Q. Re: The verses in 1 peter 3:19-20 where it says “through whom also he (Jesus) went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed 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…
I studied the chart from Clarence Larkin about the underworld and he shows that Jesus went into a chamber (Abraham’s bosom) that held the believers. Did Jesus go to the other part of the chamber (hell or sheol or hades) where the unbelievers went??
According to Luke 16 there is a great gulf that separates them.
A. I believe that when Jesus went into the grave he visited two places. The first was Paradise, or Abraham’s Bosom, where the spirits of dead believers awaited for His sacrifice to open the Gates of Heaven for them. (Luke 23:43 & 1 Peter 4:6)
He also went to the place where the spirits of those who rejected God from the days of Noah dwell as 1 Peter 3:19-20 tells us. I believe that this 2nd place actually houses all the spirits of the unsaved who await their judgment at the Great White Throne. It’s sometimes called “Torments” and is separated by a wide chasm from Paradise.
Today Paradise is empty as all who die in faith now go directly to be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6-8 & Phil. 1:22-23). Torments still receives the spirits of dead unbelievers. Many refer to Torments as Hades or Hell.