Mar 2, 2011
22 Did Jesus call himself God in John 8?
Believer says: Jesus declares he is God in the Gospel of John 8.
But skeptic says: Christians may say that Jesus says so in John, which text reads as follows ...
57 Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”
What's the difference? Well, Yahweh calls himself "I Am” in Exodus . "I Am" is God's name! So "before Abraham was God (I Am)."
Of course, it only stands to reason that God existed before Abraham (the man who was the father of the Hebrew nation about 1600 BC).
Thus Jesus says God--I Am--was before Abraham was.
Further, I infer that Jesus claims that God tells him things, too. God told him that Abraham prophesied, saw Jesus' day coming ...
56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
John 8 needn’t be saying that Jesus calls himself God, knowing everything.
By the way, Christians may state that Exodus 3 says “I will be” in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, not “I am”--as if to say that Christ did not denote God's name in John 8. Yes, "I will be" is okay, too. But Jesus and his disciples often quoted lines from the Greek language version of the Old Testament, and it says “I am” in Exodus 3. Thus I say that “I am” is as legitimate as "I will be” is. They're exchangeable, that's all. So what's the sense in pressing the argument about whether "I am" or "I will be" is God's name. They really both are.
Recap: It merely looks as if Jesus declared himself to be God in the Gospel of John. Mainly, it's thanks to the insertion of the English comma.
21 Was Jesus the "mighty God” in Isaiah 9?