Descent into Hell

Descent into Hell
   An article of the Creed in which we confess our belief that our Lord while His Body lay in the grave, descended into the place of departed spirits. The word "Hell" as here used is the English translation of the Greek word Hades, which means not the place of torment, (for which another Greek word is used, viz., Gehenna) but that covered, hidden place where the soul awaits the General Resurrection. The Rubric before the Creed gives this interpretation of the word, and permission is given to churches to use instead of it, the words "place of departed spirits," "which are considered as words of the same meaning in the Creed."

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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