“And he preached to those souls, which were detained in Hades”
1 Peter 3:19
(from the Ancient Syriac Version of the NT – The Peshitta)
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Christ descended into Hades after he died in order to preach to the Old Testament Saints who were held captive until he conquered sin and death. This teaching is extremely ancient and universal. It is in the most ancient of Creeds, is taught by all the fathers East and West. From the start of the Reformation, however, Protestant Christians (starting with Martin Luther) have doubted the local descent into the netherworld. Popular modern theologians like Wayne Grudem and John Piper have called for the removal of the “descent clause” from the Apostles Creed.
This post is a collection of scriptural, patristic, and creedal witnesses to the truth of the local descent by Christ into the netherworld.