Print this Page


Then Moses [circa 1350 BC] said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'           Exodus 3: 13,14


Name changes occur almost daily in Jersey and around the globe. Locally, the German Underground Hospital has become Jersey War Tunnels. And the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust has become Durrell Wildlife. Individuals change their names too, often through marriage, sometimes formally by Deed Poll, more usually merely by using a different name.

Interestingly, changes of name are not sought by any of the animals at Durrell Wildlife........

That's why "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think therefore I am) - the famous philosophical statement of Rene Descartes (1596-1650 AD) - was such a profound and important discovery.

Descartes wanted to take 'doubt' to its ultimate level. To do that he proposed that he was subject to the deceit of a deceitful god. On that basis even the world around him, the stars, the plants, the mountains, animals and people might not exist - this god was deceiving him. Did it then follow that he, himself, did not exist? The answer, he concluded, was, 'No', because the fact that he was thinking about existence in this way was proof that he existed. But what about the deceiver god - was this god deceiving him also about this one fact that he, Descartes, existed? Descartes said another resounding 'No' because, if that deceiving god was deceiving him, then he must exist for that god to be doing that.

Most of us Jersey folk would not have to be that analytical to know that we do exist. We all say "I am". But the Durrell animals don't - nor do the 'living' daffodils.

Because we exist, we give ourselves names - the animals and flowers don't do that either. We're rather special, each of us, because each of us actually exists and each of us existing ones is unique, despite being made to a general pattern. Hence we attempt to have a unique name. (There are many more double-barrelled names in the Jones and Smith families than in the Perchard or Vibert clans.)

What is the name of the God of the Jewish Scriptures (the Bible's Old Testament)? See above – it’s ‘I AM WHO I AM’. Or, simply, ‘I AM’. 

And Jesus Christ (the subject of both that Old Testament and also of all the books and letters in the Bible's New Testament) also used repeatedly the words 'I am'. One of many examples: in Jerusalem in AD 33, when addressing the descendants of Abraham, Moses' progenitor, he said "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am". [John's biography, written in the First Century AD Chapter 8:58]

They were incensed and picked up stones to throw at him.

But the facts remain. First, with regard to each of us, the words "I am" are correct. You exist; you have being.

Second, with regard to the Bible, God's name is "I AM". And that's also the name of the man Jesus Christ who rose from the dead in AD 33. This "I AM" has passed on "I am" to each and every one of us.

Third, because we “I am”s go-it-alone,  "I AM" has sent his Son (the one who said, 'Before Abraham was, I am') to enable each of us to continue to have being and not to stop being "I am"s through death or anything else for evermore.

But we "I am"s now need to re-connect with the "I AM" through his Son.

‘You have to go outside the world of engines, into the world of men, to find the real originator of the internal combustion engine. Is it not equally reasonable to look outside the world of human beings, for the real Being, the real originator of all being.' (Anon.)
The existence of God means that human existence is not absurd.' (Peter S Williams)
Richard Syvret

Email this newsletter to a friend
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Friend`s name
Friend`s email address *
Your name
Your email address *

Send comment
*All mandatory fields must be filled in

Your name *
Your email address *
Your comment *