"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
1 Peter 3:15
Does the Bible Say 'Ye Are Gods'?
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Apr 28, 2014

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
-Psalm 82:6

Based on the assumption of what the Bible defines as "gods" in this passage, Mormon cultists have developed teachings that man can become a god:
"'As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.' This couplet, alliterated by President Lorenzo Snow, together with the earlier King Follett Discourse and the Discourse on the Plurality of Gods and other teachings by the Prophet Joseph Smith have been a major source of controversy from the beginning... Today, Latter-day Saints are lambasted left and right for believing the doctrines that were taught since the days of Joseph Smith, namely, the ideas that God was once a man and that man could someday become like God–becoming gods themselves as others had done before."
-D. Charles Pyle, "I Have Said, 'Ye Are Gods': Concepts Conducive to the Early Christian Doctrine of Deification in Patristic Literature and the Underlying Strata of the Greek New Testament Text," August, 1999, Speech given at first annual Mormon FAIR Conference, retrieved Apr 26, 2014, [www.fairmormon.org]

Cultist author C.S. Lewis, who was not a born-again Christian, also believed in this insane idea:
"[God] said (in the Bible) that we were 'gods' and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him--for we can prevent Him, if we choose--He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine,"
-C.S. Lewis, Words to Live By, HarperCollins, 2009, p. 218, ISBN: 9780061950445

There is an obvious contradiction that forces us to raise questions about the definition of "gods" used in Psalm 82. The cultists I just quoted have said that we can BECOME gods, but if this verse really meant that, then there is no need to become that which we already are. If this verse really meant a "god," like unto God the Father, then we would already be "gods" according to this verse, which even the deluded cultists can see is not true.

Let's first read ALL eight verses of Psalm 82, so we can build a context and gain understanding.

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
-Psalm 82:1-2

God is standing in the congregation of the mighty, so those who are defined as "gods" are those who are mighty, and then asks them a question. These mighty men are judging unjustly, and accepting the wicked, so this is obviously not talking about God because He never accepts the persons of the wicked.

The "gods" being talked about here are the Judges of Israel. The word "god" (or elohim in Hebrew) has more than one usage, depending on the context:

god (n): 1. the Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the creator, and the sovereign of the universe
2. a false god; a heathen deity; an idol
3. a prince; a ruler; a magistrate or judge; an angel
4. any person or thing exalted too much in estimation, or deified and honored as the chief good
(See 'god', Noah Webster's Dicitonary, 1828, [www.1828.mshaffer.com])

And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
-Exodus 7:1

In Exodus, God told Moses that he was going to make him "a god to Pharaoh," and obviously that doesn't mean God was going to make Moses into a little "god" sovereign unto himself. This simply means that Moses was going to be elevated as a judge, to judge the wickedness of Pharaoh.
The "gods" in Psalm 82 are those mighty
in authority: the judges and magistrates.
If we take the time to read carefully through the book of Judges, you'll find that Israel repeatedly turns away from God, then when they're punished, they turn back to God, and then soon turn away from Him again. This happens over and over and over.

And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.
-Judges 8:33-35

The judges (gods) of Israel were judging unjustly, and accepting the persons of the wicked. They were referred to as "gods" because they were supposed to be representatives of God the Father judging the people of Israel.

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
-Psalm 82:3-4

These are instructions for the judges (gods) to repent of their wickedness, and judge righteously, doing good unto those who are oppressed. We can now see how this makes perfect contextual sense.

They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
-Psalm 82:5-8

The Lord God is mocking the judges (gods) for their thinking they are somehow righteous and superior, when they too will be judged by the Almighty for their wicked actions. In no place does the Bible indicate that men are, or can become, "gods" in the sense of god-like power.

Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
-Exodus 22:28

Throughout the Bible, God teaches Israel to revile false gods, so in the context of Exodus 22, this is referring to the judges and magistrates; that Israel was not to revile nor curse those in authority.

Just as God calls out the hypocrisy of those in authority in Psalm 82, so too Jesus Christ calls out the hypocrisy of those in authority in John 10:

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 10:31-36

First, we see here that anyone who would claim they were a god, are a god, or will become a god, were threated to be stoned to death by the Jews because they knew it was blasphemy against God for a man to claim godhood. This also disproves the cultist pretext put onto Psalm 82:6 about becoming a "god."

Next, we read Jesus Christ pointing out that they call themselves "gods" as judges on behalf of God, and when the actual Son of God appears, they hypocritically attempt to execute the very One who gave them their authority.

In most cases, when you have a scoffer or a cultist come along and tell you strange doctrine based on one verse, we can go back to the chapter and read it through to get the context. The context, in conjunction with correlating verses, will easily disprove heretical doctrine.

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