Did Jesus Preach to Dead People After He Died?

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Epiphanies and Orthodoxy

There is a very peculiar passage of Scripture in the first book of Peter which seems to suggest that Jesus went to preach the Gospel of repentance to those who had already been condemned to hell! What makes this passage even more peculiar is that it is set in the context of a perfectly sensible and unsurprising passage all about suffering for doing what is right.

Direct translation:

He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in/by which also he went/having gone and preached to the spirits in prison. He preached to those who formerly disobeyed, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)

As we read this direct translation a number of questions arise:

  1. When it says Christ was “made alive…

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