Ephesians 4:7-11

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Charles Meadows, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    Here's a good one! What do tou guys (and gals)think of this verse? Was Christ's descent a descent into Sheol - or is this more likely describing His incarnation? - or is idescribing Pentecost? This is one that scholars have really wrestled with! Opinions?
     
  2. rbrent

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    I've always thought the Eph 4 passage refers to Jesus' activities and destination AFTER the Crucifixion.

    Acts 2:31:

    "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of

    Christ, that his soul was not left in hell,

    neither his flesh did see corruption."

    The particular "hell" Christ went to was described by him in Luke 16:19-28.

    It is NOT the flameless hell of Billy Graham and Robert Schuller.

    It is NOT "Sheol" as described by the Jehovah's Witnesses.
     
  3. gb93433

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    A.T. Robertson writes in Word Pictures of the NT, "
    Now this (to de). Paul picks out the verb anabas (second aorist active participle of anabainô, to go up), changes its form to anebê (second aorist indicative), and points the article (to) at it. Then he concludes that it implied a previous katabas (coming down).

    Into the lower parts of the earth (eis ta katôtera tês gês). If the anabas is the Ascension of Christ, then the katabas would be the Descent (Incarnation) to earth and tês gês would be the genitive of apposition. What follows in verse #10 argues for this view. Otherwise one must think of the death of Christ (the descent into Hades of
    #Ac 2:31
     
  4. rbrent

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    Since the scripture clearly says "hell" in Acts 2:31, why must reinterpret that to mean "sheol"?

    Since our Lord Himself described "hell" in Luke 16:19-28, as a place with torment and flames,
    why try to "air-condition" hell, as they say down south?

    I expect A.T. Robertson was a peach of a guy but he was a linguistic expert, not a theological expert.

    Linguistic expertise does not always equal theological expertise.

    I can't see his explaination as plausible when I read the KJV passage.

    Does it make sense that "he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth" refers to his Incarnation?

    I'm not buying that nugget from A.T. Robertson.

    [ January 05, 2004, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: rbrent ]
     
  5. superdave

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    I would submit that in order to be a credible Theological expert, you should be a linguistic expert, but why argue off the point.

    I agree that the Incarnation is an implausible explanation for the phrase. It definately refers to a descent to some lower region, Sheol/Hades at least, I would not say the "Lake of Fire" or Hell. He had already descended, before his death to the Earth, it doesn't seem to make sense in the context of this passage.

    It was important for Christ to not only descend and ascend to the Earth, but to demonstrate his authority over all realms of reality. There is also the Passage I believe in Peter talking about him preaching to the souls of the dead.

    There is another thread on this topic that also references this passage, it is either here or in the General Baptist Discussions forum.
     
  6. Johnv

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    The word translated "hell" here is haides, which was Greek for the Hebrew Sheol. This verse referrs to Sheol.
    The word translated "hell" here is also haides, which was Greek for the Hebrew Sheol. This verse referrs to Sheol.


    Now, Ephesians referrs to Jesus descending to the "lower parts of the earth". This is the description of Sheol. Jews of the OT literally believed that Sheol was the place where dead sould resided, and that it was located in the lower parts of the earth.

    In the original Greek, the Christian scriptures use the word "Hades" to refer to Sheol, the place where the dead await resurrection and judgment:
    - Hades has gates that shall not withstand the church. (Matthew 16:18)
    - Hades is located under the earth (Luke 10:15)
    - Hades is a place where people will be tormented by thirst and heat from flames. (Luke 16:24)

    The Greek word "Gehenna", OTOH, refers to a pit of fire; this is the location normally thought of as "Hell" where people who do not attain heaven are tortured for all eternity:
    - Gehenna contains fire. Matthew 5:12; Mark 9:43, 45 & 47; James 3:6 refer to hell (Gehenna) fire.
    is a location that bodies are "cast into" (Matthew 5:29-30; Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43 & 45)
    destroys both a person's soul and their body (Matthew 10:28)
    - Gehenna is a place of darkness (Matthew 25:30)
    is a permanent location, where torture never ceases. Rev 20:10 states that the devil, beast and false prophet will be "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone...and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
    Mark 9:43 & 45 refers to the "fire that never shall be quenched."
    - Gehenna is a place where one is separated from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9). However, the angels and Jesus will view the torturing process. (Revelation 14:10)
    - Gehenna is a place of "tribulation and anguish." (Romans 2:8-9)
    - Gehenna is the "lake of fire" into which, after the final judgment, anyone whose name is not written in the "book of life" will be "cast." (Revelation 20:15)
    - Gehenna appears to be referred to in some of Jesus' parables. Hell is a place of torture (Matthew 18:34) where one is bound hand and foot (Matthew 22:13), cut in pieces (Matthew 24:51) and whipped severely (Luke 12:47). See how Jesus uses the words "Gehenna" and "Hades" to refer to two separate places.

    Note that, in the Greek, Genenna and Hades are two different places. In English, however, they are both often translated as "hell". But, for us English speakers to assume they're the same is a wrong assumption.

    [ January 06, 2004, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
  7. superdave

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    BTW, I don't view this as "air-conditioned hell" when you read Luke's account of Christ's description of Abraham's Bosom and Sheol, Clearly the souls of the OT saints also went to Sheol/Hades/Paradise/Abraham's bosom. All being co-located with a great gulf between the smoking and non smoking sections.

    Clearly, the rich man was in torment in flames, and Lazarus was not. Yet, this was not Heaven, and also not the "lake of fire" Sheol/Hades is a perfectly good explanation, and does not place any less emphasis on the Fires of Hell for those of you who like to preach that ;) It really is a matter of many of the terms being interchangeable, or the same underlying words being used for multiple specific locations.

    Christ's descent to this place would put him in a position to preach to the souls of the unregenerate dead (From II Peter??) and to "lead captivity captive" and remove the souls of the OT saints to Heaven, since their looked for redemtion had been completed by his final propitiation on the cross as the perfect lamb. A whole other area of dissention, but there it is.

    This is not the only passage describing the events of Christ's three day interrment and it gets rather confusing to put the timeline all together.
     
  8. Johnv

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    I can find no biblical reference to Jesus being in, or having gone to, Gehenna. He clearly went to Hades/Sheol, which is different from Gehenna.
     
  9. Charles Meadows

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    I've always thought this one was really interesting. I definitely would not agree that it is "implausible" for this to be the incarnation of Christ - it could be just that. But it also could very well be his descent into the earth after the Crucifixion.

    The "tes ges" is a genitive. It could be "of the earth" - a partitive genitive. It could also be read as an appositional genitive - "the lower regions, that is, the earth."

    Another possible meaning would be in relation to Pentecost. Christ descends to give spiritual gifts. The OT verse quoted here is Ps 68. This in almsot universally (in ancient Rabbinic sources ) as referring to the ascent of Moses to Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. :D
     
  10. Precepts

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    I'm just sorry to such educated minds still guessing.
     
  11. Tim

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    The context is Christ's ascension to power, thus as victor dividing the spoils--giving spiritual gifts.

    From what I've read on Psalm 68 (quoted in Eph. 4:8), it was written in reference to the ascension of the ark of the covenant to it's rightful place on Mount Zion at the request of David (having gotten it back from the Phillistines, and having beaten them in battle).

    And incidentally, David played his typological part perfectly then, humbling himself by removing his royal robes, thus engendering the wrath of Michael--who's boast was in her royal heritage (like unbelieving Israel). She was cursed, the subjects who rejoiced and glorified God with David were blessed. Victorious David gave gifts to every man and woman (so did Christ with the Church)-- (2 Sam. 6, 1 Chron. 15).

    Bottom Line: I think Paul's point in Eph. 4:9-10 is that Christ conquered the foes of hell in His decent, now He is ascended to His proper place of authority in heaven--so He by rights can give us spiritual gifts as spoils of that victory.

    In His Victorious name,

    Tim
     
  12. superdave

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    I think that is what I said, it was not heaven, and it was not G'henna or the Lake of Fire

    My reference to it not being "air-conditioned" was more in reference to the fact that Sheol/Hades is no picnic for those who do not know Christ.
     
  13. Preacher Ron

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    Sheol and Gehenna

    Well, Gehenna is eternal, But the place where the rich man and Lazarus went to was not the eternal hell, or Gehenna. It was Sheol, or the place where all the dead went to prior to the resurrection of Christ. It's in the heart of the Earth. The paradise department of it is seperated from the torment department by a great gulf (abyssos). Christ took the righteous souls to heaven who were in the paradise department of Sheol, (That's what Ephesians 4:8-9 means)

    But the torment department of it is filled even to this day with the wicked dead. This torment department of Sheol will be emptied after the Millennium and thrown into the Lake of Fire.

    [ May 13, 2004, 01:35 AM: Message edited by: Preacher Ron ]
     

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