From the Apostle's Creed we know that Jesus descended to Hell. Dante's Inferno also mentioned how Hell might look like.

What kind of Hell was it that Jesus went to? Was it,

Mark 9:48 
‘the worms that eat them do not die,
    and the fire is not quenched.’


Luke 16:22   Abraham’s side.
  • Very similar, but asked differently: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/508/…
    – Narnian
    Feb 4 '13 at 13:44
  • @Narnian So, what's the answer? Abraham's side or both?
    – Mawia
    Feb 4 '13 at 13:58
  • @Mawia So did my answer address your question or it wasn't what you were looking for? Feb 8 '13 at 2:40
  • 1
    @nickecarlo Your answer is very good and informative. :)
    – Mawia
    Feb 8 '13 at 5:15

The phrase "Bosom of Abraham" was a traditional Rabbinic idea that when righteous people died they went to the "Bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob".

From The Legend of the Jews:

The phrase "to be in Abraham's bosom", found in the New Testament, and sporadically also in rabbinic literature (e.g., Kiddushin 72b; Ekah 1. 85), has, however, nothing to do with the conception of sacramental character of circumcision. The pious are gathered to their fathers (4 Maccabees 12. 17; BHM V, 50), and accordingly, "to be in Abraham's bosom" is abridged from the complete expression "to be in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacon," the three patriarchs.

Further in the Talmud (taken from the Wikipedia article):

In Kiddushin 72b, Adda bar Ahavah of the third century, is said to be "sitting in the bosom of Abraham," Likewise "In the world to come Abraham sits at the gate of Gehenna, permitting none to enter who bears the seal of the covenant" according to Rabbi Levi in Genesis Rabba 67.

Hippolytus of Rome, a Christian theologian from the third century, wrote:

But the righteous shall obtain the incorruptible and un-fading kingdom, who indeed are at present detained in Hades, but not in the same place with the unrighteous. For to this locality there is one descent, at the gate whereof we believe an archangel is stationed with a host. And when those who are conducted by the angels appointed unto the souls have passed through this gate, they do not proceed on one and the same way; but the righteous, being conducted in the light toward the right, and being hymned by the angels stationed at the place, are brought to a locality full of light. And there the righteous from the beginning dwell, not ruled by necessity, but enjoying always the contemplation of the blessings which are in their view, and delighting themselves with the expectation of others ever new, and deeming those ever better than these. And that place brings no toils to them. There, there is neither fierce heat, nor cold, nor thorn; but the face of the fathers and the righteous is seen to be always smiling, as they wait for the rest and eternal revival in heaven which succeed this location. And we call it by the name Abraham's bosom.

With that long background out of the way, the answer to your question would depend on why Jesus went to hell in the first place, if Apostle's Creed is to be taken on its word.

If Jesus went to "hell" to pay for our sins, since that is the eventual punishment for our sins, then it would make complete sense that Jesus went to the hell of Mark 9 above. Acts 2:24 could be used to support that argument:

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:24

However, if the argument based on 1st century Jewish tradition is used, that Jesus died and went to "the bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" or "the bosom of Abraham", because that is the resting place for all righteous people then we can assume that the "hell" he went to looked like the one in Luke 16 above.

EDIT Further evidence to support that Jesus went to "paradise" or a place with no suffering is the following from Luke 23:39-43:

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Either way there is no definitive answer here since we don't clearly know why Jesus went to hell. And this is where I will give you my personal beliefs.

I believe that Jesus died for our sins. Not only did he die on the cross and shed his blood but he was the perfect sacrifice. Being the perfect sacrifice he took on the punishment that we deserved. Seeing that the punishment for sins is eternal punishment in hell where "there is weeping and gnashing of teeth", I would venture on to say that Jesus went to hell and suffered the fate we were supposed to suffer.

This answer is in no way authoritative so please take it with a grain of salt; but I hope it helps you with your question, nonetheless.

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