I don't know Greek and even less about rules of Greek grammar. Can somebody please help me by reviewing a statement written by a popular Unitarian?

Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!* - John, 20:28, NASB


Thomas' words to Jesus in Greek literally read, "the Lord of me and the God of me." In Greek this is how one would refer to two persons. If one wanted to refer to one person he would say, "the Lord and God of me." This is confirmed by the first and Sixth Granville Sharp rules. However, Trinitarians make a convenient exception to the sixth rule for this particular verse. There are actually TWO important things to see here. First, there is the fact that both nouns, (1) Lord, and (2) God, are each qualified by the definition [sic] article ('the'). Second, both nouns, (1) Lord, and (2) God, are qualified by the words "of me." This is also telling. Thomas could have said, "the Lord and the God of me." But he did not.

I think it's good if it's read in context of his article, quoted from "The Trinity Delusion" website.

As much as I checked I think he's wrong. He doesn't have a good knowledge of Greek. I checked around 15 sources (commentaries and books defending the Trinity), and most of them don't even discuss if this is correct reading. Around 5 said that Greek is clear.

What is going on with this verse in Greek, and does he correctly represent the rules?


Granville Sharp's first rule (p. 3) does not apply to John 20:28 because of the presence of the definite article before the second substantive (noun).

καὶ ἀπεκρίθη Ὁ Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ κύριός μου καὶ θεός μου

Now, in regards to the sixth rule, Granville Sharp wrote (pp. 14-16):

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In response to the Socinian claim, he wrote,

Except distinct and different actions are intended to be attributed to one and the same person; in which case, if the sentence is not expressed agreeably to the three first rules, but appears as an exception to this sixth rule, or even to the fifth, (for, this exception relates to both rules,) the context must explain or point out plainly the person to whom the two nouns relate: as in 1 Thess. iii. 6… And also in John, xx. 28. καὶ ἀπεκρίθη Ὁ Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὁ ΚΥΡΙΟΣ μου ΚΑΙ Ὁ ΘΕΟΣ μου. If the two nouns (viz. ὁ κύριος μου and ὁ θεός μου) were the leading nominative substantives of a sentence, they would express the descpritive qualities or dignities of two distinct persons, according to the sixth rule; but, in this last text, two distinct divine characters are applied to only person only; for, the context clearly expresses to whom the words were addressed by Thomas: which perspicuity in the address clearly proves, likewise, the futility of that gloss for which the Arians and Socinians contend; viz. that Thomas could not mean that Christ was his God, but only uttered, in his surprise, a solemn exclamation or ejaculation to God. The text, however, expressly relates thay our Lord first addressed himself to Thomas: εἶτα λέγει τῷ Θωμᾷ Φέρε τὸν δάκτυλόν σου ὧδε, &c. καὶ ἀπεκρίθη Ὁ Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ (that is, without doubt, to Jesus,) ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου. So that both these distinct titles (for, they are plainly mentioned as distinct) were manifestly addressed αὐτῷ, to that one person, Jesus, to whom Thomas replied, as the text expressly informs us.

Succinctly stated, I suppose if one is going to rely on the authority of Sharp, they should be honest and rely on his entire testimony rather than disingenuously quote mining.


Sharp, Granville. Remarks on the Uses of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New Testament, Containing Many New Proofs of the Divinity of Christ, from Passages Which are Wrongly Translated in the Common English Version. 3rd ed. London: Vernor and Hood, 1803.

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    I'd say the website OP asked about brings disingenuous quote mining to a whole new level, noting the title of the reference :D – Pete Jan 26 '15 at 19:34
  • O, thanks! That helped a lot. I knew hes not right about that, but couldn't find a response. Every commentary I have disagrees and I checked soooo many of them, including critical. Also James White in hes book ,,Forgotten Trinity" says that there is no question about this being directed to Jesus and even James D. Dunn in his book ,,Did the first Christians worship Jesus?" seems to agree. – Edgear Jan 26 '15 at 21:16
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    Anyone familiar with the reluctance of any Jew to even appear to use any reference to God in vain would realize that Thomas could only be referring to Jesus when he said "My God." – Perry Webb Oct 24 '18 at 7:58

Your question commits a fallacy of question framing. The Greek grammar and content does not prove that anyone was being addressed “as God” at John 20:28.

The simplistic fact that Thomas was speaking to Jesus does not mean he was identifying Jesus with a title.

This is true in both Greek and English. The view that Thomas was calling Jesus “God” is based upon the assumption that the phrase “My Lord and my God” is predicative. Don't let a grammatical term confuse you. English has predicates as well. At J 20:28 this requires a to-be verb (eg “are”) with Jesus as the subject (ie “you”) and the titles as predicate. This would be an expression by Thomas of “You are my Lord and my God.” That's possible but a big assumption.

Another possibility is the phrase is not a predicate but an object. That also requires a verb from the context. J 20:28 is bracketed by a verb spoken by Jesus, “believe.”

If this verb is understood with the titles as object then Thomas says “I believe in my Lord [a] and also my God.”

This is consistent with what Jesus commanded Thomas the last time they spoke at Jn 14:1:

Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God [accusative], believe also in me (Jn 14:1, ASV)

[a] John 13:13 attests nominative for accusative. (Cp. Jn 14:1)

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    Perhaps you can clarify your answer. You stated, “That also requires a verb from the context.” Aside from John 20:28 which is the verse in question, you only mention John 14:1. So, the “context” to which you refer is actually six chapters earlier? – Der Übermensch Jun 24 at 3:31
  • Comparing apples and oranges, again. Per Buttmann, p. 151, “According to a construction not unknown to the Greeks also...the predicate term with verbs of naming sometimes stands in the Nominative instead of any other case” cf. John 13:13, 1 Sam. 9:9 (ὁ βλέπων), Rev. 9:11 (Ἀπολλύων). John 13:13 is not nominative for accusative. – Der Übermensch Jun 24 at 16:39

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