The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Under The Earth Is Purgatory


Philippians 2:10-11

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Revelation 5:13

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Universalists often cite these texts as saying every creature that has ever lived will be saved. But “under the earth” most likely is a reference to purgatory. Augustine believed hell and purgatory were in the same location they are just different states of being. This has been confirmed by the holy saints and mystics visions of both hell and purgatory and would explain why the gates of the heavenly city remain open. It’s for those in purgatory. The church in heaven, the church on earth and the church under the earth (purgatory) all sing glory and might to God forever and ever! Those in the state of hell hate God and have no love for Him. This is also why the rich man who begged for mercy because of his torments was in purgatory and not eternal punishment. He still had love in his heart.


Do the mystics think purgatory is actually at the earth’s core, or are they speaking metaphorically?


Not sure about that one Dave.



I think it would be possible to interpret it either way although I suspect the saints took it metaphorically. Although their visions of hell and purgatory aren’t pleasant. They include fire.


Interesting, isn’t it? “Those under the earth” - a strange statement.


Many interpret it to refer to those in the grave, the dead.


That’s my understanding as well.


It could refer to the saints resurrected from under the earth. Those saints in heaven those saints on earth and those saints resurrected. The new heaven and earth includes all things new. Heavens and earth is a merism meaning all things. The lake of fire isn’t part of that. Given the other scriptures that teach purgatory though I would have to say it’s purgatory.


And the holy saints weren’t crazy or mentally ill in their visions.


How do you know that? How do you know that people who claim visions of hell weren’t lying?


Uh… If you look it up, I think you will find that the word “merism” means “division.” It is derived from the Greek “μερισμος” (merismos) which means “division.”

Here is a verse that contains the Greek word:
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the DIVISION of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


Goop point qaz but they were holy saints. Don’t think they would be lying. The mind is a powerful thing though. They could’ve imagined it somehow I guess.


I’m using merism in the sense that the English dictionary defines it. It’s like the word understand. It contains the word under and stand but when they are combined it takes on a different meaning. In the Bible the merism heavens and earth means the totality of all things. We see this in revelation when all things are made new:


. In rhetoric a merism is the combination of two contrasting words, to refer to an entirety.


Would you provide a source that gives this meaning? Which English dictionary?


Definition - (Aka merismus)

A figure of speech in which the whole thing is mentioned by naming some of its parts.

Example -
(1) He search high and low
(he searched everywhere).

(2) God created the heavens and the earth
(God created the universe)

Etymology - The term - which has no OED citation - derives from the Greek merismos, dividing or partitioning.

#15 in the same ballpark?

Mereology (from the Greek μερος, ‘part’) is the theory of parthood relations: of the relations of part to whole and the relations of part to part within a whole.[1] Its roots can be traced back to the early days of philosophy, beginning with the Presocratics and continuing throughout the writings of Plato (especially the Parmenides and the Theaetetus), Aristotle (especially the Metaphysics, but also the Physics, the Topics, and De partibus animalium), and Boethius (especially De Divisione and In Ciceronis Topica). Mereology occupies a prominent role also in the writings of medieval ontologists and scholastic philosophers such as Garland the Computist, Peter Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, Raymond Lull, John Duns Scotus, Walter Burley, William of Ockham, and Jean Buridan


Would a synecdoche be the same thing as a merism, essentially?


I think “under the earth”, is the abode of zombies. Just waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse to commence.