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.
NOWHERE IN THE VERSE THAT SAYS JESUS IS GOD
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”:
“I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30 NKJV)
CLEARLY, NOWHERE IN THE VERSE SAYS THAT “JESUS IS GOD.” It is only their interpretation (or should we say misinterpretation) that the verse confirms that Jesus is God.
WHAT THE CONTEXT OF JOHN 10:27-30 SAYS
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:
“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.” John 10:27-28 NKJV
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:
“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.” (John 10:29 NKJV)
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:
“I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30 NKJV)
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. The reason why other versions of the Bible translated that verse as follows:
THE MESSAGE: “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.”
LAMSA TRANSLATION: “I and My Father are of one accord.”
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 THE GREEK TEXT OF THE VERSE SAYS
Our position that the statement of the Lord Jesus in John 10:30, “I and My Father are one,” 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”, masculine)
mia pistis (“one faith”, feminine)
en baptisma (“one baptism”, neuter)
Take note that in the Greek Text of John 10:30, the equivalent of the English word “one” is the Greek “en” (the “neuter adjective”), thus, it isn’t refering 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.
The Greek term “en” is also used in I Corinthians 3:6 and how it was used in I Corinthians 3:8 is also how it was used in John 10:30. Let us examine how I Corinthians 3:8 used the Greek term “en”:
“Now HE WHO PLANTS AND HE WHO WATERS ARE ONE, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (I Corinthians 3:8 NKJV, Emphasis mine)
If the masculine “eis” is used instead of the neuter “en”, this will means that “he who plants” (Apostle Paul) is also “he who waters” (Apolos). However, we know that Paul is not Apolos. However, the neiter Greek “en” is used (translated in English as “one”). The Greek “ene” is not indicating that the two subjects are “one in number,” “one in nature” or “one and the same,” BUT ONE IN GOAL, OBJECTIVE AND ACTION. How the Greek term “en” is used in I Corinthians 3:8 is also how it was used in John 10:30 – Jesus and the Father as one in goal, objective or action.
Thus, the context of John 10:27-30 and the Greek Text of John 10:30 support and strengthen the position that these words of Jesus stating “I and My Father are one” are not indicating that the two subjects are “one in number,” “one in nature” or “one and the same” (thus, not proving His alleged divinity); BUT ONE IN GOAL, OBJECTIVE AND ACTION – “ARE IN ONE ACCORD” 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.
THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO