Ex 32:33

And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Does everyone born of a woman start with their name in God's Book of Life?

  • This is soooooo controversial!!!
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 24 at 7:48
  • Are you saying it has not got an answer?
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 24 at 7:53
  • I think it has a very good answer that few will accept
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 24 at 8:56
  • 1
    @Anne If it were straightforward I would have already been confident of an answer. Forgive me if I am wrong, but to me these are the questions that need asking. Two heads are better than one. Etc.Etc. I always appreciate your opinions. I think Dottard was refering to the controversy of once saved always saved. Given someone's name being blotted out. I will let him speak for himself though.
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 25 at 8:06
  • 1
    @ Anne Consider the case of children dieing before the age of accountability. Might that be relative to this question?
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 25 at 8:10

4 Answers 4


In Revelation 3:5, Jesus wrote to the church in Sardis, "The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels" (NIV). This implies that the names of Christians are written in the book of life. However, for those who fail, their names will be removed from the book. This is in concordance with Exodus 32:33, the names of all Israelites were in the book but some would be removed for their sins.

On the other hand, there are people whose names have never been written in the book of life. In Revelation 13:8, it is written "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world" (NIV). A similar verse is found in Revelation 17:8, it is written "The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world, ........" (NIV). These people worship idols and have never had their name written in the book of life.

Therefore only the God's people have their names written in the book of life. However, for those who are not victorious to the end, their names will be erased from the book. For others who are not God's people, their names are never in the book.

  • @ Vincent Wong Thank you for these references. Unfortunately the wording in the KJV reads " whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain". This leaves the possibility they were there and then blotted out. Thus the controversy Dottard warned of. Now we have one more passage that has yet to be addressed.
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 25 at 4:14
  • @RHPclass79 - Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have updated my answer with the quote of Rev 17:8. In my understanding, if the names were not written in the book of life from the creation of the world, it rules out the possibility that they were there on the first place. Commented Jan 25 at 14:49
  • @ Vincent Wong Thank you for your contribution. I am curious as to Rev. 22:19 being addressed as well.
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 25 at 15:28
  • @RHPclass79 - Rev 22:18-19: if anyone change the word of God, that person will be forbidden to enter the Holy City, ie, their names been remove from the book of life. The statement 'once saved always saved' is controversial topic that is better discussed in another question. To my understanding of Rev 3:5 and the epistles in NT, not all Christians are saved. Once a person acknowledge God/Jesus (by Israelites/Christians) as the Lord, their names are written in the book of life. However, as Jesus prophesied in His parable of the Sower, some will fall away in the time of testing (Luke 8:13) Commented Jan 25 at 23:14
  • @ Vincent Wong Seven times to the seven churches in Rev.2&3 Jesus says " He that overcometh" and then He gives seven various descriptions of a saved person after the addressed phrase. The final account states we should overcome even as Jesus overcame. No doubt our faith in him should motivate us to also follow his example.
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 25 at 23:42

Atonement for sin was accomplished by Jesus at the cross and decided upon by God “before the world began”, Matt 25:34, Heb 4:3, Rev 13:8. This is why the atonement is sometimes called "eternal election" – God decided to save all people (see appendix) well before anyone sinned, solely by His grace born of His essential essence – love (1 John 4:8, 16).

The Bible also declares that God decided to make this reconciling atonement without reference to any human decision. That is, Jesus died for the “ungodly” and “powerless” (Rom 5:6), not the righteous (Luke 5:32). Paul makes the stark point that Jesus’ sacrifice was to demonstrate His righteousness (Rom 3:25, 26). Therefore, the atonement was for all people (see appendix) – all are forgiven, all have been provided atonement!

However, this does not mean that all will be saved because some will reject God's grace and salvation.

Thus, in the language of Ex 23:33, all people, by the grace of God, are born with their names in the book of life written from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). It is only later as people make choices contrary to God, that God removes their name from the book of life.

APPENDIX - Salvation for All

  • John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
  • John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave …”
  • John 12:32, “I [Jesus] … will draw all people to myself.”
  • John 12:47, “… for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”
  • Acts 17:30, “God … commands all people everywhere to repent.”
  • Rom 3:23, 24, “… for all have sinned … and all are freely forgiven...”
  • Rom 5:8, 10, “… while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. … if, while were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him by the death of His Son, …”
  • Rom 5:15, “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s [Adam’s] offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to the many.” [Note the same word, “many” applies to all people.]
  • Rom 5:18, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all people, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all people, resulting in justification of life.”
  • Rom 11:32, “For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.”
  • 2 Cor 5:14, “…we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”
  • 2 Cor 5:18, 19, “…God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ …”
  • 1 Tim 2:3, 4, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
  • 1 Tim 2:6, “[Jesus Christ] gave Himself as a ransom for all people.”
  • 1 Tim 4:10, For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.
  • Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God appeared bringing salvation to all people.”
  • Heb 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
  • 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
  • 1 John 2:2, “He Himself [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours [Christians to whom John writes] only but also for the whole world.”
  • Isa 53:6, “We all like sheep have gone astray … and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

It is true and Scriptural that God wants each and every human to be saved (John 3:16). God does not want anyone to perish (Matt 18:14).

Yet, God saves humanity in different stages at different times. God does everything at the appropriate time (Eph 1:9-10).

He expressed this idea first to Moses:

“I am the LORD, and I show mercy and kindness to anyone I choose” (Exo 33:19; CEV).

Paul, quoting the above, gives more clarification:

“For he says to Moses, "I will be merciful to the person I want to be merciful to, and I will be kind to the person I want to be kind to." Therefore, God's choice does not depend on a person's will or effort, but on God himself, who shows mercy……Therefore, God has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses” (Rom 9:15-16, 18).

This hardening of the heart of the humanity is as part of God’s mercy:

“For God has shut up all in unbelief, so that He might show mercy to all” (Rom 11:32).

So there is an election on the part of God. This election is not based on the merits or demerits of anyone but is solely on God’s decision.

“for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of the One calling” (Rom 9:11).

So, in this age, God has called a remnant according to His election:

“So then, also in the present time a remnant according to election of grace has come into being” (Rom 11:5).

This is expressed in another way by Paul himself:

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers. But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified. And whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Rom 8:29-30).

Election and the Book of Life

God writes the names of the “foreknown” and “predestinated” persons in the Book of Life.

“And I also ask you, true yoke-fellow, help those who struggled along with me and with Clement in the gospel, and the rest, fellow-workers with me, whose names are in the Book of Life” (Philip 4:3).

The elected people are in the Book of Life. Others (not of the election) are not in the Book.

Non-election and the Book of Life

“And all those dwelling in the earth will worship it, those of whom the names had not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb having been slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8).

“And those dwelling on the earth will marvel, the ones whose names have not been written on the Book of Life from the foundation of the world” (Rev 17:8).

The above two verses say the same thing: the names of the non-elected are not written in the Book. [It does not say that ‘all those whose names are blotted out’.]

Blotted Out of the Book of Life

Only the election who rejects God willingly will be blotted out from this Book of Life.

“The one overcoming, this one shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not at all blot his name out of the Book of Life” (Rev 3:5).

“God will take away his part from the Book of Life” (Rev 22:19).

“Blot them out from the Book of Life; yea, let them not be written with the righteous” (Psalms 69:28).

The Ultimate Book of Life

God will elect all humanity at different times in the coming age. At each of those times, He will write their names in the Book of Life.

And at the ultimate End, God will destroy completely anyone who was called but whose name was not found in the Book of Life (because it was blotted out).

“And if anyone was not found having been written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire” (Rev 20:15).

God will give eternal life to people who have responded positively to their call. These are “only the ones having been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb” (Rev 21:27).

The Book of Remembrance

However the OT talks about another Book called the Book of Remembrance:

“Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And Jehovah gave attention and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah, and for those esteeming His name” (Malachi 3:16).

I think Moses was talking about this Book when he said his name should be blotted out. It doesn’t call it as the Book of Life:

“And now if You will, lift up their sin. And if not, I pray, blot me out from Your book which You have written. And Jehovah said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him from My book” (Exo 32:32-33).

Most probably Psalms 56:8, 139:16 and Daniel 12:1 are talking about this Book.

[PS:- This is a new topic to me and so this is my current understanding. Further study required]


OP's question was,

"does everyone born of a woman start with their name in the book of life?

My answer is no, because not everyone born of a woman has their name recorded in the book of life. It first helps to understand what this book of life is referring to.

Ex 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

The first time this book is mentioned by the Lord is when he is talking to Moses.  Later, in the book of Revelation, we discover when the names were recorded. We also discover that not everyone's name is written in this book.

First of all, what is this life about as far as these names are concerned?

A very telling scripture of what a name being recorded for life is for is found in Isaiah 4:3

And it will come about that the one who is left in Zion and remains behind in Jerusalem will be called holy everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.

It is for life in Jerusalem or Zion.

It will be that he who remains in Zion and is left in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is written down for life in Jerusalem.

Those whose names are written in this book of life will be alive, either in the millennium in Jerusalem or in the heavenly Jerusalem that comes down later out of heaven to earth.

When were these names written in this scroll of life of the lamb?

Revelation 13:8 gives a clue that not everyone has their name written in this particular book. It does not say their names were blotted out, like Moses said what happened to those who sinned against the Lord in that day.

And bow before it shall all who are dwelling upon the land, whose names have not been written in the scroll of the life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; Rev 13:8

Revelation 17:8 also talks about people in that day who are dwelling on the Earth that they will be worshiping the wild beast because their names were not written in the scroll of life from the disruption of the world.

And those dwelling on the Earth, whose names are not written on the scroll of life, from the disruption of the world, will be marveling... revelation 17:8 Concord, literal

It's good to remember that, in the scroll of the life of the lamb that was slain, it goes hand in hand with the first covenant with Abraham's physical descendants and those who were with them. Before they left Egypt on their way to their promised land, they had to slay a baby lamb and cover their doorpost with its blood. That was a foreshadow of the second covenant of the perfect lamb being slain on their behalf.

It was Abraham's descendants that witnessed the Lord and all the miracles He did on behalf of the nation of Israel.

Jesus came again to the house of Israel with signs and wonders and was their lamb that was slain for all their sins as well as the world's. The nation as a whole rejected him once again.

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”Mathew 15:24

8And I say Jesus Christ to have become a servant of circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises to the fathers,Romans 15:8

Psalm 69:28 also talks about those who are being blotted out of His book of life. That psalm foretold his rejection of the very people he came to save. It's from the rejection of his very own people. As a nation, they once again rejected their God.

So not everyone was designated to be a part of the nation of Israel, which will rule on earth over all the other nations in the eons. Some of the names that were originally registered are blotted out because of their refusal to worship their very own Lord, who came to save them.


Just to be clear. The book of life goes hand-in-hand with a resurrection to life in the coming eon. That doesn't mean they have been vivified yet to immortality as those living in the millennial reign can still die and be judged by their acts in that time period. (Rev20:6)

Resurrection to immortality is is revealed in 1: Corinthians 15:20-28 . There are different classes when each of those resurrections are immortality.. Beyond the reach of death.

Also, those who have been called in this day and age have an allotment that is in the celestial realm where they are seated with Christ. There is also a brand new administration that will take place through the body of Christ there. Ephesians and Colossians talks about that inheritance..

Deaths entrance and exit are both through a man. Adam and Christ are the channels, respectively, through which death and resurrection reach all man mankind. (Romans 5:18-19). Knoch

  • @Jason. Thanks for the edits!
    – Sherrie
    Commented Jan 27 at 20:18
  • No problem. My pleasure!
    – Jason_
    Commented Jan 28 at 8:54

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