John 8:58

brandonmorse

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I've never asked this before as I don't know many people that have actually studied Greek. I'm wondering if I am interpreting John 8:58 correctly (obviously he is God but an added thing/nuance). I've tried to research for it on the web but have failed to find a satisfactory answer of up or down. After another discussion on Greek on another board here, it occurred to me that someone here might have a good idea as there might be fewer crackpots. LOL

The "I AM" of 8:58 is in the present active indicative first person singular tense and not the perfect active indicative first person singular tense (i.e. "I have been"). The use of present and perfect tense seems to be significant. The present tense indicates a current ongoing action or state while the perfect indicates a completed work done in the past. If I understand correctly, an example of perfect tense would be "I have learned". It indicates that you learned it in the past. Present active would be "He is playing ball". It indicates that it is happening right now.

In John 9:9, the present tense is translated to "I am he" which makes sense to an average person talking to someone.

If I understand John 8:58 correctly, Christ is saying "I exist right now". He just doesn't use the same word and tense as the Father with Moses. He is saying that He exists right now in a continual state before Abraham existed. Using it with the backdrop of before Abraham’s birth, He isn’t just saying “I existed” (imperfect) or “have been” (perfect). Instead, He chooses to use the “I Am” (present) which is a tense that identifies with the Father in usage and clarifies as to say presently He exists before Abraham was born. Essentially, He exists outside of time and two different periods at the same moment/instant (how do I say that without using time?...LOL). This is something only God can do or even be.

Am I correct in my understanding of this?
 
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