For except ye believe (ean gar mh pisteushte). Negative condition of third class with ean mh and ingressive aorist active subjunctive of pisteuw, "For unless ye come to believe." That I am he (oti egw eimi). Indirect discourse, but with no word in the predicate after the copula eimi. Jesus can mean either "that I am from above" (verse 23 ), "that I am the one sent from the Father or the Messiah" ( Jo 7:18Jo 7:28 ), "that I am the Light of the World" ( 8:12 ), "that I am the Deliverer from the bondage of sin" ( Jo 8:28Jo 8:31Jo 8:36 ), "that I am" without supplying a predicate in the absolute sense as the Jews ( Deuteronomy 32:39 ) used the language of Jehovah (cf. Isaiah 43:10 where the very words occur ina pisteushte--oti egw eimi). The phrase egw eimi occurs three times here ( Isaiah 8:24Isaiah 8:28Isaiah 8:58 ) and also in Isaiah 13:19 . Jesus seems to claim absolute divine being as in Isaiah 8:58 .