Saturday, September 2, 2017

Engelder on "The Hades Gospel": Still Needed Today! (Compilation of All Links)

Once again, the worth of this theological treasure, Engelder's "The Hades Gospel," is proven. For those confused on the matter, Engelder makes clear that Lutherans do not believe in the "Hades Gospel." We do not believe that you get a "second chance" in the afterlife or on the Last Day.

People who die in unbelief go to hell. That is what the Bible teaches. If that is unsettling, than you must refresh your abhorrence and hatred for sin in conformity and in reflection of God's righteous wrath against sin. As Engelder points out, we must repent and mortify our fleshly thoughts. We are not to accuse God of sin by saying, or implying, that He wrongfully didn't give people a "fair chance" as if all men were not poor miserable sinners who deserve damnation.
Engelder's concern is that we remember that God has graciously redeemed us from our just punishment by His great love and mercy poured out in Christ Jesus. The Lord does this in accordance with His goodness which He defines and teaches to us in His Word. Thus, as Engelder shows, Lutherans are not to engage in speculative gymnastics and teach it as scriptural doctrine--especially speculation that caters to the world and its so-called "reason."

If you want to read a masterful rebuttal of the "Hades Gospel," Prof. Theodore Engelder's work on the subject is the place to go.

[Here is a brief introduction to Engelder and his work.]

In six essays, published in the Concordia Theological Monthly during 1945-6, Theodore Engelder confronted the prevalent, and still persistent belief and false hope, that there is a "second chance" or further hope for salvation for those who die in unbelief.

Below are the links to the series of posts I did on the subject and links to Engelder's articles themselves:

1. Prof. Th. Engelder on The Hades Gospel Part I: "The Hades Gospel" (first and introductory post)
-Original Article: Part I: "The Hades Gospel" CTM May 1945 (Vol. 16, No. 5)

2. Prof. Th. Engelder on the Hades Gospel Part II, "The Argument in Support of the Hades Gospel,"
-Original Article: Part II: "The Argument in Support of the Hades Gospel" CTM June 1945 (Vol. 16, No. 6)

-Original Article: Part III: "The Evil of The Hades Gospel" CTM September 1945 (Vol. 16, No. 9)

-Original Article: Part IV: "Some Remarks on the Question of the Salvation of the Heathen"
CTM December 1945 (Vol. 16, No. 12)

-Original Article: Part V: "The Protestant Purgatory" CTM June 1946 (Vol. 17, No. 6)

6. Prof. Th. Engelder on The Hades Gospel Part VI: "The Hades Gospel and the Apocatastasis Gospel
--Original Article: Part VI: "The Hades Gospel and the Apocatastasis Gospel" CTM September 1946 (Vol. 17, No. 9)


  1. Great article. My one thought on this is; Why as Confessional Lutherans, do we use translations of the Bible that cause the confusion by using the term Hades? The ESV, NIV,NKJV, NRSV, MEV, etc. all use (different amounts) the term Hades. In my count the KJV & the new EHV (Wartburg project) are the only ones that never use the term Hades. I hope someone can answer this?

  2. I don't know the whole background, but the NKJV probably would have been a better choice than the ESV. I heard that the LCMS went with the ESV because it was trying to get away from the NIV (which is a good move) and because some LCMS folks were a part of the translation team.

    Does the NKJV really use Hades as well?

  3. According to Bible Gateway the NKJV uses the term Hades more than the NIV does (11 - 8). In my Thomas Nelson study Bible (2nd edition) they have a small section that talks about what Hades is by it's definition of what Hades is definitely does not line up with confessional Lutheran teaching. It's probably the biggest reason why I read the KJV as my everyday reading text. I know that I could just ignore the word but to me it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Dan Bratten

  4. Well, that's disappointing. Maybe we should just go back to the Lutherbibel.

  5. We might have to....though I'm not fluent in German lol. I have the new Evangelical Heritage Version Study Bible on order. I know it does not use Hades anywhere. Can't wait to see what it is like. It was done by WELS and ELS pastors & seminary professors.

    Dan Bratten

  6. I'm aware of the EHV, but haven't really checked it out in depth. Hopefully you'll find it a good translation.

  7. It'll probably be my #2 translation behind the KJV.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS Pastor Ramirez.

    Dan Bratten