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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

God and gods (from BOWGOD study)

(An RDB File)

The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985 clearly recognizes the truth about the lesser meaning of theos and elohim ('a god'):

"In the language of the OT ... rulers and judges, as deputies of the heavenly King, could be given the honorific title ‘god’ ... or be called ‘son of God’.” - footnote for Ps. 82:1.

And, in the footnote for Ps. 45:6, this trinitarian study Bible tells us: “In this psalm, which praises the [Israelite] king ..., it is not unthinkable that he was called ‘god’ as a title of honor (cf. Isa. 9:6).”

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, tells us:

“The reason why judges are called ‘gods’ in Ps. 82 is that they have the office of administering God’s judgment as ‘sons of the Most High’. In context of the Ps. the men in question have failed to do this.... On the other hand, Jesus fulfilled the role of a true judge as agod’ and ‘son of the Most High’.” - Vol. 3, p. 187.

The highly respected (and highly trinitarian) W. E. Vine tells us:

“The word [theos, ‘god’ or ‘God’] is used of Divinely appointed judges in Israel, as representing God in His authority, John 10:34” - p. 491, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament says for John 10:34-36:

"Is it not written in your law. In Psa. 82. I said, Ye are gods? It was there addressed to judges. Christ's argument is: If your law calls judges gods, why should I be held guilty of blasphemy for saying that I am the Son of God? Sanctified. Set apart." -

And Barnes’ Notes tells us in commenting on John 10:34, 35:

The scripture cannot be broken. See Matthew 5:19. The authority of the Scripture is final; it cannot be set aside. The meaning is,

'If, therefore, the Scripture uses the word "god" as applied to magistrates, it settles the question that it is right to apply the term to those in office and authority. If applied to them, it may be to others in similar offices. It can not, therefore, be blasphemy to use this word as applicable to a personage so much more exalted than mere magistrates as the Messiah.' -Barnes' Notes on the New Testament -

Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, Eerdmans, 1978 Reprint, “Hints and Helps to Bible Interpretation”:

“65. GOD - is used of any one (professedly) MIGHTY, whether truly so or not, and is applied not only to the true God, but to false gods, magistrates, judges, angels, prophets, etc., e.g. - Exod. 7:1; 15:11; 21:6; 22:8, 9;...Ps. 8:5; 45:6; 82:1, 6; 97:7, 9...John 1:1; 10:33, 34, 35; 20:28....”

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Abingdon, 1974 printing,

“430. [elohim]. el-o-heem’; plural of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: - angels, ... x (very) great, judges, x mighty.” - p. 12, “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary.”

The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, 1979, Hendrickson, p. 43:

Elohim: “a. rulers, judges, either as divine representatives at sacred places or as reflecting divine majesty and power.... b. divine ones, superhuman beings including God and angels.... c. angels Ps. 97 7 ...”

Angels are clearly called gods (elohim) at Ps. 8:5, 6. We know this because this passage is quoted at Heb. 2:6, 7, and there the word “angels” is used (in place of elohim in the OT) in NT Greek. The trinitarian New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., 1970, says in a footnote for Ps. 8:6 -

“The angels: in Hebrew, elohim, which is the ordinary word for ‘God’ or ‘the gods’; hence the ancient versions generally understood the term as referring to heavenly spirits [angels].”

Some of these trinitarian sources which admit that the Bible actually describes men who represent God (judges, Israelite kings, etc.) and God’s angels as gods include:

1. Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible, “Hints and Helps...,” Eerdmans, 1978 reprint;

2. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #430, Hebrew and Chaldee Dict., Abingdon, 1974;

3. New Bible Dictionary, p. 1133, Tyndale House Publ., 1984;

4. Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, p. 208, Bethany House Publ., 1982;

5. Hastings’ A Dictionary of the Bible, p. 217, Vol. 2;

6. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon, p. 43, Hendrickson publ.,1979;

7. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, #2316 (4.), Thayer, Baker Book House, 1984 printing;

8. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, p. 132, Vol. 1; and p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984;

9. The NIV Study Bible, footnotes for Ps. 45:6; Ps. 82:1, 6; and Jn 10:34; Zondervan, 1985;

10. New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., footnote for Ps. 45:7, 1970 ed.;

11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189;

12. William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 317, 324, Nelson Publ., 1980 printing;

13. Murray J. Harris, Jesus As God, p. 202, Baker Book House, 1992;

14. William Barclay, The Gospel of John, V. 2, Daily Study Bible Series, pp. 77, 78, Westminster Press, 1975;

15. The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible (John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6);

16. The Fourfold Gospel (Note for John 10:35);

17. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown
(John 10:34-36);

18. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible (Deut. 10:17; Ps. 82:6-8 and John 10:35);

19. John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible (Ps. 82:1).

20. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament ('Little Kittel'), - p. 328, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1985.

21. The Expositor’s Greek Testament, pp. 794-795, Vol. 1, Eerdmans Publishing Co.

22. The Amplified Bible, Ps. 82:1, 6 and John 10:34, 35, Zondervan Publ., 1965.

23. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament, John 10:34, 35.

24. B. W. Johnson's People's New Testament, John 10:34-36.

 25. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Zondervan, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 187.

26. Fairbairn’s Imperial Standard Bible Encyclopedia, p. 24, vol. III, Zondervan, 1957 reprint.

27. Theological Dictionary, Rahner and Vorgrimler, p. 20, Herder and Herder, 1965.

28. Pastor Jon Courson, The Gospel According to John. 

29. Vincent’s New Testament Word Studies, John 10:36. 
30.   C. J. Ellicott, John 10:34, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers



(Also John 10:34, 35 - CEV: TEV; GodsWord; The Message; NLT; NIRV; David Guzik - )

And, of course the highly respected and highly popular Jewish writer, Philo, had the same understanding for “God”/“a god” about the same time the NT was written.

And the earliest Christians like the highly respected NT scholar Origen (see DEF note #1) and others - - including Tertullian; Justin Martyr; Hippolytus; Clement of Alexandria; Theophilus (p. 9, DEF); the writer of “The Epistle to Diognetus”; and even super-trinitarians Athanasius and St. Augustine - - also had this understanding for “a god.” And, as we saw above, many highly respected NT scholars of this century agree. (For example, Ernst Haenchen tells us in his commentary on the Gospel of John:

“It was quite possible in Jewish and Christian monotheism to speak of divine beings [angels] that existed alongside and under God but were not identical with him. Phil 2:6-10 proves that. In that passage Paul depicts just such a divine being, who later became man in Jesus Christ”. - John 1, translated by R. W. Funk, 1984, pp. 109, 110, Fortress Press.)

A trinitarian (Catholic) professor, John J. Collins, of Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago writes about such usage in Jewish writings around the time of Christ:

“In this literature, the supremacy of the Most High God is never questioned, but there is considerable room for lesser beings who may be called ‘gods,’ theoi or elim. Moreover, both the authors of the apocalyptic literature [which includes the scriptural writings of the books of Daniel and Revelation] and Philo single out one pre-eminent divine or angelic being under God - a super-angel - called by various names in the apocalyptic texts and identified as the Logos [‘the Word’] by Philo.” - p. 93, Aspects of Monotheism - How God is One, Biblical Archaeological Society, 1997.

All of this shows the scriptural understanding (as well as the same understanding by Christian writers of the first centuries) of “god” as applied to angels and certain men who were trying to follow God or who were representatives or ambassadors for God. Just because it sounds strange to our modern ears is no reason to ignore the facts. And no reason to take advantage of that fact by falsely claiming that only two understandings of the words theos and elohim are possible: “God” and “false gods” - see the TRUE study.

The words elohim and theos are simply titles or descriptions (like “lord”) signifying more than usual power, might, and/or authority, etc. It may be applied on many levels. But when it is applied on the highest (“Most High”) level, it is understood in an exclusive sense: there is no other individual that is even remotely equal to this one. This does not mean that the same title, description is not used for lesser ones. To distinguish, when there could be confusion, the Most High God will usually be described as “the god” (ha elohim, Heb. or ho theos, Gk.) which, when translated into modern English will be distinguished by a capital letter (“God”) since in our idiom we seldom use the definite article with “God.” - see DEF or PRIMER study papers.

Further details (please excuse any repeats as we have taken several excerpts from the original study and may have overlapped some).

The very trinitarian The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia when discussing angels being called ‘sons of God’ also admits: “this means, according to a common Heb[rew] usage, members of the class called elohim or elim [‘gods’], the heavenly powers” - p. 132, Vol. 1, Eerdmans, 1984 printing.

The trinitarian NIVSB translates Ps. 8:5 as “You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [elohim]” (‘little less than a god’ - JB; NJB; NEB; REB; and NAB, 1991 ed.) and in a footnote explains: “heavenly beings. The exalted angelic creatures that surround God in his heavenly realm.” And, of course, at Heb. 2:7 where it quotes Ps. 8:5 the NIV says: “You made him a little lower than the angels.” So, if we accept both Ps. 8:5 (elohim - gods) and Heb. 2:7 (aggelous - angels) as inspired scripture (as JWs do), we must accept that angels were, on occasion, called “gods” in a good, but subordinate, sense.

Angels: “Most frequently of an order of created beings, superior to man, Heb. 2:7; Psa. 8:5.... Angels are spirits, Heb. 1:14, i.e., they have not material bodies as men have; they are either human in form, or can assume the human form when necessary.” - W. E. Vine (trinitarian), p. 47, Nelson.

Robertson’s Word Pictures (trinitarian): Heb. 2:7: “than the angels.... The Hebrew here [Ps. 8:5] has Elohim ['gods'] which word is applied to judges in Psa. 82:1, 6 (John 10:34f.). Here it is certainly not ‘God’ in our sense. In Psa. 29:1 the LXX translates Elohim [‘God’ or ‘gods’] by huoi theou (sons of God).” - p. 345, Vol. 5.

Today’s Dictionary of the Bible (trinitarian), p. 591, Bethany House, 1982: “In Job 1:6; 38:7 this name [‘sons of God’] is applied to the angels.”

An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm, 1945 ed., p. 726, “Son of God: Hebrew religion was strictly monotheistic, and the term ‘Son of God’, as found in the OT, must not be understood in any literal sense. It has its origin in the Semitic idiom which expresses any intimate relation as one of sonship. As royal ministers are sons of the king, so the angels are sons of God, and this name is likewise given to judges and sovereigns, ruling in God’s name.”

“[theosgod’] is used of whatever can in any respect be likened to God, or resembles him in any way: Hebraistically i.q. God’s representative or vicegerent, of magistrates and judges, Jn x. 34 sq. after Ps [82:6]...” - Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 288, Baker Book House (trinitarian).

The NIV Study Bible (NIVSB), Zondervan, 1985 also clearly recognizes the above truth:

"In the language of the OT ... rulers and judges, as deputies of the heavenly King, could be given the honorific title ‘god’ ... or be called ‘son of God’.” - footnote for Ps. 82:1.

And, in the footnote for Ps. 45:6, this trinitarian study Bible tells us: “In this psalm, which praises the [Israelite] king ..., it is not unthinkable that he was called ‘god’ as a title of honor (cf. Isa. 9:6).”

An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by trinitarian W. E. Vine, tells us: “The word [theos, ‘god’] is used of Divinely appointed judges in Israel, as representing God in His authority, John 10:34, quoted from Psa. 82:6, which indicates that God Himself sits in judgment on those [gods] whom He has appointed.” - p. 491, Nelson.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (trinitarian) explains that elohim [‘god, gods’] is, of course, applied to God. But it is also applied “to those who represent the Deity (Jgs 5 8; Ps 82 1) ...” - p. 1265, Vol. 2, Eerdmans, 1984 printing.

The Douay Bible (Catholic) admits in a footnote for Exodus 3:2: “The Lord [Jehovah] appeared. That is, an angel representing God, and speaking in his name.”

“Another consideration that may partially explain this unique form of address {‘God’ in Ps. 45:6 in some translations} is the relative fluidity of the term Elohim [god, gods]in the Hebrew Bible, where on occasion it is used of the heavenly beings {Angels} around Yahweh’s throne (Ps. [8:5]); ... 97:7; 138:1), judges (Ps. 82:1, 6... and also John 10:34-36), Moses (Exod. 7:1; cf. 4:16), and the apparition of Samuel (1 Sam. 28:13; cf. Isa. 8:19). It is also relevant to note that Isaiah [9:6] combines the two terms used in Psalm 45 to address the king (viz, {‘Mighty’ and ‘God’}) and applies the title to the ideal king of the future {Christ} .... Because, then, Israelites regarded the king as God’s viceroy on earth, his legitimated son who exhibited divine qualities, it is not altogether surprising that ... a Davidic king should exceptionally be given a title {Elohim: “gods” or “god”} that was in fact not reserved exclusively for deity.” - p. 202, Jesus as God, Murray J. Harris (trinitarian), Baker Book House (trinitarian), 1992.

Other respected trinitarian scholars confirm that “the Hebrew king was called Elohim, ‘God’ [or ‘a god’], not in the polytheistic sense common among the ancient pagans, but as meaning ‘godlike,’ or ‘taking the place of God [an intermediary or channel].’” - footnote for Ps. 45:7, New American Bible (trinitarian), St. Joseph ed., 1970.

Noted NT Greek scholar A. T. Robertson’s qualifications as an ardent trinitarian are above reproach. He tells us in his Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 188-189: (John 10:34-36):

“The judges of Israel abused their office and God is represented in Psa. 82:6 as calling them ‘gods’ (theoi, elohim) because they were God’s representatives [intermediaries]. See the same use of elohim in Ex. 21:6; 22:9, 28. Jesus meets the rabbis on their own ground in a thoroughly Jewish way.

“35. If he called them gods... Condition of first class, assumed as true. The conclusion (verse 36) is ... (Do ye say?). As Jews (and rabbis) they are shut out from charging Jesus with blasphemy because of this usage in the O.T. .... To be sure, it is in Psa. 82:6 a lower use of the term theos, but Jesus did not call himself ‘Son of Jahweh,’ but ‘huios theou’ which can mean only ‘Son of Elohim [Son of God]’.”

Trinitarian scholar and minister, Dr. James S. Candlish admits in his article in James Hastings’ A Dictionary of the Bible,: “In Ps 82:1, 6 ‘sons of the Most High’ is synonymous with ‘gods,’ and is applied to rulers and judges in the congregation of God as invested by him with Power, and called to rule in his name.” - p. 217, Vol. 2.

The Catholic New American Bible, St. Joseph ed., 1970, is, obviously, trinitarian. It tells us in a footnote for John 10:34: “This is a reference to the judges who, since they exercised the divine prerogative to judge (Dt 1,17), were called ‘gods’; cf. Ex 21,6 besides Ps 82,6 from which the quotation comes.”

Trinitarian scholar William G. T. Shedd states that “Christ [at John 10:34] reiterates and proves his claim, by reference to the use of the word ‘gods’ (not God) applied to the prophets and magistrates of the Old economy. Ps. 82:6; Ex. 21:6; 22:8, 9, 28 (elohim = ‘judges’).” - p. 324. And, “The plural, ‘gods,’ is sometimes applied to creatures: to angels, and magistrates ....” - p. 317, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 1, Nelson, 1980 printing.

Yes, as we have seen above, “gods” and “sons of God” (or “sons of the Most High”) are synonymous and can mean either men fulfilling God-given assignments, or angels doing the same, but they never mean “God” or the “Almighty, true God.”

This explains John 10:33 where the Jews actually say “you make yourself a god [not “God”] - as in NEB, and Young’s Concise Critical Bible Commentary, Baker Book House, p. 62, “New Covenant” - and Jesus’ reply in John 10:34-36.

Yes, not only would Jesus’ reply concerning “gods” be inappropriate if the Jews had actually accused him of making himself God (as translated in many trinitarian Bibles), but we can also see from the NT Greek itself, by the omission of the definite article with theon, that “a god” was the intended meaning - see the THEON study. Jesus, then, replies to the Jews’ charge that he is making himself a god by quoting a scripture where God himself states that men he has appointed to represent him have also been called by Him ‘gods’ (and ‘sons of the Most High’ - Ps. 82:6).

“Therefore,” Jesus continues, in effect, “how can you say I blaspheme if I also do God’s will? I could also properly be called ‘a god’ and ‘a son of God’ just as God Himself used those terms in the Scriptures.”

Jesus not only points out that certain men may be properly called gods, but that he also could properly be called “a god” just as the Jews had just charged.

Or, as a famous modern trinitarian scholar, Dr. William Barclay, puts it in his discussion of John 10:33-36:

[Jesus] quoted Psalm 82:6. That psalm is a warning to unjust judges to cease from unjust ways and defend the poor and innocent. The appeal concludes: ‘I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.”’ The judge is commissioned by God to be god to men. This idea comes out very clearly in certain of the regulations in Exodus. Exodus 21:1-6 tells how the Hebrew servant may go free in the seventh year. As the Authorized Version [KJV] has it, verse 6 says ‘Then his master shall bring him unto the judges.’ But in the Hebrew, the word which is translated judges is actually elohim, which means gods. The same form of expression is used in Exodus 22:9, 28. Even scripture said of men who were specially commissioned to some task by God that they were gods. So Jesus said: ‘If scripture can speak like that about men, why should I not speak so about myself?’” - p. 77.

So Jesus said: ‘In the old days it was possible for scripture to speak of judges as gods, because they were commissioned by God to bring his truth and justice into the world. Now I have been set apart for a special task; I have been despatched into the world by God; how can you then object if I call myself the Son of God? I am only doing what scripture does.’” - p. 78, The Gospel of John, Vol. 2, The Daily Study Bible Series (Revised ed., 1975), pp. 77, 78, The Westminster Press.

Even during the time Jesus was teaching on earth, the Jews still had this understanding of “a god/gods.” The famous Jewish philosopher Philo (died about 50 A.D.) wrote about Moses:

“This same person is a god [theos without the article], because he is wise .... And he is a god for this reason in particular. It is the will of the ruler of all [God] that ... they should have mediators to make intercession for them, who imitating the merciful power of the Father will dispense punishment with more moderation and in a kindlier spirit. Beneficence is the peculiar prerogative of a god.” - p. 209 (#128, 129), Philo, Vol. 5 (“On the Change of Names”), the Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1988 printing. Cf. “On the Life of Moses, I” (# 158) by Philo.

Many early Christian writers also showed their understanding of theos (without the definite article) - that it could properly mean “a god” in a good sense.

For example, the Christian writer of the Epistle to Diognetus (The Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, Vol. 9, p. 134, says this important document was written in the “first century by one who appears to have been a disciple of the Apostles”) wrote: “if thou too wouldst have this faith, learn first the knowledge of the Father [see John 17:1, 3] ... knowing Him, thou wilt love Him and imitate His goodness; and marvel not if a man can imitate God: he can if God will. By kindness to the needy, by giving them what God has given to him, a man can become a god [theos without the definite article] of them that receive, an imitator of God.” - Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 7, p. 895, 14th ed.

Tertullian - “Against Hermogenes” - ch. 5

"Chapter V.- Hermogenes Coquets with His Own Argument, as If Rather Afraid of It. After Investing Matter with Divine Qualities, He Tries to Make It Somehow Inferior to God.

For we shall be even gods, if we, shall deserve to be among those of whom He declared, "I have said, Ye are gods,"(55) and, "God standeth in the congregation of the gods."(56) But this comes of His own grace, not from any property in us, because it is He alone who can make gods." -

Hippolytus, “the most important 3rd century theologian of the Roman Church” (p. 652, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, F. L. Cross, Oxford University Press, 1990 reprint) wrote:

"For if He [God] had willed to make thee a god, He could have done so. Thou hast the example of the Logos ['The Word' of John 1:1]. His will, however, was, that you should be a man, and He has made thee a man. But if thou art desirous of also becoming a god, obey Him that has created thee, and resist not now, in order that, being found faithful in that which is small, you may be enabled to have entrusted to you also that which is great." - Book X, Ch. XXIX, 'The Refutation of all Heresies' by Hippolytus as translated in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, p. 151, vol. 5, Eerdmans. -

Clement of Alexandria (about 150 - 213 A. D.) was “one of the most learned fathers of the Church”. - Encyclopedia Americana, 1957, Vol. 7, p. 87a. Clement wrote “that man with whom the Logos dwells ... becomes [theos, ‘God’ or ‘a god’]”. And “the Logos of God became a man that from a man you might learn how a man may become [theos, ‘God’ or ‘a god’].” - Surely the reader knows Clement meant that a man may become “a god” not “God”!

Origen (185-254 A. D.) was “probably the most accomplished Biblical scholar produced by the early Church” (Universal Standard Encyclopedia) and “the greatest scholar and most prolific author of the early church. ... not only a profound thinker but also deeply spiritual and a loyal churchman.” (The History of Christianity, a Lion Book). Origen was certainly the most knowledgeable about NT Greek of any scholar. He studied it from early childhood and even taught it professionally from his teens onward.

Origen tells us: “The true God, then, is ‘The God,’ and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype.” And, “thus the firstborn of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods [angels] beside him” - p. 323, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. X, Eerdmans Publ., 1990 printing.

The respected trinitarian Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church tells us that Origen himself taught that “the Son can be divine only in a lesser sense than the Father; the Son is [theos] (god), but only the Father is [autotheos] (absolute God, God in himself).” - p. 1009, 2nd ed., The Oxford University Press, 1990 printing.

And even super-trinitarian, St. Augustine, writing around 410 A.D. and speaking of righteous MEN, said: “For created gods are gods not by virtue of what is in themselves, but by a participation of the True God.” - The City of God, Book XIV, chapter 13, as quoted in On The Two Cities, pp. 60-61.
Also, Book IX, chapter 23, “But the same Scripture also calls men who belong to God’s people ‘gods’: ‘I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you children of the Most High.’ Accordingly, when God is styled God of gods, this may be understood of these gods [men]; and so, too, when He is styled a great King above all gods.” And, again, “because, although those immortal and blessed spirits who dwell in the heavens [angels] are called gods” - The City of God, p. 301, translated by Marcus Dods, D.D., The Modern Library, Random House, Inc., 1950.

And the ultimate trinitarian, St. Athanasius himself, wrote:

"God became man so that man might become a god." (cf. St. Athanasius, De Incarnatione or On the Incarnation 54:3, PG 25:192B; also Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 460) - 

From an Orthodox site:

“Another passage of note is John 10:34–36. In a dispute with the Pharisees, Jesus refers to the verse quoted above, Psalm 82:6, where human beings are referred to as ‘gods.’ The Jewish leaders accuse Jesus of blasphemy and are ready to stone Him for equating Himself with the Father (vv. 22–33). Jesus replies, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods’ ” ’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),” then why do they label as blasphemy Jesus calling Himself God’s Son? Jesus is truly God’s Son, and we are gods because we share in His sonship. -

(An RDB File)


internet said...

I think Judges 13:22 should probably be "we have seen a god" rather than "we have seen God"

Elijah Daniels said...

I see no grammatical reason that it couldn't be either "God" or "a god."

However, contextually it might solve the problem of knowingly seeing an Angel and calling him "God." Especially since Angels were called "gods."

Juan said...

I can see that a lot of study and work went into this website. I am currently seriously considering becoming a JW and this website is answering a lot of important theological questions I have.

Thank you.

ForJah said...

If elohim can mean it okay to say that the Word was an angel in John 1:1c?

Elijah Daniels said...

I believe you could say that it is possible that the Word was an angel.

Sue said...

Well done Elijah.
I wish I was as professional keep up the good work.
Your sister and fellow witness

Timitrius said...

Do you have any material on the claim that Jesus is God because God created "all alone" at Isaiah 44:24?

tigger2 said...

I don't have anything specifically for this scripture, but maybe this can help:

We can see the understanding of a powerful person creating or building something without ever lifting a hand in the process of creation or building in Scripture:

There are many instances of this (look in a concordance under “built,” for instance), but here are a few. 1 Kings 6:2; 6:14; 7:1; 8:27; 9:10; 15:23; 22:39; 2 Chron. 26:9; Ezra 5:11, etc.

1 Kings 15:23 - Now the rest of all the acts of Asa and all his might and all that he did and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? - NASB.

1 Kings 22:39 - Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? - NASB.

1 Cor. 8:6 - "yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through [dia] whom are all things and through whom we exist." - RSV.

Even the trinitarian The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1986, Zondervan, has to admit: “On the other hand, in 1 Cor. 8:6 the function of God the Father as the source of creation is distinguished from Christ’s role as mediator of creation.” - p. 1182, Vol. 3.