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εγω και ο πατηρ εν εσμεν [John 10:30 TR, undisputed]

I and the Father one are [John 10:30 EGNT ¹]

All three nouns 'I' 'Father' and 'one' are, here, nominative singular, as is the article.

Thus there is no predicate to the sentence and no object complement.

None of the nouns would appear to 'modify' another in any way.

This construction is also noticeable in John's first epistle as well as, here, his gospel account.

ο θεος φως εστιν / God is light [1 John 1:5 / TR, undisputed / KJV]

ο θεος αγαπη εστιν / God is love [I john 4:8 / TR, undisputed / KJV]

Here, also, the subject nouns are nominative in both the first and second texts.

James, also, uses the same :

ο θεος εις εστιν / God is one [James 2:19 / TR / KJV]

Would it be correct to say, therefore, that an 'equivalence' is being expressed. The nouns do not modify one another, there is neither predicate nor complement and all that is being stated is that the concepts being expressed by the nouns are, simply but extensively, equivalent, one to the other.

This matter was also introduced in another question two years ago, regarding 'God, consuming fire' : an 'equivalence'.


¹ Englishman's Greek New Testament : Interlinear, Literal, Translation

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Jesus had just said 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 that word "one" (hen). It is a neuter number to indicate equality of essence, nature, attributes, design, will and work. "One" (meaning "one thing") is quite comprehensive, only excluding personal identity.

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

Also note at verse 24 the Jews asked Jesus to tell them plainly, who He was. "The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."

At verse 25, "Jesus answered them. "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me."

The argument from those that deny the deity of Jesus Christ want only to see John 10:30 being interpreted as Jesus and the Father are one in purpose. If that were true or if that was the "only" issue then why does Jesus bring up Psalm 82:6 at verse 34 where the issue is about "you are Gods?"

Moreover, Jesus amplifies the discussion about "you are Gods" when He says at verse 36, "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"?

It is interesting that at the trial of Jesus at Matthew 26:63 the high priest Caiaphas said, "And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether (1) You are the Christ/Messiah and (2) the Son of God."

When Jesus says, "Yes, I am" at Luke 22:70 the high priest as Matthew 26:65 says, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy." So yes, I would say there is "equivalence" at John 10:30.

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  • Up-voted and accepted as answer. Thank you. Much appreciated.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 20 at 8:15
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Much here depends upon what we mean by "one". If a married couple are "one" flesh we still distinguish between them as he is commonly called "Mr" and she "Mrs". "one flesh" Genesis 2:24.

"One" here is belonging, not "the same".

The Father and Son are one in purpose: "All things were created ...for him" Col 1:16. ESV

The Father and Son are one in family: Both are holy; "Behold, the Lamb of God, [God the Father], who takes away the sin of the world". John 1:29.

The Father and Son are one in substance: Both God. Jesus is the "Everlasting Father" Isaiah 9:6. i.e. Father of the everlasting rather than "He is the Father".

If "one" = having "oneness" and oneness implies separate parts, then one = unity and not "sameness" or "equivalence".

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  • I differ from you, I have to say. I read John 10:30 in the context of John 4:24. 'I and the Father are one (Spirit)'. I understand the unity of Deity to be the Person of the Holy Spirit.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 18 at 15:11
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The verb "to be", eimi in Greek, has several functions.

  • It can be to show equivalence such as, "I am Gabriel" (Luke 1:19). This is a "convertible" statement which means that the person speaking is Gabriel and Gabriel is the person speaking.
  • It can be used to state a category such as "My car is a Ford". This is NOT a convertible statement because not every car that is a Ford belongs to me. [However, it might become a convertible statement if I owned the only car made by Ford.]
  • It can also be used to state an essential identifying characteristic about something such as "My car is red". This does not suggest that all red cars belong to me but it is a helful identifying characteristic. That is, it is a statement of quality.

According to Wallace in Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, the statement "the Word was God" (John 1:1) is such a category statement (See GGBB page 269ff).

I regard the other similar statements in a similar light:

  • "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16) is a statement of the essential essence of God.
  • "God is light' (1 John 1:5) also states an essential characteristic or essential quality of God. The same could be said of the sun, that, "the sun is light" but that does not make the sun and God equivalent.
  • "God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:29) is similar

And so we could go on with the many characteristics of God such as His eternity and omniscience, etc.

"God is one" is a direct allusion to the Shema in Deut 6:4; and in John 10:30 Jesus is indirectly claiming to be part of the unity. Wallace in GGBB concurs (see page 267).

A very similar idea is stated in Gen 2:24, using the same word אֶחָד (echad = "one") about the mysterious union of two separate people in marriage:

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

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