The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

John 10:30

"I and the Father are one."



The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim this verse indicates 'Jesus is God' because Jesus is declaring to have oneness with God.


Examination of the Claim

1. Eisegesis

Trinitarians train themselves and others to imagine their preconceived notions into the text. Here they imagine Jesus to be saying "I am the Father are one {God}" or "I and the Father are one {divine substance}." However, there is no need to suppose Jesus had anything of the sort in mind especially in view of the context and Jesus' repeated teaching that he is in unity with the Father according to function in the works that he was doing.

The Trinitarian apologist loves to cite this passage because his doctrine says there are three persons "in one." However, the obvious question in this passage is, "one what?" Just how is Jesus one with the Father? This is not a question the Trinitarian wishes entertain. He would rather imagine for himself that Jesus and the Father are "one God" or that Jesus and the Father are "one nature" or that Jesus and God are "one substance." What he is lamely trying to do is claim that Jesus is advocating Trinitarianism. However, in Trinitarianism, the three persons, or "hypostases" are three persons in "one substance" and this most certainly not what Jesus has in mind.


2. I and the Father and Jesus are one

At John 17:20-23, Jesus prays for his disciples,

"that they may all be one just as as You Father are in me and I in You.... that, they may be one, just as we also are one."

I reckon we can be pretty sure this does not add disciples to the Trinity and make them "God." Here we can see clearly that Jesus sees this oneness in terms signficantly different than what the Trinitarian would have us believe. The Trinitarian would like to pretend that Jesus was here praying for a oneness that is different than the oneness he declared at John 10:30 despite the fact that Jesus here twice says, "JUST AS WE ARE ONE."


3. Jesus actually explains HOW was one with the Father

In fact, Jesus tells us plainly in the Scriptures how he was one with the Father. He was one with his Father in what he did in his actions, in function and purpose, not in what he was by nature. In fact, Jesus has told his disciples, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." (14:12). The unity which Jesus discusses throughout John is a oneness of function and purpose.

My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.
(Jn 4:34; cf. 17:1-5).

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who abides in me does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me or else believe me because of the works themselves...Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." (14:10-11).

In fact, we find the very same thing at John 5:36 which is the verse directly preceding the passage where Jesus tells the Jews they have never seen God the Father.

But He answered them, "My Father until now works, and I work.... For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God his own Father, making Himself equal with God... Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing from himself, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever he does, that the Son likewise does. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that He Himself is doing, and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel... But I have the greater testimony than John. For the works which the Father gave me, that I should finish them, the works themselves that I do testify concerning me that the Father has sent me. (5:17-36; cf. 4:34).

And Jesus tells the blind Jews, and the Trinitarians, this very same thing again and again but they do not listen. Indeed, he tells us that the way he is one with the Father is in what he does right here in this very passage.

If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. the works that I do in the name of my Father, these testify of me... I and the Father are one. The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father. For which of them are you stoning me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself [a] god. Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law, `I said, You are gods?' If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, 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'? If I do not do the works of my Father, then do not believe me, but I do them, though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." (John 10:25-38; see John 15:21-25).

Plainly, Jesus tells us in this passage that he is one with the Father in the works that he does from his Father who sent him. Jesus was one with his Father in plan and purpose. The passage does not indicate that Jesus was one with the Father in substance as Trinitarians wishfully imagine. In fact, Jesus tells us that if they saw him they saw the Father (14:9) but he also tells them that no one has ever seen the Father (5:37; 6:46; cf. 1:18). Therefore, we can know for certain that they had seen the Father in the works he did. In fact, this is precisely what Jesus says at John 14:9-10. John even says the same thing about us. "No one has seen God" but he is seen in our actions when we love one another (1 John 4:12). Once again, the Trinitarian has nothing but his notoriously vain imaginations.


Summary of the Facts

  • Trinitarians imagine a preconceived idea into the text.


  • Jesus prays to his Father that his disciples to be one with both of them "JUST AS we are one."


  • Throughout John's Gospel Jesus teaches us that he is one with the Father in terms of the works that he was doing by the Father dwelling in him.

Conclusion

How was Jesus one with the Father? If we are honest with ourselves, we can see that He was one with the Father the same way we are one with God, in the unity of the Holy Spirit by which we do the good works of god. This is precisely the manner in which he was praying in Gethsemane for all believers to be one with him and the Father, they in us, and us in them. Clearly, the oneness of Jesus and the Father in these passages refers to oneness of function in the unity of the Holy Spirit of God.


Last Updated: March 12, 2011

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