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?
 

Thomas 63640

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I will throw this in here. First I know very little Koine Greek second Jesus spoke Aramaic and OT written in Hebrew and though languages help us to communicate they do often lose some in translation. What Jesus was simply saying was what was said to Moses. What are know as the seven "I AM"'s of John but just Jesus speaking clearly of his divinity or at least that is in my humble opinion the way I understand this. :)
 
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Thomas 63640

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I hope this is not against policy as its only a one word pasting since I could find no direct reference in Thayer I went to Kittel and this was what was said there. And believe me it is a mouth full. please delete if this is to much quoted here.
ἐγώ

The NT uses ἐγώ in I-formulae which after the Semitic pattern are constructed without copula, esp. in solemn I-proclamations and I-sentences where it is desired to emphasise the subject3 in distinction from or in opposition to others. The NT ἐγώ acquires religious significance in three respects: first, in proclamations of God, which are important in the Apocalypse; secondly, in the self-witness of Christ, esp. in Jn.; and thirdly in the self-utterances of the Christian (the ἐγώ of R. 7 requiring particular elucidation). One may thus speak of a theological, a christological and an anthropological ἐγώ.


A. The Theological ἐγώ.

1. Divine Proclamations in the Ancient Orient and Hellenism.

The I-style is solidly established in divine proclamations in the ancient East. A self-revelation of Ishtar forms the central part of a Babylonian liturgy. In an Egyptian magic pap. the supreme ruler Rê describes creation and the destruction of the dragon as follows: “I am he who arose as Cheperi … I created … I destroyed” etc.; “I” occurs a dozen times. The self-revelation of Ahura Mazda is couched in the same style in the Avesta: “I am Guardian and I am Creator and Protector … I am called the Saviour …”7 Through the centuries this form of self-predication became a common feature in Near Eastern liturgies. Sometimes names and attributes are recounted in this style, sometimes acts, and sometimes both in alternation. In the Hellenistic world Isis is particularly prominent in this form of hymnic predication: “I am Isis … I am the eldest daughter of Kronos … I divided earth from heaven …” In the main part of the Isis hymn of Kyme there are some 28 analogous statements beginning with ἐγώ (εἰμι).
The meaning and purpose of these proclamations is first one of simple self-representation. The reader or hearer is to be acquainted with the person of a particular deity, and there are so many gods. But self-representation becomes self-glorification. The predicates claimed by the deity are brought into competition with those of others. Finally, self-glorification serves self-commendation. The deity claims worship and offers help as none other god in heaven. Thus these proclamations are polytheistic in assumption but monotheistic or monolatrous in tendency.
 

Thomas 63640

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2. Divine Proclamations in the OT and Apocalyptic Judaism.

The I-style acquires a specific ring in the mouth of the true and only God who reveals Himself in Israel. What is only a tendency or beginning in polytheism is here fulfilled.
Thus the divine name יהוה is paraphrased in the monumental formula: “I am who I am” (Ex. 3:14). The Ten Commandments are introduced by a אָנֹכִי which claims all worship for itself and excludes all other cults: “For I, Yahweh, thy God, am a jealous God.” This exclusivism is even more powerful in the great revelation of Dt. 32:39 ff.: “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me … neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand … I … I … I … I …” It is in Dt. Is., however, that we find the fullest development and that the ἐγώ of God acquires its most pregnant significance. It is used for God as the Subject who can never become an object and before whom all reality, being, happening and volition is object. This ἐγώ of God will not tolerate any second subject, any other god. It has posited the world as an object.12 The being of God is powerful in relation to that of the world. The will of God is unlimited and independent of any alien influence. God has the first and final word. And the all-powerful being and will of God are manifested in His unwearying and incessant action. This is what gives dynamic character to the I-speeches of Dt. Is. and the whole of the OT.14 They speak more of what takes place than of what is. Even in relation to man God is the final Subject. Man is what he is always with reference to God.16 He is lost when God condemns him, pure when God purifies him: “I blot out thy sins for my sake, and do not remember thy transgressions” (Is. 43:25). Not once in the knowledge of God is man the determining subject. God is known rather where He makes Himself known, where He reveals Himself (Is. 41:21 ff.).
The I-style of the OT is continued in Jewish Apocalyptic: “I will lead into bright light those who love my holy name. I will set each on his throne of honour.”17 Self-proclamation is particularly common in theophanies: “I am the God of thy father Abraham … I am with thee … I will bless thee” (Jub. 24:22). These I-revelations play the greatest role in the Apocalypse of Abraham: “I am before the aeons and a mighty God … I am a shield over thee and I am thy Helper.” Here we can see clearly the two historico-religious characteristics of Jewish Apocalyptic, namely, the Israelite heritage and oriental influence.


3. I-Speeches of God in the NT.


God is the absolute Subject. This is the final meaning of the ἐγώ in the divine revelations of the OT and Judaism. The NT maintains this concept, but it gives us only a few revelations in I-style, and mostly in quotations. Paul quotes the divine oath of Is. 45:23 in R. 14:11, and he also quotes from Dt. 32 the saying concerning revenge, to which he adds an ἐγώ. Much quoted are the adoption formulae in which God declares the king His son; these are applied to the sonship of Christ.20 Rev. refers again to the exposition of the divine name in Ex. 3:14 (Ἐγώ … ὁ ὤν), but adds two new members to the timeless present predication and thus achieves a threefold formula after the manner of the Persian three-tense-schema: ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, Rev. 1:8. Alongside this development there are also twofold forms which newly express the divine proclamation of Is. 44:6 etc.: ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος (→ ΑΩ, I, 1 ff.; → εἰμι, 397). Thus Rev. attests the preference for the I-style in apocalyptic generally. But here too, as in the rest of the NT, the speeches of God are far less prominent than those of Christ. It is only in the I-speeches of Christ that ἐγώ takes on its decisive significance in the NT.
 

Thomas 63640

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B. The Christological ἐγώ.

1. Ruler and Saviour Sayings in the Ancient Orient and Hellenism.

In the ancient Orient we find I-proclamations not merely on the lips of gods but also of kings, deliverers and prophets. Akhnaton says in his hymn to the sun: “Thou art in my heart. None knoweth thee but thy son Akhnaton. Thou hast initiated him into thy plans and thy power.” Here the king speaks of himself, or causes himself to be spoken of, in the he-style.25 In the royal inscriptions of the Euphrates, however, the same I-style predominates as in speeches of the gods. Thus Hammurabi proclaims in the introduction to his Code: “Hammurabi, the shepherd, the called of Ellil, am I … The prince of kings, who subjugated …” The Persian kings and their successors adopted this form: “I, Cyrus, the king of the world.” But the tone of self-glorification prominent in the Assyrian inscriptions now yields to one of a humbly proud sense of mission which reminds us of Akhnaton. Darius orders the affairs of the nations and ushers in the age of felicity in virtue of his divine installation. There is only one god, namely, Ahura Mazda. Darius is conscious of bearing his commission. He acts in his name and may thus speak in his language.27
In the Hellenistic period the Diadochi continue this style. Above all, however, the ἐγώ (εἰμι) becomes a slogan in religious propaganda. The most diverse saviours seek to win adherents with the claims made in I-proclamations. The Corp. Herm. inclines to the style of divine proclamation: τὸ φῶς ἐκεῖνο, ἔφη, ἐγώ εἰμι νοῦς ὁ σὸς θεός, ὁ πρὸ φύσεως ὑγρᾶς τῆς ἐκ σκότους φανείσης. The redeemer of the Mandaeans speaks more personally: “I am the messenger of light … I am the true messenger … I am the messenger of life …”30 The influence of this style may still be seen in the Koran. Nor are such addresses confined to writing. Every street-corner prophet or sectarian preacher sought to outbid his predecessors or competitors in impressive self-proclamation. Tricksters imitated the style and used the ancient form as an easy means of making an impression. The people lost confidence, and the educated sneered. Thus Celsus occasionally alludes to propaganda of this kind: Ἐγώ ὁ θεός εἰμι (ἢ θεοῦ παῖς ἢ πνεῦμα θεῖον) … ἐγὼ δὲ σῶσαι θέλω καὶ ὄψεσθέ με αὖθις μετʼ οὐρανίου δυνάμεως ἐπανιόντα. The content shows the influence of Christian modes of thought, but the I-style itself is more ancient and widespread.


2. The I of God’s Representatives in the OT and Judaism.

a. The I-style of Near Eastern royal inscr. is also found in the OT. In a long series of I-sentences Nehemiah lists his achievements on behalf of the people of God,33 with the ultimate purpose of reminding God Himself of his acts and of seeking His mercy. On the other hand, self-predications as god or lord are arrogant and offensive in Jewish eyes, since they violate the honour of the one God. The king of Tyre forgets that he is God’s representative, and proudly proclaims: “I am God; I sit on the throne of God, in the midst of the sea.”35 Pompey thinks: “I am Lord over land and sea.” God answers such pretension, and by means of frightful catastrophes shows these men their impotence. Alexandrian Judaism, however, was able to give an ethical turn to the oriental glorification of kings, and thus to give a new content to the old form.37
The prophets express more purely and forcefully the idea of being God’s representatives, as in the Servant Songs of Is. God calls: “Hear me, O Jacob” (Is. 48:12), and in the same style the Servant cries: “Hear me, ye isles; hearken, ye peoples.” The I-consciousness of the prophets is God-consciousness, not self-consciousness: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (Is. 61:1 f.). Yet this God-consciousness becomes increasingly rarer in the later period. The prophet with his plenipotentiary power is replaced by the apocalyptist, whose supreme task is to declare the secret revelations of God. The I-saying of the prophet is thus replaced by the authoritative Ἐγὼ Δανιήλ, which becomes a fixed and non-declinable formula: ὅρασις ὤφθη πρὸς μέ, ἐγώ Δανιήλ.
b. Meanwhile the I-style of Dt. Is. is adopted and developed in the I-sayings of heavenly wisdom in Prv. 8: “Hear, for I will speak … whoso findeth me findeth life.” But as the king by divine grace is confronted by the despot and the prophet by the pseudo-prophet, so wisdom is confronted by folly, which imitates its style and reverses its message (Prv. 9:4 f., 16 f.). The same form is used of wisdom in Sir. (ἐγὼ ἀπὸ στόματος ὑψίστου ἐξῆλθον … ἐγω … ἐγώ …, 24:3f.) and in the syncretistic Odes of Solomon: “Ye sons of men, turn, and ye daughters, come … and turn to me … I will make you wise in the ways of truth.” In such I-sayings, however, there are also Gnostic motifs: “I have become strong and mighty, and have taken the world captive.”
Wisdom is not the only heavenly being to use solemn I-sayings to men. Angels and other supernatural messengers use the same style. Thus the angel of God in 4 Esr. does not merely speak in the name of God, but can sometimes representatively use the divine I (7:60f.). In the Apc. Abr., which here again shows its predilection for this form, the angel can even say: “I am Jaoel … I am he who ordains … I … I … I am sent to thee …”43 And in the Test. Abr. death says: ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ πικρὸν ὄνομα· ἐγώ εἰμι κλαυθμός …
c. Nor is this solemn I-style confined to literature, or to heavenly beings, in later Judaism. On Palestinian soil, too, we find princely figures who feel that they are God’s representatives, or who make themselves out to be such. Certainly we do not find such common heathen self-predications as θεός or κύριος. The Damascus Teacher is rather imitating Prv. when he says to his adherents: “Hear me, children, I will open your eyes that you may see.”46 And in relation to John the Baptist, who in many ways resembles the Damascus Teacher, the Synoptists simply have the restricted ἐγὼ ἐβάπτισα ὕδατι. The negative I-saying in Jn. 1:20 f.; 3:28: ἐγώ οὐκ εἰμὶ ὁ χριστός, points in the same direction, this being presupposed also in Ac. 13:25. The ἐγώ of Jn. 1:23 is obviously a Johannine trick of style, but it expresses the same basic standpoint as the other I-sayings of the Baptist, since in the restrictive or negative ἐγώ he does not point to himself but past himself. Of Theudas, however, traditions says that he spoke great things of himself, λέγων εἶναί τινα ἑαυτόν, and in Samaria Simon had himself worshipped as → δύναμις τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ καλουμένη ἡ μεγάλη and proclaimed himself εἶναί τινα ἑαυτὸν μέγαν (Ac. 8:9 f.). The schematic way in which Acts reports these phenomena makes it clear that there were many men who could occasionally make such claims in I-formulae. In accord with this is the common use of the question σὺ τίς εἶ. It is a probing question, since it was no easy task to find one’s way among all these prophets and pseudo-prophets, these Messianic messengers and false Messiahs (v. Mk. 6:14 ff. etc.). The people ran from one to the other, and apocalyptic circles moved from one hope and disappointment to the next.
d. On the other hand, the Synagogue held aloof from these things. We often find a high sense of office in Rabb. writings. But the Rabbis avoid an exaggerated I-style.50 It was offensive to them. They had a basic suspicion of the I-proclamations of little prophets and pretended Messiahs. The superior tone and cautious attitude of Gamaliel in Ac. 5:36 f. is typical. And the real or apparent pretension of many I-sayings was an abomination which they fought against in the name of monotheism. Even the Christology of the Gospels was to many Rabbis simply one heathen heresy among others: “If a man says: I am God—he lies; I am the Son of Man—he will regret it; I ascend to heaven—he will not accomplish it.”


3. Ἐγώ in the Synoptic Sayings of Jesus.


On the lips of the Synoptic Jesus the emphatic ἐγώ is relatively infrequent. It is found in warnings, promises and commands uttered by Jesus with the sense of His divine power and authority. We find it indirectly in Lk. 4:18 in the introductory sermon in which He quotes Is. 61. On the other hand, we seek it in vain in the Messianic formula ῏Ηλθον πληρῶσαι etc. The more significant, therefore, is the I-style in the Sermon on the Mount, the Cry of Jubilation and the Call of the Saviour.
In Mt. 5:22 ff. there occurs five times the sharp Ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν by which sayings of old time are superseded or opposed. This λέγω ὑμῖν closes an epoch in the history of religion and ethics and creates a new situation. What Jesus is declaring is not simply an explication of old truth; what He is demanding is not simply a new step on the endless way to an eternally valid ideal. The validity of His demand is wholly and utterly linked with acceptance of His person and the authenticity of His mission. The Messiah has come, and with all the authority of God He issues a summons to His people. The ἐγώ alone validates His word.
Jesus Himself speaks of the authority of His office in the Cry of Jubilation in Lk. 10:22: πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου. He is on earth the fully authorised representative and executor of God.58 All God’s work is done through Him. He is Mediator for the whole world, and the Mediator of revelation. Alongside the absolute Subject God there comes a second Subject in a unique Thou-relationship, namely, that of the Son who is known by the Father alone and who alone can know the Father. There is no knowledge of God except through the Son.
If the relationship of the Son to the Father is central in this saying, in the Call of the Saviour, which follows the form of the Wisdom literature in Mt., the main point is the relationship of the Son to the human race: δεῦτε πρός με … The ἐγώ, which represents the place of God in this world, and which opens up access to Him, is necessarily a gathering point for the κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι. And as in the OT God is the model whom man should follow, so is the Son in this passage: μάθετε ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ. The Christ of the NT replaces not only sophia but all the intermediaries of Jewish theology, uniting their offices in one. All historical and cosmic lines intersect in His ἐγώ. He stands at the heart of the times and in the centre between God and the world.
This position of Christ as Mediator is most clearly expressed when the ἐγώ of Christ is related both to God on the one side and to a circle of men on the other. This is true in the active sense of the threefold relation God-Jesus-the disciples, and in the passive sense of the relation of the weak in the world to Jesus and God. Jesus sends out the disciples with the ἐγώ of divine authority (Mt. 10:16; cf. Lk. 24:49); and He gives the promise: ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθʼ ὑμῶν (Mt. 28:20). On the other hand, He intercedes with God for His own: ἐγὼ ἐδεήθην περὶ σοῦ (Lk. 22:32). Above all, however, He sends them out with the words: ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ· ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. The apostles (→ ἀπόστολος) represent Christ as He represents God. In this sense Christ is God, and the apostle is Christ—for the world. Jesus speaks in similar terms62 of the least of His people, except that now it is a matter of helping men rather than proclaiming God. Christ encounters us in the weak, and in them calls for our help. For the way of God as Jesus treads and indicates it is not that of promoting the strong but of delivering the weak. For this reason what is done to the weak and needy is done to Christ and therefore to God. Always Christ Himself, His ἐγώ, His ὄνομα, stands in the centre. God has made Him the absolute point of intersection of all ages and paths, and the point of division of spirits and destinies. In this sense the christological ἐγώ of the Synoptists expresses in nuce the claim of Jesus to absoluteness.

4. Ἐγώ in the Speeches of Christ in John.


The Gospel of John carries this line of thought a stage further. Here the ἐγώ is a characteristic stylistic feature of the revelatory speeches of the Son of God which constitute the major part of the preaching of Jesus. The ἐγώ is often necessary to point a contrast (5:43; 10:10); it is sometimes indispensable (10:25); and it gives to the sayings of Jesus a solemn and almost liturgical ring. We see this when the Son of Man says: εἰς κρίμα ἐγὼ εἰς τὸν κόσμον τοῦτον ἦλθον, ἵνα οἱ μὴ βλέποντες βλέπωσιν καὶ οἱ βλέποντες τυφλοὶ γένωνται, while the blind man who can now see is prostrate in worship before Him (9:39).
In John the ἐγώ takes on greater conceptual fullness and significance. A long series of I-sayings refers to the relationship of the Son to the Father, which John conceives of far more narrowly and strictly than the Synoptists. Some 35 times we have the exclusive ὁ πατήρ μου, and some 25 times the analogous ὁ πέμψας με, the most succinct expression of Jesus’ sense of mission. ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐξῆλθον καὶ ἥκω· οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐλήλυθα, ἀλλʼ ἐκεῖνός με ἀπέστειλεν. The Father is with Me, ὅτι ἐγὼ τὰ ἀρεστὰ αὐτῷ ποιῶ πάντοτε (8:29). The Father is also in Me, κἀγὼ ἐν πατρί. His whole action is to declare the reality of God in world reality. Thus He can say: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (14:9), and even more strongly and comprehensively: ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν (10:30). The shortest and most emphatic expression of this unity is the ἡμεῖς of the high-priestly prayer, which in the mouth of anyone else would be blasphemy. Christ seeks to draw the disciples into this fellowship with the Father. This is the great theme of the farewell discourses: ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί μου κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοί. This fellowship is the presupposition of all true action: χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν (15:5). The basic datum of this fellowship, however, is → ἀγάπη, and it is actualised in the inclusive relations of which the Johannine Christ continually speaks: ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ἣν ἠγάπησάς με ἐν αὐτοῖς ᾖ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτοῖς (17:26). Nor is the circle of those who are to belong to the Son restricted to the twelve. The Johannine Christ, too, sends out His call to all the people as Saviour: ἐάν τις διψᾷ, ἐρχέσθω πρός με καὶ πινέτω. Indeed, His appearance has significance for the whole world.
This cosmic and decisive reach of the Christ event is expressed by John in I-sayings of a singular character which stylistically go beyond the similar sayings of pretended saviours or even the I-sayings of the Synoptists, and which belong rather to the same category as divine proclamations (→ 343 f.), though even this category is transcended. We refer to statements in which the ἐγώ is linked with an impersonal predicative noun, and often with something abstract, which is always defined by the article. These formulae are particularly common in Jn. 10, but they are found throughout the Gospel. Thus Jesus says: ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς, ὁ ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς, ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινή, ἡ θύρα τῶν προβάτων, ἡ ὁδός, and again: ἡ ἀλήθεια, ἡ ἀνάστασις καὶ ἡ ζωή. The logic of these sayings follows its own laws. The definite article with a predicative noun makes it clear that we have here equation rather than subordination. He is light. But He is the true and proper light which alone deserves this name: τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν. And in the same sense He is the bread, the life, the truth. He is these things in the supreme and ultimate sense, and He alone. In short, all these concrete or abstract definitions are names which Jesus claims for Himself and denies to any other being or object. John is not speaking of the fact of Christ in abstract speculations. Everything great and significant in the world becomes a name characterising the unique position of this ἐγώ. All creation points beyond itself to Him who transcends it physically, spiritually and ethically. Thus no single name is adequate; and all finally break down before this reality.
But the Johannine Christ speaks of His cosmic being and nature only to introduce His decisive significance for the human race and its action and aspirations. This is adequately shown in each case by the conception or the setting of the I-sayings. Jesus does in fact bring light, bread, wine, physical life etc. These are signs revealing to those with eyes to see His supraterrestrial glory and power. The Son delivers His own from the unnatural world of darkness, hunger, thirst and death and sets them in the world of true being, in fellowship with Himself, in vital union with God. This is what He guarantees and promises with His Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδὸς καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια καὶ ἡ ζωή. The christological ἐγώ in John’s Gospel is the catchword for a christocentric view of the world.

5. Ἐγώ in the Sayings of Christ in the Apocalypse.


The Apocalypse, too, shows a liking for christological I-sayings which have a twofold solemnity on the lips of the heavenly Son of Man. Ἐγὼ Ἰησοῦς ἔπεμψα τὸν ἄγγελόν μου μαρτυρῆσαι ὑμῖν ταῦτα ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις. Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ῥίζα καὶ τὸ γένος Δαυίδ, ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ λαμπρὸς ὁ πρωϊνός (22:16). While the Johannine Epistles, like the other writings of the NT, occasionally appeal to the Lord and His Word and Spirit, the letters of Revelation claim to be heavenly epistles in which the κρατῶν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἀστέρας Himself speaks in admonition, warning or promise. The introductory formulae, with their rich liturgical predication, speak of Christ in the third person: τάδε λέγει ὁ ἀμήν. But in the triumphant words at the close Christ often speaks personally, promising τῷ νικῶντι an analogous future or position: δώσω αὐτῷ ἐξουσίαν, ὡς κἀγὼ εἴληφα παρὰ τοῦ πατρός μου καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ τὸν ἀστέρα τὸν πρωϊνόν The concluding promise of the whole series is as follows: ὁ νικῶν, δώσω αὐτῷ καθίσαι μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ μου, ὡς κἀγὼ ἐνίκησα καὶ ἐκάθισα μετὰ τοῦ πατρός μου ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ αὐτοῦ (3:21).
The Apocalypse brings out the full analogy of Christ and God even more clearly than the analogical relations between Christ and the disciples which are also recognised in the parting discourses. Thus the proverbial saying concerning God’s love and chastisement appears in the final letter as a proclamation of Christ with a preceding ἐγώ. Indeed, the Christ of Rev. often uses the very same I-sayings as are also ascribed to God. In the proem, for instance, God says: ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος (1:8), and the Son of Man also says: ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος καὶ ὁ ζῶν (1:17). Here the first two members borrow linguistically from the divine saying in Is. 44:6; there is a material parallel to the → ΑΩ of 1:8; and the whole falls within the three-tenseschema of the divine sayings in Rev. The strongest analogy is at the end of Rev. in 21:6 ἐγὼ τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, 22:13: ἐγὼ τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος. The two I-sayings say exactly the same thing. In the one, however, the speaker is God, and in the other Christ. The Apocalypse could hardly speak of Jesus with greater boldness. Yet neither here not in the NT generally could one speak of a replacement of God by Christ or of an admixture of two magnitudes. Christ is neither another God in the polytheistic sense nor is He in God in the mystical sense. He is instituted by the one God as the authoritative Bearer of the divine office for the whole sphere of this world and its history.
 

brandonmorse

Member
Messages
12
I will throw this in here. First I know very little Koine Greek second Jesus spoke Aramaic and OT written in Hebrew and though languages help us to communicate they do often lose some in translation. What Jesus was simply saying was what was said to Moses. What are know as the seven "I AM"'s of John but just Jesus speaking clearly of his divinity or at least that is in my humble opinion the way I understand this. :)
I think I see where you are going with this. I don't disagree that He's alluding to Exodus 3:14 and definitely to His deity. The thing that stands out to me is how it is said.

The writer, John, quite possibly wrote this in Greek. One reason is because the earliest manuscript we have is very, very close to the origin date. With that said, He was the one (with guidance from the Holy Spirit) who chose to word it the way it is worded.

He could have said, "I'm the I Am" to just address His title and deity. Instead, He points to a time before Abraham's existence (using "before" and "was" as time references) with the title "I am" (ego eimi in the present tense). Again that last part is referring to time in a strange way. It just seems to beg the question of deeper meaning.

Let me ask it this way. Am I wrong in saying that this has a double meaning to it? On the surface, He seems to be referring to the Old Testament encounter with Moses. In another way, He's speaking of himself existing outside of time in two instances at a concurrent moment. Does the Greek support this view or am I in error of seeing that additional meaning?

Thank you so much guys for helping me out here! I think the only thing I've drudged up in this is Saint Augustine https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/augustines-push-against-the-limits-of-time/ . In that article, it references to John 8:58 but it doesn't address my Greek question.

Other than my own edification, this becomes a possibly huge tool in pointing to Christ as a non-created being in talking to those that are in cult groups. If He was created, His origin is a part of time. Would John 8:58 mean that He can now exist outside of His existence while at the same moment He is in His existence? I start imagining a universe that implodes when a created being is existing before His creation.

The John DeLorean and Marty are concurrently interacting in two moments of time while totally aware of each other's actions in those time periods as time moves forward. Whoa, kind of like dividing infinity by zero. LOL
 
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Thomas 63640

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I will just look St. Augustine up again and see what you talking about with him. I have not read his work thoroughly and it is in fact on my shelf along with digital versions as well. As to the whole being in two place at one time that was an argument floating in the 1 or 2 century about God and his being after all so that is very interesting never l thought of Jesus' using actual words that supersede those conversations. LOL
 
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