Marco Cáceres di Iorio

John 14:6

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

This verse has always nagged at me because it is so often used to”prove” that Jesus Christ is the only way to “God.” Instinctively, I’ve disagreed with this for as along as I can remember. It is one of the most destructive verses in the Bible because it has been used throughout the ages to justify intolerance and many more unpleasant ways of treating those who are not Christians.

It is so utterly un-Jesus-like. To use this verse as anything akin to “proof” that would justify exclusivism is overly simplistic.

Additionally, it assumes many things… not the least of which is the unquestioned authority of the community or individual who wrote the Gospel of John. Many traditional scholars attribute authorship of the Gospel of John to the “beloved disciple” of Jesus — John of Zebedee. But this is far from certain. John of Zebedee was apparently beheaded by Agrippa I in 44 CE, long before the Gospel of John was written (sometime around 100 CE).

Without knowing really who wrote the Gospel of John, my tendency would be to read what the writer(s) wrote and reflect upon it… and see in which ways the wisdom points to God, and in which ways it does not. Of course, one can debate endlessly about such things as the meaning, the interpretation, and the authority of Scripture.

What I cannot accept are poor or inaccurate translations of the original scripture written in Aramaic or Hebrew.

Note that in the original Aramaic, the word that was translated into the Greek to mean “I” in John 14:6 is “ena-ena.” The problem is that ena-ena does not actually mean “I” as we understand it. It does not mean the “individual I,” but rather “I-I”… In other words, the “cosmic I,” as in “I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3: 13-14).

My understanding of John 14:6 is that Jesus was referring to his Father in heaven… the great “I AM” or Yahweh.

Also, in the original Greek version of this scripture, the word for”comes” is “erchetai.Erchetai has a very present tense meaning, feel. It does not apply to all people for all time. In John 14:6, Jesus was speaking to his disciples, trying to comfort them after telling them he would die soon.

The more accurate translation of John: 14:6 is: “Yahweh is the truth, the way, and the life. No one of you here comes to the Father but through me.”

I sense there is one creative (and destructive) force in the universe. Some people refer to it as “God.” Call it “Charlie” if you like. I believe that all-powerful unifying force reveals truth and enlightenment in different ways to different people in different cultures in different worlds in different galaxies at different times.

4 Responses to “John 14:6”

  1. David

    No, the more accurate translation is “I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Way and The Truth and The Life; no man comes to my Father but by me alone.”

    Jesus’ reference to “I AM” is the same text as what is used in John 8:58. Where Jesus clearly identifies himself as the great “I AM” in the trinitarian sense.

    Jesus is THE way.

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    • Outlier

      Sorry dude, Jesus of Nazareth wrote NOTHING down, so we don’t what he said. Oh, and the four Gospels? They were written anonymously, so we don’t know who wrote that stuff either.

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  2. CC

    I have struggled with the idea that there is only one way, and only one singular path as stated in this translation. I went on a similar search and found stark difference in conclustion.

    A reply i found on a forum by Sam-Mic gives a good explanation of the true meaning of Ena-na within the context of 14:6 –

    A total of four people, other than Jesus used Ena-Na, here they are…
    1) Paul used Ena-na twice:”I AM the least of the apostles”, “I AM the greatest sinner”.
    2) John the Baptist:”I never said “I AM the messiah””.
    3) The Blind man that received sight, when he was being interrogated by the teachers of the Law: “I AM that person”.
    4) The Angel Gabriel (technically not a person, but whatever): “I AM Gabriel, because I stand before ELOHIM”.

    What it actually means – Context:

    Paul used it to explain his “sole” position and exclusive claim to a state of being amongst others, used to differentiate and distinguish him from a group (the other apostles) = (i am the least of Apostles, … greatest sinner).

    John used in reference to the one-true, singular, exclusive identity of the messiah, of which there is and will ever be only one.

    The blind man used it in a past tense to describe himself as the only, specific and exclusively stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt, that he was THE blind man that was the object of their discussion/inquiry “I AM the one that was blind”.

    The angel Gabriel used Ena-na in a personal way, distinguishing the angel’s sole and unmistakable identity as Gabriel, due to his position before ELOHIM. (Luke 1:11, 19 ): “I AM Gabriel because I stand before ELOHIM”.

    Jesus uses the word in 14:6 in reference to the exclusive path to “the Father” which, in understanding the context, definition, and usage of the word within the texts, is very clear and distinct, and purposefully so. Therefore, the use of the aramaic word Ena-na in 14:6 for the exclusive way to the Father is consistent with the literal meaning of the english translation “I am the way the truth….. NO MAN comes to the Father but by me.”

    Ena-Na implies exclusivity. As such, this precludes any possibility of additional “ways” to the Father. Although God, in His infinite power and mercy, could create “ways” out of thin air, or allow people to reach him for whatever whimsical reason, or no reason, He wants, this notion is inconsistent with who God is – perfect and just. It is not like God to contradict himself. To contradict Himself is, in essence, a paradox, for if God is perfect and just, then any deviation in His actions from His declarations would destroy the aforementioned truths. If (assupmtion of truth), then (dependency – the result of the assumed truth)

    “Ena-Na” holds a very different meaning within the context of 14:6 than “I AM that IAM” and is exclusively referring to the one, singular, and sole path to “the Father.”

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    • Charles Loudermilk

      Excellent explanation, however it will be lost on those choosing to believe human emotion rather than the Truth.

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