What is Jesus saying here?

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@Lon
 

TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,
I 'am' is a state of existence that encompasses 'will be.'
There are in my understanding two different views on Exodus 3:14. One is the present tense and speaks of God's present existence and possibly could, but especially with God would include his future existence. The other view is not speaking of God's existence, but of course necessitates his existence. This view is speaking of WHAT God will do, achieve according to his purpose with respect to the promises to Abraham and the obscure "I will be WHAT I will be" relates to the fulfilment of these promises. I refer again to Exodus 6:1-8 and the advocates of this second view use this passage as support. I also note you have reactivated my old thread on the Yahweh Name and this is where I have a brief development of this second view.
Not between John 8:58 however. Again the two aren't comparable in grammatical structure.
I was using John 10:7 to compare the use of "I am (the BEING)" as rendered by the LXX.
As covered in thread, the context drives understanding. We had a lot of 'reading comprehension' instruction in school for this reason. It is paramount to understanding texts.
But do you really claim that John 8:28 is speaking about Jesus being Deity?
John 8:28 (KJV): Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
My impression is that you are saying that "I am" in John 8 can have and has three different meanings.
It wasn't inspired but Jesus nor the Apostles, nor the church fathers spent any great time correcting it.
But Jesus is NOT quoting the LXX of Exodus 3:14, otherwise he would have said "I am the Being". I recommend Barnes' OT Notes on Isaiah where he gives a list of the various places where the NT quotes the Isaiah portion of the OT. He lists where the NT passage is quoting the Hebrew text, or the LXX text and other occurrences where neither are directly quoted and could have been from a different text, or a general adaptation and interpretation of some of the OT passages. A thorough book on the subject is Commentary on the NT use of the OT by editors GK Beale and DA Carson 1239 pages. I found this interesting and helpful on Isaiah 6:9-10, where they talk about the difference between the Hebrew and LXX on this particular passage and how the NT uses both in different contexts, but not endorsing an error in one of the originals.

I am conscious of two other NT usages, where the LXX is quoted or is similar and these are different from the Hebrew. But both of these are important and I consider that both the original Hebrew and the LXX are correct. The LXX in effect widens the range and yet the accuracy of these passages. I suggest that Jesus and the Apostles did not quote or endorse error as Scripture.

The forum article called "The Christadelphian Understanding of the Yahweh Name" was running on another forum 16 years ago, but the forum policy was to start again when they changed servers or format, and did not maintain older posts. This occurred at least three times. It was about 140 posts, and I could send a copy by email. It was mainly a conversation between a Christadelphian and three Trinitarians, two of whom by the conclusion of the discussion seemed to accept at least some aspects of what he was advocating.

Kind regards
Trevor
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,

There are in my understanding two different views on Exodus 3:14. One is the present tense and speaks of God's present existence and possibly could, but especially with God would include his future existence. The other view is not speaking of God's existence, but of course necessitates his existence. This view is speaking of WHAT God will do, achieve according to his purpose with respect to the promises to Abraham and the obscure "I will be WHAT I will be" relates to the fulfilment of these promises. I refer again to Exodus 6:1-8 and the advocates of this second view use this passage as support. I also note you have reactivated my old thread on the Yahweh Name and this is where I have a brief development of this second view.

I was using John 10:7 to compare the use of "I am (the BEING)" as rendered by the LXX.

But do you really claim that John 8:28 is speaking about Jesus being Deity?
John 8:28 (KJV): Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
My impression is that you are saying that "I am" in John 8 can have and has three different meanings.

But Jesus is NOT quoting the LXX of Exodus 3:14, otherwise he would have said "I am the Being".
:nono: Simply two identical words, importantly, truncated in John 8:58. "I am" IS the meaning of John 8:58. Simply read it, grammatically, for the emphasis and LET it dictate your theology, as I let it do mine. We are on opposite sides theologically, the same side, grammatically. The emphasis is there and it means something. Our job is to follow it, not force it, nor to pull erroneous comparison. The other passages are different in that they specifically tell us how to interpret in those instances as well. We don't, however, pool them together: that's prooftexting and isn't reading comprehension. I'm convinced, as I've said, grammar understanding is the key to grasping scripture truth. We all just need to follow where it leads.
I recommend Barnes' OT Notes on Isaiah where he gives a list of the various places where the NT quotes the Isaiah portion of the OT. He lists where the NT passage is quoting the Hebrew text, or the LXX text and other occurrences where neither are directly quoted and could have been from a different text, or a general adaptation and interpretation of some of the OT passages. A thorough book on the subject is Commentary on the NT use of the OT by editors GK Beale and DA Carson 1239 pages. I found this interesting and helpful on Isaiah 6:9-10, where they talk about the difference between the Hebrew and LXX on this particular passage and how the NT uses both in different contexts, but not endorsing an error in one of the originals.
I have these commentaries.
I am conscious of two other NT usages, where the LXX is quoted or is similar and these are different from the Hebrew. But both of these are important and I consider that both the original Hebrew and the LXX are correct. The LXX in effect widens the range and yet the accuracy of these passages. I suggest that Jesus and the Apostles did not quote or endorse error as Scripture.
Not sure this is a point of contention, other than the particular isn't corrected.
The forum article called "The Christadelphian Understanding of the Yahweh Name" was running on another forum 16 years ago, but the forum policy was to start again when they changed servers or format, and did not maintain older posts. This occurred at least three times. It was about 140 posts, and I could send a copy by email. It was mainly a conversation between a Christadelphian and three Trinitarians, two of whom by the conclusion of the discussion seemed to accept at least some aspects of what he was advocating.

Kind regards
Trevor
If you go to Archive.org and use the "waybackmachine" you might be able to find all the revisions. Happy hunting, hope it works for you (if such serves). -Lon
 

TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,
Simply two identical words, importantly, truncated in John 8:58. "I am" IS the meaning of John 8:58. Simply read it, grammatically, for the emphasis and LET it dictate your theology, as I let it do mine. We are on opposite sides theologically, the same side, grammatically. The emphasis is there and it means something. Our job is to follow it, not force it, nor to pull erroneous comparison. The other passages are different in that they specifically tell us how to interpret in those instances as well. We don't, however, pool them together: that's prooftexting and isn't reading comprehension. I'm convinced, as I've said, grammar understanding is the key to grasping scripture truth. We all just need to follow where it leads.
I disagree as I accept that there is a definite flow of the same idea from John 8:24,28 to John 8:58 and this theme starts in John 1 and ends at John 20:31. Also I do not accept the accents shown in the modern Greek NT texts, as these were not part of the original, and the accent on John 8:58 could have been possibly added by a Trinitarian, or someone who does not understand what Jesus is really saying. The Jews in Jesus’ day did not understand (or pretended that they did not understand) what Jesus was saying concerning Abraham, and also the Trinitarians of today do not understand what Jesus was saying concerning Abraham.

Not sure this is a point of contention, other than the particular isn't corrected.
I suggest that Jesus is NOT quoting the LXX in John 8:58, and part of the proof of this is that the LXX translation of Exodus 3:14 is wrong.

If you go to Archive.org and use the "waybackmachine" you might be able to find all the revisions. Happy hunting, hope it works for you (if such serves)
I will attempt this and send you the link if I find it, but I already have a copy. He used to post in the Languages portion of that Forum, but I have not seen him active since the latest reset of the Forum.

I am not a Hebrew scholar and only use Strongs and word reference books. One of our major pioneers seemed to have good Hebrew skills and his exposition on God Manifestation and the Yahweh Name has been accepted by most Christadelphians since. Two older examples of endorsement of his exposition are JW Thirtle in 1881, he was a Hebrew scholar and wrote concerning the Hebrew titles of the Psalms and John Carter an Editor of The Christadelphian Magazine in 1958-1959 in his series “The Name of Salvation”. Since then many in my fellowship have contributed to the understanding of this topic. One other endorsement of “I will be” is the online series “Learning Biblical Hebrew” by Mark Jacob. I do not know his religious affiliations. In his Intermediate Part 2 episode at about 28 minutes he states that the interpretation of Exodus 3:14 is literally “I will be that I will be”. He also stated that one motivation to accept “I am” is to attach this to John 8:58, but Mark Jacobs did not consider that this is a valid link.

Kind regards
Trevor
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,

I disagree
🤔 Not on grammatical grounds you don't....
as I accept that there is a definite flow of the same idea from John 8:24,28 to John 8:58
There is no 'reason' to think so other than Christadelphian/Unitarian/Arian your whole life. That's a 'theological' construct pressed 'into' (not taken out of) the context. There were modifiers previously, not in the last.
 

TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,
Not on grammatical grounds you don't....
There is no 'reason' to think so other than Christadelphian/Unitarian/Arian your whole life. That's a 'theological' construct pressed 'into' (not taken out of) the context. There were modifiers previously, not in the last.
I suggest that a correct understanding of the whole passage and context including the earlier interaction in John 8 about being children of Abraham and the usage of the same phrase in John 8:24 and John 8:28 helps. Also my impression on how Trinitarians understand John 8:58 is based on not understanding how and when Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Jesus, and saw it, and rejoiced. I suggest that Jesus is referring to the events of Genesis 22, where Abraham saw in type the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the salvation that would come through this event. But Trinitarians claim that it had some reference to a visual acquaintance that Abraham had with the pre-existent Jesus.

One more comment concerning the rendition of John 8:58 and the LXX. I doubt that the majority of the Jewish audience that heard Jesus in Jerusalem on this occasion were familiar with the LXX or understood Greek. Jesus would have spoken in Hebrew or Aramaic, and hence if he was quoting the OT he would have been using the Hebrew text, and not the faulty Greek LXX. The faulty Greek LXX is not a good guide in understanding the Hebrew of Exodus 3:14, because the LXX has "I am the Being". The Hebrew lecturer also stated that if the Angel wanted to use the present tense in Exodus 3:14 he would have used the same Hebrew as in Exodus 3:6 "I am the God of Abraham".

Kind regards
Trevor
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,


I suggest that a correct understanding of the whole passage and context including the earlier interaction in John 8 about being children of Abraham and the usage of the same phrase in John 8:24 and John 8:28 helps. Also my impression on how Trinitarians understand John 8:58 is based on not understanding how and when Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Jesus, and saw it, and rejoiced. I suggest that Jesus is referring to the events of Genesis 22, where Abraham saw in type the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the salvation that would come through this event. But Trinitarians claim that it had some reference to a visual acquaintance that Abraham had with the pre-existent Jesus.
I'd thought you didn't believe in the pre-exististence of the Lord Jesus Christ 🤔 At any rate, I'm not sure Trinitarians would disagree on a few of your observations. They might argue against it, when discussing the structure of verse 58, 59. If you are saying that they picked up stones because Jesus claimed to be greater than Abraham. That certainly is enough. However, as I've said, the structure of His last sentence is an anomaly of verb agreement. It makes it a very different kind of sentence and much different structurally than any of the previous. It must be examined upon its own stand-alone merits.
One more comment concerning the rendition of John 8:58 and the LXX. I doubt that the majority of the Jewish audience that heard Jesus in Jerusalem on this occasion were familiar with the LXX or understood Greek.
Do a bit of research. There is ample evidence Jesus read, in synagogue, from the LXX. There is also a problem of language. As Acts details, many Jews no longer spoke Hebrew, an instance: many from all over heard the Apostles speak in their own languages.
Jesus would have spoken in Hebrew or Aramaic, and hence if he was quoting the OT he would have been using the Hebrew text, and not the faulty Greek LXX.
While Jesus did speak Aramaic on occasion, it is doubtful that many around Him knew Aramaic or Hebrew very well. The Apostles, despite odd theories, wrote, from best evidence, in Greek.
The faulty Greek LXX is not a good guide in understanding the Hebrew of Exodus 3:14, because the LXX has "I am the Being". The Hebrew lecturer also stated that if the Angel wanted to use the present tense in Exodus 3:14 he would have used the same Hebrew as in Exodus 3:6 "I am the God of Abraham".

Kind regards
Trevor
We could go round and round on these. This one isn't the hill I'd choose. John 1:1; 20:28 are very clear. It wouldn't matter, because of this, if you convinced a Trinitarian your particular had weight, because they are already half in agreement. It is the other half that keeps us trinitarian. I remember the day I read Jesus saying 'to My God and your God.' I'd not understood Jesus calling the Father 'His' God prior and such keeps me from being Tritheist and continues to flesh out my Trinit-Arian understanding of the scriptures. We half agree with you, half agree with Jews and Modalists. It is the other half with each of you (both Unitarian and Modalist very small inconsequential groups) that there is continued call to read and adhere to all the scriptures. -Lon
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,

I disagree
You can't. It is exactly as I stated. There is no scholar on the face of the earth than can disagree that John 8:58 simply reads "before Abraham was, I am." Nobody can dispute that. You simply cannot disagree on any grounds. There aren't any. The verse reads exactly as I said.
I suggest that Jesus is NOT quoting the LXX in John 8:58, and part of the proof of this is that the LXX translation of Exodus 3:14 is wrong.
It isn't a huge thing. There are plenty of other scriptures to discuss, even if a Trinitarian wound up seeing your point on this particular. As I said, the verb structure of John 8:58 is unique and sets it quite apart, so I, in particular would and will always have issue with other interpretation because grammatically, there is a huge emphasis.
I will attempt this and send you the link if I find it, but I already have a copy. He used to post in the Languages portion of that Forum, but I have not seen him active since the latest reset of the Forum.
Not to worry overtly. Appreciate the thought.
I am not a Hebrew scholar and only use Strongs and word reference books. One of our major pioneers seemed to have good Hebrew skills and his exposition on God Manifestation and the Yahweh Name has been accepted by most Christadelphians since. Two older examples of endorsement of his exposition are JW Thirtle in 1881, he was a Hebrew scholar and wrote concerning the Hebrew titles of the Psalms and John Carter an Editor of The Christadelphian Magazine in 1958-1959 in his series “The Name of Salvation”. Since then many in my fellowship have contributed to the understanding of this topic. One other endorsement of “I will be” is the online series “Learning Biblical Hebrew” by Mark Jacob. I do not know his religious affiliations. In his Intermediate Part 2 episode at about 28 minutes he states that the interpretation of Exodus 3:14 is literally “I will be that I will be”. He also stated that one motivation to accept “I am” is to attach this to John 8:58, but Mark Jacobs did not consider that this is a valid link.

Kind regards
Trevor
Again, as best as I understand Hebrew: "Am" and "will be" is the same word and is simply the state of being. Moses was asking Who he should say is talking and the answer is "God, the only one there is." It was a signifying difference and a challenge against any and every Egyptian god or other. Pharaoh put Him up to a 'contest of the gods' when he had his own magicians mimic God's display through Moses.
In a word? "Will be" is fine, for me and perfectly reasonable in Hebrew. The ONLY translation? :nono: No. Not even the best. Hebrew depends on its context for translation. It isn't like Greek and so many other languages where the clarity is involved in the spelling.
 

TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings again Lon,
I'd thought you didn't believe in the pre-exististence of the Lord Jesus Christ
No, I do not believe in the pre-existence of Jesus.
If you are saying that they picked up stones because Jesus claimed to be greater than Abraham. That certainly is enough.
I would possibly suggest that Jesus is saying that he was part of the plan and purpose of God before Abraham, Genesis 3:15 for example. I therefore carry over the "I am he" as being the same as John 8:24,28.
Do a bit of research. There is ample evidence Jesus read, in synagogue, from the LXX.
My impression is that when Jesus unrolled the scroll of Isaiah and read this, then it would be similar to the Hebrew Dead Sea scroll of Isaiah. I assess that the LXX would be known mainly among the Greek speaking Jews. Nothing more to add from your second post, except to say I will hold to "I am he" for John 8:58 and "I will be" for Exodus 3:14.

Kind regards
Trevor
 
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Tigger 2

Active member
Paul says at 1 Cor. 15:10 in the literal NT Greek: “I AM WHAT I AM.” This is much closer to what trinitarians want to believe God said at Ex. 3:14 or Jesus’ saying ego eimi at John 8:58. It doesn’t honestly fit with the Septuagint version at Exodus 3:14, but neither does John 8:58! So Paul 'admitted' to being God?!! Or Peter at Acts 10:21, or the blind man at John 9:9 admitted to being God!!

As for Ex. 3:14, where most trinitarians find God revealing the meaning of his name as "I AM," it is highly probable that it should be translated instead as "I will be."

In all the other uses of ehyeh in Moses' writings, it is understood as "I will be" not "I am." A good example is found just before at Exodus 3:12.

In its commentary to Exodus 3:14, the JPS Tanakh, Jewish Study Bible, Oxford Edition states:

"God's proper name disclosed in the next verse is YHVH (spelled yod-heh-vav-heh. In Heb., in ancient times, the "vav" was pronounced "w"). But here God first tells Moses its meaning; ehyeh-asher-ehyeh, probably best translated as "I will be what I will be" meaning: "My nature will become evident from my actions."

Isn't it just a little odd that God's personal name (as Ehyeh) may have been used just this once in all the Old Testament, while the personal name YHWH is used nearly 7000 times in the entire Old Testament??
 
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Right Divider

Body part
Paul says at 1 Cor. 15:10 in the literal NT Greek: “I AM WHAT I AM.” This is much closer to what trinitarians want to believe God said at Ex. 3:14 or Jesus’ saying ego eimi at John 8:58. It doesn’t honestly fit with the Septuagint version at Exodus 3:14, but neither does John 8:58! So Paul 'admitted' to being God?!! Or Peter at Acts 10:21, or the blind man at John 9:9 admitted to being God!!

As for Ex. 3:14, where most trinitarians find God revealing the meaning of his name as "I AM," it is highly probable that it should be translated instead as "I will be."

In all the other uses of ehyeh in Moses' writings, it is understood as "I will be" not "I am." A good example is found just before at Exodus 3:12.

In its commentary to Exodus 3:14, the JPS Tanakh, Jewish Study Bible, Oxford Edition states:

"God's proper name disclosed in the next verse is YHVH (spelled yod-heh-vav-heh. In Heb., in ancient times, the "vav" was pronounced "w"). But here God first tells Moses its meaning; ehyeh-asher-ehyeh, probably best translated as "I will be what I will be" meaning: "My nature will become evident from my actions."
Pro 30:4 KJV Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
Apparently, you cannot tell.
 

TrevorL

Well-known member
Greetings Tigger 2,
Isn't it just a little odd that God's personal name (as Ehyeh) may have been used just this once in all the Old Testament, while the personal name YHWH is used nearly 7000 times in the entire Old Testament??
I understand that the difference is that "Ehyeh", "I will be" is the first person singular and "Yahweh", "He will be" or "He who will be" is the third person singular.

Kind regards
Trevor
 

marke

Well-known member
John 8:58
New King James Version

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Jesus lived and interacted with men before Abraham was born. But that is because Jesus was and is God before He laid His deity aside and took upon Himself the form of a man and was made in the likeness of men. Philippians 2.
 

marke

Well-known member
Christ's divine side came from the God the Father. "I AM" was God's telling of Moses of who He was. So when Christ told that to the Jews who asked who He was they got very upset.
It sounds awkward to say there is a side of God which is Jesus.
 

marke

Well-known member
It has to be two-fold simply by the statement. 1) That God is not bound to time constraints (else it have been "I was"), and 2) that He is God in the flesh.
I agree. God is not bound by time. He always is, always has been, and will always be God. Nevertheless, there are appearances of God in time which are described as past, present, and future, as in Revelation 1:18 and Revelation 4:8.
 

marke

Well-known member
Greetings Bright Raven and Bradley D,
Looking at “I AM” portion of this verse, please note the expression translated “I AM” in John 8:58 is the same as in John 8:24,28 in the immediate context where even the KJV translates this as “I am he”:
John 8:24,28 (KJV): 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
One reason why the KJV did not translate the above as “I AM” here also could be fairly evident from verse 28 where it is clear that Jesus is not claiming to be Deity, but rather emphasises He was The Son of Man, and that he was completely dependent on God His Father.

Despite this context, the question arises is John 8:58 quoting or alluding to Exodus 3:14, where the KJV has a similar expression:
Exodus 3:14 (KJV): And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

I suggest that the KJV is a wrong translation and the correct translation is found in the RV and RSV margins “I will be” and also Tyndale correctly translated this with the future tense “I wilbe”:
Exodus 3:14 (Tyndale): Then sayde God vnto Moses: I wilbe what I wilbe: ad he sayde, this shalt thou saye vnto the children of Israel: I wilbe dyd send me to you.
Thus John 8:58 is not a direct quotation or allusion to Exodus 3:14.

Kind regards
Trevor
I find it hard to believe Jesus is not God when the Bible says He created all things for Himself for His own pleasure and purposes. Colossians 1:16
 
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