Spiritual Realms (Hades)

This entry is part 3 of 20 in the series Spiritual Realms

Hades

The Term

Hades is a Greek word, thus appearing only in the New Testament, and then only ten times is it used.  It is translated in the NIV as “the grave,” “the depths,”  “death” or left in the original Greek as “Hades.”  Also it is translated “Hell,” in Luke 16 (below), but in our modern understanding of that term, “Hell” is not the best translation (more on that later).  Being a modern translation, this is an egregious miscalculation of the NIV.   It is translated as “Hell” in all ten usages of the KJV, a much older translation.

Conclusions

(Luke 16 is printed here only once, as several observations will refer to it)

Notes on Luke 16:

·         This is not a typical “theological” passage, as it is a story told by Jesus.  One does not normally presume Jesus’ parables to be historically true, but metaphorical and hypothetical.  One would presume Lazarus and the rich man were not real.  However, for Jesus to tell a story containing theological truths, one must conclude those theological truths to be accurate because theology is the purpose in Jesus’ teaching. 

o   To be certain, Jesus’ intentions in Luke 16 were not to teach on Hades.  However, his story does that by merit of being told by Jesus on a theological topic which includes Jesus’ understanding of that topic, Hades.  Jesus would not, in the context of teaching theology, include inaccurate theological suggestion.

Luke 16:19-31 (NIV)
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell (Sheol), where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”

Hades is a place for the righteous and the unrighteous

·         Luke 16 (above) – inferences from their state in Hades:

o   Lazarus was righteous, as was Abraham

o   The rich man was not

·         Matthew 11:23-24 (NIV)
23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths[Hades]. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

o   Here, Christ references the disobedient as going down to Hades

·         1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NIV)
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

o   In verse 55, the first usage of the English term “death” is from Gk. “thantos,” or the state of being dead.  The second usage is Gk. “Hades,” though the NIV makes no distinction between the two by using “death” in each term.

§  Thus, believers are promised (as they are in Sheol) a deliverance from Hades, which, indicates their presence in that place along with unbelievers.

·         1 Peter 3:18-19 (NIV)
18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison…

o   Note:  The use of this text here is somewhat circular, because Hades is not referenced, but “the spirits in prison.” 

§  However, systematic theology leaves no other possible “prison” at this time for Jesus to have gone to and preached in, other than Hades.

§  Thus, Jesus, himself, being utterly righteous, also went to Hades upon his death. 

Hades is compartmentalized

·         Luke 16 (above)

o   Lazarus was in a higher place within Hades

o   The rich man was in a lower place – v23 “he looked up and saw Abraham far away”

o   There was a great expanse between the two places

Hades is more harsh for the unrighteous than for the righteous

·         Unbelievers

o   Luke 16 (above)

§  The rich man was in agony

·         He asked Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool his tongue

·         He specifically noted his agony in the flames

·         He asked Lazarus to warn his brothers

·         Believers

o    1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NIV)
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death (thantos), is your victory? Where, O death (Hades), is your sting?”

§  Believers are promised a release from Hades into immortality and victory.

o   Luke 16 (above)

§  Lazarus is said in v.25 to be “comforted” in Hades, at  Abraham’s bosom

Hades is a place of consciousness

·         Luke 16 (above)

o   The rich man and Lazarus had a conversation – as did Abraham and the rich man

o   The rich man showed consciousness in the consideration of his brothers’ fates

o   Abraham demonstrated theological knowledge – indicating thought processes

·          

Hades is mentioned as being downward from the earth

·         Matthew 11:23-24 (NIV)
23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths[Hades]. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Hades is one and the same as Hebrew “Sheol”

·         By definition:

o   Because all descriptions of a term in one language (Hebrew) meet the same definitions in another language (Greek) a term is understood to be one and the same.

o   Each description of Hades is the same as the Old Testament descriptions of Sheol.

·         By scripture

o    Acts 2:25-27 (NIV)
25 David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the grave (Hades), nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

§  This is a quote of Psalm 16:10 using the Greek tongue. 

·         Psalms 16:10 (NIV)
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave (Sheol), nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

o   Scripture clearly translates “Sheol” into “Hades” when the New Testament Greek linguist quotes the Hebrew Old Testament term.

 

Additional Conclusion:  It is temporary

Revelation 20:13-15 (NIV)
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

At the end of all human history, Hades will be cast into the Lake of Fire.  Thus, Hades is a temporary place of holding until such a time as a more permanent judgment for the unrighteous is revealed.

More will be developed on this as the course continues.

 

Series Navigation<< Spiritual Realms (Sheol)Spiritual Realms (Abaddon) >>

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