What is the meaning of, "We are gods" in John 10:34?


Clarify Share Report Asked September 09 2018 1459673450 Felix De Evangelist Itsuokor

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Me2012 Gerritt Schuitema Persecutor & Mocker transformed to Faithful Believer
The context for this scene is in John 10:23-38, where the Jews surround him, attempting to verbally trap him. Jesus does not succumb to their taunts and rather puts the scriptures forth to demonstrate his claims.

Jesus makes a grand statement in John 10:30. And the Jews understood it completely, but did not believe. Rather, the Jews blame him of blasphemy, saying "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." - John 10:33

The high level flow of the back and forth argument is something like:

John 10:30: I and my Father are one
John 10:31: the Jews try to stone him
John 10:33: the Jews motivation to stone him, verse 30 is a claim to deity
John 10:34-36: Jesus quotes Ps 82 showing there are other spiritual Sons in the heavens, claiming he is more than human
John 10:37-38: again that ‘He and the Father are one’
John 10:39: they try to take him again

The statement in question comes from Jesus’s quotation of Psalm 82 to make a point. Psalm 82 is not talking about human judges but an angelic, spiritual host whom the Bible calls ‘the sons of God’ and whom directly serve Adonai as His heavenly council (see Psalm 89). These would be above the angels, but spiritual beings none the less. THIS is to whom ‘the word of God came’ who were called gods, not human judges. The Hebrew word used for gods in the text is ‘elohim’.

The real issue is the problem with the term elohim (translated God/a god/gods).

An elohim to an ancient Israelite is nowhere near the same thing as God to us today. Elohim to an Israelite only designated that you were part of the spiritual world, it was your home. Do a search and see how this word is used to confirm. But, as Ps 82 mentions, Adonai judges among that group, for He created them all.

Ps 82 links to Ps 89, where it can be demonstrated that the text is talking about spiritual beings (specifically in verses 5-8). Ps 82 links to Deut. 32 wherein there is a reference back to the Babel event.

Jesus is not claiming deity and then saying in the same breath he is a god like the Jews (what the human view of Ps 82 would require). Rather, Jesus is using this Psalm to:

A) state that there are other spiritual beings in the heavens according to the scriptures and remind them of their commonly held, scriptural belief
B) use that fact to state he is more than merely human
C) merge these referenced contextual points from Ps 82 with his comments in John 10:30 and then in closing in John 10:38 to demonstrate he is not only more than human, but that he is the One who judges among that group, YHWH

There is a lot more in the Old Testament and 1st century Targums that inform us that the Jews of the day would have not only fully understood what he was saying, but would have taken it precisely as these in the scriptures did.

In summary, ‘ye are gods’ is a statement Adonai made to his heavenly council, wherein he condemns them as wicked, I righteous judges. Jesus uses this to demonstrate that he is not only more than a mere man, but also that in his oneness with the Father, he IS the great Judge among them and over all the earth. 

They Jews rightly interpreted twice, and yet again had the wrong reaction twice, not mixing their conclusions with faith.

May we do, as they should have done, fall down and worship for He is worthy.

September 14 2018 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Jesus was quoting Psalms 82:6, in which the psalmist wrote in verses 2 through 6 of God speaking to humanity, and comparing the power that He had given to humans to act as rulers over His creation; to administer and care for it; and to pass judgments in His name and on His behalf, as making those humans (in that delegated, earthly sense) "gods".

However, as the psalm goes on to say in verse 7, even those humans (unlike Jesus, as He pointed out in John 10:36) do not by nature possess all of God's attributes, and thus, no matter how powerful they may become in an earthly sense, will all (in contrast to God) ultimately die.

September 10 2018 13 responses Vote Up Share Report

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