John 8:58
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

New Living Translation
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!"

English Standard Version
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

New American Standard Bible
Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

King James Bible
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am."

International Standard Version
Jesus told them, "Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, before there was an Abraham, I AM!"

NET Bible
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yeshua said to them: “Timeless truth I speak to you: Before Abraham would exist, I AM THE LIVING GOD.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus told them, "I can guarantee this truth: Before Abraham was ever born, I am."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

King James 2000 Bible
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

American King James Version
Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

American Standard Version
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.

Darby Bible Translation
Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

English Revised Version
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Webster's Bible Translation
Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Weymouth New Testament
"In most solemn truth," answered Jesus, "I tell you that before Abraham came into existence, I am."

World English Bible
Jesus said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM."

Young's Literal Translation
Jesus said to them, 'Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham's coming -- I am;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:54-59 Christ and all that are his, depend upon God for honour. Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know him. Such as know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are put together, 2Th 1:8. All who rightly know anything of Christ, earnestly desire to know more of him. Those who discern the dawn of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see his rising. Before Abraham was, I AM. This speaks Abraham a creature, and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might he make himself greater than Abraham. I AM, is the name of God, Ex 3:14; it speaks his self-existence; he is the First and the Last, ever the same, Re 1:8. Thus he was not only before Abraham, but before all worlds, Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1. As Mediator, he was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Re 13:8. The Lord Jesus was made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died by faith in him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesus for blasphemy, but he withdrew; by his miraculous power he passed through them unhurt. Let us stedfastly profess what we know and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when the Saviour shall appear in glory, to the confusion of his enemies, and to complete the salvation of all who believe in him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 58. - The reply of Jesus to this taunt is one of the most surprising and baffling kind on any hypothesis of our Lord's consciousness being limited as that of all other of the sons of men. He gives the solemn emphasis of the Αμὴν ἀμὴν once more - Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born (came into being), I am. Abraham came into existence by birth (the Vulgate translates, Antequam fierat Abraham Ego sum): I am. Numerous attempts have been made to explain this climacteric utterance on some humanistic theory. The contrast is very remarkable between γενέσθαι and εἰμι. Jesus Christ declared his own timeless existence to have been in his consciousness before Abraham came into being at all. The "I am" reminds us repeatedly, when used by Jesus, of the "I AM THAT I AM" of Exodus 3:14, and the "thou art" of Psalm 90. (89:2, LXX.); Psalms 102:28. His human consciousness gave utterance to the awful depths of the eternal Ego. Now, some critics have limited it in its meaning to "I existed in the counsel of God." But there are three objections to this interpretation: one is

(1) that the present tense, εἰμί, and not the past, η΅ν, was used by our Lord; and

(2) on this interpretation Abraham must have also equally pre-existed in the counsel of God; and

(3) such a statement would throw no light on the previous discourse. The Racovian Confession of Faith, based on the view of Socinus, explains, "Before Abram becomes Abraham, i.e. the father of many nations, I am it, the Messiah, the Light of the world." Not until my Messianic claims are acknowledged, and the many nations become children of Abraham, does Abraham really become Abraham, does his name derive its full meaning. This would be rabbinical trifling (J.P. Smith, 'Script. Test. to Messiah,' vol. 2). Beyschlag thinks that our Lord realized in his Person not a conscious pre-existence before Abraham, or before all worlds, but an impersonal principle, the image of God, which could only "be" in the eternal mind of God. There is a sense in which every man may realize such pre-existence as this, not merely "the Son of God," nor the new man in Christ, but every man whatsoever; but such a statement is entirely out of harmony with the whole passage that precedes. If the Jews had understood it in this sense, they would not have taken up stores to stone him, but, after their wont, would have said, "So also were we." "Ideas do not see one another." The first ἐγὼ εἰμί (ver. 12) brought out their angry unbelief, but this excites their murderous assault. We have to observe that this remarkable expression does not stand alone. St. John had reasons for saying "that the Word was with God, and was God. and was made flesh" (John 1:1, 3, 14). If Jesus, in his Divine consciousness, had never elsewhere spoken of having had a being before his manifestation (John 6:46, 62; John 17:5), of having taken part with the Father from the beginning (John 5:17), of being "one with the Father" (John 10:30, 33), of being greater than the temple or the sabbath, as being the Object of the eternal love in coming down from heaven, in laying down his life that he might take it again (John 10:17, 18); and if the language of the apostles (Hebrews 1:1, 2; Colossians 1:17; Revelation 1:18) had not entirely prepared our mind for the data on which such conclusions rested, a generation before this Gospel was reduced to form, we might join the effort to resist such a claim as that of eternal pre-existence. But the whole tenor of the Gospel and the entire New Testament teaching are seen, more and more, to turn upon this fundamental position - that in Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead, that he had life in himself, and eternity, and that the manhood has not only been lifted to the highest place in human remembrance, but to the midst of the throne.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you,.... Whether it will be believed or not, it is certainly fact:

before Abraham was, I am; which is to be understood, not of his being in the purpose and decree of God, foreordained to sufferings, and to glory; for so all the elect of God may be said to be before Abraham, being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world: or that Christ was man, before Abraham became the father of many nations; that is, before the calling of the Gentiles; for nothing is said in the text about his being the father of many nations; it is a bold and impudent addition to it: and besides, Abraham was made the father of many nations, as Ishmaelites, Israelites, Hagarenes, &c. long before the incarnation of Christ; yea, he was so from the very promise in Genesis 17:5, which so runs, "a father of many nations have I made thee"; so that this appears a false sense of the text, which is to be understood of the deity, eternity, and immutability of Christ, and refers to the passage in Exodus 3:14. "I am that I-am--I am hath sent me unto you", the true Jehovah; and so Christ was before Abraham was in being, the everlasting I am, the eternal God, which is, and was, and is to come: he appeared in an human form to our first parents before Abraham was, and was manifested as the Mediator, Saviour, and living Redeemer, to whom all the patriarchs before Abraham looked, and by whom they were saved: he was concerned in the creation of all things out of nothing, as the efficient cause thereof; he was set up from everlasting as Mediator; and the covenant of grace was made with him, and the blessings and promises of it were put into his hands before the world began; the eternal election of men to everlasting life was made in him before the foundation of the world; and he had a glory with his Father before the world was; yea, from all eternity he was the Son of God, of the same nature with him, and equal to him; and his being of the same nature proves his eternity, as well as deity, that he is from everlasting to everlasting God; and is what he ever was, and will be what he now is: he is immutable, the same today, yesterday, and for ever; in his nature, love, grace, and fulness, he is the invariable and unchangeable I am.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

58. Before Abraham was, I am—The words rendered "was" and "am" are quite different. The one clause means, "Abraham was brought into being"; the other, "I exist." The statement therefore is not that Christ came into existence before Abraham did (as Arians affirm is the meaning), but that He never came into being at all, but existed before Abraham had a being; in other words, existed before creation, or eternally (as Joh 1:1). In that sense the Jews plainly understood Him, since "then took they up stones to cast at Him," just as they had before done when they saw that He made Himself equal with God (Joh 5:18).

hid himself—(See on [1814]Lu 4:30).

John 8:58 Additional Commentaries
Before Abraham Was, I Am
57So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." 59Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.
Cross References
Exodus 3:14
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 8:24
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins."

John 8:28
So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

John 10:25
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me,

John 17:5
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 17:24
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Colossians 1:17
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Treasury of Scripture

Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.


John 8:34,51 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits …


John 1:1,2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the …

John 17:5,24 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory …

Proverbs 8:22-30 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old…

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government …

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands …

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hebrews 1:10-12 And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the …

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Revelation 1:11,17,18 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you …

Revelation 2:8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things said …

I am. That our Lord by this expression asserted his divinity and eternal existence, as the great I AM, appears evident from the use of the present tense, instead of the past tense, from its being in answer to the Jews, who enquired whether he had seen Abraham, and from its being thus understood by the multitude, who were exasperated at it to such a degree that they took up stones to stone him. The ancient Jews not only believed that the Messiah was superior to and Lord of all the patriarchs, and even of angels, but that his celestial nature existed with God from whom it emanated, before the creation, and that the creation was effected by his ministry.

Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you …

Isaiah 43:13 Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver …

Isaiah 44:6,8 Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD …

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none …

Isaiah 48:12 Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, …

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, …

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