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.