Re: John 1:1

On Wed, 30 Nov 1994, Leroy Huizenga 1996 wrote:

> I do not believe that Jesus limits himself to being only the Son of 
> Yahweh. In John 8:58 Jesus appears to claim the name of God - Before 
> Abraham was, I am." The Greek is egw eimi - with the emphatic "I". Is 
> this not the greek equivalent to YHWH - "I Am (what I am)"?

Yes, although a person who spoke only Greek would not get the yihyeh-Yahweh 
pun and so see a proper name here.  But even more importantly, the 
address in the name of God is often performed by angels, angels of the 
LORD, etc.  That is, an angel often says "I am the LORD..." by speaking 
God's message, not by claiming to be the sender.  This is so in the 
Hebrew Bible, but even more in the NT where we learn that the law of 
Moses was given by angels, not directly by God (which is not the conclusion 
one would immediately draw from the Hebrew Bible).

Later Greek speakers kept this distinction: Eusebius sees all the 
theophanies as those of Jesus as distinct from his father, because of 
their character: "Reason would never allow that the uncreated and 
immutable substance of Almighty God should be changed into the form of a 
man, or, alternatively, that by the illusion of any created thing it 
should deceive the eyes of the beholder, or that Scripture should falsely 
invent such a tale.  Who then could be spoken of as God, and the Lord who 
is the judge of the world and does justice, appearing in human shape?  As 
it is not permissible to suggest the First Cause of the universe, there 
is only one answer - His pre-existent Word." (Ecclesiastical History 
1.2).  Eusebius then goes on to say the Burning Bush episode was a 
theophany of the son.  

Greg Jordan

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