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Re: Descent into Hell?

>Jesus "preached to those that were in prison" -- which the
Nicene Fathers, who had by then long renounced all things Judaic
(including Judaic Christianity) interpreted to mean "Hell"....<

Presumably there was some confusion about how to interpret the Hebrew or
Aramaic word ultimately involved.  For instance, the Hebrew word *bor* meaning
a "pit" sometimes means just a hole in the ground, but is sometimes used for
prison and sometimes means "where-one-goes-after-death" (in Hebrew Bible
generally with a meaning similar to that of the term  *sheol* -- namely, a
Hades-like underworld with no particular judgmental or moral connotations --
and certain not implying a distinction between Paradise and Hell since this
notion is developed only in post-biblical Judaism.  An example of *bor* used
in the same meaning as *she'ol* appears in Ps. 30, where the terms appear
in poetic parallelism (i.e, two ways of saying the same thing):

*he'eleyta min she'ol  nafshi
 Xiyyiytani miyordi bor*
 "You brought me up from She'ol,
  preserved me from going down into the Pit."

Here the poet means only that God has saved him from, as it were, Death's
Door.   There's no concept of Hell involved  (pace those who stand on their
heads from here to Doomsday insisting on an eisegesis of words like *she'ol*
and *bor* that "proves" there will in fact BE a Doomsday -- or at least that
the authors of the Hebrew Bible thought so....)

Judith Romney Wegner