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Thursday, October 17, 2013

John 10:30 - In What Sense is Jesus and the Father "One"?


Many Trinitarians attempt to 'prove' that Jesus claimed to be God when he said at John 10:30, "I and the Father are one.”

However, many Bible Greek experts tell us that Bible writers consistently described groups of individuals as “one” figuratively in the sense of their being “united in will and purpose."

Even the very TRINITARIAN New Testament Greek scholar W. E. Vine when discussing the Greek word for “one” says: “(b) metaphorically [figuratively], union and concord, e.g., John 10:30; 11:52; 17:11, 21, 22....” - An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 809.

Jesus said at John 17:22: “The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as we are one.” - NASB. (Compare John 17:11. - A footnote for John 17:11 in the very trinitarian The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985 says: “the unity is to be like that between the Father and the Son.”)

Not only is it obvious that these Christians are not equally Christ with Jesus, nor equally God with the Father, nor are they all one person, but that they are all figuratively united in “will” and “purpose” with God. That is, they agree with and carry out the Father's will.

Also important is that the word “one” at John 10:30 and 17:22 is the neuter form 'hen'. The two other forms for “one” are 'mia', which is the feminine form, and 'heis', the masculine form. Those who insist that John 10:30 means “the Father and I are one God” are clearly wrong as shown by New Testament Greek grammar alone. “God” in New Testament Greek is always masculine and must take masculine forms of adjectives, pronouns, etc. in agreement (see Mark 12:29, 32; 1 Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:4-6 in interlinear Bibles).

Or, as Dr. Marshall puts it in one of his basic New Testament Greek grammar rules:

“Adjectives must agree with the nouns they modify in number, gender,...and case”. - p. 25, Rule 7, New Testament Greek Primer, Alfred Marshall, Zondervan Publishing, 1978 printing. (Compare 1 Cor. 3:8 in interlinear Bible [esp. note footnote in The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English] with NIV; NAB; LB; and CBW.)

Therefore, the use of the neuter “one” (hen) at John 10:30 shows “one God” could not have been intended by Jesus but instead shows “metaphorically, union and concord”! It is possible to have gender irregularities when someone is described figuratively (“metaphorically”) such as “he is a Rock” or “Jesus is the Lamb,” but when he is being literally described we must have gender agreement.

If we insist on supplying an “understood” ‘God,’ it must be at a place which uses the masculine form of “one” (heis) in gender agreement (cf. Mark 10:18; Ro. 3:30). Trinitarian scholar Robert Young commented on this knowledge of the word “one” at John 10:30 in his Young’s Concise Critical Bible Commentary:

“The particle en [hen] being of the neuter gender, can hardly signify ‘one being, i.e. one God,’ but rather ‘one in will, purpose, counsel...” - p. 62, Baker Book House, 1977.

The very trinitarian Bible study reference book, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, agrees with trinitarian Young (above) in its discussion of John 10:30.

Truly, then, there is absolutely no evidence for a “trinitarian” interpretation at John 10:30. In fact, the real meaning shows Jesus is not God.

For much more, see:

ONE - John 10:30 (Examining the Trinity)

In What Way Are Jesus and His Father One? (w09 9/1 p. 28; Watchtower Online Library)
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