I AM Research paper 1st edition.docx - Jesusu2019 u201cI...

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Jesus’ “I am” statements in John and how they relate to the character ofGod described in the Old Testament.SAMUEL LAWRENCERLGN 301
1Throughout the history of the Church there has been much debate about the unity of Jesusof Nazareth and God, specifically the God of the Old Testament. There have been various councils, meetings, and debates about the substance of Jesus and even more discussion about how Jesus’s character relates to that of God. The character of Jesus and the heart of God are deeply connected and are clearly united through the “I am” statements recorded in the Gospel of John. Jesus’s words, and Johns recording of these words, are rooted in Old Testament language and ideas that unite Jesus’s identity with Gods heart. “A significant feature of the fourth Gospel is a series of sayings in which Jesus uses an emphatic “I AM” to bring out important teachings about his person. In Greek, of course, the personal subject of the verb is not normally expressed: the form of the verb makes clear what the subject is. But if it is desired to emphasize the subject, then the appropriate pronoun may be used. What makes this so important in John is that we find a similar usage in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. There we find that the translators used this emphatic form of speech when they were rendering words spoken by God.”1To clearly see the parallel between Jesus’s words and the heart of God, the structure of the gospel of John must be considered. Through the analysis of John’s intended audience, writingstyle, and time of writing the meaning of Jesus’s “I am” statements will come into focus. Jesus knew exactly what he was doing and what he was saying when he made the seven “I am” statements, and only until John as an author is understood can there be clarity about the unity between Jesus’s words and Gods heart and character. “The point of all this is that when Jesus used the “I AM” construction he was speaking in the style of deity. How much this would have been perceived by his hearers is a difficult point because the construction was sometimes used in ordinary human conversation. But there is general agreement among Johannine scholars that this 1 Morris, Leon. Jesus Is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. Grand Rapids Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1989. P. 108.
2kind of language is a significant pointer to what John is telling us about the person of Jesus.”2There is much that can be learned by looking at the literary style and structure of John’s gospel.When dealing with the structure and writing style of John it is important to establish who John is. Through proper investigation of the text, and the New testament as a whole, it is safe to say that the gospel of John was penned by John the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” There is plenty of internal evidence within the Bible to support this claim. “The “disciple whom Jesus loved” meets us again in the high priest’s courtyard at Jesus’s arrest (18:15: “another disciple”), and then

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