Does Jesus deny that he was claiming equality with the Father by comparing himself to the gods of Psalm 82?

John 10 v 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

Psalm 82:

God Presides in the Great Assembly

1 {A Psalm of Asaph.} God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

If this means that Jesus is denying his equality with God why are the Jews not pacified? Why don’t they say something like, “oh it was all a misunderstanding then; why didn’t you say that straight away. We nearly sinned because of you.”. They didn’t do that. Instead they continued to try to take hold of him to stone him.

Jesus restates his claim and the Jews continue with their efforts to take hold of him and stone him to death.

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Jesus clearly states that the reason why he is not blaspheming is not because he is not claiming to be equal with the Father, as the unitarians claim, but precisely because he is equal with the Father he cannot be guilty of blasphemy.

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6 Responses to Does Jesus deny that he was claiming equality with the Father by comparing himself to the gods of Psalm 82?

  1. Anonymous says:

    To understand the reason why Jews got angry at Jesus one should read several verses before, John 10:18-28. Jesus says he shall be dead, lying down his life, being a mortal (John 10:18), but then he says other confusing words concerning his followers, “they shall never perish” which indicated their immortality (John 10:28). Hence, Jesus really played with the religious anger of Jesus when saying “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30.
    (i) It infers how Jesus appears to be ridiculing Jehovah that Jehovah is “one” with that mortal Jesus who shall lay down his life. Jews happen to be correct on accusing him of trying to be a blasphemer.
    (ii) It infers Jesus’ followers will be made immortal (shall never perish), hence they could be gods.
    (iii) It infers that although Jesus confessed his mortality that he shall perish – hence, he openly refuses his divinity – he just doesn’t stop there, unfortunately he makes his followers equal in immortality with the Father.
    Hence, it is very much understandable that the Jews are angry at him. Jesus just played with their logic and religious emotion.
    Jn 10
    18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.29
    My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and my Father are one.

  2. θ says:

    The Jews were not present to decipher the parable of Jesus, and unfortunately he himself doesn’t love them enough to tell the real meaning of his parable – the core of Gospel itself – to them for some unknown reasons.
    In one instance, the Jews ridiculed Jesus for his inferring that no man would die when keeping his parables.
    Jn 8
    51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

    The reader of John Gospel oftentimes miss a simple comparison between 2 parables: a perished Jesus vs. the believers who shall never perish just like gods.
    Jn 10
    18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    Apparently, a contentious parable of “never tasting death” invokes the verses Psalms 82:7 immediately in the mind of the Jews so that they straightforwardly ask a divinity or idolatrous consideration of those “immortal like-god” ones (who keep Jesus’ sayings). Are they more greater than Abraham and dead Prophets, that is being divine ones?
    Ps 82
    6 I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you are children of the most High.7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
    Jn 8
    52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

  3. Anonymous says:

    In the belief of the ancient Jews, the title with plural sense “Elohim” upon Moses, Sanhedrin, and Jewish kings could mean either “false gods” or “powerful ones”. Elohim means the false gods because the true God is just One and never many.
    Along with a purpose of prevention of cultism, there’s also a “jealousy” factor on designating the strong label of false gods upon the pious representatives of God. Story of Job is a clear proof how God expresses such an “uneasy” feeling toward such an “too angelic man” who may lead into a possible mortal cultism, or the rivalry that a man may be as perfect as God.
    Job 4
    17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

    A dead person including Jesus is deprived of the wisdom.
    Job 4:21
    Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

    By underlining of a falsehood in the label of “gods”, the death can’t be denied nor escaped by them.
    Ps 82:6
    I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Righteous Mammon is another meaning of “Elohim” and “Theoi” for the mortal gods and powerful rulers. Opposite of righteous Mammon is unrighteous Mammon.
    Lk 16:9
    And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

  5. θ says:

    In Qur’an the Arabic word Ilaha (Q.2, v.163) means true God, whereas Arabic word “Andada” (Q.2, v.165) means mammon or false gods. The use of plural word “gods” on the mortals, that is mammon, is a way of Monotheism to indirectly undermine, dismiss and suppress polytheism from a theological perspective.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Additionally, it is permissible to address someone with an exclamation in the name or title of Jehovah, the Lord, the God, with no suggestion that man be a part of the Godhead.
    1Sam 20:12
    And Jonathan said unto David, O LORD God of Israel. When I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee;

    2Ki 6:15
    And his servant said unto him, Alas, Lord of me. How shall we do?

    Jer 42:5
    Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD, be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.

    Jud 11:10
    And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD, be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.

    Gen 14:22
    And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

    In Luke’s Gospels there are at least two occasions where the people address Jesus first and then go on praising God, just like Thomas in Jn 20:28 says.
    (i) The Jews address Jesus as “great Prophet” and go on glorifying God – instead of Jesus – that God visits the Jews.
    This kind of glorifying the God – instead of Jesus – reminiscences what Thomas says (“the Lord of me” for Jesus, “the God of me” for Jehovah) when touching the body of Jesus in Jn 20:28.
    Lk 7
    14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

    (ii) Simeon blesses God when holding the body of baby Jesus in his arms. This kind of blessing the God – instead of Jesus – reminiscences what Thomas says (“the Lord of me” for Jesus, “the God of me” for Jehovah) when touching the body of Jesus in Jn 20:28.
    Lk 2
    28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.

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