Christian Pilgrim


154. Men Referred to as "gods"

There are many references to "gods" in the Bible, which refer to man-made gods, or blocks of wood or stone which men bow down and worship. Of course, none of these are real. There is only one true living God. But in certain places, men themselves are referred to as "gods."

To "know good and evil" is here described as being "as gods":

Genesis 3:5 - "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

Genesis 3:22 - "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil"

An influential figure is referred to as being like "a god":

Exodus 7:1 - "And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet."

Exodus 22:28 - "Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people."

Psalm 82 begins by referring to judges as "gods," but by v.6 it seems to widen its scope to refer to all men:

Psalm 82 - "A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Who are the "gods" in Psalm 138? Rulers? All men? All false gods? All of these?:

Psalm 138:1 - "I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee."

In the New Testament, Christ refers to the fact that the law says "Ye are gods." This must refer to Genesis 3:

John 10:34-36 - "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

So, men are not actually "gods," neither do they become "gods." There can be no other gods than the one true God. The reference is either to some men who are influential figures being like gods, or, it refers to all men who have in one sense become "as gods" after the fall, because they now "know good and evil." 

Therefore John 1:1 cannot refer to the Word just being "a god" (as Jehovah's Witnesses would say), Because there are no such things as other "gods" at all in reality. Men are only ever in a certain sense "like gods." John 1:1 therefore must refer to the Word being God Himself:

John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Similarly, 2 Peter 1:4 cannot mean that we become gods:

2 Peter 1:4 - "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."