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On Holy Saturday, Christ left the tomb and descended into hell (Sheol or Abraham's Bosom) and preached to the souls there. Supposedly this hell already was divided up with the righteous in one area and the wicked in another part where they received torments. However, since Christ "preached" to the souls there, it seems that there was some sort of decision to be made to accept or reject Christ. If all He was doing on Holy Saturday was releasing the righteous souls from Sheol to bring them to heaven then he wouldn't need to preach at all. It seems the souls of the wicked must have had a chance to accept the preaching of Christ on that day.

This would mean that the souls of those who died before holy Saturday were not immutable. They still had another chance to accept or reject Christ's Holy Saturday preaching. Dying then in the time before this wouldn't be as big of a deal as it is today. Today, when we die we go somewhere for eternity. Our souls are immutable (unable to change or make new choices) but these pre Holy Saturday people who died had another chance to choose their eternal reward. This would also explain objections from people who say God commanded the killing of innocent children in the Old Testament.

God's killing in the old testament wouldn't really be killing at all because he wasn't sending them to their eternal destination but rather to a place of waiting were they had another chance. On one occasion a group of little children are dismembered by bears for making fun of the prophet Elijah. This seem a harsh and cruel thing to do to little children and it probably killed them. There are numerous examples in the Old Testament where God sounds like the God of ISIS not the God of Christianity. However, if they people were not be sent to an eternal destination then these killings had far less gravity than a kill does today. Perhaps this is why God does not kill people for sins these days, like the 50,000 men who were killed for looking at the ark of the covenant. He doesn't kill or order people to be Killed after Holy Saturday because now death is far more important. Now death leads to eternity rather than to a place of waiting.

Is this belief orthodox or is it a completely novel eschatology which has no basis in church teaching?

I found this in Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary 1859 edition

It's talking about 1 Peter 3:19 " In which also coming, he preached to those spirits who were in prison:"


Quote:Ver. 19. In which (to wit, soul or spirit) also he came, and preached to those spirits who were in prison. The true and common interpretation of this place seems to be, that the soul of Christ, after the separation from the body and before the resurrection, descended to a place in the interior parts of the earth, called hell in that which we call the apostles' creed, (sometimes called Abraham's bosom, sometimes Limbus Patrum[Limbo of the Fathers], a place where were detained all the souls of the patriarchs, prophets, and just men, as it were in prison) and preached to these spirits in this prison; i.e. brought them this happy news, that he who was their Redeemer was now come to be their deliverer, and that at his glorious ascension they should enter with him into heaven, where none could enter before our Redeemer, who opened as it were heaven's gates. Among these were many who had been formerly at first incredulous in the time of Noe[Noah], who would not take warning from his preparing and building the ark, but it may be reasonably supposed that many of them repented of their sins when they saw the danger approaching, and before they perished by the waters of the deluge, so that they died at least not guilty of eternal damnation; because, though they were sinners, yet they worshipped the true God, for we do not find any proofs of idolatry before the deluge. These then, and all the souls of the just, Christ descended to free from their captivity, from their prison, and to lead them at his ascension triumphant with him into heaven. The Church of England cannot quarrel with this exposition, which seems altogether conformable to the third of their thirty-nine articles, which at present runs thus: "As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also it is to be believed that he went down into hell." It is thus expressed in the articles under queen Elizabeth, in the year 1562; and in the articles put out ten years before, in the year 1552, in the fourth year of king Edward the sixth, the words were: "that the body of Christ lay in the grave until his resurrection, but the spirit which he gave up was with the spirits which were detained in prison, or in hell, and preached to them, as the place in St. Peter testifieth." Dr. Pearson on the fifth article of the creed, writes thus: "There is nothing which the Fathers agree in more, than as to a local and real descent of the soul of Christ into the infernal parts, unto the habitation of the souls departed....This was the general opinion of the Church, as may appear by the testimonies of those ancient writers, who lived successively and wrote in several ages, and delivered this exposition in such express terms as are not capable of any other interpretation." Thus Dr. Pearson. He cites the Fathers. See the edition, in the year 1683, p. 237. (Witham) --- Prison. See here a proof of a third place, or middle state of souls: for these spirits in prison, to whom Christ went to preach after his death, were not in heaven, nor yet in the hell of the damned; because heaven is no prison, and Christ did not go to preach to the damned. (Challoner) --- St. Augustine, in his 99th epistle, confesses that this text is replete with difficulties. This he declares is clear, beyond all doubt, that Jesus Christ descended in soul after his death into the regions below, and concludes with these words: Quis ergo nisi infidelis negaverit fuisse apud inferos Christum? In this prison souls would not be detained unless they were indebted to divine justice, nor would salvation be preached to them unless they were in a state that was capable of receiving salvation.

So it seems that Christ did not preach to those who were already damned. This seems to destroy my earlier theory. Except, how do we know anyone was damned for eternity before Holy Saturday? Is the existence of people damned for eternity before Holy Saturday something a Catholic must believe?

Also I wanna find that 99th epistle of St. Augustine where he said the text was "replete with difficulties". I wanna know why he thought that.
I also found these quotes

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. AD 200) wrote in Stromateis 6:6
Quote:Christ went to hell in his spirit to proclaim the message of salvation to the souls of sinners who had been imprisoned there since the time of the flood

Writing c. 400, St. Augustine wrote in Epistolae 164
Quote:The preexistent Christ proclaimed salvation through Noah to the people who lived before the flood (Epistolae 164).

Whilst St. Robert Bellarmine wrote:
Quote:The spirit of Christ went to release the souls of the righteous who repented before the flood and had been kept in Limbo, the place between heaven and hell where the souls of the Old Testament saints were kept

Tertullian (On the Soul 55:2)
Quote:Our Lord descends into Hell 'in order to acquaint the patriarchs and prophets with his redeeming mission'

And Origen, in his 'Commentary on John' refers us to Psalm 16: 'You will not leave my soul in Hell', and links this passage in  1st Peter 3:19 with it.

From the cataena of St. Cyril of Alexandria's writings

Quote:'Here Peter answers the question to which some objections have beem raised, namely if the Incarnation was so beneficial, why was Christ not incarnated for such a long time, given that he went to the spirits which were in prison and preached to them also? In order to deliver all those who would believe, Christ taught those who were alive on earth at the time of His incarnations, and these others acknowledged Him when He appeared to them in the lower regions, and thus they too benefited from His coming. Going in the soul, He preached to those who were in hell, appearing as one soul to other souls. When the gatekeepers of Hell saw Him, they fled; the bronze gates were broken open, and the iron chains were undone.And the only-begotten Son shouted with authority to the the suffering souls, according to the word of the new covenant, saying to those in chains: "Come out!" and to those in darkness: "Be enlightened." In other words, He preached to those who were in hell also, so that He might save all who would believe in Him. For both those who were alive on earth during the time of His Incarnation and those who were in hell had a chance to acknowledge Him.

St. Cyril's description seems like a hell for the damned also but the other texts are only talking about the righteous. It really looks like St. Cyril believed in this idea of people having a second chance to accept Christ in Sheol. Therefore, non-immutable souls after death before Christ.

However the new Catechism says

Quote:CCC 633 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.( Cf. Phil 2:10; Acts 2:24; Rev 1:18; Eph 4:9; Pss 6:6; 88:11-13). Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom" (Cf. Ps 89:49; I Sam 28:19; Ezek 32:17-32; Lk 16:22-26.) "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."(481 Roman Catechism 1, 6, 3). Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him. (Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587; Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011; Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077; Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485; Mt 27:52-53.)


So I guess the Council of Rome and the Council of Toledo along with various popes taught that Christ didn't deliver the damned on Holy Saturday. I still don't know if we must believe that anyone was damned before Christ though. But, it seems my original idea is a completely novel idea, maybe finding support from St. Cyril, but contradicted by all the other Fathers and Doctors of the church. So it's probably not true.

It's too bad because I liked that explanation for God's killing in the Old Testament. If the deaths weren't eternal then it's not really like death at all. It's very strange to me that 1st Peter said that Christ "preached" to the souls in prison if he was only talking to the just who were definitely already saved.  It just seems like you "preach" to non-believers to get them to believe. Of course, the just men who died before the time of Christ didn't know Christ so maybe He just "preached" to make himself known to them. "Here I am. I am the Messiah."
Vox: The modify period is too short. We should be able to modify our posts for at least several hours, if not forever. I am now making the 4th post in a row because I couldn't just add to an earlier post.

I found this while looking for Augustine's 99th epistle. It's from a biblical commentary called The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

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I guess that indicates that Augustine thought heretics would use this text somehow, and that's why he found it so difficult. Maybe he thought people would use it to support universal salvation. I'm sure those who teach universal salvation do use 1 Peter 3:19 in support of their claim.

Just looked and yup they do. They do use 1 Peter 3:19 to try to support Universal Salvation. Along with two other passages to prove the dead are preached to:

John 5:25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."

1 Peter 4:6 "For the Gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God."
(05-23-2016, 04:03 AM)brogan Wrote: [ -> ]On Holy Saturday, Christ left the tomb and descended into hell (Sheol or Abraham's Bosom) and preached to the souls there. Supposedly this hell already was divided up with the righteous in one area and the wicked in another part where they received torments. However, since Christ "preached" to the souls there, it seems that there was some sort of decision to be made to accept or reject Christ. If all He was doing on Holy Saturday was releasing the righteous souls from Sheol to bring them to heaven then he wouldn't need to preach at all. It seems the souls of the wicked must have had a chance to accept the preaching of Christ on that day.

This would mean that the souls of those who died before holy Saturday were not immutable. They still had another chance to accept or reject Christ's Holy Saturday preaching. Dying then in the time before this wouldn't be as big of a deal as it is today. Today, when we die we go somewhere for eternity. Our souls are immutable (unable to change or make new choices) but these pre Holy Saturday people who died had another chance to choose their eternal reward. This would also explain objections from people who say God commanded the killing of innocent children in the Old Testament.

God's killing in the old testament wouldn't really be killing at all because he wasn't sending them to their eternal destination but rather to a place of waiting were they had another chance. On one occasion a group of little children are dismembered by bears for making fun of the prophet Elijah. This seem a harsh and cruel thing to do to little children and it probably killed them. There are numerous examples in the Old Testament where God sounds like the God of ISIS not the God of Christianity. However, if they people were not be sent to an eternal destination then these killings had far less gravity than a kill does today. Perhaps this is why God does not kill people for sins these days, like the 50,000 men who were killed for looking at the ark of the covenant. He doesn't kill or order people to be Killed after Holy Saturday because now death is far more important. Now death leads to eternity rather than to a place of waiting.

Is this belief orthodox or is it a completely novel eschatology which has no basis in church teaching?

Take a step back for a minute.  God killed thousands of people for just looking inside the ark.  He sent bears to attack children for making fun of a man's bald spot.  He killed all the innocent first-born children of Egypt.  He commanded his most faithful follower to sacrifice his son to him, letting him think that he would actually have to go through with it (and we're not really sure that God didn't initially intend for him to).  He commanded the Israelites to commit repeated acts of genocide among groups who almost certainly were at least in part innocent of anything warranting genocide. 

Does it really matter if they had a choice to accept Christ after death or not?  Why on earth would you want to worship a god like that? 

Imagine it from the dead-person's perspective.  You're living your life in little Canaanville, you just got married to your childhood sweetheart and you're expecting your first child.  Then a band of people come in and say that God has given your land to them, and you can choose to be circumcised and they will make peace with you, or they will slaughter you mercilessly.  But while you're still recovering from your circumcision, they slaughter you anyway, and while they may let some of the women survive, they probably won't let your wife survive because she's carrying nothing more than a Canaanite bastard to them.

Fast-forward a thousand years, and out of the gloom of Sheol appears a bright shining man who's come to rescue you from death and bring you into paradise if only you choose to worship him! But, 'that god that ordered your and your family's slaughter through deceit, that God is my dad, and I also am He! You still trust me, right?'

Oh, wait, he was a Canaanite.  Christ only went to save dead Hebrews, right?
I mean no disrespect to Melkite, he means well but some of his ideas are contrary to the teachings of the church.

Christ descended to Limbo to free the patriarchs and to declare his victory. By preaching the gospel he is merely stating the fact, not for conversion but for affirmation. The patriarchs in Limbo were already righteous, they didn't need to be converted because they already followed God's laws and looked forward to the Messiah. In the afterlife our fates are sealed, those detained in the Limbo of the Patriarchs (Abrahams Bosom) would always go to heaven and those in Hell (Gehenna) would remain there forever. Excepting the possibility of Infants or virtuous pagans in Limbo of course, they would then remain in Limbo.

God can kill whom He pleases because all the unbaptised are guilty of Original Sin and most are guilty of mortal sin He knows who will accept Him in the end and who won't. God wouldn't kill someone who would have otherwise been saved. In killing innocent children He may have been actually sparing them from being corrupted by evil and thus preserving them from Hell.

Also I wouldn't say God no longer kills people, he's just a bit more subtle.
Don't know about then children who mocked Elisha, maybe God just really doesn't like people who mock bald people. :LOL:
(05-23-2016, 04:58 PM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]Don't know about then children who mocked Elisha, maybe God just really doesn't like people who mock bald people. :LOL:
As the girlfriend of a particularly gorgeous bald man, I can understand that.

#baldlivesmatter
#notallscalps

:LOL:
(05-23-2016, 04:51 PM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]Christ descended to Limbo to free the patriarchs and to declare his victory. By preaching the gospel he is merely stating the fact, not for conversion but for affirmation. The patriarchs in Limbo were already righteous, they didn't need to be converted because they already followed God's laws and looked forward to the Messiah. In the afterlife our fates are sealed, those detained in the Limbo of the Patriarchs (Abrahams Bosom) would always go to heaven and those in Hell (Gehenna) would remain there forever. Excepting the possibility of Infants or virtuous pagans in Limbo of course, they would then remain in Limbo.

Well, that seems to answer the question of whether Christ descended to Limbo just for the Jews.  Does the Church have a definite answer on the fate of Gentiles who died prior to Christ's resurrection?  Limbo or Hell, and no possibility of anything else?

Quote:God can kill whom He pleases because all the unbaptised are guilty of Original Sin and most are guilty of mortal sin He knows who will accept Him in the end and who won't. God wouldn't kill someone who would have otherwise been saved. In killing innocent children He may have been actually sparing them from being corrupted by evil and thus preserving them from Hell.

Nobody is guilty of Original Sin, per se.  You can't be guilty of a choice someone else made thousands of years before you were brought into existence.  God *can* kill whomever he wants, but if he is a benevolent God, would he?  If he was the kind of god that just goes around killing people capriciously, how could you ever live in anything but terror of him?  I mean, I guess one could think so little of themselves that they would justify God killing them if he did.  I guess I have enough self-esteem that a God who would go to the trouble that he did to create us and the whole universe for us (if we're really the center of the universe) and then kill us willy nilly is non-sensical and not worthy of worship.
I think it was much more difficult for the gentiles to be saved before Christ but not entirely impossible.

While we are not "guilty" of Original Sin it still exists, our very nature was changed in the fall so without God's grace we will inevitably fall into mortal sin. I would say that actually Hell is a lot nicer than what we actually deserve.

God can kill whoever he wants because he is good not despite it. If you haven't noticed it was we as in everyone who has ever committed any sin no matter how small, that murdered Him who created us. Its only just for him to kill us because we deserve Hell. Only His mercy prevents every living human from dying instantly and going to Hell. Why is it so terrible if God simply speeds up the inevitable outcome for some in order to save others?

I don't think its nonsensical for God to kill us, he didn't create us to live forever in this life but rather with Him forever in perfect happiness. And yet we betrayed Him, disobeyed Him, nailed Him to a cross and murdered Him, why should he spare us? And yet He does.

It would make sense that God would kill people in order to spare them from harder punishment. Most of the people God kills are already in Mortal sin and their hearts were so hardened that God could not change their minds without taking away their free will, God foresaw that they would just continue growing in evil and corrupting others. The ones who were innocent God killed to prevent them from being inevitably corrupted by the evil, some of them probably went to heaven.

St Dominic Savio, the youngest non-martyr to be declared a saint died at the age of 14. After many days of suffering he was given last rites and looked up to heaven and said "I see such wonderful things" before dying. At his first communion at the age of seven he made a promise "death rather than sin" and he lived this promise until he died. If the saints gave such example why should we who sin much more than they rather preserve our own lives full of sin rather than to gladly accept what death God wills for us?
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