I have asked this question of many Christian leaders and teachers. No one really has an answer. I know that Jehovah Witnesses us this to disprove that Jesus is God. It is obvious in other verses that Jesus did reveal that He is God, so why does Jesus answer the Jews in the following manner? What did He mean by it?

John 10:30-36 reads as follows from the NASB:

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 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 to be God.”

Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 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’?

Jesus quotes from the following OT verse when answering the Jews:

I said, “You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High." - Ps. 82:6

  • To me it appears that Jesus is not really refuting the Jews but is boldly affirming that what they said is true: 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Jul 9, 2020 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


On occasion, particularly with hostile audiences, Jesus would make a statement and then reason with His audience as to why His statement was true.

Jesus' Equality with God: The Statement

From the NET Bible:

"The phrase ἕν ἐσμεν ({en esmen) [i.e., "are one"] is a significant assertion with trinitarian implications. ἕν is neuter, not masculine, so the assertion is not that Jesus and the Father are one person, but one “thing.” Identity of the two persons is not what is asserted, but essential unity (unity of essence)" (bible.org).

When Jesus declared that He and the Father are one, He was declaring His equality within the Godhead. From the hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy" come the words,

"God in three persons, blessed trinity."

From Genesis chapter 1, we learn that the God of whom it is said,

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1)

is identified as Elohim. Elohim denotes a plurality, which is confirmed and underscored when Elohim says,

"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule . . ." (Genesis 1:26 NASB Updated).

The thrice-holy Triune God (see Isaiah 6:3) is one essence but has been revealed in three persons. In other words, God's oneness is inviolate: The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Spirit is God. His personhood, however, is expressed in a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see Matthew 28:19; cf. Jesus' baptism in Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-13; Luke 3:21-22; and John 1:31-34).

As Hank Hanegraaff observed in his booklet, Memorable Keys to Christian D-O-C-T-R-I-N-E,

"It is important to note that when Trinitarians speak of one God, they are referring to the nature or essence of God. Moreover, when they speak of persons they are referring to personal self–distinctions within the Godhead. Put another way, Trinitarians believe in one What and three Who's" (see Christian Research Institute's website: [email protected]).

Jesus' Reasoning Regarding His Equality with God: The Explanation

When challenged by His audience, as recorded in John 10:34-37, Jesus engages in some logical reasoning, which I call His "how much more" locution. From Constable's "Notes" in the NET Bible (again, at Bible.org):

"The clause “the Scripture cannot be broken” means that man cannot annul it, set it aside, or prove it false. It means that Scripture cannot be emptied of its force by being shown to be erroneous.

"Jesus’ statement affirms the unity, authority, and inerrancy of Scripture. Jesus held a very high view of Scripture. His point was that it was inconsistent for the Jews to claim the Old Testament as their authority (v. 34) and then to disregard something that it said because they did not agree with it. It was inconsistent for them, specifically, to stone Jesus for claiming to be God and the Son of God when the Old Testament spoke of humans as gods and as God’s sons.

“In the singular he graphe usually means a single passage of Scripture, and the verb translated broken (luo) is used in v. 18 of disregarding the letter of the law. The meaning here is ‘this passage of Scripture cannot be set aside as irrelevant to the matter under discussion’.”[385]

"Jesus did not use this argument to claim that He was God. He used it to stall His critics. He wanted them to see that the divine terms that He was using to describe Himself were terms that the Old Testament itself also used of human beings. They could not logically accuse Him of blasphemy because the Father had set Him aside and sent Him into the world with a special mission. He was a legitimate Son of God for this reason.

"As the Jews had sanctified their temple after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanies, so God had sanctified His Son. The Jews celebrated the sanctification of their physical temple with the feast of Dedication, but they were unwilling to accept the spiritual temple that replaced it, namely, Jesus" (my emphasis).

The words in bold, above, are the essence of Jesus' argument. Jesus' reasoning was as follows:

"If the Scripture called human beings 'gods' simply because the word of God came to them (Psalm 82:6), and if they were only finite, mortal human beings, how much more appropriate is it for me, the one whom the Father set apart as His very own and sent into the world, to consider myself one essence with the Father? The saints of old were recipients of the written and spoken word of God. At this very minute you are listening to the Word of God incarnate. My question to you, therefore, is this: Why do you accuse me of blasphemy because I identify myself as God's Son?"

  • I can see that Jesus was perhaps stalling or just 'playing with their religious minds'. However, it still is just so baffling. I think of Isaiah 45-46 where God repeats over and over: "...there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me." (45:21). See also 45:5,6,22 and 46:9. It seems that any reference to a 'god' is false or evil like Satan. Or, as in 1 Cor. 8 it says, "there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God...and one Lord."
    – user4443
    Jul 4, 2014 at 19:11
  • @user4443: I proffer no argument to your insistence that God is one. God's oneness is Theology 101: "Hear, O Israel ! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one [LORD]!" (Dt.6:4) (the Shema). Jesus' "audacious" claim to be the Son of God, however, was backed up by authoritative words and miraculous deeds (re-read 10:37-38). I was struck recently by Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in Sychar. When she said "I know that Messiah is coming; . . . He will declare all things to us" (John 4:25). "Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am He'"(v.26). Check out Isa.9:6-7, too. Don Jul 4, 2014 at 19:41

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