As a boy, Robin Williams’ portrayal of Popeye the Sailor probably brought more clarity to this theological dilemma in the I Yam What I Yam (1980).
My favorite part is when he screams it aloud 1m:20s and 11 yr old me watching this on HBO was like “OOHH, that’s what that means”.
It’s less about “What does “I am” mean?” and more about the FORCE of “I am”.
It’s a declaration, an announcement TO whoever is listening.
“I am that I am” is a statement for an AUDIENCE.