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Ye are Gods


volgadon

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http://calba-savua.blogspot.com/2010/05/ye-are-gods.html

I've finally polished up my translation of the section in the midrash Numbers Rabbah which preserves the tradition that Jesus was refering to in John 10:28-36. I posted it on my blog. Would love any thoughts, comments, and of course, debate.

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

I and my Father are one.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

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?

-John 10:28-36.

For years Christ's dramatic defence as recorded in the Gospel of St. John has been interpreteted as refering to human judges. I could provide many examples, but this, from the NASB, should suffice.

Observe here, 1. The power and honour of magistrates; they are the mighty. They are so in authority, for the public good (it is a great power that they are entrusted with), and they ought to be so in wisdom and courage. They are, in the Hebrew dialect, called gods; the same word is used for these subordinate governors that is used for the sovereign ruler of the world. They are elohim.

- http://www.biblebrowser.com/psalms/82-2.htm

Christians interpretators have followed medieval Jewish exeggets such as Rashi and Abrhaam ibn Ezra in this.

The judges were called Elohim due to the fact that they enact God's laws on earth.

-Ibn Ezra on the Torah, Mishpatim (Exodus 21:6).

I do not intend to deal in depth right now with the meaning of the biblical passage, or with how interpretation developed, that will have to wait for a future post. In the meantime, I highly recommend Daniel O. McLellan's insightful blog posts on Psalm 82. http://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/psalm-82-2/

From a study of ancient Jewish literature, it becomes apparent that Jesus was not refering to human judges, but to a different tradition entirely. An early Amoraic work, the Midrash Numbers Rabba (or Bamidbar Rabbah) 16:24, relates the tradition that the Lord made the Children of Israel immortal, warning death not to touch them, but since they feared and would not accept the gift offered them the Lord made Israel as mere men again.

In John Jesus says "unto whom the word of the Lord came". Word, or davar, quite frequently meant a commandment or command, which commandment can be seen in this midrash.

They saw the counsel which the Lord decreed for them and straightaways ruined the counsel 40 days, for it is said (Proverbs 1): ye have set at nought all my counsel.

The Holy One, Blessed is He said unto them: I said that ye are not sinning and ye shall live and be as I am, as I liveth and am for Eternity and for Eternity of Eternities, for I decreed (Ps 82) gods are ye and sons of the Most High (Elyon) are ye all, and are as the ministering angels, which die not and yet after this great thing ye request to die, then die as man ye shall, even as the First Man (Adam) whom I commanded one commandment for to do and he should live and be for Eternity, as it is said (Gen 3): for the man was as one of us. And also: and created God the man in his own image, to live and be as he [God] is, but he [Adam] transgressed and nullified my decree, and ate from the tree, and I said unto him: for dust thou art.

So too are ye, as I said: gods are ye, yet have injured yourselves as man, so verily as man shall ye die.

??? ???, ???? ????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ????? ???? ?' ???, ??? ???? (???? ?): ?????? ?? ????.

??? ??? ???"?: ??? ?????, ???? ??? ?????? ????? ???? ??????? ?????, ??? ???? ?? ????? ????? ??????? ??????.

(????? ??) ??? ????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ?????, ?????? ????, ???? ???? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ????, ??? ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ???, ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ?????, ????? (?????? ?): ?? ???? ??? ???? ????.

???: ????? ????? ?? ???? ?????, ????? ?? ????? ?????, ???? ??? ????? ????? ??????, ???? ?? ?????, ?????? ??: ?? ??? ???.

?? ???, ??? ?????: ????? ??? ????? ????? ????, ??? ???? ??????.

-Bamidbar Rabbah, Parashat Hameraglim (16:24).

This tradition appears in the middle of a discussion on the misconduct of the 10 spies sent out by Moses, and how god's children frequently overturn God's counsel.

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Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Isaiah 45:5-6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

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Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Isaiah 45:5-6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

What do these two passages from Deutero-Isaiah, emphasizing the primacy of Israel

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Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Isaiah 45:5-6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Do think these verses have never been discussed here before?

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Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Isaiah 45:5-6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Why don't you first deal with what GOD "actually said" in Genesis FIRST before you try to change the subject trying to find some prooftext of your point. In other words, you need to deal with the fact that you called God a "liar" first in Genesis, and are now instead trying to say Isaiah is the "real truth".

And just to clue you in, Isaiah is speaking on a different subject. So, deal with the Genesis verse first instead of trying to make the scriptures say what YOU want them to say by ignoring what He actually said.

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Isaiah 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.

Isaiah 45:5-6 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I discuss this in a great deal of detail here and here.

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Why don't you first deal with what GOD "actually said" in Genesis FIRST before you try to change the subject trying to find some prooftext of your point. In other words, you need to deal with the fact that you called God a "liar" first in Genesis, and are now instead trying to say Isaiah is the "real truth".

And just to clue you in, Isaiah is speaking on a different subject. So, deal with the Genesis verse first instead of trying to make the scriptures say what YOU want them to say by ignoring what He actually said.

I 2nd this.

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Out of curiosity, have you bothered reading my post, or was the title just a convenient opening for a fundamental evie tirade?

Another question, Jesus was trying to show them why calling himself the son of God was not blasphemy, so would he use a blasphemous tradition in order to justify his statement? IE what I said is blasphemous but so is what you say?

Why allow the threadjack, volga? Better to ignore the non sequiturs Cheesey smears on the board.

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A rare moment of magnaminity.

Let's rather call it interested quasimagnanimity.

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Your blog is one of my favorites to follow volgadon. As always, a very insightful and enriching addition.

Thanks F3, I appreciate that coming from you.

I've got some more posts in the works- the weeping God; Galileaen synagogue architecture; what Hellenistic fashion has to do with Jewish perceptions of Adam and Eve; and perhaps something on mystic death.

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The weeping God! Oh, I can't wait to read it. Would this be a la Moses chapter 7? :P

Yes, a different (and earlier) source to the one Nibley identified.

Actually, I take that back, he did refer to it.

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