Revelation 3:18—What was "from the foundation of the world."


Well-known member
I don't know were is a good place to ask this question, but here it goes.

The KJV of Revelation 13:8 is

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

The ESV, as an example of a modern Translation, says

"and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain."

I have always understood the KJV to say the names were written
"from the foundation of the world."; not, the lamb was slain "from the foundation of the world." The ESV seems to agree with me. I don't care about the difference between before and from. I am only interested right now in what was "from the foundation of the world." Here is how I argued it on another thread.

"whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." This is a dependent clause.
The Subject
"whose names"
The Verb "are not written"
Prepositional phrase #1 "in the book of life of the Lamb slain."
Prepositional phrase #2 "from the foundation of the world."
What does the first prepositional phrase modify? The verb "are not written".
What does the second prepositional phrase modify? You say "slain". I say the verb "are not written".

Think about it for a second. Which makes more sense? Is this additional prepositional phrase saying something more about the topic under discussion: names being and not being written in the book of life? Or, is this prepositional phrase introducing a radically different topic that gives no explanatory insight into what is being discussed in Revelation 13:8?

Do you agree with me? Do you disagree with my understanding? Any comments would be appreciated. I don't want to argue, I'm just interested in other opinions.

God Bless

PS: I can see some reject my view as Calvinistic motivating the interpretation that the lamb was slain before the foundation of the world. But, I don't think names written interpretation is theologically significant in the Calvinist/Arminian debate. Both believe in God knows the future. Therefore, whether the names are written via election or foreknowledge isn't significant to interpreting this verse. So unless one rejects God's exhaustive knowledge of future events, neither interpretation of Revelation 13:8 should be a problem.
The Notes in the netible may help.

tn 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.

Looking at Rev 17:8

Rev 17:8 The beast you saw was, and is not, but is about to come up from the abyss and then go to destruction. The inhabitants of the earth—all those whose names have not been written in the book of life since the foundation of the world—will be astounded when they see that the beast was, and is not, but is to come.​

The various translations of 17:8 seem to be uniform about the object that is "from the foundation of the world", i.e. the names written in the book.

In this case, it would make more sense to interpret the unclear text in light of the clearer text.

(Said as somebody who rejects the Calvinist viewpoint)
Jesus wasn't a stand-by paramedic sent to an unexpected train wreck, rather; he
was designated, and scheduled, to die on a cross prior to God creating even a
single atom for the current cosmos. (1Pet 1:18-21 & Rev 13:8)

Everything is a foregone conclusion with God; nothing surprises Him. God foresaw
the forbidden fruit incident, He foresaw Cain and Abel, He foresaw the Flood, He
foresaw the Tower of Babel, He foresaw Sodom and Gomorrah, He foresaw the
Holocaust, and He has seen the Lake of Fire and the end of the world as we know

There are no new Christians with God. He's already foreseen every one of them
back at the very beginning just as He's seen everything else ahead of time before it
comes to pass. Ergo: if somebody's name isn't already in the lamb's book of life,
then their name is never going to be in there.

Eph 1:3-5 . . Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he
chose us in him before the creation of the world . . . in love He predestined us to be
adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will
op question:

it means in eden before the fallen reality started
before we were imprisoned here

...this world will end soon
and the nightmare adam caused will be over