6

The following texts contain the phrases "ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ” and "ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί":

John 10:38 (ESV)

38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

John 14:10 (ESV)

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

What does the phrase "I in the Father and the Father in me" mean in John 10:38 as well as John 14:10?

2
  • 2
    I broke up the two clauses in the first sentence because they appear in a different order in your two examples, but feel free to change that around if you would like it stated differently. – Susan Feb 16 '15 at 14:04
  • @Susan thank you for editing my question. – Radz Brown Feb 16 '15 at 15:11
6

It is worth noting that in the Greek on both occasions this phrase is in fact two phrases both of which are governed by the preposition 'ἐν' the conjunction that links them seems to suggest that they should be juxtaposed that is these phrase are being deliberately placed together in this fashion for comparison or contrast.

The comparison is the the reciprocal nature of the relationship between Jesus and the Father, the father is 'in' him in just the same way as he is 'in' the Father. it suggests a kind of interpenetration of their natures - one into the other, it is therefore an assertion on interdependence without assuming unity/ absolute identity. It is a way of saying we are one being, but two people.

3
  • Do you think that you can provide some external references in order to support your first sentence? – Paul Vargas Feb 19 '15 at 15:55
  • Do you think that you could show "It is a way of saying we are one being, but two people" is a kind of figure-of-speech in extra-Biblical literature? – elika kohen May 28 '15 at 18:22
  • @e.s.kohen (1) I never said it was a figure of speech so no I can't (2) why would we expect to find a biblical concept in non biblical literature? – Jonathan Chell May 29 '15 at 6:49
2

Question: What does the phrase "I in the Father and the Father in me" mean in John 10:38 as well as John 14:10?

It is unnecessary, and even imprudent, for us to invent an explanation--when Jesus explains it--in detail, even using metaphors. Additionally, John goes on to expound on this, in 1 John 2.

Answer: Jesus' multiple explanations, as well as John's own explanation, affirm that this statement speaks to "Unity", the Unity between himself and his Father, the Unity that the Church is supposed to have, and the Unity the believers are supposed to have in Jesus, and the Father.

NOTE 1: The currently accepted answer, and even the Question, both omit the full contexts, (the entirety of John 14, 15, 17, and 1 John 2)--thereby omitting Jesus' own explanation, and John's explanation in 1 John 2.

Question Restatement: What does the heavily used figure of speech mean: "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you," in John 14:20, and the following Metaphor in John 15:5, "4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me."

Wrongful Presuppositions: As seen in other answers, doctrinal presuppositions are wrongfully injected, obstructing valid exegesis of the text--that is, doctrines of: Trinity, Oneness, or Unitarian doctrines, (whether Jesus is the Most High God, or actually the Father, etc).

Defining "One"

"One", in Greek, does not always denote, "the number 1", but also is a "generic pronoun," and the word for "Unity", ("εἷς" (masculine), "μία", (feminine) or "ἓν", (neuter)).

It is easily inferred from the Context, whether "One," connotes: the "Number 1"; the "general pronoun, "One"; or a "Unity".

The connotation of the "Number", is very apparent from the context:

Matthew 5:29 -

GRK: ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μελῶν

NAS: for you to lose one of the parts

Matthew 5:41, Matthew 25:24, etc.

Jesus, Himself, Explained: Abiding in Another, Means Unity

"One, in Unity" (Neuter), is used exclusively in all contexts illustrating "Unity", and there is nothing in these contexts to indicate a "Numerical 1", but rather groups.

Because it is obvious that, "they may be one" does not connote, "a single, one, person", then it is a certainly true that "just as we are one", does not connote a number--but rather the concept of Unity :

John 17:20-23, NASB - “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one[ἓν]; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one[ἓν], just as We are one[ἓν]; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity[ἓν], so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

Jesus and John State Unity/Abiding in Another is Confirmed by the Work

John 14:10, NASB - 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

John 15:9-10, NASB- Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

1 John 2:4-6, NASB- 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

1 John 2:24 - As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

1

The context of the texts in question speaks of a mutual indwelling ( Perichoresis) of the Father and the Son.What this shows is that they are one in power or ability and hence, of same essence.

In John 10:38, Jesus said to the Jews to believe the works so that they might know and understand that he is in unity with the Father in terms of nature ( set of abilities and attributes).

John 10:38 (NASB)

38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

Here's the context of John 10:38:

John 10:28-30 (NASB)

28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 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. 30I and the Father are one.”

In John 14:10, Jesus is talking to His disciple Philip.

John 14:10 (NASB)

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

The context of the text shows that Philip asked Jesus to show them (the apostles) the Father but Jesus reasoned out that Philip has been with Jesus for a very long time and yet he did not know Jesus' divinity. Jesus then told that whoever has seen him has seen the Father and there he spoke of his unity with the Father and that the proof of this unity is the Father working in the Son.

John 14:7-11 (NASB)

7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”8 Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Take note that Jesus is also working in the Father.

John 5:17-19 (NASB)

17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.**19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; **for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

Conclusion:

The Father dwelling in Jesus does the work of the Father. The Son dwelling in the Father does the work of the Son. This is a reality because the Father and the Son are one in nature.

Reference

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/10-38.htm

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/14-10.htm

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.