On Meherallys entry page and in this article, Meherally makes the following claim:
In-depth examination of the most often quoted verses John 8: 58 and 8: 24.
Did Jesus say, "I Am (God)" or "I Am (Messiah)"? Did the God of Moses say:
"I Am" or "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" in Hebrew, meaning" I AM THAT I AM"?
The Hebrew text of Exodus 3: 14 confirms that the phrase spoken by the God
of Moses was "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" meaning; "I AM THAT I AM".
IF, Jesus indeed wanted to convey to his disciples that he was the same
"God of Moses" he would have repeated that entire phrase.
We have already addressed Meherallys original article in this rebuttal.
However, Meherally keeps changing and adding to his arguments. In this article we will address the above quoted new claim regarding Exodus 3:14 and begin by quoting the part that Meherally conveniently left out:
"God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: "I AM (Ehyeh) has sent me to you."" Exodus 3:14
Meherally forgot to inform his readers that God didnt just use Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, but also used Ehyeh to identify himself.
Another time where the word Ehyeh by itself is used of God is in Psalm 50:21:
"When you do these things should I be silent? Or do you think that I AM (Ehyeh) like you? I accuse you, I lay the charge before you." NAB
Hence, Meherallys claim that Jesus would have repeated the entire phrase if he was claiming to be God is simply erroneous.
Yet, there may be some truth to Meherallys claim. Many scholars believe that Jesus I AM statements are not a direct allusion to the Exodus 3:14 passage. Rather, Jesus I AM statements are more in line with the I AM statements found in Deuteronomy 32:39 and throughout Isaiah, something already fully documented in the following article:
Here, we would like to simply summarize the data by looking at a few passages:
Behold, behold that I AM he (ego eimi), and there is no god beside me: I kill, and I will make alive: I will smite, and I will heal; and there is none who shall deliver out of my hands. Deuteronomy 32:39 LXX
All the nations are gathered together, and princes shall be gathered out of them: who will declare these things? Or who will declare to you things from the beginning? Let them bring forth their witnesses, and be justified; and let them hear, and declare the truth. Be ye my witnesses, and I too am a witness, saith the Lord God, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know, and believe (hina gnote kai pisteuseete), and understand that I AM he (ego eimi): before me there was no other God, and after me there shall be none. I am God; and beside me there is no Savior. I have declared and have said; I have reproached, and there was no strange god among you: ye are my witnesses that I am the Lord God, even from the beginning; and there is none that can deliver out of my hands: I will work, and who shall turn it back? Isaiah 43:9-13 LXX
I, even I, am he (ego eimi ego eimi - I AM I AM) that blots out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and thy sins; I will not remember them. Isaiah 43:25 LXX
Yahweh as the I AM gives life, puts to death, foretells the future, has sovereign power to prevent anyone from delivering out of his hand, and blots out sins.
Let us contrast this with the claims of Jesus:
"And He said to them, You are from beneath; I AM FROM ABOVE. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM He (ego eimi), you will die in your sins." John 8:23-24
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they shall never perish; NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." John 10:27-30
"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I AM (hina hotan geneetai pisteuseete ego eimi)." John 13:19
Christ claims to be the I AM who is from above. Being the I AM, Christ can give eternal life, preserve believers from perishing, has sovereign power to prevent anyone from snatching any true believer out of his hand, and foretells the future. Christ can also choose to forgive or not to forgive sins, depending on whether a person accepts or rejects his claim of being the I AM. This identifies Christ as the very I AM of Isaiah 43:25 who blots out sins for his own sake.
We see that Jesus I AM statements clearly identify him as Yahweh God, which in turn identify him with the I AM of Exodus 3:14! This is further substantiated by the fact that the One speaking as the Ehyeh in Exodus 3:14 is the Angel of Yahweh/God. The following articles provide the biblical evidence showing that this Angel is none other than our preincarnate Lord Jesus Christ:
This concludes our rebuttal. In the service of our great God and eternal life, the risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, forever and ever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus, come. We love truly you, our blessed King.
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