21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1. Who are the spirits in prison?
—unbelievers who have died?
—Old Testament believers who have died?
2. What did Christ preach?
—second chance for repentance?
—completion of redemptive work?
3. When did he preach?
—in the days of Noah?
—between his death and resurrection?
—after his resurrection?
View 1: When Noah was building the ark, Christ ‘in spirit’ was in Noah preaching repentance and righteousness through him to unbelievers who were on the earth then but are now ‘spirits in prison’ (people in hell).
View 2: After Christ died, he went and preached to people in hell, offering them a second chance of salvation.
View 3: After Christ died, he went and preached to people in hell, proclaiming to them that he had triumphed over them and their condemnation was final.
View 4: After Christ died, he proclaimed release to people who had repented just before they died in the flood, and led them out of their imprisonment (in Purgatory) into heaven.
View 5: After Christ died (or: after he rose but before he ascended into heaven), he travelled to hell and proclaimed triumph over the fallen angels who had sinned by marrying human women before the flood.