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Sunday, May 20, 2012

John 8:58 - Did Jesus Really Say, "I AM"?

Many Bible versions render John 8:58 this way: "Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

And Ex. 3:14 this way: "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

(Because of this, Trinitarians often refer to this as 'proof' that Jesus is the Hebrew GOD of the Old Testament.)

But are the words "I am" supposed to be God's name? Even if it were so, would it make sense in John 8:58 for Jesus to say the equivalent of, "Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was...JEHOVAH?!?"

Looking at the context, the correct phrasing of this sentence should be "I was" instead of "I am" when used after the word "before." Also in verse 57, the question to which Jesus was replying had to do with age, not identity.

During the exchange with the Jews leading up to John 8:58, nowhere does Jesus claim to be God. And as we've already seen, the words "I am" at John 8:58 (including the blatant unwarranted use of capitalization) is not only inaccurate but nonsensical.

Several translations phrase John 8:58 the correct way by which Jesus was actually illustrating how long he has existed. One, for instance:

"Jesus answered, "The truth is, I EXISTED BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS EVEN BORN!" (NLT)

Besides that, numerous Trinitarian authorities even have to admit that "I am" in Ex. 3:14 is not even correct and should be rendered more like "I will Be" (the meaning of God's name rather than God's personal name itself...Jehovah):

Encyclopedia Britannica:

"The writer of Exodus 3:14-15 ... explains it [the meaning of God's name] by the phrase EHYEH asher EHYEH (Ex. iii., 14); this can be translated `I am that I am' or more exactly `I am wont to be that which I am wont to be' or `I will be that which I will be.'" - p. 995, 14th ed., v. 12.

For much more, see:

I AM (John 8:58 / Ex. 3:14) - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

John 8:58 - The Translation “I Am” is Verbal Nonsense and Grammatically Erroneous (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

John 8:58 - Did Jesus Really Say, "I AM"? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Why it is Highly Probable That the Hebrew Word 'Ehyeh' is Mistranslated as "I AM" at Exodus 3:14 (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

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