Some reference has been made to citing the work of older reference
works. Perhaps I can make a contribution of a more timely reference.
Would this very month be timely enough?
Kenneth L. McKay, who graduated with honors in Classics from the
Universities of Sydney and Cambridge, taught Greek in universities
and theological colleges in Nigeria, New Zealand, and England,
who taught at the Australian National University for 26 years,
has written numerous articles on ancient Greek syntax, as well as
authored a book on Classical Attic, Greek Grammar for Students,
and A New Syntax of the Verb in New Testament Greek: an aspectual
approach, provides the following in relation to the alleged
"true parallel between Exodus 3:14 (LXX) and John 8:58":
The verb `to be' is used differently, in what is presumably
its basic meaning of `be in existence,' in John 8:58: _prin
Abraam genesthai ego eimi, which would be most naturally
translated `I have been in existence since before Abraham
was born,' IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE *OBSESSION* WITH THE
SIMPLE WORDS `I AM.' If we take the Greek words in their
natural meaning, as we surely should, the claim to have been
in existence for so long is in itself a staggering one,
quite enough to provoke the crowd's violent reaction
. . . So the emphatic words used by Jesus in the passages
referred to above [one of which is John 8:58] are perfectly
natural in their contexts, AND THEY DO NOT ECHO THE WORDS OF
EXODUS 3:14 IN THE NORMALLY QUOTED GREEK VERSION. Thus they
are quite UNLIKELY to have been used in the New Testament to
convey that significance, however much the modern English
versions of the relevant passages, following the form of the
Hebrew words, may suggest it. (K. L. McKay, "`I am' in
John's Gospel," Expository Times (1996): 302-303)
One cannot help but think that McKay would approve of John 8:58 NWT.
Please do not interpret my emphasis of McKay's words as "shouting."