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I and the Father are one. John 10:30

As numerous posts here variably document, here is one extreme example.

the Lord Jesus Christ, who existed before Abraham was born, was stating that he and the Father were of one nature.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23

Jesus AND the Father, while certainly distinct even in a trinitarian sense are not one, but several. Doesn't this declaration by Jesus, with 'WE', which clearly delineates himself and his Father, dismiss any idea of the oneness as described above?

Another excerpt from the same Q noted initially re. John 10:30,

The sentence itself is vague. It doesn't tell us what kind of union they have.

Another

Virtually all modern commentators on John 10:30 take the position that the oneness immediately in view here is a functional oneness, or oneness of will, purpose, and action.

It seems apparent, based on the following points, the "we" eliminates any unity of substance, or we have two Gods.

  • Jesus has a God, even once exalted and glorified. Rev 3, Mark 15:34, 2Cor 1:3, 1Tim 1:1 etc.
  • Jesus is sitting 'next to God'. 1Pet 3:22, Mark 16:9
  • Jesus said he was going to God John 20:17

How would trinitarianism explain their 'dogmatic oneness' with this declared opposite of oneness - 'we'?

Clearly, the more Biblical understanding of 'unity of purpose' (John 17:11,21) would remove any such contradiction.

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    @RevelationLad perhaps the last comment (regarding kenosis) provides the answer to your fair query. We can assume all kinds of radical and imaginative solutions, but here we defer to the Bible as the source of actual truth from the God of truth. On SE-C all kinds of ideas are offered without Biblical substance.
    – steveowen
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 21:39
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    Trinitarians' do not declare "dogmatic oneness". Most would say oneness of purpose and substance but not person. Thus, this is a theology question and not hermeneutics.
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 21:47
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    I suggest most trinitarians would disagree with you based on what is posted here. Feel free to elucidate on the 'we' portion if you can shed any exegetical light on that.
    – steveowen
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 21:50
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    Yet again, the answer is already in the writings of the Council of Nicaea. The Father and the Son are one in nature but are different persons. The two persons share one nature. I simply do not comprehend why you do not understand the Trinitarian position. It is very clear. Jesus could not have meant 'I and the Father are one 'person' 'or he would not subsequently say 'we' will come.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 10:52
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    Yes Nigel J! I still can't understand what is not clear to them who do not understand the trinitarian Position Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 12:55

3 Answers 3

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It was that very statement "I and my Father are one." that provoked the Jews to take up stones. What is it that the Jews understood Jesus to be saying with this statement?

I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. - John 10:30-33

A similar exchange at John 5 provokes a similarly extreme response:

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. - John 5:17-18

Apparently Jesus referring to God as his Father (and I believe that literally he said "the Father of me") was understood by the Jews in a way that is very favorable to a trinitarian theology: Not that Jesus is the Father but that being the son of the Father (who is God) affords him an equality with God.

If Jesus' claim to be the son of God were akin to the usage common to the Jews of his day there would have been no violent reaction. Some contend that the Jews misunderstood what Jesus was saying but it is not reported to us in that fashion and is, therefore, conjecture.  In fact, John 5:18 records not the Jews words but the Apostle's record of what the Jews understood and it is significant that he does not tell us that they misunderstood.

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  • I liked, an equality with God. This is the same as saying a BMW has an equality with a Ferrari because they are both automotive vehicles, The level of equality is not stated and shouldn't form a pivotal doctrine. Jesus certainly has some equality with God, but we should not, by this means, make him equal! We can say, the Ferrari is greater than the BMW, just as Jesus did and find no need to massage his words to fit a dogma.
    – steveowen
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 21:26
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    Why don't you take up your question with the Jews? They are the one's who said at John 10:33, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You being a man make Yourself out God." Or at John 19:7, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out the Son of God." I don't recall Jesus ever saying, "I am God." Do you! How did the Jews come to the conclusion that Jesus was making Himself out God? You said, Jesus certainly has some equality with God." What are they? And do have any of the same qualities? Were not playing with cars around here.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 22:40
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    The doctrine of the incarnation says exactly that Jesus was both God and man - meaning ges he was absolutely a man as you claim. Also he was absolutely God. The fact that this is hard/impossible to grasp is a feature not a bug. God is and God does things which we can't begin to grasp. Doctrines such as the hypostatic union and the trinity are meant to codify, not explain, the mysteries of God.
    – user52135
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 12:14
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    @steveowen Quit telling me what you think I believe. The one Person of Jesus is both man and God. He's human on His mother's side and Deity on His Father's side. This why He referred to Himself as (1) The Son of Man and (2) The Son of God. Since you believe Jesus is a created man like the rest of us how do you explain that He was without sin? Without EXCEPTION all men are sinners. Romans 3:23, Eccle 7:20, Romans 3:10 and 25 other verses. Jesus did not have a biological father and here's why? 1 Corinthians 15:47, "The first man is from the earth, earthy, the second man is from heaven."
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 14:57
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    @steveowen - All of your arguments so far against trinitarianism and the divinity of Christ are straw men. What you call "fancy theology" is different from the claims which you refute, it is not merely a more sophisticated version of the caricatures you present. The idea that Jesus was not a man (which would contradict the plain reading of Jn 8:40) is called Docetism and has been unilaterally rejected by the Church since at least the 4th century.
    – user52135
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 16:57
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So why did Jesus literally say at John 10:30, "I and My Father We are one?" John 10:27-29, Jesus says the following. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; vs28, and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. vs29, "My Father who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

Jesus is clearly saying that the sheep are equally safe in His hand and in His Father's hand. The power of the Son is equal to that of the Father, and while this is the contextual point of reference, much more is implied.

Jesus asserted the essential unity of the Father and the Son in the word "one" (hen). It is a neuter number to indicate equality of essence, attributes, design, will, and work.

Jesus distinguishes the "I" from the "Father" and uses the plural verb "are" denoting "we are." Thus these words separate the persons within the Godhead, but "one" asserts their unity of essence or nature as identical.

The Jews understood what Jesus was claiming because at John 10:24 they ask, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus does not say "I am Christ," but "I and my Father, We are one"--God!

At John 10:31, "The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out God."

At this point Jesus brings up Psalm 82:6 and the subject of "Gods," why? (John 10:34-38.) Jesus is taking the Jew's statement about Him blaspheming to its logical conclusion to show that they are being inconsistent.

In effect, Jesus is saying, "If you say that I am blaspheming, you must also hold that God is blaspheming because He said to those by whom the word of God came, "ye are gods."

It is not "blasphemy" to claim to be the Messiah. There is no scholarship which supports this interpretation. Furthermore, MANY people before and after Jesus claimed to be the Messiah and were never charged with, let alone convicted of "blasphemy." It is, however, "blasphemy" to claim to be THE Son of God.

How do I know? All one has to do is read the trial record at Matthew 26:57-67. At vs63 the high priest Caiaphas ask Jesus to swear as to His identity. "And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are (1) the Christ, (2) the Son of God." Whether is defined as "expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives."

At Luke 22:70 Jesus states, "Yes, I am." Now back to Matthew 26:65, "Then the high priest tore his robes, saying. "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have for witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy:vs66, "what do you think?" They answered and said, "He is deserving of death!"

The FACT that Jesus was convicted of blasphemy for saying yes is proof that He was claiming deity. The act of claiming deity for one's self IS blasphemy,, unless you really ARE God. The Jews simply did not believe Jesus, just like many do today.

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  • Quality Stuffs Here. you have proven that the Jews really did persecute Jesus for Blasphemy. And that blasphemy was that Jesus said he is GOD. Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 11:37
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Trinitarian understanding is very Biblical and must be Separated from Tritheism, Oneness theology, Unipersonal God and other forms.

The Father- From who all things consist

The Word - in Time named Jesus - Proceeding forth from the Father, externally in and with the Father.

The Spirit - Proceeding from the Father and the Word.

This must be differentiated from the Oneness Position which is : the unitarian or unipersonal deity named Jesus has two natures: divine, the mode of the Father/Holy Spirit and human, as the mode of the Son of God (though not God the Son).

We just need to prove the pre-existence of the Word/son. By Scriptures, and then that the Pre existent Son is Jesus in Time.

Now to your question, Oneness - Essence It dosen't make it two Gods

This Being of God is Expressed in Person, not Modes, and in scriptures we see this in a Person called the Father, another Person called the son, and another called the Holy Spirit.

Joh 10:30 I and the Father are one.”

The word translated “one” is not in the masculine, but in the neuter gender. It expresses union, but not the precise nature of the union.

So we allow context to define the union The nearest context makes that Union of Purpose, design and Plan.

A more broader context allows for the position of early fathers, which is as referring to the oneness or unity of nature between the Father and the Son

Their reasons will be, *The question was about Power and his being the messiah not Plan and Purpose, (verse 24)

  • The Jews Understood him as to declaring equality with God. (Verses 33)
  • Jesus also did not deny that it was what he meant, he only Corrected their understanding of the Application of the word god to men. Yet set himself distinct from all Men.
  • The Jews understood him in this manner.

And AUGUSTINE was right in saying the "We are" condemns the Sabellians (who denied the distinction of Persons in the Godhead), while the "one" (as explained) condemns the Arians (who denied the unity of their essence).

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    For an answer that begins with the words "Trinitarian understanding is very Biblical", it seems rather sparse on scripture-and needfully so, because the scripture is overwhelmingly in support of a nontrinitarian position.
    – Biblasia
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 13:08
  • Ironically I say the same for the non Trinitarian position. Since the Scriptures are independent from our Positions. We can look to it to ascertain which is the Right one. As I can hardly read scriptures from Genenis and not find the Plurality of Persons( not modes ) in the Being God. Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 13:16

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