Lamb's book of life

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, May 3, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van
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    Revelation 13:8 indicates God's plan of redemption, formulated before creation, was implemented from the foundation of the world. "From the foundation of the world" refers to a span of time, starting at creation, and extending through the present to the end of the age, with the specific timeframe in view being the end of the age. So what the verse literally says, is that the names of the lost were not entered at creation, and they were not entered at any time after creation unto the end of the age. Logically, if the period when the names were not entered is also the period when names were entered then the verse indicates the names of the saved were entered during the period from creation to the end of the age. However many folks draw the incorrect inference that the verse implies that all the names of the Elect were entered before creation. But as you can see, this is not what the verse actually says, and therefore the incorrect inference appears to be a wishful idea based on trying to pour doctrine into the text.

    Well, why not accept the incorrect implication? Because other verses suggest our names are entered when we become part of the body of Christ, part of the bride of Christ, part of the church. Hebrews 12:23 indicates the folks who are part of the general assembly, the church, are enrolled in heaven, so the inference from this verse indicates our names are entered when we are placed in Christ during our physical lifetime. The word translated "enrolled" is used to convey the idea of going somewhere and then signing in on a register, such as a census.

    You may object and say, but they may have been part of the church, so to speak, when they were elected before creation. No, that is not possible. 1 Peter 2:9-10 teaches we become part of God's people, the church, during our lives, because during our lives we were "once not a people" but became a people when we received mercy, when we were placed in Christ and our sins forgiven.

    This analysis of the issue also applies to Revelation 17:8, which again refers to names not entered and does not directly address when names are entered. But again the verse indicates names are not entered during the period from or since the foundation of the world or in other words since creation and therefore one can draw a reasonable inference that the names of the saved were entered during this same period.

    Final point, Ephesians 1:4 refers to being chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, or before creation. Since the names were not entered until the period after creation, God choosing Christ before creation is in view, and corporately all those Christ will redeem because you do not choose a Redeemer without the purpose of redemption. If the selection was of foreseen individuals, then our names would be entered before the foundation of the world, but contrary to this, our names appear to be entered after the foundation of the world.
     
  2. Siberian

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    The syntactical issues in this verse are thornier than you would like. For example, it is not crystal clear what ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου actually modifies. A read of the various English translations will highlight this. Does it modify 'names that have been written' (ESV, et. al.) or 'the Lamb that was slain' (KJV, NIV, etc). This is the smaller of the two issues.

    Then there is the issue of defining the precise meaning of this preposition ἀπὸ in this usage. You read it as saying that the names were being written (progressively) from the foundation of the World until now, whereas a more natural reading of the text is that the names were not written (perfectively) by the time Creation began. In the likely case of the latter - ἀπὸ marks the time when the names where either in the book or not in the book. And the ESV took this route, translating the prep before.

    The case you present here requires that both of these linguistic issues be resolved in a very specific way.
     
    #2 Siberian, May 3, 2011
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  3. Siberian

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    You are switching objects - the direct object of God's choice in this verse is very clearly us. You are saying that something else is in view in this verse because of the way that you interpret Revelation 13.8, not because of anything suggested by this verse or by this context. If Paul had something else in view in Ephesians 1.4 he would have communicated something else.
     
  4. Van

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    Just a couple of points. "pro" means "before", "apo" means out of or from or since. Logically "apo" cannot mean before because you cannot come out of something before the something exists. Hence, from creation is logical, before (apo) is impossible.

    Second, the ESV did not translate "apo" as before in Revelation 17:8, so the syntactical issues are less thorny than some claim.
     
    #4 Van, May 3, 2011
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  5. Van

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    I am not switching objects! God chose us - meaning individuals alive at the time Paul wrote the verse, Ephesians 1:4 before the foundation of the world. What I am doing is describing "how" God chose us, and saying God chose us corporately, not individually before the foundation of the world. God does indeed choose us individually during our lifetime based on crediting our faith as righteousness, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, James 2:5, 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, and 1 Peter 2:9-10.

    Bottom line, there is nothing wrong with my view based on Greek grammar.
     
    #5 Van, May 3, 2011
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  6. Siberian

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    What you are using to rule out 'before' as a possible translation is the total transfer fallacy. ἀπὸ does not mean all of those prepositional ideas (from, out of, since) all at once and in each context. It can mean, as I think it does in this case, that the action (or non-action) was completed by the indicated time marker which is the propositional object. So translating it 'before' is not entirely unwarranted in Rev 13.8.
     
  7. Siberian

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    Your interpretative conclusions of Ephesians 1.4 still has very little to do with the book of Ephesians.

    Nothing, except that you are saying that the grammar of Rev 13.8 requires your view, and you have not proven that.
     
  8. Van

    Van
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    Hi Siberian, please do not put words in my mouth. My view is consistent with the Greek grammar, and nothing in Greek grammar suggests my view is inaccurate.

    Claiming my view is inconsistent with the context of Ephesians is yet another charge without support. Paul was enumerating the blessings those spiritually "in Christ" have received, and the first blessing was being chosen [corporately in my view] before the foundation of the world.

    My view is consistent with Ephesians 1:13 which says after believing the gospel, then folks are placed in Christ and sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit. And being sealed is a pledge to our bodily resurrection at Christ's second coming.

    Now before we were born again (spiritually placed in Christ and made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5) we were by nature children of wrath, prepared for destruction by virture of being fallen, even as the rest. But now we are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and are of God's household.
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    Translating "apo" as "before" is completely unwarranted. Why did not the ESV translate it the same way, i.e. before, in Revelation 17:8. It is a blunder and the blunder is not found in the NASB, the HCSB, the NET, and even the NKJV.

    Here is the NET note for the phrase, since the foundation of the world.

    27tn The prepositional phrase “since the foundation of the world” is traditionally translated as a modifier of the immediately preceding phrase in the Greek text, “the Lamb who was killed” (so also G. B. Caird, Revelation [HNTC], 168), but it is more likely that the phrase “since the foundation of the world” modifies the verb “written” (as translated above). Confirmation of this can be found in Rev 17:8 where the phrase “written in the book of life since the foundation of the world” occurs with no ambiguity.
     
    #9 Van, May 3, 2011
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  10. Siberian

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    You did make the claim (in your OP) that the grammar of Rev 13.8 requires a period of time from creation till the end of the ages. On that level, I do not think you are correct and I've outlined the reasons above.

    There is nothing about Ephesians 1.4 which would lead one to conclude that "God choosing Christ before creation is in view, and corporately all those Christ will redeem because you do not choose a Redeemer without the purpose of redemption." rather than believers are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. My charge was that you made this conclusion because of your view of Rev 13.8, not because of Ephesians. To support my charge, I'll quote from your OP, and add emphasis to your reference to Rev 13.8 "Since the names were not entered until the period after creation, God choosing Christ before creation is in view..."

    Are there other textual reasons why you think that God choosing Christ before creation is in view, rather than believers being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world?

    It seems to me that your entire case rests on how you are interpreting a preposition in Rev 13.8.
     
    #10 Siberian, May 3, 2011
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  11. Siberian

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    I agree with the NET's note here (though trusting NET notes is a little like trusting Wikipedia). That is why I called this the smaller of the two issues. I was just pointing out some grammatical difficulties of the verse. It makes great sense to connect the dots despite the unusual word order.

    However, translating ἀπὸ as 'before' is not necessarily a blunder if the original writer had in mind a time marker (the foundation of the world) which marked the time when the perfective non-action was established (names not written). No serious student of the Greek can deny that this is likely the case in Rev 13.8. In English, 'before' is a very clear way of translating that idea.
     
  12. Siberian

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    When you say that the choice is corporate do you think that that also applies to Ephesians 1.13, 2.5 etc. ? What leads you to see 1.4 as a corporate choice, as opposed to God choosing individuals?
     
    #12 Siberian, May 3, 2011
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  13. Van

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    Still waiting for you do answer why John might have meant "before" in Revelation 13:8, but meant "from or since" in Revelation 17:8. Clearly the translation of "apo" as before is a blunder.

    There is no reason to assume John had in mind "before" when he used "apo". He would have used "pro" if that was His idea. See John 17:24 for example.

    Turning now to your excellent question concerning Ephesians 1:4. Why not individual?

    1. Requires the idea of God creating individuals before He created them.

    2. Individuals who are elect can have no charge brought against them, Romans 8:33. Paul says all those saved were children of wrath by nature, and so only a corporate election gets around this difficulty. We were conceived in iniquity, made sinners as a consequence of Adam's sin, etc etc. Thus charges can be brought against the so-called elect individuals of Calvinism, which is a non-runner.

    No, I think Ephesians 1:13 refers to our individual election when God puts us in Christ. This is therefore consistent with 2 Thessalonians 2:13 with sanctification by the Spirit referring to the Spirit placing (baptizing us into the body of Christ.)

    3. James 2:5 says God chose the poor to this world, putting individual election as occurring during a person's lifetime. Those chosen were "rich in faith" again putting the election during a person's lifetime after they trusted in God and His Christ. And those chosen were heirs to the kingdom promised to those who love God, so yet again, those chosen were chosen during their lifetime after they became heirs though their love of God.

    4. To cut this short, see also 2 Thessalonians 2:13 where folks were chosen for salvation through ... faith in the truth. 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 where folks were chosen during their lifetime. 1 Peter 2:9-10 were folks were chosen after they lived without mercy.

    5. The use of the phrase "in Him" appears to convey the idea that Christ was chosen as redeemer individually, and therefore everyone subsequently redeemed was chosen corporately when Christ was chosen. Thus He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.

    6. By this election of "the body of Christ" or "the church" before creation, followed by God putting us in Christ, i.e into the corporately elected body, individually during our lifetime, all of scripture fits together without conflict.

    No, I think both Ephesians 1:13 and 2:5 refer to our individual election for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit [the Holy Spirit places us, baptizes us into the body of Christ]and faith in the truth [God credits our faith in Christ as righteousness.] Thus salvation is all of God and it does not depend on the man that wills. You can will to be saved till the cows come home, but only if God sovereignly credits your worthless filthy rag faith as righteousness, are you set apart in Christ.
     
    #13 Van, May 6, 2011
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  14. savedbymercy

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    van:

    Thats false, for if that was the case, the writing would be an ongoing process, and the greek would have the word written in the present, ongoing, continue process tense. However the word is grapho and its in the perf, pass, indic, meaning the names would have been written once and for all in the past. with results into the present. In fact, their calling in time is because of their names having already been written for Life, and so they are called Rom 8:

    30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    Yes, all those foreknown and predestinated are those whose names had been written in the book of life, and they are called by the Gospel in time to the obtaining of the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ 2 Thess 2:14
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    That is not fair...saved by mercy,and siberian, you men are going by what the bible "actually" says....some get confused when this happens:thumbs:
     
  16. savedbymercy

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    Actually it is a corporate choice. The definition of corporate is:

    United or combined into one body; collective: made a corporate

    God chose the Body of Christ, each of its members, that compose the one body of His..

    Eph 5:23

    For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body.

    Col 1:23

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    His Body is composed of many members [Individuals] 1 Cor 12:12

    For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

    So in Eph 1 :4, God has Chosen in the Head Christ, His Body which is inclusive of each individual member. So it was a corporate choosing from that standpoint..
     
  17. jbh28

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    Clear up a few errors to the question that Siberian asked.
    Un, not even close. God chose before we were created.
    all the elect will be saved, again no problem
    maybe you mean verse 11(verse 13 isn't about election. And "predestined" is before, not at the same time.
    Sorry, but you have been proven wrong on this. It didn't say they were rich when God chose them. Again, adding to the Scripture.
    None of those speak about election during our lifetime. I Peter doesn't mention the timing of election. There were at one time "not a people" and "without mercy"...aka ...unsaved.
    Christ isn't the object of election in Ephesians. Individuals are.
    The Church is made up of individuals
     
  18. psalms109:31

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    Scripture

    There is people that are chosen before the foundation of the world to prepare the way for Christ. To prepare the way for the Holy Spirit return , even chosen in the womb just like the scripture is saying. I have no problem with that, but God is also including with them those who hear the Gospel of their salvation having believed. What does including mean, that they were not there if they are being included. He wouldn't have to be talking about including if they were already there.


    If God didn't know who they are He wouldn't be God, so He can write them in the Lambs book of life.
     
    #18 psalms109:31, May 6, 2011
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  19. Van

    Van
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    Hi Savedbymercy, I think your argument from grammar is without merit.

    We agree the verb is stating a fact, a "vi".
    We agree the verb is in the perfect tense, stating something has happened in the past with ongoing effects.
    We agree the verb is passive, the folks are receiving the action -or lack of action as in this case.
    We agree the verb is third person, the folks are being talked about, they are not talking nor being talked to.

    So lets turn to what we seem to disagree on. What is the point of view of the author? He is discussing what is happening at the end of the age. So the past includes our future, between now and the end of the age, from the author's point of view. And so from that point of view, the "fact" is some peoples "names were not written in the Lamb's book of life" during the whole period of the age.
     
  20. savedbymercy

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    van:

    It does not matter what you think, you are in error and should repent of it.
     

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