What about the term, “I AM?”

What about the term, “I AM?”

Misconceptions (“I AM”):

John 8:58 is often translated with the end as: “I AM.” This in an ill-attempt to try to show that Jesus is the Almighty God. In Exodus 3:14-15, many translations use “I AM,” in reference to Yahweh. But are any of these thoughts correct? Keep in mind that Jesus was answering his critics, the Pharisees, about that he existed before Abraham. This was not a discussion concerning his identity, such as found at John 10:24.

John 8:58 (WEB);

58 Jesus said to them, “Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM.[a]” The footnote shows that the end can be translated as “I am.”

John 8:58 (TPT);

58 Jesus said to them, “I give you this eternal truth: I have existed long before Abraham was born, for I AM!”[a]  Footnotes: Proper English grammar would be, “Before Abraham was born, I Was.” 

John 8:58 (The Emphatic Diaglott);

JESUS said to them, “Indeed, I assure you, Before Abraham was born, I am he.

Exodus 3:14-15 (WEB);

14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 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.

By using some of the oldest sources, we can easily come to a better understanding of this.

The Greek Septuagint has it’s beginning almost 1000 years earlier than the MS (Masoretic) text. The MS is the basis for the majority of English Translations. The Sahidic Coptic translations are about 700 years older than the MS.

John 8:58 (Sahidic Coptic);

“Before Abraham comes into existence, I (am) in existence.” – Sahidic Coptic

“Before Abraham was, I have been.” — Sinaitic Palimpsest

“Before ever Abraham came to be, I was.” — Curetonian Version

“Before Abraham existed, I was.” — Peshitta Version

“Before Abraham was born, I was.” — George M. Lamsa’s English version

Exodus 3:14 (NETS);

And God said to Moses, “I am The One Who Is.” And he said, “Thus shall you say to the sons of Israel, ‘The One Who Is has sent me to you.’ “

Exodus 3:14 (Septuagint by Brenton);

And god spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you.

Exodus 3:14 (TORAH);

God said to Moses, “Ehyeh asher ehyeh (I will be what I will be),” and He said, “So shall you say to the children of Israel, ‘Ehyeh (I will be) has sent me to you.'”

Simply put, the translators that attempt to put the two passages together are misconstruing things to fit their teachings. They seek man’s guidance, not the Almighty’s.

Someone, talking to a trinitarian, could bring out that the apostle Paul stated at 1 Cor. 15:10, “I am what I am.” They could claim that if Christ is calling himself God by saying, “I am” what about Paul? Of course the trinitarian would boldly say that Paul was talking about himself, what Paul does. That’s the point. Back in Exodus 3:14-15, Yahweh was talking about himself. The term “I am” denotes a reputation perceived or to be perceived. It is not the spelling of the literal name.

A name denotes reputation not just spelling

Just as a famous sports star has a literal name, their reputation is what they are famous for.