Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Does "I Am" always refer to God in the Gospel of John?

It is commonly claimed that when Jesus used the phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι, ego eimi), he was making a
direct reference to the name of God in the Old Testament, YHWH. There is some truth to this, but I want to suggest three important caveats to this claim:
  1. “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι), by itself, is not a code for the name of God;
  2. “I am” is only intended to refer to deity in some of Jesus’ sayings;
  3. Paying too much attention to the “I am” part of the sentence distracts readers from paying attention to the rest of the sentence.
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