John 8:28[ASV] Jesus, therefore, said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things

John 8:58[ASV] Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.

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    do you have access to an interlinear? here is one that i use a lot biblehub.com. as far as i can see, it is personal possessive pronoun 1st person singular for both examples and is also spelt the same in the Greek for both (along with a lot of other uses of the same word in said chapter) To be honest though, i think one needs to read this in its context in order to determine what it is referring to. It is pretty clear that the jews eventually got to the point where they were outraged enough with what Jesus was speaking about to pick up stones to throw at him. Blasphemy being the reason.
    – Adam
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 21:41
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    You will notice that trinitarians repeatedly mistranslate and misuse John 8:58 and other occurrences of "εγω ειμι". They also keep making the false claim that "εγω ειμι" without a predicate is only attributed to Jesus. For the real facts, read this post for a linguistically correct analysis.
    – David
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 12:38
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    Good Q. Upvoted just now. The Trinitarians will always mistranslate these verses and put a sameness to them. They would do well to check out this link biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2015/… Commented May 11, 2021 at 20:37
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    It's also noteworthy that the blind man whom Jesus heals in John 9:1, 8-9 also says, "ἐγώ εἰμι."
    – carsonfel
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 10:26
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    @user33515: I didn't say that anyone was correct or wrong in including whatever writing in whatever canon. The thing is, it doesn't matter. These writings are just writings; we should analyze them to figure out what their authors intended to convey. Trinitarians don't do that; they attempt to find verses to support their views, instead of looking for truth. I'm not saying that all non-trinitarians look for truth either. You have to look for yourself, because most theologians don't want to.
    – David
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


The short answer to the question is "Yes" they are identical - Jesus said this seven times as recorded in the Gospel of John as listed below (my translation each time):

  • John 4:26 – “Then Jesus said, ‘I am.’” [To the Samaritan woman at the well. There is a reasonable case for this being identification; However, the fact that according to John 4:28-30, the woman took this to be a statement of Jesus claim to be the Messiah, and the people believed, suggests she clearly understood Jesus import.]
  • John 6:20 – “But then [Jesus] said to them, ‘I am. Fear not.’” [To the frightened disciples in the boat.]
  • John 8:24 – “If you do not trust/believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”
  • John 8:28 – “When you will lift up the Son of Man, then you will trust/know that I am.”
  • John 8:58 – “Truly, truly, I say to you; before Abraham existed, I am.” [The Jews then tried to stone Him for blasphemy.] Note that this and the previous two mean that Jesus, in the space of this chapter of John 8 uses the unpredicated “I am” idea in the present (v24), future (v28) and past sense (v58). V24 & 28 appears to be tied to believers’ salvation as well.
  • John 13:19 – “From now [on] I tell you before the occurrence, that you may believe when it occurs that, I am.”
  • John 18: 5, 6, 8 – “He said to them, ‘I am.’ …Therefore, when He told them, ‘I am’, they fell backward to the ground.” [This occurred when the Jews tried to arrest Jesus in the garden. It could be reasonably argued that this is a case of identification. However, the fact that the arresting mob fell backward suggests that much more is intended here.]

In the NT unpredicated uses of ἐγὼ εἰμί (ego eimi) are only ever placed in the mouth of Jesus (Just 14 times - the other in the other Gospels) and all are used as an identifier of Jesus' divinity.

In the specific case of John 8, we have three significant cases where the tortured Greek Grammar (to fit the "I am" in) is used in three different tenses as listed above:

  • John 8:24 – Present tense
  • John 8:28 – Future tense
  • John 8:58 - Past tense

Therefore, in line with Ex 3:13-16, John is effectively saying that Jesus was, is, and always will be the Great I AM!

APPENDIX - I am in other cases

“I am” in the Greek (NT) is, “ego eimi”. The verb, “eimi” occurs 2462 times in the New Testament in various forms, but in only about 67 of these cases is the first-person nominative pronoun, “ego” used with it. Generally, the complete form, “ego eimi” only occurs when some emphasis is required.

This present continuous verb, “to be”, is the most common in almost all languages and has several syntactical functions in Greek (eg, see John 1:1 ):

  • Existence, “I am.”, ie, unpredicated
  • Identification, eg, Luke 1:19, “I am Gabriel”; John 9:9, “I am [that one]”; John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd”.
  • Relationship, eg, Acts 18:10, “I am with you”.
  • Predication, eg, Acts 22:3, “I am Jewish”.

Thus, it is significant that unpredicated "I am" is only ever spoken by Jesus in the NT.

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    @AlexBalilo - I gave my answer and translation above
    – Dottard
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 23:05
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    "In the NT unpredicated uses of ἐγὼ εἰμί (ego eimi)" What does 'unpredicated' mean here? Commented May 11, 2021 at 5:56
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    @Dottard Thanks for this response - does John 9:9's 'ego eimi' count as unpredicated? Commented May 11, 2021 at 14:24
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    Thanks for this - I see. I find it difficult to distinguish this from usage at John 4:25, then ("I am he, the Messiah.") Similarly John 6:20. The implicit question there is "Who is the person approaching the boat?" The answer is "I am the person approaching the boat." And so on with at least some of the other verses. I would even argue Jesus' 'I am' at John 8:58 is in the same category. 8:53 "Who do you claim to be?" 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see My day." 8:58 "I am he." I.e., "I am the person Abe rejoiced about, i.e., the Messiah." Thanks again for the clarification. Commented May 11, 2021 at 20:26
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    @OneGodtheFather - I would not deny why you say. However, consider the following. In the case of Jesus walking on water in a tempestuous sea, Jesus simple statement "I am" has two dramatic effects: it calms the storm and calms the disciples - the great miracle worker is present and immediately they are at their destination. There is a similar phenomenon with the woman at the well as described above.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 20:30

john 8:58 has ἐγὼ εἰμί with no predicate.

John 8:28 has ἐγώ εἰμι "Son of Man" understood as the predicate.

But, structurally they are identical.

If you search John 8:58, you will see a large number of questions. But you don't appear to be asking more than answered above. In particular look at this discussion: What did Jesus likely say in John 8:58?

  • Does the "I am" on both verses imply "I am the Almighty God"? Commented May 10, 2021 at 23:25
  • Yes, look at the Son of Man in Daniel.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 23:32
  • My comment "Does the "I am" on both verses imply "I am the Almighty God"? Your comment " Yes, look at the Son of Man in Daniel". That is like making Jesus say "I am God Almighty and I do nothing on my own initiative but I speak these things as the Father taught me" is that what Jesus said in John 8 :28? Commented May 10, 2021 at 23:49

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