Good morning Charisma,
Originally Posted by Charisma
It's good to have your insights.
You wrote "There is no conflict between the doubling of the 'I am's IF the person is pointing to themselves - which is debz' point."
I think you got it backwards. Deb's point was that the person was pointing to Christ and saying "he is the I am" just like Christian teachers do today. But they are deceptive despite the fact that they sound orthodox. That is her point as far as I can tell.
But I can't see how her interpretation could work because then there would be no one saying "I am" about themselves at all because the "I am" got changed to "he is." They would be saying "he [Christ] is the I am." If the "I" refers to Christ, they must double the "I am" -
Many will come in in my name, teaching the truth that I am the I am, and they will deceive many.That's my problem, the text doesn't actually say anything like that. The meaning Debz suggests is not actually being stated in Matthew 24:5. We have to add too many words to the text. The plain meaning is that the false Christs will make the false assertion that they are the Christ by saying "I am the Christ" or simply "I am."
I wasn't saying there was a "conflict" with the doubling of the "I am" - my point was that it isn't in the text, and I see nothing that would justify adding it.
You wrote "when Jesus said 'Lo Christ is... ' someplace else, that makes the false Christ someone other than the person speaking."
Yes, and it makes perfect sense that the person "someplace else" was claiming to be Christ, and that fits the plain interpretation of Matthew 24:5.
I find this discussion fascinating because it shows how nothing written in the Bible can be understood with any clarity or certainty. Folks read exactly the same sentence and come to opposite conclusions with apparently no way to establish the truth of what it "really" means. This proves to me that the Bible is actually meaningless as a guide and void of any objective instructions.
I'd be very interested to know if anyone reading this thread thinks there is any objective meaning to Matthew 24:4-5 that can be established with certainty, or is it just a free-for-all where everyone believes what they want to believe? And if there is objective meaning, how do we establish what it is?