Re: "one' in John 10:30 and Gal 3:28

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Oct 29 1999 - 11:16:17 EDT

At 7:12 AM -0700 10/29/99, Tony Costa wrote:
>Dear Friends,
> I had a question re: the translation and meaning of hEN in John 10:30 and
>hEIS in Gal 3:27. I understand that in the Johanine passage, the word
>translated "one" is neuter and refers to the oneness Jesus claims to have
>with the Father; whereas in Gal 3:27 Paul uses the word hHEIS in reference
>to the unity of believers in Christ.hEIS in the Galatians passage is in the
>masculine. My question is as follows, why didn't Paul use hEN in Gal 3:27,
>or why didn't John utilize hEIS in John 10:30? Why is the neuter form of
>"one" used in John 10:30 and the masculine in Gal 3:27? Many thanks.

I think the sense in John 10:30 is "a single entity"--hence the neuter
form--or perhaps one might convey it as "a unit." But in Gal 3:28 (I think
you did mean 3:28 rather than 3:27) I would understand the hEIS
'distributively'--i.e. "each of you is a single hUIOS QEOU" rather than a
slave or free man, male or female, etc.--i.e. I would take the singular
hEIS as construed with an implicit hEKASTOS, which can be used as a
distributive with a plural verb--so that hUMEIS here means "you all, each
individually): the multiplicity of distinctive status-descriptors evanesces
with baptism, and each baptizand becomes a single "child of God," in that
respect no different from any other "child of God." I would explain the
masculine gender also as dependent on the generic hUIOS QEOU of verse
26--GENERIC masculine, I say, because it's hardly reasonable to imagine
that all these baptizands actually turn into males when baptized ...?

I had thought at first the question was going to be: Why isn't it hENES IN
GAL 3:27 ;-)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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