• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why are the I AM sayings so controversial? Exodus 3: 14 says God said to Moses, "I am who I am.

Extracts from this document...


Why are the "I AM" sayings so controversial? Exodus 3: 14 says "God said to Moses, "I am who I am". This simple phrase became the name for God and was easily recognised by Jews. When Jesus says in the bible "I am", he is mirroring what God said to Moses and in this way calling himself God. Although the seven "I am" sayings; the true vine, the way the truth and the life, the door of the sheep, the bread of life, the light of the world, the resurrection and the life, and the good shepherd, are most well known, Jesus actually says "I am" twenty six times in John. Each and every time he says just the two words, "I am" he is reinstating, and reminding the Jews that he is the Son of God, and therefore God himself. Robert Kysar comments that "When Christ speaks, it is God who speaks". This was very controversial to Jews because they did not believe Jesus was the Son of God, and therefore it seemed he was blaspheming. When Jesus says "I am the bread of life", there are many reasons why it could be controversial to Jews. Bread had different meanings and symbolised various things in Judaism. Firstly bread reminds Jews of the Manna, the heavenly bread, which God sent them whilst they were wondering in the desert. ...read more.


In Hellenistic tradition light is often associated with God; God created the light in Genesis, and God guided the Israelites through the Desert as a pillar of light. Light also gives sight, and what comes from sight is truth. These things are associated with God, and so it is often the case that God is described as the light. By Jesus saying that he is "the light of the world", not only is he referring as himself to God, which is blasphemy, but also puts across a point that he gives the real truth. Jesus is showing that he has the real truth about God, which is that "the only way to the father is through me", John 14 :6. Just as light illuminates but also casts shadows, so too does Jesus' truth to the world. Where for some who accept it, it illuminates and saves, for others who do not accept it casts shadows of condemnation. Although Jesus does say that he has come "not to condemn but to save", it is inevitable that some will not accept and remain in condemnation. For the Jews this was very controversial as many studied the Torah closely and believed that they knew everything, and knew the truth. To challenge their view on the truth of God was very controversial. The "I am the door of the sheep", and "I am the good shepherd", give similar signs to who Jesus is. ...read more.


Through his life, death and resurrection, everyone has the opportunity to accept the eternal life offered to them. Jews believed that eternal life and righteousness was achieved through the law, but Jesus came to challenge this. He explained that the law was condemning them, and it was only through him that they could be righteous with God and have eternal life. This is explained in John 3: 16-17 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him". This of course was controversial to the Jews as the law to them was the most important thing, and they solidly believed that it was only through following this that eternal life could be earnt. The Jews associated wine, and the vine with the Passover meal. The Passover meal in itself was very important to Jews and the Jewish tradition. By Jesus saying that he was "The true vine", he is disregarding Jewish traditions, and explaining that he is the new Judaism, the new Israel, and the Embryonic Church. To the Jews this was very controversial as it suggested that Judaism was now no use to the people, and just as heard in the other sayings, it is only through Jesus that anyone can come to God. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Outline and Examine Jesus attitudes towards outcasts in Lukes Gospel.To what extent do these ...

    healings because first of all, he didn't heal via the proper channels, which was by going to a priest who would then pray to God, asking for forgiveness for the person that was ill. Jesus ignored all of this and just healed the person on the spot there and then with the power of God.

  2. 'The Jesus' parables of the Kingdom of God were about a future hope of ...

    not oppressing them. The Matthian parable: 'Parable of the darnel' shows hope of salvation in a similar light to that of the Markan 'Parable of the Sower' in that the Kingdom of God, or Heaven (preferred by Matthew because of devotion to respect Gods' name)

  1. Discipleship revolves around following Jesus both physically and spiritually. Both the first disciples and ...

    Some of these services include altar serving, reading during mass, cleaning, ministering the Eucharist and organising social functions.

  2. Manasseh, the King of Judah

    But most important, these passages speak of the completeness of the forgiveness of God. I remember when I started researching for my paper and read the passages pertaining to Manasseh. I thought, "That's strange! Here is a man who thumbed his nose at God for sixty-seven years and died at

  1. Covenants between Man and God in the Bible

    17:10-14; Ex. 12:47-48). The Mosaic Covenant differs significantly from the Abrahamic Covenant because the Mosaic covenant is conditional and the Abrahamic covenant was unconditional (student resource book). To the Israelites the Lord looked like a fire on top of the mountain (Exodus 24:17).

  2. To what extent did Jesus intend to replace the Torah?

    This verse relates the law, Jesus, mosses and the Kingdom of God together; suggesting that Jesus is the new Mosses, bring about laws. ?blessed are those pure in heart? implied that one must not have a divided heart ; and again Jesus reiterated what was taught in Mark 6:24 ? that ?you cannot serve the rich and God?.

  1. Explain what is meant in the Bible by the phrase God is ...

    They provide moral standards by which people should live by. This shows goodness, as God is helping people to live a morally good life. By living this good life, shows God the response he wants, by doing right. It is said that God rewards and punishes people according to the extent to which they take notice of his goodness.

  2. Christianization throughout History. I wanted to find out the true origins of the ...

    This is a time for fasting, praying and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy week and it contains Good Friday, which honors the crucifixion of Christ. After Resurrection Sunday comes a 50 day period called Eastertide, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work