8:24 Thus I told you 1 that you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am he, 2 you will die in your sins.”
8:58 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, 7 before Abraham came into existence, 8 I am!” 9
1 tn Grk “thus I said to you.”
2 tn Grk “unless you believe that I am.” In this context there is an implied predicate nominative (“he”) following the “I am” phrase. What Jesus’ hearers had to acknowledge is that he was who he claimed to be, i.e., the Messiah (cf. 20:31). This view is also reflected in English translations like NIV (“if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be”), NLT (“unless you believe that I am who I say I am”), and CEV (“if you don’t have faith in me for who I am”). For a different view that takes this “I am” and the one in 8:28 as nonpredicated (i.e., absolute), see R. E. Brown, John (AB), 1:533-38. Such a view refers sees the nonpredicated “I am” as a reference to the divine Name revealed in Exod 3:14, and is reflected in English translations like NAB (“if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins”) and TEV (“you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’”).
sn See the note on Christ in 1:20.
3 tn Grk “Then Jesus said to them” (the words “to them” are not found in all
5 tn Grk “I do nothing from myself.”
6 tn Grk “but just as the Father taught me, these things I speak.”
7 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
8 tn Grk “before Abraham was.”
9 sn I am! is an explicit claim to deity. Although each occurrence of the phrase “I am” in the Fourth Gospel needs to be examined individually in context to see if an association with Exod 3:14 is present, it seems clear that this is the case here (as the response of the Jewish authorities in the following verse shows).