Did Jesus in John 10:33-36 endorse the Mormon doctrine of many gods?

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“For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”?’ If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came…do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? (John 10:33-36).

The Mormon faith claims that Jesus in this passage endorsed the doctrine that men can become “gods.” But, Jesus here appealed to an Old Testament context to answer His critics. His quotation is taken from Ps. 82:6. This phrase was said of magistrates on account of the dignity and honor of their office.

This point is apparent throughout the Torah, where the term translated “judges” or “ruler” is often elohim אלהים ̀ (e.g., Exodus 21:6; 22:9,28). Such a magistrate was “God’s minister” (Romans 13:4) who acted in the place of God, wielding His authority, and who was responsible for mediating God’s help and justice (Exodus 7:1). Rabbinical tradition applied the term “gods” to those who received the law. And Jesus seems to make His reply in terms of this tradition (John 10:35).

The Scriptures give example to that: Moses was not a “god.” Yet God told Moses that when he went to Egypt to achieve the release of the Israelites, he would be “God” to his brother Aaron and to Pharaoh (Exodus 4:16; 7:1). He meant that Moses would supply both his brother and Pharaoh with the words that came from God.

The Mormon concept of many gods contradicts the clear teachings of scripture. The Bible teaches that there are no other “gods” in the sense of deity. And the Lord Himself stated, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 also Deut. 5:7). And He gave the reason for His command saying, “my glory will I not give to another” (Isaiah 42:8). Being the only Creator and the Almighty, He is the only One to be worshiped.

Jesus was “God” in an altogether different sense from that of Ps. 82:6. Jesus proved His divinity by the “works” that He performed (vs. 37-38). No other man on earth ever did the works that Jesus did.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team



 

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