Jehovah`s Witness/Tartarus, the JW's Viewpoint
I would like to give the Jehovah's Witness view on the scriptures and explanation that Mr. Richard gave. As we have different beliefs, and I think it's important to give the basis for why we do not agree with that teaching and why. Let's examine...
Where were the imprisoned spirits Jesus make proclamation to in 1 Peter 3:19?
First and foremost we must not render the word Tartarus in the Bible the same as Tartarus in Greek Mythology. Greek Mythology has no place in any Christian or Bible based teaching, you can't mix Christianity with Paganism. Jehovah detests Paganism and the mixing of it with his Word the Bible. No pagan teachings are part of what Jehovah God does! Here's the scriptures to back that up:
1 Cor. 10:20,21 "I say that what the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with the demons. 21 You cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; you cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons."
2 Cor. 6:14,15,17 "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? 15 Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be′li·al? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols?" 17 “‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’”
Let's see what Tartarus means in Greek Mythology: <<quote>>
In the Iliad, by the ancient poet Homer, the word tar′ta·ros denotes an underground prison as far below Hades as the earth is below heaven. Those confined in it were not human souls, but the lesser gods, spirits, namely, Cronus and the other Titans who had rebelled against Zeus (Jupiter). It was the prison established by the mythical gods for the spirits whom they had driven from the celestial regions, and it was below the Hades where human souls were thought to be confined at death. In mythology tar′ta·ros was the lowest of the lower regions and a place of darkness. It enveloped all the underworld just as the heavens enveloped all that was above the earth. Therefore, in pagan Greek mythology tar′ta·ros was reputed to be a place for confining, not human souls, but Titan spirits, and a place of darkness and abasement.
The inspired Scriptures do not consign any human souls to tar′ta·rosbut consign there only spirit creatures, namely, “the angels that sinned.” Their being cast into tar′ta·ros denotes the deepest abasement for them while they are still living. This serves as punishment for their sin of rebellion against the Most High God. The apostle Peter associates darkness with their low condition, saying that God “delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment." 2 Peter 2:4.
The pagans in their mythological traditions concerning Cronus and the rebellious Titan gods presented a distorted view regarding the abasement of rebellious spirits. In contrast, Peter’s use of the verb tar·ta·ro′o, “cast into Tartarus,” does not signify that “the angels that sinned” were cast into the pagan mythological Tartarus, but that they were abased by the Almighty God from their heavenly place and privileges and were delivered over to a condition of deepest mental darkness respecting God’s bright purposes. Also they had only a dark outlook as to their own eventuality, which the Scriptures show is everlasting destruction along with their ruler, Satan the Devil. Therefore, Tartarus denotes the lowest condition of abasement for those rebellious angels.
In the inspired Scriptures, Tartarus bears no relationship to Hades, which is the common grave of the human dead.
The sinful angels and the dead human souls are not associated together in tar′ta·ros as a place of eternal conscious torment of creatures. Tartarus will pass away when the Supreme Judge destroys the rebellious angels presently in that condition of abasement."
According to one Greek mythology website: Tartarus: "As a place, it was far below than where Hades
resided and it was used as the most horrible prison. Some accounts say that the distance between Tartarus
was the same as between the earth and the heaven."
Therefore, according to Greek Mythology Tartarus (Underworld) cannot be Hades if it is far below Hades. So even if it were true that Jesus preached while he himself were in Hades he could not have preached to any Spirits while there because Tartarus according to that teaching is far below Hades where Jesus was.
Jesus when on earth as a man was in Hades (or Sheol) when he died, which according to the Bible, is the Grave of mankind, not the Grave of spirit creatures. Spirit creatures cannot be buried in a Grave like humans. They are not human, so they could not be in Hades (or Sheol) being Spirits. Hades (or Sheol) are the Grave and brought on because of Adam's disobedience, we inherited Adamic death and is why we grow old and die, we humans go to the Grave. The Spirits did not inherit sin from Adam and therefore cannot experience Adamic death and therefore cannot go to Hades (or Sheol) which is mankind's common Grave.
Another held belief is that Tartartus is the same as Gehenna (the lake of fire) or Hellfire, (I didn't say that Mr. Richard specifically said in his reply that Tartarus and Gehenna were the same.) Anyway, does the Bible teach this as well? No!
Let's look at this scripture a bit more closely:
2 Peter 2:4 "Certainly God did not refrain from punishing the angels who sinned, but threw them into Tar′ta·rus, putting them in chains of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment."
So we see that they were thrown into Tartarus, putting them in chains of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment. So if Tartarus is this supposed Hellfire then them being there should already be their judgment. Is not the Hellfire teaching the final judgement of ones who are sent there for all eternity? Yet the Bible says that they are put in chains of dense darkness to be reserved for judgement. That shows that they are not in some inescapable place of Hellfire by being in Tartarus. Those spirit creatures were thrown into Tartarus during the time of Noah's day, as the Bible shows in 1 Peter 3:19, 20 and also Jude 6 helps us to see what Tartarus entails, eternal bonds in dense darkness.
Jude 6 "And the angels who did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place, he has reserved with eternal bonds in dense darkness for the judgment of the great day."
The Flood forced them back into the spirit realm. Jehovah, however, prevented them from resuming “their original position.” (Jude 6) Tartarus is not a particular location; it is a prisonlike, abased condition that limits the activity of these outcasts. The demons can no longer materialize. 1 Peter 3:19,20 helps us to see that. To better help understand, "thrown into" we can use the example of people being thrown into confusion. It's not a literal place, but a condition. (compare Joshua 10:10; Judges 4:15; Exodus 14:24)
Gehenna, (lake of fire) the Bible tells us exactly what the lake of fire is, it's the second death, death is the opposite of life:
Rev. 20:14,15 "And death and the Grave (Hell KJV) were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire. 15 Furthermore, whoever was not found written in the book of life was hurled into the lake of fire."
Rev. 20:10 "And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet already were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."
(The Greek noun ba·sa·ni·stes′ occurring at Matthew 18:34 is rendered “jailers” in some translations (AT, Fn, NW; compare Mt 18:30) and “tormentors” or “torturers” in others. (AS, KJ, JB) Torture was sometimes used in prisons to obtain information (compare Ac 22:24, 29, which shows that this was done, although ba·sa·ni′zo is not used here), so ba·sa·ni·stes′ came to be applied to jailers. Regarding its use at Matthew 18:34, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia observed: “Probably the imprisonment itself was regarded as ‘torment’ (as it doubtless was), and the ‘tormentors’ need mean nothing more than jailers.” (Edited by J. Orr, 1960, Vol. V, p. 2999) Thus, the mentioning in Revelation 20:10 of ones who will be “tormented day and night forever and ever” evidently indicates that they will be in a condition of restraint. That a condition of restraint can be spoken of as “torment” is indicated by the parallel accounts at Matthew 8:29 and Luke 8:31 ) <<quote>>
The Bible specifically says that the Lake of fire means the "second death", it does not say that the lake of fire means the "second living" forever being tortured. Also a lake of fire would mean what to Spirit creatures? Nothing, because they are not affected by fire, what good is throwing Satan in the lake of fire going to do if it were literal? Death and the Grave (Hell KJV) are being thrown into the Lake of fire too. And is why it's called the second death because the first death (the one passed on to us by Adam) will be done away with. Yet, death is a condition and cannot be tortured or burned with literal fire, and the Grave (Hell KJV) being thrown in also helps us to see it's not a literal lake of fire, but represents complete destruction forever, never to return. All the wicked will be completely destroyed by God, they will be no more, not kept alive, but annihilated as the Bible says:
Psalms 37:10 "Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be."
Psalms 145:20 "Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.”
Also to be clear, I'm including about the Abyss: <<quote>>
It is noteworthy that the Greek Septuagint does not use a′bys·sos to translate the Hebrew sheʼohl′, and in view of the fact that spirit creatures are cast into it, it cannot properly be limited in meaning to Sheol or Hades, inasmuch as these two words clearly refer to the common earthly grave of mankind. (Job 17:13-16) It does not refer to “the lake of fire,” since it is after Satan’s release from the abyss that he is thereupon hurled into the lake of fire. (Re 20:1-3, 7-10) Paul’s statement at Romans 10:7, in which he speaks of Christ as being in the abyss, also precludes such possibility and shows as well that the abyss is not the same as Tartarus.
Romans 10:6, 7 aids in clearing up the meaning of “the abyss” in stating: “But the righteousness resulting from faith speaks in this manner: ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down; or, “Who will descend into the abyss?” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.’” (Compare De 30:11-13.) It is evident that “the abyss” here refers to the place in which Christ Jesus spent part of three days and from which place his Father resurrected him. (Compare Ps 71:19, 20; Mt 12:40.) Revelation 20:7 refers to the abyss as a “prison,” and the confinement of absolute restraint resulting from death in the case of Jesus certainly harmonizes with this.—Compare Ac 2:24; 2Sa 22:5, 6; Job 38:16, 17; Ps 9:13; 107:18; 116:3.
So from the Bible the angels "who did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place" were thrown into Tartarus as punishment (Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4) during the time of Noah, (1 Peter 3:19,20) Likewise the abased condition represented by Tartarus should not be confused with “the abyss” into which Satan and his demons are eventually to be cast for the thousand years of Christ’s rule. (Rev 20:1-3) some 2,000 years later after Noah's day we find them entreating Jesus “not to order them to go away into the abyss.”
Luke 8:30,31 "Jesus asked him: “What is your name?” He said: “Legion,” for many demons had entered into him. 31 And they kept pleading with him not to order them to go away into the abyss."
I'll reply about Mark 12:40, Jonah 2:2, and Ephesians 4:8 in another post.