ON JOHN 10:30
Did Jesus admit divinity when He said “I and My Father are one” in John 10:30?
THE proponents of the Christ-is-God theology so confidently believe that Jesus’ statement in John 10:30 is an admission of His “divinity.” However, a careful study of the verse itself, comparing it with the truth written in other verses of the Bible, and an analysis of the Greek text of the verse will show us the error of believing that John 10:30 confirms the so-called “divinity” of the Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT THE CONTEXT SAYS
If a person has an open-mind for truth, in just a glance of John 10:30 he can immediately see that it was only the opinion or interpretation of those believing that Jesus is God in saying that this verse confirms that Jesus is God. Nothing in the verse that says “Jesus Christ is God”:
John 10:30 NKJV
“I and My Father are one.”
Clearly, nowhere in the verse says that “Jesus is God.” It is only their interpretation (or should we say misinterpretation) or conclusion that the verse confirms that Jesus is God. Actually, if we carefully study the context, it clearly shows that Jesus is not talking about his “divinity.” Let us take a look of the previous verses of John 10:30:
John 10:27-28 NKJV
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
Here, the Lord Jesus promise that He will give His “sheep” eternal life, and “they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” Then in the next verse (verse 29), this is what He said:
John 10:29 NKJV
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.”
The Lord Jesus said in verse 28 that “they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” And in verse 29, He also said, “no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.” Thus, Jesus concluded in verse 30:
John 10:30 NKJV
“I and My Father are one.”
Thus, the previous verses (verses 27-29) explained why Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.” Jesus and His Father (the one He referred to in John 17:1-3 as the “one and only true God) ARE ONE because as much as no one can snatch the “sheep” from His hand, also no one is able to snatch them out of His Father's hand. Therefore, the context of the verse shows us that Jesus is not talking about his alleged “divinity”, but He is talking about how He and His Father will take care of His “sheep” – no one can snatch them from their hands.
WHAT OTHER TRANSLATIONS OF THIS VERSE SAY
Based on the context of John 10:27-30, it is clear that the Lord Jesus is talking about how He and His Father are one in taking care of His sheep. Further strengthening this position, many versions of the Bible support our position that when Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and My Father are one,” He is not referring to His alleged divinity, but rather on how He and his Father are one in taking care of His sheep.
“I and the Father are one heart and mind.”
CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION:
“I am one with the Father.”
SIMPLE ENGLISH BIBLE:
“My Father and I are united.”
“I and My Father are of one accord.”
WHAT THE OTHER VERSES OF THE BIBLE AFFIRM
For the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Jesus is not talking about His alleged “divinity” in John 10:30, but rather on how He and His Father are one in taking care of His sheep. However, the proponents of Christ-is-God theology insist that Jesus statement in John 10:30 (“I and My Father are one”) is an admission that Jesus and the Father are “one in number,” “one in nature (state of being”), “one in power or authority,” and “being one God.”
Saying that Jesus and the Father are “one in number,” “one in nature or state of being,” “one in power or authority,” and “being one God,” is truly UNSCRIPTURAL. The verse doesn’t say such things:
John 10:30 NKJV
“I and My Father are one.”
The interpretation or conclusion of the proponents of “Christ is God” regarding Jesus’ statement in John 10:30 are not only unscriptural but also AGAINST THE TRUTH written in the Bible.
Nowhere in the verse that Jesus said “I and My Father are one IN NUMBER.” Actually, the interpretation that when Jesus said “I and my Father” means they are “one in number” contradicts the very words of the Lord Jesus in John 8:16-18:
John 8:16-18 Amplified
“Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true [My decision is right]; for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of Us] I and the Father, Who sent Me.
“In your [own] Law it is written that the testimony (evidence) of two persons is reliable and valid. [Deut. 19:15.]
“I am One [of the Two] bearing testimony concerning Myself; and My Father, Who sent Me, He also testifies about Me.”
Here, it is clear that Jesus and the Father are NOT ONE in number. Jesus explicitly said, “…for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of us] I and the Father…”
Are Jesus and the Father one in state of being?
It is also wrong to say that when the Lord Jesus said “I and My Father are one” they are one in nature or state of being. Jesus Himself explicitly said that the Father is spirit:
John 4:23-24 NKJV
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The Lord Jesus Christ attests that the Father is “spirit”, while Jesus Himself also attests that a spirit has no flesh and bones which He has:
Luke 24:38-39 NKJV
“And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’”
Although Jesus is now in heaven, He continues to be flesh and bones or human in nature. This is what the Bible says regarding the one at God’s right hand in heaven:
Psalms 80:17 NKJV
“Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.”
Jesus is the one referred to as the Man at God’s right hand:
Colossians 3:1 NKJV
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”
Are Jesus and the Father one in power and authority?
In the previous verse of John 10:30, this is what Jesus said:
John 10:29 NKJV
“My Father, who has given them to Me, IS GREATER THAN ALL; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.” (Emphasis mine)
Jesus clearly said in John 10:29 that the Father is greater than all. Is Jesus co-equal of the Father? This is what Jesus Himself attested:
John 14:28 Amplified
“You heard Me tell you, I am going away and I am coming [back] to you. If you [really] loved Me, you would have been glad, because I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater and mightier than I am.”
Are Jesus and the Father “one God”?
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself does not agree in saying that He and His Father are “one God” because Jesus Himself taught us that His Father alone is the One and Only True God:
John 17:1 and 3, The Message
“Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:
Father, it's time…
“And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
The Lord Jesus explicitly stated that the Father is the one and only true God, and He is whom sent by the One true God. These words of Jesus clearly refute the conclusion of the proponents of Christ-is-God theology regarding John 10:30.
EVEN THE GREEK TEXT SUPPORTS OUR POSITION
Our position that when the Lord Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and My Father are one,” He is not referring to His alleged divinity, but to how He and His Father are one in taking care of the His sheep is also supported by the Greek text of John 10:30. This is the Greek text of John 1:30:
“ego kai pater en esmen”
As translated: “ego” (“I”), “kai” (“and”), “pater” (“father”), “en” (“one”), and “esmen” (“are”). Thus, translated as “I and My Father are one.” Let us first take note that there are three equivalents in Greek of the English word “one” based on gender:
The example in the New Testament of the used of these three Greek terms is in Ephesians 4:5:
eis kurios (“one Lord”)
mia pistis (“one faith”)
en baptisma (“one baptism”)
Take note that the word used in the Greek Text of John 10:30 which is equivalent of “one” in English is “en” (the “neuter adjective”). Thus, in the Greek Text of John 10:30, the equivalent of the English word “one” (the Greek “en”) doesn’t refer to Jesus and the Father. If the word “one” refers to Jesus and the Father, the verse should used the masculine “eis” instead of “en.”
In the book The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to John, in page 394, the author D.A. Carson agreed that if the masculine “eis” is used this could refer to Christ and the Father and could meant that Christ and the Father are one in state of being or nature. However, because the neuter “en” was used instead, it shows that Jesus and the Father are “one accord” or one in objectives and actions.
Let us examine how I Corinthians 3:8 used the Greek term “en”:
I Corinthians 3:8 NKJV
“Now HE WHO PLANTS AND HE WHO WATERS ARE ONE, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (Emphasis mine)
The equivalent in the Greek text of the English word “one” here in I Corinthians 3:8 is the neuter “en” because the verse shows that Apostle Paul (“he who plants”) and Apolos (“he who waters”) are “one” in goal, objective or action. Thus, how the Greek term “en” is used in I Corinthians 3:8 is also the same as how it was used in John 10:30. The Greek term “en” (translated n English as “one”) not indicating that the two subject are “one in number,” “one in nature” or “one and the same,” BUT ONE IN GOAL, OBJECTIVE AND ACTION.
Thus, the context of John 10:27-30, the Greek Text of John 10:30, other English translations of the said verse, and the truth written in the Bible support and strengthen our position that the words of Jesus stating “I and My Father are one” refers not to the state of being or nature, not proving His alleged divinity, but that the Lord Jesus and the Father are one in taking care of the sheep.
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