Re: John 8:58 - Ex. 3:14

From: Jim Lindemann (
Date: Wed Mar 12 1997 - 07:30:38 EST

A thought on this thread (although I have not checked out the full
previous thread on the "I AM" debate).

God gave to Moses the "Name" "I AM" --
yet the Israelites' Name for God "YAHWEH" is "HE IS"
  (if I understand it correctly)

The interesting thing about it is that this is not "Name" as we
normally think about it -- names are usually static words that don't
change based upon who is speaking. More than a static ID tag, it
seems that the "Name" of God reflects more an active concept. This is
something totally foreign to human thinking (at least in the
OTestament, not even Israel treated any other name that way), which
then may present its difficulties in regard to the "I AM" of John.
I'm not here opting for any particular conclusion, just suggesting
that this is an element that must enter the consideration of the

Also I am a little troubled by Carl Conrad's reference to the idea
that this similar to the magic invocations of "names" in the thread
RE: John 3:18. Here my theology leaks out again (but Carl opened
that door ;-) ), but just because Satan can counterfeit a reality,
the reality cannot be defined by the counterfeit.

I confess that there are many things I do not understand about my
religion. For instance, when Jesus says where two or three are
gathered in His Name, He is in the midst of them -- how is this any
different than when He is with us normally? or when He says (in the
same place) that if any two agree on any one matter He will "give"
it -- isn't He listening at any other times? What's so special about
this particular instance?

The same goes for "placing the Name" upon the People of God, as Moses
was instructed, or by the use of the "Name" in many NT locations.
Just how does the presence of the "Name" indicate a greater
involvement of the Lord in the affairs of men (whoops, "people") and
the Church? I don't know, but I hesitate to immediately look to
magic for clues or even for a valid comparison.

In addition, was the late Jewish avoidance of using the Name so as to
not misuse it based on a sense of magic or on a sense of the power of
the word (which is reflected in John's LOGOS)?

Carl, if I misunderstood your reference, please forgive me.
As always, there is a garbage can (refuse cantainer, recyling bin,
dust bin) by the door.....

Jim Lindemann
Jim Lindemann
Box 964 Pincher Creek Alberta CANADA T0K 1W0
God even uses the mouth of a jackass (Numbers 22) --
BUT there IS a difference between braying and praying! (Luke 18)

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