The "gods" must be wicked

Robert Low writes:

>Indeed, similar types of argument are attributed to Jesus
>in the gospels, unless my memory fails me; I'm thinking of the
>"you are gods" quotation from the Psalms, but can't recall
>off-hand where the passage occurs.

The quotation occurs in John 10:34, and is, I would argue, proof not that
Jesus took exegesis in the Old Testament casually, but very seriously!

The Jews are attacking Jesus because he calls himself "god" (I and the
Father are one), and the Jews say, "You blasphemer, you being a man make
yourself out to be God."

Jesus answered them , "Has it not been 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) do you say of Him, whom the Father santified
and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am
the Son of God?'"

Jesus' point is that the Psalm was written as a judgement against the kings
of Judah not being just and righteous.  The kings of Judah were called gods,
or sometimes Son of God (these references should be well known to most of
you).  The point of the psalm is "I said you are gods, but you shall be
judged for your sins nevertheless!"  Jesus' point seems to be that if
even the wicked kings of Judah deserving of judgement are legitimately
called "gods" and "son of god" by the Scripture (which reflects God's
view and therefore cannot be broken) then HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD *THE* KING
(The Messiah) who judges righteously and was sent by God into the world
be called "god."

This is another passage where commentators have claimed Jesus is somehow
using the text in a premodern way, but his arguement "What do you mean
someone can't be called "god" legitimately if they are human?  It is right
there in the Bible even for wicked kings!"  Seems very convincing to me!

What is interesting is that in this passage Jesus seems to be claiming to
be *the* king, but not, as many people have understood him, to be claiming
divinity.  His arguement would not make any sense from the Psalm if he was
claiming divinity here.  (Which is not to imply there may not be other places
where Jesus claims divinity, it just clearly isn't being claimed here).

David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
Univ of Virginia (804) 982-3718 wrk INTERNET: djm5g@virginia.edu
Box 512 Med Cntr (804) 924-5261 msg   BITNET: djm5g@virginia
C'ville VA 22908 (804) 296-7209 fax   IBM US: usuvarg8