From: Alan Repurk (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Aug 21 1996 - 14:14:17 EDT
Ron Henzel wrote:
> Alan Repurk wrote:
> > Ron,
> > It is my understanding that the posters on this thread have
> > examined the relationship between John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14
> > and have concluded that no relationship exists.
> I acknowledge that you are not alone in this conclusion
Yes, other scholars share this opinion, in fact I believe the
tide has changed away from the 'traditional' viewpoint now
that advances have been made in the understanding of the original
languages. However I am more interested an analysis of the actual
Greek than measuring the tide of shifting opinions.
> > Exodus 3:14 contains an obvious predicate (HO WN) and therefore
> > cannot point to an identity.
I have taken the liberty of deleting quotes from scholars which do
not address the specific issue of how the Greek 'E)GW\ E)IMI/' in
John 8:58 relates to the 'E)GW/ EI)MI' in Exodus 3:14 (LXX).
[ commentator opinion deleted ]
[ commentator opinion deleted ]
> > Also, as already posted, some other
> > translations of the LXX use "EGO ESOMAI" (I will be) to reflect the
> > Hebrew grammar and not "EGO EIMI."
> I'm sorry, I must not have read those messages very thoroughly. Were
> they saying that an alternative LXX translation of Exodus 3:14
> exists, and that this alternative translation renders the Hebrew
> <ehyeh asher ehyeh> as <ego esomai>? If so, I had no idea that such
> an "alternative LXX" existed. What exactly do you mean when you say
> "other translations of the LXX?"
I think it was Theodotion's LXX was the one being refered to in a
previous post. I plan on getting a copy from the local seminary
library and if you are interested I will email you with the details.
In the mean time please see ESOMAI below in the reference you
provided from Exodus 3:12.
> > So what is your mechanism for linking John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14 ?
> According to both Tasker and Morris, the <ego eimi> of John 8:58 was
> basically the same form as the LXX of Exodus 3:14. Apparently the
> absence of the predicate in John 8:58 did not bother them. It
> doesn't bother me either.
Once again we have an opinion quoted with no direct explanation.
I have not deleted it because it does bother *me*.
KAI\ EI)=PEN O( QEO\S PRO\S MWUSH=N
And God said to Moses
E)GW/ EI)MI O( W)/N
I am 'The Being'
KAI\ EI)=PEN OU(/TWS E)REI=S TOI=S UI(OI=S ISRAHL
And he said this is what you are to say to the sons of Israel
O( W)\N A)PE/STALKE/N ME PRO\S U(MA=S
'The Being' has sent me to you.
Please notice that in the LXX that he was to tell the sons of
Israel that he was 'The Being' not 'I AM'. I cannot simply
ignore this no matter how many commentators disagree with me.
I am on this list to learn Greek and I need to know .....
> One issue that hasn't been addressed is that of the language(s)
> spoken by Jesus. If Jesus was speaking Aramaic, more emphasis should
> be placed on how John translated Jesus's words into Greek.
> This would also shed some light on why the <ego eimi> of John 8:58
> appears to be a truncated form of the <ego eimi ho wn> of LXX Exodus
> 3:14. The <ho wn> portion, as Morris pointed out earlier, reflected
> the difficulty of rendering the Hebrew into the Greek.
What exactly are you proposing here ? Is the mechanism that
we are to compare 'E)GW\ E)IMI/' to either Hebrew, Aramaic or
Greek or to Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek ?
> The English translation of the Septuagint is roughly "I am the being"
> (per the Bagster edition of the English-Greek LXX). In light of the
> context, it is highly questionable as to whether "I am the being" is
> what God was trying to say to Moses in this account. Although John
> I. Durham notes, "The answer Moses receives is not, by any stretch of
> the imagination, a name," [Word Commentary on Exodus, 1987, p. 38.],
> that doesn't necessarily mean it was therefore a metaphysical
> statement of some sort.
Does your proposed mechanism to relate John 8:58 to Exodus rely on
a semantic relationship or a pragmatic one ?
> Moses had been questioning God as to why he was the appropriate man
> to go back to Egypt and lead Israel out (Ex. 3:11). In Exodus 3:12
> God responded, "I am with you," which is essentially the same "I
> am" statement as found in Exodus 3:14, and *could* be rendered "I am
> with you."
> Therefore, "I am who I am" of Exodus 3:14 could be interpreted as an
> expression of divine impatience. God essentially cuts Moses' line of
> questioning off, saying, "Look, Moses! Whatever you need, I am!"
> Now: does such a line of reasoning preclude the notion of
> timelessness in the original Hebrew? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Durham
> seems to think that timelessness was also included in the basic
> thought: "The repetition of these 'I AM' verbs, as awkward as it may
> appear, is entirely intentional." [op. cit., p. 39].
This looks to me that God said 'I will be with you' , ESOMAI,
not 'E)GW\ E)IMI/'
Ex 3:12 EIPEN DE O QEOJ MWUSEI LEGWN OTI ESOMAI META SOU KAI TOUTO
SOI TO SHMEION OTI EGW SE ECAPOSTELLW EN TW ECAGAGEIN SE TON LAON MOU
EC AIGUPTOU KAI LATREUSETE TW QEW EN TW OREI TOUTW (LXX)
You made such a strong statement to the effect that EVERYONE
believes that John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14 are parallel uses of
'I AM', yet I find it interesting that your sources qualify
their statements with words like 'could be' and 'awkward'.
Awkward indeed !
> But the issue of whether or not "I am" was an expression of
> timelessness in Exodus 3:14 is a secondary matter. The real issue is
> whether it is directly quoted in John 8:58. My personal opinion is
> that the "mechanism" you request is one of either two things:
> 1. Jesus, speaking in Greek to the Pharisees, supplied His own more
> accurate translation of the Hebrew <ehyeh>, which was still close
> enough to the LXX to be recognizable; or,
You don't think John quoted Jesus exactly if he was speaking in
> 2. Jesus, speaking in Aramaic to the Pharisees, supplied an
> unmistakable reference to Exodus 3:14 in Aramaic, which John
> translated into Greek in such a way as to bring out both the
> sense of the Aramaic, and Jesus's intended reference to the
> "I am who I am" of Exodus 3:14.
Are you making this comparison based upon speculation of
what eye witnesses to the conversation might have heard Jesus say
or on comparing the Greek of John 8:58 with the Greek of the LXX
in Exodus 4:14 ?
I am sorry, but I do not think you really answered my question.
1. You have quoted commentators who agree with your opinion, but have
not provided their arguments in the ancient languages so that I
can understand their positions.
2. You have aluded to a possible comparison on pragmatic grounds
(i.e. the meaning behind the words as oposed to the interpretation
of the semantic forms)
3. You have not commited yourself as to whether the comparison
is to be made between Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek either in written
or spoken form.
You may have covered all the bases, but you did not answer my
question. If it is your intention to state unequivocally that
there is a definite one to one relationship between Exodus 3:14
and John 8:58 you should be able to commit yourself to one
Also, there is one big difference between the 'E)GW\ E)IMI/' in
John 8:58 and Exodus 3:14 'E)GW/ EI)MI' These do not have the
same emphasis. [ '\' is grave and '/' is acute ]
-lars (i AM a Unix Geek, learning Greek)
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