John Calvin, Commentary on John 10:34ff, "Ye are Gods..."

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Backwoods Presbyterian

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"The passage which Christ quotes is in Psalm 82:6, 'I have said, You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High'.

Where God expostulates with the kings and judges of the earth, who tyrannically abuse their authority and power for their own sinful passions, for oppressing the poor, and for every evil action, He reproaches them that, unmindful of Him from whom they received so great dignity, they profane the name of God. Christ applies this to the case in hand, that they receive the name of gods, because they are God’s ministers for governing the world. For the same reason Scripture calls the angels gods, because by them the glory of God beams forth on the world. We must attend to the mode of expression:

35. To whom the word of God was addressed. For Christ means that they were authorized by an undoubted command of God. Hence we infer that empires did not spring up at random, nor by the mistakes of men, but that they were appointed by the will of God, because he wishes that political order should exist among men, and that we should be governed by usages and laws. For this reason Paul says, that all who resist the power are rebels against God, because there is no power but what is ordained by God, (Romans 13:1-2.) It will, perhaps, be objected, that other callings also are from God, and are approved by him, and yet that we do not, on that account, call farmers, or cowherds, or cobblers, gods I reply, this is not a general declaration, that all who have been called by God to any particular way of living are called gods; but Christ speaks of kings, whom God has raised to a more elevated station, that they may rule and govern. In short, let us know that magistrates are called gods, because God has given them authority. Under the term Law, Christ includes the whole doctrine by which God governed his ancient Church; for since the prophets were only expounders of the Law, the Psalms are justly regarded as an appendage to the Law. That the Scripture cannot be broken means, that the doctrine of Scripture is inviolable."

Commentary on John - Volume 1 | Christian Classics Ethereal Library
 
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