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Yeshua in Context » Divinity of Yeshua, I Am Sayings, Identity of Yeshua » The “I Am” Sayings, Part 1

The “I Am” Sayings, Part 1

Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. –John 8:24

Raymond Brown discusses the grammar of the “I am” (ego eimi) sayings in the Fourth Gospel (see The Gospel According to John, I-XII, pp. 533-4). These sayings fall into three categories.

First, there are those with a predicate nominative. A predicate nominative is the noun which comes after the verb and which restates the subject of the sentence. So, John 6:35 is a good example, “I am the bread of life.” The phrase “bread of life” is equated with “I”. For grammar junkies, a predicate nominative is the direct object of a to be verb.

Second, there are those uses of “I am” sayings in which it is possible a predicate nominative may be understood but not expressed. So, in John 6:20, “I am, do not be afraid,” the meaning may be, “It is I, do not be afraid.”

Third, there are the most important uses in terms of understanding the statements Yeshua is making about his identity. These are the absolute uses. There is no predicate nominative. John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins,” is an example. Many translations supply the word “he,” so that it reads, “unless you believe that I am he.” Yet, even so, who is the “he”?

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Filed under: Divinity of Yeshua, I Am Sayings, Identity of Yeshua

One Response to "The “I Am” Sayings, Part 1"

  1. Sibyl says:

    Recently, I was surprised to discover that there are over 18 ‘I AM HE’ statements by God, Father and Son, throughout Scripture…including the two in John 18. Take that, ‘gender’ neutralizers!

    (I didn’t examine them all in the original languages, however.)

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