Before Abraham was (prin Abraam genesqai). Usual idiom with prin in positive sentence with infinitive (second aorist middle of ginomai) and the accusative of general reference, "before coming as to Abraham," "before Abraham came into existence or was born." I am (egw eimi). Undoubtedly here Jesus claims eternal existence with the absolute phrase used of God. The contrast between genesqai (entrance into existence of Abraham) and eimi (timeless being) is complete. See the same contrast between en in Numbers 1:1 and egeneto in Numbers 1:14 . See the contrast also in Psalms 90:2 between God (ei, art) and the mountains (genhqhnai). See the same use of eimi in John 6:20 ; John 9:9 ; John 8:24John 8:28 ; John 18:6 .