"I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).
Trinitarians interpret this verse to mean that Jesus and the Father are one God. On the contrary, Iglesia ni Cristo says that they, Jesus and the Father, are one neither in being "God" nor in being 'persons of God" as Trinitarians claim, but in the purpose and in the work of taking care of Christ's sheep.

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"I and My Father are one"
(John 10:30)

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, September 2002, p.2

In John 10:30 Jesus said, "I My Father are one."  According to your Church this statement  means that Jesus and the Father are one in their work. But if we examine the verse, we can see that Christ's statement "I and My Father are one" ends with a period after the word "one."  There is no mention in the verse about being one in their work.  If we examine the sentence grammatically in the statement, "I and My Father are one", "are" is a linking verb plural; the phrase "I and the Father" is the subject of the sentence;  "I" (the pronoun stated by Jesus) and     the noun "Father" are both in the nominative case; the phrase ''are one" is a predicate; and "and" is a connective used to join or connect both Jesus and the Father with equal class or category. Therefore, what Is being referred to in John 10:30 is that Jesus and the Father are one in being Persons of the one God, namely they are God the Father and God the Son.

Furthermore, notice the succeeding verses (John 10:31-36). After Jesus made His statement in John 10:30, the Jews wanted to stone Him and accused Him of blasphemy.  When Jesus asked why they wanted to stone Him, they answered because He was a man that was making Himself God. Therefore, they didn't believe He was God because He was a man. So who is the real blasphemer? Jesus who is saying that He is God or the who only believe that Jesus is only a man?   

Jaime Francisco
Arayat, Pampanga, Philippines

Editor's reply:

It is true, as you observed, that in John 10:30,Christ's statement "I and Father are one" ends with a period after the word "one." Hence, as such, you should have also noticed that the verse does not end with your erroneous and untenable conclusion, ''one in being Persons of the one God."

By examining the preceding verses of John 10:30, it is clear that the topic being discussed by Christ is the work of caring for His sheep. The issue is neither whether nor whether or not He is one of your so-called  'persons' of God.  This is what Christ stated:

" I give them eternal life and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my care. My Father who has given them to me Is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of the Fathers' care. The Father and  I are one." (John 10:28-30, Revised English Bible, emphasis ours)

It is clear that in these verses, Christ was speaking about caring for the sheep entrusted to Him by the Father. Christ cares so much for His sheep that no one will be able to snatch them away from Him. He then states, "no one can snatch them out of the Father's care." Hence, His conclusion," The Father and I are one." Therefore, based on the context of the verse, they  are are one neither in being 'God' nor in being 'persons of God' as you claim, but in the purpose and in the work of taking care of Christ's sheep.  Thus, George M. Lamsa rendered the  verse this way:

"I and my Father are of one accord."  (John 10:30, Lamsa)

In this translation, it is clear that the Father and Christ are of one accord or purpose. As far as the context is concerned, they are in agreement when it comes to taking care of the sheep. The verse does not in any way teach that they are one in being God. In fact, John 10:30 was never translated as "I and my Father are one God."

We wonder if there were grammatical rules upon which you can base your mistaken idea that the conjunction "and" is used to connect only subjects of equal class or category. Because if there were such, then what could you say about phrases like, "God and His people,"  "you and. your pet,'" mice and men," and the like?   Here, the conjunction "and" is used to connect subjects of unequal categories, but do you know of a rule in grammar that is violated by such a usage?

The proof that the Father and Christ, though connected by the conjunction  "and,"  in John 10:30, are not equal is in verse 29,  which states, "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all."   Hence, the Father is greater than the Lord Jesus Christ and this is supported by  Jesus' statement, "The Father is greater than I am" (John 14:28, REB).

Christ Himself also taught that He and the Father are of different nature. He said God is spirit (John  4:24) unlike He who is a man (John 8:40), who has flesh and bones (Luke 24:38-39). Being different in nature, God and Christ therefore are of different and unequal category.

If we examine the succeeding verses of John 10:30, we can notice that the Jews wanted to stone Jesus because they thought He was claiming to be God. But in Jesus' answer to them, He: clearly proved that He was introducing Himself as the "Son of God" and not God Himself:

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”  33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”  34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 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’?   (Jn. 10:31-36, New King James Version)

Hence, your conclusion that Jesus and the Father are one in being ''persons" of God is what the Bible doesn't teach in John 10:30.   Jesus introduced Himself neither as God nor as "God the Son" but as the "Son of God". Unlike what you believe and advocate, Christ teaches that there is only one true God, the Father in Heaven (John l7:l,3).

 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,      And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:1,3, NKJV)


Note: Verses in smaller font were added for clarity.

Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind.

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