I had a question regarding your thoughts on the parable of the vine and the branches.
Near the last part you stated, “The “them” in verse six is neuter, and “it” is cast out, not “they” the people.”
This was a bit confusing to me because, Jesus says that we are the branches, so the branches are “they”, so I see this as Jesus saying that the people in view here, are the ones who will be burned. So, we are the branches, we are cast off as the withered branch that we are, and our end is to be burned. That is how I read this. If you can help explain how you got your answer a little more in depth, I’d appreciate it.



Hello Melissa,

Thank you for your question. I believe you are referring to John 15:6 which was addressed in Q#6 What Gets Burned?

As I said in that article, “The verse says, ’If a man [singular] abide not [present tense, lit. “is not abiding”] in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them [neuter], and cast them into the fire, and they [singular, lit. “it”] are burned.’”

Notice two key thoughts. First, the phrase “as a branch” emphasizes the believer’s purpose as a branch which according to the passage is to bear fruit and in so doing bring glory to God. While it is true that earlier in the passage believers are the branches, the specific point in verse six is specifying their purpose as a branch.

Second, grammatically the word “them” is neuter and the word “they” is singular. That is why I believe the word translated “they” is really saying “it” [singular] or the wasted part of a believer’s life that is done in the strength of the flesh. This ties in with the believer’s purpose as a branch. I believe this refers to the wood, hay and stubble that gets burned up according to 1 Corinthians 3.

Otherwise, you have those who are “in me [Christ]” getting thrown into fire. You can’t be in Christ unless you are a believer. Believers possess “eternal life.” It is impossible to have eternal life just for a little while. In 1 John 1:2 Jesus is referred to as “that eternal life” (cf. 1 john 5:20). Jesus in the believer is not going to be cast into fire.

Hope this clarifies.


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