Jesus ain’t I Am

//Jesus ain’t I Am

This is Stumper Question #22

The NWT translates the Greek words “ego eimi” as “I am” every time it appears (Jn 6:34, 6:41, 8:24, 13:19, 15:5, etc.), except in Jn 8:58 where it is translated as “I have been”. What is the reason for the inconsistency in this translation? If “ego eimi” was translated in Jn 8:58 the same way it is translated in every other verse in which it appears, how would Jn 8:58 read?


If the phrase had been translated, or more accurately – transliterated – as the questioner suggests, then the New World Translation would sound just as nonsensical as virtually every other translation. Thankfully, the New World Translation Committee has allowed common sense and good grammar to prevail.

When it comes to inconsistency Jehovah’s Witnesses should turn the tables on the Trinitarian and ask them to explain why at John 8:58 “ego eimi” is capitalized, when in virtually all the other places it appears it is not. (The original Greek did not use caps) What is the reason for capitalizing “am” when it is clearly a verb? And then ask them if “ego eimi” was expressed the same way it is in every other verse in which it appears, how would John 8:58 read? (Wait for them to reply) 

When Jehovah’s Witnesses are confronted with this issue regarding “I Am” the best  approach might be to simply have the person read John 8:58 aloud. You might have to have them read it out loud from their version of the Bible several times, just to let it sink in. But the point to drive home is that the verse, as it appears in all common versions of the Bible, is  grammatically incorrect  –it is an incomplete sentence. But surely Jesus spoke in coherent sentences.

To demonstrate the point, since Trinitarians have been led to believe that Jesus was taking to himself a title  –true, a badly mangled version of what is recorded at Exodus 3:14  –but even supposing that “ego eimi” should be translated as a title and an alternative to the name Jehovah or the title God, then simply ask them to read the verse and instead of saying “I Am” substitute the word “God” or “Lord.” It might prove to be an enlightening experience for them. Provided that the person has even an elementary knowledge of sentence construction it ought to be evident to them that the sentence makes no sense. Have fun with it. 

There is a saying that there is an exception to every rule. That is certainly the case when it comes to the expression found in the eighth chapter of John. It is true, in the original Greek the expression “ego eimi” is used at John 8:58. However, a true translation does not simply translate words. Rather, since words are used to express thoughts and thoughts may have various shades of meaning and tenses, a translator must take into consideration, at least as best as can be discerned, the question: what thought was being conveyed? And how can that thought be best translated into a particular language, given the limitations, nuance and variations of sentence structure of each language? While a particular phrase may be understood by people in their own language, that same understanding may not be conveyed by a strict word-for-word translation. 

Persons knowledgeable in the Greek language are aware of the fact that while “ego eimi” is most often properly translated as “I am,” if the action of the subject matter is in the past the phrase should be translated to reflect that. And that is certainly the case with John 8:58. Jesus was explaining that he existed  –not in the present moment, which would have been obvious anyway and completely irrelevant in the context of his conversation with the Jews  –but in the past, before Abraham was born. Keep in mind, the Jews had asked Jesus a direct question, if he had seen Abraham; who, at the time had been dead for approximately 2,000 years! 

Jesus’ response was in keeping with the fact that he repeatedly stated that he had a pre-human existence. For example, just moments before Jesus stated that he had existed before Abraham, Jesus told the Jews: “You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world.” This statement in no way implies that Jesus is God and certainly Jesus did not intend it to be understood that way. Jesus was simply stating the fact that he came down from the spirit realm to this world. 

Therefore, to properly express what Jesus obviously intended to say at John 8:58, the translator must not blindly follow the supposed dictates of a hard and fast rule. No, the exception to the rule, the overall context and common sense itself, dictates that the phrase must be translated differently in this instance.

There are any number of ways that the verse could be translated to reflect the fact that Jesus was talking about his existence before Abraham. But the expression the New World Translation has chosen – “before Abraham came into existence, I have been” – is perfectly proper.

One might naturally wonder why Bible translators are seemingly oblivious to the fact that John 8:58 is grammatically incorrect. Apparently, since there is no verse in the entire gospel where Jesus Christ claimed to be God, Trinitarian translators are driven by sheer desperation to fabricate a verse that gullible people will grasp and hold on high as irrefutable proof that Jesus is the Great I Am. And that is all the “proof” a Trinitarian needs. 

It is, of course, absurd and ridiculous. But virtually everything the churches teach is false. What’s one more lie in a mountain of lies? The irony is, Trinitarians have much more in common with the Jews who tried to stone Jesus for his claiming to have existed before Abraham than they would like to admit. 


2016-12-08T15:11:21+00:00 August 6th, 2015|Answers|11 Comments
  • Merton

    some ‘ego eimi’ references in the New Testament:

    (a few verses after John 8:58) John 9:9 (Jesus has just healed the blind man) The blind man says ‘ego eimi’. No translation I know translates it as ‘I am’ but instead it’s ‘I am he’ or ‘I am the man’. Trinitarians why the difference? Surely the man is also claiming to be God, no?

    Mark 13:6 ‘many will come claiming ‘I am he’ and will deceive many’. Why do trinitarians think there will be many false christs coming? The verse according to them says ‘many will come claiming ‘i am’ and will deceive many.’

    Matthew 26:22 (this is after Jesus had said he would be betrayed by one of the apostles) ‘Lord it is not I, is it?’ again ‘ego eimi’ Are the apostles claiming not to be God? NO!

    John 8:24 ‘I am the one’ or ‘I am he’ again all there is in the greek is ‘ego eimi’. ‘For if you do not believe that I am the one, you will die in your sins.’ Christ did not claim to be God, he claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ. That is the issue the jews had, they never ever thought Jesus was God himself.

    ‘ego eimi’ is just a super common term in greek to say ‘i am the one being talked about/i am the one you’re talking about.’ Bear in mind a lot of the trinitarians have translated the bible with bias. Why have they not translated John 8:58 like all the others i’ve mentioned? Why the difference? Because they obviously have an agenda!!

    • chas logue

      Merton, why are you not answering why the Lord Jesus said the same phrases as Jehovah ????????

  • Merton

    Remembered another one Luke 22:70

    ‘At this they all said: ‘are you, therefore, the Son of God?’ He said to them: ‘you yourselves are saying that I am.’

    right there at the end ‘ego eimi’. The answer is right there to anybody with a brain. ‘ego dimi’ is just a common greek phrase for ‘i am the one/i am he/ I’m the one you’re talking about’.

    The lengths that trinitarians will go to to promote the trinity!!

    • patri

      Thank you Merton, and Robert.
      John 8:58 translated in the New World bible, “Before Abraham was, I am” conveys, in the ‘proper sense’ that Jesus is saying that he had continued to exist uninterrupted from his creation in the beginning. . .He knew, after his baptism he had ” emptied himself” and had “come down from heaven to do, ” not my will” , but the will of Him that sent me”

  • Bklyn Kevin

    Anyone who argues in favor of the Trinity in spite of the overwhelming evidence that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus Christ is the son of GOD Is either ignorant or rebellious.
    We should teach the ignorant providing they are meek and reject the rebellious who clearly know batter yet twist the scriptures to their own demise . 2 Peter 3:16. Titus 3:9-10 .

  • chas logue

    You cannot see The Lord Jesus have the Title of I am, well how do you like I AM HE, which is shared by The God, “my Glory I will not gave to another” And The Lord Jesus.

    I AM HE Isaiah 43v10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I AM HE: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

    v13 Yea, before the day was I AM HE; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

    v25I, even I, AM HE that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

    46 v 4 And even to your old age I AM HE ; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

    48 v 12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I AM HE ; I am the first, I also am the last.

    51 v 12I, even I, AM HE that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

    52v 6Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I AM HE that doth speak: behold, it is I.

    John 4v 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee AM HE.

    8V 24I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM HE , ye shall die in your sins.

    13 V19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I AM HE .

    18V5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I AM HE . And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

    V6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I AM HE , they went backward, and fell to the ground.

    V8Jesus answered, I have told you that I AM HE: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

    This verse cannot be applied to any other than the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

    Revelation 1 18 I AM HE he that LIVETH , and was DEAD ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

    • e.v.g

      Non amen, you can get a bible study with Jehovah’s witnessess of your local area, but quickly!!!…. before it’s too late.

      • chas logue

        Sorry but a bible study is out of the question, not that I would object, I am classed by your Watchtower org as an Opposer, because of some of the scriptures that I present to them

    • Merton

      Did you know the Blind Man at John 9:9 is also part of the Godhead? Go check it out.

      John 3:28 ‘I am not the Christ’

      So replacing the divine name means John 3:28 says ‘Yahweh not the Christ’

      Trinitarians really do know how to dig themselves a deep hole.

      • chas logue

        John 9v9 your asking me to check it out can YOU NOT READ have a look at the context and if you don’t get the answer, post me and i will set you straight, here is a clue, a blind man. hope the you can SEE it.

        john 3v 28 is john the Baptist replying to those who asked the same questions in john 1

        yes there was one time I was in a deep hole(pit) but now, see Psalm 40

        • Merton

          The blind man identifies himself with the divine name ‘ego eimi’ therefore he must be part of the Godhead. I’m convinced of it.

          The irony of a trinitarian asking to check the context. A few verses before John 8:58 in 8:54 Jesus says if he glorifies himself it means nothing. Then, all of a sudden a few verses later he (apparently) glorifies himself in the highest way possible by claiming to be the God of Israel! LOL!

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