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The Significance of Egō Eimi (spin-off)

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  • The Significance of Egō Eimi (spin-off)

    With regard to the issue of whether there is any substance to the story that ego eimi is a reference claim to be God.
    Major points against –
    the man who was born blind and granted sight, he says “egō eimi” in response to questions about whether he was in fact the same person.
    When Jesus is asked if he is the messiah, he says “egō eimi” in response to the question.
    Either the man who had been born blind was claiming to be God, or Jesus was not claiming to be God. QED, saying “egō eimi” is not AUTOMATICALLY a claim to be God. So far, no demonstration that the objection holds true for all circumstances. Or perhaps, had they been speaking Hebrew, either might have said, (ani·aniki huw) “I am he.”

    Exodus 3:14 When Moses asked God whom he should say sent him, God replies ehyeh asher ehyeh “I am that I am:” in Koine Greek “egō eimi ho ōn.” Quite clearly egō eimi is not the name by which God is to be known in Koine Greek – unless, of course, he is identified somewhere else by that term. The Hebrew in 3:14 certainly has no relationship with the most common translation to Koine Greek of ani · aniki “I,” nor with frequent, “ani · aniki huw “I am he.”
    In all the furore between the advocates and opponents of the doctrine of the trinity. not once did any-one mention the possibility that egō eimi had clearly identified Jesus as God. Not once did this so transparent an identification meet with any recognition by any of his disciples – they continued to think he was a prophet right up to the day of his resurrection.[/indent]
    OBP (in a first attempt by anyone) has provided references that he considers show “egō eimi” to in fact be identifying God by that appellation, and therefore Jesus as God, so an examination of the claim:
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    You didn't look far enough. You're sort of right, but only incidentally. John 8:58, although it does not literally say "ego eimi ho oen" is is clearly a reference to that; "before Abraham was" is meant to evoke "ho oen".
    John 8:58 ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους・αμην αμην λεγω υμιν・πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι・εγω ειμι (Byz*)
    Jesus said to them・truly, truly I say to you・before Abraham was born・I am (have being)

    The claim: this verse can be interpreted as having an implicit “ho ōn.”
    I don’t see that anyone coming upon this verse cold would infer an implicit ho ōn, not even for a native level Koine Greek speaker. The sentence being at first sight complete in itself, the ho ōn would need to be explicitly stated. The use of eimi is correct – following the aorist “was born” the present tense eimi shows that “I am” was in effect at the same time as “was born.” Had the imperfect (én) been used, it would have been a periphrastic pluperfect, saying that being had ceased with or before the birth of Abraham.


    Further, "ego eimi" without an obvious referent, in both the OT and NT, is an indication that God is speaking (of himself); the list missed

    Is 41:8
    The Greek translates, on the first occurrence “ani YHVH” – “am” is not even in the sentence, but the referent is explicit: “I [am] YHVH.” The second occurrence translates “ani huw” (I myself / I am he).
    Is 41: 10
    εγω γαρ ειμι ο θεος – not the slightest chance that there is no referent. Translates the Hebrew ani, “I” – not even an “am” is used. If “egō eimi” identifies God, the presence of “God” in the sentence is redundant.
    Is 43:25
    εγω ειμι εγω ειμι ο εξαλειφων: Translation offers “I, even I, am he who washes … “ The referent is the one who washes. Translates Hebrew “aniki huw” (myself / he [who]). From the Hebrew "aniki aniki huw" - no "am" is present, the referent is "huw" (myself / he [who])
    Is 46:4
    translates “ani huw,” (myself / he [who]) not “’eh·yeh.” I am he … I will carry … I have made … I will bear … I will carry and deliver. Any person would be able to say the same under the right circumstances.
    There are three exceptions to this:
    Is. 47:8
    translates “ani” – “am” is not present.
    Is. 47:10
    same again.
    Zeph. 2:15
    same again
    In those cases, the phrase is placed on the lips of those who are arrogantly acting like God.
    In those cases, the grammatical subjects aren’t presenting themselves as God. “I alone am the princess, there are no other princesses,” and “I alone am the city, there are no other cities.”

    In these references, far from being a claim to be God, egō eimi is used in a way that any person might. It doesn’t even have a specific source word in Hebrew; the Koine Greek translates more than one Hebrew phrase or word. That is true also of John’s “I am” verses.

    Last edited by tabibito; 01-31-2024, 05:44 AM.
    1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
    .
    ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
    Scripture before Tradition:
    but that won't prevent others from
    taking it upon themselves to deprive you
    of the right to call yourself Christian.

    ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

  • #2
    You realize Jesus was not speaking Greek when he was speaking, right? That is just the language the NT was written/recorded it. He was speaking Aramaic.

    John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”


    When he said, "Before Abraham was, I am" He was using the name of God that God gave to Moses. It certainly was not a grammatically correct sentence, which would have been "Before Abraham was, I was" He was clearly using God's name, and the Pharisees understood and tried to stone him for blasphemy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tabibito View Post
      With regard to the issue of whether there is any substance to the story that ego eimi is a reference claim to be God.
      Major points against –
      the man who was born blind and granted sight, he says “egō eimi” in response to questions about whether he was in fact the same person.
      When Jesus is asked if he is the messiah, he says “egō eimi” in response to the question.
      Either the man who had been born blind was claiming to be God, or Jesus was not claiming to be God. QED, saying “egō eimi” is not AUTOMATICALLY a claim to be God. So far, no demonstration that the objection holds true for all circumstances. Or perhaps, had they been speaking Hebrew, either might have said, (ani·aniki huw) “I am he.”

      Exodus 3:14 When Moses asked God whom he should say sent him, God replies ehyeh asher ehyeh “I am that I am:” in Koine Greek “egō eimi ho ōn.” Quite clearly egō eimi is not the name by which God is to be known in Koine Greek – unless, of course, he is identified somewhere else by that term. The Hebrew in 3:14 certainly has no relationship with the most common translation to Koine Greek of ani · aniki “I,” nor with frequent, “ani · aniki huw “I am he.”
      In all the furore between the advocates and opponents of the doctrine of the trinity. not once did any-one mention the possibility that egō eimi had clearly identified Jesus as God. Not once did this so transparent an identification meet with any recognition by any of his disciples – they continued to think he was a prophet right up to the day of his resurrection.[/indent]
      OBP (in a first attempt by anyone) has provided references that he considers show “egō eimi” to in fact be identifying God by that appellation, and therefore Jesus as God, so an examination of the claim:
      John 8:58 ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους・αμην αμην λεγω υμιν・πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι・εγω ειμι (Byz*)
      Jesus said to them・truly, truly I say to you・before Abraham was born・I am (have being)

      The claim: this verse can be interpreted as having an implicit “ho ōn.”
      I don’t see that anyone coming upon this verse cold would infer an implicit ho ōn, not even for a native level Koine Greek speaker. The sentence being at first sight complete in itself, the ho ōn would need to be explicitly stated. The use of eimi is correct – following the aorist “was born” the present tense eimi shows that “I am” was in effect at the same time as “was born.” Had the imperfect (én) been used, it would have been a periphrastic pluperfect, saying that being had ceased with or before the birth of Abraham.
      What do you think "Before Abraham was [born]" refers to?
      The Greek translates, on the first occurrence “ani YHVH” – “am” is not even in the sentence, but the referent is explicit: “I [am] YHVH.” The second occurrence translates “ani huw” (I myself / I am he).
      Sorry, I can't transcribe my own notes correctly. Wife came home and I had to post without proofing first. Is. 41:4.
      τίς ἐνήργησε καὶ ἐποίησε ταῦτα; ἐκάλεσεν αὐτὴν ὁ καλῶν αὐτὴν ἀπὸ γενεῶν ἀρχῆς· ἐγὼ Θεὸς πρῶτος, καὶ εἰς τὰ ἐπερχόμενα ἐγώ εἰμι.
      εγω γαρ ειμι ο θεος – not the slightest chance that there is no referent. Translates the Hebrew ani, “I” – not even an “am” is used. If “egō eimi” identifies God, the presence of “God” in the sentence is redundant.
      Still can't transcribe my own notes properly. Is. 43:10.
      γίνεσθέ μοι μάρτυρες, καὶ ἐγὼ μάρτυς, λέγει Κύριος ὁ Θεός, καὶ ὁ παῖς μου, ὃν ἐξελεξάμην, ἵνα γνῶτε καὶ πιστεύσητε καὶ συνῆτε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι.

      εγω ειμι εγω ειμι ο εξαλειφων: Translation offers “I, even I, am he who washes … “ The referent is the one who washes. Translates Hebrew “aniki huw” (myself / he [who]). From the Hebrew "aniki aniki huw" - no "am" is present, the referent is "huw" (myself / he [who])
      translates “ani huw,” (myself / he [who]) not “’eh·yeh.” I am he … I will carry … I have made … I will bear … I will carry and deliver. Any person would be able to say the same under the right circumstances.

      translates “ani” – “am” is not present.
      same again.
      same again

      In those cases, the grammatical subjects aren’t presenting themselves as God. “I alone am the princess, there are no other princesses,” and “I alone am the city, there are no other cities.”

      In these references, far from being a claim to be God, egō eimi is used in a way that any person might. It doesn’t even have a specific source word in Hebrew; the Koine Greek translates more than one Hebrew phrase or word. That is true also of John’s “I am” verses.
      I'll have to take your word for the Hebrew; however, you've also satisfactorily explained that there are referents present.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        You realize Jesus was not speaking Greek when he was speaking, right? That is just the language the NT was written/recorded it. He was speaking Aramaic.
        Had Jesus been speaking Aramaic or Hebrew, he would most likely have said "I" (no verb) with the translator providing "eimi" because the verb is necessary in Koine Greek grammar.

        John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”When he said, "Before Abraham was, I am" He was using the name of God that God gave to Moses.
        When Moses asked whom he should say sent him (Exodus 3:14), God replied, “egō eimi ho ōn (I am the one [who is] being・existing), tell them ho ōn sent you." The name that God gave to Moses is ho ōn, not egō eimi.

        It certainly was not a grammatically correct sentence, which would have been "Before Abraham was, I was" He was clearly using God's name, and the Pharisees understood and tried to stone him for blasphemy.
        It is certainly a grammatically correct sentence in Koine Greek. Yes, in English "I was" would be more correct, but it would not preserve the meaning. "I have existed since before Abraham was born" would preserve the meaning, but at the sacrifice literal equivalency.
        "Was born" is present in the Byzantine Majority texts, but I have not crossed checked with the UBS5 texts.

        When Jesus said "I am" he was saying that he existed before Abraham. He was not even saying that he existed from before the creation of the cosmos.
        1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
        .
        ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
        Scripture before Tradition:
        but that won't prevent others from
        taking it upon themselves to deprive you
        of the right to call yourself Christian.

        ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
          You realize Jesus was not speaking Greek when he was speaking, right? That is just the language the NT was written/recorded it. He was speaking Aramaic.

          John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”


          When he said, "Before Abraham was, I am" He was using the name of God that God gave to Moses. It certainly was not a grammatically correct sentence, which would have been "Before Abraham was, I was" He was clearly using God's name, and the Pharisees understood and tried to stone him for blasphemy.
          And, again, His original audience took up stones to kill Him because they knew exactly what He was saying.

          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
            What do you think "Before Abraham was [born]" refers to?
            The preceding conversation provides some of the context, the rest is provided by what the THE messiah was expected to be according to Jewish thinking (what I or anyone else thinks is not relevant to what Jesus' audience thought). There was no expectation that the messiah would be God, but among the various concepts floating around was the idea that he would be Metatron, highest of the archangels, transformed to become human. One of the apocryphal books has the detail.

            Sorry, I can't transcribe my own notes correctly. Wife came home and I had to post without proofing first. Is. 41:4.
            τίς ἐνήργησε καὶ ἐποίησε ταῦτα; ἐκάλεσεν αὐτὴν ὁ καλῶν αὐτὴν ἀπὸ γενεῶν ἀρχῆς· ἐγὼ Θεὸς πρῶτος, καὶ εἰς τὰ ἐπερχόμενα ἐγώ εἰμι.




            Still can't transcribe my own notes properly. Is. 43:10.
            γίνεσθέ μοι μάρτυρες, καὶ ἐγὼ μάρτυς, λέγει Κύριος ὁ Θεός, καὶ ὁ παῖς μου, ὃν ἐξελεξάμην, ἵνα γνῶτε καὶ πιστεύσητε καὶ συνῆτε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι.
            In both cases, ἐγώ εἰμι is translated from ani huw (I am he), the prior referent being YHVH, translated as Θεὸς.

            I do believe that the "transcribing notes" problem might be my error - in the multiple edits to my reply before posting (screeds of grammar explanations, mostly), I seem to have culled more than I should have.


            1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
            .
            ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
            Scripture before Tradition:
            but that won't prevent others from
            taking it upon themselves to deprive you
            of the right to call yourself Christian.

            ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

              And, again, His original audience took up stones to kill Him because they knew exactly what He was saying.
              Though none of his disciples had any idea that the statement was an explicit claim to be God, the Pharisees did understand him correctly? Or maybe it was a deliberate misunderstanding?
              Last edited by tabibito; 01-31-2024, 01:10 PM.
              1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
              .
              ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
              Scripture before Tradition:
              but that won't prevent others from
              taking it upon themselves to deprive you
              of the right to call yourself Christian.

              ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                But none of his disciples had any idea that the statement was an explicit claim to be God.
                His disciples didn't understand a lot of things until after the Cross and/or Resurrection.
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                  His disciples didn't understand a lot of things until after the Cross and/or Resurrection.
                  The disciples had a better appreciation of what Jesus said than had the Pharisees. If the claim was so readily transparent to the Pharisees, the disciples would have had no difficulty understanding it. The pharisees were seeking occasion against him - so a deliberate misunderstanding is very much on the cards.

                  However, there was no opinion expressed that Jesus had called himself God related in John 8:58 or in the near context.
                  Last edited by tabibito; 01-31-2024, 01:21 PM.
                  1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                  .
                  ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
                  Scripture before Tradition:
                  but that won't prevent others from
                  taking it upon themselves to deprive you
                  of the right to call yourself Christian.

                  ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                    The disciples had a better appreciation of what Jesus said than had the Pharisees. If the claim was so readily transparent to the Pharisees, the disciples would have had no difficulty understanding it. The pharisees were seeking occasion against him - so a deliberate misunderstanding is very much on the cards.

                    However, there was no opinion expressed that Jesus had called himself God related in John 8:58 or in the near context.
                    You need to believe that because of your strange idea of Kenosis.

                    So above it seemed you think that Jesus WAS saying that he existed before Abraham, correct? But not calling himself God.

                    If Jesus was merely a man at the point of him making that statement, who actually existed before Abraham? Jesus the man sure didn't. The Son did. So it was Jesus speaking as the Son when he said it, which still tanks your kenosis idea from what I understand of it.

                    And the Son is God, so why do you have a problem with it being Jesus making the claim that he is God?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post

                      You need to believe that because of your strange idea of Kenosis.
                      The idea that God is the person rather than the office leads to the conclusion that the person cannot stop being God. The person is YHVH, who holds the office of God.

                      So above it seemed you think that Jesus WAS saying that he existed before Abraham, correct? But not calling himself God.
                      Correct - in the opinion of his audience, he claimed to be the messiah, which also according to their thinking would have to fit with one of their expectations of who the messiah might be. The claim to have existed before the time of Abraham would fit with the possibility that the messiah would be Metatron, transformed to become human. It would not fit with an idea that the messiah would be God himself: that idea was not among the list of the expectations of the Jews.

                      If Jesus was merely a man at the point of him making that statement, who actually existed before Abraham? Jesus the man sure didn't. The Son did. So it was Jesus speaking as the Son when he said it, which still tanks your kenosis idea from what I understand of it.
                      He continues to be Logos, one of the three persons of the trinity. He abdicated the office of God.

                      And the Son is God, so why do you have a problem with it being Jesus making the claim that he is God?
                      The problem is that the scriptures say that he was a man attested by God through the miracles that God performed through him. The problem is not with Jesus making the claim, but that he never did. The idea that he remained God denies that he became human - lesser than the angels.

                      1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                      .
                      ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
                      Scripture before Tradition:
                      but that won't prevent others from
                      taking it upon themselves to deprive you
                      of the right to call yourself Christian.

                      ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                        The idea that God is the person rather than the office leads to the conclusion that the person cannot stop being God. The person is YHVH, who holds the office of God.



                        Correct - in the opinion of his audience, he claimed to be the messiah, which also according to their thinking would have to fit with one of their expectations of who the messiah might be. The claim to have existed before the time of Abraham would fit with the possibility that the messiah would be Metatron, transformed to become human. It would not fit with an idea that the messiah would be God himself: that idea was not among the list of the expectations of the Jews.



                        He continues to be Logos, one of the three persons of the trinity. He abdicated the office of God.



                        The problem is that the scriptures say that he was a man attested by God through the miracles that God performed through him. The problem is not with Jesus making the claim, but that he never did. The idea that he remained God denies that he became human - lesser than the angels.

                        "God" is more than an office, like President. God is an essence, the divine nature. That is how Jesus could have two natures: Human and Divine. Otherwise you could just pop in anyone to fulfill the office of God, which sounds more like our buddy Larry's idea of the Trinity.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                          The disciples had a better appreciation of what Jesus said than had the Pharisees.
                          Why, because fishermen and tax collectors knew the Texts better than the Religious leaders?
                          During their training, there were often things Jesus said and did that His own disciples didn't understand.

                          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                            Why, because fishermen and tax collectors knew the Texts better than the Religious leaders?
                            During their training, there were often things Jesus said and did that His own disciples didn't understand.
                            Iyi see.

                            When Jesus used egoe eimi, the very common term having at least two different equivalents in Hebrew or Aramaic, it took on a special significance and became an indirect reference to himself as ho oen. When anyone else used the term, they were referring to themselves in a very ordinary way. Only the religious leaders could discern the difference.
                            Last edited by tabibito; 01-31-2024, 05:38 PM.
                            1Cor 15:34 Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                            .
                            ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛
                            Scripture before Tradition:
                            but that won't prevent others from
                            taking it upon themselves to deprive you
                            of the right to call yourself Christian.

                            ⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛⊛

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                              When Moses asked whom he should say sent him (Exodus 3:14), God replied, “egō eimi ho ōn (I am the one [who is] being・existing), tell them ho ōn sent you." The name that God gave to Moses is ho ōn, not egō eimi.
                              I am having reservations on getting involved. Moses wrote in Hebrew and you quote him as such: " God replies ehyeh asher ehyeh “I am that I am: "

                              Why turn to Greek to pick apart meanings? As that is a translation, is it not subject to possible inaccuracies from men?

                              Comment

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