John 10:35
If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
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(35) If he called them gods.—The argument is another example of Hillel’s famous First Canon of Interpretation—that the greater may be inferred from the less. The pronoun “he” (He) refers probably to God (see Note on John 10:34), or the rendering may be “it,” as referring to “law”—i.e., the Psalm.

Unto whom the word of God camei.e., the word declaring “Ye are gods,” and pointing back to the time indicated by “I said,” when each one was set apart to be a representative of God, and in that he had His authority to bear also His name.

The scripture cannot be broken.—More literally, cannot be loosened. Comp. Notes on Matthew 5:18-19, and for the word rendered “broken” see also in this Gospel John 5:18; John 7:23.

10:31-38 Christ's works of power and mercy proclaim him to be over all, God blessed for evermore, that all may know and believe He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. Whom the Father sends, he sanctifies. The holy God will reward, and therefore will employ, none but such as he makes holy. The Father was in the Son, so that by Divine power he wrought his miracles; the Son was so in the Father, that he knew the whole of His mind. This we cannot by searching find out to perfection, but we may know and believe these declarations of Christ.Unto whom the word of God came - That is, who were his servants, or who received their dignity and honor only because the law of God was intrusted to them. "The Word of God" here means the command of God; his commission to them to do justice.

The scripture cannot be broken - See Matthew 5:19. The authority of the Scripture is final; it cannot be set aside. The meaning is, "If, therefore, the Scripture uses the word "god" אלהים ̀elohiym as applied to magistrates, it settles the question that it is right to apply the term to those in office and authority. If applied to them, it may be to others in similar offices. It cannot, therefore, be blasphemy to use this word as applicable to a personage so much more exalted than mere magistrates as the Messiah."

35, 36. If he called them gods unto whom the word of God came … Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest—The whole force of this reasoning, which has been but in part seized by the commentators, lies in what is said of the two parties compared. The comparison of Himself with mere men, divinely commissioned, is intended to show (as Neander well expresses it) that the idea of a communication of the Divine Majesty to human nature was by no means foreign to the revelations of the Old Testament; but there is also a contrast between Himself and all merely human representatives of God—the one "sanctified by the Father and sent into the world"; the other, "to whom the word of God (merely) came," which is expressly designed to prevent His being massed up with them as only one of many human officials of God. It is never said of Christ that "the word of the Lord came to Him"; whereas this is the well-known formula by which the divine commission, even to the highest of mere men, is expressed, as John the Baptist (Lu 3:2). The reason is that given by the Baptist himself (see on [1825]Joh 3:31). The contrast is between those "to whom the word of God came"—men of the earth, earthy, who were merely privileged to get a divine message to utter (if prophets), or a divine office to discharge (if judges)—and "Him whom (not being of the earth at all) the Father sanctified (or set apart), and sent into the world," an expression never used of any merely human messenger of God, and used only of Himself.

because, I said, I am the Son of God—It is worthy of special notice that our Lord had not said, in so many words, that He was the Son of God, on this occasion. But He had said what beyond doubt amounted to it—namely, that He gave His sheep eternal life, and none could pluck them out of His hand; that He had got them from His Father, in whose hands, though given to Him, they still remained, and out of whose hand none could pluck them; and that they were the indefeasible property of both, inasmuch as "He and His Father were one." Our Lord considers all this as just saying of Himself, "I am the Son of God"—one nature with Him, yet mysteriously of Him. The parenthesis (Joh 10:35), "and the Scripture cannot be broken," referring to the terms used of magistrates in the eighty-second Psalm, has an important bearing on the authority of the living oracles. "The Scripture, as the expressed will of the unchangeable God, is itself unchangeable and indissoluble" [Olshausen]. (Compare Mt 5:17).

If God dignified those men (and many of them were also vile and sinful men) with the title of gods, because they had a commission to govern people according to the law of God; and none must contradict what God hath said in his word; there can be no falsehood in the revelation of any part of the Divine will. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came,.... The Syriac version reads, "because the word of God came to them"; either the divine "Logos", the essential word, the Son of God, who appeared to Moses, and made him a God to Pharaoh, and who appointed rulers and magistrates among the Jews; and who is the King of kings, and Lord of lords, from whom all receive their power and dominion: this sense is favoured by the Ethiopic version, which renders it, "if he called them gods to whom God appeared, the word of God was with them": or else the commission from God, authorizing them to act in the capacity of rulers and governors, is here meant; or rather the word of God, which, in the passage of Scripture cited, calls them so, as it certainly does:

and the Scripture cannot be broken; or be made null and void; whatever that says is true, there is no contradicting it, or objecting to it: it is a Jewish way of speaking, much used in the Talmud (y); when one doctor has produced an argument, or instance, in any point of debate, another says, , "it may be broken"; or objected to, in such and such a manner, and be refuted: but the Scripture cannot be broken, that is not to be objected to, there can be no confutation of that.

(y) T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 4. 1. & Becorot, fol. 32. 1. & passim.

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

(l) Void and of no effect.

35. If he called them gods] More probably, If it called them gods, viz. the Law. ‘Them’ is left unexplained; a Jewish audience would at once know who were meant. But how incredible that any but a Jew should think of such an argument, or put it in this brief way! These last eight verses alone are sufficient to discredit the theory that this Gospel is the work of Greek Gnostic in the second century.

the word of God] Practically the same as ‘the Scripture;’ i.e. the word of God in these passages of Scripture. The Word in the theological sense for the Son is not meant: this term appears nowhere in the narrative part of S. John’s Gospel. But of course it was through the Word, not yet incarnate, that God revealed His will to His people.

cannot be broken] Literally, ‘cannot be undone’ or ‘unloosed.’ The same word is rendered ‘unloose’ (John 1:27), ‘destroy’ (John 2:19), ‘break’ (John 5:18 and John 7:23), ‘loose’ (John 11:44). John 1:27 and John 11:44 are literal, of actual unbinding; the others are figurative, of dissolution or unbinding as a form of destruction. Here either metaphor, dissolution or unbinding, would be appropriate; either, ‘cannot be explained away, made to mean nothing;’ or, ‘cannot be deprived of its binding authority.’ The latter seems better. The clause depends upon ‘if,’ and is not parenthetical; ‘if the Scripture cannot be broken.’ As in John 2:22, John 17:12, John 20:9, ‘the Scripture’ (singular) probably means a definite passage. Comp. John 7:38; John 7:42, John 13:18, John 17:12, John 19:24; John 19:28; John 19:36-37. Scripture as a whole is called ‘the Scriptures’ (plural); John 5:39.John 10:35. Ἐκείνους) them, weak creatures, nay, even deserving of the censure contained in this very psalm.—εἶπε, called) God called them, professing in the psalm that it is He who speaks, [John 10:1, God standeth in the congregation, etc.] Whence it is that immediately after the expression, the word of God, is used, ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ: comp. 1 Kings 18:31, “The sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name.”—πρὸς οὕς, unto whom) The reason is herein expressed, why they are called gods, and why in an inferior sense; comp. Mark 12:12, πρός, in reference to, “They knew that He spake the parable in reference to them.” Others interpret the πρός, against [Engl. Vers. of Mark 12:12].—ὁ λόγος, the word) And indeed the word in that psalm, which partly calls them gods, partly censures the same persons.—καὶ οὐ, and not) The Scripture cannot be broken, even in its smallest particular. A most firmly-established axiom. The appellation, gods, though not strictly used, cannot be broken, once that it has been set down in Scripture.Verse 35. - If he (the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Lawgiver, the subject is left indefinite) called them gods (elohim), to whom the Word of God came - the personal "Word" need not be excluded here; the "Word of God" was the Divine agency by which prophets spoke and psalmists sang - and the Scripture (γραφή is singular, and has reference, not to all the γραφαί, but to this one word) cannot he broken; loosed, destroyed. A fine testimony to the confidence which our Lord exercised in the Holy Scripture. He was accustomed to educe principles of life from its inward structure, from its concealed framework, from its underlying verities. The very method adopted by Jesus on this occasion revealed the fact that both he and his biographer were born Jews. These tyrannical judges were "to die like men," yet, since "the Word of God came to them," there was a sense in which even they, without blasphemous assumptions, might receive the title of elohim. The Scripture (ἡ γραφή)

The passage of scripture. See on John 2:22; see on John 5:47.

Broken (λυθῆναι)

Literally, loosened. Wyc., undone. The word is characteristic of John. He uses it of the destruction of the temple (John 2:19); the breaking of the Sabbath (John 5:18); the violation of the law (John 7:23); the destruction of Satan's works (1 John 3:8), besides elsewhere in the physical sense.

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