Give me the scripture where Jesus gave God's name as YHWH or I AM. Explain St John 5:43.
UK Apologetics Reply:
Firstly, 'Yhwh' (no vowels in the Hebrew), never occurs in the New Testament which is written in Greek, not Hebrew. Having said that, 'hallelujah' in Revelation 19:1,3,4,6 is from the Greek allhlouia which is of Hebrew derivation meaning, 'praise you, Ya.' That is the closest the New Testament gets.
Regarding 'I AM' - Jesus said 'I am' (Greek: ego eimi) on eight different occasions, all occasions being recorded by John. ego is a primary pronoun of the first person and can only be used in this way emphatically, eimi is a first person present indicative verb. Again, it can only be used in this construct emphatically. (By the way, you should see the actual Greek words which I quoted, if you see some dreadful transliteration, you should view this web page in Internet Explorer or Google Chrome).
Therefore, each 'I am' is a description which Jesus very deliberately gave of Himself and His work. Let us look at these:
"I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger." John 6:35.
"I am the light of the world; he who fallows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12.
"I am the gate; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." John 10:9.
4. Good Shepherd
"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for His sheep." John 10:11.
5. Resurrection and Life
"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies." John 11:25.
6. Way, Truth, Life
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." John 14:6.
7. True vine
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1.
These Scriptures are outlining the divinity of Jesus Christ, leaving one in no doubt that Jesus is indeed God. Don't forget that this linguistic construct can only be used strongly and emphatically. This is further illustrated by John 8:58. Jesus said, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am," which means that Jesus already existed before His human life on earth.
Let us look at these seven points to see what they are outlining regarding Jesus:
It is Jesus Who feeds us, whether allowing us our physical daily bread (as the Creator of this earth), or whether one speaks of our spiritual bread: the 'bread' of spiritual knowledge which is able to nourish us spiritually, especially granting us knowledge of Jesus Himself, the Father and Holy Spirit and a full understanding of the Gospel.
Jesus is also our light, a truly revealing light which will shine into every dark place as long as we will allow it. Light is always stronger than darkness. Using this 'light' will banish every false philosophy and every false teaching which has staked a claim for the support and adherence of men and women.
Why "gate"? Because a gate, or door, is not only an entrance into a particular place, but also something which will bar those who are uninvited! Jesus is the only gate given to men whereby salvation may be found! As Jesus said, "I am the gate; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9). This is a cast-iron promise!
4. Good Shepherd.
Everybody knows that a committed shepherd will work tirelessly to help and protect his sheep, also that the sheep themselves learn to know their master's voice, not being fooled by the voices of strangers. (John 10:2-5). So John 10 also warns about those claiming to be shepherds and claiming to have the right to enter the gate but they are really impostors. Only the true shepherd unselfishly protects his sheep - no matter what. Jesus Christ is the ultimate 'shepherd of the sheep.' If it is He Who is leading us, we need no other leader! He alone lays down His life for the sheep.
5. Resurrection and Life.
Only Christ offers us resurrection from the Dead! There is no resurrection from the dead in Buddha, nor in Mohammed, nor in any of the gods of Hinduism.
6. Way, Truth and Life.
Confirms the previous points, filling them out even more. There is no better way of life, there is no better definer of truth than Jesus Christ.
7. True Vine.
But this seventh point also contains a warning; just as any part of a plant will not be nourished, and will wither away and die if it gets separated from the main stem and root system of the plant, so we also will not succeed if we are not connected to Christ our Saviour! Do we have a strong prayer life? Are we still keen to grow in the faith? Do we have a strong life of loving service to fellow believers?
Okay, my questioner also asks me about John 5:43.
I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him (John 5:43, NIV throughout).
I think that the Adam Clarke Commentary sums this up as well as anybody ever could:
I am come in my Father's name - [That is] With all his influence and authority. Among the rabbins, it was essential to a teacher's credit that he should be able to support his doctrine by the authority of some eminent persons who had gone before. Hence the form, coming in the name of another.
If another shall come in his own name - Having no Divine influence, and no other authority than his own, him you will receive.... Acts 5:36-37, ...... It is by the just judgment of God, that those who will not believe the truth of God shall be so given up as to believe the most absurd of lies....
It has been the same within the last hundred years or so. Karl Marx, Freud, Darwin and Hitler came 'in their own names,' many thousands of misguided people flocked to them and to their messages. Why? because, as Clarke accurately observed, "...those who will not believe the truth of God shall be so given up as to believe the most absurd of lies." Yet those claiming to come in the name of Jesus are not taken seriously.
Robin A. Brace. January 22nd, 2012.