The Meaning of John 10:30 Explained

John 10:30

KJV: I and my Father are one.

YLT: I and the Father are one.'

Darby: I and the Father are one.

ASV: I and the Father are one.

What does John 10:30 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Jesus did not mean that He and the Father were the same person of the Godhead. If He had meant that, He would have used the masculine form of the word translated "one" (Gr. heis). Instead He used the neuter form of the word (Gr. hen). He meant that He and the Father were one in their action. This explanation also harmonized with the context since Jesus had said that He would keep His sheep safe ( John 10:28) and His Father would keep them safe ( John 10:29).
This verse has been at the center of serious discussions about Jesus" nature that have taken place over the centuries. Those who believe that Jesus was fully God and fully man (the orthodox) and those who believe that Jesus was not fully God (Arians) have appealed to it to support their positions. Therefore we need to look at it carefully.
First, Jesus" claim to oneness does not in itself prove the Son"s unity in essence with the Father. In John 17:22, Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one as He and the Father were one, namely, in their purpose and beliefs. Second, other passages in the Gospel declare that the Father and the Son are one in more than just their purpose and beliefs (cf1 , 18; John 8:58; John 12:41; John 20:28). Third, the context of this verse also implies that Jesus did everything His Father did (cf. John 5:19) and that Jesus and the Father united in fulfilling a divine will and a divine task. Fourth, this Gospel has consistently presented Jesus as a unique Son of God, not one of many sons. Fifth, 17:55 uses the Father Son unity as the basis for the disciple disciple unity in the analogy, not the other way around, implying that the former is the more fundamental unity. [1]
In short, this verse does not say that Jesus was claiming to be of the same essence as God. Here He claimed to function in union with the Father. However the context and other statements in this Gospel show that His unity with the Father extended beyond a functional unity and did involve essential metaphysical unity.
The Jews had asked Jesus for a plain statement about His messiahship. Jesus gave them far more, a claim that He fully and completely carried out the Father"s will, which strongly hinted at Jesus" deity. This statement is the climax of the preceding discussion ( John 10:22-29; cf. John 5:18; John 8:59).

Context Summary

John 10:19-30 - Our Assurance Of Safe-Keeping
Our Lord did not shrink from the avowal of His divine origin and glory, when there was need or when they were challenged. See John 4:26; Matthew 26:64. For the most part, however, He wished men to exercise their own faculties of discernment and to accept Him, not because He told them what He was, but because they were inwardly convinced.
In John 10:27 we have three characteristics of His sheep-to hear, to be recognized by Him, and to follow; and in John 10:28 there are also three privileges which they enjoy-to possess eternal life, never to perish, never to be snatched away by man or devil.
Note the safety of those who really belong to Christ. They are not only in His hand, but in the Father's, because the Father and He are one. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." Here is a double protection. They may wander far, lose joy and comfort, fall on dark and stormy times, but He is responsible for them, will seek them out, and bring them home. This also is true-that our relationship with Jesus involves our relationship with the Father. But if any should presume to live carelessly because of this divine grace, it is clear that such a one is not one of Christ's sheep. [source]

Chapter Summary: John 10

1  Jesus is the door, and the good shepherd
19  Diverse opinions of him
23  He proves by his works that he is Jesus the Son of God;
31  escapes the Jews;
39  and goes again beyond Jordan, where many believe on him

Greek Commentary for John 10:30

One [εν]
Neuter, not masculine Not one person (cf. εις — heis in Galatians 3:28), but one essence or nature. By the plural συμυς — sumus (separate persons) Sabellius is refuted, by υνυμ — unum Arius. So Bengel rightly argues, though Jesus is not referring, of course, to either Sabellius or Arius. The Pharisees had accused Jesus of making himself equal with God as his own special Father (John 5:18). Jesus then admitted and proved this claim (John 5:19-30). Now he states it tersely in this great saying repeated later (John 17:11, John 17:21). Note εν — hen used in 1 Corinthians 3:3 of the oneness in work of the planter and the waterer and in John 17:11, John 17:23 of the hoped for unity of Christ‘s disciples. This crisp statement is the climax of Christ‘s claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger. [source]
One [ἕν]
The neuter, not the masculine εἶς , one person. It implies unity of essence, not merely of will or of power. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 10:30

John 4:21 The Father []
This absolute use of the title the Father is characteristic of John. He speaks of God as the Father, and my Father, more commonly the former. On the distinction between the two Canon Westcott observes: “Generally it may be said that the former title expresses the original relation of God to being, and specially to humanity, in virtue of man's creation in the divine image; and the latter more particularly the relation of the Father to the Son incarnate, and so indirectly to man in virtue of the Incarnation. The former suggests those thoughts which spring from the consideration of the absolute moral connection of man with God; the latter those which spring from what is made known to us, through revelation, of the connection of the Incarnate Son with God and with man.” See John 6:45; John 10:30; John 20:21; John 8:18, John 8:19; John 14:6-10; John 15:8. John never uses our Father; only once your Father (John 20:17), and never Father without the article, except in address. [source]
John 14:23 We will come []
Compare John 10:30; Revelation 3:20. [source]
John 10:1 Some other way [ἀλλαχόθεν]
Literally, from some other quarter. The thief does not, like the shepherd, come from some well-known direction, as from his dwelling or from the pasture, but from an unknown quarter and by a road of his own. This from is significant, because, in the previous discourses, Jesus has laid great stress on the source from which He proceeded, and has made the difference in character between Himself and His opposers turn upon difference of origin. See John 8:23, John 8:42, John 8:44. In the latter part of this chapter He brings out the same thought (John 10:30, John 10:32, John 10:33, John 10:36). [source]
John 1:34 The Son of God []
This is the proper reading, but one very important manuscript reads ὁ ἐκλεκτὸς , the chosen. By the phrase John means the Messiah. It has the same sense as in the Synoptic Gospels. Compare Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:19. For the sense in which it was understood by the Jews of Christ's day, see John 5:18, John 5:19; John 10:29, John 10:30-36. The phrase occurs in the Old Testament only in Daniel 3:25. Compare Psalm 2:12. On υἱὸς , son, as distinguished from τέκνον , child, see on John 1:12. [source]
John 10:36 Of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world [ον ο πατηρ ηγιασεν και απεστειλεν εις τον κοσμον]
Another relative clause with the antecedent Recitative οτι — hoti again before direct quotation. Because I said Causal use of οτι — hoti and regular form ειπον — eipon (cf. ειπα — eipa in John 10:34). I am the Son of God Direct quotation again after ειπον — eipon This Jesus had implied long before as in John 2:16 (my Father) and had said in John 5:18-30 (the Father, the Son), in John 9:35 in some MSS., and virtually in John 10:30. They will make this charge against Jesus before Pilate (John 19:7). Jesus does not use the article here with υιος — huios perhaps (Westcott) fixing attention on the character of Son rather than on the person as in Hebrews 1:2. There is no answer to this question with its arguments. [source]
John 10:38 But if I do [ει δε ποιω]
Condition again of the first class, assumed as true, but with the opposite results. Though ye believe not me Condition now of third class, undetermined (but with prospect), “Even if you keep on (present active subjunctive of πιστευο — pisteuo) not believing me.” Believe the works These stand irrefutable. The claims, character, words, and works of Jesus challenge the world today as then. That ye may know and understand Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the same verb γινωσκω — ginōskō repeated in different tenses (first γνωτε — gnōte the second ingressive aorist active subjunctive, that ye may come to know; then the present active subjunctive, “that ye may keep on knowing”). This is Christ‘s deepest wish about his enemies who stand with stones in their uplifted hands to fling at him. That the Father is in me, and I in the Father Thus he repeats (John 10:30) sharply his real claim to oneness with the Father as his Son, to actual deity. It was a hopeless wish. [source]
John 14:28 I go away, and I come [υπαγω και ερχομαι]
If ye loved me Second-class condition with the imperfect active of αγαπαω — agapaō referring to present time, implying that the disciples are not loving Jesus as they should. Ye would have rejoiced Second aorist passive indicative of χαιρω — chairō with αν — an conclusion of second-class condition referring to past time, “Ye would already have rejoiced before this” at Christ‘s going to the Father (John 14:12). Greater than I Ablative case μου — mou after the comparative μειζων — meizōn (from positive μεγας — megas). The filial relation makes this necessary. Not a distinction in nature or essence (cf. John 10:30), but in rank in the Trinity. No Arianism or Unitarianism here. The very explanation here is proof of the deity of the Son (Dods). [source]
1 Timothy 3:16 Was received up into glory [ἀνελήμφθη ἐν δόξῃ]
Better, received or taken up in glory. Ἁναλαμβάνειν is the formal term to describe the ascension of Christ (see Acts 1:2, Acts 1:22), and the reference is most probably to that event. Comp. lxx, 2 Kings 2:11, of Elijah, and Matthew href="/desk/?q=mt+16:27&sr=1">Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:31; Luke 12:27; 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 2 Corinthians 3:8, 2 Corinthians 3:11.Additional Note on 1 Timothy 3:16Christ's existence before his incarnation was purely spiritual ( ἐν πνεύματι ). He was in the form of God (Philemon 2:6): He was the effulgence of God's glory and the express image of his substance (Hebrews 1:3), and God is spirit (John 4:24). From this condition he came into manifestation in the flesh ( ἐν σαρκί ). He became man and entered into human conditions (Philemon 2:7, Philemon 2:8). Under these human conditions the attributes of his essential spiritual personality were veiled. He did not appear to men what he really was. He was not recognised by them as he who “was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1, John 1:2); as “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15); as one with God (John 10:30; John 14:9); as he who had all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18); who was “before all things and by whom all things consist” (Colossians 1:17); who was “the king of the ages” (1 Timothy 1:17). On the contrary, he was regarded as an impostor, a usurper, and a blasphemer. He was hated, persecuted, and finally murdered. He was poor, tempted, and tried, a man of sorrows. -DIVIDER-
The justification or vindication of what he really was did not therefore come out of the fleshly sphere. He was not justified in the flesh. It came out of the sphere of his spiritual being. Glimpses of this pneumatic life ( ἐν πνεύματι ) flashed out during his life in the flesh. By his exalted and spotless character, by his works of love and power, by his words of authority, in his baptism and transfiguration, he was vindicated as being what he essentially was and what he openly claimed to be. These justifications were revelations, expressions, and witnesses of his original, essential spiritual and divine quality; of the native glory which he had with the Father before the world was. It was the Spirit that publicly indorsed him (John 1:32, John 1:33): the words which he spake were spirit and life (John 6:63): he cast out demons in the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28): his whole earthly manifestation was in demonstration of the Spirit. These various demonstrations decisively justified his claims in the eyes of many. His disciples confessed him as the Christ of God (Luke 9:20) some of the people said “this is the Christ” (John 7:41): others suspected that he was such (John 4:29). Whether or not men acknowledged his claims, they felt the power of his unique personality. They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority (Matthew 7:28, Matthew 7:29). -DIVIDER-
Then followed the more decisive vindication in his resurrection from the dead. Here the work of the Spirit is distinctly recognised by Paul, Romans 1:4. See also Romans 8:11. In the period between his resurrection and ascension his pneumatic life came into clearer manifestation, and added to the vindication furnished in his life and resurrection. He seemed to live on the border-line between the natural and the spiritual world, and the powers of the spiritual world were continually crossing the line and revealing themselves in him. -DIVIDER-
In the apostolic preaching, the appeal to the vindication of Christ by the Spirit is clear and unequivocal. The spiritual nourishment of believers is “the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Philemon 1:19): the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6): Paul identifies Christ personally with the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17); and in Romans 8:9, Romans 8:10, “Spirit of God,” “Spirit of Christ,” and “Christ” are used as convertible terms. The indwelling of the Spirit of Christ is the test and vindication of belonging to Christ (Romans 8:9). Thus, though put to death in the flesh, in the Spirit Christ is vindicated as the Son of God, the Christ of God, the manifestation of God. -DIVIDER-

Revelation 20:11 A great white throne [τρονον μεγαν λευκον]
Here μεγαν — megan (great) is added to the throne pictures in Revelation 4:4; Revelation 20:4. The scene is prepared for the last judgment often mentioned in the N.T. (Matt 25:31-46; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). “The absolute purity of this Supreme Court is symbolized by the colour of the Throne” (Swete) as in Daniel 7:9; Psalm 9:1; Psalm 97:2. The name of God is not mentioned, but the Almighty Father sits upon the throne (Revelation 4:2., Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:1, Revelation 5:7, Revelation 5:13; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:10, Revelation 7:15; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 21:5), and the Son sits there with him (Hebrews 1:3) and works with the Father (John 5:19-21; John 10:30; Matthew 25:31.; Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1). [source]

What do the individual words in John 10:30 mean?

I and the Father one are
ἐγὼ καὶ Πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν

Πατὴρ  Father 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: προπάτωρ 
Sense: generator or male ancestor.
ἕν  one 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: εἷς  
Sense: one.