Notes on what is the book of life? This is a season full of meaning for our Jewish friends and relatives. On the Jewish calendar, it is the month of Tishrei, which means that it is the beginning of the Jewish civil year and the celebration of the High Holy Days of the Jewish calendar. Rosh HaShannah is the Jewish New Year, and it is traditional to greet one another with “La Shana Tova Tiku Teivu.” A little harder to say than “Happy New Year” I know, but for Jewish people this greeting implies much more than simply a happy new year. It means “May your name be inscribed for a good year.” For Jewish people, this greeting comes with the implication of some- thing much more serious than our usual New Year’s resolutions. What our Jewish friends are taught is that on the 1st day of Tishrei, Rosh HaShannah, the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown. You can find the bibli- cal foundation for this day in Leviticus 23:23-25. It is also called the Feast of Trumpets. But what the Scriptures do not record is the rab- binic interpretation that is found in the Talmud (a series of commentar- ies by rabbis from about the 2nd century before Jesus to about the 10th century). It is taught that when the shofar is blown, God opens three books: the Book of Life, the Book of Death and an intermediary book. Everyone whom God deems has been perfectly righteous is written into the Book of Life. For those whom God deems wicked and sinful, he writes into the Book of Death. Everyone else, usually considered to be the vast majority of us, is written into this intermedi- ary book. And what follows is our “new year’s resolutions.” Following Rosh HaShannah are the “Days of Awe” during which for 10 days we attempt acts of righteousness, repaying old debts, forgiv- ing debts owed us, and doing good deeds, to hopefully pursuade God to write us into the Book of Life. Hence the greeting, “May your name be inscribed for a good year!” Because following the “Days of Awe” is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:26-32). On Yom Kippur, the shofar blows again and many Jewish people believe that God determines our fate. Based upon how he receives our acts of penitence, he writes us from the intermediary book into one of the other two books. If we are written into the Book of Life, God has received our good works and heard our prayers, and given us another year to live to hear the shofar blown again. If, however, God rejects our prayers and acts of righteousness, though this is rarely considered, God writes us into the Book of Death and we will not live to hear the shofar blown next year. Revelation 20:12 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The books mentioned there are the book of the dead and the intermediaries. It is a Jewish book. So even when Paul mentioned Clement and himself as being in the book of life. He was addressing Jews. Interestingly that simply means the people whose names maybe blotted out from the book of life are not referring to us. Paul calls us as already seated with Christ. Book or no book.
Posted on: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:24:36 +0000
Recently Viewed Topics