Posted by: thaishin | November 21, 2015

Did the Lord Jesus actually go to hell?

The belief that Jesus went to hell between his crucifixion and resurrection, also known as the “harrowing of hell” has been believed since ancient times and is found even in the apostle’s creed.

The verse in Luke 23:43 and Luke 23:46 teaches that Jesus went to His father’s presence immediately after he died on the cross.

Luke 23

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.  -kjv

Luke 23

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.  -kjv

The verses that people who believed in the “harrowing of hell” cited were: Ephesians 4:9, 1 Peter 3:19-20 and John 20:17.

Ephesians 4

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  -kjv

This verse is referring to the incarnation, when Jesus became man and not Jesus descending to hell.

1 Peter 3

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.  -kjv

This verse is not talking about Jesus preaching in hell but rather that Jesus is preaching through Noah in the past to the people who were still alive in the days of Noah but who rejected the teachings of Noah and hence are now “spirits in prison”

John 20

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.  -kjv

This verse is not talking about Jesus’ spirit has not been to the Father but that Jesus is telling Mary Magdalene that she should stop clinging unto him because His bodily resurrection is still in the future. In other words, Jesus is saying that “Mary, you can let go of me because for the next forty days, I will still be with you”

Hence, there is no biblical basis for the “harrowing of hell” and even the later version of the apostle’s creed was wrong.







  1. I do not worry or I am not really concerned about minor divided thinking concerning scripture. It really makes no difference to we still on earth IF Jesus visited HELL for a reason we do not and need not know. Our God was guiding Jesus still so I say again…”God’s will be done.” When we get to Heaven we probably will learn many things we wondered about and the Hot discussions which went on. The most important point is that WE PLAN and WE GO to Heaven when our time comes.

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