Did Jesus ever SAY he was God?

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Question: Is Jesus GOD? Did he ever say he was God or the God of the Old Testament? Did he ever use one of the names of deity to refer to HIMSELF?

Answer: Any statements in the Bible, either Old or New Testament, are from Jesus, Who came in human form to this earth, died for our sins, was resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God, the Father, as He did before the creation of the earth.

Moses, in the book of Exodus, asked God what His name was so that he (Moses) could tell the children of Israel who sent him to free them (see Exodus 3:13 - 14). The response from God was that his name was "I AM WHO I AM" (this translation of the Hebrew is found in the NKJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV and other Bibles). The King James Version Bible renders the phrase 'I AM THAT I AM' and Young's Literal Translation translates the Hebrew as 'I AM THAT WHICH I AM.'

The Hebrew word translated as "I AM" for the name of God is hâyâh (Strong's Concordance Number #H1961) and means "to exist" or "to have being." It can also mean "I will be what I will be." Used in the context of Exodus 3:14 it also signifies an eternal, timeless existence. As it is used in Genesis 1 it signifies "to come into existence" when spoken by God. For example, when God said "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3) light appeared in the universe.

Jesus used the same name given to Moses for God (I AM) to refer to his OWN eternal existence. The severe action the Jews wanted to take after they heard what he had to say leaves little doubt they knew he was referring to the God that spoke to Moses.

"I am telling you the truth," Jesus replied, "Before Abraham was born, I AM!"  Then they picked up stones to throw at him (in order to stone him for what they perceived was blasphemy) . . . " (John 8:58 - 59)

The Greek words translated as "I AM" in reference God in verse 58 come from the words egö (Strong's #G1473), first person in Greek, just as we use "I", and eimi (Strong's #G1510), which is a very emphatic statement of existence. In the context of this verse, it is virtually identical to the Hebrew hâyâh. Since Jesus was speaking either Hebrew or Aramaic, hâyâh was the word actually spoken by Jesus rather than the Greek in which the New Testament was written.

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There is one other instance where Jesus used the term "I AM," one of the Old Testament references to God, to refer to himself. It is a rather enigmatic reference to God but it does explain an otherwise puzzling phenomenon described by John. Jesus uses this term when, while waiting in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas arrives with a bunch of people in order to have him arrested.

(Jesus asked those who wanted to arrest him) "Whom are you seeking?" 5. They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarean." Jesus said to them, "I AM." And Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them. 6. But when He said to them, "I AM," they went backward and fell to the ground. (John 18, HBFV)

The above translation renders verses 5 and 6 correctly. The confusing part is that if you use the King James Bible translation, you will notice that the word "he" is added to Jesus' phrase ("I am he"). The word "he" is in italics (or brackets), which indicates that the word was ADDED by the KJV translators. It was added, even though it was NOT in the Greek text from which the English text is based, in an attempt to clarify the meaning of the passage. Jesus' declaration of "I AM" explains WHY the soldiers fell backwards. It was the power of God, the same God that spoke to Moses, saying "I AM" that knocked the soldiers to the ground!

Thank you for sending in your questions about is Jesus God and if he ever said he was God.

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