Two reactions to "I AM" in the Gospel


it might be secondary, or very deep, but did you ever consider the difference of reaction between the Pharisees and the guards arresting Jesus on “Ego eimi”?

John 8
58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

John 18
4 Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”[d] He said to them, “I AM.” Judas his betrayer was also with them. 6 When he said to them, “I AM,” they turned away and fell to the ground.

And there would be the reaction of Peter on the boat, too. What are you thoughts, or arguments, or infos? :slight_smile:

Thank you


What exactly are you looking for?



Why these two very different reactions to the very same NAME OF GOD. Is there any deep meaning, or it was just practical for Jesus to prevent the Pharisees to feel the NAME, or something? If you ave any explanation, i appreciate.


The reaction is attributable to faith. Peter had it, the Pharisees did not.


Yes, but i omitted Peter for that reason :smiley: Just, the Pharisees didn’t fell on the ground or were afraid, but were mad, where the guards were struck to the ground and might have been confused by this.


First of all, who were the Guards? The text isn’t specific but I guess they were temple guards, that is Jews, and not Roman guards. To say He was the I Am is the same as saying He was God. To the Pharisees this was blasphemy of the highest order, so of course they wanted to kill Him. But the Jewish guards must have believed Jesus was God even before that night. In OT times it was customary to prostrate yourself when an even an angel appeared to you. So that’s what the guards were doing. They fell down ie. prostrated themselves because they believed Jesus was indeed God.

Does this help.


[quote=Geo17;12396351But the Jewish guards must have believed Jesus was God even before that night. In OT times it was customary to prostrate yourself when an even an angel appeared to you. So that’s what the guards were doing. They fell down ie. prostrated themselves because they believed Jesus was indeed God.

I don’t think I can agree. It could be as you say, but it is not sure.
And it doesn’t explain why the guards do not turn against the orders received and protect their God. They maybe didn’t know about the plan of Salvation.
Even if they believed in Jesus, they would not prostrate now that they have to arrest him, I would see any sense in this. And why after the NAME?


The text doesn’t say that they consciously prostrated themselves. For all we know, they could have simply been intimidated by Jesus and began stumbling upon each other when they drew back. But it’s true that the scene is written as such that it evokes the reactions to divine revelation in the OT (it’s as if there was this flash of glory when Jesus identified Himself - which temporarily struck the soldiers down); however I’d compare it more to the soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb “[falling] down like dead men” when the angel arrived or John “falling as though dead” when He saw the glorified Jesus at Patmos.

There’s of course the whole question of whether this event is ‘historical’ (I’ll leave that for other people to argue on), but I do think that John does portray Jesus being the one in charge: it’s not Jesus who retreats, but the arrest party; Judas doesn’t need to kiss Jesus in John, because He steps forward to meet His captors; in fact the police only manage to arrest Jesus because He allows them to do so. His passion narrative actually brings up the question of who has more power here: is it the authorities who try to put Jesus to death, or Jesus who voluntarily chooses to allow Himself to be put to death?

I should add: in John’s version the “soldiers” were probably Roman, since they were specified to be a speira (a Roman “cohort”), headed by a “tribune” (or to be more literal, a “chiliarch”) - a technical word used for a Roman officer in charge of a cohort. It’s not too far-fetched an idea: Passover was the time when the prefect would arrive at Jerusalem with his troops to check for potential unrest. Normally, it would be the temple guards who would serve as Jerusalem’s police force (since the high priest and his council ran the government at Jerusalem for the prefect for most of the year), but it’s not unlikely they were assisted by Pilate’s soldiers.


This is also a very good point supporting my view, that the guards fell and did not prostrate. Wouldn’t it be funny to prostrate and then arrest the one you prostrate to?


I always thought they fell to the ground because they were knocked to the ground. Imagine that 40 or 50 guards all getting knocked over at the same time because Jesus said I AM.

Awesome !!


That’s exactly my take, and my problem. Why didn’t the Pharisees fell but could try to stone Him?


Hmmm, I don’t know, Good question.


In my opinion, it is a bunch of nonsense. Because, in Semitic languages like Hebrew the first person present tense of ‘I am’ was not used.
Secondly, the name of G-d is not as Christians translate it:
(Exo 3:14 BBE) And God said to him, I AM WHAT I AM: and he said, Say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.
The translation is translated correctly in the bible except in these few verses.


My question is on the Greek, not the Hebrew. Anyway, even if the sentence in Hebrew lets the verbal form out, the meaning is still there. And the name of God as we know it is I AM the ONE who is (and continues to be), or I AM WHAT I AM (and do not change), and so on, meaning THE ETERNAL BEING. Therefore God says in the next sentence “I AM sent you”.
Because that I AM is the eternal present of God HImself.
How would you translate (or try to, just the meaning) Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh?

It would be problematic and not so polite to ask you what would be the name of God for you… I am sorry, but אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה translated by I WILL BE is ok to, as I showed by the present continous. It must be present continous because God does not change and he will not be more or other than what He already is.


Well the answer is they didn’t get knocked down, they fell down out of fear and terror. The Pharisees reacted out of fear as well, they just reacted differently by tearing garments and physical violence.


Both reactions to fear; good point.


Just a minor correction - it wasn’t really “the Pharisees” that tried to stone Jesus, but “the Jews” (v. 48, 52, 57; i.e. people of Judaea Province as opposed to ‘Galileans’) - more likely “the Jews who had believed him” mentioned back in verse 31 (and to whom Jesus was holding the whole conversation). In other words, you could read this passage as Jesus almost getting stoned by His own followers.


So, you know the correct translation of the words, but continue to promote the inaccurate translation of the Name of G-d. So, why the duality and the sham you are putting out there?

As for your claim that you are referring to the Greek and not the Hebrew. It is meaningless , as the Greek is based upon the false translation of the name of G-d. In Christian translations the word ‘I will be’ is correctly translated fifty times, and is only mistranslated in the three verses so that the Christians can teach that Iesus was claiming to be G-d.

Furthermore, John 17 clearly shows that Iesus never claimed to be G-d.

  1. I showed you how I AM was to mean I AM BEING
  2. The translation renders “I will be” when it is about the future. But in the Case of God speaking, it is problematic to say that his name is I WILL BE, as I showed you. Therefore the translation.
    You also omitted part of my post on this.
  3. If you say John 17 shows Jesus is not God, please read our answers to Muslims, too.

Just verse 5
5 Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

Thank for citing this precious chapter.


The Greek is not meaningless. It was the version of the Scriptures that were used during the time of Christ and it’s the version the Church accepted as inspired. The Hebrew language is really secondary.

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