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OFavro's Question about the Book of Life
#1
OFavro asked the following question. I thought it was a good question that deserved a better answer than the non-answer that followed.

"I have a few questions – while I can find references to ‘a book’ or ‘books’ in the OT, I cannot find a specific reference to a ‘book of life’ – where does Judaism get this concept from? Paul mentions a ‘book of life’ in Philippians and only John mentions ‘the book of life’ 6 times in the Revelation – so the concept was well known to the early church – but was this a new concept that came from the Spirit or something out of Jewish ‘tradition’?"

Can this question be addressed?
#2
(10-08-2014, 01:30 AM)A. Bird Wrote: OFavro asked the following question. I thought it was a good question that deserved a better answer than the non-answer that followed.

"I have a few questions – while I can find references to ‘a book’ or ‘books’ in the OT, I cannot find a specific reference to a ‘book of life’ – where does Judaism get this concept from? Paul mentions a ‘book of life’ in Philippians and only John mentions ‘the book of life’ 6 times in the Revelation – so the concept was well known to the early church – but was this a new concept that came from the Spirit or something out of Jewish ‘tradition’?"

Can this question be addressed?

It is a good question.

My understanding is that the idea of God's having one or more "books of life" to open on Rosh Hashanah comes from early rabbinic writings, such as the Mishnah.

Early rabbis believed that on Rosh Hashanah, three books were opened before God's throne -- one for the righteous, one for the wicked, and one for everybody in between. The books contain the deeds done during life for those three categories of people. As God reviews the books, the righteous are sealed for a happy eternity, and the wicked are, well, not.

And everyone else has ten days in which to repent and atone for their sins, after which time they are sealed on Yom Kippur. The following feast, Sukkot, is a time of celebration for having thus been sealed in the book of life.

Psalm 69:28 refers to "the book of the living;" see also Exodus 32:33.

In the New Testament, see Revelation 3:5 -- "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life." Such an overcomer wears white garments because his sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus, who atoned for them on the cross.

Revelation 13:8 refers to the "Book of Life of the Lamb," who is Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God (John 1:29).

Many authors have pointed out that the Book of Life contains the names of everyone who has ever lived, but the Lamb's Book of Life contains the names of everyone who has trust in Jesus for their salvation.

Those who have truly repented and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will never have their names blotted out of His book. Instead, it is our sins that are blotted out (Acts 3:19). We have His word on it!


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