Thomas Said to Christ, “My Lord and My God.” He Meant “God in Christ,” to which We Should Nod

When the risen Jesus appeared to his gathered disciples on the first Easter evening, the Apostle Thomas was not present (John 20.19-24). They later told him they had seen Jesus. Thomas said he wouldn’t believe it unless he saw Jesus himself (v. 25).

One week later the risen Jesus appeared again to his gathered disciples, with Thomas present. Jesus then showed his nail prints to Thomas, spoke to him about his unbelief, and Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God” (John 20.28).

Christians have believed that by making this confession, Thomas called Jesus “God.” And nearly all conservative, New Testament (NT) scholars agree and claim it is the strongest biblical evidence that Jesus is God. Most historical critical scholars believe this was the author’s intent but that this confession by Thomas was not historical and therefore it is fiction.

Christians as well as both types of scholars have erred regarding the meaning of Thomas’ confession. We must accept that Thomas said that. But what did he mean? No other NT character calls Jesus “God,” which would depart from Jewish monotheism. Plus, John records two other occasions when Jesus’ antagonists accused him of making himself out to be God, and both times he then denied it (John 5.18-47; 10.30-37).

People have exceedingly misunderstood Thomas’ words “my God.” Their interpretation that Thomas therein called Jesus “my God” ignores this gospel’s context, which unlocks the meaning of Thomas’ confession.

For instance, John records that the risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene a week prior to this Thomas incident. He told her, “go to My brethren, and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God’” (John 20.17). So, the risen Jesus called the Father “My God.” But how can Jesus be God if he has a God? Indeed, John would not have meant that Thomas called Jesus “my God” when this author had just recorded that Jesus called the Father “My God.”

Moreover, only one verse after Thomas’ confession John concludes his gospel by writing, “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed … but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20.30-31). This statement would be anti-climactic following Thomas’ confession if he therein called Jesus “my God.” That is, it would be far greater to proclaim that Jesus is God than that he is the Son of God. But calling Jesus “the Son of God” does not mean he is God.

The key to understanding Thomas’ confession “my God” is found in the conversation John reports Jesus had with his apostles Thomas and Philip at the Last Supper, only ten days prior. Jesus told them he would soon go to “My Father’s house” (John 14.2). He meant his heavenly ascension which would soon follow his impending death and resurrection. Then John adds,

4 “And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own initiative; but the Father abiding in Me does his works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me.”

Jesus’ words, “the Father is in Me,” must have left a strong impression on Thomas. Indeed, these words are the key to correctly understand what doubting Thomas later meant when he said to Jesus, “my God.” When Thomas said that, he was acknowledging what Jesus had taught him ten days prior, that God the Father is in Jesus.

Jesus had taught the same thing many days earlier. He had said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10.30). His Jewish opponents misunderstood him and were about to stone him for saying that. They accused him of “blasphemy,” saying, “You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (v. 33). Jesus implicitly denied this and explained this oneness as “the Father is in Me, and I in the Father” (v. 38). Scholars call this concept the Mutual Indwelling.

Some ill-taught Christians get confused about Jesus’ words in John 14.9—“He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” They think he therein claimed to be the Father, which is quite wrong. In the third century, Sabellius taught that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all one person, and the Catholic Church rightly declared it heretical. Jesus and NT writers constantly distinguished the Father and Jesus as two separate individuals, that is persons.

The Johannine Jesus taught something similar to this Mutual Indwelling on other occasions. For example, when he attended a feast at Jerusalem, “Jesus cried out and said, ‘He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me. And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me’” (John 12.44-45). Again, Jesus was talking about God the Father. In fact, the Father sending the Son is the most prominent theme in the Gospel of John, occurring 40 times.

This indwelling of God in Christ, and God sending Christ, reflects the concept of agency. In antiquity, especially in the business world and among Jews, a principal would select someone to represent him as his agent. It was common knowledge that a man’s son usually proved to be the best candidate as his agent. So, with the son as agent, dealing with a man’s son was akin to dealing with the man himself, as if the father was in his son.

The Johannine Jesus taught this concept of agency in various ways concerning himself and God his Father. Jesus often said that the Father had given him his words and deeds (John 12.49; 14.10, 24; 17.8). And he said of the Father, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself” (7.16-17). Notice he distinguishes himself from God, that is, the Father. Another time Jesus said, “I have come in My Father’s name,” and he then called the Father “the one and only God” (5.43-44). This is similar to what the Johannine Jesus later prayed to the Father, saying, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (17.3).

To rightly understand Jesus in the Gospel of John, Agent Christology can hardly be over-emphasized. It is the corrective to misinterpreting several Johannine texts in which Jesus is wrongly identified as God by (1) him claiming to be God or (2) him as God becoming a man (incarnation).

Moreover, in John’s gospel Agent Christology, also called Sending Christology, is the primary focus of saving faith for believers (John 16.27-30; 17.8). As God’s supreme agent, the Johannine Jesus functioned as God without actually being God.

(In my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ (2008), I devote 17 pages to explaining Thomas’ words “my God” in John 20.28 and cite 38 scholars. In using John 14.9, 11 as key to understanding Thomas’ confession, I regard this as the pinnacle of my research in this book. It is a God-in-Christ interpretation of Thomas’ words “my God” rather than the traditional Christ-is-God interpretation of them. Buy this book at servetustheevangelical.com. And see our website christiansforonegod.com.)

(To see a titled list of over fifty, two-three page posts (easily accessible) about the Bible not saying Jesus is God, click here.)

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  • michael francia

    I agree. I’m an Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) this is what we believe in Christ is different from God because He is a man and God is spirit (without flesh and bones) but God wants us to worship His Son, so we must believe in Christ teaching that the only true God is the Father. sorry for my English:-)

  • David

    I’d like to bring to your attention verses you probably have read, and probably have your own explanation for. As I’ve asked once before: IF Jesus is not God – WHO do you say he is?

    John 8:23-24 “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

    Who is “HE”? Is He – A Good teacher? A Prophet? God’s Messenger? Of which prophet must we believe he is God’s Messenger – or die in our sins? only ONE person can make such a claim – and that person is God.

    John 1: In the beginning was The Word…The Word was WITH God and
    The Word WAS God…And The Word was made flesh – and dwelt among us”.

    John 8:58, Jesus said this: “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I
    Am!” Here, Jesus is invoking a name of God: “I AM”. When God spoke to
    Moses from the burning bush, Moses asked “Whom shall I say sent me?” God
    replied, “Tell them I AM has sent me to you”. Jesus gets right to the
    point – He exists before Abraham, and He is the “I AM” who spoke to Moses.

    Revelation 1:8, Jesus declares: “I AM Alpha and Omega – The Almighty”.

    Hebrews 1:8 “But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a
    scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom”. Here Father
    God is referring to The Son (Jesus) as “O God”.

    Colossians 2:8-10 “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the
    fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the
    head of all principality and power”.

    • kzarley

      David, in my RJC book I deal at length with all these texts you mention here.

  • tjd_G

    Look at Proverbs the 8th Chapter. Jesus says he was God’s master worker. So, if Jesus is God’s master worker, he indeed was with God before he came to earth. When he said I am from above he meant he was with God. He is God’s ‘first born” and all other things were created through him and for him. So, Jesus had a heavenly existence before he became man. In the Jewish Law or the Mosaic Law it says an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Like compensation or like value of what was lost. So as God’s only begotten son, who is perfect, for him to be a man he was the only one who could be a perfect ransom- a perfect life for a perfect life.
    Jesus was the only one who could give us what Adam lost.

    • kzarley

      Jesus is not mentioned in Prov 8. It is about wisdom, as is made clear in v. 1. In the NT, Jesus is identified as the word of God and the wisdom of God, and both have always existed since God has always existed. But that doesn’t mean that Jesus preexisted. Jn 1.14 says, “the word took flesh,” resulting in Jesus. So, the word preexisted, but Jesus came into existence when the word took flesh. I think it is the same with wisdom. Although both the word and wisdom of God are sometimes personified in the Bible, as is most prominent in Prov 8, such texts should not be understood as indicating actual persons. The wisdom and word of God are attributes of God and not actual personalities as we moderns understand personhood.

      In my RJC book I address Jesus saying, “I am from above,” in Jn 2.23 and the remainder of that chapter. Jesus could not have meant that literally–that he preexisted and came from heaven. The same issue occurs in Jn 6, where Jesus says, “I am the bread come down from heaven.” If he meant this in Jn 8.23 literally, then to be consistent in interpretation we would also have to interpret his previous statement literally which he said to those Jews, “You are from below.” That would refer to the counterpart of heaven, which is Hades or Sheol, both of which refer to the place of the dead where I think souls go and that it is located deep inside the earth (cf. Mt 12.40).

      Jesus being God’s “firstborn” means rank, not chronological existence.

      Yes, your are right that Jesus was the only one qualified to ransom us from sin as our Savior and that it was because he lived a sinless life to be the Lamb of God without spot and blemish. But that does not require that he be God, and the Bible does not say he must be God to be our Savior. Just the opposite, it says, “he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect,… to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people” (Heb 2.17), as according to Isa 53.

      The beauty of the story about Jesus is that he was a human being like us who, through his Virgin Birth, remained completely faithful and obedient to God and thus overcame sin. This beauty is lost with the Trinitarian/Incarnational doctrine, which I believe for 22 years because that was what I was taught but not because that’s what the Bible teaches.

  • Thomas Farrar

    Dear Kermit,
    I am a former biblical unitarian and once developed an exegesis of John 20:28 which was virtually identical to yours. I have since changed my mind and regard it as a confession of Jesus’ divinity, for the following reasons:
    (1) From a biblical studies point of view, the issue is not only what the historical Thomas meant, but what the Evangelist has understood him to mean. John has positioned this confession as the climax of his Gospel. Moreover, he has prepared the reader for it in the prologue by referring to an entity other than God the Father as God or god: the Logos (John 1:1) and, probably, the μονογενὴς (John 1:18, following NA28 text).
    (2) It is, perhaps, remotely possible that a Jew like Thomas could have addressed Jesus as ‘god’ and meant something less than true divinity (though I’m not aware of any parallels in which one Jew addresses another as ‘god’ — I believe in the OT only God refers to humans as gods). In any case, it is unthinkable that a Jew like Thomas could have addressed another human as ‘MY God’ and meant something less than true divinity. As the Shema says (literally), ‘YHWH our God YHWH one’ – one probably in the sense of uniqueness and/or exclusivity. A Jew like Thomas who knew the Shema and possibly recited it twice a day (it is uncertain when this liturgical practice began) could never have countenanced addressing someone other than YHWH as ‘my God’.
    (3) I think it possible that this text alludes to Psalm 35:23 – “Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right and to my cause, my God and my Lord.” Note how easily the language of ‘stir’ and ‘awake’ could have been associated with resurrection. In the LXX the final clause (ὁ θεός μου καὶ ὁ κύριός μου) is identical to Thomas’ confession in John 20:28 except for the reversal in order of κύριός and θεός. (The reversal may have been made for a crescendo effect — certainly θεός is the more lofty term in the NT setting and arrests the reader.) Since the psalmist addressed this confession to YHWH, it is unlikely that Thomas would have felt justified in applying it to someone else.
    (4) There is nothing in the text to support the idea of a fundamental shift in referent from ‘my Lord’ to ‘my God’, with the first addressing Jesus directly and the second addressing the Father indirectly as the one who indwells Jesus. The text simply says that Thomas said this ‘to him’.

    • GregLogan25

      Thomas Farrar

      While it is easy to acknowledge that the exegesis that Thomas is actually referring to God the Father somehow inside of Jesus is painfully transparent and entirely unnatural, the rejection of the man Christ Jesus – as necessitated by the hypostatic union/anhypostasis doctrine is NOT the solution.

      My I encourage holding fast to the clear, formal teaching of scripture that Jesus is a man and must necessarily be a man (not an impersonal human nature actuated by some deity) for the resurrection of men (ICor15:21).

      Best,
      Greg

      • Thomas Farrar

        Greg,

        The Church affirms that Jesus really is a man and thus does hold fast to the teaching of 1 Cor. 15:21 and all other scriptures. However, the Church also affirms that Jesus really is God as per scriptures such as John 20:28. Hence, rather than making some scriptures definitive and explaining away others, I would encourage you to accept the historic teaching of the Church that Jesus is God Incarnate.

        One cannot use human conceptions of anthropology to limit what God could have done to bring about our salvation. The Incarnation is a mystery that cannot be fully understood but can be received by faith.

        Blessings,
        Tom

        • kzarley

          Thomas, the post-apostolic church’s teaching that “Jesus is God Incarnate” is extremely suspect since Jesus never claimed to be God, he called the Father “the only true God” (Jn 17.3), and there is no declaration in the 22 evangelistic messages or their summaries in Acts that Jesus is God.

          • GregLogan25

            Kermit – I would not even use Post Apostolic since they were not trinitarian. I would use 3/4C church which was fully corrupt as seen in so many respects (of course, corruption was rampant even early on as seen throughout the NT).

            Greg

          • kzarley

            I don’t know what your “3/4 church” means.

          • GregLogan25

            Kermit – 3/4C Church = 3/4 Century Church – which is more nearly when the trinity – esp the Holy Spirit – was developed. I think of the “Post-Apostolic” period as being within about 100 years max. My recent reading of Clement indicates a Dynamic Monoarchian Theo/Christology (recognizing that we don’t have near the original text).

          • kzarley

            I’m using “post-apostolic church” as the church after the apostolic age, which ended in 100, thus from then up to the present. “Post-apostolic age” is technical, referring to about 100-140. I merely mean to separate the teaching of the apostles, who last lived in 100, from the teaching of church leaders who followed that first century. For as Bultmann says it is only with Ignatius, in his seven epistles written in 110 or 117, that it can first be traced that Jesus was expressly identified as God.

            The doctrine of the Trinity, which the church designated as official in 381 and that we know of today, was not at all developed prior to the three Capaddocians’ work in the 370s. See authority R.P.C. Hanson on this in his The Christian Doctrine of God. And Phillip Schaff says, as does Hanson, that the Holy Spirit was never made an object of serious study until after Athanasius’ letter of inquiry on that subject in 360.

        • GregLogan25

          Hi Thomas

          Thanks for the follow-up.

          First, I am curious what type of “unitarian” you were – Modalist, Arian, Adoptionist or Dynamic (I have recently learned of a sort of Dynamic/Arian combination – not sure what to think about that…:-) )?

          re: Church Affirms

          With all due respect, the church affirms nothing of the sort. The church is the body of believersin Jesus Christ holding fast the Head of the church and this believer In Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God, the Messiah and many others like myself who hold fast Jesus as the head of our faith fully rejects the 3/4C created now majority view.

          re: Majority View that Jesus is a Man

          While I appreciate your stating that the majority Christology affirms Jesus is a man, this is simply a false statement in its essence. The hypostatic union as seen in the anhypostasis of the human nature EXPLICITLY denies that Jesus is a man – and replaces the man Christ Jesus with an impersonal human nature actuated by one a tri-personal deity. This is not a man who is made in all points like His brethren (unless you have known a few other impersonal human natures walking around…:-) ).

          I trust you are fully familiar with all of this?

          Perhaps a couple simple questions will clarify –

          You believe this Jesus that was conceived could fully independently function independent of any incarnated deity just like you and I?

          Do you believe that the Jesus conceived was a created human person – human center of consciousness – just like you and I??

          Best,

          Greg

          • Thomas Farrar

            Hi Greg,

            Unfortunately I don’t have time to broaden the discussion from the original topic – John 20:28 – to include the metaphysics of Christology. If you are familiar with the Chalcedonian Definition, it explicitly affirms that Jesus is truly a man. You may claim that it IMPLICITLY contradicts your own definition of what constitutes a man; but then it could be your definition that is flawed. The Christ-event is so pivotal and unique that it ought to define what it means to be human rather than vice versa. For the same reason it is no surprise that there are no other beings walking around who belong to the class of God-men.

            I trust God will bless us as we continue to seek His will.
            Tom

          • GregLogan25

            Thomas

            Fair enough – my response re Jesus as a man was based on your initial statement making that assertion. An assertion which is clearly false as a good look in the mirror will tell you what a man is…:-) (as it does to me).

            Simply because Chalecedonian illiterates or any highly literate person comes up with some nonsensical definition and attaches a term to it, does not mean a thing. Probably the most primary hermeneutic requires that we retain the standard meaning of a word. You are choosing to violate this basic hermeneutic and the evidently clear meaning of a standard known word in context because your exegesis of certain texts requires you to contrive this word game in order to maintain your humanly contrived exegesis. That is simply too much contrivance for my intellectual integrity. The word of God deserves so much better.

            re: Jn20:28
            I see while that while I rejected the OP’s thinly transparent and painfully contrived exegesis, that I did not provide a replacement. Most important – Thomas (or John) never annotated exactly what Thomas meant. Therefore to be absolutely certain within the context of his statement is impossible. However, when we look at scripture, the only logical option that I am aware is really painfully simply such that I can say the man Christ Jesus is “My God” – just as the King is the Psalmist’s God Ps45/Heb1:8, Moses is Pharaoh’s God, the judges are the gods of Israel, etc.. Jesus already attested this exegesis for us in Jn10:30ff just a very few chapters before in the same book… Why would you blow Jesus off (as well as the standard meaning of words, etc.)? Peer pressure?? Geez…

            Best,
            Greg

          • Thomas Farrar

            Hi Greg,

            I realized I forgot to tell you what kind of unitarian I used to be. I was a Christadelphian. So, basically, a Socinian (although the founder of Christadelphians, Dr. John Thomas, had some ideas in his writings approaching pantheism).

            The Chalcedonian definition was the consensus reached by the Church after four centuries of reflection and debate on divine revelation concerning Christ. To dismiss it as ‘clearly false’ ‘nonsense’ is not very prudent and comes across as arrogant.

            A good look in the mirror gives one a very superficial definition of what a man is. In trying to fit Christology into a neat, simple little box, I believe you are missing out on the transcendent, definitive, and absolutely unique character of the Christ-event. You are beginning with presuppositions about what is possible, both physically and semantically, so it is no surprise that your exegesis confirms your presuppositions.

            As to the OT ‘god’ texts you cited, I’ll reiterate that in none of these texts does one human address another human as ‘My God’.

            Blessings,
            Tom

        • GregLogan25

          Tom – I would like to deal with your “received by faith” comment separately from the Christological issue. This comment simply has no sense to it – it is meaningless. We are are not to receive ANYTHING just by faith – rather our faith – our being convinced about realities that are unseen – is to be created/ based on the power of God.

          Best,

          Greg

    • kzarley

      I appreciate your interaction. Here are my responses to your points:

      1. Yes, it is important to consider what the author meant. For example, I think it linguistically unlikely that he quotes the risen Jesus directing Mary Magdalene to tell his disciples, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God” (Jn 20.17), and then soon follow it with Thomas calling Jesus “God.” And you say the author has positioned Thomas’ Confession well as a climax to his gospel. I say just the opposite if Thomas here called Jesus “God.” How so? That contrasts with the author’s very climax of his gospel only two verses later by saying, “these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and Son of God” (vv. 30-31), in which these two titles should be understood as interchangeable, so that calling Jesus “the Son of God” does not mean he is God. That would be anti-climactic to Thomas having just called Jesus “God.” And I, too, connect Jn 1.1c with 20.28 by claiming 1.1c means “what God was, the Word was” (NEB), thus signifying the Mutual Indwelling in Jn 10.38, 14.9-11, and here in 20.28. These arguments are further developed in my RJC book.

      2. Well, the psalmist called rulers of Israel “gods” (Ps 82.6), and Jesus cited it when Jews accused him of “making yourself God” (Jn 10.33-34). But, as when Jews accused Jesus of “making himself equal to God” (Jn
      5.18), and then he denied it (vv. 19-47), he does likewise here by saying he
      had said, “I am God’s Son” (v. 36), which again, we should understand largely as synonymous with the Messiah title. And although Thomas did indeed direct his confession to Jesus, I don’t think that negates that he intended his words “my God” to refer to the Father indwelling Jesus.

      3. When Thomas so confessed, I doubt he was mindful of Ps 35.23 as you assume. Besides, I think the reverse order makes it irrelevant to Jn 20.28.

      4. Yes, this brief text doesn’t indicate a shift in the persons identified. But I think the larger context of this gospel does, which is my main point. That is, Thomas is merely acknowledging what Jesus had taught him in their conversation days earlier when he said, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (Jn 14.9, 11). Plus, I think the fact that the author records that Jesus said the same thing twice indicates that the author intends for this teaching to be applied to Thomas’ Confession.

      • Thomas Farrar

        Dear Kermit,

        Thanks for responding to my points. Let me respond to your responses as concisely as possible (admittedly concise writing is not my forté).

        1a) I don’t consider it unlikely that Jesus should refer to the Father as ‘my God’ (20:17) in the context of he himself being addressed as ‘my God’. This clarifies that the Christological statement in 20:28 does not displace the Father. In the two other places in John where Jesus is called God (1:1; probably 1:18) the Father is also called God. This, however, does not allow us to conclude that the Son is not really God.
        1b) John 20:30-31 can hardly function as the climax of the Gospel since it is not even part of the narrative. It is a purpose statement which also explains why more material is not included.
        2a) I don’t think you’ve appreciated the full force of the words, ‘he said to him, MY Lord and MY God’. Passages like Ps. 82:6 do not come close to this. Search the Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish literature and see if a godly person ever addresses the words ‘my God’ to anyone or anything that is not God. I’m aware of no instance (but see Isa. 44:17, a polemic against the idolater who worships an idol “and says, ‘Deliver me, for you are my god!'”) Indwelling is simply insufficient to account for the force of the language in John 20:28. By way of an analogy familiar to John: God indwelt the tabernacle and temple. Could one on that basis justify addressing the temple as ‘my God’?
        2b) ‘Son of God’ can function as a synonym for ‘Messiah’. However, for John it goes far beyond that, and is intended to convey Jesus’ uniqueness in relation to the Father. This is clear from the emphatic use of μονογενὴς and passages like John 1:14-18 and 5:18ff.
        3) I’m not assuming that the man Thomas thought of Ps. 35:23 at this moment. Again, we cannot simply conceive of John 20:28 as something Thomas spontaneously thought of, but as divine revelation. When we regard the confession in that way there is every reason to regard the close verbal parallel in Ps. 35:23 as significant – especially given the call in this text for God to ‘awake’ and ‘rouse himself’ which could easily be associated with the resurrection of Jesus. The change in word order of κύριός and θεός is hardly grounds for dismissing the parallel. The NT frequently changes the word order in citations from the OT and, as I noted, the change would create a rhetorical crescendo since ‘my God’ is the weightier expression. It seems to me that your dismissal of this parallel is theologically rather than exegetically motivated.
        4) If we compare John 14:9, 11 to John 20:28, in the first passage both the language of indwelling and the distinction/relatedness between the Father and Son are made perfectly clear. In John 20:28, there is no language that suggests indwelling, and no language that suggests that the relatedness between the Father and Son is in view. Nor is there any indication that the ultimate target of ‘my God’ is different from the ultimate target of ‘my Lord’. In short, no attempt is made to qualify the confession away from its plain, face-value meaning. Nor are there any close verbal parallels between John 14:9-11 and John 20:28 that would suggest that the former text is the key to the interpretation of the latter. I’m compelled to conclude that your interpretation of John 20:28 misses the earth-shaking glory conveyed by these words.