RE: I AM / I am.....

From: Williams, Wes (
Date: Tue Mar 24 1998 - 17:27:38 EST

> What I see in the GNT (TR and NA26) for 1Cor 15:10 is "... EIMI hO
> ...". My copy of the LXX has for this passage in Exo 3:14 "EGW EIMI
> hO
> WN". Another relevant example is John 18:6, "EGW EIMI".
> I believe John 18:6 is an explicit echo of Exodus 3:14, and
> furthermore
> I think the audience in Gethsemane seems to have taken it that way.
> It's the "EGW", which is already in the verb, that marks this as
> emphatic. The New American Bible translates this statement as "I AM
> AM", and I think this and the LXX accurately reflect the Hebrew here.
Dear Charles,

We have discussed John 8:58 on the list before, but not John 18:6
specifically. As respects the link back to LXX Exodus 3:14 EGW EIMI hO
WN, we have other options available for the interpretation of EGW EIMI
at John 18:6 that do not detract from Christ's position. These
alternatives should be evaluated before settling upon one that is
theologically desirable or undesirable. One such option is a simple
statement of identification with an implied predicate "I am [he]."

John 18:6 EGW EIMI refers back to the verse 5 EGW EIMI. Jesus uttered
EGW EIMI in reply to the question TINA ZHTEITE; Contextually, could this
not also be a natural expression of identification, i.e. "I am [he]"?
Christ's exceptional courage in "going forth to them" (v.4) rather than
cowering may be all that is needed to explain why they fell back to the

That John has this style of identification is reflected in the man who
was cured of blindness at John 9:9. The man said EGW EIMI in response to
a question for identification. We would not naturally think of Exodus
3:14 here, but we would think of a statement of identification, namely,
"I am [he]" or "I am [the one]".

These are some observations as to perhaps why English translations
insert the implied predicate "he" at John 18:5, 6 and 8. The "he is also
inserted at 8:24,28,13:19 and Mark 6:50. Thus, the insertion of an
implied predicate "[he]" as a statement of identification is an
alternative to linking John 18:6 with Exodus 3:14 without detracting
from Christ's exalted status.

Wes Williams

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:16 EDT