Revelation 13:8 and what does "from the foundation of the world" modify?

Page 1 of 1 (9 items)
This post has 8 Replies | 1 Follower

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Aug 2 2009 11:55 AM

 

Hi,

In a discussion with a brother, Rev 13:8 came up. Here is the verse as translated in the NET:

and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed.

But the KJV has this:

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.

You'll notice that in all of the modern translations "from the foundation of the world" is modifying "everyone who's name has not been written" but I had always read it (probably from my KJV readings) and the Open Text Syntactically GNT has it where "from the foundation...." is modifying "that was slain."

Can anyone tell me two things:

1.) Why is there a divided understanding on this passage?

2.) If the proper reading is the one you see above (and all except the KJV have it that way) where the writing was from the foundation, not the slaying, then why does the OTSAGNT have it like the KJV does?

 

Just wondering....

 

bob

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 1:23 PM

Robert Pavich:

 

Hi,

In a discussion with a brother, Rev 13:8 came up. Here is the verse as translated in the NET:

and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed.

But the KJV has this:

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.

You'll notice that in all of the modern translations "from the foundation of the world" is modifying "everyone who's name has not been written" but I had always read it (probably from my KJV readings) and the Open Text Syntactically GNT has it where "from the foundation...." is modifying "that was slain."

Can anyone tell me two things:

1.) Why is there a divided understanding on this passage?

2.) If the proper reading is the one you see above (and all except the KJV have it that way) where the writing was from the foundation, not the slaying, then why does the OTSAGNT have it like the KJV does?

 Just wondering....

bob

I would say that the NET has it correct.  The phrase is a part of the clause beginning "all those who dwell on the earth  ..."  which is the subject of the sentence.  You see the same in 17.8 where those "whose name had not been written ..." are mentioned.  In 17.8 the AV gets it correct.  If nothing else, the parallelism should tend to decide the matter.

1. By "a divided understanding" I assume you mean "Why does the AV translate it differently from the others?"  This was most likely a somewhat theological decision rather than a syntactical decision.  The translators of the AV were trying to emphasize that the death of Jesus was planned in the beginning.  This is not a bad understanding of the theology, but it is not a good understanding of the syntax.

2. What is OTSAGNT?

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 2:00 PM

George,

thanks very much for the answer you gave. Yes part of what I meant by "divided understanding" was the KJV but part was the picture below. That's the OPSAGNT...my "lazy type" for Open Text Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament. Notice that they agree with the KJV....

what gives?

 

here is a screen shot of what I was referring to:

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 3:09 PM

Robert Pavich:

George,

thanks very much for the answer you gave. Yes part of what I meant by "divided understanding" was the KJV but part was the picture below. That's the OPSAGNT...my "lazy type" for Open Text Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament. Notice that they agree with the KJV....

what gives?

 

here is a screen shot of what I was referring to:

I think I see their reasoning.  The personal pronoun with "name" is the 3rd sg rather than being pl (as is "name" as well).  They are going with syntactical agreement of this with the singular "Lamb."  First of all, the Apocalypse does not always follow strict syntactical rules.  This is not infrequent in Koine Greek.  The lack of congruence [the term for agreement] with the subject is only with regard to number which might be accounted for by taking each one separately rather than as a group.  While the relative is tagged as masc, it could as well be neut. [and probably is].  Secondly, there is the use of the phrase as the subject of the passive verb "to write" within the phrase immediately following and connected by a relative pronoun in the genitive ("of whom") to  "all those who dwell upon the earth,"  It would need to refer toward the end of the sentence to "the Lamb slain ..." which might be somewhat awkward.  The answer as to why the AV and Open Text would make it refer to "the Lamb" would simply be based on more normal and "correct" syntax which is something you don't always get in this book.  I'm not sure, however, that I would understand the Open Text as actually taking it as referring to "the Lamb."  It is the "Lamb's Book of Life" in which the names are written so it would seem somewhat strange to have the "Lamb"'s name" written in his "Book of Life."  I think you can take it to the bank that "whose name is not written ..." refers to the dwellers on the earth. 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 3:36 PM

George,

thanks for your detailed reply. Much appreciated.

I learn something new everyday...

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 653
Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 4:00 PM

Some time in the past I was looking at a similar issue.  What I noticed is that there are 2 different phrases used: From the foundation of the world, and From before the foundation of the world.  It would seem that the first is used when it refers to things concerning us; the latter when it refers to things concerning Christ.  Ephesians 1:4 might be a little questionable in this regard but not necessarily so.  If that premis is true, then it would be more likely I think that the Revelation 13:8 is refering to us and not to Christ.

Longtime Logos user (more than $30,000 in purchases) - now a second class user because I won't pay them more every month or year.

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 4:34 PM

Alex Scott:

Some time in the past I was looking at a similar issue.  What I noticed is that there are 2 different phrases used: From the foundation of the world, and From before the foundation of the world.  It would seem that the first is used when it refers to things concerning us; the latter when it refers to things concerning Christ.  Ephesians 1:4 might be a little questionable in this regard but not necessarily so.  If that premis is true, then it would be more likely I think that the Revelation 13:8 is refering to us and not to Christ.

Eph 1.4 is quite clear since the pronoun translated "us" is in the acc as the object of the word for "to choose."  In Re it is the use of the gen sg pron which causes the problem since the subject of the sentence to which I say the gen 3rd sg pron refers ultimately is plural.  Had the gen 3rd pron been pl as well then there would have been no problem.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1729
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 7:27 PM

 

Interesting question. Quick summary from New Bible Commentary:

The reference of the words from the creation of the world is uncertain; they can be linked with the slaying of the Lamb (as in the av, rv and niv) or with the writing of names in the book of life (as in the jb, nasb and nrsv). Both meanings are equally true; for the former cf. 1 Pet. 1:19–20; for the latter Eph. 1:4. The difficulty is settled for most by appeal to 17:8, where almost identical language is used, linking the phrase with the writing in the book. Nevertheless, the word order here does not favour this interpretation, and it is best to keep to the niv.

Source: D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. ed. of: The new Bible commentary. 3rd ed. / edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed., Re 13:1 (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994).

Perhaps we're off topic with this thread, but the brief answer above illustrates one of the reasons why I enjoy using Logos: this info is so accessible.

Posts 34444
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 2 2009 9:06 PM

As for the text itself:

13:8. Read "[all] of whom have not been written the name" instead of "whose names are not written". G W HF

13:8. Read "[everyone] of whom has not been written his name" instead of "whose names are not written". L T Tr A WH N NA

13:8. Add "which was" before "slain". G L T Tr A W WH N NA HF

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Page 1 of 1 (9 items) | RSS