Hell

  Results from FactBites:
 
Heaven and Hell (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (5216 words)
The primary philosophical criticisms of the doctrine of hell have focused on whether it is fair or just for someone to be sent to hell, and these criticisms reinforce the centrality of the punishment model in discussions of the doctrine of hell.
The minor modification arises from the doctrine known as the harrowing of hell, according to which between the time of Jesus' death and resurrection, he preached to the inhabitants of hell, some of whom accepted his message and thereby went to heaven.
Hell may be a place where some people are punished, but the fundamental purpose of hell is not to punish people, but to honor their choices.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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