Lamb's Book of Life

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Van, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Question 1, Is the book of life mentioned in the Old Testament, the same book as the Lamb’s book of life mentioned in the New Testament. One view seems to be that it is, and my view is they are two very different books.

    Question 2, Is the OT book of life the only book or written record in view in the Old Testament passages, or is a second book that has the names of the righteous also being revealed? I think that a second book is being revealed.

    Lets start with Psalm 69:28. Here are three versions of the text:
    (NKJV) 28 “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
    And not be written with the righteous.”

    (ESV) 28 “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
    let them not be enrolled among the righteous.”

    (NIV) 28 “May they be blotted out of the book of life
    and not be listed with the righteous.” ​

    Now there are two possible readings of this verse. One, when a name is blotted out, it is removed from the list of the righteous, because the Book of Life only lists the righteous, or (two) two actions are in view, (1) the name is removed from the book of life and (2) the name is not entered in another book listing the righteous. From this text, either view is possible.

    Now lets turn to Exodus 32:32. Here are the three versions:
    (NKJV) 32 “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.”

    (ESV) 32 “But now, if you will forgive their sin--but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written."

    (NIV) 32 “But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." ​

    In this passage, Moses is pleading with God to spare the people who have worshiped another god, and says in effect, if you do not forgive them, then take my life. But God answers in verse 33 that He will blot out the sinners, not Moses. This passage supports the idea that the book in view, the OT book of life, is a record of the physically living, and to be blotted out is for God to take your life.

    Lets turn to Psalm 139:16. Here are the three versions:
    (NKJV) 16 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
    And in Your book they all were written,
    The days fashioned for me,
    When as yet there were none of them.

    (ESV) 16 “Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there were none of them.”

    (NIV) 16 “your eyes saw my unformed body.
    All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.” ​

    This passage clearly teaches that when we are physically conceived, and God looks upon our unformed substance, our name is recorded along with our days of physical life, and this information is recorded before we have lived even one day. But this represents God plan for the person’s life duration, and does not preclude God altering His plan and blotting names out or extending a person’s lifetime for His purpose. This then is a good verse to support that the Old Testament book of life lists the names of those who are alive along with information concerning the duration of the person’s physical lifetime.

    Turning now to Daniel 12:1, here are the three versions:
    (NKJV) 1 “At that time Michael shall stand up,
    The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
    And there shall be a time of trouble,
    Such as never was since there was a nation,
    Even to that time.
    And at that time your people shall be delivered,
    Every one who is found written in the book.”

    (ESV) 1"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”

    (NIV) 1 "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.” ​

    Daniel has the end times in view, and so this seems to be referring not to the book of life having the names of everyone alive, but rather to a book listing the righteous, perhaps foreshadowing the revelation of the New Testament Lamb’s book of Life! So I conclude that two books are in view in Psalm 69:28, a record of the physically alive, and a record of the righteous – a listing of the Old Testament saints – and under the Old Covenant names can be removed from both books, God can take your life and blot you out of the Book of life, which I will call the OT book of the living, and names can be blotted out of the OT book of the righteous if a person does not maintain a faithful relationship with God. Old Covenant theology is a loss of salvation theology. But the New Covenant is superior, and once a person is saved according to the New Covenant, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a pledge to an inheritance of eternal life, and so God has promised to not blot names out once entered in the New Covenant Lamb’s book of life.

    Thus Philippians 4:3 refers to the New Covenant Lamb’s book of Life, where once you are enrolled, Jesus has promised to never remove your name. This is certified by Revelation 3:5 which states that he who overcomes, a reference to being born again by the will of God, shall not have is name blotted out.
     
  2. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu
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    I think only the verse in Psalm 69:28 leaves the difficulty in interpreting and find no problem in understanding.

    Book of the living shouldn't be necessarily the same as the Book of Life as anyone can be on the list of the living as soon as they are born. So <Let them be blotted out of the book of the living> can mean Let them die, I think.

    Eliyahu
     
  3. Van

    Van
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    Agreed!
     
  4. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    I believe there are at minimum three distinctly different books of the living in the Bible.

    1. The book of PHYSICAL living. This book is distinguished from the rest by the phrase "from under the heavens" - Deut. 9:14; 25:19; 29:20; 2 Kngs 14:27

    2. The book of SPIRITUAL living - Philip. 4:3; Rev. 13:8; 17:8; Lk. 10:20 - these cannot be blotted out

    3. The book of CITY living - Rev. 3:4-5; 22:19 - these names can be blotted out.

    W.M. Ramsay the famous Christian Archeologists who explored many of the ancient cities in Palestine said:

    "As in all Greek and Roman cities of that time there was kept a list of citizens, according to their class or tribe or deme, in which new citizens were entered and from which degraded citizens were expunged, so the writer of this letter figuratively mentions the Book of life" - W.M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches. Baker Book House, 1963, p. 385

    Interestingly, all citizens in a given city were responsible for taking turns doing civil duty. When a citizen was hindered from performing their civil duty they would write "idios" beside their name in the book of the living citizens in that city. If a citizen wrote "idios" to many times they were expunged from their city and blotted out of the book of the living or book of names of the citizens of that city. The Greek term "idios" originately meant "ones own" or "doing my own thing." However, eventually it came to mean one who is turned in on himself and thus an "idiot."

    Many of the saved are expunged from the book of the living in the New Jerusalem and live on the outside of the city upon the new earth and constitute "the saved nations" living outside the city, not in hell, but upon the new earth (Rev. 21:24). They have access to the city but do not dwell there because of their "idios" turned in on their own things rather than serving God in the way of the Lord. They have their part of the tree of life, which are the leaves (Rev. 22:3) while those who are overcomers have right to "eat" of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7). The significance in this tree of life distinction is revealing. When Adam was in the garden, while he obeyed the Lord he had the right to "eat" of any tree in the garden. However, when he sinned, he chose the "LEAVES" to cover his shame. He was expelled from the garden to live outside the garden, but he found salvation OUTSIDE the garden. Likewise, those that compose "the saved nations" have right to the "leaves" signifying the cause for their being expunged from the city registrar and having to live OUTSIDE the city but nevertheless are still "saved."
     
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