Re: [asa] A Good Friday Question

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Apr 11 2009 - 08:27:19 EDT

I Peter 3:18-20 (possibly connected with 4:6) may be relevant here. Note, however, that it speaks of what Christ did when "made alive in the spirit."

The Apostles Creed says that Jesus "was crucified, died, and was buried. Descendit ad inferna. On the third day he rose again." The middle phrase was the last to be added to the creed & its translation is debated. The traditional version is "He descended into hell," while the International Consultation on English Texts recommended "He descended to the dead." Whether or not the I Peter text supports either version is open to some question. (Note that it does not use the imagery of "descent.")

If the creed is read as "descended to the dead" then it says that Jesus shared the common fate of all people - a non-trivial statement. But it does not say anything about the condition of the dead. Even less does the creed say anything about this condition if it is read as "descended into hell." & there is even less reason to be dogmatic about the condition of the penitent thief. In general, scripture tells us a lot less about the human condition between death and resurrection than we would like it to, and speculations about souls being up in heaven waiting to be reunited with their bodies are just that, speculations.

There has been a good deal of discussion among theologians recently on Christ's "descent." I'll give references if any are interested.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Don Winterstein
  To: ASA ; Dick Fischer
  Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 1:17 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] A Good Friday Question

  Jesus was dead in his grave, the thief was dead somewhere else. "Today" meant the same thing it means to all in final throes of death, namely, "the next thing you know." Why make a mystery out of this? Resurrection is mystery enough.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Dick Fischer
    To: ASA
    Sent: Friday, April 10, 2009 6:42 PM
    Subject: [asa] A Good Friday Question

    We all know the story of the thief on the cross. He was told, ". today you will be with me in paradise".(Luke 23:43). That day was Friday when Jesus died. Three days later Jesus was resurrected. After the resurrection Jesus told Mary, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father" (John 20:17). So where was Jesus and where did the thief go when they both died on that Friday?

    Dick Fischer, GPA president

    Genesis Proclaimed Association

    "Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

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Received on Sat Apr 11 08:27:42 2009

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