Which Religions Believe in Predestination and Where did the Idea Originate?

Of the three earliest Jewish sects–Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes–only the Essenes believed in predestination. My question is twofold. First, where did the idea of predestination originate (I don’t think the Essenes were the first to speak of this)? And second, are/were there any other religions, apart from Judaism and Christianity (in particular, Calvinism), that believe(d) in predestination?

My next-door neighbors are from a multi-generational family of three point Calvinists in the Christian Reformed church. i know they are really heavy into the Predestination belief. I do know however that Predestination is in Scripture. I am however not too familiar as to what extent.

What is Predestination? Thank you in advance.

From what I have heard from my neighbors, predestination is that you are predestined by God to go to Heaven or Hell and there is nothing you can do about it. If you are saved, you cannot lose your salvation no matter what and if you are not saved, you may not ever be able to be saved if it is not predestined.

My understanding of predestination as a former Calvinist is that God chooses people to accept salvation. God has to regenerate the person before they can have “saving faith.” This accepting of salvation is a one-time event. If someone at a Calvinist church stops going to church or becomes, say, a Catholic, then they were never saved, obviously.

My observations of people at my former churches did not support this idea.

The term predestination appears for the first time in Scripture in the Epistle to the Romans. Howeever, the idea is hinted at much earlier, i.e., when YHWH speaks of knowing a person before the womb (in Jeremiah). Clearly, foreknowledge and predestination go together, in fact, some would say they are the same, and foreknowledge by God of human beings is attested at least to Babylonian times.

BTW: The idea that some are predestined to salvation AND EVERYBODY ELSE to Hell is called double predestination, and is not stated in Scripture, although it is the doctrine of the Calvinists among others. One has to believe in some form of predestination to be Christian, seeing that it is in the NT, but not in double predestination.

God Bless, ICXC NIKA

Thank you, GEddie, for this interesting information. I don’t think I had ever heard about the idea of double predestination before.

In other words, if a person converts to another religion or becomes an atheist, it means they were never saved in the first place. I recall long ago learning that if one is not “successful” in life, that also means one is not saved. This was a way to justify a kind of prosperity gospel, in which only the rich and elite can be saved. Thanks for your comment.

That just about takes care of free will, doesn’t it? Thanks for the comment.

Augustine wrestled with Predestination, Double Predestination and Free-Will also in one of his earlier works.

There’s probly a ton of info here with the search engine in regards to Augustine.


Good post and i agree with it.:thumbsup:

Your welcome and you’re right, it does pretty much squash freewill.

Just for the record, I do not support nor believe in much of Calvinistic views. I do support many of John Calvin’s ideas, but not those of the three-point Calvinists who took it to an extreme well after Calvin’s death.

Isn’t it five points? Tulip and all that?

Yeah i think you are right. Show’s you how much i keep up with Calvinists.:rolleyes:

Hey, just exactly what are the 5 points?? Just curious.

Google is your friend; I don’t do tulips:):):slight_smile:



5 points are the Dutch Reformed response to Jacob Arminius and his followers in 1610.

There response ended up with the 5 points T = Total Depravity, U = Unconditional Election, L = Limited Atonement (sometimes called definate Redemtion), I = Irrisistible Grace, and P = Perseverance of the Saints.

I think in most Baptist or Evangelical Churches Calvinism really refers to just Predestination but the Dutch Reformed or Scottish Prebyterians also have historical links with John Clavin the person and therefore also use it to refer to other doctrines which he held such as on the Sacraments and church government.

Some Calvinists in an attempt to “water down” their more horrible doctrines (such as Limited Atonement) loose “petals” on their tulip and can call themselves 4 or 3 pointers, so your neighbours may well be 3 point Calvinists.

hope this adds some perspective

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