The War on Christianity continues worldwide, but the church still lives in the hearts of believers. Our online Bible Study courses offered on our You Tube channel (and via MP3 podcasts hosted by Podbean.com) are intended to provide reliable teaching incorporating the valuable ideas of the Eastern Church expressed in Western Church language written for the average lay person. The most recent offering is Episode 31, which I posted to You Tube on 9/10 A.D. 2014.
There is not much in Scripture to equal St. John’s unique use of the Greek ego eimi (I AM), used as a title or name of God in his Gospel. In Episode 31 I focus on three of the I AM declarations: The Bread of Life (6:35, 48), the Living Bread (6:48) and The Light of the World (8:12). Not every use of “I am” in St. John’s account is based on ego eimi, but there are dozens of examples in which the meaning is the same as in Exodus 3:16, in which God spoke to Moses. The phrase was deliberately used in John’s eyewitness account to leave no doubt that the person speaking is the same God who spoke to Moses.
Since so many Western Church translations overlook the importance of ego eimi/I AM and many do not translate them that way, I’ve focused several episodes of my New Testament course on the I AM sayings. In Episode 31 I have connected “I AM the Light of the World” to what I label as the theological “declarations” which John offered in his opening chapter in his Gospel on the linkage of Christ to Light and the issue of Light vs Darkness. I quote John 1:4, 5, 7, 8, 9; John 9:5; Revelation 21:23, 24 and also from Luke 1:72, 73 (Benedictus) which touches on the same topic.
Icons used in this episode are from the 6th and 15th centuries, plus maps from the early 20th Century. The picture included with this posting is The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt, which is based on Revelation 3:21 (letter to the Church at Laodicea). I used it in Episode 8 in the Revelation course, but did not use it in Episode 31 in the New Testament series.
The next episode (Episode 32) in the New Testament series will continue the discussion of “Light of Life” (John 8:12) and take the conversation through John 8:58, when Jesus boldly declares to the doubting Pharisees and scribes: “Before Abraham was, I AM.” I will move through all the remaining major I AM statements and several of the lesser I AM usages and show viewers cases in which the Divine I Am is not what was intended by St. John.
The MP3 podcast versions of the AIC digital archives can be heard via iTunes or at our Podbean site