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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
Book, Book of Life
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Book of Life

The book of life is the heavenly record (Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23) written by God before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8) containing the names of those who are destined because of God's grace and their faithfulness to participate in God's heavenly kingdom. Those whose names are in the book have been born into God's family through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 13:8); remain faithful in worship of God (Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8); are untouched by the practice of abomination and falsehood (Revelation 21:27); are faithful through tribulation (Revelation 3:5); and are fellow workers in the work of Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:3). The book of life will be used along with the books of judgment at the final judgment to separate the righteous and the wicked for their respective eternal destinies (Revelation 20:12,Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:27).

Christ Himself determines whether the names that are recorded in the book of life remain in that record and are supported by His confession that they belong to Him at the day of judgment or are blotted out (Revelation 3:5).

The Old Testament refers to a record kept by God of those who are a part of His people (Exodus 32:32; Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1; Malachi 3:16). As in Revelation, God can blot out the names of those in the book (Exodus 32:32; Psalms 69:28). In the Old Testament this may simply mean people not in the book die, leaving the list of the living. Those whose names are written in the book are destined for life in a restored Jerusalem (Isaiah 4:3) and deliverance through future judgment (Daniel 12:1). See Apocalyptic; Book; Eschatology; Judgment, Books of.

Jeff Cranford

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'BOOK OF LIFE'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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