Re: John 8:58

> (Exodus 3:14) At this God said to Moses: "I SHALL PROVE TO BE WHAT I SHALL
> PROVE TO BE." And he added: "This is what you are to say to the sons of
> Israel, 'I SHALL PROVE TO BE has sent me to YOU.'"
> God's reply in Hebrew was: Ehyeh' Asher' Ehyeh'. Some translations
> render this as "I AM THAT I AM." However, it is to be noted that the Hebrew
> verb hayah', from which the word Ehyeh' is drawn, does not mean simply
> "be." Rather, it means "become," or "prove to be." The reference here is not
> to God's self-existence but to what he has in mind to become toward others
> The expression at John 8:58 is quite different from the one used at Exodus
> 3:14. Jesus did not use it as a name or a title but as a means of explaining
> his prehuman existence. Hence, note how some other Bible versions render John
> 8:58:
> 1869: "From before Abraham was, I have been." The New Testament, by G. R.
> Noyes.
> 1935: "I existed before Abraham was born!" The Bible-An American Translation,
> by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed.
> 1965: "Before Abraham was born, I was already the one that I am." Das Neue
> The text in Exodus 3:14 EGO EIMI is NOT the equivalent of the EGO EIMI of
> John 8:58. It is HO ON. look it up. The Septuagint has it as EGO EIMI HO ON
> with HO ON translated as THE BEING
> I think it is a sense of fraud when I see people try to connect the two when
> comparing the Greek. I might be wrong but if anyone can clear it up please
> do..

   I'm afraid that I have to totally disagree with you.  First, 
I don't think you can fairly limit the semantic domain of 
yhwh like that.  The root can serve simply of the verb "to be", as
is apparent from several narrative passages, the Hoseph cycle for
example, where as a waw-imperfect the verb means "he was".  Second,
the LXX does says ego eimi.  When Jesus says ego eimi, in the
context, it seems clear to his listeners that he IS referring to
the ego eimi of Ex 3:14, not the ho on.  If your argument was
correct, I can't see Jesus' listeners responding as they did.  
Finally, whatever you make of the Hebrew in Ex 3:14, which 
admittedly is difficult, ego eimi  does not mean "I have been" or
anything of the sort.  The very fact that the very tendentious
New World Translation so renders it immediately casts doubt on that
as a valid translation.   I know there is some disucssion of 
verbal aspect going on these days, but the present tense still is
present I think.  If the LXX translators had understood the 
Hebrew differently, they would not have used ego eimi, but ego 
hEmEn, as would Jesus have.  That, however, is not the case.

Ken Litwak