EGW EIMI and John

From: Edgar Foster (
Date: Tue Mar 24 1998 - 19:24:40 EST

Concerning EGW EIMI and the fourth Gospel, consider:

T.W. Manson has proposed that egw eimi in John 8:58 means:

"The Messiah is here." This understanding of John 8:58 is derived from
Mark 13:6 (Cf. Luke 21:8) where we read Jesus' prophecy which predicts
that in the last days, 'Many will come in Christ's name saying I am'.
Matthew 24:5 adds that many would come in Jesus' name, saying: 'I am
(egw eimi) the Messiah.' Some are inclined to reject Manson's view of
John 8:58, yet, this explanation does help us to avoid leaping to
hasty conclusions concerning the use of egw eimi. Simply put, Manson
believes that John 8:58 is saying that Jesus is the Messiah.
Furthermore, in the excellent work Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament based on Semantic Domains (Vol. 1, Sec. 13.80) Louw and Nida
suggest that John 8:58 should be translated "before Abraham came into
existence, I existed" (Louw-Nida 158).

E. Foster

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