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Re: Descent into Hell?

On Thu, 22 Aug 1996, Jay Treat wrote:

> Now, look at the actual passage in question: 1Pet 3:18-20. English 
> translation will do for present purpose:
> "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the
> unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the
> flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the
> spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited
> in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that
> is, eight persons, were saved through water."
> This is a odd passage, but not in the way Dale Cannon makes it out to be. 
> Above all, it is rather clear that the spirits in the prison were those
> who were disobedient in the days of Noah.  That rules out any prison in
> first-century Judaea. 
> David Suter makes a cogent argument: this an application of Enochic materials
> to Jesus. 

There's another "hook" in the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36) that 
leads 1 Peter to pick up on it and apply it to Jesus (or whatever):  I 
think you'll find that in 1 Enoch 12-16, it is supposed that Enoch has 
been "taken," which would correspond in 1 Peter to being "alive in the 
spirit."  On the other hand, there is a contrast between the two 
passages:  Enoch is commisioned with the condemnation of the angels, 
while the 1 Peter passage seems to be about the redemption of the 
unrighteous, including the spirits of angels.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College