PEARRELL

The Covington News - - Religion -

tell them “I AM” has sent you.” (Ex­o­dus 3:14). Now here in John 8:58, Je­sus takes that name upon him­self. And the Jews un­der­stood that. That’s why they take up stones to stone him. Up to this point they were hu­mor­ing him. Mak­ing fun of him. Ac­cus­ing him of be­ing de­mon pos­sessed, ac­cus­ing him of be­ing crazy, but when Je­sus ut­ters th­ese sim­ple words, all that stops. They un­der­stand him com­pletely. The fact that they now pick up stones sig­ni­fies their com­pre­hen­sion of his claim, and now they are go­ing to stone him for blas­phemy.

While we rec­og­nize that pre-ex­is­tence does not au­to­mat­i­cally mean eter­nal­ity we do know that eter­nal­ity does au­to­mat­i­cally mean pre-ex­is­tence. In John 8: 58, Je­sus skips all the pos­si­ble mis­con­cep­tions and goes right to eter­nal­ity. If he is eter­nal He is di­vine; he is God. That is what Je­sus claims in this verse.

The trans­la­tors of the New World Trans­la­tion mis­trans­late this verse. They say, “Je­sus said to them: ‘Most truly I say to you Be­fore Abra­ham came into ex­is­tence I have been.” Dr. Nor­man Geisler, per­haps the fore­most Bib­li­cal scholar of our day, com­ments on this “Greek schol­ars agree that the Watchtower So­ci­ety has no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for trans­lat­ing “ego eimi” in John 8:58 as “I have been” (a trans­la­tion that masks its con­nec­tion to Ex­o­dus 3: 14 where God re­veals his name to be “I Am”). The Watchtower So­ci­ety once at­tempted to clas­sify the Greek word “eimi” as a pre­fect in­def­i­nite tense to jus­tify this trans­la­tion — but Greek schol­ars have re­sponded by point­ing out that there is no such thing as a per­fect in­def­i­nite tense in the Greek,” [Geisler, Nor- man L., and Ron Rhoades, “When Cultists Ask,” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 1997 p. 173 )].

I re­peat again, faith in the de­ity of Christ is nec­es­sary to be­ing a Chris­tian it is not an op­tion. Be­lief in Christ’s de­ity is an es­sen­tial part of the New Tes­ta­ment gospel of Christ.

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