Why did Thomas say "my Lord and my God"?

Why did Thomas the Apostle say to Jesus “my Lord and my God” since both mean the same thing?

In the beginning of the Catholic Mass, the congregation says, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy”. Why not say just Christ have mercy three times?

Because he can not contain his love in just one word. Oh God. My Sweet Jesus. My Lord and Master. My hope and salvation. Oh loving Father. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How can just one word suffice? How could a thousand words suffice?

An excellent answer but I would add that the words Lord and God aren’t necessarily interchangeable. The apostles had been referring to Jesus as Lord all along but I don’t know if they all fully understood that he was actually God. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been terrified when he suddenly appeared in the upper room after his resurrection, thinking he was a spirit, as Luke tells it. And Thomas would not have doubted that Jesus appeared in the flesh to the others. So by saying “My Lord and my God” he was affirming his belief that his Lord is in fact his God too.

In those times “Lord” meant anyone who was considered having dominion over a person.
Jesus was the Lord of the Apostles, AND He was God.
It’s about his submission and his acknowledgement of who Christ was/is.
We use those words interchangeably now, but they didn’t then.

They don’t mean the same thing. Lord, God, and Christ have different meanings.

What Thomas most likely said was the Name of God plus “my God”.
In English he was saying, “My ‘I AM’ and my God”.
But with the fear of speaking 'I AM’s name, it becomes “Adonai”

Hi, Fred!

…consider the fact that Thomas refused to Believe!

…here’s this “sola” testi/testor who contends that only if he sees and experiences Christ’s wounds would he then believe…

Christ shows up out of blue, materializes in front of the Eleven, and Commands Thomas: ‘See Me, Experience Me, and Believe!’ (paraphrased, of course)

…this poor man, caught in his disbelief, shakes, rattles, and drops to his knees: “My Lord, and My God!”

This of course (minus the dramatization I’ve made) is an excellent example of Adoration/Worship of Jesus–unless it was the Judaic custom to exclaim “My Lord and My God!” whenever Jews met with perplexing events.

Maran atha!


Hi, John!

I fully concur.

Sadly, the term “Lord” has been placed in Scriptures due to the misunderstanding of not pronouncing the Name of God in vain.

Arguably, we have done just as much harm as people continue to pervert the term with the human understanding/custom of “lord.” So by acting to minimize the misuse of the Holy Name of God, we have hasten the devaluing of the term “Lord”… interestingly enough, the Jehovah Witnesses play on this by wanting to create some vacuum between the Father (Lord) and the Son (Lord).

Maran atha!


Thanks for all your replies, they were interesting.

After thinking about this, here is my guess.

Thomas’ “my Lord” possibly could be taken from the apostles calling Christ the Lord, whom Peter said had appeared to them. So the first “my Lord” may mean the resurrected Lord spoken of by the apostles that appeared to them without Thomas. And “my God” recognizes the resurrected Lord as God.

From my reading I found that in the last 200 years before Christ, Lord was used in place of Yaweh because Yaweh was too sacred to be pronounced out loud. So it was used as a substitute for God in the O T.

The invocation “Lord have mercy” means God have mercy, from the O T. The second invocation “Christ have mercy” equates the man Christ with God, who stands at the right hand of the Father. That brings us to the third invocation of “Lord have mercy.” This three fold invocation honors the Trinity. Notice that Christ is in the second invocation, and may be a connection with Christ being the second person in the Trinity.

I like the song “My Sweet Lord” … just beautiful.

Because Thomas finally understood what Jesus had been telling them the whole time !

John 14:9 “He who has seen me has seen the Father”

John 10:30 “The Father and I are one”

Thomas saw the Father and the Son, in the person of Jesus Christ.

John 14:9 “He who has seen me has seen the Father”

Jesus said this because the Father is God and Jesus is God. The nature of Jesus and the Father is the same, that of God. But the Person of Jesus and the Person of the Father is not the same. Person indicates “who”. And who they are, are not the same for they are distinct.

John 10:30 “The Father and I are one”

“One” means in nature, and that is God.

I would say the Father and the Son have the same personality.

Thomas understood that the Father is in Jesus Christ, that’s why he said “my Lord and my God”

Originally posted by PNEUMA
I would say the Father and the Son have the same personality.

The Catholic Catechism has this to say about the persons in the Trinity in para. 254:

The divine persons are really distinct from one another. God is one but not solitary. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another. He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son. They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds. The divine Unity is Triune.

Originally posted by PNEUMA
Thomas understood that the Father is in Jesus Christ, that’s why he said “my Lord and my God”

It is true that the Father is in Jesus Christ, because the three divine Persons are in one another because of the indwelling of the Three Divine Persons reciprocally in one another which is called the Circumincession.

It depends on the language and the specific word being translated as “Lord”. In both French and Spanish every man can be called “lord” (Monsieur and Señor both translate literally as ‘Lord’ or ‘My lord’).

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