“Hell” or “Sheol” in Psalm 16:10?
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10, KJV)
Taking this psalm as a messianic psalm, the KJV says that Christ went to “hell,” which is commonly understood as the place where unsaved souls are kept. The supposed problem is that Christ went to “paradise” after his death (Luke 23:43). However, 1 Peter 3:19-20 says that Christ “preached unto the spirits in prison.” These were “disobedient” spirits in “prison.” 1 Peter 3:19-20 in no uncertain terms states that Christ, after death, was in hell preaching (proclaiming his victory over death and sin) to these damned souls. However, critics may raise another objection that Christ was in “Hades,” which is supposedly a place where damned souls were kept for judgment, but not punished (as “hell” may seem to imply). Peter, whose words are preserved in Greek by Luke, indeed quoted Psalm 16:10 in Acts 2:27 and said that Jesus’ “soul was not left in hell (Hades)” (Acts 2:31). However, the biblical “Hades” is synonymous with “hell” (a place of suffering for the unsaved). Luke 16:23-24 says that the unsaved rich man in Christ’s parable was in “Hades” and “tormented in this flame.” The biblical Hades is a place of torment for the unsaved. Thus, “hell” is appropriate as a translation of “Hades.” Christ was indeed in hell just as the Apostle’s Creed confirms.
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