Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

One Comment

  1. Rivers
    December 17, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Nathan,

    I agree with your suggestion that what Jesus said in John 8:58 should be simplified (especially the “I am” part which has unfortunately been the focus of almost all debate about the meaning of the verse).

    EGW EIMI is nothing more than the simplest way to express “I am [the someone or something at the present time]”. It is used this way numerous times by the writer of the 4th Gospel with no implication of any “perfect progressive” sense that a translation like “I have been” would mean in English.

    In the context of John 8:51-58, it makes perfectly good sense that Jesus was simply saying that “I am (presently)” the one who’s day Abraham saw (John 8:56). I don’t think it’s necessary to infer anything from “I am” about how Jesus Christ might “have been” understood (prophetically) or “have been” existing (substantially) prior to his own personal awareness of who he “is” claiming to be in the immediate context of the conversation.