If you are a Christian and you think that Jesus was God then you should read this short excerpt from my book… Don’t be afraid to read the truth about this particular passage where Christians think that Jesus was revealing that he was God himself.
The “Great I ain’t”
Some Christians teach that Jesus declared himself to be God by using God’s name. This is not true. Jesus does use a Greek phrase in the following passage that is believed to be used in the Greek translation of the Torah. Let’s examine it.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Here, Jesus uses the Greek words, “ego eimi” in what Christians believe is Jesus uttering the Sacred Name of The Almighty. They believe that he is saying that He is God Almighty. They believe this, because in the Septuagint, this is how the Greek translators translated a name God used to refer to Himself in Exodus chapter 3. This is the verse.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14)
Most Christians don’t read or study Greek. Most that do are only concerned with the New Testament and have never had a Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) in their hands.
As a serious student of the Bible, I own a Zondervan edition Septuagint. Keep in mind, this is a Christian Translation. When I first looked at Exodus 3:14, I was surprised to learn that the sacred name, which actually is expressed as yud-heh-vav-heh in Hebrew Letters, or YHVH in English, does not appear in this verse. The second oddity is that the translators rendered the Hebrew expression, ehyeh asher ehyeh or “I AM THAT I AM” as “ego eimi ho On” not simply “ego eimi.” The Septuagint Greek in Exodus 3:14 translates to I am the Being not simply I am. This Greek rendering does not fully disclose what God said to Moses in Hebrew.
This ego eimi ho On or I am The Being is not to be found in Jesus’ words anywhere in the New Testament. As a matter of fact, ego eimi is used 48 times in the New Testament and not always by Jesus. Judas Iscariot uses the phrase when he asks if he is the traitor in Matthew 26:25. Likewise, Peter uses the same phrase in Acts 10:21. I seriously doubt that any christian would think Judas or Peter were trying to say that they were the Great I Am.
Christians believe that Jesus used this phrase, “ego eimi,” in an attempt to indicate that he was God. Most don’t realize that Jesus did not speak Greek. The New Testament writers who wrote in Greek failed to communicate how they understood Jesus’ words. It is clear to me that they didn’t understand the Hebrew in the Exodus passage either. To put it simply, the author of this New Testament Gospel has made a mess of this entire situation.
Please understand that it is only John that attempts to address the issue of Jesus declaring that he is God, the other gospel writers simply don’t.
Let’s get down and dirty about the subject of Jesus saying that he was the Eternal Being, The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac and The God of Jacob. He did not say he was God. If he had, he would have said something entirely different in Greek.
When we revisit the moment when Moses stood before the burning bush, we read about God saying particular specific words to Moses1. Although, the writers of the Greek Septuagint record that God said, “ego eimi ho On” or “I am The Being” to Moses, that is not what he actually said if his words had been properly translated to Greek. This is either another attempt at the “reverse engineering” of the Hebrew Scriptures, or perhaps the Christians that penned the Septuagint could not properly read the Hebrew of Exodus chapter 3.
Let me explain. What the Almighty said to Moses was in the Hebrew language and also used a different verb tense. He said to Moses in Hebrew, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, which cannot possibly be translated, I am that I am or I am who I am. This phrase must be (and I repeat must be) translated, I will be who I will Be. Jesus did not say, “before Abraham was, I will be.” Jesus mistakenly used the first person present tense, but God, when speaking to Moses, used the first person future tense. Even, what the King James Version records that God told Moses, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you,” is incorrect. When God told Moses to tell them who had sent him, He repeated the same word, “Ehyeh” or “I WILL BE.”
The translators of the King James and the Christian Septuagint are forced to use the present tense, not because the Hebrew Bible does but because either Jesus misspoke or the writer of the gospel of John made a mistake. Either Jesus or John did not know how to read the Hebrew of Exodus chapter 3. If they had been able to read the Hebrew, they would have rendered the verb correctly but they did not. This resulted in the confusing mishmash of statements. If Jesus were the Eternal Being then he would have been at the burning bush and would have known what was said there.
When your pastor preaches on the “I AM” statements of Jesus and tries to steer you into the belief that Jesus was saying that he was God, remember the clear translation of Exodus three’s Hebrew Text, “I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE.”
In reality, Jesus was not trying to say that he was the Almighty here or anywhere else in the New Testament. These attempts are probably the invention of the authors. If he was the Almighty, and he was trying to announce who he was, then he would have done so in a way to remove all doubt. That is not what we see in the New Testament. The only thing we see is innuendo, circumlocution and confusion from Jesus.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was not afraid to assert that He was the Creator. He was not shy and openly admitted that there was none greater than Him. He was not inhibited. His character doesn’t change. God appeared to the entire Nation of Israel at one time. I surmise that Jesus, on the other hand, did not succeed, if he ever actually made an effort, to convince anyone that he was God. Jesus warns his disciples not to tell others that he is the Messiah. If he were God, why would he care? No one could possibly defeat his plan, could they?
The final word is that if Jesus were on trial being accused of being God there wouldn’t be enough evidence for a conviction.
My book is available here… http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/98741
Don’t be deceived by the writers of the New Testament. Check out what God has already said in His Tanach to see what Matthew, Mark , Luke, James, John, Paul, Peter and the other authors of the New Testament did to twist the Scriptures and concepts to lead you down the path to destruction…