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Jesus Claimed to be the Angel of the Lord in John 8:58

I've often heard that John 8:58 is scriptural proof that Jesus claimed to be God.

However, there is strong scriptural evidence that Jesus is referring back to his existence as “the
angel of the Lord” that God used to appear to Abraham and Moses in Genesis and Exodus.

First, with the question and answer of John 8:57-58:

John 8:57-58 (King James Version)


http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...08;&version=9;
Quote:

57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
-what these Jews did not realize is that the Biblical prophecy states the messiah's origin is "from
old, from everlasting" and, therefore, he would indeed have existed in Abraham's time:

Micah 5:2 (King James Version)


http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...05;&version=9;
Quote:

2But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of
thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from
of old, from everlasting.
This could mean God himself, or one of the angels or a being like that.

Compare the latter portions of Micah 5:2 and Genesis 6:4.

Genesis 6:4 (King James Version)


http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...206&version=9;
Quote:

4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in
unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which
were of old, men of renown.
"[W]hose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" referred to in Micah 5:2 is
similar to "the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown" referred to in
Genesis 6:4.

The possibility that the messiah used to be an angel (a "son of God") is there.

In Exodus 3:14, God says that his name is "I AM THAT I AM" (the Tetragrammaton), not "I
AM", even though he told Moses to tell the Israelites that "I AM" has sent him:
Exodus 3:14 (King James Version)
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...03;&version=9;
Quote:

14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the
children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
There is a difference in names, implying that God's name is "I AM THAT I AM" (Yahweh, or
"Jehovah"), but not simply "I AM":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahweh
Quote:

"I am"

Mishearings and misunderstandings of this explanation has led to a popular idea that "Yahweh"
means "I am", resulting in God, and by colloquial extension sometimes anything which is very
dominant in its area [11], being called "the great I AM".

Another possibility according to the Complete Jewish Bible by author David H. Stern, proposes
that the Tetragrammaton be pronounced letter for letter in Hebrew and that the name of God
should be rendered by spelling out the four letters, "Yud He Vav He", the meaning assumed to
be "I am that I am" or "I am Who I am", as revealed to Moses in the Torah (Exodus 3:14).
While God would be identified by "I AM THAT I AM", Jesus could be identified by "I AM" at
that time, whom God told Moses to say Moses was sent by, since Moses had seen God (Exodus
3:16, Exodus 33:11, Exodus 24:9-11) while God also says that no man has actually seen God
(Exodus 33:20, see also 1 John 4:12), leaving the possibility that God made himself seen through
a proxy like Jesus the angel ("the Word", "the angel of the Lord") indirectly "in person" that way.

Exodus 6:2-3 states there is such a distinction in the manner by which God revealed himself,
saying that God has been made known by "God Almighty" and "I AM THAT I AM"
("Jehovah"). On the other hand, the messiah, Jesus, may be called "The Mighty God," as
disclosed in Isaiah 9:6. Jesus, as the angel, receives a subordinate name relative to God ("I AM,"
but not "I AM THAT I AM"; "The Mighty God," but not "God Almighty").

Therefore, Jesus is not only of subordinate existence, but holds a subordinate title, for why else
did Jesus say "I AM," but not "I AM THAT I AM" ("Jehovah")? Why is one of the titles of the
messiah "the Mighty God," but not "God Almighty?" Why is there such a distinct difference
between God and Jesus?

Exodus 3:2, Acts 7:30, 35, 38 say that an angel was used at that time to see God indirectly.

Consider Exodus 3:2.

Exodus 3:1-4 (King James Version)


http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...03;&version=9;
Quote:
1Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock
to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

2And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a
bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not
consumed.

3And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bus h is not burnt.

4And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of
the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
There is even further evidence that an angel was used, and not just any angel, but that same one
that was referred to by "the angel of the Lord" throughout Genesis.

Consider the case of Jacob being named Israel and who the man might have been:

Genesis 32:22-32 (New International Version)


http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...2;&version=31;
Quote:

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and
crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his
possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25
When the man saw that he could not ove rpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip
so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go,
for it is daybreak."
But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 The man asked him, "What is your name?"


"Jacob," he answered.

28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Is rael, because you have
struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."


But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet
my life was spared."

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32
Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because
the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.
"Israel" means "he struggles with God," but did Jacob actually wrestle with God himself? Jacob
even claims to have seen "God face to face" and lived, yet, Exodus 33:20 discloses that no
human being has seen God and lived.
Was the man actually God himself, or a proxy? As with Exodus 3:2, God used "the angel of the
Lord" to show himself to Moses and likely used that "angel of the Lord" as an instrumental being
to reveal himself to Jacob.

Abraham had also seen God (Genesis 12:7, Genesis 17:1, Genesis 18:1), but, of course, God says
no man has seen God before and that God has not made himself known to Abraham by God's
name (Exodus 6:2-3), so use of a proxy like Jesus when Jesus was an angel of some sort is there
as a possibility and may very likely be what Jesus is talking about and recalling in John 8:39-40,
56-58.

In John 8:58, Jesus claimed to have been that angel, including the one used to show God to
Moses.