Questions

Questions I’ve Been Asked – The Bottomless Pit – Part 2

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Thanks for coming to visit and enter into our study on the bottomless pit.

My hope is that with a bit of study and a few choice questions, a bit of clarity may come to some.

So, lets Consider the Bible and what it teaches about the bottomless pit. We will begin with looking at the greek equivalent of the english word “pit”.

The greek word “abussos”, translated pit or abyss, is the direction the current post will follow. The definition is as follows, per Strongs Concordance.

abussos

Strong’s Number: G12
Greek Base Word: ἄβυσσος

Usage: Deep, (bottomless) pit

Detailed definition:

  1. Bottomless.
  2. Unbounded.
  3. The abyss.
    1. The pit.
    2. The immeasurable depth.
    3. Of Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons.

Where is this greek term “abussos” found in the New Testament Scriptures? This term is used once in Luke, once in Romans and 7 times in Revelation. This post will deal with the first two references.

I have italicized the specific term/terms that “abussos” has been translated as.

Luke 8 :31

And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.

This is the story of the demons and the pigs, where Jesus approached a man by the name of Legion (since he had so many demons in him), and the demons began to deal with the Messiah, (as if they had any bargaining power). The first thing they request is not to be sent to the abussos, the pit.

My initial thoughts about the pit have been justified in this very verse – it is bad, real bad!

Other than that, the primary issues I understand are:

  • Demons are associated with the abyss (pit).
  • Jesus had the authority to send the demons there.
  • The demons knew it.

It is of interest that the demons ended up “down the steep place into the lake and drowned”

The lake is not the pit, (or it would have been called a pit, I suppose), but a certain link between the pit, water and demons might be found. The demons requested to be in the swine, and the Lord allowed it, but the host swine for the demons did not exist long.

Where did the demons go after their host (the pigs) were destroyed? This text gives us no answers to this question!

Rom 10 :7

“or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

Paul is directly associating the abussos, “the deep” with death. He takes Dt 31:11-14 and freely translates it into the Christian experience.

Dt 30 11 & Rom 10

First off, notice how Paul interprets Dt 31:13, where he defines “beyond the sea” as descend into the deep (abussos). This connection of the sea with the pit seems to come up occasionally in this study, and it may be beneficial to note.

Rant #1

OK here comes rant # 1 in this post.
As I continue trying to understand the Bible, I am finding it increasingly important to see how the apostles understood the Old Testament.
A number of challenges have erupted in my studies and I realized that I want to depend on my cultural settings to find the meaning in the passage.
This is not wise!

Ticked off

This freedom of the apostles to interpret the Old Testament (differently than I) used to really tick me off, since I was a dyed in the wool literalist.

It was difficult to defend my understanding of some of the promises in the Old Testament. I kept banging up against this type of passage, where an apostle would not interpret an Old Testament passage per Carl’s methods.

How dare they

How dare those apostles!

Instead, let’s consider a few lessons.

  1. The Apostles Consistency
    • The apostles are being consistent with Jesus’s understanding of the Old Testament. Remember when Jesus referred to “the Temple” (John 2:19 -22) being destroyed. Everyone (including me, if I had been present) misunderstood Him. The apostles no longer misundertand Him. (Luke 24:45). If we seek to apply the apostles teaching according to our understanding, we may be missing out on what the message is trying to communicate to us.
  2. My Growing Understanding
    • By that I mean, I am constantly finding passages that challenge my previous understanding of the Biblical message. And this is OK – heck this is great, since it allows me to remain(?) humble. (hahaha!)

As an aside, I heard the story of a highly respected theologian hundreds of years ago, who wrote a massive commentary before he was thirty, and then spent his life defending it. Either he was a genius, or too stubborn to admit error as the Word challenged his beliefs. This approach does not appeal to me. I am convinced that the Christian life is a life of repentance and a willingness to adjust our thinking and actions to glorify God.

Often, it seems that one passage will impact many prior beliefs. My repentance from a wooden literal-ism has brought about more questions than answers. Not a comfortable position to be in as one who prided himself in his ability to answer bible questions! But being stubborn in error is still error!

In conclusion, I am open to corrective teaching, and this blog is one avenue to find that correction. As a matter of fact, I look forward to finding an apostle quote or refer to an Old Testament passage. It makes me stop, consider and evaluate why he may have used that particular passage in his message.

End of Rant #1

With all that said, the points of interest in Romans 10 seem to be

  • Paul associates “the deep” (pit) with “beyond the sea”.
  • The pit is associated with death.
  • No mention of satan, demons, torment, fire, smoke or darkness is mentioned in this passage.

I hope we can continue in our next post, where we will continue with passages in the book of Revelation that address the “pit”.

May you have a great day and continue to seek Him. Hope to see you during our next post – Promise no rants on the next post!


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.