Christians: Why is John 8:58 used to show that Jesus is God?

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John 8:58=

King James Bible

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

New International Version

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

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15 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    AT JOHN 8:58 a number of translations, for instance The Jerusalem Bible, have Jesus saying: “Before Abraham ever was, I Am.” Was Jesus there teaching, as Trinitarians assert, that he was known by the title “I Am”? And, as they claim, does this mean that he was Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures, since the King James Version at Exodus 3:14 states: “God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM”?

    At Exodus 3:14 (KJ) the phrase “I AM” is used as a title for God to indicate that he really existed and would do what he promised. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, edited by Dr. J. H. Hertz, says of the phrase: “To the Israelites in bondage, the meaning would be, ‘Although He has not yet displayed His power towards you, He will do so; He is eternal and will certainly redeem you.’ Most moderns follow Rashi [a French Bible and Talmud commentator] in rendering [Exodus 3:14] ‘I will be what I will be.’”

    The expression at John 8:58 is quite different from the one used at Exodus 3:14. Jesus did not use it as a name or a title but as a means of explaining his prehuman existence. Hence, note how some other Bible versions render John 8:58:

    1869: “From before Abraham was, I have been.” The New Testament, by G. R. Noyes.

    1935: “I existed before Abraham was born!” The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed.

    1965: “Before Abraham was born, I was already the one that I am.” Das Neue Testament, by Jörg Zink.

    1981: “I was alive before Abraham was born!” The Simple English Bible.

    1984: “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.” New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

    Thus, the real thought of the Greek used here is that God’s created “firstborn,” Jesus, had existed long before Abraham was born.—Colossians 1:15; Proverbs 8:22, 23, 30; Revelation 3:14.

    Again, the context shows this to be the correct understanding. This time the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to “have seen Abraham” although, as they said, he was not yet 50 years old. (Verse 57) Jesus’ natural response was to tell the truth about his age. So he naturally told them that he “was alive before Abraham was born!”—The Simple English Bible.

  • Johnny
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Thank You for your your question. I am not believing some of these answers. Have these people ever really read the Bible?

    Many verses indicate that Jesus was around before the earth itself, including this one that speaks of Jesus at (Revelation 3:14) “And to the angel of the congregation in La·o·di·ce′a write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God,"

    Yes, Jesus was the first thing that God created. That certainly is before Abraham!

    And what did God say to Job about the creation of the earth in these verses?

    (Job 38:4-7) "Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth? Tell [me], if you do know understanding.  5 Who set its measurements, in case you know, Or who stretched out upon it the measuring line?  6 Into what have its socket pedestals been sunk down, Or who laid its cornerstone,  7 When the morning stars joyfully cried out together, And ALL THE SON'S OF GOD began shouting in applause?"

    Yes, not only Jesus, but all of the angelic Son's of God we're created before the earth, which is WAY before Abraham.

    To use that verse to try and prove the trinity shows a complete lack of Bible knowledge.

    Have a great day and thanks again for asking.

    Source(s): God's Word the Bible.
  • 9 years ago

    You should read with a Bible that has cross references in it. Its a good place to start anyway. That way you can read what pertains in that verse throughout scriptures.

    Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

    Ex 3:14; Isa 43:13; Joh 17:5,24; Col 1:17; Re 1:8

    All of those verses refer to the "I AM" which is what God told Moses to tell those in Egypt who sent him and by what authority he was to speak under.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    There are two reasons. First because the only way Jesus could have been before Abraham is if He is God. Clearly in this passage (see previous verses as well) Jesus is saying He saw Abraham. The second reason is the I Am statement. The name God gave Moses at the burning bush was "I Am." The first century Jews would have recognized this "I Am" statement of Jesus as a claim to being God. This is why they picked up stones to stone Him after He said this, because they knew He was claiming to be God and considered it blasphemy. If He wasn't God it would have been. Jesus makes several I Am statements in the gospels. To be more accurate, this verse shows Jesus claimed He was God. Things that show Jesus was God would be the miracles he performed and His resurrection and also when He was being Baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and God the Father said, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased" (Son of God would have been equivalent to being God). I suppose whether you believe these things happened is a matter of faith, but if they did then Jesus must have been God. Jesus also claimed to be God when He forgave people's sins. Humans can forgive for a personal offense against themselves, but only God can forgive sins. When Jesus told someone their sins were forgiven He was saying He was God.

    Hope that helps.

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  • j p
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    This scripture has to possible interpretations

    1) Jehovah existed before Abraham.

    2) I Jehovah (me Jesus The Jehovah) existed before Abraham.

    The first is simply a declaration of scriptural fact which any scripture reading Jew could hardly object to. The other is a claim to be God and unless Jesus actually is God is would be the most blasphemous thing anyone could say to a scripture reading Jewish audience.

    What was the effect of Jesus's statement, the Jews immediately decided to stone him. A very rational thing to do to someone you think guilty of blasphemy, a ridiculous reaction to someone merely stating facts of no more merit than saying "the sky is blue".

  • 9 years ago

    The author of John was privileged to have had more time to think about what Jesus said, because he did not start writing it until about sixty years after Jesus was put to death. This is why he is able to give details of the way Jesus spoke about himself -

    Something Jesus does not do much of in the other Gospels.

    John 8:58 is quoted because it is a version of the Greek translation of the Hebrew phrase found in Exodus 3:14 where Popeye the Deity man appears before Moses and says ' I Yam What I Yam'.

    This shows that Popeye is God.

  • J
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    yep I was there before Abraham, explained in my "how and why " video

    Yes it's me Jesus.....back and still eating the fruits and seeds as God ordered in Genesis, from beginning to end....

    and to prove I'm the real deal I explain (in all languages as promised) how I performed 2 miracles feeding the 5000 and the miraculous catch in my key video "the announcement". More will be revealed in due course over the next few months as the world wakes up slowly to the reality I am back. Of course some will say I am an imposter but the reality is no one will wonder how the miracles were performed anymore as my truth will be embedded in the minds of man and everyone will know it's the truth even if they deny me in their hearts. Spread the video (facebook-Jayzus Christo, twitter-@themessiahme, email etc) if you want to speed up the coming of a world free of oppression, violence, paedophilia etc it's going to happen. to doubt is normal but oppose or censor me at your peril. Those who muster faith and pass on the video shall be rewarded (although perhaps despised by many).

    Youtube thumbnail

    Love Jesus

    PS. there is no contradiction between God and science as I explain briefly and succinctly

    Youtube thumbnail

    Plus the new calendar, not so new but the easiest and most universal true celestrial calendar.

    Youtube thumbnail

    PPS. The Quran is expired.

    Youtube thumbnail

  • 9 years ago

    "I exist", I think is the literal translation. In other words, time between Jesus standing there at under 50 years old, and his existence before Abraham meant only one thing to the Jews who he was originally communicating with that particular day.

    John 8

    59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him,

    Can you see any of this?

    EDIT: I'm not under any denomination, Jesus didn't preach any.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Jesus was saying He existed before Abraham. Abraham was born thousands of years before Jesus came. Only God can exist for that long which is why it is used to show that Jesus is God.

  • 9 years ago

    Because "I Am" is God's name. The Hebrew is YHWH. In Hebrew, the phrase "I am" is never spoken; only implied. When Jesus used the phrase instead of implying it, He claimed oneness with God.

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