"I and My Father are one"
Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, September 2002, p.2
In John 10:30 Jesus said, "I My Father are one."
According to your Church this statement means that Jesus and
the Father are one in their work. But if we examine the verse, we
can see that Christ's statement "I and My Father are one" ends with
a period after the word "one." There is no mention in the
verse about being one in their work. If we examine the sentence
grammatically in the statement, "I and My Father are one", "are" is
a linking verb plural; the phrase "I and the Father" is the subject
of the sentence; "I" (the pronoun stated by Jesus) and
the noun "Father" are both in the nominative case; the phrase ''are
one" is a predicate; and "and" is a connective used to join or
connect both Jesus and the Father with equal class or category.
Therefore, what Is being referred to in John 10:30 is that Jesus and
the Father are one in being Persons of the one God, namely they are
God the Father and God the Son.
Furthermore, notice the succeeding verses (John
10:31-36). After Jesus made His statement in John 10:30, the Jews
wanted to stone Him and accused Him of blasphemy. When Jesus
asked why they wanted to stone Him, they answered because He was a
man that was making Himself God. Therefore, they didn't believe He
was God because He was a man. So who is the real blasphemer? Jesus
who is saying that He is God or the who only believe that Jesus is
only a man?
Arayat, Pampanga, Philippines
It is true, as you observed, that in John
10:30,Christ's statement "I and Father are one" ends with a period
after the word "one." Hence, as such, you should have also noticed
that the verse does not end with your erroneous and untenable
conclusion, ''one in being Persons of the one God."
By examining the preceding verses of John 10:30,
it is clear that the topic being discussed by Christ is the work of
caring for His sheep. The issue is neither whether nor whether or
not He is one of your so-called 'persons' of God. This
is what Christ stated:
" I give them eternal life and they will never
perish; no one will snatch them from my care. My
Father who has given them to me Is greater than all, and no
one can snatch them out of the Fathers' care. The Father
and I are one." (John 10:28-30, Revised English Bible,
It is clear that in these verses, Christ was
speaking about caring for the sheep entrusted to Him by the Father.
Christ cares so much for His sheep that no one will be able to
snatch them away from Him. He then states, "no one can snatch them
out of the Father's care." Hence, His conclusion," The Father and I
are one." Therefore, based on the context of the verse, they
are are one neither in being 'God' nor in being 'persons of God' as
you claim, but in the purpose and in the work of taking care of
Christ's sheep. Thus, George M. Lamsa rendered the verse
"I and my Father are of one accord." (John
In this translation, it is clear that the Father
and Christ are of one accord or purpose. As far as the context is
concerned, they are in agreement when it comes to taking care of the
sheep. The verse does not in any way teach that they are one in
being God. In fact, John 10:30 was never translated as "I and my
Father are one God."
We wonder if there were grammatical rules upon
which you can base your mistaken idea that the conjunction "and" is
used to connect only subjects of equal class or category. Because if
there were such, then what could you say about phrases like, "God
and His people," "you and. your pet,'" mice and men," and the
like? Here, the conjunction "and" is used to connect
subjects of unequal categories, but do you know of a rule in grammar
that is violated by such a usage?
The proof that the Father and Christ, though
connected by the conjunction "and," in John 10:30, are
not equal is in verse 29, which states, "My Father, who has
given them to Me, is greater than all." Hence, the
Father is greater than the Lord Jesus Christ and this is supported
by Jesus' statement, "The Father is greater than I am" (John
Christ Himself also taught that He and the Father
are of different nature. He said God is spirit (John 4:24) unlike He
who is a man (John 8:40), who has flesh and bones (Luke 24:38-39).
Being different in nature, God and Christ therefore are of different
and unequal category.
If we examine the succeeding verses of John 10:30,
we can notice that the Jews wanted to stone Jesus because they
thought He was claiming to be God. But in Jesus' answer to them, He:
clearly proved that He was introducing Himself as the "Son of God" and
not God Himself:
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to
32 Jesus answered them,
“Many good works I have shown you from My Father.
For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a
good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You,
being a Man, make Yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not
written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?
35 If He called them gods, to whom the
word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),
36 do you say of Him whom the Father
sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I
said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
(Jn. 10:31-36, New King James Version)
Hence, your conclusion that Jesus and the Father
are one in being ''persons" of God is what the Bible doesn't teach
in John 10:30. Jesus introduced Himself neither as God
nor as "God the Son" but as the "Son of God". Unlike what you
believe and advocate, Christ teaches that there is only one true
God, the Father in Heaven (John l7:l,3).
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes
to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son,
that Your Son also may glorify You,
And this is eternal life, that they may know
You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John
Verses in smaller font
were added for clarity.
Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free
to visit the
Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or
an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question
you have in mind.