John 10:34—Did Jesus advocate that man could become God?

Problem: Jesus answered a group of Jews and said, “Is it not written in your law, `I said, you are gods’?” Does this mean that humans can become God as pantheistic religions and New Age advocates claim?

Solution: The context of this passage reveals that Christ had just pronounced Himself one with the Father saying, “I and My Father are one” (10:30). The Jews wanted to stone Him because they thought Christ was blaspheming since He was making Himself out to be equal with God (vv. 31–33).

Jesus responded by quoting Psalm 82:6 which says, “I said, you are gods.” This psalm addresses judges who are judging unjustly. The title of “gods” is not addressed to everyone, but only to these judges about whom Jesus said are those to “whom the word of God came” (v. 35). Jesus was showing that if the OT Scriptures could give some divine status to divinely appointed judges, why should they find it incredible that He should call Himself the Son of God? Thus, Jesus was giving a defense for His own deity, not for the deification of man.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.