Does 1 Peter 3:18-20 Teach a Second Chance? (61)

EKERUKSEN (Proclaimed/Preached) –to Spirits in Prison – 1 Peter 3:18-20

A.  Bible Versions  

1. “in which”  Proper appreciation of the preposition affects your interpretation.

ASV – “(18). . . being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (19) in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, (20) that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.”  

NASB – “(18) . . . having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (10) in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, (20) who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.”  

NIV – “(18). . . He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. (19) After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – (20) to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it, only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water.” 

ESV – “(18). . . being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (19) in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, (20) because they formerly did not obey, when God ‘s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, . . . “ George Ricker Berry, Greek-English Interlinear N.T. –  v. 19 “in which” 

Douay Rheims Catholic Bible – “(18). . . being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, (19) In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison; (20) Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building. . .” 

2.  “by which”  Proper appreciation of the preposition affects your interpretation.

KJV – “(18). . . being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (19) by which also he went and preach unto the spirits in prison; (20) which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” *NKJV – “(18) . . . being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, (19) by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, (20) who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water.” 

3. Tagalog Dating Biblia (taon 1905)

 “(18). . . siyang pinatay sa laman, ngunit binuhay sa espiritu; (19) Na iyan din ang kaniyang iniyaon at nangaral sa mga espiritung nasa bilangguan, (20) Na nang unang panahon ay mga suwail, na ang pagpapahinuhod ng Dios, ay nanatili noong mga araw ni Noe, samantalang, inihahanda ang daong, . . .”  Analyze v. 19 – sa kalagayang espiritu, si Cristo ay yumaon sa mga espiritu sa preso.

B.  Be Careful with KJV-1611 Translation of the Hebrew Word Sheol (O.T. Unseen State, Unseen World)

1.   Even the sinless spirit-soul of the Messiah goes to “Hell” (Sheol) in Psalm 16:10 (Acts 2:27). Also Psalm 86:13; Jonah 2:2. 

2.  General idea of death or destruction is rendered as “going to hell.”  O.T. does not reveal two sections of the unseen state.

3.  So the conclusion of some is that upon death “all souls go to hell, Sheol”  good or bad soul-spirit. Weakness of 1611 KJV here! 

4.  Other OT verses where Sheol is translated Hell: Dt 32:22; 2 Sam. 22:6; Job 11:8; 26:6; Psa. 9:17; 18:5; 55:15; 116:3; 139:8; Prov. 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; 15:11; 15:24; 23:14;27:20; Isa. 5:14; 14:9; 28:15; 57:9; Eze. 31:16, 17; 21; 32:27; Amos 9:2; Hab. 2:5. 

5.  The Old KJV translates the Greek word Tartarusas as “hell” in 2 Peter 2:4. Weak translation here.  

C. New Testament Unseen State Has Two Sections 

1.  Greek idea of the unseen world or unseen state is Hades, the place where the disembodied spirit goes.  

2.  NT passages where Hades is found in the Greek text and translated Hell in the KJV –  Mt. 11:23; 16:18; Lk 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27; 2:31; Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13; 20:14. So if one uses the old KJV, all dead people to to hell. BE CAREFUL HERE! ! ! !  !

D.  Identify the Location of Hades and Paradise.

      Know the location of Hades and Paradise as mentioned in Luke 16:19-31; 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4. 

E. The Valley of Hinnom, Gehenna (Ge=land or earth; Hinnom, name of a person) 

1. Location is near Jerusalem (Jos. 15:8; Jer. 19:2).

2. Place of idol worship & sacrificing of children  (1Kgs 11:7; 2Chro. 28:3; Valley of slaughter-Jer. 7:31, 32; garbage of Jerusalem thrown there and burning round the clock. This image is used to capture the eternal hell of torment.

3.  Description: everlasting fire & punishment – Mt. 25:41, 46; darkness- Mt. 8:12; everlasting destruction-2Thes. 1:9; Lake of fire-Rev. 19:20.

4. Prepared for the devil and his angels-Mtt. 25:41; wicked-Rev. 21:8; disobedient-Rm 2:8,9; fallen angels-2Pet. 2:4; beast and false prophet-Rev. 19:20; worshippers of the beast-Rev. 14:11; rejectors of the gospel-Mtt. 10:15. 

5. Degrees of punishment- Matt. 23:14

F.  Valley of Hinnom, Gehenna (geenna) Translated “Hell” in the 1611 KJV – Mt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:32; Mk. 9:43, 45, 47; Lk 12:5; James 3:6. 

G.  Settle the following problems: 

1.   The  prepositional phrase to pneumati, v. 18, in the Greek text, is it the Holy Spirit, 3rd person in the Godhead, or the human spirit of Jesus?  (I favor translating it “spirit” to refer to Jesus’s human spirit that was kept alive, in contrast to Christ’s death in the flesh.)

2.   The prepositional phrase ending (ultima), is the ending of three cases: Dative, Locative and Instrumental so the preposition could be either “by” or “in”.  The context now is to be taken into consideration. (I favor the preposition “in” to agree with “human spirit” kept alive, not put to death. The physical body was put to death. Holy Spirit is not the topic.)

3.   Verse 19, “en ho”  is in the form of the dative case, locative case, instrumental case so the preposition could be translated “in” or “by”. The context then should determine which is preferred. If “in” is the preposition, it means that in the state or kalagayang spirit, he went to do the act of keruksing to the spirits in prison. However, if “by” is the preposition, and the to pneumati is with a capital S (Spirit), the idea would mean that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ preached through the person of Noah prior to the flood, during the period of 120 year construction of the ark. The HS and Christ preaching through Noah in olden times is far from the context! 

4.   Christ went to do something and the verb is EKERUKSEN from the verb KERUSSO. The two English verbs popular rendition are “I proclaim, I preach.”  (See Vocabulary, Essentials of N.T. Greek, Ray Summers, p. 178). Greek-English Lexicon of George Ricker Berry’s Greek-English Interlinear, p. 55, KERUSSO, means “to proclaim, to publish, especially to preach the gospel.”  Which of the three English words would best fit the context of 1 Peter 3:18-20? I favor Christ proclaiming not Noah in person proclaiming.  

5.   Who are the spirits in prison?  There are two interpretations: one view says that the spirits were imprisoned in the fleshly desiring bodies of sinful men; while the second view says that the spirits were imprisoned in the confines of Hades, particularly in the Torture Chamber where the rich man in the parable of Jesus that is found in Luke 16:19-31 went.  I favor the second interpretation. 

6.   When was the EKERUKSEN act or work of Jesus Christ?  Was it during the construction of the ark, or while Jesus’s human spirit was detached for 3 days and 3 nights from His human body after the crucifixion?  I favor the second view: Christ went to Hades, in the Paradise chamber, while his human spirit left his human body from Friday afternoon to the early morning of Sunday after the cross and before the resurrection on Sunday morning. His body was left in the tomb. 

7.   In relation to the EKERUKSEN (proclaiming, publishing, heralding, preaching) act of Jesus, what was the time frame assigned to the act of disobedience of the imprisoned spirits?  One view says that the act of disobedience of the spirits in prison was:

    a. at the same time the proclaiming, publishing, heralding, preaching was being done by Christ through the preaching of the old man Noah;   

    b. the act of disobedience of the spirits in prison was during the construction of the ark in the lifetime of Noah, and the act of proclaiming, heralding, preaching was after the crucifixion of Jesus.  (I favor the second view.)

8.   What did Christ proclaim, publish, herald, preach to the spirits in prison? There are several views:

     a.  Christ, by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of Noah preached repentance to the people so that they would be saved from  the coming calamity.

     b.  Christ, after the cross, His human spirit went to Hell and preached the gospel to the souls providing a second chance to repent and believe in Him for their exit from the on going torture in Hell.

     c.  Christ, after the cross, His human spirit went to Hades, in the Paradise section, and preach the gospel giving a  second chance to the once disobedient spirits to repent and believe in Jesus giving them opportunity to exit Tartarus. 

     d.  Christ, after the cross, while his human spirit was detached from his fleshly body, went to Hades, in the Paradise section and proclaimed, published the fact that His death at the cross which is for the salvation of mankind has been fulfilled and he especially called the attention of the spirits in the torture chamber of Hades who lived during the construction of Noah’s Ark who represented the most skeptical unbelievers in all human history. Not to give a second chance but to inform them that the prophesied mission of the long-awaited Messiah had been fulfilled. (I favor this 4th view on the strength of Hebrews 9:27.) 

9.   The phrase “aforetime were disobedient”  “once were disobedient” “disobedient long ago” “formerly did not obey” “some time incredulous” “formerly were disobedient” “nang unang panahon ay mga suwail” is related to the time of the act of EKERUKSEN (period of proclaiming, publishing, preaching). The time of disobedience was long time ago, long time past at the moment  of Christ’s act of proclaiming His victory. Meaning the disobedience happened thousands of years before the act of Christ’s proclaiming or the act of preaching to the spirits in prison.  The time of disobedience was at the time of Noah while he was building the Ark. 

10.   When did Christ’s EKERUKSEN happen in relation to Christ’s mortal body?  While his fleshly body was put to death, and his human spirit was detached from the human body. This period happened before sun down of Friday, circa 33rd year of Christ’s life on earth before the Passover, until the morning of Sunday, the resurrection Sunday of Matt. 28, Mark 16 and Luke 24. 

11.   How is Ephesian 4:8, which is quoted from Psalm 68:18 related to the EKERUKSEN of Christ to the spirits in prison of our current study of 1 Peter 3:18-20?  I would like to imagine a scene in Paradise about Christ in His human spirit, who organized a victory parade celebrating His triumph over sin and death with the victorious, obedient spirits following Him, similar to a victorious army general parading in the streets or some victorious kings coming home with their victorious army following them and further down the street parade are the bound defeated, captive, enemy soldiers.  The homecoming victorious king or army general distributed gifts taken from the spoils of war, and also receiving gifts from the rich subjects of the kingdom. Christ’s gifts were the appointments of apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 4:10). Also the gifts in Romans 12:6-8 including those gifts in 1 Cor. 12:1-13 to build a progressive kingdom.    

Questions to Help Analyze the Context of 1 Peter 3:18-20

1.  What aspect or nature of Jesus Christ that died? (Human body? OR Human spirit)

2.  Did the spirit of Jesus Christ die and was made alive? (Yes OR No)

3.  What is the meaning of “made alive” or “quickened” or “enliven” in reference to the spirit or Spirit? 

4.  Who went to proclaim or preach? (Christ, Holy Spirit, Noah)

5.  Who actually did the proclaiming or preaching? (Christ, Holy Spirit, Noah)

6.  When did the act of proclaiming or preaching happen? (5000 B.C., 33 A.D.)

7. Where was the prison located where Christ went? (Human body of people in Noah’s days, Hades)

8. What did Christ proclaim, preach? (Gospel of repentance & salvation OR Victory)

9. What was the purpose of the proclamation or preaching? (To give second chance for salvation OR Proclaim Victory)

10. Do you think some spirits in prison repent and were baptized for the forgiveness of sins? (Yes OR No)

11. In verse 18, who is the TO PNEUMATI? (Holy Spirit OR human spirit?

12. In v. 18, what preposition do you prefer, “By” OR “In” ??

13. In v. 19, what pronoun do you prefer, “which” OR “whom”? (which – whom)

14. What is the significance of the adverb “formerly” or “aforetime” or “once”?

15. When did the disobedience happen in relation to the act of proclaiming/preaching?

16. Did the disobedience happen at the time of proclamation/preaching? (Yes – No)

17. At the time of preaching/proclaiming, were the spirits in prison currently disobedient? (Yes / No)

18. At the time of preaching/proclaiming, were the spirits in prison formerly disobedient? (Yes / No)

19. Was the time of proclaiming concurrent with the time of disobedience? (Yes . No)

20. Was the time of proclaiming concurrent with the time of God’s longsuffering? (Yes / No)

*Please give your translation of 1 Peter 3:18-20 in Tagalog.

Bible Versions on 1 Peter 3:18- “made alive in spirit”  OR  “made alive by the spirit  OR Spirit;    in v. 19 “by which He went”  OR  “in which He went”

A. The emphasis is in the state of being in the spirit, or the spirit that detaches from the human body; the spirit is the actor in the following versions:

ASV, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 19, “in which also he went and preached”

NASB, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit” >>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which also He went and made proclamation”

ESV, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits”

Rheims-Douay, v.18, “enlivened in the spirit” >>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which also coming he preached to those spirits”

WEB, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit”>>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which he also went and preached to the spirits”

WMB, v. 18, “made alive in the spirit”  >>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in whom he also went and preached to the spirits”

H.Littrell, v.18, “made alive in spirit”>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “in which also He went and preached”

BNDB, v. 18, “napagungar iti espiritu”>>>>>>>>>>>>> v. 19, “ket iti daytoy a kasasaadna napan nangasaba”

Tagalog 1905, “pinatay sa laman, binuhay sa espiritu”>> v. 19, “iyan din ang kaniyan iniyaon at nangaral sa mga espiritu”

B.  The emphasis is on the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Godhead as the actor in the following versions: 

KJV, v. 18, “but quickened by the Spirit”

v. 19, “by which also he went and preach unto the spirits”

NKJV, v.18, “made alive by the Spirit”

v. 19, “by whom also He went and preached to the spirits” 

H.McCord, v. 18, “brought to life by the Spirit”

v. 19, “by whom also he went and preached to spirits”