John 8:25

Who art thou? (Su ti ei;). Proleptic use of su before ti, "Thou, who art thou?" Cf. Isaiah 1:19 . He had virtually claimed to be the Messiah and on a par with God as in Isaiah 5:15 . They wish to pin him down and to charge him with blasphemy. Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning (thn archn oti kai lalw umin). A difficult sentence. It is not clear whether it is an affirmation or a question. The Latin and Syriac versions treat it as affirmative. Westcott and Hort follow Meyer and take it as interrogative. The Greek fathers take it as an exclamation. It seems clear that the adverbial accusative thn archn cannot mean "from the beginning" like ap arch ( Isaiah 15:27 ) or ex arch ( Isaiah 16:4 ). The LXX has thn archn for "at the beginning" or "at the first" ( Genesis 43:20 ). There are examples in Greek, chiefly negative, where thn archn means "at all," "essentially," "primarily." Vincent and Bernard so take it here, "Primarily what I am telling you." Jesus avoids the term Messiah with its political connotations. He stands by his high claims already made.