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John 10:30


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#1 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:29 PM

The Trinitarian proof text:John 10:30.
I and my Father are one.
The Trinitarian argument:John 10:30 - One (έν)
The neuter, not the masculine εις, one person. It implies unity of essence, not merely of will or of power.

Vincent, Marvin R., Word Studies in the New Testament.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#2 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:30 PM

The refutation from standard authorities:
One translates the Greek neuter hen. This verse was much quoted in the Aryan controversy by the orthodox in support of the doctrine that Christ was of one substance with the Father.

The expression seems however mainly to imply that the Father and the Son are united in will and purpose. Jesus prays in [John 17:11] that His followers may all be one (hen), i.e. united in purpose, as He and His Father are united.

Tasker, R.V.G (1960), The Gospel According to St John.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#3 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:32 PM

EGO KAI HO PATNR HEN ESMEN [Lit: "I and the Father one we-are]

It has been customary, following the habit of the patristic commentators, to interpret these significant words in the light of the controversies of the fourth century. Bengel, e.g. (following Augustine), says: "Per sumnus refutator Sabellius, per unum Arius"; the words this being taken to prove the identity of essence between the father and the Son, while the difference of persons is indicated by the plural [ESMEN].

But it is an anachronism to transfer the controversies of the fourth century to the theological statements of the first. We have a parallel to EN ESMEN [Lit: "One we-are"] in 1 Cor.3:8, where Paul says HO PHUTEUWN KAI HO POTIZWN EN EISIN [Lit: "The planting and the making-to-drink one they-are], meaning that both the "planter" and the "waterer" of the seed are in the same category, as compared with God who gives the increase.

A unity of fellowship, of will, and of purpose between the Father and the Son is a frequent theme in the Fourth Gospel (cf. 5:18,19; 14:9,23 and 17:11,22), and it is tersely and powerfully expressed here; but to press the words so as to make them indicate indentity of OUSIA ['essence'], is to introduce thoughts which were not present to the theologians of the first century.

Bernard, J.H. (1928), A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#4 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:37 PM

30. I and my Father are one.
He intended to meet the jeers of the wicked; for they might allege that the power of God did not at all belong to him, so that he could promise to his disciples that it would assuredly protect them. He therefore testifies that his affairs are so closely united to those of the Father, that the Father's assistance will never be withheld from himself and his sheep.

The ancients made a wrong use of this passage to prove that Christ is oJmoousiov of the same essence with the Father. For Christ does not argue about the unity of substance, but about the agreement which he has with the Father, so that whatever is done by Christ will be confirmed by the power of his Father.

Calvin, John, Commentary on the Gospel of John.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#5 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:40 PM

While rejecting the standard argument from John 10:30, Calvin sought to construct an alternative from the verses which followed.

Let the reader judge if he was successful.
33. We stone thee not for a good work.
Though wicked men carry on open war with God, yet they never wish to sin without some plausible pretense. The consequence is, that when they rage against the Son of God, they are not content with this cruelty, but bring an unprovoked accusation against him, and constitute themselves advocates and defenders of the glory of God.

A good conscience must therefore be to us a wall of brass, by which we boldly repel the reproaches and calumnies with which we are assailed. For whatever plausibility may adorn their malice, and whatever reproach they may bring on us for a time, if we fight for the cause of God, he will not refuse to uphold his truth. But as the wicked never want pretences for oppressing the servants of God, and as they have also hardened impudence, so that, even when vanquished, they do not cease to slander, we have need of patience and meekness, to support us to the end.


But for blasphemy.
The word blasphemy, which among profane authors denotes generally every kind of reproach, Scripture refers to God, when his majesty is offended and insulted.


Because thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
There are two kinds of blasphemy, either when God is deprived of the honor which belongs to him, or when anything unsuitable to his nature, or contrary to his nature, is ascribed to him.

They argue therefore that Christ is a blasphemer and a sacrilegious person, because, being a mortal man, he lays claim to Divine honor. And this would be a just definition of blasphemy, if Christ were nothing more than a man. They only err in this, that they do not design to contemplate his Divinity, which was conspicuous in his miracles.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#6 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:41 PM

34. Is it not written in your Law?
He clears himself of the crime charged against him, not by denying that he is the Son of God, but by maintaining that he had justly said so. Yet he adapts his reply to the persons, instead of giving a full explanation of the fact; for he reckoned it enough for the present to expose their malice.

In what sense he called himself the Son of God he does not explain fully, but states indirectly. The argument which he employs is not drawn from equals, but from the less to the greater.


I said, You are gods.
Scripture gives the name of gods to those on whom God has conferred an honorable office. He whom God has separated, to be distinguished above all others, is far more worthy of this honorable title. Hence it follows, that they are malicious and false expounders of Scripture, who admit the first, but take offense at the second.

The passage which Christ quotes is in Psalm 82:6,

I have said, You are gods,
and all of you are children of the Most High;


where God expostulates with the kings and judges of the earth, who tyrannically abuse their authority and power for their own sinful passions, for oppressing the poor, and for every evil action.

He reproaches them that, unmindful of Him from whom they received so great dignity, they profane the name of God. Christ applies this to the case in hand, that they receive the name of gods, because they are Godís ministers for governing the world. For the same reason Scripture calls the angels gods, because by them the glory of God beams forth on the world.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#7 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:43 PM

We must attend to the mode of expression:

35. To whom the word of God was addressed.
For Christ means that they were authorized by an undoubted command of God. Hence we infer that empires did not spring up at random, nor by the mistakes of men, but that they were appointed by the will of God, because he wishes that political order should exist among men, and that we should be governed by usages and laws. For this reason Paul says, that all who resist the power are rebels against God, because there is no power but what is ordained by God, (Romans 13:1, 2.)

It will, perhaps, be objected, that other callings also are from God, and are approved by him, and yet that we do not, on that account, call farmers, or cowherds, or cobblers, gods. I reply, this is not a general declaration, that all who have been called by God to any particular way of living are called gods; but Christ speaks of kings, whom God has raised to a more elevated station, that they may rule and govern. In short, let us know that magistrates are called gods, because God has given them authority.

Under the term Law, Christ includes the whole doctrine by which God governed his ancient Church; for since the prophets were only expounders of the Law, the Psalms are justly regarded as an appendage to the Law. That the Scripture cannot be broken means, that the doctrine of Scripture is inviolable.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#8 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:44 PM

36. Whom the Father hath sanctified.
There is a sanctification that is common to all believers. But here Christ claims for himself something far more excellent, namely, that he alone was separated from all others, that the power of the Spirit and the majesty of God might be displayed in him; as he formerly said, that him hath God the Father sealed, (John 6:27.)

But this refers strictly to the person of Christ, so far as he is manifested in the flesh. Accordingly, these two things are joined, that he has been sanctified and sent into the world. But we must also understand for what reason and on what condition he was sent. It was to bring salvation from God, and to prove and exhibit himself, in every possible way, to be the Son of God.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#9 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:45 PM

Do you say that I blaspheme?
The Arians anciently tortured this passage to prove that Christ is not God by nature, but that he possesses a kind of borrowed Divinity. But this error is easily refuted, for Christ does not now argue what he is in himself, but what we ought to acknowledge him to be, from his miracles in human flesh. For we can never comprehend his eternal Divinity, unless we embrace him as a Redeemer, so far as the Father hath exhibited him to us.

Besides, we ought to remember what I have formerly suggested, that Christ does not, in this passage, explain fully and distinctly what he is, as he would have done among his disciples; but that he rather dwells on refuting the slander of his enemies.

'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#10 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 12:54 PM

It will be seen that Calvin's argument has three essential parts:
  • He dismisses John 10:30 as a proof text for the deity of Christ, correctly observing that it is wholly insufficient for this purpose.

  • He admits that Christ makes no claim to deity throughout this exchange.

  • He argues that Christ's deity was "conspicuous in his miracles."
The third point does nothing to improve Calvin's argument, since there was nothing in Jesus' miracles that required anyone to conclude that he was necessarily God. (After all, the Old Testament prophets had done no less than Christ, but we need not conclude that they too were truly divine.)

Indeed, Christ utterly precluded Calvin's line of argument when he said:
John 14:12.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
The mere presence of miracles (regardless of their magnitude) is no proof of deity.

Calvin therefore concedes much, advances little, and ultimately achieves nothing in support of the Trinitarian viewpoint.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#11 Evangelion

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 01:41 PM

There is no great secret to understanding the words of Jesus in John 10:30. We need only read the verse and take it at face value. The most natural interpretation is that which is predicated upon the context. Let the Word speak for itself: Jesus here states that he is one with the Father; Jesus later prayed that his disciples might also be one with the Father and with him; we, also, are called to be one with them. The unity is one of mind and purpose; that is all.

Interpretations which conclude that the "oneness" shared by the Father and Son is that of "nature" or "essence" are not taken from the text, but superimposed onto it. They are derived not from the verse in question but from the theological presuppositions of the exegete and should be dismissed on this basis alone.

Finally, Christ's reference to the Old Testament "gods" ("I have said 'Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High'"; Psalm 82:6) is itself an explicit defence against the accusation that he was claiming deity. He demonstrates from Scripture that those who are sent in the name of God to act on His authority, may themselves be termed "gods" (or "mighty ones", as the Hebrew is better rendered in this context) without being seen as literal gods or divine beings. Calvin correctly understands this defence, and thus sees nothing in it which lends support to the Trinitarian claim.

His conclusion:


Besides, we ought to remember what I have formerly suggested, that Christ does not, in this passage, explain fully and distinctly what he is, as he would have done among his disciples; but that he rather dwells on refuting the slander of his enemies.


Whilst believing that Jesus is indeed God, Calvin admits that it cannot be proved from this passage.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.




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