Some Christians claim Jesus is God and use (John 8:58) to support
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born,
These Christians then link the Verse (Exodus 3:14) to try to
justify that Jesus is God;
" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to
say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.'"
Now by Jesus Saying "I_am" identically as God said "I Am" in
Exodus 3, Christians assume Jesus is identifying himself as God.
If we objectively research the history of this verse, we will see
that the Older and more authentic Bibles actually reveal that in
John 8:58, Jesus does not say "I am" but in reality says "I -was-"
In later centuries, translators manipulated the translation to
try to elevate status of Jesus.
The Greek Septuagint Version, which is the one the Apostles
quoted from in the first century, renders Exodus 3:14 as " ego' eimi'
ho Ohn'," which translates "I am the Being". The Greek words at John
8:58 "ego eimi" show the use of the verb "eimi" in the historical
present because Jesus was talking about himself in relation to
That is why some translations render it differently.
For example, An American Translation reads. "I existed before
Abraham was born!",
Moffatt, "I have existed before Abraham was born",
Sacred Bible, "Before Abraham existed, I was existing",
The New Testament, "Jesus said to them, 'I tell you, I existed
before Abraham was born!",
The Four Gospels According the the Sinaitic Palimpsest, "He said
unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I
The Twentieth Century New Testament, "Believe me 'Jesus replied,
'before Abraham was born I was already what I am.",
The Modern New Testament, "Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I
say to you, Before Abraham was born, I was.",
The Syriac New Testament, "Jesus said to them: Verily, verily, I
say to you, That before Abraham existed, I was."
Jesus knew he existed before the world was made, but this doesn't
prove he was God Almighty. (John 17:5) Many angels also existed
before the world was created. (Job 38:7).
In Exodus 3:14 God was using this as a title and name to be used
against the Egyptians. A Bible scholar Dr. J.H. Hertz said that in
that phrase 'I am that I am' the main emphasis in on the active
manifestation of God's Divine existence. He said that God was about
to show himself in behalf of his people in great and wonderful way.
He said that "I will be what I will be" is also an approved
The footnote to the NASB Bible agrees and says, "1.14 Or I WILL
BE WHAT I WILL BE"
When Jesus used the phrase he was not using it as a name or
title. He was only explaining his pre-human existence.
Thus in harmony with the above, the NWT correctly translates that
"Jesus said to them: "Most truly I say to YOU, Before Abraham
came into existence, I have been.""