I Am He: The Interpretation of A̓nî Hû ̓in Jewish and Early Christian Literature
New Testament scholars often claim that the interpretative key to Jesus' pronouncement of the words ego eimi in the Gospel of John lies in the use of this phrase in the Septuagint of Isaiah to render the Hebrew expression 'ani hu' . While previous studies have paid particular attention to the New Testament usage of ego eimi, Catrin H. Williams sets this evidence within a broader framework by offering a detailed analysis of the interpretation of 'ani hu' in biblical and Jewish traditions. She examines the role of 'ani hu' as a succinct expression of God's claim to exclusiveness in the Song of Moses and the poetry of Deutero-Isaiah, and attempts to reconstruct its later interpretative history from the substantial body of evidence preserved in the Aramaic Targumim and several midrashic traditions. Biblical 'ani hu' declarations are cited by rabbinic authorities as proof-texts against a variety of heretical claims, particularly the 'two powers' heresy, but new 'ani hu' formulations, not necessarily confined to divine speeches, are also attested. In the concluding chapters Catrin H. Williams considers the role of 'ani hu' when seeking to interpret Jesus' utterance of the words ego eimi in Synoptic and Johannine traditions.
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acts Amoraic Aramaic attributed Bahodesh biblical bipartite Chapter Christian Christology citation cited claim cleft sentences context declaration deliverance demonstrate Deut Deutero-Isaianic Deuterojesaja Deuteronomy disciples divine name E.J. Brill eipi eschatological example exegetical Exod Exodus expression Kin eyco eiui eyw eiui formula Fourth Gospel function God's Hebrew highlight idem interpretation Israel J.C.B. Mohr Paul Jerusalem Jesus Jewish Johannine John Josephus Kin 3K linked Lord LXX Isa LXX Isaiah Mark Markan Mekhilta messianic midrashic midrashic traditions Mohr Paul Siebeck motifs narrative occurs parallel particularly passages Pentateuch Peshitta PesK PesR phrase poetry of Deutero-Isaiah present pronouncement proof-texts prophetic proposed Qumran rabbinic traditions rendering response role salvific Samaritan scriptural self-declaration Septuagint SifDeut Sifra significance statement Stauffer Studies syntactic Talmud TanB Tannaitic Targum Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Targumim Testament tetragrammaton texts theme Theology theophany Torah translation Tubingen twofold University Press versions vols words Yahweh