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John 10:35

ESV If he called them gods to whom the word of God came — and Scripture cannot be broken —
NIV If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside—
NASB If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be nullified),
CSB If he called those whom the word of God came to ‘gods’—and the Scripture cannot be broken—
NLT And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’
KJV If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken;
NKJV If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

What does John 10:35 mean?

This comment by Jesus is both a crucial reference to the perfection of God's Word, and a tactical use of His critics' own methods. Jesus is under threat of immediate stoning, presumably for blasphemy. When goaded to repeat His claims by a mob, Jesus went even further and equated Himself with God (John 10:22–31). Now, Jesus is using a technique these religious leaders were familiar with. Scribes and Pharisees would often debate Scripture using various rhetorical tactics and convoluted arguments; Jesus is using one of those in this encounter.

To counter their claim that Jesus should be considered a blasphemer for saying He is "one" with God, Jesus pointed to Psalm 82. In that passage, God's own Word referred to human beings using the same literal word as used for God Himself: elohim. Other Old Testament passages use the same word in a judicial context (Exodus 21:6; 22:8).

Jesus' point is not that humans are divine, but that those who are divinely enabled to perform the will of God are, in a poetic form, referred to as "gods" in Scripture. As this retort continues, Jesus will point out that He has been proven by powerful evidence. This connection has not been lost on everyone; some others have come to the same conclusion (John 3:1–2; 10:19–21). His claim to truth is much stronger than that of anyone else. His works—His miracles—should be absolute proof that He is sent by God. As such, charges of blasphemy against Jesus in this case fall short.

Jesus also makes a point of rejecting the suggestion that the Word of God can be "broken." By this, Jesus means that the verses He quoted could not be dismissed as an error. They could not be written off as a mistake—this is the doctrine of inerrancy, which says that Scripture is perfectly accurate in everything it intends to say. Jesus, in this moment, not only implies inerrancy, He grounds His argument in it.
What is the Gospel?
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