This page was last updated on 10 December, 2021.
God and gods
What this little study is about?
Most Christians believe the Bible teaches there is only one God. There are no bigger, smaller, equal, lesser, evil, false, whatever gods. There is only 1 God.
The Bible seems to disagree with that view.
That does not mean we should worship any god except Yahweh.
So this study changes absolutely nothing about Who you should worship, Who's in charge, Who created everything, etc, etc.
I know this is very hard for many but before you leave read two more verses
Luke 3:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Gen 6:2 that the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.
Adam is called son of God. In Gen 6:2 there are many sons of God. No matter how many there where it changes absolutely nothing about the supreme Son-
Likewise you must understand this study. Only 1 God or a trillion? Makes zero difference. The God of the Bible is the Supreme Ruler over everything including other gods. Past, present and future. Eternally.
Don't draw conclusions that are not implied:
Every entity in the spiritual world is a god. It’s not a rank. Titles like angel and demon are like functions/job descriptions.
2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds....
Deut 32:17 They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods that they knew not…
C] Dead humans. Dead Samuel is called a god.
1 Sam 28:13 ... I see a god coming up out of the earth.
14 ... And Saul perceived that it was Samuel ...
D] Sons of God. Psalm 82 shows there are many gods.
Ps 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God takes His position in His assembly; He judges in the midst of the gods.
Ps 82:2 How long will you judge unjustly And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Ps 82:3 Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Ps 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy; Save them from the hand of the wicked.
Ps 82:5 They do not know nor do they understand; They walk around in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
Ps 82:6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.
Ps 82:7 “Nevertheless you will die like men, And fall like one of the princes.”
Ps 82:8 Arise, God, judge the earth! For You possess all the nations.
1 God (elohim) stands in the divine council (literally, council of El); among the gods (elohim) He pronounces judgment.
Yaweh precedes the council. Most high of the council
2 How long will you (plural) judge unjustly, showing favor to the wicked? Selah.
You refers the gods of verse 1. Those gods are corrupt.
3 Judge the wretched and the orphan, vindicate the lowly and the poor,
4 rescue the wretched and the needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.
Yahweh tells the corrupt gods from verse 1 how things should be done.
5 They neither know nor understand, they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth totter.
6 I said, ―you (plural) gods (elohim), sons of the Most High (beney Elyon), all of you (plural);
7 but you (plural) shall die as men do, fall like any prince.
Yahweh states the corrupt gods from verse 1 will. That statement can’t be about humans because they are mortal.
8 Arise (the command is singular), O God (elohim), judge (the command is singular) the earth, for you (singular) shall inherit all the nations.
Yahweh is going to inherit all nations, the whole world
The above can’t be about:
John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods?
John 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
John 10:36 Say you of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God?
The Jews accuse Jesus of blasphemy. Jesus’ defense is referring to Ps 82. If the gods in Ps 82 would be human rulers or judges as some claim, Jesus’ defense would make no sense. Then He would say: I’m god and Ps 82 is about humans. What kind of good that defense would do. Nope, Jesus supported His own claim referencing to the God in Psalm 82 which the Jews accepted as inspired Scripture.
E] Among other gods
Ps 86:8 Among the gods there is none like to you, O Lord; neither are there any works like to your works.
Ps 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
Ps 97:9 For you, LORD, are high above all the earth: you are exalted far above all gods.
Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Angels are worshipped as gods.
G] Elohim not being Yaweh
Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose Elohim is YAHWEH, the people He has chosen for His inheritance.
That implies the Elohim of, at least some, other nations isn’t Yaweh.
Sola Scriptura v Sola Doctrine
The term means only use Scripture to understand Scripture. That might seem a great plan at first; but it's not. It's a trick to peddle false doctrine. And a flat out lie. If the literal meaning fits the doctrine, that's what it means. If not, then it's an expression, idiom, poetic wording etc. Bold claims but very easy to prove.
All verses in the English Bible are translations. Nowhere in the Bible there's an inspired list that translates Greek to English. If a certain word is translated wrong I wouldn't call that word Scripture. No doubt many translators are very skilled and honest people, they studied at secular schools, from secular books, with secular definitions. Of course that's not the whole truth because they specialized in Biblical Greek. While all that sounds very negative, I think overall they did a very good job, but the result isn't as flawless as the originals.
Reading a translation is the first step; but what does it mean?
Usually "Sola Scriptura" works like this: Our doctrine is correct, so Scripture clearly teaches this verse should be understood this way. For people with a different doctrine it clearly means something else. That's "Sola Doctrine".
"Sola Scriptura" should mean what Scripure is meaning. Not what doctrine wants it to mean.
So how can we know what Scripture means? Let me start with saying only the One on the Throne knows all the details. That said, a very good first step is figuring out how the original audience in that time and culture would understand it.
Don't inject modern understanding. A mouse is a rodent and not a computer device.
Words change in meaning over time. Use the meaning of when the words were written. Gay in KJV times meant happy and cheerful. No need to explain the today's meaning is different.
Certain expressions must never be understood literally. If you do you fall for falls doctrine. Example: "It's raining cats and dogs".
So if throughout Scripture the word gods is used, how does Sola Scriptura prove that it doesn't mean that?
The next section shows it willingly ignores not only the meaning of an ancient expression because they refuse to look outside* Scripture, but they even ignore Scripture itself.
*=Every translator worth his salt knows about expressions found in the language he translates from.
No gods besides Me
Isa 44:6 Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
That simply means nobody is equal or greater than Me, or not?
Zeph 2:15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelled carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passes by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.
Was there no other city than Nineveh?
Isa 47:8 Therefore hear now this, you that are given to pleasures, that dwell carelessly, that say in your heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:
Was there no other city than Babylon?
"besides me there is no God" is an ancient expression. This is best understood by looking at a throne room. The king sits on his throne in the back. The lower rulers and common people are in front of the king. Maybe some were sitting, but never next to the king. So the verse can be rewritten as:
Isa 44:6 ... beside Me sits no God.
Isa 44:6 ... next of Me sits no God.
But before the King thousands may be kneeling....
Dead Sea Scroll commentary
As for that which he said, How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah (Psalms 82:2), its interpretation concerns Satan and the spirits of his lot who rebelled by turning away from the precepts of God to…And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God…and he will drag them from the hand of Satan and from the hand of all the spirits of his lot. And all the ‘gods of Justice’ will come to his aid to attend to the destruction of Satan.
That ancient commentary clearly shows they understood the gods from Ps 82 are buddies of satan. Please note the “gods of justice”. That the end-
Deut 32:8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of mankind, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of God.
Deut 32:9 “For the LORD’S portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
As in Dead Sea Scrolls, which read the number of the sons of God, and Greek version, which reads the number of the angels of God; Masoretic Text reads the number of the sons of Israel.
In the noncanonical book Jubilees we find an interpretation of those verses links the gods from Ps 82 to those in Deut 32:8
Jesus is attacked for claiming to be the Son of God
John 10:33 The Jews answered Him, “We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law: ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’?
John 10:35 “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be nullified),
John 10:36 are you saying of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
His defense was: Why is it so bad I call myself a Son of God, when you, who believe the Scriptures teaches about sons of God.
Some claim sons of God are like human representatives of God performing a certain job on behalf of God. Surely those people those humans were present at creation.
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Jer 19:13; Deut 4:19; 17:3; 29:26; 2 Chron 33:3-