In these passages in the Gospel of John, the apostle is not only acknowledging the deity of Yeshua, but recording Yeshua’s claim to be YHVH. That the Jews attempted to kill him for making this claim (John 8:59) indicates that they understood that he was applying the deific title of I AM (or YHVH) to himself.
Then said Yeshua unto them, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he (a supplied word that is not in the Greek)], and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.… Yeshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Then they took up stones to throw at him. (John 8:28, 58–59)
Yeshua saith unto them, “I am [he (a supplied word)].” And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am [he (a supplied word)], they went backward, and fell to the ground.… Yeshua answered, I have told you that I am [he (a supplied word)]: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way. (John 18:5, 6, 8)
You say, “…..they understood that he was applying the deific title of I AM (or YHVH) to himself.”
So, do you think YHVH is His proper name like Yeshua is the proper name of the Messiah of Israel or is it just another positional title like Elohim or Master? And would you say it applies only to Yeshua or also to the Father?
That’s a good question. My understanding may be lacking, but I see Elohim as the surname for the members of the Godhead. The Bible refers to both Yeshua the Son and the Father as YHVH. Yeshua is the specific name of the Son, and I refer to him as YHVH Yeshua the Son. The Father is YHVH the Father, or Abba for short. The Spirit is the Ruach haKodesh. In my simplistic mindset, that is the best I can come up with based on my understanding of the Scriptures.
Thank you, Natan. That’s helpful.
Perhaps He, because of His very greatness, being eternal and infinite, is, in a sense, nameless, and all references are, at best, only variations of titles and descriptions of aspects of His character and actions, with no one reference being a proper name (other than that of Yeshua, being made a man and having no proper name, as such, before He became a man). We are, then, humbled to always have to consider the greatness of His character, authority, and esteem depending on how He has specifically revealed Himself and to whom we are speaking. In this way, we are left in awe and with the longing to search Him out and to know Him, even if only in part.
“His greatness is unsearchable.” [Ps. 145:3]
“O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how incomprehensible His ways!” [Rom. 11:33]
By the way, the portion of what you communicated to and that was included by the makers of “The Way” documentary, was one of the very best of them all. It was very balanced and a good bit of wisdom for all. Well done!