029 Descent into Hell

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This page forms part of the resources for 029 Descent into Hell in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 029 Literature | 029 Parallels | 029 Commentary | 029 Poetry | 029 Images | 029 Synopsis


(1a) GPet. 10:41-42
(1b) Matt 27:52-53
(2) Herm. Sim. 9.16:5
(3) Ign. Mag. 9:2
(4a?) 1 Pet 3:19-20
(4b?) 1 Pet 4:6

Crossan analysis:

Item: 29
Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Attestation: Multiple
Historicity: ±


(1) The Cross Gospel

(1a) GPet 10:41-42

Now when these soldiers saw this, they roused the centurion from his sleep, along with the elders. (Remember, they were also there keeping watch.) 2 While they were explaining what they had seen, again they see three men leaving the tomb, two supporting the third, and a cross was following them. 3 The heads of the two reached up to the sky, while the head of the third, whom they led by the hand, reached beyond the skies. 4 And they heard a voice from the skies that said, "Have you preached to those who sleep?" 5 And an answer was heard from the cross: "Yes!" [Complete Gospels]

ἰδόντες οὖν οἱ στρατιῶται ἐκεῖνοι ἐξύπνισαν τὸν κεντυρίωνα καὶ τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους, (παρῆσαν γὰρ καὶ αὐτοὶ φυλάσσοντες)· καὶ ἐξηγουμένων αὐτῶν ἃ εἶδον, πάλιν ὁρῶσιν ἐξελθόντες ἀπὸ τοῦ τάφου τρεῖς ἄνδρας, καὶ τοὺς δύο τὸν ἕνα ὑπορθοῦντας, καὶ σταυρὸν ἀκολουθοῦντα αὐτοῖς· καὶ τῶν μὲν δύο τὴν κεφαλὴν χωροῦσαν μέχρι τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, τοῦ δὲ χειραγωγουμένου ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν ὑπερβαίνουσαν τοὺς οὐρανούς. καὶ φωνῆς ἤκουον ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν λεγούσης· Ἐκήρυξας τοῖς κοιμωμένοις· καὶ ὑπακοὴ ἠκούετο ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ ὅτι Ναί. (Peter 10:38–42 AGOSP-T)

(1b) Matt 27:52-53

The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.

καὶ τὰ μνημεῖα ἀνεῴχθησαν καὶ πολλὰ σώματα τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἁγίων ἠγέρθησαν, καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν καὶ ἐνεφανίσθησαν πολλοῖς. (Matthew 27:52–53 GNT-T)

(2) HermSim 9.16:5

"Show me still more, sir," I said. "What do you want now?" he said. "Why sir," I said, "did the stones rise from the depth, and were placed in the building [of the tower], having borne these spirits?" 2 "They had to rise through water," he said, "in order to be made alive. In no other way could they enter the reign of God, unless they put off the deadliness of their [first] life. 3 So too, those who have fallen asleep received the seal and [entered the reign of God]. Before bearing the name of [the Son of] God," he said, "a person is dead. But upon receiving the seal, the person puts aside deadliness and takes on life. 4 So the seal is the water. Into the water they go down dead and come up alive. The seal was proclaimed to them, and they profited from it to enter into the reign of God." 5 "Why sir," I said, "did the forty stones rise with them from the depth already having the seal?" "Because," he said, "these are the apostles and teachers who proclaimed the name of the Son of God, who, having fallen asleep in power and faith of the Son of God, even proclaimed to those who had previously fallen asleep and gave them the seal of the proclamation. 6 They descended with them into the water and came up again, except that these descended alive and came up alive. 7 Because of them, these others were enlivened and came to know the name of the Son of God. This is why these others also arose with them, and together were fashioned into the building of the tower, and were made to dwell with them without needing trimming. They fell asleep in justice and great purity, except that they did not have this seal. So you have the explanation of these things." "Yes, sir, I have it," I said. [Hermeneia]

[Παραβολὴ θ 16.1] Ἔτι μοι, φημί, κύριε, δήλωσον. Τί, φησίν, ἐπιζητεῖς; Διατί, φημί, κύριε, οἱ λίθοι ἐκ τοῦ βυθοῦ ἀνέβησαν καὶ εἰς τὴν ˹ οἰκοδομὴν ἐτέθησαν, πεφορηκότες τὰ πνεύματα ταῦτα; Ἀνάγκην, φησίν, εἶχον δι᾿ ὕδατος ἀναβῆναι, ἵνα ζωοποιηθῶσιν· οὐκ ἠδύναντο γὰρ ἄλλως εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰ μὴ τὴν νέκρωσιν ἀπέθεντο τῆς ζωῆς αὐτῶν ⸂ < τῆς προτέρας. > ⸃ ἔλαβον οὖν καὶ οὗτοι οἱ κεκοιμημένοι τὴν σφραγίδα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ ⸂ < καὶ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ· > ⸃ πρὶν γάρ, φησί, φορέσαι τὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸ ὄνομα ⸂ τοῦ υἱοῦ ⸃ τοῦ θεοῦ, νεκρός ἐστιν· ὅταν δὲ λάβῃ τὴν σφραγίδα, ἀποτίθεται τὴν νέκρωσιν καὶ ἀναλαμβάνει τὴν ζωήν. ἡ σφραγὶς οὖν τὸ ὕδωρ ἐστίν· εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ οὖν καταβαίνουσι νεκροὶ καὶ ἀναβαίνουσι ζῶντες. κἀκείνοις οὖν ἐκηρύχθη ἡ σφραγὶς αὕτη, καὶ ἐχρήσαντο αὐτῇ, ἵνα εἰσέλθωσιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. Διατί, φημί, κύριε, καὶ οἱ μ λίθοι μετ᾿ αὐτῶν ἀνέβησαν ἐκ τοῦ βυθοῦ, ἤδη ἐσχηκότες τὴν σφραγίδα; Ὅτι, φησίν, οὗτοι οἱ ἀπόστολοι καὶ οἱ διδάσκαλοι οἱ κηρύξαντες τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, κοιμηθέντες ἐν δυνάμει καὶ πίστει τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐκήρυξαν καὶ τοῖς προκεκοιμημένοις, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔδωκαν αὐτοῖς τὴν σφραγίδα τοῦ κηρύγματος. κατέβησαν οὖν μετ᾿ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ, καὶ πάλιν ἀνέβησαν· ἀλλ᾿ οὗτοι μὲν ζῶντες κατέβησαν καὶ ζῶντες ἀνέβησαν· ἐκεῖνοι δὲ οἱ προκεκοιμημένοι νεκροὶ κατέβησαν, ζῶντες δὲ ἀνέβησαν. διὰ τούτων οὖν ἐζωοποιήθησαν καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ. διὰ τοῦτο καὶ συνανέβησαν μετ᾿ αὐτῶν καὶ συνηρμόσθησαν εἰς τὴν οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ πύργου, καὶ ἀλατόμητοι συνῳκοδομήθησαν· ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ γὰρ ἐκοιμήθησαν καὶ ἐν μεγάλῃ ἁγνείᾳ· μόνον δὲ τὴν σφραγίδα ταύτην οὐκ εἶχον. ἔχεις οὖν καὶ τὴν τούτων ἐπίλυσιν. Ἔχω, φημί, κύριε. (Shepherd 93:1–7 AF-T)

(3) IgnMag 9:2

Consequently, if the people who were given to obsolete practices faced the hope of a new life, and if these no longer observe the Sabbath, but regulate their calendar by the Lord’s Day, the day, too, on which our Life rose by His power and through the medium of His death—though some deny this; and if to this mystery we owe our faith and because of it submit to sufferings to prove ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Teacher: how, then, can we possibly live apart from Him of whom, by the working of the Spirit, even the Prophets were disciples and to whom they looked forward as their Teacher? And so He, for whom they rightly waited, came and raised them from the dead. (Magnesians 9:1–2 AFL-E)

Εἰ οὖν οἱ ἐν παλαιοῖς ˹ πράγμασιν ἀναστραφέντες εἰς καινότητα ἐλπίδος ἦλθον, μηκέτι σαββατίζοντες ἀλλὰ κατὰ ˹ κυριακὴν ζῶντες, ἐν ᾗ καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἡμῶν ἀνέτειλεν δι᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ, ⸂ < ὅν > τινες ⸃ ἀρνοῦνται, δι᾿ οὗ μυστηρίου ἐλάβομεν τὸ πιστεύειν, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ὑπομένομεν, ἵνα εὑρεθῶμεν μαθηταὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ μόνου διδασκάλου ἡμῶν· πῶς ἡμεῖς δυνησόμεθα ζῆσαι χωρὶς αὐτοῦ, οὗ καὶ οἱ προφῆται μαθηταὶ ὄντες τῷ πνεύματι ὡς διδάσκαλον αὐτὸν προσεδόκων; καὶ διὰ τοῦτο, ὃν δικαίως ἀνέμενον, παρὼν ἤγειρεν αὐτοὺς ἐκ νεκρῶν. (Magnesians 9:1–2 AF-T)

(4?) 1 Peter

(4a) 1 Pet 3:19-20

For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.

ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασιν πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν, ἀπειθήσασίν ποτε ὅτε ἀπεξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ εἰς ἣν ὀλίγοι, τοῦτ᾿ ἔστιν ὀκτὼ ψυχαί, διεσώθησαν δι᾿ ὕδατος. (1 Peter 3:19–20 GNT-T)

(4b) 1Pet 4:6

For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.

εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ νεκροῖς εὐηγγελίσθη, ἵνα κριθῶσι μὲν κατὰ ἀνθρώπους σαρκὶ ζῶσι δὲ κατὰ θεὸν πνεύματι. (1 Peter 4:6 GNT-T)