From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 12:15:43 EST

To: A K M Adam,

SCM: << ... if one is asking if the words EGW EIMI (by themselves) imply "here," the answer must be "no," there is nothing in the phrase EGW EIMI which imply "here." >>

AKMA: << The point is not whether the bare words EGW EIMI imply a specific adverb of place, "here," to indicate "some place rather than another"; the point is that the idiomatic expression "Here I am" in English serves as a sort of existential affirmation along the lines of the more formal "It is I" or "I am he" or "Yes, I exist." Do you mean to suggest that EGW EIMI can't have the force of "Here I am" in this sense (and I repeat that I'm not suggesting that this is the equivalent of EGW hWDE or EIMI hWDE or EGW EIMI hWDE)? >>

My position is that the Greek words EGW EIMI (used by themselves) merely mean "I am the one" (or something equivalent, such as "I am he" or "I am she" or "its me") and nothing more.

I'm unsure what you mean by the phrase "existential affirmation," if you are trying to suggest some sort of grand "existential affirmation" beyond the mere notion of "I am the one" (after all, isn't "I am the one" a simple existential affirmation?), then although I perhaps cannot not rule out the possibility that EGW EIMI could be used to make some grand "existential affirmation," that would depend on the context. What I do object to is the assumption that these words must be used to make some sort of grand "existential affirmation" when the context clearly allows for a much simpler interpretation.

The example which you cited in your previous message was LXX Is 6:8.

<< And I heard the Lord's voice saying: "Who will I send? And who will go to this people?" And I said: "Behold, I am he. Send me." >> (LXX Is 6:8 MOT).

There is nothing in this passage which suggests any sort of grand "existential affirmation" (this is true even if one translates it as "Here I am, send me").

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
Disclaimer: "I'm just a simple house-husband (with no post-grad degree), what do I know?"
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