Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 month ago

Why does John 8:58 say "I existed before Abraham was born"?

Why does it read this way in An American Translation by Smith & Goodspeed Bible?

11 Answers

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  • TeeM
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Because when you accurately translate the Greek into English this is what Jesus said and meant.

    English unlike Greek can't mix tenses.

    Another thing people forget is, the Jews were not asking Jesus what is your name, but was asking Jesus 'how old are you?'

    If someone asks you:  What is your age? and you answered, "Fred"

    This answer is meaningless.

    If someone asked 'What is your age? and you answered, 'I am older than Abraham'

    This provides a proper answer, if we know the age of Abraham.

    Yet this simple statement "I am older than Abraham" doesn't truly answer the question but forth to Jesus. 

    Jesus needed to show that he was alive when Abraham was alive and is 'still' alive.

    Since the Greek word existed is in the past tense, English requires the expression 'I am' to also be translated in the past tense.

    This is done by all bibles in other parts of the gospels.

    (John 14:9) “. . .“Even after I have been with you men for such a long time, . . .”

    Here Jesus had actually said: 'I am with you men' in the present tense, but all translators translate it in the past tense.

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  • Ralph
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The fact of the matter, because God has always existed from before the foundation of the world. That is why Jesus Christ is before Abraham was.

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  • 1 month ago

    Check out the Greek Interlinear NT.

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  • 1 month ago

    That is a loose translation of what Jesus said.

    That is: because the translator of the AAT consider that to be an accurate rendering of what Jesus taught in that passage.

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  • Doug
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Better ask them. It's pretty weak and doesn't really convey the truth. I've also preferred the much more powerful and accurate rendering: John 8:58  Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM. 

    Source(s): www.askmeaboutgod.org
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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    That's not the correct translation. The Koine Greek directly translates to  "... before Abraham was, I am.". It has to do with the first person singular present tense of the Greek verb of "to be". It's idiomatic or something. Idk. There's always been much debate among scholars and clergy about the meaning most of it about Jesus's divinity, whether Jesus is God or not.

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  • 1 month ago

    Psalm 90:2

    Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

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  • IOM
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    What John 8:58 says is εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί.

    Literally it means "Said to them Jesus truly truly I say to you before Abraham was I am". 

    The "John" story is a late (100-150 AD) writing that tries to prove repeatedly that Jesus is God, to a non-Jewish Greek target audience. 

    Some translations are attempts to make the original text to conform to the editor's pet theories. In this particular case, it paraphrases  the original Greek with a fair degree of accuracy. 

  • 1 month ago

    Because Abraham begat an Eye'sack

    Wydya stink Dyroam West goes to the physical church if he didn't join the bank ?

    He's my boy now

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  • 1 month ago

    That is what it means when Yeshua said "Before Abraham I Am."

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