Jesus walked through the temple during the Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah). A group of Jewish leaders surrounded Him and asked questions, trying to get Him to make errors to use against Him and His ministry. Jesus stated that He was the Son of God, which irritated the Jews so much they picked up stones to throw at Him. Then, Jesus spoke words that seemed to go far past God’s statement of making men into His own image and likeness.
Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? (John 10:34)
Were the Jewish leaders actually gods? Then, by extension, are we all gods?
In this time period, scripture was not divided into chapters and verses. Chapter numbers were first introduced in 1227 and verse numbers for the Old Testament came about in 1448 and for the New Testament in 1555.
Thus, when Jesus made His statement in John 10:34, He was using the accepted practice of His day by quoting a partial scripture to draw the Jewish leaders’ attention to the Psalm He was using for His discussion. His audience had all memorized the Psalms and understood that He was really saying:
I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.'” Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all the nations. (Psalm 82:6-7)
The Hebrew word elohiym is translated into our English word gods in Psalm 82:6, but other meanings for the word elohiym also include: rulers, judges, angels, and godly ones.
If you study Psalm 82, you will learn that the whole Psalm refers to the leaders of Israel and God’s unhappiness with them.
Okay, the good news is that we are not gods. There is only one God who is the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Continued in Part 6)