Thursday, 12 January 2012

John 10:30 - "I and the Father are one."

This past Friday night, while witnessing in Leicester Square, I spoke with a Muslim chap regarding the deity of Christ. Our conversation was brief and touched on John 10:30. Although we were not able to talk for long (as by this time it was getting quite late) we did exchange contact details. The next day I received a text from him, which reads as follows:

Hi, 

thank you very much for your time yesterday, as discussed, please see references below. 

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one.” 

This word 'one' and example is also used in John 17:21-23 

New International Version (NIV) 
John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 
John 17:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 
John 17:23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 

This word 'one' Jesus (peace be upon him) is referring to in the above includes the disciples and the Father are oneness in purpose and message not in the physical body form, shape or size. 

Check out these fantastic explanations on YouTube: 

I and my Father are One: 
John 10:30. Ahmed Deedat. 

I & My Father are One - What does it Mean? Ahmed Deedat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnP1vVlQZ1I 

Contexts of the verse I and my Father are One? Dr Zakir Naik. 

How would you respond with a counter challenge? 

Best regards, 
Ash

My response is below...

Hi Ash, 

Thank you for your email. 

With regard to John 10:30, you wrote: 

“This word 'one' and example is also used in John 17:21-23 

Correct. The Greek word ἓν is used in John 10:30 and John 17:21-23. 

You also wrote: 

“This word 'one' Jesus (peace be upon him) is referring to in the above includes the disciples and the Father are oneness in purpose and message not in the physical body form, shape or size.” 

Firstly, let us see the whole of John 10:30 as it appears in the Greek language: 

ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. - “I and the Father are one.” 

The word ἕν is translated “one.” 

The word ἐσμεν is the first person plural of “to be” and so it is translated “are.” 

The phrase ἕν ἐσμεν (hen esmen) is a significant statement, which clearly has trinitarian implications. ἕν is neuter (in the Greek grammatical sense), not masculine (again, in the grammatical sense), so the assertion is not that Jesus and the Father are one person, but one “thing.” Identity of the two persons is not what is asserted, but essential unity (unity of essence). 

I hope this make sense to you. It is very significant. The Bible is clear that within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (The Forgotten Trinity, Dr. James White, pg. 26). So Jesus is not saying in John 10:30 that He is the Father. Rather He is saying that He is of the same essence as the Father. 

Let us now look at the beginning of John 17:21 in the Greek: 

ἵνα πάντες ἓν ὦσιν. - “...that they may all be one.” 

Notice the return of the word ἓν. Again it is neuter, which means that Jesus is praying to the Father asking that His disciples would be one in essence/purpose. In John 17:21 Jesus is praying to the Father asking that His disciples would be one, whereas in John 10:30 He is stating that He and the Father are one

In the first video Ahmed Deedat picks on the fact that Jesus quotes from an Old Testament psalm, in which God says to men, “I said, you are gods.” (Psalm 82:6). Ahmed Deedat seems to be saying that this is “just Jewish language,” and that Jesus is only saying He is “the Son of God.” Dr. Zakir Naik in his video mentions that two people can be said to be one, but it does not mean they are one. I disagree with both Ahmed Deedat and Dr. Zakir Naik. 

Jesus’ point in quoting Psalm 82:6 is that if human judges (Psalm 82:2–4) can in some sense be called gods (in light of their role as representatives of God), this designation is even more appropriate for the one who truly is the Son of God (John 10:33, 35–36). 

Take note that the title “Son of God” is a title given to Jesus which describes the relationship that exists between the Father and the Son. Jesus is not a created being, the Father has not reproduced another being which is Deity. Jesus made it clear that He was God through all that He did and said. 

I do hope all I have said is understandable to you. I look forward to your response. 

Kind regards, 

Rob

Ash has responded by asking me to meet with him over coffee in order to discuss things further. I'm greatly encouraged by this and hope to share God's truth with him in greater detail. 

Please pray for me. 

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