2.22.2012

John 10:30 : I and the Father are One.




John 10:30 I and the Father are one. NASB

The Gospel of John has a unique place among New Testament writings. It has unique content as well as unique literary style. The fourth Gospel has similarities to the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, Luke) but John is largely unique. John record's no exorcisms or sitting with sinners. On the other hand the Synoptics do not contain the story of Nicodemus or the Samaritan woman. Scholars suggest that John's vocabulary is simple but containing undeniable theological significance. John has a repetitious style even utilizing parallelism's for emphasis (See John 14:27).

Translator and scholar Daniel A. Wallace notes quite clearly in his Greek Grammar that "there is an exalted Christology in the Fourth Gospel, to the point that Jesus Christ is identified as God (cf. 5:23; 8:58; 10:30; 20:28, etc).(1) Wallace is a Trinitarian but does identify John 10:30 to be a text which identifies Jesus as God. It is only in post-Biblical history and discussion that a full Trinitarian system and interpretation came about. After hammering away many years the Trinitarian interpretation finally emerged and this text began to be used to support such doctrine. It is a matter of Scripture and not necessarily history that decides what is said here though.

The Good Shepherd:

In John 10 we read of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep. In John the miracles of Christ preface a discussion about the person of Christ. The work of Jesus, while on earth, created discussion about His identity. Early in this chapter Christ is the Door (See also John 14:6) to the sheepfold and at the same time the Good Shepherd (John 10:3, 8). The Jews then desire a public statement from Jesus perhaps to entrap him. At any rate, he does not give them a direct answer. In 10:25 Jesus tells them that the things he has been telling them all along have been pointing to the fact that He is the Christ.

Christ even tells the Jews that His sheep listen to his voice (10:27) and that He gives them eternal life. Jesus gives eternal life? Wait. No mere mortal gives eternal life. No finite person is able to give such an infinite gift. Only God gives such life. Only God can give such a saving life that is efficacious for an infinite number of believers. God gave life to Adam and Eve. Therefore, He is the source of life. Jesus also says that the sheep will never be destroyed and no one can snatch them from his hand (10:28). No finite person is able to be guarantor of any such thing.

Early Jesus also makes an important distinction when he says that the Father is greater than all. Yet, Jesus also says I and the Father are one. John has already showed us that the Logos was "with" God and yet "was" God. The distinction between Father and Son are not in their being or in their person but in mode of existence. The distinction between the Father and Son is not produced by divine essence but as a result of the humanity of Christ. Jesus then says no one can snatch the sheep from the Father's hands either. No one or anything can snatch a believer from the hand of God. As noted earlier, it is no small matter for Jesus to suggest that no one can snatch believers from His own hand. This is so because Father and Son are the Good Shepherd. It is important to consider the Old Testament background such as Isaiah and the minor prophets to interpret the "I am" sayings. Isaiah 40:11 records:
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. (Isa. 40:11)
The Shepherd of Isaiah is the same Shepherd of John and therefore the very context proves that the hand of the Father and the hand of the Son are one and the same. This further supports the "I am" sayings of Jesus as being connected with the same "I am" statements of Yahweh in the Old Testament (see Exodus 3:13-15; John 8:24; 58, etc) In Rev. 21:22 John's doxological praise of Jesus knows hardly any distinction. In Rev. 21:22 God and the Lamb form one subject using a singular verb. Therefore, to say that God and the Lamb are one and the same is not bad grammar. 

In The Lord From Heaven Leon Morris notes, "We are reminded of the way in which Paul so often does not put a difference between our Lord and the Father. So in the heavenly city, 'the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb' are the temple, and they are its light also."(2) For Melito of Sardis, writing in the latter half of the second century, it seems Jesus can be called Father and Son (On the Passover, 9-10) as well as Lamb and Almighty (On the Passover, 4; 45). Click here to read more quotes from Melito.

Plural verb:

As noted earlier in John 10:30 a plural verb ("are") is present. It is not surprising that a plural verb is used here. A plural verb is actually necessary. In the context of John 10 we read of Jesus and the Father. It is Jesus and the Father who are one. Jesus is also the one mediator who John is convinced is both of God and man. The word one here is in the neuter form. It would seem appropriate to have a masculine form here given the nouns Jesus and Father are masculine; however, such is not the case. Trinitarian scholars will suggest that the masculine form would prove the Father and Son are the same person. This is to admit however that gender cases identify person. If so, the masculine form is used in Gal. 3:20 and we could conclude that God is one person.

The plural verb is not present to impress upon us that two divine persons are in some way one divine essence. Colin Brown notes that John 10:30 "should not be interpreted to mean that the oneness of Jesus with the Father consists of the joining of two persons or beings who were formerly separated. We must understand it in the light of Jn. 14:9: "He who has seen me has seen the Father." In a Christian sense no one can speak of God unless he is speaking concretely of Jesus."(3) Recall that in John 10 Jesus refers to his hand as well as the hand of the Father.

Even if Christ were saying the Father and Son are the same person a plural verb would have been used. There is actually no need for inserting the pronoun "we" in John 10:30. The plural verb used by John here can be rendered as "we" but a "we" is usually supplied by the translators when the subject is not certain or vague. There is no such need with John 10:30 since it's clear that "I" is a personal pronoun forming as a subject and this subject is one with the subject "Father". 

One:

This oneness Jesus claimed cannot be reduced to only oneness in agreement or purpose as we see in John 17:20-22. Jesus being one with the Father in saving Israel would not have illicited stoning. If that was all Christ asserted He would not have been accused of blasphemy. The claims of Jesus can only be considered blasphemous if he was not who he claimed to be. The pronouns or the neuter form of "one" used here is not that significant to the debate but worthy of our attention. One always means one. 

John does not use the masculine form of the numeral one however and switches to neuter possibly for emphasis and possibly because God does not have a gender. It can mean something like the Father and Son are one and the same. The same one as in the Shema of Israel (Deut. 6:4). 

Just because the word one here is in the neuter form does not mean that it must or can only refer to an impersonal thing (such as divine nature) and not person. In the Greek New Testament the neuter form of one is used of persons and living creatures (See Mark 9:37; Matt. 5:30; 18:14; 1 Cor. 3:8; Eph. 4:4 and Rev. 15:6). 

Plural of Identities:

A plural of identities could be seen here but not necessarily a plurality in person. In this very chapter Jesus is the door of the fold, the Shepherd, the doorkeeper and the Lamb of God. Even here Jesus has a plural of identities but not of person. Jesus then utters the simple but important words, "I and the Father are one." (NASB) Six words. Here Jesus does not say "I am the Father." There was more to be said and John does not gloss the distinction between Father and Son. Nor does it say that Jesus and the Father "share" one essence or that Jesus and the Father merely share a close fellowship as God to man.
The word order changes slightly when rendered in English from the Greek text. The immediate context is the single most important controlling factor. Not a pronoun or even a verb. Pronouns are words used to refer back to antecedent nouns. Their use is not to indicate a person necessarily. However, when the pronouns refers to a person the definition of person is not indicated. In many constructions nouns present can refer to persons who are separate or distinct beings. Jesus is saying that He is one with the Father but yet we realize they are distinct. This distinctions is produced by the humanity of Jesus Christ--God existing as a genuine human life.

Quite clearly the Shepherd is one person and is referred to as one person. The "one" in John 10:30 appears to have a meaning of absolute oneness. There is only one flock, one shepherd and we have already seen He is spoken of as a "He" (Isa. 40:11). The one flock is in Jesus' hand and in the Father's hand. The one flock cannot be in two places at once. So the Father's hand and the Son's hand must be the same place. If they both have the same hand, then they must both be the same person.

Here "hand" in the feminine form is used. It seems to be used figuratively but hand does not simply mean control or power. If so, then there would be two shepherds (if the Father and Son are two different persons). That would also set itself against what Jesus and the Old Testament had already said namely that there is only one Shepherd (John 10:16; Isa. 40:11).

Jesus makes at least seven "I am" statements that serve as descriptions of himself as the Son who makes the Father visible to the mortal eye. He is the Logos--God's self-revelation or self-expression (See John 1:1). In John 10:11 Jesus emphatically states, "I am the good shepherd." Jesus does not have in mind a general shepherd feeding the flock of a hillside. Here there is emphasis--"the good shepherd.". Jesus is the Good Shepherd.


JNA


NOTES:

1) Wallace, D.A. (1996) Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (267) Zondervan Grand Rapids, MI

2) Morris, Leon (1974) The Lord from Heaven (105-106) Intervarsity Press, London

3) Brown, Colin (1986) New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Zondervan Grand Rapids, MI

18 comments:

Steven Mullican said...

Who exactly did Jesus claim to be? Is there one single scripture where the Savior declared I am God? Where in the OT did GOD EVER say HE would be the Messiah? Were the Jews looking for a "God man"? Moses was not told God would be the Messiah but rather God would RAISE UP a Prophet LIKE Moses from AMONG THEIR BRETHREN..what part of this brethren was a dual nature human?Lastly IF a perfect sinless MAN brought sin into the world then WHY cannot a perfect sinless MAN take the sin away?

Anonymous said...

Evidently Mr. Mullican has never read Isaiah 35:4, in which God prophesies through His prophet that "Your [Judah's] G-O-D will come....Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer...". Was this Messianic prophecy left unfulfilled? Me thinks not!

And, time & space would fail us to delineate how many times Jesus claimed Deity...such as the very passage we're discussing. Astounding!

Excellent posts Bro. Anderson.

Anonymous said...

@Steve Mullican, try Isaiah 9:6.

mlculwell said...

Mr. Mullican says he is a former Oneness Pentecostal. Sir, I would reconsider my view if I were you?

steve mullican said...

I asked at least 5 questions..i noticed an attempt at
one of them..hmm

Anonymous said...

Steve, your first question fails simple logic. Does Jesus have to say He is God in order for Him to be God? That does not follow.

Your second one was answered earlier.

The third makes little difference. There is no false dilemma. Also no argument from personal incredulity will help you here. The Jews rejected the Messiah. I cannot expect them to also see, from their own Scriptures, as well that the Messiah would also be God/YHWH. Refer to previous Scriptures cited by anonymous above.

Your last question, is simply the fallacy of a complex question. Adam sinned against God. Adam did not sin against himself. God is the only one who can be our atoning savior and bring actual forgiveness of sin. Therefore, Jesus was God "manifest in the flesh" "reconciling the world unto himself".

If Jesus was just another Moses then Moses should have done it. But, Moses, Abraham and all the prophets were not without sin. Jesus was without sin.

Moses, nor any other human being, can atone for sin. Moses, nor any other human being, can be our true Savior. If so, Jesus would never have been sent.

Finally, you did not reply to hardly anything written in the John 10:30 post above. We should allow our prejudices or presuppositions to be formed by the Word of God. Not presuppositions of a Socinian Christ.

Steven Mullican said...

Steve, your first question fails simple logic. Does Jesus have to say He is God in order for Him to be God? That does not follow.

MA-back at you bro- Does Jesus have to say He is the Son of God in order for him to be? This is one claim He did make for sure,He also said at least 90 times He is the "Son of Man".Even while on trial He was not asked if He was God but rather ARE YOU the Son of God..His answer was yes.To say Jesus was killed because He claimed to be God is simply not there.

The reason Jesus never said He was God because He did not think himself to be but alas..Christianity has made him so

God never said in the OT {where we should be getting our NT doctrine} never one time said He would become the Messiah.Isaiah 9:6 simply will not help your case either for the Trinitarian or Oneness camp.

Yes Adam did sin against God infact we are told because of one MAN sin entered the world.What is grossly misunderstood and seems to be in some denial that God can in fact use a perfect human being to be the sacrifice.God has indeed decreed that a perfect sinless MAN would be the means by which sins of mankind would be and could be forgiven.Afterall it was a PERFECT SINLESS MAN who brought sin in then why is it that a PERFECT SINLESS MAN is not good enough to be the means by which sin is pardoned? God did not declare or purpose in his plan than it would take himself to be the sacrifice but rather that He would raise up a Prophet like Moses {Moses was human} to function and represent God on his behalf and of course more honor than Moses to not only speak,function and perform for God but eventually would be the means by which the sin of the fallen human race could be forgiven. It does not take much to refute the misunderstanding of the above John 10:30..it is simply a denial that God and his human Son were on the same team working toward the same goal..not a display of proving God became a man

Anonymous said...

Steve, thank you for your reply. I am still waiting on you to reply with some substance to the actual topic of this blog post though, namely John 10:30. You have not responded with any refutation of my exegesis.

No, He does not have to explicitly say so in order to be so. Do you have to tell me you are Steve in order for you to be Steve? I am happy to move to texts concerning the complete and fully Deity of Christ but so far you want to cling to an illogical presupposition.

Simply saying Isaiah 9:6 won't help the case isn't an argument or even an attempt at interpreting that Scripture properly. Besides, was Isa. 9:6 the only verse suggested?

I don't think anyone misunderstands the aspect of His genuine humanity. No one is disavowing his mediatorial function either. If Christ were not human He could not be our high priest and redeemer. If Christ were not completely human then there would have been no Calvary. This much is true but that is not allowing the Scriptures to speak completely about Jesus Christ. The complete testimony of Scripture attests to the genuine Deity of Christ also. In this case Jesus is then the perfect and final sacrifice.

In addition, passages such as Ps. 40:6; Ps. 51:16; Isa. 1:11; Hos. 6:6, and etc. all point to the temple sacrifices as being, alone, insufficient in and of themselves prior to the writing of the NT itself. The NT book of Hebrews also discusses this later.

It was never God's purpose for only a human being to atone for the sin of humanity. That is an infinite problem only resolved by an infinite Creator.

Jesus as high priest does represent humanity. Jesus was also representative of Israel, see Matt. 3:13-15 as well as others.

The author of Hebrews makes clear that Jesus is much greater than Moses. As the Son of God Jesus is superior to the angels and servants (Moses), see Hebrews 3. This much is clear. If anyone like Moses or an angel would do, Steve, then there would be no need for Jesus. The analogy to Moses then is a non-sequitur. Moses never forgave sins. Moses was never worshiped. And Moses was never prayed too.

Steven Mullican said...

I hope to respond whem time allows..just letting you know

Dominic Benincasa said...

Steve you are not explaining John 10:30.

Maybe you could explain that one verse for us.

Dominic Benincasa said...

Steve what do you mean when you say John 10:30 is a denial?

Steven Mullican said...

John 10:30..another bullet Oneness use to prove Jesus is God..but it this what Jesus was attempting to explain or was He demonstrating that He and His Father were ONE in unity and purpose..? I think the context in John 10 teaches just that..He and His Father were in unity and working together to fulfill the plan and purpose of God...

Same scenario in John 17:11

Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Was Jesus wanting his apostles to be God too? no way..one in purpose and mission...

1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Unity my brother unity..




Dominic Benincasa said...

Steve you still aren't dealing with John 10:30, you instead offer John 17:11, and 1st Corinthians 3:6?

How about showing us the context of this one small verse within its own chapter?

John 10:25 Jesus tells religious One God Judeans that all of His actions were down in the Father's authority, those evidences proved who He was.

John 10:26 Jesus then informs these Judeans that they were not of the true fold, because they didn't believe who Jesus claimed He was, and didn't accept Jesus' works which was the evidence of who He was. These were Judeans, who believed in only ONE GOD, without divisions, without outside helpers, who were able to share his glory. While you offer 1st Corinthians 3:6, which speaks of two ministers working together who are nothing, and Paul shows that it is GOD who does the work. In your doctrine are you saying that Jesus is saying that while He is nothing as Paul was doing in 1st Corinthians 3?

John 10:27, is Jesus repeating the main theme of the chapter, which is that He alone is the Shepard of the Sheep, and that those sheep will only listen to His voice alone and follow no one else. No other voice, one voice was to be followed.

Now this brings us to John 10:28-29 which Jesus then informs the One God Judeans that He (Jesus) is the only one who gives eternal life, these individuals are in Jesus hand, and Jesus then states that His hand and the Father's hand are the same hand holding these individuals away from perishing.

This is then followed up with John 10:30 which has Jesus saying, I and my Father are one.

The One God Judeans then pick up stones.

Now, Steve, these Judeans understood that Jesus wasn't making Himself subordinate with God, could you explain chapter 10 and show us how Jesus was merely speaking of unity with God? The Judeans in the First Century already believed they were in unity with God because they believed they were the literal sons of God.

So, please show how Jesus was saying that He was unified with God in verse 10:30.

Steven Mullican said...

I think you did it yourself with the above verses..I offered 1 Cor 3:6 to show how one in unity and purpose is the true message of Christ..John 17:11 to show how Jesus prayed for his followers to be one and purpose also.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his ministry there, he said that he had planted the seed and Apollos had watered it. Then he said, “he who plants and he who waters are one”

John 17:11 Jesus prayed that his followers would be ONE..JUST AS He and his Father are one..

Jesus uses the concept of “being one” in other places, and from them one can see that “one purpose” is what is meant. John 11:52 says Jesus was to die to make all God’s children “one.” In John 17:11, 21 and 22, Jesus prayed to God that his followers would be “one” as he and God were “one.” We think it is obvious that Jesus was not praying that all his followers would become one being or “substance” just as he and his Father were one being or “substance.”I think the meaning is clear: Jesus was praying that all his followers be one in purpose just as he and God were one in purpose..now surely not that all his followers would be one as oneness thinks..I do not think you would believe that..

John 10:30 shows that Jesus was referring to the fact that he had the same purpose as God did. Jesus was speaking about his ability to keep the “sheep,” the believers, who came to him. He said that no one could take them out of his hand and that no one could take them out of his Father’s hand. Then he said that he and the Father were “one,” that is they had one purpose, which was to keep and protect the sheep.It is hard to grasp this if we only think of Jesus as the "flesh suit of God"

Jesus was and is a human being..1 Timothy 2:5..one mediator between God and man..THE MAN..

I do not agree John 10:30 is teaching Jesus is God in a human body..if we would simply read on down...why did they want to stone him? notice it is the Jews accusing Jesus "you being a man make yourself God" Jesus did not claim this..His accusers were saying that Jesus was making himself God..but Jesus corrects them...

Joh 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because ((((I said, I am the Son of God?))))

Because I said..I am who?

Jesus tells us who He claims to be..His works testify that He is Messiah..the long awaited Messiah foretold by Moses (Deut 18:18)

Also..it does not say" you being a man make yourself THE GOD..but Theos or god..

theos-god does not always refer to YHWH..in fact men in authority were in deed called "god"

Angels,kings,men in authority are called "god" in scripture..The problem the Jews had was they did not want Jesus ruling over them not as YHWH but as ruler,messiah,king..

Just my personal belief..They did not want some man who was a peasant from across the tracks ruling over them..many were offended at him,is this not the son of Joesph..why He is nothing but a carpenter from NAzareth..who does He think he is..the miracles testified who He is..It was God's approval being vindicated every time He did a miracle..notice He did no recorded miracle prior to his baptism..

John 3:34-anointed without measure

Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth,( a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

How did Christ do the miracles?

Act 10:38 How God (anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:) who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Does God need anointed?
Does this say God was with him or WAS him?

More can be said..but IMHO John 10:30 is not teaching a oneness doctrine but demonstrating Jesus and his Father(and God btw) were working together to carry out the mission God had planned before the foundation of the world Revelation 13:8


Dominic Benincasa said...

Steve, before I get into all the other issues you bring up (I'm not looking to rabbit trail with you, but to stay on the topic of the blog)I would like to keep you focused on John 10:30, and the context of the chapter.

In John 10:33, I notice you are quoting the Greek? You are saying that the God mentioned in John 10:33 is not referring to THE GOD, but a god?

Yet the Judeans accuse Jesus of "ποιεις σεαυτον θεον?"

I would like you to just deal with John 10:30-33, and show how EVEN IN ENGLISH, can one come up that the Judeans believed that Jesus was calling Himself a pagan god or a lesser deity?

Since I understand that you have posted on your own blog that you don't believe Jesus had a preexistence as a Super Angel, I wish not to stray there with you, please just deal with three verses and show how the Judeans thought Jesus was saying He was a pagan god?

Since you believe that "ποιεις σεαυτον θεον" isn't referring to the Almighty God.

Show how we can come to the same conclusion?

Steven Mullican said...

The Judeans did not want Jesus to rule over them.They could not accept Jesus was given divine authority..nothing pagan about that or intended,it is a clear teaching in the Bible that men in authority were called "god" After they accused Jesus what was his response?

Dominic Benincasa said...

Steve, ,it is also a clear teaching in the Bible that God is the good shepherd, you know, the Lord is my shepherd?

Yet, like I said before I would like you to deal with the verses and show how the Judeans issue was that they thought Jesus was lesser than the God? Let's see, verse 30, Jesus makes the statement He and the Father are ONE.

In verse 31 the Judeans then pick up stones to kill Jesus, verse 32 Jesus asks the Judeans for which miracles were they going to stone Jesus for? In verse 33, the Judeans didn't say that they were stoning Jesus because they didn't want His rulership?

In verse 33 the Judeans tell Jesus He was going to be executed because they felt He was blaspheming?

Is it also a clear teaching in the Bible that it was considered blasphemy to claim you wanted to rule the Judeans?

Jesus in verse 34-35 reminds the Judeans of Psalm 82, with its focus of God being the judge of His people.

Jesus is telling the Judeans that they also were the sons of God, but He steers them to the chapter which says that even though they were sons of God, they would die like mere men in judgement.

So, Jesus wasn't referring to Himself as a lesser god, nor was He calling the Judeans lesser gods, but reminding them that they also were sons of God.

Yet, the Judeans issue start at where Jesus speaks of Himself as the shepherd, and then states that He and the Father were indeed ONE. The Judeans concluded that Jesus was calling Himself God, and Jesus retorts with Psalm 82 showing the Judeans that they were sons of God, NOT men in authority.

Your claim is that it was the Judeans who were referring to Jesus as a lesser god, but they didn't, the original Greek states, "make yourself God."

So, please deal with the verses and show how the Judeans make the statement "make yourself God" means a man in authority? How was claiming to be leadership considered blasphemy? How does Psalm 82 refer to men being in authority?

Steven Mullican said...

What was the response of Jesus when they accused Him of "making himself God"?

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)