John 8:58 – Was Jesus Saying that He is Ehjeh of Exodus 3:14?

A common argument is often made that in John 8:58, Jesus declared himself to be EHJEH of Exodus 3:14.  It is thereby declared that Jesus is Yahweh; from that many further imagine and assume that this means that Jesus is a person of Yahweh? Is this true?

We should first note that in Exodus 3:14, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob responds EHJEH ASHER EHYEH is response to Moses’ question regarding His name. In this regard, John Gills states regarding Exodus 3:14, “This is the name Ehjeh, or Jehovah, Moses is empowered to make use of, and to declare, as the name of the Great God by whom he was sent; and which might serve both to encourage him, and strengthen the faith of the Israelites, that they should be delivered by him.” Ehjeh and Jehovah are simply two different forms of the same name.

However, was Jesus speaking of his name in John 8:58? Actually, no, Jesus was not at all speaking of his name in John 8:58; Jesus was declaring his existence before Abraham. The Jewish leaders did not ask Jesus for his name, but rather they questioned him regarding his age. If Jesus had been claiming to be EHJEH of Exodus 3:14,15, then this would have meant that Jesus is the one who spoke to and through Moses, and further, since Peter says that it was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who raised Jesus up as the prophet like Moses, and, as foretold, that the prophet like Moses would speak the words of Yahweh in the name of Yahweh, then Jesus, when he said he spoke the words of his Father, was proclaiming himself to be his Father. Likewise, the words in Hebrews 1:1,2 would mean that Jesus is the God who spoke through the prophets, and thus therefore Jesus is the one who speaks through the son of Jesus, who is Jesus. Unlike “oneness” believers, most trinitarians believe that Jesus is not the Father, although neither the oneness dogma nor the trinitarian dogma may be found in the Bible.

Some point to the LXX (the Greek Septuagint), and claim that Jesus was quoting from that Greek translation when he spoke the words of John 8:58. Actually, however, if he had quoted the Greek Septuagint, the short form of EHJEH is rendered as HO OHN (transliterated into English) in the translation; it is not rendered as EGO EIMI. We will not get into details on this here as we have discussed this in greater detail elsewhere. Below are some links related to this:

John 8:58 – EGO EIMI = Eternal?

John 8:58 – Did Jesus Use the Holy Name?

I am

Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament

Is Jesus the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

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