John 8:58 "... Before Abraham was I am"

John 8:58, along with a handful of other passages, such as Gen 1:26, Micah 5:2, John 1:1, John 10:30, and a few others, is often times used in an attempt to support the doctrine of a Duality, a 2 in 1 god or the Trinity, the 3 in 1 god, believed on by many Christians and Messianic Jews today.  In both scenarios the Savior is said to be the Almighty, equal with the Heavenly Father, Yahuweh.

Of course never is the term Duality or Trinity ever mentioned in the bible. Neither are such popular terms as the "god/man" or "god the son" ever used, or mentioned in the entire bible.

The Messiah made it very clear, over and over again that His Father, Yahuweh, is the Only True Elohim (G-d), his Father and our Father, his Elohim (G-d) and our Elohim (G-d).

Before we begin to take a closer look at the words of the Messiah in John 8:58, allow me to point out what I believe are some very clear and unambiguous statements the Savior made.  

In John 17:3 Yahoshua lifting his eyes to heaven prayed these words to the Heavenly Father, Yahuweh.  
 John 17:3  …this is life eternal, that they might know you Father the only true Elohim (G-d),  and Yahoshua, Messiah, whom you have sent.

I’ve often asked people in the past, if the Savior,  himself, was standing in front of you right now, and he asked you the question, “Who is the ‘ONLY’ True Elohim (G-d)?”  Would you simply repeat his very words and say, “Well Master, you, yourself said,  your Father is the only true Elohim (G-d).”
Or would you explain to him how he's made a mistake by calling his Father the "Only" True Elohim (G-d). Because you believe him to be 'part' of a Trinity or Duality? Again, things which are never mentioned anywhere in the entire bible.

Of course we’re told over and over again throughout the Scriptures that the Father, Yahuweh, alone is the  only ‘True’ Elohim.  Here are but a few examples taken from the “New“ Testament.

(The reason for quoting only “New” Testament passages is to show that after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, no one ever tried to contradict the Shema, “Hear Oh Israel, Yahuweh our Elohim, Yahuweh Is ONE…” Deut 6:4.  The disciples of the Messiah continued to preach and teach that the Father only is the Only True Elohim.)

Joh 20:17  Yahoshua said unto her, Miriam, Do not touch me; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my Elohim, and your Elohim.  
(Yahoshua has an Elohim that he worships, and that is his Father and ours; John 4:22-24)

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one Elohim, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord (or Master) Yahoshua Messiah, by whom are all things, and we by him.   
Yahuweh has made that same Yahoshua ,…. both Lord (Master) and Messiah. Act 2:36

Eph 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord (Yahoshua), one faith, one baptism, one Elohim and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Messiah is Elohim.

1Ti 2:5  For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Messiah Yahoshua;
(The ‘one Elohim’ of  course is the Father, Yahuweh,  and the mediator between Yahuweh and man is 'the man’ Yahoshua the Messiah.  Keep in mind everything the Apostles said here was written decades "after" the resurrection, and they were still calling the Messiah "the man". Never in the Bible is the Savior ever referred to as the "god/man" or "god the son".


Act 17:30  And the times of this ignorance Elohim winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31  Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness through a  man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.
(Of course the ‘man’ being spoken of here that Elohim (G-d) will use to judge the world is Yahoshua the Messiah.)

The days after the death of the Messiah two of his disciples were walking down a road to Emmaus, when Yahoshua himself met them. Notice carefully what these two disciples of the Messiah believed about him and who it is they thought him to be?

Luk 24:17  And He, Yahoshua,  said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad.
Luk 24:18  One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?"
Luk 24:19  And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Yahoshua the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of Elohim (G-d) and all the people,

Did they think their Lord (Master), Yahoshua, that they followed these 3 years, was the Almighty who came in the flesh.  Of course not, no one ever suggested such a thing.  They recognized that Yahoshua was a ‘prophet’ who was mighty in word and deed “in the sight of Elohim” not that he was the Almighty, or some ‘part’ of a Trinity or 2 in 1 god.

In Peter’s first sermon ever, did he deviate from the very  words of the Savior, in saying that the Father, Yahuweh is the only true Elohim (G-d)?  Or did he, as so many ministers today do, tell these thousands of Jews who came to observe Shavuot, the Feast of Pentecost, that it was the Almighty Himself that died?   Please notice what it was that Peter was preaching and teaching.
Act 2:22  you men of Israel, hear these words; Yahoshua of Nazareth, a man (Yahoshua) who was approved of by Elohim (G-d)….
Act 2:24  Whom Yahuweh has raised up,
Act 2:32  This Yahoshua has Yahuweh raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that Yahuweh has made that same Yahoshua, whom you have impaled, both Lord (or Master) and Messiah.
Peter told these 1000’s of Jews that Yahoshua is ‘a man’ approved of by Yahuweh, notice he did not say that Yahoshua was the "god/man" as so many ministers today would have said.
And that Elohim, Yahuweh “has made” Yahoshua both Master and Messiah, that's not something he would have said if he believed Yahoshua to part of a Trinity, or Elohim (G-d) Himself.  

In his first sermon to the Gentiles, Cornelius and his family, notice again how Peter refers to the relationship between Elohim, Yahuweh, and the Messiah, Yahoshua.
Act 10:37  That word, I say, you know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Act 10:38  How Elohim anointed Yahoshua of Nazareth with the Holy Sprit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; because Yahuweh was with him.
There’s a big difference between Elohim (G-d), Almighty Yahuweh, being with someone and that someone being the Almighty Himself. (see 1John 4:12.… Elohim abides in us…)

For a complete listing of many more such examples from the ‘New’ Testament to verify the words of the Savior, in that his Father and our Father and his Elohim (G-d) and our Elohim (G-d), is Yahuweh, the Only True Elohim (G-d).  

In my opinion it would be very difficult for anyone to confuse any of the above passages.  Why then, if the Messiah made it so clear in telling his disciples that his Father was the only true God that so many Christians and Messianic Jews today refuse to believe it?  Why do so many today go so far as to reject the very words of the Savior, when he tells us that "his Father",  is the only true Elohim?

I believe there's two reasons:
1) "PRIDE" - because most people refuses to believe or admit that they've been deceived into believing a lie, and the sad truth is such 'pride' will not inherit the Kingdom.
Isa 66:2  "But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.."  
It's only the "truth" that can set us free, (John 8:32)    And,
2) Because of a handful of passages that many church leaders misunderstand, or as  the apostle Peter tells us because they  are “untaught in the Scriptures, they twist them to their own destruction”  denying the very words of the one who bought them. (2 Pet 3:16; 2 Pet 2:1).

One such passage, that we’ll take look at now, is:  John 8:58
Joh 8:58  *Yahoshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Some translations go as far as to put the words, ‘I am’ in all capitals, in an attempt to mislead the reader into believing this is the same expression used by the Almighty in Ex 3:14, which it is not.  

Exo 3:14  And Yahuweh said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.

The Savior “did not" use the same words that the Heavenly Father used in Exodus 3:14.     

We’ll first take a look at the words used by the Messiah in John 8:58, in both the English and Greek  and then those that are used by the Almighty in Exodus 3:14, after which we’ll compare the two.  

Although it’s been shown, through the evidence presented in the Dead Sea Scrolls,  that the common language of the Jews, in Yahoshua’s’ day, was Hebrew and Aramaic, Aramaic being a dialect of Hebrew, the earliest existing manuscripts of the ‘New’ Testament available to us today are primarily written in the Greek language, and of course some were written in Latin.

So  what we’re going to do in this study is show that the words of the Messiah, “I am,” which are used in John 8:58, as they are written in the Greek, using a Greek Interlinear, with the words of the Almighty, Yahuweh, “I am that I am,” also in Greek,  as they are written in the oldest manuscript of the ’Old’ Testament available to us today, the *Septuagint,  "are not the same words."

Let me make it clear that you DO NOT have to know a word of Greek to be able to compare the two. All  that’s necessary is for you to be able to see with your eyes the difference in the words in question.  

Again, the words of the Messiah in John 8:58:
Joh 8:58  (English) Yahoshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Joh 8:58  (Greek)   ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι εγω ειμι (ego eimi)

The words ‘I am’ used in verse 58 are the Greek words, “εγω ειμι” which are pronounced ‘Ego eimi’.
The words 'ego eimi,' translated, 'I am,' was a very common term found throughout the 'New' Testament.
These same exact words, 'ego eimi' (I am), were used by John the Baptist, the Centurion, the Apostle Peter, and the angel Gabriel, and others. And, needless to say no ever found it offensive in the dozens of times they were used, including John 8:58, which will soon become obvious as we take a look at it.

The term 'ego eimi', or 'I am,' was used by the Messiah, Yahoshua, approximately 22 times before John 8:58. It was used  8 times in John chapter 8 alone,  and approximately 23 times after that, and Jn 8:58 would have been the only time any one tried stoning him because of his using that term.
If these same words were used by so many others, why did they try to stone the Messiah in John 8:59 then?  We'll take a look at the reasons in a moment, but first let's consider the times before verse 58 that the Savior used the exact same term 'ego eimi' and never was there ever any reaction to it.


In John chapter 8 alone, before verse 58 the Messiah used "I am" (ego eimi) 4 times and no one ever thought anything of it.


Joh 8:12  Then spoke Yahoshua again unto them, saying, I am (ego eimi) the light of the world:….
Joh 8:18  I am (ego eimi) one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me ….
Joh 8:24  ….: for if you believe not that I am (ego eimi), you shall die in your sins.
Joh 8:28  …then shall you know that I am (ego eimi), and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

And just a few of many times the term "I am" (ego eimi) was used by others.

John the Baptist,  “Who do you think that I am?   Act 13:25  
John,                    "I am not the Messiah" John 1:20
The Blind man     "he said, I am"  John 9:9
By a centurion:    “I am a man under authority”  Matt 8:9
A land owner:      “…because I am good?  Matt 20:15
Zacharias:            I am an old man”  Luke 1:8  
angel Gabriel:      I am Gabriel”   Luke 1:19
Chief Priest:         Yahoshua claimed, "I am  king of the Jews" Joh 19:21
Messiah said,       "I am with you always" Matt 28:20
                             "I am among you as he that serves" Luke 22:27  
                             “I am Messiah”   Matt 24:5
The Almighty:     I am the Elohim of Abraham”   Matt 22:32

If this phrase  ‘Ego eimi’,  or ‘I am,’ is used dozens of times by so many different people, then again, how can anyone say, or attempt to say that the Messiah in using it in John 8:58  is claiming to be the Almighty Yahuweh or of equal authority with the Almighty? (John 5:19, 30; Act 1:7)

Exodus 3:14

As I stated at the beginning of this study, the writers of the ‘New’ Testament reiterated over and over again, the words of the Messiah, that his Father, Yahuweh, is the ‘Only True Elohim,’ and yet so many today refuse to believe it.   

In a vain attempt to distort certain passages, they refuse to believe the words of the Messiah,  when he said,
this is life eternal, that they might know you Father the only true Elohim,“                                
and “Yahoshua the Messiah,  whom you have sent.” John 17:3

 And of course John 8:58 is one such passage that many ‘distort’ either deliberately or through ignorance in that they were mislead themselves, as I was years ago, until someone took the time to sit down and show me that which you're reading here.

Those that believe the Savior is the Almighty, or part of a 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 god, known as a Trinity,  believe that the words spoken by the Savior in John 8:58 are the same words  spoken by the Almighty in Exodus 3:14.  Again they are not.
As we've seen above, the same words used by the Messiah in John 8:58 were used by a number of individuals throughout the 'New' Testament.   And as we shall soon see, they are not the same words used by the Almighty in Ex 3:14 to describe Himself.  Neither the Messiah,  nor anyone else, ever used the term used by the Almighty in Ex 3:14.

Let’s take a look at Exodus 3:14.


Again, let me assure you,  you DO NOT have to know or understand a single word of Greek to make the comparison.   All you have to do is ‘look’ at the original words to see that words used in Ex 3:14 are not the same words used in John 8:58 by the Messiah, Yahoshua.  

Here is the English ‘translation’ of Ex 3:14, as found in the Septuagint:
"And Yahuweh spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and He said, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: THE BEING has sent me to you."

And the same passage in the Greek of the Septuagint
Ex. 3:14  καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Μωυσῆν εγω ειμι (Ego eimi) ὁ ὤν· (ho on) καὶ εἶπεν Οὕτως ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ Ὁ  ὢν (ho on) ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς  

 The words in blue "THE BEING" used in the English translation of the Septuagint, are the Greek words ὁ ὤν·, pronounced "ho on." Which are the same words translated "I AM" (in all cap's) in many English translations today.  These words 'ho on' are never used by the Savior, or anyone else except Almighty, Yahuweh.

The words in red "I am" are the Greek words "ego eimi" which are the exact same words used by the Messiah in John 8:58, and dozens of other individuals throughout the "New" Testament.  

Again, this is very important to realize, the words ὁ ὤν· (ho on) which are translated ‘I AM’ by the Christian translators, and translated “THE BEING” in the Septuagint, are two completely different words, These words 'ho on' are never used by Yahoshua or anyone else, never, not one time. They are only used by the Almighty Yahuweh himself.  

Once again here is a comparison of John 8:58, in English and Greek.  The words in 'red' are the words used by the Messiah and many others throughout the bible.  And the words in 'blue' are the words used exclusively by the Almighty.

Yahoshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (ego eimi).
ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι εγω ειμι (ego eimi)

And here is Ex 3:14, as found in the Septuagint translation, in English and Greek.

"And Elohim spoke to Moses, saying, I am (ego eimi) THE BEING (ho on); and He said, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: THE BEING (ho on) has sent me to you."
Ex 3:14  καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Μωυσῆν εγω ειμι (ego eimi) ὁ ὤν· (ho on)  καὶ εἶπεν Οὕτως ἐρεῖς τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ Ὁ  ὢν (ho on) ἀπέσταλκέν με πρὸς ὑμᾶς

And as you can see the words ‘Ego eimi,’ a very common term used dozens of times throughout the bible,  are simply used to introduce the 'ho on'  the BEING.

We looked at some examples above of the Messiah and others using the words εγω ειμι (ego eimi)  but for the sake of clarity I'm going to state some o fthem again here.  I'd like you to see how the words εγω ειμι (ego eimi)  are NEVER used as a title but rather they are used to introduce the subject or object being spoken of.  

Ex 3:14         I am (ego eimi)  THE BEING    (Septuagint)
Mat 8:9  For I  am (ego eimi)  a man under authority
Mat 20:15     because I am (ego eimi) good?
Mat 22:32     I am (ego eimi)  the Elohim of Abraham,11
Mat 24:5       I am (ego eimi)  Messiah;
Luk 1:18       I am (ego eimi) an old man
Luk 1:19       I am (ego eimi) Gabriel,
Joh 1:20       I am (ego eimi) not the Messiah.
Act 10:21     Peter said,  Behold, I am (ego eimi) he whom ye seek:
Act 23:6       I am (ego eimi) a Pharisee,
Mar 8:27      Who do men say that I am (ego eimi) ?
Mat 16:15    He said,  But  who say you that I am?  (ego eimi)
Mat 28:20    I am (ego eimi) with you
Mar 1:7        I am (ego eimi) not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

And here are the number of times the words "ho on" used by the Almighty in Ex 3:14 are used by others:
"NEVER", not one time.

The Messiah did not use the term ’ho on’, translated ‘THE BEING‘.  Not in John 8:58 or anywhere else.  

To summarize:

The words 'ego eimi' translated "I am" in John 8:58, used by the Messiah Yahoshua, are used dozens of times by many individuals throughout the 'New' Testament.

The words 'ho on' in Ex 3:14, which are translated "I AM" by the Christian translators, and the "THE BEING" in the Septuagint, are never used by the Messiah or anyone else except the Almighty Yahuweh alone.

A Few other things to consider:

The Blind Man

I’ve heard people in the past say how at one time they were blind, meaning spiritually, and now they can see.   Well for those of you that might still not be able to see that neither Yahoshua, or any of his followers, ever told anyone to believe that he is the Almighty or claimed equality with the Almighty, maybe the blind man can help.  
   
When Yahoshua opened the eyes of a blind man, his neighbors and those who knew him to be blind previously, said in amazement, "is this the same man who was born blind?"  
Let’s take a look at the account and pay close attention to the response by the blind man to their inquiry.

Joh 9:6  When he had thus spoken, he, Yahoshua, spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
Joh 9:7  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Joh 9:8  The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
Joh 9:9  Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am   (Ego eimi).
(see the comparison below with John 8:58 and John 9:9 in the Greek, the grammar is identical)

You can see in the comparisons below that in the Greek the two passages are structured identically, both ending in "I am" (Ego eimi).  If your translation has the word "one" after "I am" it should be italicized, because it doesn't appear in the Greek.

πριν4250       αβρααμ11       γενεσθαι1096  εγω1473     ειμι1510          (John 8:58 in the Greek)
before           Abraham               was                  I               am                (John 8:58 in the  KJV)

 εκεινος1565     ελεγεν3004       οτι3754        εγω1473     ειμι1510        (John 9:9  in the Greek)
 like him:             [but]  he           said                  I             am                 (John 9:9  in the KJV)

Notice that ‘after’ Yahoshua stated “before Abraham was I am” in John chapter 8, the blind man in the very next chapter, chapter 9, uses the exact same words ‘I am’  (εγω ειμι) to describe himself.

Even though the blind man used the exact same words the Messiah used in John 8:58 no one tried to stone him, why? Because those words used by the Messiah "are not" the words used by the Almighty in Ex 3:14, as was shown above.   
Does anyone today who believes that Yahoshua claimed equality with his Father by saying ‘I am’, in John 8:58, want to accuse the blind man of doing the same thing?  I don’t think so.

Notice in verse 11, how the blind, after he regained sight, described Yahoshua,
Joh 9:11  He answered and said, A man that is called Yahoshua made clay, and anointed mine eyes,….
He recognized that Yahoshua was "a man",  and not the god/man that's believed on by so many today.


The ‘man’ Yahoshua the Messiah

Keep in mind that everything you're about to read was spoken and written years after the Messiah ascended into Heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the ‘Almighty‘.  And ask yourself, if the Messiah was actually the Almighty, which of course he is not, nor did he ever claim to be, but if he was, would the apostles have continued to call the Savior 'a man'?  So many ministers today like to say that when the Savior ascended back into Heaven he regained all his "god powers" and assumed his position as the Almighty.   If that were true, which it absolutely is not, but if it was would the apostles have dared to call the Almighty 'a man'?

Act 2:22  You men of Israel, hear these words; Yahoshua of Nazareth, a man approved of by Elohim.

Act 13:38  Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Act 17:31  Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness through that man whom he has ordained; whereof  he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.

1 Co 15:21  For since by man came death, by man (Yahoshua) came also the resurrection of the dead.

1Ti 2:5  For there is one Elohim, and one mediator between Elohim and men, the man Messiah Yahoshua;

Heb 10:12  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God;

Rom 5:15  ……. much more the grace of Yahuweh, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Yahoshua Messiah, has abounded unto many.

Have we learned anything from the ’blind man’? Is Messiah sitting at the right hand of the Almighty as the 'man' Yahoshua or is he as many would like to believe 'the Almighty' himself?  (Ps 110:1-2)  


What did Yahoshua mean when he said, “before Abraham was I am”?

If Yahoshua wasn’t claiming equality with the Almighty, anymore then the blind man was, then what did he mean when he said “…..before Abraham was, I am“  verse 58.

Let’s first read the context of what was being said:
Joh 8:56  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Joh 8:57  Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?
Joh 8:58  Yahoshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Joh 8:59  Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Yahoshua hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

When Yahoshua told the Pharisees that not only did Abraham  look forward to seeing his day, but he saw it.  The Pharisees immediately ask, ”you're not even 50 years old yet, and your saying you’ve seen Abraham?”  
And Yahoshua answered, “Before Abraham ever existed, I existed”.  

It’s true, I’m far from qualifying as a Biblical Scholar, so some might ask how can you claim that to be accurate interpretation?  

Well, two reasons,  
1st  from the context.   The question asked to Yahoshua was concerning his being before Abraham.  And when he answered he began by saying that “Before Abraham was ….”  OR "Before Abraham existed…."

As we’ve seen, Yahoshua never in his lifetime used the same words as his Father used in Ex 3:14.  And if someone wanted to suggest that he did, the context wouldn’t make any sense.
Notice,   “Before Abraham was, the Being”?  or possibly, “Before Abraham was, Self-existent” (“Self-existent” being another rendering of the words 'ho on', used twice in Exodus 3:14.)  
That wouldn’t have made any sense to anyone.    And since no one ever took exception with the other dozens of times the same words “I am” (Ego eimi’)  were used, by everyone and anyone, including the time the blind man simply stated “I am“ (John 9:9), why would anyone  have thought differently this time?  They wouldn’t have.  

So for verse 58 to say, as many would like to believe "Before Abraham was I am the Almighty" would not make sense contextually, it is contrary to everything the Messiah, Yahoshua said about his Father being the "Only True God".

I mentioned two reasons for understanding it to say, “before Abraham existed, I existed”.  The other reason is because that is how a number of  well known and respected biblical scholars translated it.

For instances, James Moffatt, a respected Hebrew/Greek Scholar, who, I believe I’m safe in saying would be recognized by most pastors and just about all seminary students of the bible, in his translation, 'The Bible.' In which he  translates John 8:58 thus:
John 8:58, "Truly, truly I tell you," said Jesus, "I have existed before Abraham was born."

In ‘The Complete Bible‘ by Edgar J. Goodspeed, another well known biblical scholar, translates
John 8:58  Jesus said unto them, “I tell you, I existed before Abraham was born”  

Still others have translated it, "Before Abraham came into existence, I have been."

Yahoshua was saying, as he had done on a number of other occasion, that he existed from the beginning of creation, he is the ‘first-born’ of Yahuweh’s creation.  I don’t believe to many reading this would disagree with that, so I’ll simply state a few passages that show that, rather than quoting them.  
(John 1:15, 30; Col 1:15;  Heb 1:6; Rev 3:14)

So according to the context and according to leading scholars,  to translate “I am" in John 8:58 as “I existed” is not only acceptable, it’s appropriate.

Why then did the Pharisees seek to kill the Savior?

Well, first of all the Pharisees, who very early in Yahoshua’s’ ministry, were constantly looking for an opportunity to seize the Messiah, and kill him.  

John 7:1  After these things Yahoshua walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

John 7:30, we're told , "So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. But many of the crowd believed in him; and they were saying, 'When the Messiah comes, he will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?  The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him.

Because of the many people who were starting to 'BELIEVE' in Him, the religious leaders where seeking an opportunity to seize and kill him.

Let me side track here for a moment, and ask WHAT were the people believing about Yahoshua? That He was Almighty, or part of a 'triune’ god, or that he claimed to be equal with the Almighty?  NO, never, not one time are we told to believe such a thing, nor did anyone in the bible believe such a thing.  But rather we’re told that He was/is the Messiah, the one sent by Yahuweh.  The very thing that we are told to believe all through the Bible.  Never are we asked to believe He is the Almighty or part of a 3 in 1, Trinity,  or 2 in 1,  god.  
(Here are but a few of the many passages stating what we are told we must believe about Yahoshua.  John 20:30-31; Act 5:42; 8:37; 9:22; 17:3; 18:5; 18:28; 1 John 2:22; 1 John 5:1 And as for the verses that state that Yahoshua is the ‘Almighty’   -none- “O“ )

What then provoked the Pharisees to want to kill Yahoshua in John chapter 8?
It would be hard for someone to imagine how revered these orthodox rabbi's are in Israel, I'd consider it the equivalent to the worship the Pope receives in the Catholic Church.  After living here,  in Israel, and seeing how everyone jumps to their  fieet when one of these rabbi's walks into a room, or how upon leaving the room his hand is kissed, I can definitely understand how the things the Messiah said to them would have enraged them to a point of wanting to kill him.  And of course by instigating the crowd before Pilate they accomplish their goal. Imagine telling these "men of authority" the following:   
*   "you are of your father the Devil"  vs 44
*   "...you are NOT of Yahuweh"  vs 47
*   "...I will be a LIAR like unto you"  vs 55
and finally in verse 58, He tells them that He existed before Abraham.  Couple this, with the fact that they wanted to kill him before His comments in Chap 8, (John 7:1,30) and it’s not hard to understand them picking up stones wanting to kill  him.

One last point.
IF,’ as so many would like to believe, the Messiah was implying that he was the Almighty, or 'part' of a Trinity, in this passage, something of course he never did, then why when he was standing trial in the ’kangaroo’ court at the palace of the High Priest, didn’t anyone ever mention the time that Yahoshua called himself by the title that is only used by the Almighty in Exodus 3:14 (ho on) ?  Notice what they did say about him, in their attempt to find some kind of accusation against him.

Mar 14:56  For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
Mar 14:57  And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
Mar 14:58  We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

Though these "false witnesses" were trying make up some lie about the Messiah, Yahoshua, no one ever suggested that he claimed equality with the Almighty. The worst charge that they brought against him was the fact that he said, “destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  speaking of course of his body.  
Even as Yahoshua hung dying, no one thought or accused him of claiming to be the Almighty.


Notice what they did accuse him of:
Mat 27:41  Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
Mat 27:42  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
Mat 27:43  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

They accused him of ‘trusting’ in Yahuweh.  Does that sound like something anyone would say about someone that claimed to be the Almighty?  He never claimed to be the Almighty. Nor did anyone at his trial or after his death, accuse him of such a thing.  

The point is, if it were true, as Christianity today believes, that the Messiah claimed to be equal with the Almighty, ’WHY’ didn’t anyone ever mention that at his trail?  They could have, and  rightly so, charged him with blasphemy, ‘if’ he claimed to be the Almighty.  Why didn‘t they use that charge against him?

Answer:  Because the belief in a 'Trinity' or that the Messiah was actually the 'god/man' or 'god the son,' didn't exist during or immediately after the  preaching of the apostles.  It would be another couple of hundred years, at the Counsel of Nicene, the first meeting of the Catholic Church, that the doctrine of the Trinity, was made the ’official’ teaching of ’Christendom’.   
And that's a fact that anyone interested in 'truth' can prove to themselves with minimal effort, by  researching in any encyclopedia, the origin of the 'Trinity'.   

We’re told not go beyond that which is written in the Word (1 Cor 4:6), and never are we asked to believe that Yahoshua was the Almighty, but we are told countless times that we must believe he is the Messiah, sent by the Almighty, Yahuweh.    

A few examples:

John 20:30  And many other signs truly did Yahoshua in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
John 20:31  But these are written, that you might believe that Yahoshua is the Messiah, the Son of Yahuweh; and that believing you might have life through his name.
(Everything John  wrote was so that you mighty believe Yahoshua is the Messiah, NOT the Almighty.)


1Jo 2:22  Who is a liar but he that denies that Yahoshua is the Messiah? He is anti-messiah, that denies the Father and the Son.
(John does not call us liars for not believing Yahoshua is Elohim (G-d) Almighty, but for not believing he is the Messiah. Everything John wrote is to 'prove' that Yahoshua is the Messiah, not the Almighty Elohim. John 20:30-31)

1Jo 5:1  Whosoever believes that Yahoshua is the Messiah is born of Yahuweh: and every one that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him.
We are 'born of Yahuweh' for believing Yahoshua is the Messiah. By believing he is the 'True Elohim (G-d)' or 'part of the True Elohim' is to call him a liar when he said his Father is the "ONLY" true Elohim (G-d), . John 17:3.)

Act 5:42,  "And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Yahoshua is the Messiah."   
(They did not 'teach and preach' that he was the Almighty)


Act 9:22  But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Messiah.
(Paul never,  nor did anyone else ever try to prove Yahoshua was the 'god/man', 'god the son' or part of a  Trinity)

Act 17:2-3  "…reasoned with them from the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Messiah must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Yahoshua, whom I preach unto you, is Messiah.
(did Paul "reason from he scriptures" that the Almighty had to suffer and rise again, or the Messiah had to suffer and rise again? No one was expecting the Almighty Himself to come to earth.)

Act 18:5  And when Silas and Timothy were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews [that] Yahoshua [was] Messiah.
(again, he, nor anyone else ever tried convincing anyone that Yahoshua was the Almighty)

Act 18:24-28  Apollos, …was  mighty in the Scriptures….he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Yahoshua,…he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Yahoshua was Messiah.
(If Apollos spoke accurately concerning Yahoshua, why didn't he 'mightily' convince the Jews that Yahoshua was the Almighty?  Because he wasn't, he is the Messiah, the One sent by the Almighty, his Elohim, John 20:17)

Yahoshua  asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am“

Mat 16:13  When Yahoshua came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Mat 16:14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Eliyah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15  He said unto them, But whom say you that I am?
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, you are the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim.

To believe that Yahuweh is the ‘Only True Elohim (G-d)’ isn’t a choice we are given.  It is a matter of Salvation that you accept the words of the Savior when he said,

John17:3  ..this is Eternal Life,  that they might know you the only true Elohim (G-d) and Yahshua the Messiah whom you sent.  

Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: Yahuweh our Elohim (G-d), Yahuweh is ONE:

May Yahuweh bless the ‘honest’ heart that seeks to serve him in spirit and truth.

*The Septuagint - is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanak (“Old“ Testament).  It was translated from the Hebrew to the Greek sometime between the years 250 BCE to 285 BCE, by 72 Hebrew/Greek scholars.  It is the oldest known copy of the books from Genesis to Malachi known to us, to date.  And it was also used by the Greek speaking,  first century assemblies. And by the apostles in reaching the converts who only understood Greek.   

PS.  if anyone feels I've misrepresented or taken any passages out of context please let me know and I'll address it.