“I am” in John 8:58

John 8:58 “Jesus said … Before Abraham was, I AM

It is being claimed regarding John 8:58 that “I AM” used by Jesus “was the name God used for Himself when talking to Moses (Exodus 3:14) and this is why the Jews wanted Jesus dead … because He made Himself equal with God. ” The purpose is to make the claim that Jesus is a person of triune God. Actually, there is nothing here, or anywhere else in the Bible, about God existing as three separate and distinct persons. Such an idea has to be added to, and read into, what Jesus said.

Was Jesus in John 8:58 quoting from Exodus 3:14? The name in Exodus 3:14 by which Yahweh spoke of himself in its full form is usually transliterated as “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH”. Its short form, which also appears in Exodus 3:14 is simply EHYEH. Was Jesus saying in John 8:58 that his name is EHYEH? Actually, no. The expression in Greek that Jesus used is often transliterated as EGO EIMI. Did Jesus say that this was his name? No, there is no discussion concerning Jesus’ name in John 8:58 nor anywhere in the context. Rather, the discussion is concerning the age of Jesus.

Jesus expressly shows that he is not the only true God who sent him in John 17:1,3. Since there is only one true God, then Jesus, being sent by the only true God, is not the only true God. The only true God who sent Jesus is the One who identified Himself as EHYEH ASHER EHYEH in Exodus 3:14,15.

Exodus 3:14 – God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM [EHYEH ASHER EHYEH],” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: “I AM [EHYEH] has sent me to you.”

Exodus 3:15 – God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations.

EHYEH and YAHWEH are simply two different forms of the same name.

The only true God, by means of his Holy Spirit through the Scriptures, reveals that it is Himself, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who sent Jesus, and who anointed Jesus, and whom Jesus worshiped and prayed to as his God. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

So was Jesus claiming to be his God in John 8:58? Is there any link between John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14? Only as can be seen by the way the translators and others would make such a link. Of course, Jesus did not say, as did the only true God in Exodus 3:14, that his name is EHYEH, nor was he speaking about his name at all, but rather he was talking about his existence before Abraham.

Could it be that Jesus was quoting the Greek Septuagint Version (LXX) of Exodus 3:14 when he says EGO EIMI in John 8:58? Hardly, since in the Greek Septuagint Version, the short name of EHYEH is rendered as HO OHN, not EGO EIMI. The full form is rendered as a sentence: EGO EIMI HO OHN, which means “I am the being”. Thus the Septuagint gives EGO EIMI a predicate, but the short form is simply HO OHN, “The Being”. So if Jesus quoted the LXX, he would have used HO OHN, not EGO EIMI, which, of course, in context would have made no sense at all. Further, if he were quoting the LXX from the long form EGO EIMI HO OHN, then he left the subject and verb “I am” without a predicate, which indicates further that he was not quoting the LXX.

Actually, in the Greek, a present tense can be used in a past setting to denote a continuous condition. In English such is often expressed in some form of the past tense, as in the case of John 8:58: “I was”, or “I have been”, etc. (See John 14:8,9) So, what Jesus was saying is very simple: “I have/had been existing since before Abraham was.”

For more information concerning John 8:58, and “I am” in other scriptures, go to:
http://rlbible.com/jesus/?cat=370

To obtain a copy of the book, The Atonement Between God and Man:
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How could Jesus remain sinless?

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The question has been asked: If Jesus is not Yahweh, and was simply a man, how is it that Jesus was able to remain sinless cradle to grave when neither Adam nor Eve could do so even for a short time?

Jesus had ample time to learn from his Father before he came to the earth. He was “sanctified” and “sent into the world” of mankind, which implies that he was perfectly prepared for this experience before being sent by the only true God “into” the world of mankind. As a human, however, it appears possible that he was led by the spirit to draw upon this knowledge as needed, similar to the manner that the holy spirit was sent as a helper to the apostles to remind them of the things Jesus had already taught them. Technically, Jesus could have sinned as did Adam, but the scriptures inform us that he always obeyed his God, and was without sin.

After his baptism, we are informed that Jesus had unlimited access to the holy spirit. Before he began his ministry, he had been obedient, but there is no record of his being persecuted for his obedience. The added strength of the holy spirit could also have provided another way for him to remain obedient even while suffering.

For further study, see:
http://rlbible.com/atonement/

Who is Jesus?

There are many conjectures about who Jesus was and is; sad to say, most views presented inadequately reveal who the real Jesus is as portrayed in the Scriptures. Almost every prevailing doctrinal opinion attaches philosophies on the revealed Word in order to make Jesus appear to be some one he never claimed to be. The apostle Paul reported of some in his day who were, in effect, preaching another Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:14), that is, they were preaching Jesus, but not the truth about Jesus. Nor can we in this day – when Satan and his demons are working miracles so as to deceive, if possible, the elect (Matthew 24:24; Revelation 13:14; 16:14; 19:20) – expect that, simply because we have found someone who can perform miraculous or wonderful works, that we have found the true Jesus in the message of the worker of miracles who might be doing miracles in Jesus’ name. (Matthew 7:22) Indeed, many heathen who do not believe in Jesus at all claim miracles performed in the name(s) of their gods or idols.

It is recorded that Jesus once asked his disciples: “Who do men say that I am?” He got a reply, that some reasoned him to be John the baptist risen from the dead; that others thought him to be Elijah risen from the dead, and others considered him as being perhaps one of the other prophets. Then came the point of the question: “But who do you that I am?” Peter responded and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus admitted the correctness of this, saying, “You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven.” — Matthew 16:13-17; Mark 8:27-30.

Afterwards, Jesus proceeded to explain to the beloved Twelve the experiences that lay before him — how the Kingdom would be formally proffered to the people of Israel, and how through their representatives, the elders, the chief priests, they would reject Him; how he would be killed, and after three days rise again. This, of course, is not what the Jewish populace in general had expected of Messiah. So what would be the reactions of the disciples concerning this description of Jesus’ own expectations concerning himself? — Mark 8:31; Matthew 16:21.

He made the statement about his death very emphatic, and the disciples clearly understood it. Perhaps they were disappointed, considered it a disgrace upon the Messiah to take such a view of the future, and a disgrace also upon the apostles, because if Jesus had such expectations it would modify and regulate his course, and soon disaster would come to him, and the dashing of all their hopes which he had inculcated — hopes of sitting with him in his throne, etc.

Doubtless all of the apostles were disappointed, but only Peter had the courage to express himself, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you.” In effect, Peter was saying: You will, we all know, as the Messiah, attain the throne of Israel and thus eventually the throne of the world, and bring blessing to the whole human race; and as you have promised, we will be with you in your throne. — Matthew 16:22; Mark 8:32.

In this course Peter was opposing the Yahweh’s will and plan, of which the death of Jesus was the very center or hub, from which would radiate all the fulfillments of all the various promises — to his church first, to Israel next, and finally to all nations, peoples, kindreds and tongues. Jesus perceived that these influences were striving to hinder his consummation of his sacrifice, even as Satan tried to do in the beginning of his consecration. To make the matter very emphatic he said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.” Then he began to make clear to his followers what had not been “food in due season” to give them before, in such plain terms, namely, that whoever desired to be counted in with him in any part of his work must realize that it would cost him all that he possessed of an this world’s affections; he must deny himself, take up his stauros and follow him.

The great question of eighteen centuries ago is the great question of today! Who is Jesus? If, as some claim, he was merely a good man, a most able teacher, then he was not the promised Messiah, for the promises concerning the Messiah showed that, although he was the embodiment of all the qualities of what man would consider to be “good man”, he was more, much more. To be the Christ, he must have been “the man Christ Jesus,” who gave Himself a ransom price for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5,6.) And this signifies that he must have been, not of ordinary birth, but extraordinary, born from above, because if born in the ordinary course of nature he would be like others of Adam’s sons, subject to the sentence of death, and hence unable to save either himself or others. But if he was the Christ (which means Anointed One), the Sent of God, who left the glory he had with his God, the only true God (John 17:1,3,5), and was made flesh, having a body prepared by God himself (Hebrews 10:5), with the glory of a sinless man, that he might “taste death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:9; 10:10) Thus, we see him as the great redeemer (deliverer, repurchase) of the world, whose death was necessary as a ransom, or corresponding price, to secure the release of mankind from the death sentence and to make possible the resurrection of Adam and his race. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

If you have not already done so, we recommend a thorough study of the scriptures presented in the “What We Believe” article.

https://reslight.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/what-we-believe/

Oneness vs Trinity vs the Bible

Many often confuse the trinity doctrine with the oneness doctrine, which I prefer to call modalism. I have even found some trinitarians who use the arguments of modalism to promote the trinity, when actually such arguments often are not in agreement with orthodox trinitarian dogma.

That which is usually called “oneness doctrine” actually teaches that Jesus is his God and that Jesus is his Father; that is, that there is one God expressed in three modes: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This teaching claims that these three are not three persons, but that they are all one person (unlike the trinity, which claims that these three are all three distinct persons of the one God). The oneness doctrine is also referred to as modalism, although most oneness believers deny that they are “modalists”. The basic ideas related  this doctrine called “oneness“, often confused with “trinitarianism”, appears to have developed earlier than the trinity doctrine.

In reality, however, both the trinity doctrine, and the “oneness doctrine” — as that term is usually used to promote the doctrine that is named as “oneness” — are but doctrines of men. The true “oneness” doctrine taught by Jesus involved Jesus’ oneness with his God and also with his followers. — John 10:30,38; 14:20; 17:10,21,22.

Related studies:

John 10:30 – The Greek Word “Hen”

John 10:30 and the Oneness of Yahweh (Jehovah) and Jesus

Thoughts on Trinity Definitions

General Comments About the Trinity Doctrine

In service of Jesus and his God,
Ronald

1 John 5:7 – Three That Bear Record

“For there are three that bear record [in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth,] the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

One scripture that is often presented to support the trinity is 1 John 5:7,8. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that the part in brackets above were never written by John, but are in interpolation. I have no doubt that John did not write the words as they appear in the King James Version and some other translations in 1 John 5:7, but these words, even as they appear in the KJV, do not say anything at all about three persons in one God, nor three aspects of God, nor three modes of God, etc. One has to add the trinitarian (or modalist) doctrine to the words and then read the doctrine into the words, even as they appear in the KJV.

Thus there is nothing at all in 1 John 5:7,8, even in the KJV, that offers any proof of the trinity, that is, three separate and distinct sentient/ominscient persons in one ominiscient being, or modalism, that is, the belief that God is one person who has revealed himself in three forms or modes (Father, Son, Spirit), all three modes being the one God.

The general presentation of what God has revealed through the holy spirit throughout scriptures is that the only true God sent Jesus, not that Jesus is the only true God who sent Jesus. The holy spirit reveals through the scriptures that Yahweh (Jehovah) is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus and that Yahweh (Jehovah) is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has one who is the Supreme Being over him; Jesus is not his Supreme Being whom he worships, prays to, and who sent him, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. — Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6:13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.

As far as 1 John 5:7 is concerned, the word “hen” — translated “one” — is neuter, and thus its application would have to be a neuter “one”. The trinitarian phrases “treis hypostaseis en mia ousia”, (“three persons in one substance”), or “mia ousia, treis hypostaseis” (“One essence in three persons”), cannot be what is being referred to, since the Greek word “ousia” is not neuter, but feminine, thus as shown in the phrases, the Greek word “mia” is used, not “hen”.

Likewise, “theos” (three in one God) is masculine and would require the Greek word heis, as appears in 1 Corinthians 8:6 as “heis theos” (one God).

Believing that God has not left us without a testimony concerning this, we seek to compare spiritual revealment with spiritual revealment. (1 Corinthians 2:10,13) We see a similar testimony in John 17:11,21,22. Here Jesus prays for the his followers to be one with him, one with his Father, and one with each other. He uses the Greek word “hen” in each usage. Jesus certainly did not pray that they be all one being or one God, which would be nonsense, but that their unity may be one in mind, heart and will. Since the oneness for which He prayed for them was not a oneness of being or oneness of nature as the Supreme Being, the oneness between Him and the Father cannot be that of being, because Jesus in John 17:11,22 prays that the oneness for which He prayed on their behalf be patterned after the oneness that exists between the Father and himself: “That they may be one as we are.” Hence the oneness between the Father and Jesus is not one of being, nor as one God, but one of mind, heart and will. Moreover Jesus defines this oneness in verse 21 as follows: “that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me [Yahweh was in Jesus by his holy spirit, (John 14:17,20) and I in thee [Jesus was in the Father (John 14:10,11,20) by accepting and keeping the Father as his head, i.e,, by his being and remaining in the consecrated attitude].

Regardless, there is nothing, even in the KJV, in 1 John 5:7 about the trinity doctrine, nor the modalist doctrine.

See also:

1 John 5:7 – Does This Speak of Three as One God?

1 John 5:7 – Biblical Oneness Vs. Trinity

John 10:30 – Jesus and His Father Are One

John 10:30 and the Oneness of Yahweh and Jesus

Trinity Not There

Christian love,

Ronald

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