One (Hen), One (Mia), One (Heis)
Scripture Words Defined
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Study purpose: Scripture words defined: one (hen), one (mia), one (heis). The conclusions from the evidence below represent my best current understandings. I have learned that my understandings change over time and some of my works do not reflect my current understandings. As I learn more, my understanding of New Testament terms changes. I urge you to review the Scriptures for yourself and draw your own conclusions. God breathed out every single word in Scripture, producing Holy Words in the original autographs. Therefore, those Holy Words must be studied very carefully and translated accurately, because those Holy Words have no parallels in other literature in the sense that the authors of other works made mistakes in form and content. God makes no mistakes in form or content and never lies. This study presents an introduction to understanding group relationships described as “one” in the New Testament.
The Holy Words of the New Testament
1.1 Distinct Terms. All translations reflect the theology of the translators. God breathed out Holy Words and men moved by the Holy Spirit wrote down those Holy Words in the original autographs of the Bible. In many English translations of the Bible, the translators purposely omitted many distinctives in the autographs of the New Testament. They do not believe the words of the Bible are Holy Words, specifically chosen by God to communicate precise revelations from God. When God breathed out different words, we must consider if those different terms are synonymous or not. This study concerns the revelations of God using the term “one” in the New Testament. God used three distinct terms, one (ἓν–hen), one (μιᾷ–mia), one (εἷς–heis), to describe different relationships between one or more things. Please keep in mind that in New Testament Greek adjectives often agree in case and number with the noun they modify. Therefore, when God used nouns in different cases, then the adjectives one (ἓν), one (μιᾷ), one (εἷς) will normally agree with the case of the noun. For example, when Paul described “one body” (ἓν σῶμα), the term “body” (σῶμα) occurs in the neuter case and so the neuter “one” (“ἓν”) agrees in case as a neuter adjective describing the noun. Finally, when Paul described “one God” (“εἷς Θεὸς“), Paul used the term “God” in the masculine case, Paul chose the masculine adjective one (εἷς) which agrees in case with the masculine noun “God” (“Θεὸς“). We can review some uses of the adjectives related to “one” in the New Testament to learn more. God revealed special relationships between people, places and things in the New Testament and He wants us to understand the concept of “one” in the New Testament. For my purposes, I will use some special terms to describe relationships, which I will define as a preliminary matter.
1.2 Relationships. God used different words to describe different relationships. Therefore, we may study words to understand relationships. This study presents an introduction to relationships related to groups, and really only scratches the surface.
Basic Group Concepts
2.1 Starting Group. We can describe the various relationships at issue. By focusing upon one object, we mean to describe its relationship to other objects. To keep this study short, I have not applied the descriptors below, but they appear helpful to sort out relationships described in the Scriptures. So that I can keep it straight, I will call one group the starting group. Imagine your body for a moment. Most people have ten toes, and two eyes and a hundred thousand hairs on their head. I want to describe what happens when I do things to my body parts.
2.2 Body Parts. Human bodies have many different parts, all composing one united body.
2.2.1 Eye. If I pluck out one eye, the starting group had two eyes and now I have made a new group of one plucked-out eye. For our purposes, the eyes were the same size, shape and color. We also tend to describe our eyes as right eye and left eye.
2.2.2 Hair. If I pluck out one hair from my head, the starting group had one hundred thousand hairs. Now I have a new group of one hair. For our purposes, the hairs are all the same length and color. Generally, people do not name the hairs on their head or distinguish them in any way.
2.2.3 Toe. If I pluck out a toe, the starting group had ten toes, now I have one toe in my new group. My toes are on different feet and each toe varies in size and shape. We also tend to number our toes and give them names, like the big toe.
2.3 Groups. If I now collect the eye, the toe and the hair I plucked out, I can make them into a new group. The new group does not have identical items, but they all came from one person. They all came into the new group in the same way–by plucking them from the body. The eye and the toe as living tissue underwent significant change because they no longer function the same. The hair did not change in the same way by moving into the new group.
2.4 Relationships. I may want to describe the different relationships between those things, as they exist in the starting group and then in the new group. Furthermore, I may want to describe how they moved from one group to another group. I may also want to describe the starting group and individual items in the starting group before any movement takes place. I also may want to distinguish items in the starting group from the items in the new group. I also want to describe whether the items in the new group remain the same once in the new group or do they merge into one homogenous group.
2.4.1 Water. Consider water for a moment. I can start with a cup of water. If I pour the water into five identical thimbles, I will have five new groups of water. The water in each new group will be just like the water in the starting group. If I fill up each thimble with water, then the amount of water will be the same in each new group, and the water will be the same because the starting group was homogenous. Moving into the new group did not change the water.
2.4.2 Maple Wood. Consider three logs of maple wood. They are all different sizes, but they are all from the same tree. If I move one log onto the fire, I created a new group and the fire changes the new group. I may want to describe the effect of the movement into the fire. It changes the log’s size and shape. It also destroys the log by reducing it to ashes. Every log moved into the fire will undergo the same change to ashes. I may want to describe the change by moving an object into the new group.
2.5 Descriptors. These are the kinds of relationships we may describe with the terms One (Hen), One (Mia), One (Heis).
2.5.1 Starting Group. From the groups, I will use the descriptors: starting group and new group.
2.5.2 Orientation. From the eye, I will use the descriptor: orientation within a group (right and left, first and last, top or bottom).
2.5.3 Size, Name, Number. From the toe, I will use two descriptors: size of toe, name of toe, and number of toe. These descriptors will focus upon the toe itself, more than the group of toes.
2.5.4 Individually Compound. From the hair, I will use one descriptor: individually compound and individually homogenous. I mean that a handful of hair from my head form a group of hairs in my hand. I pulled my hair out. In my hand, the hairs remain individually identifiable even gathered as one group into your hand. In my hand, the hairs are individually compound, because I can still identify each hair in my hand.
2.5.5 Identically Compound. From the water, I will use two descriptors: identically compound and identically homogenous. Water is homogenous in that all the water looks alike when you try to divide it in your hand. Identically compound means when you gather an identically homogenous group, you can divide the water into different containers and different volumes, but the qualities of the water remain the same. They are individually the same no matter how you group them. You cannot identify the individual parts of the water like you can identify the individual hairs gathered in your hand. Water remains identically homogenous in your hand. The hairs remain individually homogenous in your hand. The new group of water remains identically compound gathered in your hand. The hairs remain individually homogenous gathered in your hand.
2.5.6 Dynamic Change. From the logs, I will use one descriptor: dynamic change. Placing the log into the fire materially changes the log. In contrast, gathering water in my hand does not change its basic quality. The descriptors may be used of both dynamic and static properties of groups and changes.
2.6 Caveats. Please keep in mind I am ignoring many levels of analysis with my descriptors, because we know that water has surface tension, capillary action, and many other physical and chemical properties. Putting water in your hand actually induces many changes in water, especially when it becomes heated by your hand, contaminated by your hand, and the water also changes your hand on a cellular level with interstitial spaces and biochemical pathways. I am ignoring the finer details of things to focus upon the general idea and keep things simple so that I can grasp it.
2.7 Syntax and Grammar. Finally, the use and case of the word in the New Testament makes a difference. Furthermore, the context of the word makes a difference in the New Testament. The descriptors only provide naming conventions to describe certain qualities. They do not replace basic principles of exegesis, such as consideration of grammar and syntax.
One (Hen) (ἕν)
One (Hen) (ἕν)
3.1 Neuter Adjective. The adjective one (hen) (ἕν) modifies neuter terms. I will start with a sentence in the New Testament that uses the terms side by side. Please remember that perspective differentiates the items under view. In other words, Paul looked at the same group from different perspectives. He used different terms to describe different perspectives of the same group. By changing perspective, Paul could bring out different qualities of the same group and different individuals composing the same group.
3.2 Ephesians 4:4. Paul used the phrase: one Body ( ἓν σῶμα) and one Spirit (ἓν Πνεῦμα), one (μιᾷ) hope of the calling of you (Ephesians 4:4). 1Paul provided: Ἓν σῶμα καὶ ἓν πνεῦμα, καθὼς καὶ ἐκλήθητε ἐν μιᾷ ἐλπίδι τῆς κλήσεως ὑμῶν·. Under the inspiration of God, Paul set the three terms side by side to communicate God’s revelation. Therefore, God helped us understand the differences between those terms: one Body (ἓν σῶμα) and one Spirit (ἓν Πνεῦμα), one (μιᾷ) hope. First, we must recall that the adjectives generally must agree with the gender of the noun being modified.
3.2.1 Starting Group. Please take notice that Paul drew attention to the new group of saints, not the starting group of unbelievers. 2See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 for his focus upon the starting group and its dynamic change into the new group in 1 Corinthians 6:11. Paul emphasized the dynamic change evident in the new group. None of the “one” characteristics applied to the starting group.
3.2.2 New Group. The new group of saints now shared one Body (ἓν σῶμα) and one Spirit (ἓν Πνεῦμα), one (μιᾷ) hope. Every member in the new group received all those qualities.
3.2.3 Individually Compound. Individually compound describes the individual qualities of each member of the group, like hairs gathered together in you hand.
18.104.22.168 One Body. The one body (ἓν σῶμα) described how many different members join together into one unity, the Body of Christ, composed of very different members, with each member retaining its individual characteristics (Ephesians 1:23; 3:6; 4:12; 4:16; 5:23; 5:30). Paul could still call saints by individual names (Tychicus, Ephesians 6:21). The new group is heterogenous in human bodies, because they all have individually many different bodies. They are one in the Body of Christ, and yet still retain their individual qualities. The term (ἕν) describes one of many things, and emphasizes the individually compound nature of the group. See, for examples, one of the ships (Luke 5:3), one of the twelve (Mark 14:20), one of many talents (Matthew 25:24) and one of the sheep (Matthew 18:12), and one of four living creatures (Revelation 15:7). The individuals in the group are heterogenous in the sense that each one by itself remains identifiable before and after joining the group, like the one sheep and one of the four living creatures.
22.214.171.124 One Spirit. Likewise, the Ephesians we are united in one Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit filled saints in the Body of Christ which is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 1:17; 2:18; 2:22; 4:3; 4:30).
3.2.4 Identically Homogenous. The new group of saints also were united in one (μιᾷ) hope. Like water, all the saints were blended together in one (μιᾷ) hope. The identical hope existed in each of them. By using the term one (μιᾷ), Paul showed the sameness of the identical hope that did not change among believers.
3.2.5 Orientation. God created the hope in their hearts, and the Ephesians were the first to hope in Christ (Ephesians 1:12). They were the first in line to hope and so Paul used the term one (μιᾷ). The starting group had no hope and was without God (Ephesians 2:12). The one hope of the Ephesians was both first and unique to the saints.
3.2.6 Heterogenous. The same group may have homogenous and heterogenous qualities. For example, all saints were baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit into one body (ἓν σῶμα) (1 Corinthians 12:13). That body, however, remains heterogenous because it is not one member (ἓν μέλος) (1 Cor 12:14).
3.3 One (ἕν) Spirit. Likewise, spirits can be joined together as one spirit. Several examples reveal God’s usage of the “one spirit” concept.
3.3.1 Ephesian Saints. Paul said that the Ephesian saints were one Spirit (ἕν Πνεῦμα). Therefore, we know that the term one (ἕν) means a joining of saints in one Body (Body of Christ) and one Spirit (Holy Spirit). Jesus takes each believer at the moment of salvation and baptizes them in the Holy Spirit so that in the Holy Spirit they are united as individual members into the single Body of Christ. They each possess may different bodies and many different spirits within groups, but those very different saints are unified in the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ (see Philippians 2:2 for “the one thinking” (“τὸ ἓν φρονοῦντες”) and “heart and spirit one” (“καρδία καὶ ψυχὴ μία”) (Acts 4:32). Among the many different human spirits composing the Body of Christ, the Ephesian saints are united in the Holy Spirit Who indwells each individual member and He indwells the church as a whole (Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 2:20-21; see also Ephesians 4:25; 2:14). The Ephesian saints have many individual spirits, which change over time. Yet, those individual, heterogenous spirits are unified in one Holy Spirit.
3.3.2 Prostitute. By having sex with a prostitute, the saint becomes one body with the prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:16). 3Paul provided: οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ὁ κολλώμενος τῇ πόρνῃ ἓν σῶμά ἐστιν. Paul used the term “one soma” (“ἓν σῶμά”) with the term “is” (“ἐστιν”–present active indicative, third person singular). By using the present tense, active voice, indicative mood, Paul emphasized that while you are joined with her, you are (ἐστε) one (ἓν) body (σῶμα) with her. Saints should never take away a member of the Body of Christ and make it a member of a prostitute by becoming one flesh with her, instead of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:15-16).
3.4 Iota. Jesus taught that neither one (ἓν) iota or one (μία) keraia shall pass away from the Law until all should happen (Matthew 5:18). The iota is a unique part of a specified group (the alphabet) of heterogenous units. The keraia is a stroke which forms part of a letter. The keraia joins itself to other marks to make a letter. It is not a letter by itself. Therefore a “μία” may be a part of a “ἓν”.
3.5 I and The Father Are One. Jesus said: “I and the Father one (ἕν) we are.” 4John provided: “ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν” (John 10:30). Notice that God did not describe Himself as one (εἷς) here.
3.5.1 The Masculine v. Neuter Issue. The definite article “the” and the “Father” are both masculine. Therefore, we would expect any adjective modifying those masculine terms to be masculine also. God chose a neuter term “one” (“ἕν”) to describe the relationship between Jesus and His Father. Furthermore, God also chose the term “we are” (ἐσμεν–present active indicative, first plural) to describe that relationship. Jesus was not focusing only upon the Father and so did not use the masculine “one” (εἷς). Jesus chose the neuter term “one” (“ἕν”) to fit the context. Jesus intended us to understand that He was not describing only His Father, but rather upon the relationship between Jesus and the Father, which fits the context of incarnation perfectly.
3.5.2 The Context of I and the Father Are One. The Jews were bugging Jesus to tell them plainly if He was the Messiah. They had already tried to stone Him for declaring He existed before Abraham. Now they sought to trap Him again. Jesus replied that He had already told them He was God, but then He explained the incarnation in John 10. The Jews did not understand that the Father sanctified His Son and sent Him into the world, taking human flesh. They operated from a sinful, binary view of God and man. In their depraved minds, a person is either God or man, but that person cannot be both (John 10:33). Therefore, because they knew Jesus was a man, in their sinful minds, He could not be God. Jesus explained why they were wrong about their binary thinking and, in so doing, explained the incarnation to them, showing that He really was God in human flesh, the God-Man, but He was not the Father. Jesus was and is and will always be the Logos.
3.5.3 The Incarnation Relationship of Deity. The Logos took flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:1, 14). That theme dominates the Gospel of John, especially John 10. The relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Logos Who took flesh comes into sharp focus against the background of the sinful Jewish binary thinking that God could not be both God and Man at the same time (see John10: Incarnational Theology). Jesus used Psalm 82 to explain that truth to them. Jesus described incarnational theology to explain in simple terms how the Logos was God and was with God at the same time and had always been God and with God. Both the Logos and the God were described as masculine in John 1:1. Jesus described the incarnation without implying that God the Father was the same Person as the Logos. Jesus used simple terms in John 10 that would not confuse the three relationships of John 1:1: (1)”In the beginning was the Logos” (“Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος”)–the relationship of eternality and self-sufficiency of deity; and (2) the Logos was with God (ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν”)–the relationship of the Logos with the God; and (3) “God was the Logos” (“θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος”)–the relationship that God was the Logos. Those three relationships had to be kept clear and unconfused. Jesus explained the theology of incarnation in ways people could grasp the infinity of deity in three divine Persons. Jesus communicated those essential Logos relationships consistently and clearly.
3.5.4 The Masculine, Personal Logos of Deity. To understand John 10, one must first understand the personal Logos described with masculine terms, the Logos (“ὁ Λόγος “) (John 1:1). He (Οὗτος–masculine) was in the beginning with the God (τὸν Θεόν–masculine) (John 1:2). All things came into being through Him (δι’ αὐτοῦ–masculine) (John 1:3). Therefore, in John 10:30, Jesus was not pointing at the Person of the Logos or the Personality of Deity with a neuter “one” (“ἕν”), because He did not choose the masculine “one” (εἷς). Because Jesus used the neuter “one” (“ἕν”) with “we are” (ἐσμεν), He emphasized the plurality of the unity of deity revealed through the works of the Father which Jesus performed for the purpose of people believing in Him for salvation. In the immediate context, Jesus had explained that He gives age life to His sheep and they hear His voice (John 10:27). Jesus declared they will never destroy themselves because no one will snatch them out of His hand (John 10:28). 5Because ἀπόλωνται occurs as an aorist middle subjunctive, third plural, I prefer the middle voice translation in a reflexive sense, rendering it destroy himself. Their willful actions result in destruction. Jesus emphasized He gave them age life and they would not destroy themselves, emphasizing eternal security of the saint. They would not be destroyed by themselves or others, because no can snatch them out of the hand of Jesus or the hand of the Father. Jesus then explained that His Father gave those sheep to Him, and the Father is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of His hand (John 10:29). Therefore, this power to give eternal life to the sheep and to prevent anyone from snatching sheep away from the hand of Jesus and the hand of His Father describes how Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30). The immediate context then focused upon several important relationships between the sheep, the Good Shepherd (Jesus), and the Father.
3.5.5 The Neuter Works of Deity. Jesus said the He did the works (τὰ ἔργα–neuter plural terms) of His Father (John 10:37). The Jews had just threatened to kill Jesus for alleged blasphemy. Jesus urged the Jews to believe in Him because He did the works of His Father (John 10:37-38). If the Jews did not believe Jesus, then they should believe the works of the Father which Jesus does (John 10:25). If the Jews would believe the works of the Father which Jesus was doing, then, and only then, would they know and understand that in Me is the Father and I in the Father. Jesus was proclaiming how faith works so that the Jews would then know and understand that Jesus was not the Father, but He did the works of His Father and the Father was in Jesus and Jesus in the Father. 6Jesus commanded the Jews to believe in Him, so that they would know (γνῶτε) and understand (γινώσκητε) that the Father is in (ἐν) Me and I in (ἐν) the Father (John 10:38). Only by faith first would they know and understand that relationship between Jesus and His Father. Therefore, when Jesus covered the sheep with His hand, simultaneously the Father was covering the sheep with His hand, because the Father is in Jesus and Jesus in the Father, because they are One in works. Only by faith alone, people can know and understand the relationship of works between the Father and the Son which makes them one (“ἕν”). The Father loves the Son because the Son laid down His soul for the sheep and then took took it up again (John 10:15-17).
3.5.6 The Unity of Deity. Jesus said that “I and the Father one we are.” If Jesus wanted to emphasize that Jesus and the Father are one Divine Person, then He would have made that plain by using the term “εἷς” instead of the term “ἕν.” 7Jesus quoted the Old Testament: שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה אֶחָֽד (Mark 12:29 quoting Deuteronomy 6:4). God translated the term “אֶחָֽד” with the term “εἷς” in Mark 12:29. Therefore, the term “εἷς” described the unity of deity in Deuteronomy 6:4. But is “εἷς” the only word to describe the unity of deity? No, because Jesus also described the unity of deity with “ἕν” in John 10:30. We should also keep in mind that the term יְהוָ֥ה was a title applied to Jesus and to the Father in the Old Testament, indicating that “εἷς” described one God existing simultaneously as God the Father and God the Son (and God the Holy Spirit). One aspect of יְהוָ֥ה describes His eternal self-existence as one of the primary relationships in John 1:1. Jesus applied the title יְהוָ֥ה to Himself in John 8:59, the same title applied to God the Father in Psalm 110:1. Therefore, the term “εἷς” by itself does not resolve the meaning of John 10:30, but it does show the complexity of the unity of deity. Many people argue that Jesus emphasized in John 10:30 that He was of the same essence as the Father. While the Scriptures affirm that God the Father and God the Son are both divine and have always existed as One God with One Essence, was Jesus making that point in John 10:30? 8We can thank the Nicene Christians for popularizing a nice theology of ὁμοούσιος to combat the errors of Arius and his theological kin. We can offer similar thanks for the later Christians who popularized key elements of Christology at Chalcedon. Because of many other passages, we know that Jesus and the Father are not the same Person. Jesus certainly was not arguing that the Father was the same Divine Person as the Son because He did not use the masculine εἷς to agree with the masculine Father. He chose the neuter ἕν to make some other statement about Himself and His Father consistent with His previous statements about Himself and His Father. Jesus was also explaining something else about their relationship. As we have seen, that meaning of that statement must come from the context of John 10:30, and not from theology text books and not from theologians not named God. Jesus did not want anyone to think that He was incarnate Father, but rather He was incarnate God. We must be sure to avoid the error of the “oneness” cult.
3.5.7 The Error of the Oneness Cult. The oneness cult, popularizing the ancient heresy that God is only one person, opposes the Scriptures and distorts them to the destruction of everyone embracing the oneness cult. Jesus was not teaching that divine unity means God is only one divine person. Some sects of the oneness cult erroneously teach that Jesus was proclaiming God is only one person in John 10:30 and so used the term “ἕν.” One glaring problem with that view is the word ἕν itself, joined with the first person plural ἐσμεν in the present tense, active voice, indicative mood. Jesus left no doubt that He was not identifying Himself as the same person as the Father. Jesus Himself described a present, actual unity of deity. The Father sanctified the Son and sent Him into the world (John 10:36), indicating that they are two separate Persons, both divine. The Father did not sanctify Himself, He sanctified Jesus and sent Him into the world. Jesus remained: (1) the Son of God and the Logos; and (2) distinct in Person from the Father; and (3) the Person the Father in heaven sent into the world (Matthew 3:17; the baptism of Jesus presents a complete refutation of all “oneness” theology.) Jesus addressed the sinful, binary thinking of the Jews that you are either God or a man, but you cannot be both. The Jews had seriously misunderstood the Scriptures and the power of God. Jesus was incarnate God, not incarnate Father. 9Jesus was the God-Man. Some members of the oneness cult argue that the term “εἷς” in the New Testament when applied to people always refers to one person. They overlook Galatians 3:28 and 1 Corinthians 8:6. In Galatians 3:28, Paul provided: “οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.” Please take notice that God described Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, male and female saying you (ὑμεῖς–plural) one (εἷς) are (ἐστε–present active indicative, second plural) in Christ Jesus–refuting any claim that εἷς always refers to a single person. 10Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 8:6, Paul provided: “ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ, ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς, δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ.” In 1 Corinthians 8:6, God described (1) one God (εἷς Θεὸς), the Father; and (2) one Lord (εἷς Κύριος), Jesus Christ. This verse highlights the distinct Persons of the Father and Jesus Christ, using the term (εἷς) to describe each of them and so destroying any claim that the term (εἷς) requires no distinction in Persons in the Godhead. See also 1 Corinthians 3:8 for the truth that the one who plants and the one who waters are also one (ἕν εἰσιν–present active indicative, third plural), showing how many Christians are one at the same time with different functions and ministries. Likewise, Romans 12:5 provides: the many, we are (ἐσμεν–present active indicative, first plural) one (ἓν) body (σῶμά) in Christ, and each one (καθ’ εἷς) members of one another. Therefore, saints have a one body relationship with Christ and also remain individual members of one another. In 1 Timothy 2:5, God is one (εἷς) and Christ Jesus is the one (εἷς) mediator between God and man, showing how Jesus is not One Person with the Father, but rather the Mediator between man and God. Therefore, the oneness cult distorts the Scriptures to their own destruction.
3.5.7 The Unity of Christians. Jesus explained how and why God keeps Christians united. Jesus prayed to His Father concerning the people the Father had given to Jesus, Who was now leaving those people behind on earth. Jesus prayed to the Father: “keep (τήρησον–aorist active imperative, second singular) them in Your Name, which you have given to Me, that (ἵνα) they may be (ὦσιν–present active subjunctive, third plural) one (ἓν) as we (ἡμεῖς) (John 17:11). This prayer shows that different persons can be joined together so that they become one, but they do not lose their individual characteristics. Notice also that the Father keeps them together, for the very purpose that the many believers remain one in God and kept by God. Jesus also gave them glory, so that they may be one, even as We (the Father and Son) are one (ἕν), I in them and You in Me, that (ἵνα) they may be perfected (τετελειωμένοι) in one (ἕν), that (ἵνα) the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me (John 17:22-23). The neuter one (ἓν) describes God keeping many people together, so that they are one, because Jesus is in them and the Father in Jesus, paralleling the concept that the sheep are in the hand of Jesus and, simultaneously, in the hand of the Father. Likewise, this indwelling divine unity in the believers provides a testimony to the world. The unity of Christians parallels the unity of Deity and the unity of Deity indwells the church.
One (Mia) (μία)
4.1 Feminine Adjective. The adjective mia (μία) modifies feminine nouns.
4.2 One Taken. Jesus described two people doing ordinary things, and one was taken and the other left. In the first prophecy, Jesus described two (δύο) men in the field, one (εἷς) taken and one (εἷς) left (Matthew 24:40). 11Matthew provided: “Τότε δύο ἔσονται ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, εἷς παραλαμβάνεται καὶ εἷς ἀφίεται·” Then Jesus described two (δύο) will be grinding, one (μία) taken and one (μία) left. 12Matthew provided: “δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ, μία παραλαμβάνεται καὶ μία ἀφίεται.” The two phrases in the original text were identical, except in Matthew 24:41 μία was substituted for εἷς in Matthew 24:40. The only difference concerned the gender of the people described as one taken, and one left. Jesus distinguished males and females taken by using the different terms for one. Therefore, μία and εἷς may have some overlap in meaning, but applied to different genders.
4.2.1. Homogenous Group. The Ephesians were joined together in one hope (μιᾷ ἐλπίδι). Paul further described that hope as “of their calling” (“τῆς κλήσεως ὑμῶν”). Notice that Paul wrote that they were called (ἐκλήθητε–aorist passive indicative, second plural) in one hope of their calling. All of them received the same calling into one hope.
4.2.2 Starting Group. Before the Ephesians were called in one hope of their calling, they were not united in any hope. In fact, they were without hope in this world (Ephesians 2:12). The staring group was homogenous regarding hope, because they had none. The new group was homogenous regarding hope, because they all had hope after salvation. The calling made all the difference and unified the Ephesians in one hope.
4.3 Woe, Destruction, and Judgment. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus described the three woes corresponding to the blowing of the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets (Revelation 8:13). Those woes provide more insight into describing groups and relationships.
4.3.1 The First Woe. The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, bringing the first woe (Revelation 9:1-12). The first woe (Οὐαὶ ἡ μία) upon the earth and its inhabitants concerned a star falling from heaven, and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit and locusts came forth, bringing destruction upon the earth. When the locusts had run their destructive course, the first woe (Οὐαὶ ἡ μία) had passed. Each woe began when the angel blasted his trumpet. The woes had different effects and came from different angels. The woes were a heterogenous group when looking at the effects of the woe or the angel blowing the trumpet. In the sense that they all were part of God’s program of judgment upon the earth and its inhabitants, they were homogenous and individually compound.
4.3.2 The Second Woe. The sixth angel sounded and the second woe fell upon the earth (Revelation 9:13-11:14). Each woe was separate and distinct regarding the events happening. A third of mankind died from the plagues of the second woe. Then the Rainbow Angel appeared with a little book and John ate the little book.
4.3.3 The Third Woe. The seventh angel sounded, bringing the end of the mystery of God (Revelation 10:7; 11:1-18:24). This woe covers many events and the seven bowl judgments. For my purposes, please notice that in one day (μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ) Babylon the Great will be destroyed (Revelation 18:8), and in one hour (μιᾷ ὥρᾳ) judgment came upon Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:10). 13In Revelation 18:10, the kings of the earth stand far away from the destruction of Babylon crying out woe, woe upon the great city of Babylon, the strong city, because in one hour came her judgment. John provided: ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἑστηκότες διὰ τὸν φόβον τοῦ βασανισμοῦ αὐτῆς λέγοντες· οὐαὶ οὐαί, ἡ πόλις ἡ μεγάλη, Βαβυλὼν ἡ πόλις ἡ ἰσχυρά, ὅτι μιᾷ ὥρᾳ ἦλθεν ἡ κρίσις σου.
4.3.4 Precise Time. The term one (μία) may describe a particular time. The third woe produced one day (μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ) in which Babylon will be destroyed (Revelation 18:8–compare 2 Peter 3:8–thousand years; see also 1 Corinthians 10:8, where 23,000 thousand fell in one day (μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ)). God was very precise that the judgment fell upon Babylon in one hour (μιᾷ ὥρᾳ) (Revelation 18:10). Babylon shows that God can destroy over the course of a day, but the judgment itself falls in one hour, using very precise time (compare Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32).
4.3.5 The Mystery of Christ and the Church. Paul used the body image to describe the diverse unity in the church comprised of many different people with many different spiritual gifts pursuing many different ministries producing many different effects. Compare God joining one male and one female in marriage so that they become one one flesh (σὰρξ μία). 14See Genesis 2:24 where God joined Adam and Eve in marriage and they became one flesh (אֶחָֽד לְבָשָׂ֥ר–notice the compound unity of heterogenous genders with the term אֶחָֽד). While some people argue that flesh (σὰρξ) means something evil by nature, Jesus was not emphasizing that God joins two evil natures into one evil nature in marriage (Adam and Eve had not fallen into sin when God made them one flesh. Furthermore, God had already created Eve from the rib of Adam and then joined them in marriage producing one flesh. Likewise, when Paul described the joining of a Christian to a prostitute, he was not saying something referring to only the physical body. Please keep in mind that Christ nourished His own flesh (σαρκὸς), the Body of Christ, because the saints are individually members of the Body of Christ. In fact, God described the relationship between Christ and His Body as a man leaves his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and will be the two (οἱ δύο) into (εἰς) one flesh (σάρκα μίαν) (Ephesians 5:31-32–they mystery (μυστήριον) of the Church).
One (Heis) (εἷς)
5.1 Masculine Nouns. The adjective “one” (εἷς) modifies masculine nouns. Jesus used gender specific adjectives to describe males and females taken away to judgment. He said two men (δύο) would be in the field, one (εἷς) taken and one (εἷς) left (Matthew 24:40). Because Jesus used the masculine term “one” (εἷς) to describe them, indicating they were males. Likewise, two women (δύο) would be grinding, one taken (μία) and one (μία) left (Matthew 24:41). Similarly, Jesus used the feminine term “one” (μία), indicating they were females. The gender of the term “one” identifies males and females, so gender of the adjective “one” identifies the gender of people. Likewise, generally, the gender of the noun should agree with the gender of the adjective modifying or describing it.
5.2 Unity of God. Several passages provide insight into the unity of God.
5.2.1 Yahweh One. Moses declared: “Hear, Israel! Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh One!” (Deuteronomy 6:4). 15Moses provided: שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה אֶחָֽד. Moses used the Hebrew term “one” (“אֶחָֽד”) to describe Yahweh Our God. In the New Testament, this declaration about God being “one” was translated as “one” with the Greek term for “one” (“εἷς”) (Mark 12:29). 16Mark provided: “ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι πρώτη ἐστίν· ἄκουε, Ἰσραήλ, κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν (Mark 12:29). Therefore, we have a clear indication that God may be described as “one” (εἷς), which corresponds to the Hebrew “one” “אֶחָֽד” in the Old Testament. The masculine “Lord” (“κύριος”) matches the masculine “one” (“εἷς”). Jesus then provided a very clear explanation of Trinitarian theology with His question about David praying in the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:35-37). Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1, where David wrote about David praying in the Holy Spirit: Yahweh (“יְהוָ֨ה”) said “to my Lord” (“לַֽאדֹנִ֗י”). 17David provided: “נְאֻ֤ם יְהוָ֨ה לַֽאדֹנִ֗י שֵׁ֥ב לִֽימִינִ֑י עַד־אָשִׁ֥ית אֹ֝יְבֶ֗יךָ הֲדֹ֣ם לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ.” Therefore, we see that the Hebrew term “one” (“אֶחָֽד”) includes a Trinitarian aspect when applied to Yahweh. Furthermore, in Psalm 110:1 the term “Yahweh” applied to the Father and there Jesus was called Adonai (see John 8:58 where Jesus applied the “I AM” title to Himself). Because Jesus said that David was talking in the Holy Spirit, we see the entire Trinity of God discussed by Jesus in Mark 12:35-37. Furthermore, both the Hebrew term “one” (“אֶחָֽד”) and the Greek term “one” (εἷς) both describe One Person of the Godhead in each passage, but the term “Yahweh” (“יְהוָ֨ה”) served as a title for both the Father and the Son.
5.2.2 One Shepherd. Regarding His relationship as the Good Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus proclaimed: one flock (μία ποίμνη) with one Shepherd (εἷς ποιμήν) (John 10:16). 18John provided: καὶ ἄλλα πρόβατα ἔχω ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τῆς αὐλῆς ταύτης· κἀκεῖνα δεῖ με ἀγαγεῖν καὶ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούσουσιν, καὶ γενήσονται μία ποίμνη, εἷς ποιμήν.
5.2.3 One God. Jesus told a young man that no one is good, except (εἰ μὴ) one (εἷς), the God (ὁ θεός) (Mark 10:18).
5.2.4 One Father. Paul wrote that the saints have “one God and Father of all” (“εἷς Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ πάντων”) (Ephesians 4:6). Likewise, Jesus taught His disciples to avoid all titles, saying that one (εἷς) is the Father (ὁ Πατὴρ ) of you (Matthew 23:9).
5.2.5 One Teacher. Jesus warned His disciples to call no man rabbi, because One (εἷς) is your teacher (διδάσκαλος) (Matthew 23:8).
5.2.6 One Leader. Jesus also warned His disciples not to be called leaders (καθηγηταί), because One (εἷς) is your leader (καθηγητὴς), the Christ (ὁ Χριστός) (Matthew 23:10).
5.2.7 One Lord. Paul wrote that saints have one Lord (εἷς Κύριος) (Ephesians 4:5). Likewise, Paul declared that unbelievers worship many so called gods (θεοὶ ) and lords (κύριοι) in heaven and on earth, but for saints, there is one God (εἷς Θεὸς), the Father (ὁ Πατήρ), of (ἐξ) Whom are the all (τὰ πάντα) and we into (εἰς) Him; and one Lord (εἷς Κύριος), Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦς Χριστός) through (δι’) Whom the all (τὰ πάντα), and we through (δι’) Him (1 Corinthians 8:5-6). Writing under the inspiration of God, Paul packed wonderful theology into a few words about the Trinity and the relationships between God the Father and God the Son, all against the background of unbelieving theology present at Corinth and elsewhere.
Generally, the terms one (hen), one (mia), one (heis) agree with the nouns they describe. Because of that correspondence, God revealed significant relationships between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He used those terms to describe how God eternally exists in three divine Persons, and yet eternally exist as one God. The Unity of Divinity in the Old Testament continues in the New Testament. The Logos relationships in the Gospel of John provide a firm foundation for knowing Jesus and His relationship to God, because He is with God and is God, from the beginning. Paul’s contrasts between the One God the Father and One Lord, Jesus Christ, provide infinite depths of revelation, but still helps saints love God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit more and then love our neighbors as ourselves.
|↑1||Paul provided: Ἓν σῶμα καὶ ἓν πνεῦμα, καθὼς καὶ ἐκλήθητε ἐν μιᾷ ἐλπίδι τῆς κλήσεως ὑμῶν·.|
|↑2||See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 for his focus upon the starting group and its dynamic change into the new group in 1 Corinthians 6:11.|
|↑3||Paul provided: οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ὁ κολλώμενος τῇ πόρνῃ ἓν σῶμά ἐστιν.|
|↑4||John provided: “ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν” (John 10:30).|
|↑5||Because ἀπόλωνται occurs as an aorist middle subjunctive, third plural, I prefer the middle voice translation in a reflexive sense, rendering it destroy himself. Their willful actions result in destruction. Jesus emphasized He gave them age life and they would not destroy themselves, emphasizing eternal security of the saint. They would not be destroyed by themselves or others, because no can snatch them out of the hand of Jesus or the hand of the Father.|
|↑6||Jesus commanded the Jews to believe in Him, so that they would know (γνῶτε) and understand (γινώσκητε) that the Father is in (ἐν) Me and I in (ἐν) the Father (John 10:38). Only by faith first would they know and understand that relationship between Jesus and His Father.|
|↑7||Jesus quoted the Old Testament: שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה אֶחָֽד (Mark 12:29 quoting Deuteronomy 6:4). God translated the term “אֶחָֽד” with the term “εἷς” in Mark 12:29. Therefore, the term “εἷς” described the unity of deity in Deuteronomy 6:4. But is “εἷς” the only word to describe the unity of deity? No, because Jesus also described the unity of deity with “ἕν” in John 10:30. We should also keep in mind that the term יְהוָ֥ה was a title applied to Jesus and to the Father in the Old Testament, indicating that “εἷς” described one God existing simultaneously as God the Father and God the Son (and God the Holy Spirit). One aspect of יְהוָ֥ה describes His eternal self-existence as one of the primary relationships in John 1:1. Jesus applied the title יְהוָ֥ה to Himself in John 8:59, the same title applied to God the Father in Psalm 110:1. Therefore, the term “εἷς” by itself does not resolve the meaning of John 10:30, but it does show the complexity of the unity of deity.|
|↑8||We can thank the Nicene Christians for popularizing a nice theology of ὁμοούσιος to combat the errors of Arius and his theological kin. We can offer similar thanks for the later Christians who popularized key elements of Christology at Chalcedon.|
|↑9||Jesus was the God-Man. Some members of the oneness cult argue that the term “εἷς” in the New Testament when applied to people always refers to one person. They overlook Galatians 3:28 and 1 Corinthians 8:6. In Galatians 3:28, Paul provided: “οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.”|
|↑10||Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 8:6, Paul provided: “ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ, ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς, δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ.”|
|↑11||Matthew provided: “Τότε δύο ἔσονται ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, εἷς παραλαμβάνεται καὶ εἷς ἀφίεται·”|
|↑12||Matthew provided: “δύο ἀλήθουσαι ἐν τῷ μύλῳ, μία παραλαμβάνεται καὶ μία ἀφίεται.”|
|↑13||In Revelation 18:10, the kings of the earth stand far away from the destruction of Babylon crying out woe, woe upon the great city of Babylon, the strong city, because in one hour came her judgment. John provided: ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἑστηκότες διὰ τὸν φόβον τοῦ βασανισμοῦ αὐτῆς λέγοντες· οὐαὶ οὐαί, ἡ πόλις ἡ μεγάλη, Βαβυλὼν ἡ πόλις ἡ ἰσχυρά, ὅτι μιᾷ ὥρᾳ ἦλθεν ἡ κρίσις σου.|
|↑14||See Genesis 2:24 where God joined Adam and Eve in marriage and they became one flesh (אֶחָֽד לְבָשָׂ֥ר–notice the compound unity of heterogenous genders with the term אֶחָֽד). While some people argue that flesh (σὰρξ) means something evil by nature, Jesus was not emphasizing that God joins two evil natures into one evil nature in marriage (Adam and Eve had not fallen into sin when God made them one flesh. Furthermore, God had already created Eve from the rib of Adam and then joined them in marriage producing one flesh.|
|↑15||Moses provided: שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה אֶחָֽד.|
|↑16||Mark provided: “ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι πρώτη ἐστίν· ἄκουε, Ἰσραήλ, κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν (Mark 12:29).|
|↑17||David provided: “נְאֻ֤ם יְהוָ֨ה לַֽאדֹנִ֗י שֵׁ֥ב לִֽימִינִ֑י עַד־אָשִׁ֥ית אֹ֝יְבֶ֗יךָ הֲדֹ֣ם לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ.”|
|↑18||John provided: καὶ ἄλλα πρόβατα ἔχω ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τῆς αὐλῆς ταύτης· κἀκεῖνα δεῖ με ἀγαγεῖν καὶ τῆς φωνῆς μου ἀκούσουσιν, καὶ γενήσονται μία ποίμνη, εἷς ποιμήν.|