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Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

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TheTrueLight.Net
Site Completed–10/15/01
Major Revision—5/28/03
Last Updated–03/19/09

The True Light Project
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Phone: (423) 478-2843
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©2002 copyright
Mike Shreve.
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What did Jesus mean when he said, “You are gods!”

Taken out of context, this quote of Jesus seems to deify the whole human race, conferring a divine nature and destiny upon all. When scrutinized within the framework of the surrounding text, it communicates something quite different. Certain Israelite leaders were refusing Jesus’ claim of being "the Son of God." He responded by quoting to them a passage from the Old Testament:

"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),

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’?

If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." (John 10:34–38)

Who were these individuals Jesus referred to as "gods?" Over 2,000 times the Hebrew word elohim is translated "God" in the Old Testament; over 200 times it is translated into the plural word "gods" (as in the Psalm 82 quote Jesus referenced above). Four times elohim is also rendered "judges" in the King James Version of the Bible. (Exodus 21:6; 22:8–9) However, the original Hebrew word literally means "God" or "gods." Presumably, God referred to his representative judges in Israel as elohim, because if they did their job correctly, they spoke with divine authority. The "word of God" came to them. The God of Israel inspired their judgments. As mouthpieces of the Almighty, they would make pronouncements that represented the will of the Most High in any case brought to their attention.

Unfortunately, the judges of Israel eventually became quite corrupt: receiving bribes, making false judgments, and abusing their authority. Because they were out of touch with God, they often misrepresented him. In Psalm 82:1–3 God strongly protested their behavior:

"God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy."

God was reminding his judges ("the gods," Heb. elohim) that he was in their midst, ready to reveal his judgment concerning the situations in question. But the judges were deaf to his counsel. They had their own agenda. They were self-centered, manipulative, greedy and spiritually insensitive. So God gave them a stern warning:

I said, "You are gods…But you shall die like men…"

(Psalm 82:6–7)

Clearly, this passage teaches the humanity of the judges of Israel, not their divinity. Its correct interpretation is absolutely the opposite of what some construe it to mean. Unquestionably, it cannot be used as proof that all men are evolving into ‘godhood.’ The Author of the Bible never intended these passages to be interpreted this way.


"In Search of the True Light" ©2002 copyright by Mike Shreve.
All articles unless otherwise noted are copyright by Mike Shreve.
Personal Stories are the work of the individuals.
All Rights Reserved.

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