Archive for June 6th, 2014


Jesus shares the name of God:

  • LORD (YHWH, Yahweh/Kyrios); Lord (Adonai [Heb. Transliteration]/Kyrios [Greek transliteration)
    • LORD GOD: Gen. 2:4; Exod. 3:15-18; Deut. 3:24 LXX [etc.]; 6:4; Pss. 34:8; 118:25; Isa. 8:12-13; 40:3, 13; 45:23; Joel 2:32
    • Lord Jesus: Matt. 3:3; 7:21-22; 8:25; 14:30; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; 6:46; Acts 1:24; 2:21, 36; 7:59-60; 8:25 [etc.]; Rom. 10:9-13; 1 Cor. 1:2, 8 [etc.], 31; 2:16; 4:4-5; 5:4; 6:11; 7:17, 32-35; 8:6; 10:21-22; 16:22-23; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Peter  2:3; 3:13-15
  • Jesus is “Lord.”
    • See Acts 10:36; Romans 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11
    • Kyrios represents the name of Yahweh in the OT; it is the “I AM” of the Ex. 3:14.[1]  It not only means He is God, but He is Yahweh.[2]

Distinction concerning case: Yahweh/YHWH is translated “LORD” in your English Bibles while Adonai is spelled “Lord.”  To the Jewish leaders it was blasphemous for Jesus to say “I AM.”  As a result, they picked up stones to stone Him (cf. John 10:30-33).

  • First: יהוה (YHWH) Comes from the Tetragrammaton
    • This is the highest and most sanctified of divine names to the Jews.
    • Modern scholars prefer JEHOVAH OR YAHWEH.  Some even debate that we do not even know for sure he is pronounced YAHWEH.
    • Yahweh is related to the verb to “to be” in Hebrew (ehyeh).[3]
    • What is this name associated with?
      • Answer: Covenant relationship to His people, eternal nature, and His presence.
        • God’s nature for example can be seen in His transcendence (Is. 66:1), omniscience (Prov. 15:3); and His almightiness to name just a few.
    • Who did God revealed this name to first?
      • Answer: Moses at the burning bush (See. Exodus 3:13-14 and Exodus 6:3)[4]
      • “The name I am who I am or I will be” declares God’s almightiness.  He is eternal.  He cannot be hindered from being who He is, and doing what He wills (See footnote).  He did not employ the exact spelling Yahweh (יהוה/YHWH), but he used a word that was very closely related to it: “I AM” (היה/ehyeh).  The only difference is that היה does not have the yod (י)
  • Second: God proclaimed this name of the LORD to Moses by describing his moral character, nature, and role.
    • Moral character: See Exodus 34:5-7.
    • What else does God’s name reveal about His nature and His role?
      •  Nature and role.
        • This is reverberated throughout the Bible (See Ex. 20:5ff.; Numbers 14:18; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 1:5; 9:17, 32; Psalm 86:5, 15; 103:8-18; 111:4-9; 112:4; 116:5; 145:8 ff.,  17, 20; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Romans 2:2-6).

Answer: Instead Jesus says, “Before Abraham was born, I am.”

  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem ,but He made a statement that indicated His existence before Abraham who lived two thousand years ago.

These men were ignorant of Abraham’s understanding.  If they understood him, they would not attempt to kill Jesus because Abraham was looking forward to the Messiah; the Logos was who in the beginning with the Father (Jn 1:1).[5]

  • Key word: “Truly, truly”
    • Repeated word is drawing out a timeless truth.
      • Repetitive word points out that nothing can limit God.[6]
  • Key word: “I AM”
    • Tense: ἐγὼ εἰμί (egō eimi; present, active, indicative)
      • This expression signifies that no one can help God be who He is because this is an expression of the unconditional self-existence of God.[7]
      • Present tense verb of εἰμί: Christ was continuously existing.[8]
      • Exodus 3:14, God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
      • Jesus is inherently saying that He shares the name of God.  See how the I AM is employed in the OT & NT.
        • LORD GOD: Deut. 32:29; Isa. 41:4; 43:2, 5, 10-11, 25; 46:4; 52:6; cf. Exod. 3:14
        • Lord Jesus: John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:18-19; 18:5-8
      •  Jesus is saying He is the I AM WHO I AM in Exodus
        • The second clause of Exodus 3:14 that repeats the first clause is found elsewhere in the OT.[9]
          • 1 Sam. 23:13, “they went wherever they went”
          • 2 Kings 8:1, “Sojourn wherever you can sojourn”
          • Ex. 16:23, “Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil”
          • See Ex. 4:13 & 2 Sam. 15:20
        • The point of repeating the first clause is to convey the notion of the freedom of the person to do anything that deem to pose limitations according to man.[10]
          • God is self-sufficient.
          • Nothing in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth can limit or contain God.  He is transcendent.
          • God is the only being that has complete and independent free-will.[11]
          • There is an amazing contrast between God and man because the God-man because man can never say, I will be what I want to be.Of course man is the responsible agent for the decisions he makes, but since God decrees everything, man can never have complete independent free will.[12]
          • For man to say I will be who I will be is wicked and idolatrous.  That violates the Creator-creature distinction.
            • Isaiah 47:8, Now, then, hear this, you sensual one, Who dwells securely, Who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.  I will not sit as a widow, Nor know loss of children.’
            • Man is not the I AM who is self-sufficient and free from any limitations.
          •  Everything and everyone is dependent upon the I AM.
          • Even when we speak about the 10 commandments, the I AM is not subject to it because He is not able to sin.  He is also above His law.  He is not bound to anyone or anything.  He can do what He desires without contradicting His holiness.



[1]John M. Frame, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Phillipsburg, NJ: Crossway, 2013), 881.

[2]Ibid., 881.

[3]Hebrew word for “I AM” is היה (Qal, imperfect, first person, singular).  It is similar to the Hebrew word יהוה, which means LORD (Yahweh).  In the ESV the term “Lord” represents Yahweh and adon in Hebrew and kyrios in Greek; John M. Frame, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Phillipsburg, NJ: Crossway, 2013), 15.

[4]Notes on Exodus 3:14 (“I AM WHO I AM”): Points to His existence and eternality.  Same God throughout the ages.  The consonants from the Hebrew word YHWH, combined with the vowels from the divine name Adonai (Master or Lord), gave rise to the name Jehovah in the English.  Since the name Yahweh was considered so sacred that it should not be pronounced, the Massoretes inserted the vowels from Adonai to remind themselves to not pronounce as Yahweh when reading.  Technically, this combination of consonants is known as the ‘tetragrammaton (MSB, 96).'”

[5]D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, 358.

[6]G.K. Beale, The Morality of God in the Old Testament: Christian Answers to Hard Questions (Philadelphia, PA: P & R Publishing, 2013), 12.

[7]Ibid., 12.

[8]Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology: Revised and Expanded (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014),  229.

[9]G.K. Beale, The Morality of God in the Old Testament: Christian Answers to Hard Questions, 12.

[10]Ibid., 13.

[11]G.K. Beale, The Morality of God in the Old Testament: Christian Answers to Hard Questions, 13.

[12]Ibid., 13.

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