Examination

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Personal Examination

I will show how the Bible does not teach that all men are literally 'gods.' (i.e. meaning dieties). In this study, it does not matter if one views the Bible as true or not. It does not matter if it is fact or fiction. It only matters that we discover some consistency or at least discover what it seems to be saying about the characters in it, and their beliefs about themselves and their world. So there will be no attempt to discuss the authority of the Bible in this article. How believers exclusively react to its contents may be mentioned.

To show the Bible does not teach all men are literally 'gods' or on the level of the God (Yaweh), I will be drawing from two verses in question - John 10:34 and Psalm 82:6. I will also examine them in light of their wider contexts. I will first discuss who Christ claims to be or, etc. in the context of John 10:22-40, and who he is in comparison to others. Then I will show how his example of psalm 82:6 does not dissolve any distinction between him as the God and men as 'gods,' but rather creates distinctions. Finally, I will conclude with the wider context of the Bible, outside of these verses and passages. PLEASE remember - it is NOT important to this particular article whether we are reading a work of fact or fiction.

1. Who Jesus Is. (John 10:22-40)

Firstly, what is blasphemy in this passage? Blasphemy is a mere mortal calling himself the God (and therefore lying about his identity)

The passage opens with the Jewish Pharisees asking Jesus if he is the Christ - the Messiah prophesied in their writings. Remember for a moment who Jesus is addressing. He is addressing Jewish Pharisees. So how they are depicted as reacting and what they believe are important contexts to remember in the narrative.

Jesus makes himself out to be a shepherd - the preceeding passage is more explicit regarding this - like the Lord in psalm 23. Jesus claims to have the power to give eternal life and keep his 'sheep' from perishing. In the eyes of the pharisees - this is something only God can do. Jesus claims the 'Father' is greater than all, but Jesus is One with that father. He uses Psalm 82:6 to illustrate a distinction between himself and those to whom the word of God was revealed. (I will discuss the distinctions in psalm 82 soon) In any case, the Jewish pharisees - his audience - see that he claims to be the God (John 10:33) and that's why they want to stone him. How they are depicted as reacting is important to our understanding of the passage, whether it is fact or fiction. If Jesus is lying about his identity, then by the standards of the Jewish beliefs, it is blasphemy. Only if he is really is God, is it not blasphemy.

2. Distinctions in Psalm 82

In the context of Psalm 82, there are clear distinctions between the God and 'gods' in verse 6. (Jesus does not need to quote the whole psalm since he is addressing an audience already trained in the law and scriptures) Likewise there is a distinction between 'gods' - those chosen ones to whom the word of God was revealed - and the chosen one - Jesus.

Hence - I see the psalm as being about God judging his chosen. Those with more knowledge of God obviously have greater responsibility for their actions before him.

3. Wider Contexts: Genesis.

According to the book of Genesis, the three lies of the accuser are this:

  1. Did God REALLY say... (doubting what God says - his word)
  2. You will surely NOT die... (doubting the coming judgement and the second death, i.e. some people today believe one manifestation of this lie is belief in reincarnation - but that's a whole other topic!)
  3. You will be like God... (man in the place of the God or God-like)

But aren't we created in God's image and likeness though? I think we were all created in the beginning to be perfect humans like Jesus acted on earth - in our ability to love, and recieve love, in our relationships, Godly morals, etc. The serpant tempted mankind by saying you will be like God (knowing good and evil). However if to be "created in the image and likeness of God" means we are already a part of the God himself, there is no temptation... The temptation is there only if there was already a very *clear* and real distinction between what the supreme God is and what a man is. i.e.: Even psalm 82, the God judges the 'gods'. However, the temptation was to have a creaturely set of morals apart from God, rather than ones already given. Sin is often definied as man preferring self.

UNITY AND SEPARATION:

From the perspective of a modern believer's experience: the Holy Spirit resides in someone. The Holy Spirit is still God, not man - so one does not say he/she literally IS God or God-like because of it. One knows it is a separate thing because the Bible also treats it as a separate thing apart from man, saying one can grieve it, blaspheme it, recieve or reject it. Experiencially, Christians recognize within themselves the oneness and distinction, the unity and separation - even without the Bible to underline the distinctions.

Q: "The point is doesn't that scripture identify us as gods or at least those in spiritual positions as Gods."

Most likely it identifies believers as 'gods' or 'sons of the most high' - but still with the God as a far superior being. In the context of both testaments, Jesus would not be referring to the pharisees Or mankind as 'dieties' meant for God-like worship either. The Bible writings show a number of times the Jews were punished for idolatry and worshipping anything that wasn't the God. Any such 'spiritual position' it might imply is only for believers - and given by grace. The Bible punishes those in 'spiritual' positions when their focus is not on the God but on other gods - i.e. the Egyptian magicians. They are drawing their power from another source that is not the God.