Re: John 8:58 - Ex 3:14

From: John Albu (
Date: Thu Mar 13 1997 - 23:24:27 EST

On March 13, 1997 Dexter Garnier ( wrote:

> Therefore my question is: If the LXX translators were to have chosen a
> more literal rendering of (EYEH (A$ER (EYEH how would/could it have
> been represented in Greek and would it be possible ("good Greek") to
> render (EYEH (A$ER (EYEH without using the first person personal
> pronoun EGW?

The Greek verb eimi is not the proper correspondent for the Hebrew verb
hayah (or for hawah). "To be" (as copula) is not used in Hebrew, but it
is supplied by the reader, and thus eimi would be properly used to
render the understood meaning "to be" in the Hebrew text. For the Hebrew
hayah (or for hawah), the Greek verb ginomai would be the correspondent.
Thus at Exodus 3:14 the proper rendering in Greek would be genesomai ho
genesomai, "I shall become what I shall become."

It should be noted also that in the Hebrew text the pronoun ani
(corresponding in Greek to ego) is not expressed, which was possible if
the speaker wanted to do so.

Obviously, then, the rendering ego eimi ho on in LXX at Exodus 3:14 is
not the best. Clearly no connection could be made between John 8:58 and
Exodus 3:14.

John Albu

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