spirits in prison

The dead in Hades before the time of Christ. Belief in the resurrection of Christ led Christians to speculate about his whereabouts between the crucifixion and his resurrection on the third day. One suggestion was that he went to preach to those who had died and who were in the place appointed by God for the departed (1 Pet. 3:19). This could be a mythological [[➝ myth]] way of affirming that Christ's salvation was universal—it stretched both backwards in time and forwards. The ‘descent into hell’ became a clause in the earliest Christian creeds.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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