Hebrew Language/I am


Tim wrote at 2007-09-27 00:33:11
I have been doing research on a related topic.  Contrary to some teachings, the Tetragrammaton does NOT mean "I AM", as many English translations would have you believe.  The actual phrase used in Exodus 3:16 that is commonly traslated "I AM" does not mean this at all.  This expression is a present tense conjugation of the verb "to be."  However, if you compare the original Hebrew expression with a Hebrew verb conjugation textbook (such as "501 Hebrew verbs") the actual conjugation used in the Scripture is in the FUTURE tense...it does not mean "I AM" but "I WILL BE"...the entire phrase would then become, not "I AM WHAT I AM" but "I WILL BE [or become] WHAT I WILL BE [or become]."    

That is why there is a footnote in a number of translations, including the New English Bible and the NIV (New International Version) that admits this, though presenting it only as an alternate rendering.  It is not an alternate rendering...it is the correct one and therefore cannot be used to support the notion that Jesus and Jehovah are the same.

This exercise completely strengthened my faith in the accuracy of the Bible, the notion that Jesus' statement in John 5:18 of "I AM" is the same as God's statement in Exodus 3:16 as "I AM" to be completely unfounded...they are not saying the same thing and therefore these two Scriptures cannot be used to equate YHWH, or Jehovah, with Jesus Christ.

Ron wrote at 2013-03-07 09:25:26
If the tetragrammaton or tetrapuncta does NOT mean "I am", I can't imagine why the Greek speaking Jews translated it as "ego eimi kurios", which means literally "I am the LORD". Since you reference the Gospel of John, you should also present the strongest argument: John 8:55-59

Exodus 3:13 ESV Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?"

Exodus 3:14 ESV God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM."And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

Cf. also Ex. 7:5, 8:15, ect.  

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Aiden Barr


Speak Hebrew like a native, and was involved in Hebrew language training and tutoring. Can answer questions on grammar, verb constructs and more.


Hebrew speaker since childhood, lived in Israel for a number of years.

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