Question of the Day for Friday, February 1, 2013
Descent into Hell
Q. In the Apostles’ Creed, Jesus is said to have “descended into hell” after he died and before he rose again. I don’t really understand this. Why would Jesus descend into hell? Isn’t hell the place of the damned?
— John, Colorado Springs, Colo.
A. Here’s a reply from OSV columnist Msgr. M. Francis Mannion:
Hell, in the context of the Apostles’ Creed, does not mean what we understand by the word today. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this point as follows: “Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, ‘hell’ — Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek — because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer” (No. 633).
Read the rest of the answer at Our Sunday Visitor: http://www.osv.com/TCANav/TCAQuestionoftheDay/Jan28Feb12013/tabid/8684/Default.aspx