I Am Too!

The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled— can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

John 10:33-36

Did Jesus just imply that the Logos of God is not a person and that he is not the only person himself to receive the Logos?

Isn’t Jesus denying that he is God here, unambiguously, since after this explanation, the Jews don’t stone him?

There’s nothing important about the idea of the Trinity and in fact nothing clear about it either. Scripture says nothing about it and passages like this abound that run in the opposite direction. Jesus never expresses equality with God or ontology, save for at best, a questionable meaning in John 8:58 and Jesus’ use of “I am”; “ego eimi” in Greek and associated with “ani hu” in Hebrew.

Where God refers to Himself in scripture such as Isaiah using “ani hu”, it “do[es] not provide a basis for interpreting the Johannine use because in all of these instances it is clear that God is the speaker, ‘I am the Lord [Jehovah], and there is no other.’ ” The context of John here doesn’t allow for equating his speaker, Jesus, with Isaiah’s speaker, Jehovah. Isaiah’s “ani hu” is the sender of the Messiah, John’s “ego eimi” which takes meaning on the cross.

(John Painter, The Quest For The Messiah, pg. 227)

“However, the variation in the presentation of ‘I am’ when not accompanied by an image suggests that to designate the words ‘ego eimi’ on their own as a I revelation-formula’ may be too simplistic, since it is clear that the ‘formula’ has several distinct forms […]  it seems that it [ontological claim to being Jehovah] could only be brought into play on the two occasions where there is an explicit reaction to the words of Jesus (8:58 and 18:58), but not in the highly problematic sayings of 8:24, 28 and 13:19. should also be noted here that even the reaction of the Jews to the ‘ego eimi’ in Jn 8:58 cannot simply be explained as a reaction to the Hebrew term ‘ani hu’ as a name for God. Even if such an interpretation is implicit, the emphasis in this verse is on the difference between the verb ‘ginomai’ and the verb ‘eimi’. The tension between the tense of the two verbs would be lost if the reader was only meant to see the utterance of a divine name here. It would therefore be better to look for a background for these sayings which also contains the variations of form which occur in John.” 

(David Mark Ball, ‘I Am’ In John’s Gospel, pg. 169-171)

But, you know, there’s always the easier route, since we just all know, because it says it right there in the Bible, that Jesus says he’s God and doesn’t even imply anything else.

Just a thought.

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