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I Am?

   "And God said to Moses, I AM that I AM; and He said, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14). This is how it is translated in the JP Green Interlinear Bible and the KJV is similar. The Christian community has determined that "I AM" is a name for God, gave, to Moses, however, God Almighty already had a personal name and He gives that name to Moses in the very next verse, "And God said to Moses again, you shall say this to the sons of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever and this is My title from generations to generations." (Exodus 3:15). When reading these two verses together using the original and intended wording, taken from the Hebrew "Masoretic Text" used in translating the version represented above and the King James Version. It is quite obvious that "I am that I am" is not a name but a self description of His divine authority, however, "Lord" used in the KJV where "Jehovah" should be presented, is an error in the translation and a misrepresentation the truth of God's word. This is unfortunately, a common error, where "Jehovah" is replaced by "Lord" or "LORD" 6743 times in the KJV and most all other common Bibles. You can read further about this change in "God's Name" within this website. This misrepresentation is contaminated further by the New Testament verse, "Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I AM." (John 8:58), forcing a connection between the Old Testament "Lord" (who is Jehovah) and the New Testament "Lord" (who is Jesus) representing them as one, for the purpose of supporting the Trinity doctrine that is not Biblical. This forced connection would make Jesus the God of both the New and the Old Testaments, if it were correct. Since Jehovah is the Father and Michael (later named Jesus) the Son, "I will declare concerning the statute of Jehovah: He said to me, You are My Son. Today I have begotten You." (Psalm 2:7) and, "A statement of Jehovah to My Lord: sit at My right hand until I place Your enemies as Your footstool." (Psalm 110:1), this represented connection is most confusing, both being called "Lord" instead of using a personal name as it is presented in the original text. Jehovah, God is the One credited as the Creator of Adam, the Father of the human race, "And Jehovah God formed the man out of the dust from the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7). To connect the New Testament "I Am" with "I Am" of the Old Testament, then Jesus could be understood as God Almighty, Jehovah, Creator, Sustainer, Father, Michael, the Son of God, the Arc Angel and also the Angel of Jehovah, as the common Bible translations have indicated by this error. I understand that Jehovah is titled "Lord" in the Old Testament because, He is in full charge of earth, then, in the New Testament, Jesus was given chare of the earth by His Father, who is the sovereign God. "And coming up Jesus talked with them saying, All authority in Heaven and earth was given to Me." (Matthew 28:18). Names are used to designate whom one it talking about, not titles. The name Jesus is used many times, but Jehovah (or an Greek translation) is never represented in the New Testament except by "Lord", "Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it has been written: 'You shall worship the Lord thy God, and you shall serve Him only." (Matthew 4:10) and Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13, "You shall fear Jehovah your God, and you shall serve Him, and you shall swear by His name." All three quotes from Jesus to Satan contained the name "Jehovah" and not "Lord" as the common Bibles state. Unfortunately, throughout the New Testament, when "Lord" is used, you must determine if "Lord" is referring to Jehovah or Jesus.

   Using the Interlinear Bible (containing both Greek and Hebrew text), let’s first look at that verse in the Old Testament that originates "I Am" as a name, Exodus 3:14; In verse 13 Moses questioned God because he was instructed to go back to Egypt to lead the Israelites to the promise land, “What shall I say to the sons of Israel who sent me?” In verse 14 the common Bibles translation is; “And God said to Moses I AM THAT (others translate WHO) I AM; and He said, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14), and this is generally as far as people read or quote, but in verse 15, God goes on to say ”And God said to Moses again, You shall say this to the sons of Israel, Jehovah the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob has sent me (Moses) to you (the Israelites) "This is my name forever and this is My title from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3:15). Did you notice, God Almighty said this is My name "Jehovah" forever. Just so Moses wouldn’t be confused, God repeated Himself, “…say to them, Jehovah (The Lord in the KJV), the God of your fathers appeared to me (Moses)” (Exodus 3:16). It is quite clear that God used "Jehovah", not “I AM” as His personal name. In Exodus 6:3, God reveals an important fact, "And I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, and by My name Jehovah I never made Myself known to them." God's first words to Moses "I am that I am" is now more logical since He hadn't yet given them His personal name, "Jehovah". Let us dig deeper into the Hebrew word “hayah” (Strong’s #1961), the word translated as “I am”. According to the Strong's Concordance, the various meaning are these: “to exist, i.e. be or become, come to pass (always enphat., and not a mere copula or auxiliary): - beacon x altogether, be (-come), come to pass, accomplished, committed (like), break, cause, come (to pass), do, faint, fall, + follow, happen, x have, last, pertain, quit (one-) self, require, x use”. Nowhere in that list of possible meanings was there “I am” so the translators took some liberty in their translation. The word for “that” (or in some versions “who”) doesn’t have a Strong’s number but either translation works. A better translation for God's explanation to Moses would not be a name but a description, for example (using the list) “I exist because I exist" (meaning: under His own power, the self-existent God). There is however, 5 places where #1961 was translated as "I am" in the Strong's Concordance, but this doesn't change #1961 to be a name for God, nor does it automatically add "I Am" to the dictionary list for #1961.

   Turning to the New Testament, The Jews asked Jesus who He makes Himself to be (John 8:53). Jesus mentions that; “Your Father Abraham leaped for Joy that he should see My day he saw and rejoiced. (John 8:56) and they questioned His statement and Jesus responded with, "Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I Am." (John 8:58). The first word “I” #1473, in Strong’s Greek Dictionary means I or me, the 2nd word “AM” in Strong’s is #1510 with a list of meanings: I exist, am, have been, it is I or was. To translate Christ's answer to their question more logically and directly, using the list for #1510 (since it is a translator's choice) would be, “I was or I have been” but the translators used “I Am.” It seems that the translators in making this choice from the list of  #1510, was to force a connection of this New Testament verse to the Old Testament verse in Exodus 3:14 (keeping in mind that "I Am" was incorrectly translated, according to the list of meanings). There are other places in the New Testament where this combinations of Greek words are used, for example the blind man Jesus healed: "Some said, It is he; and others, He is like him. That one said, I am he." ("he" was added) (John 9:9).  Another choice would be "it is I" from the list, but more importantly, "he" was added, which was commonly done." There are several other places where "I Am" is used but not as a name, but a declaration. Sometimes "he" is added, depending on the version your reading, (John 4:26, 8:24,28, 13:13,19, 18:5,6,8, Acts 13:25). The translations of "I Am" as a name works for the Trinitarian thinking of 3 persons in one god, the cross over is easy, but if you understand Jehovah as being one God, and Jesus as the only-begotten Son of God, then the translation "I Am" is an impossible bridge between the Old to the New Testament, as a name for God.

   I question the translators for pushing an agenda not present in the Bible, Greek and Hebrew, their adjustments in the translations presents an inconsistency to the readers that does not exist in God's original word. This is not possible since there is only one Author/Inspirer, who is the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus, who is as His Father, perfect. God's word is sacred and consistent, as you can hopefully see, the only way to be sure of receiving purity is to have the Hebrew and the Greek on hand for investigation, along with a Concordance and Dictionary. It is most important that you read God's word as He meant it to be read, as Christ intended for us to read His messages for educating us in the truth of God's word, as it was given to God's messenger, Jesus.

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