Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 2

hell-awaits-fire-red

A while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends. It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did. He sent me the following concerns and my comments are indented, in red, and interspersed within my brother’s comments.


Brother

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my blog, “Did Jesus go to Hell?” I had been looking forward to your comments since Monday.

I would like to clarify a few items if you don’t mind. I may have written something that was not clear and I would like to correct that. With that said, I have taking your comments and inserted some of my thoughts (in red) for your consideration.

With all due respect It is written… you have a copy of scripture. I read some of it to you Saturday. I believe in a plain normal grammatical historical plenary interpretation.

Brother – I would like to discuss your interpretive methods for a moment.

Plain

    • When you mention the plain interpretation of scripture, I assume that you are referring to a literal reading of scripture. In many portions of the Word, I would agree with you. Some passages give me pause though.
      • When Acts 2 speaks of tongues of fire, would you understand it to be literal fire?
      • I am sure you do not consider the Messiah to be a door, or a sheep, or a light.
      • I think the apostles and prophets spoke in a manner that would communicate clearly to to their audience, in their culture, language, social structure and religion. It is our labor to try to decipher their message from that environment, and not to read the Word as if it has been written for 21st century American believers. (That just seems a bit provincial.)

Normal

    • I looked up normal for a definition and found “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural”
    • I would appreciate a little clarification on what you mean when you say normal. It’s seems other terms in this description describe your “normal” reading of Scripture

Grammatical

    • Definition for grammatical
      • Of or relating to grammar, conforming to the rules of grammar:
        • I assume you are describing your method of Bible interpretation / understanding as being different than my efforts. I tend to analyze a passage through word studies, the flow of the sentence structure and the context of the sentence / verse / paragraph I am studying. I think I am on the same page as you on this.

Historical

    • I believe the historical context of the passage when spoken / written is critical to understanding the message. Let me supply an example.

When Jesus spoke of thine eye being evil, I used to think He was referring to a general evil or wickedness.

Matt 6:23

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

What does it mean “if thine eye is evil”? Could it refer to a murderous intent, wicked thoughts or evil schemes? I never really understood this verse until I checked the historical background in

Deuteronomy 15:9

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

When I read Matthew 6:23, I assumed I understood the phrase “if thine eye be evil”. But when I studied the historical background of the phrase, and how it relates to the audience Jesus was immediately addressing, the application for my life becomes so much clearer. So I would heartily agree that the historical interpretation of any passage is critical

Plenary

    • If by plenary, you mean that the canon of Scripture is complete (plenary = full), I would also agree.

Much of your Bible reading and study methods are the same as mine. I do not understand your concern.

If we don’t believe the scripture itself when read, how can we expound upon deeper truth?

I think we need to understand the Scripture (as much as possible) in order to believe it. I consider belief / faith is an action word.

Gal 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

and not mental consent, and therefore the day to day decisions I make, exercising my faith/belief has to come from an understanding of the message God has provided.

If Christ went to the grave and that’s it. We are still dead in trespasses and sins.

I do not recall saying that Christ went simply to the grave. If I did, I spoke wrongly. What I was considering in the blog post was whether the Messiah went to hell, ie the place of torment. The few NT passages that seem to speak of the Messiah going to hell are not convincing to me in my study.

What is the point as Paul said in 1 Cor 15? The early church got it right historically as I told you Saturday. I stand with them even though the “Soli Scripta” Scripture alone speaks for itself.

Sola Scriptura is what I am trying to do as I study. I seek to find how the Scripture interprets itself, and in the blog, I made mention of a few Old Testament passages that may supply hints as to what the apostles were pointing to.

An example was the “lowest parts of the earth” phrase that Paul used in Ephesians. The OT supplied three possibilities for understanding what Paul meant when he wrote “the lower parts of the earth”

Regarding the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) I feel you still consider my thoughts to be of denial of the resurrection. I am not sure where you get that from, but let me assure you that I believe in the bodily resurrection more now than when I first believed.

My brothers comments begin a discussion on judgement that is somewhat lengthy (Come on Carl – it is your response that is lengthy – Just admit it!)

Okay – so the next post will continue our discussion with my brother.

I do hope you can visit with us.


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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.

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