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Full Version: Hades, Purgatory, Hell, Sheol, Limbo, Gehenna... Confused
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After coming across the term Hades a few times in the NT I started to think it was purgatory but I wasn't sure.
So I began to try to get a better understanding of this term.

I learnt that Hades is the Greek word for Sheol in Hebrew. That it's an abode for the dead but isn't hell.
Im thinking this must be purgatory, it all makes sense. But to my surprise the RCC doesn't point to Hades or Sheol as being purgatory.

At first look, CCC 633 seems to say that Hades is hell but it's far more complicated than that.

Sheol is a word used in the Jewish tradition to refer to the general abode of the dead; it was not necessarily a place of punishment.
Gehenna was a separate idea, it referred only to a place of punishment for the wicked; it never was an abode of righteous souls. It's hell.

Jesus said that no one had ever seen heaven. All the dead were in Sheol, aka limbo of fathers, aka Abraham's bosom.
This is where Jesus went when the Apostles creed says he descended into hell before his resurrection.
And so it get's even more confusing as hell is used in place of Hades/ Sheol.

On a side note how could Jesus have seen the thief on the cross in paradise that same day when he didn't rise till the third day?
I don't remember seeing the term paradise being used elsewhere, was he referring to Hades?

So with the death of Christ the RCC teaches that the righteous were taken from Sheol to heaven while the rest went to hell effectively ending Sheol.

So whenever the term Hades appears in the NT it is meant to be hell.

I read through article 12 of the CCC a few times and still can't quite understand what is happening at the last judgement described in Revelation 20.

and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire

Hades in this case cannot be hell. Hell is eternal punishment but here people are not only being judged and saved but Hades itself is thrown into hell, aka the lake of fire. 
CCC 1038 says this
The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the unjust,"623 will precede the Last Judgment. This will be "the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man's] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment

"Who are in the tombs" now im totally confused. Im confused about Hades and hell.
And im confused between the particular judgement and the final judgement, thought that is another matter in itself.

Please help me understand this concept of Hades...
Interesting thought about the good thief on the Cross. Perhaps it has something to do with outside of space and time and hence one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years one day. As for the rest, we know there is Hell (eternal separation from God, suffering, torment) Limbo and Purgatory (Not yet in Heaven, separated from God though, not as bad as Hell and not eternal, Limbo is not a suffering one but souls do suffer in Purgatory as far as I know, being separated from God and waiting) and Heaven.

That's about all I know, and I gather which one is meant by the context, such as in the Apostles creed.

God Bless You
Aquinas argued that Limbo, Purgatory, and Hell can be said to be the same place (insofar you call it a place). Tradition has held (although not dogmatically so) these 3 were aware of the others; like they could see or sense those in the adjacent places. Heaven and aevum is the only place that isn't this way. 
Limbo (from limbus, "edge") is part of Hell, since the souls there do not have the Beatific Vision. They lack sanctifying grace, having never received Baptism, and thus cannot enter Heaven. But because they're not guilty of any sins, it would be unjust for them to experience the punishments of Hell. Lack of the Beatific Vision is not a punishment, since nobody has a right to it - it's a free gift of God to those who die in His grace.

Limbo has never officially been taught by the Church, but the alternative isn't that the unbaptised go to Heaven. The Council of Florence taught that those who die in original sin go to Hell. Limbo was the opinion of many of the Fathers, as an answer to the question of whether those who committed no personal sin should be punished in Hell. The other opinion is that of St Augustine, which was that the unbaptised do suffer the pains of Hell, even if only in the slightest way.

The thief on the Cross was in "paradise" after he died because Christ was also there, even though they were not yet in Heaven. It could also be less literal, meaning that the thief will be saved and eventually make it to Heaven. Christ went to the Limbo of the Fathers, which was where all the righteous dead went before His Ascension, and which is different from the Limbo mentioned above, often called the Limbo of the Infants. It was also part of Hell, lacking the Beatific Vision, so we say Christ descended into Hell upon His death.
Ye despite their limited knowledge, my parents still know about purgatory and limbo, i remember them teaching me about it.
They basically described limbo being full of babies, which is painful to imagine, as they died before getting the chance to be baptized.

Yes the limbo of fathers is different, aka Abraham's bosom i believe, is not limbo of the infants. It's this limbo of fathers that was known to the Jews as Sheol and translated as Hades in Greek. And it's this place that Jesus went to save the souls of the dead before his resurrection. This place was abolished after Christ's resurrection from my understanding which is why it's referred to as hell. That's where some confusion lay.

My only confusion now is with Revelation 20 how the dead from Hades are judged before Hades itself is thrown into hell. 
In fact Rev is the most confusing book of all but somehow intriguing as well.

As for the theif on the cross it's an interesting thought. Is paradise heaven. It may not be literal but more as figure of speech about being there that day.
Ponder these two phrases
Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise
The only difference is the placement of the comma. Yet it totally changes it's meaning
Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise

Just a thought

There was no punctuation back then, their wasn't upper and lower case either. 
So try to imagine a page full of caps, side by side, no spaces or punctuation. Then trying to interpret all that. What a huge task that would have been
By Sister Mary Ada, on the Limbo of the Fathers


The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
they wondered if they dreamed-
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed

Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue-
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is your Mother,
How is your Mother, Son?”

-Sister Mary Ada
The Reign Of Mary -Vol. XXV, No 76