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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