I'm just wondering if there is any other way of looking at the whole "I and the father are one" issue, and all that is this hugely important passage of the Bible.

As per the comment, I'll spell it out. Traditionally and in most Biblical commentaries, the passage is Jesus telling those around him that he is God. To quote the ESV commentary:

Jesus’ claim that I and the Father are one (i.e., one entity—the Gk. is neuter; cf. 5:17–18; 10:33–38) echoes the Shema, the basic confession of Judaism, whose first word in Deut. 6:4 is shema‘ (Hb. “hear”). Jesus’ words thus amount to a claim to deity.

What I'm interested in are other viewpoints. Anything from Panenthism (see 10:34) or otherwise (i.e. extending the idea of the Logos within Sufism). Anything from the Emergent Church group would also be great.

  • 2
    Other than what? I can assume I know what you mean, but it might be beneficial to have it spelled out, just so everyone is on the same page. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 17:21
  • AFAIK, the emergent churches do not have any special ideas about the Trinity or vastly different exegetics. The principal thrust is that they define discipleship less in terms of doctrinal purity.
    – itpastorn
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 23:28

2 Answers 2


I believe this generally refers to the purposes of God the Father and God the Son (Jesus). Jesus was sent to do the will of the Father, so in their purpose they are one. This is similar to the reference in John 17:21.

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

The intent is not to describe Himself as the same Being as God, but to demonstrate unity in purpose. Similar statements might be a general saying "Let us fight as one!" or a president saying "The country must come together as one." Neither infer to coming together into one physical mass, but to be unified in desire, effort, and purpose.

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    Exactly, Jesus in the passage quoted is NOT saying that he wants all the apostles to eventually join into one body with him and God. But that they all may have the same purpose and goals
    – Lance
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 22:07

Let's take a look at John chapter 10 in the original language. Here is a PDF of John 10 in Greek with interlineal English.

John 10:30 is written:

ΕΓω καί ό πατΗρ εν εσμεν
Ego kai ho pater en esmen
I and the father one are.

The final word, "εσμεν" (esmen) is a plural conjugation, as compared with "εστιν" (estin) would be the singular. This may be an indication that the sense in which Jesus meant this statement relates to the preceding context. In the 10:28, Jesus states that no man shall remove His sheep from His hand. In 10:29, Jesus states that His Father gave the sheep to Him, and no man is able to snatch them from His Father's hand. Thus, 10:30 may indicate that Jesus and His Father are united in abilities and purpose.

In 10:31-10:33, Jesus' audience begins to stone him for blasphemy, accusing him of claiming to be God.

In 10:34 and 10:35, Jesus responds to his their assertion that he is blaspheming by calling himself God. He responds that scripture calls gods all of those unto whom His Word was given.

In 10:36, Jesus says, "...you are saying that you are blaspheming that I said, 'The Son of God I am.'"

Finally, in 10:38, Jesus says, "...and you should be believing: that in Me the Father, and I in Him."

In the context of the discussion Jesus is having with his audience, he says that all the people who have been given the Word are gods, that Jesus is the Son of God, that Jesus and the Father are in each other, that Jesus has some of the powers of the Father, that the goals of Jesus and the Father are one.

This is consistent with other statements by Jesus, for example, John 6:38, "That down I am stepping out of the heaven, that not I may be doing the will of Me, but the will of the One sending Me."

In considering what Jesus meant in the quote of John 10:30 and why God would cause us to receive this particular wording, it seems that Jesus and God are telling us that Jesus and the Father are effectively the same thing from the perspective of the judgment which will be applied to the humans. This is consistent with John 14:6, "... I am the way and the truth and the life; no one is coming to the Father if not through Me."

In this sense, John 10:27-10:30 seems to mean something similar to: There is one flock, which God gave to Jesus. No man shall remove a sheep from Their flock. Together they are one Shepherd of the sheep.

  • Wow, this is a really thorough and well thought-out answer, thank you for this. If you could get the link working too, that would be absolute top-notch. Nontheless, thank you so much for this perspective, it has given me a lot to mull over. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 22:58
  • The link just functioned for me... can you try it again, please? Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 23:22
  • Getting a 403 Forbidden here. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 23:46
  • Can you access scripture4all.org at all? It might be blocked from your place of work... Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 23:57
  • I can access that home page fine. I'm at home, so no firewall blocking possible. Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 0:14

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