Deleting “He descended into Hell” from the Apostles’ Creed

Deleting “He descended into Hell” from the Apostles’ Creed May 12, 2016

I have learned that there is a movement to delete the line about Christ descending into Hell from the Apostles’ Creed.  Those who wish to do this are called “deletionists,” or “neo-deletionists.”

The phrase in question can be interpreted in a number of different ways, but it is certainly part of the Apostle’s Creed.  I remember as a child going to Methodist churches that don’t include it.

Lots of Christians don’t have creeds at all, but if you do have a creed–that is, if you are confessing your doctrinal agreement with the historical Christian church–it makes no sense to delete part of it!

See Michael Bird’s post on the subject at his Euangelion blog:  In Defense of the Descendit by Jeff Hamm.  He cites two recent scholarly defenses of Christ’s descent into Hell:

Jeffery L. Hamm, “Descendit: Delete or Declare? A Defense Against the Neo-Deletionists,” WTJ 78 (2016): 93-116.  (He cites the universal belief in Christ’s descent in the early church.)

Justin W. Bass, The Battle for the Keys: Revelation 1:18 and Christ’s Descent into the Underworld.  (He argues that Revelation 1:18 alludes to Christ’s descent into Hell.)


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