While the spirit inhabits the body, there is life; when the spirit departs the body, there is death. But what is dead? It is not the spirit, but the body. When the spirit departs the body, where does the dead body go? Where does the living spirit go? The general answer is that the body goes to the grave and the spirit goes to the Hadean world. But where does the Bible teach that the spirits of the righteous go to hades? “Hades” is used eleven times in the New Testament and there is nothing good said about it.

It speaks of:

  • Death and the grave: Matthew 16:18 – they would kill Jesus but the grave could not hold Him; He would rise and build His church.
  • Acts 2:27,31 – place of corruption; the grave.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:55 off the grave.
  • Revelation 1:18 – keys to hades; the grave.
  • Revelation 6:8 – death, likely by metonymy put for the grave.
  • Revelation 20:13 – the grave.

It is used figuratively:

  • Matthew 11:23 and Luke 10:15 – heaven, highly exalted; hades, brought down.
  • Revelation 20:4 – cast into lake of fire.
  • Luke 16:23 – a place of torment for disembodied spirits of the evil.

The spirits of the evil do indeed go to hades. But there is no evidence that the spirits of the righteous go to hades; in fact, it is incongruous to think the righteous go to hades since there is nothing good said about it in the New Testament.

What is the point that Peter was trying to make in Acts 2:31? Was it that Jesus’ spirit came out of the hadean world or was it that Jesus body was resurrected from hades, the grave? The entire context shows that he was speaking of the resurrection of Jesus’ body. His body was not going to be in hades (the grave) long enough to see corruption.

The word “soul” (PSUCHE) has many different meanings in the scripture; the context has to determine its meaning in any given place.

  1. The whole man (Acts 7:14; 1 Peter 3:21).
  2. The body “His soul draweth near the grave.” (Job 33:22).
  3. Passions or emotions “Soul much discouraged.” (Numbers 21:4; Matthew 22:37).
  4. One mindedness “Of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32).
  5. Life force (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
  6. A dead body:
Numbers 5:2 The dead Dead body Dead person Body
Numbers 6:6 Dead body Dead body Dead person Dead person
Numbers 9:6, 7, 10 Dead body Dead body Dead person Body
Numbers 19:11, 13 Dead body Dead body corpse Dead body

A discussion of the spirit of Jesus is not even in this context. It is simply saying He would not be in the grave long enough for His body to see corruption.

Notice the contrast in each verse:

v27 soul hades
Holy one corruption
v31 soul hades
flesh corruption

Luke 16:19-31: The rich man’s spirit was in hades, where there is torment. Lazarus’ spirit was in Abraham’s bosom, where there is comfort. “Abraham’s bosom” is the antithesis of “Hades,” just as “comfort” is the antithesis of “torment.” Thus, “Abraham’s bosom” can no more be “hades” than “comfort” can be torment.”

Revelation 6:9: The souls of them that were slain for the word of God were not in hades. They were under the altar.

Revelation 14:1-3: The hundred forty and four thousand did not stand in hades. They stood on mount Zion.

They did not sing the new song in hades. They sung it before the throne and before the living creatures and elders.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8: When we are absent from the body, we will be present with the Lord. The Lord is not in the hadean world, but heaven (Matthew 22:44; Acts 7:55).

Hebrews 9:24: Jesus did not go to some intermediate place to offer the atoning blood; He offered that blood in heaven. Romans 8:34: Jesus did not go to the hadean world to make intercession for us; He makes intercession before the throne of God. (Romans 8:34).

Philippians 1:23: Paul’s desire was to depart and be with Christ. Christ was not in the Hadean world, but in heaven, where he offered the atoning blood (Hebrews 6:20; 9:24) and where He ever lives to make intercession for the saints (Hebrews 7:25).

I have seen no evidence that the spirits of the righteous dead go to an intermediate place. I have seen much evidence that they go to heaven. I have seen no evidence that “paradise” is an intermediate place. I have seen evidence that it is heaven. I have seen no more evidence for the “intermediate” place that my brethren speak about than I have for the intermediate place that the Catholics or Mormons speak about!

Not this...

But this.