I always thought it was the best explicit proof of Jesus claiming the divine I AM WHO I AM from Exodus, but this made me doubt a little. Why didn't he include "ho on" like he did on the book of Revelation in passages like 1:17,18 ?
There are three different appellations in Exodus 3:14-15:
"Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh", variously translated as "I am that I am", "I am who I am", "I will be what I will be": And God said to Moses, "Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh" (Exodus 3:14a, JPS Tanakh), or I AM THAT I AM (KJV) ...
"Ehyeh", translated as "I am" or "I will be": He continued, "Thus shall you say to the Israelites, 'Ehyeh sent me to you'" (Exodus 3:14b, JPS Tanakh), or I AM hath sent me unto you (KJV)
"YHVH": And God said further to Moses, "Thus shall you speak to the Israelites: The LORD, the God of your fathers ... has sent me to you (Exodus 3:15, JPS Tanakh)
The Greek Septuagint, which is the version of the Old Testament which the New Testament generally follows, renders these three names as:
Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh: Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν
Ehyeh: Ἐγώ εἰμι
Thus either ego eimi ho on or ego eimi would have been recognized as the Divine Name in Greek. We see this in John 18:4-6, as well as the passage you cite:
"Whom seek ye?" They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazaraean." Jesus saith to them, "I am" [Ἐγώ εἰμι] ... Then when He said to them, "I am," they went backward and fell to the ground
Almost every English translation of this passage inserts the word "he" after "I am", but it is actually not in the Greek text (the above translation is from The Orthodox New Testament). The Greek is accurately translating what would have been an utterance of the Divine Name, Ehyeh, by Jesus.
In this context the action expressed by the Greek verb ei·miʹ started “before Abraham came into existence” and was still in progress. It is therefore properly translated “I have been” rather than “I am,” and a number of ancient and modern translations use wording similar to “I have been.” In fact, at Joh 14:9, the same form of the Greek verb ei·miʹ is used to render Jesus’ words: “Even after I have been with you men for such a long time, Philip, have you not come to know me?” Most translations use a similar wording, showing that depending on context there is no valid grammatical objection to rendering ei·miʹ as “have been.” (Other examples of rendering a present tense Greek verb using a present perfect tense verb are found at Lu 2:48; 13:7; 15:29; Joh 1:9; 5:6; 15:27; Ac 15:21; 2Co 12:19; 1Jo 3:8.) Also, Jesus’ reasoning recorded at Joh 8:54, 55 shows that he was not trying to portray himself as being the same person as his Father.
Why didn't John use "ego eimi ho on" in John 8:58 like he did in Revelation for the divine name?
Because Jesus is not the God of the Old testament as Acts 3:13 shows.
Acts 3:13 ASV The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him.
Acts 3:13 shows that Jesus is not the God of the OT patriarchs. If ego eimi is understood by Jews or Christians as declaring one's Godhood, would they apply it to themselves, like the blind man in John 9:9?
John 9:9 ASV Others said, It is he: others said, No, but he is like him. He said, I am he
When Jesus said "ego eimi" in John 6:20 why is it that none of his disciples considered that to mean that Jesus was claiming to be God?
John 6:20 ASV But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
The assumption that John's Jesus' "ego eimi" is referring to the words in Exodus 3:14 is not true.
Consider, if ego eimi was a Greek way of saying God's name "Yahweh." Did Jesus say "Before Abraham was, YHWH." in John 8:58?
OP asked why didn't he(John) include "ho on" like he did on the book of Revelation in passages like 1:17,18?
Because the ego eimi used by Jesus in the book of John is not the same as the "ho on" ("The Being, The One Who Is"), the Greek of the LXX reads "ego eimi ho on", which is translated into English as ‘I am he (the one) who is’ or ‘I am the being.’ In the LXX, the ego eimi is not what carries the idea of eternal self-existence, it is the ho on.. Jesus did not say "ego eimi ho on" in John 8:58. as what is shown on the LXX.
The appearance of "ho on" Revelation 1:4;8, 4:8, 11:17and 16:5 are all applied to God and not to Jesus.
Exodus 3:14 should be read from the context of the whole passage. The answer to the question of what is God's name is not in Exodus 3:14. The answer is in Exodus 3:15:
God said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘YHWH (not ehyeh), the God of your fathers… has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. `
The capitalization of I am in John 8:58 by some bible translations is a deliberate violation of the grammatical rules of capitalization in order to prove a theology. One can simply look at other translations and compare.
Yes, amen. If you simply look one bible hub for John 8:58 and compare it to John 9:9, you can see the bias of the translators.
They apply THE ONE after ego eimi when it comes to the blind man, making it I am THE ONE...but they don't do the same when it comes to Jesus
John 8:58 can also be translated as Before Abraham was, I am THE ONE
Jesus is the one who was foretold long before Abraham was born and the one they were expecting and looking for
I am he. I am the One. I am that person...etc....
To try and make Jesus in to YAHWEH from this verse is just embarassing.
Furthermore, in Exodus 3:14 in the KJV, the translators made SURE to retain the capitalization of the hebrew (There were no lower case letters in the hebrew or greek manuscripts), yet when Jesus says I am in the KJV, it is in lowercase. Did they forget to make God's name uppercase in John 8:58? Who would have made this collosial error? So, the same translators who made sure to retain the capitalization in Exodus 3:14, went out of their way to make Gods name lowercase in John 8:58? NO.
The simple fact of the matter is that the translators had no idea of even suggesting that Jesus was trying to claim he was the God of Abraham from this verse. The trinity is increasingly perverse and now you will see John 8:58 in the NKJV uppercase I AM. The Trinity shows its lies and deception very easily if you pay attention and study and it tricks those poor individuals who simply go by translation and who haven't done their own research
I'm of the opinion that John 8:58 is not an allusion to Exodus 3:14 but rather to Psalm 91 in the Greek:
Already in Septuagint the Hebraic "you are God" is translated as simply "you are", when the verb "to be" is detached from its functioning as a copula between "you" and "God", but simply bears an existential import, which is a laying of a stress on God's special and unique sort of being, to wit, the unbegan and unending being. For instance: Psalm 93:2: ἕτοιμος ὁ θρόνος σου ἀπὸ τότε, ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος σὺ εἶ. "From eternity you are", i.e. you exist.
However, more important for the John 8:58 passage is the Psalm 89:2: "πρὸ τοῦ ὄρη γενηθῆναι καὶ πλασθῆναι τὴν γῆν καὶ τὴν οἰκουμένην, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος σὺ εἶ." "Before the mountain were brought about and the earth and wold was formed, from eternity to eternity - you are", which is directly referred to by the Lord Jesus Christ in John 8:58, who uses the same highlighted verb: πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί, thus either identifying Himself with the subject of the Psalm's sentence, or stating that His existence is just as unbegan and eternal as that of the Psalm's subject - God. In both cases He claims His divinity.
This is well understood by Jews who immediately take stones to kill Him for this, what they assumed to be, blasphemy. They are quite frank and outspoken about the reason, making no mistake in how they interpret the self-claim of the Lord: “We are not stoning you for any good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:33).
Those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ's divinity are spiritual heirs of those Jews - the crucifiers of the Lord as of a 'blasphemer', for there is a clear binary opposition: since Christ is clearly and unequivocally claiming His own divinity, which is perfectly well understood by Jews, then either He lies and is a blasphemer, or His claim is true and worship is due to Him as to God. Tertium non datur.