Who Did He Call Gods?

Q. In John 10:34-36 what verse is Jesus referring to in the Old Testament in verse 34?. Who is the them that he called “gods”? This seemed a little confusing.

A. John 10:34 is a quote from Psalm 82:6 where the Hebrew word “elohim (lower case)” can refer to gods, judges,or rulers. (When it is capitalized it refers only to the triune God.) In Psalm 82 God was referring to the rulers and judges of Israel. In effect, Jesus said if the officials of Israel could be called “gods” and “sons of the Most High” as they were in Psalm 82:6 why were they upset when He called Himself the Son of God?

It is confusing because Jesus was using a technicality from Scripture to deflect their charge of blasphemy. It was the same kind of argument they would use, so He was indulging in a bit of sarcasm. Also, in Psalm 82 God accused the leadership of unjust judgment and basically said, “You are called gods, but you will die like mere men, and fall like every other ruler.” I’m sure all of this was not lost on the men judging Jesus by accusing Him of blasphemy.

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