Re: [Fwd: Re: EGW EIMI in GJohn (was Present tence copulative verbs)]

Date: Tue Sep 01 1998 - 18:45:48 EDT

I only have a few moments right now, but I will comment further when I get

In a message dated 9/1/98 3:28:46 PM Pacific Daylight Time,

<< Isaiah 45:19 is even more interesting - as near as I can make out this
 Hebrew (and trust me, I can't), it looks as though the LXX phrase EGW EIMI
 EGW EIMI translates the Hebrew phrase ANiY YeWaH. If this is true, and I'm
 reading the Hebrew correctly, does this mean that "I, the Lord" in Hebrew
 is being translated as EGW EIMI EGW EIMI KURIOS? That might lend credence
 to the view that Jeffrey expressed.

Here is a quote from Margaret Davies, Rhetoric and Reference in the Fourth
Gospel (JSNTSup 69; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1992), 85, that might

Brown insists that the doubling of the `I am' in the Septuagint translation of
Isa. 43:25, `I, I am he who blots out your transgressions': ego eimi ego eimi
exaleiphon. . .' means that the second `I am' is a declaration of the divine
name. In other words, God declares, `I am "I am" (= divine name), who blots
out your transgressions.' Were there evidence that elsewhere `I am' is the
divine name, this would be a possible, but not a necessary reading of the
Septuagint of Isa. 43:25 (and cf. Isa. 51:12). Without such evidence, however,
Brown's suggestion is merely fanciful, an attempt to find later Catholic
christological doctrine in the Fourth Gospel. The only evidence from Scripture
which he cites in support of his case is the Septuagint of Isa. 52:6,
`Therefore my people should know my name, because I am he, who speaks (ego
eimi autos ho lalon); I am here (pareimi).' Brown interprets `my name' and `I
am' as parallel expressions which should be identified, but if `I am' is a
name in the second clause, it is impossible to translate, since a verb not a
name is required. Lindars rightly rejects Brown's argument as unconvincing
(1972: 336). He points out that if Jesus' ego eimi in 8:58 is to be understood
as a name, the statement should read `Before Abraham was, I am "I am."' It is
better, as in the case of Isa. 52:6, to allow ego eimi its verbal force."

Greg Stafford

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