What did Jesus mean when He said: “You are all gods” in the Bible?

Question: “What does the Bible mean by ‘you are gods’ / ‘ye are gods’ in Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34?”

Answer: Let’s start with a look at Psalm 82.

God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgement among the gods

How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
The ‘gods’ know, they understand nothing.

They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken

“I said, ‘You are “gods“;
you are all sons of the Most High
But you will die like mere mortals;
you will fall like every other ruler.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance
Psalm 82

 

This is the psalm that Jesus quotes in John 10:34.

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods“?
John 10:34

The Hebrew word translated “gods” in Psalm 82:6 is Elohim. It usually refers to the one true God, but it does have other uses. Psalm 82:1 says, “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgment among the gods.” It is clear from the next three verses that the word “gods” refers to magistrates, judges, and other people who hold positions of authority and rule. Calling a human magistrate a “god” indicates three things: 1) he has authority over other human beings, 2) the power he wields as a civil authority is to be feared, and 3) he derives his power and authority from God Himself, who is pictured as judging the whole earth in verse 8.

This use of the word “gods” to refer to humans is rare, but it is found elsewhere in the Old Testament. For example, when God sent Moses to Pharaoh, He said, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7:1). This simply means that Moses, as the messenger of God, was speaking God’s words and would therefore be God’s representative to the king. The Hebrew word Elohim is translated “judges” in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8, 9, and 28.

The whole point of Psalm 82 is that earthly judges must act with impartiality and true justice, because even judges must stand someday before the Judge. Verses 6 and 7 warn human magistrates that they, too, must be judged: “I said, `You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.” This passage is saying that God has appointed men to positions of authority in which they are considered as gods among the people. They are to remember that, even though they are representing God in this world, they are mortal and must eventually give an account to God for how they used that authority.

Now, let’s look at how Jesus uses this passage. Jesus had just claimed to be the Son of God (John 10:25-30). The unbelieving Jews respond by charging Jesus with blasphemy, since He claimed to be God (verse 33). Jesus then quotes Psalm 82:6, reminding the Jews that the Law refers to mere men—albeit men of authority and prestige—as “gods.” Jesus’ point is this: you charge me with blasphemy based on my use of the title “Son of God”; yet your own Scriptures apply the same term to magistrates in general. If those who hold a divinely appointed office can be considered “gods,” how much more can the One whom God has chosen and sent (verses 34-36)?

In contrast, we have the serpent’s lie to Eve in the Garden. His statement, “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), was a half-truth. Their eyes were opened (verse 7), but they did not become like God. In fact, they lost authority, rather than gaining it. Satan deceived Eve about her ability to become like the one true God, and so led her into a lie. Jesus defended His claim to be the Son of God on biblical and semantic grounds—there is a sense in which influential men can be thought of as gods; therefore, the Messiah can rightly apply the term to Himself. Human beings are not “gods” or “little gods.” We are not God. God is God, and we who know Christ are His children.

 

 

A Pillar and Buttress of the Truth!

 

 

 

Special thanks to Gotquestions.org

 

 

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Answering Islam According to the Quran – Truth IS Objective!

Where Did Jesus Say, “I Am God, Worship Me”?

The Qur’an commands Christians to judge by the Gospel:

Qur’an 5:47—“Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel.”

Thus, when Christians present their beliefs, it makes sense for Muslims to ask, “Could you show us where the Bible says that?” Christians should therefore be eager to present evidence from the Gospel, because Muslims cannot condemn us for doing what the Qur’an commands. Indeed, since the Qur’an affirms not only the Gospel, but also the Torah (Qur’an 5:43), Muslims cannot ignore what the Bible says without thereby rebelling against Islam.

Muslims around the world are being trained to ask Christians, “Where did Jesus say, ‘I am God, worship me,’ in those exact words?” However, if Muslims are suggesting that Jesus could only claim to be God by uttering a specific sentence, we may reply by asking, “Where did Jesus say, ‘I am only a prophet, don’t worship me,’ in those exact words?” The unreasonable demand for a particular statement, if applied consistently, would thus force Muslims to reject their own view.

Fortunately, we have a simple way to examine what Jesus said about himself. According to both the Bible and the Qur’an, there are certain claims that only God can truly make. For instance, God alone can correctly state that he created the universe. Of course, a mere human being can pronounce the words, “I created the universe,” but the statement would be false coming from anyone other than God.

Hence, if Jesus said things that can only truly be said by God, we must conclude that Jesus claimed to be God. Interestingly, Jews, Christians, and Muslims agree on many of the claims that cannot be properly made by (or about) mere human beings. Let us consider a few of these.

THE FIRST AND THE LAST

Surah 57:3 of the Qur’an refers to Allah as “the First and the Last, the Most High and the Most Near”. The Old Testament agrees that God is the “First and the Last”, as we read in the Book of the prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 44:6—Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.”

When “LORD” is written in all capitals in the Old Testament, the term refers to Yahweh, the creator of the universe. Since both the Bible and the Qur’an give the title “the First and the Last” to God, it should be quite shocking for Muslims to open the New Testament and read Revelation 1:17-18, where Jesus says:

“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

Would a mere prophet claim to be the “First and the Last”?

 

WHO FORGIVES SINS?


While one human being may sin against another human being, there is a sense in which all sin is rebellion against God. Similarly, while you and I may forgive one another for the wrongs we commit, only God can offer the ultimate forgiveness. Thus, the prophet David could say to God “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:4), and the prophet Daniel could declare “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him (Daniel 9:9)

The Qur’an agrees that ultimate forgiveness belongs to God, for it asks, “Who can forgive sins except Allah?” (3:135).

It might surprise Muslims to learn that, in the New Testament, Jesus claims the ability to forgive sins. In Mark 2, a paralyzed man is brought to Jesus in order to be healed. Jesus’ response leads the religious leaders to accuse him of blasphemy:

Mark 2:5-7—And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”

The scribes correctly recognized that only God can forgive sins. Yet Jesus (who referred to himself as the “Son of Man”), knowing their thoughts, replied that “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10). He then healed the paralytic, proving that his claims were true.

THE LIGHT

In Psalm 27:1, the prophet David proclaims “The LORD is my ligth and my salvation”. Similarly, the Quran declares that “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth” (24:35) Yet Jesus tells his listeners that he is “the Light”

John 8:12—“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

THE TRUTH

The prophet David refers to Yahweh as the “God of Truth” (Psalm 31:5). According to the Qur’an, “Allah is the Truth” (22:6). Jesus, however, applies this as a title for himself:

John 14:6 —Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

How can a mere human being claim to be “The Truth”?

THE FINAL JUDGE

In Chapter 3 of the Book of the prophet Joel, Yahweh declares that the nations will be gathered and that he “will sit to judge all the surrounding nations”(V. 12) According to the prophet David, “the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgement and He will judge the world in righteousness (Psalm 9:7-8)

The Qur’an maintains that Allah will judge the world, rewarding believers and punishing unbelievers:

Qur’an 22:56-57—The kingdom on that day shall be Allah’s; He will judge between them; so those who believe and do good will be in gardens of bliss. And (as for) those who disbelieve in and reject Our communications, these it is who shall have a disgraceful chastisement.

So why, we may wonder, would Jesus tell his followers that he will be the final judge of all people?

Matthew 25:31-32—“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

Jesus goes on to say that he will admit certain people to heaven and cast others into hell. Isn’t this something only God can do?

THE RESURRECTION

The Bible and the Qur’an agree that God is the one who will raise the dead

1 Samuel 2:6—The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

Qur’an 22:7 Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves

Since God will raise the dead at the resurrection, why would a mere prophet tell his followers that he will resurrect the dead?

John 5:25-29—“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”

GOD’S GLORY

The Qur’an tells us that “Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah (57:1)

In the Old Testament, we find that Yahweh will not share his glory with anyone.

Isaiah 42:8—“I am the LORD, that is My name; 
I will not give My glory to another.” (Cf. Isaiah 48:11—“My glory I will not give to another.”)

Yet Jesus claimed, not only that he would be glorified with the Father, but that he had glory with the Father before the world was created!

John 17:5—“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

How can anyone see this as anything other than a claim to deity?

FURTHER EVIDENCE

In Mark 2:28, Jesus calls himself the “Lord of the Sabbath.” In Matthew 22:41-45, he proves that he is the Lord of the prophet David. In John 8:39-58, Jesus says that he has seen the prophet Abraham. In Matthew 12:6, Jesus claims to be greater than God’s temple

Jesus tells us that he has an absolutely unique relationship with the Father (Matthew 11:27), that he can answer prayers (John 14:13-14), that he is present wherever his followers are gathered (Matthew 18:20), that he has “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18), and that he is with his followers forever (Matthew 28:20). He even makes the startling declaration that “All things that the Father has are Mine” (John 16:15).

According to Jesus, all people must honor him just as we honor the Father:

John 5:21-23—“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

Since one of the ways we honor the Father is by worshiping him, it should come as no surprise that Jesus’ followers worshiped him on numerous occasions. Indeed, the Gospel tells us that Jesus was worshiped throughout his life: shortly after his birth (Matthew 2:11), during his ministry (Matthew 14:33, John 9:38), after his resurrection (Matthew 28:17), and after his ascension to heaven (Luke 24:52). Jesus’ disciple Thomas even addressed him as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

ASSESSMENT

Where did Jesus say “I am God, worship me?” As we have seen, Jesus claimed to be the First and the Last, the forgiver of sins, the Light, the Truth, the Final Judge, and the Resurrection. Jesus proclaimed that he had glory with the Father before the world was created, that he is the Lord of the Sabbath and of King David, that he had seen Abraham, and that he is greater that God’s temple. Jesus has a unique relationship with the Father, he can answer prayer, he is with his followers no matter where they are, he has total authority on earth and in heaven, he is with his followers forever, and he owns everything. Jesus even demanded that he be honored just as the Father is honored. Clearly these are not the claims of a mere human being. They are not even the claims of a mighty prophet. These are the claims only God can truly make. this is why Christians believe that Jesus is God.

POSTSCRIPT: THE ISLAMIC DILEMMA

Since the Bible obviousl supports the Christian view of Jesus, Muslims who want to deny the deity of Christ will have to argue that the Gospel has been corrupted. but if the Gospel has been corrupted, why does the Qur’an command Christians to judge by the Gospel? By commanding us to judge by what we find in the Gospel, the Qur’an has inadvertently ordered Christians to reject Islam.

But it gets worse for Muslims. The Qur’an affirms the inspiration and reliability of the Christian Scriptures (3:3-4, 5:47, 5:66, 7:157, 10:94), as well as man’s inability to corrupt God’s Word (6:114-115, 18:27). Muslims therefore cannot reject what the Gospel says, which leaves them with quite a dilemma. If the Gospel is reliable, Islam must be false, since the Gospel presents Jesus as God. Alternatively, if the Gospel is unreliable, Islam must be false, because the Qur’an tells us that the Gospel is the Word of God. Either way, Islam is false, and anyone who is searching for the truth will never find it in the Qur’an.

 

By David Wood

 

Earnestly Yours….

The negative ideal of unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point.

I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.

We are far too easily pleased

C.S. Lewis

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light to shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ!

 

Hear the earnest plea of the Psalmist, King David:

 

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.

But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Psalm 63

 

 

Spiritual good is of a satisfying nature; and for that very reason, the soul that tastes, and knows it’s nature, will thirst after it, and a fullness of it, that it may be satisfied

And the more he experiences, and the more he knows this excellent, unparalleled, exquisite, and satisfying sweetness, the more earnestly he will hunger and thirst for more

Jonathan Edwards

 

 

Evidence for New Testament Manuscripts Reliability

The New Testament is constantly under attack, and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics.  If the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better-preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings.  Because they are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy . . . and they are very consistent.

There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.

If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity

Capture

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing.  The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure.  That is an amazing accuracy.  In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages.  The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century.  If Jesus was crucified in A.D. 30., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned–people who could have contested the writings.  In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out.  But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.

Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125).  This is extremely close to the original writing date.  This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing, and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

By Matt Slick

 

Isn’t it suspicious that the very document that critics are now trying so hard to disprove and discredit is the very document that is so truthful that it even expressed that men would do this very thing centuries before it began to happen:

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3

 

 

TRUST JESUS

 

 

 

The Exit Strategy

Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand,
“Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them”
Judges 16:26

Someone wrote this poem from the perspective of the young boy who held Samson’s hand as he led him to where he sat at the supporting pillars of the Philistine temple just moments before he pushed it over gaining one last victory for his people, though it would also cost him his life.

The Bible tells us:
“So the dead which he slew through his death were more than those which he slew through his life”
Judges 16:30

 

The Boy Who Held His Hand

They gouged them out
At first I could not bare to look
Empty and raw and cruel
I would not look,
the shock of emptiness
knowing that he would not see

I watched his shaven head bow low
rocking with the rthym of the grind stone
round round round

I watched the needless shackles
heavy and hard biting the flesh that needs no binding

Now, it does not matter that his eyes are gone
I am his eyes
He sees through me
He has to see through me
there is no other way
And I have wept the tears he cannot weep
For all those careless years
And I have learned to love this broken man
While he has learned at last
to fear his God

So, I am not afraid to die
Happy to be his eyes this one last time
Taking his hand, leading with practiced care
Step by guided step
Into the place where he can pray:

Oh Lord
Oh Sovereign Lord
And as the pillars fall
I cry, Amen