In John 20:17, instead of saying τὸν πατέρα ἡμῶν καὶ θεόν ἡμῶν, that is, "our Father and our God," Jesus instead says, τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν καὶ θεόν μου καὶ θεὸν ὑμῶν, that is, "my Father and your Father, and my God and your God." In fact, there doesn't appear to be any instances where Jesus himself says "our God" (θεόν ἡμῶν) when among his Jewish kinsmen.

By Jesus' peculiar statement, what may be implied about Jesus' relationship to the Father (when compared to the relationship of those Jews, to whom he was speaking, to the Father)?

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The first and most obvious impression is that since Jesus had once referred to His disciples as "brothers," the significance of πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν would therefore be to their mutual God and Father as "brothers."

John 20:17 (NASB)
17 Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”

However, there is more nuance at hand in the writings of John.

For example, the only reference in John to πατέρα μου / πατέρα ὑμῶν and θεόν μου / θεὸν ὑμῶν is John Chapter 8. In that passage, Jesus makes the contradistinction between His Father and God, who is truth, and Satan, who was a liar from the beginning and who was therefore the father and god of the Pharisees, who had denied the testimony of Jesus.

John 8:41-44 (NASB)
41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The Apostle John later says that the liar is the one who denies Jesus Christ, and therefore the Father.

1 John 2:22-23 (NASB)
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

Shortly before his arrest, the disciples had promised to be faithful to Jesus (Matt 26:35), but later they fled from Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciples thus broke their word to remain with Him. When Peter was then confronted about his association with Jesus, had lied three times: that is, he denied ever knowing Jesus.

In conclusion, the first impression of John 20:17 is that the disciples are the "brethren" of Jesus and thus the choice of words "my Father / your Father and my God / your God. However, their broken promise to Jesus to be faithful made them "liars." (The "father" of lies is the devil, and therefore he is the "god" of those who deny the testimony of Jesus.) Peter too lied about Jesus before several people when he was confronted. When Jesus therefore used the phase, πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν, he had eliminated any doubt in the minds of the disciples that their "father" was none other than the Father in heaven, who is also the Father of Jesus.


Jesus isn't implying anything. He is simply restating a fact that he had spoken about before.

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matt 16:16

the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35

The Jews knew there were many sons of God, but none would be holy and without sin.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38

Jesus clearly and often affirmed that God was the one who sent him, and he did not come to do what he wanted or say what he wanted, but always and only what God wanted. Does God send himself or does God have two wills?

Do not let your heart be troubled; [a]believe in God, believe also in Me. John 14:1

John spends the next while recording Jesus' words his Father this and his Father that...

But now I am going to Him who sent Me John 16:5

Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son...3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:1-

John 20:17 is a firm and unambiguous statement about who Jesus is and who his Father and God is.

Of course, the Apostles after Jesus reiterated in perfect unison the same simple truth.

the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, Eph 1:17

together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Rom 15:6

So many of these we could fill up several pages affirming Jesus and God are quite distinct and that Jesus' God and Father is the same one that all men have.

Jesus' relationship to the Father is therefore the same as every other human.


John 20:17 is seen in its entirety in post-Nicene codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrianus, Vaticanus, Bezae Cantabrigiensis, and Washingtonianus (Freer Gospels), c. 325-499 CE.

However, in extant ante-Nicene papyrus fragment P66 (c. 125-174 CE), the phrase μου και θν ("of me and God") is not seen. Was it there before P66 became fragmented?

According to the writings of those post-Nicene monks who worked in monastery scriptoriums in Palestine, Egypt, and Syria who produced the above codices, yes; to the ante-Nicene monk who worked in Egypt and penned P66, no.P66 at JN 20:17

  • While this is great information, how does this answer the original question of "what may be implied about Jesus' relationship to the Father"?
    – agarza
    Mar 11, 2023 at 15:32
  • 1
    Before exiting the Jordan River, Jesus, as a natural-born Jew and youthful follower of Judaism had, as his fathers had, a connection to Abraham (John 8:39). That connection ended with Jesus' spiritual metamorphosis ("transfiguration"; MK 9:7; MT 17:5; LK 9:35) and resurrection. Frag P66 indicates Jesus had no post-baptism connection, natural or supernatural, to the tribal-national God of Israel; i.e., יהוה (YaHVeH-Jehovah, GEN 2:4; EXO 6:3, et al.). His paternal relationship, however, depends on how one interprets and understands what Jesus referred to when he said πατερα ("Father"). Mar 11, 2023 at 22:00
  • 'That connection ended' why?
    – Steve
    Mar 12, 2023 at 5:52
  • Again, "That connection ended with Jesus' [implied] spiritual metamorphosis" (cp. the "Transfiguration" narratives in: codices א, B, C, D, and W at MT 17:1-9; papyrus P45 at MK 9:2-10, and papyri P45 and P75 at LK 9:28-36). Mar 12, 2023 at 13:44

It helps to understand that we are In the Father because we are In Creation. For Creation is the unbreakable word that Is God. The Father created us all, for we have all been formed Within Creation. So have three possibilities to decipher the truth.

Case 1 - The Father is a Title for God. If this is the case then the repeat was to inform and to be clear that the intention was to Ascend to God.

Relationship to Jews from this perspective: Everyone has the same God, so the Relationship is Equal(as in Relational Interactive Boundaries) to All.

Case 2 - The Father is to be taken literal as a Person's Real or Substituted Father. If this is the case then ascension into the sky is defined incorrectly. We know that it is not so this case can be dismissed.

Relationship to Jews from this perspective: Similar in nature unless placed into a scenario where all Males where Obliterated. If this where the case the no substituted Father would be available. Yet since the question points to "Those Jews" a male presence allowed for Real or Substituted Fatherly ascension.

Case 3 - The Father is the Encapsulate for your Soul, therefore each person has their own Father. If this is the case then the full restoration to the body had not occurred, and as a separate event ascending to God would then take place.

Relationship to Jews from this perspective: Each person has their Own Soul, and everyone has the Same True God.

Note: Interestingly this perspective allows for the "Son of Man" to being the words that are spoken out of a mans mouth. Since the Father to the Man is the Soul, the Son of the Soul is a speaking from within. This also allows for, no-one knows the Father but the Son. For only a person knows what they are going to say, yet it is above the person, for some speak without thinking, therefore it is a root of a person that speaks, and from this perspective this could be considered a persons father.

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