John 8:58 (Does anybody have anything NEW to say?)
Stevens, Charles C
Charles.Stevens at unisys.com
Tue Dec 28 12:59:38 EST 1999
Just as a point of clarification as to my intent:
On 25 December 1999 at 3:15 AM, David C. Hindley summarized my position as:
<<The posts that were of interest to me were Charles' suggestion
that EGW EIMI implies a claim to identity with the speaker in Exodus 3:14
(i.e., EGW EIMI implies hO WN as a predicate), ...>>
No, that's not exactly what I meant. In fact I was deliberately looking at
the passage not from Jesus' point of view, but rather that of the audience.
What Jesus *meant* by it is entirely orthogonal to my point, and I took some
care to state it that way (perhaps I was not clear enough).
What I intended to convey is that the context (in particular John 8:57 -
8:59) leads me to the conclusion that the audience (the scribes and
Pharisees in particular) *most likely* understood Jesus' statement to be a
claim to divinity, whether he meant it that way or not. John cites
ambiguous statements that may or may not be interpreted correctly elsewhere
(see e.g. the discussion of GENNHQHi ANWQEN with Nicodemus in John 3), so
such ambiguity as a rhetorical device is not unique to 8:58 in John.
What Jesus *meant* by it requires theological conclusions that I think now
and thought then were inappropriate to B-Greek. But I do believe one should
take into account what the audience's reaction was, and what stimuli in that
time and place would likely have precipitated that reaction, in deciding
what meaning the audience ascribed to what Jesus actually *said*.
More information about the B-Greek