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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 10:35

"If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),


Adam Clarke Commentary

Unto whom the word of God came - Bishop Pearce thinks that "the word λογος, here, is put for λογος κρισεως, the word or matter of judgment, as in 2 Chronicles 19:6, where Jehoshaphat, setting up judges in the land of Judah, says: Take heed what ye do: judge not for men, but for the Lord, who is with you in judgment - λογοι της κρισεως, in the words or matters of judgment, - Sept., which is nearly according to the Hebrew to משפט בדבר bedebar mishpat, in the word or matter of judgment. In Deuteronomy 1:17, when a charge is given to the judges that they should not be afraid of the face of man, this reason is given: for the judgment is God's. Hence it appears probable that λογος is here used for λογος κρισεως : and it is called λογος Θεου, because it is the judgment that properly belongs to God, and which they who give it on earth give only as acting in the stead of God. A way of speaking very like to this is found in Hebrews 4:13, where the writer says, προς ὁν ἡμιν ὁ λογος, with whom we have to do, i.e. by whom we are to be judged." But the words λογος Θεου may be here understood for the order, commission, or command of God; and so it properly signifies, Luke 3:2; and in this sense it is found often employed in the Old Testament. When it is there said that the word of the Lord came, etc., it means, God gave an order, commission, etc., to such a person, to declare or do such and such things.

And the scripture cannot be broken - Λυθηναι, dissolved, rendered of none effect, i.e. it cannot be gainsayed or set aside; every man must believe this, because it is the declaration of God. If those were termed gods who were only earthly magistrates, fallible mortals, and had no particular influence of the Divine Spirit; and that they are termed gods is evident from that scripture which cannot be gainsayed; what greater reason then have I to say, I am the Son of God, and one with God, when, as Messiah, I have been consecrated, sent into the world, to instruct and save men; and when, as God, I have wrought miracles which could be performed by no power less than that of omnipotence?


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 10:35". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-10.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

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 TalmudF25T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 4. 1. & Becorot, fol. 32. 1. & passim. ; when one doctor has produced an argument, or instance, in any point of debate, another says, איכא למיפרך, "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.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 10:35". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 10:35". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-10.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

35. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

[If he called them gods, &c.] The Jews interpret those words of the Psalmist, "I have said, Ye are gods," to a most ridiculous sense.

"Unless our fathers had sinned, we had never come into the world; as it is written, I have said, 'Ye are gods, and the children of the Most High: but ye have corrupted your doings; therefore ye shall die like men.'" And a little after; "Israel had not received the law, only that the angel of death might not rule over them; as it is said, 'I have said, Ye are gods: but ye have corrupted your doings; therefore ye shall die like men.'"

The sense is, If those who stood before mount Sinai had not sinned in the matter of the golden calf, they had not begot children, nor had been subject to death, but had been like the angels. So the Gloss: "If our fathers had not sinned by the golden calf, we had never come into the world; for they would have been like the angels, and had never begot ten children."

The Psalmist indeed speaks of the magistracy, to whom the word of God hath arrived, ordaining and deputing them to the government by an express dispensation and diploma, as the whole web and contexture of the psalm doth abundantly shew. But if we apply the words as if they were spoken by our Saviour according to the common interpretation received amongst them, they fitly argue thus: "If he said they were angels or gods, to whom the law and word of God came on mount Sinai, as you conceive; is it any blasphemy in me then, whom God in a peculiar manner hath sanctified and sent into the world that I might declare his word and will, if I say that I am the Son of God?"


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Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 10:35". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-10.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

If he called them gods (ει εκεινους ειπεν τεουςei ekeinous eipen theous). Condition of first class, assumed as true. The conclusion (John 10:36) is υμεις λεγετεhumeis legete (Do ye say?). As Jews (and rabbis) they are shut out from charging Jesus with blasphemy because of this usage in the O.T. It is a complete ad hominem argument. To be sure, it is in Psalm 82:6 a lower use of the term τεοςtheos but Jesus did not call himself “Son of Jahweh,” but “υιος τεουhuios theou ” which can mean only “Son of προς ους ο λογος του τεου εγενετοElohim It must not be argued, as some modern men do, that Jesus thus disclaims his own deity. He does nothing of the kind. He is simply stopping the mouths of the rabbis from the charge of blasphemy and he does it effectually. The sentence is quite involved, but can be cleared up.

To whom the word of God came (εκεινουςpros hous ho logos tou theou egeneto). The relative points to τεοιekeinous before. These judges had no other claim to the term και ου δυναται λυτηναι η γραπηtheoi (Λυτηναιelohim).

And the scripture cannot be broken
(λυωkai ou dunatai luthēnai hē graphē). A parenthesis that drives home the pertinency of the appeal, one that the Pharisees had to accept. Luthēnai is first aorist passive infinitive of luō to loosen, to break.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

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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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

If he (God) called them gods unto whom the word of God came, (that is, to whom God was then speaking,) and the Scripture cannot be broken - That is, nothing which is written therein can be censured or rejected.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 10:35". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-10.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came1 (and the scripture cannot be broken)2,

  1. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came. Since the civil rulers of a land are ordained of God (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Samuel 24:6,7), they were regarded as God's delegates or ministers, and as such the inspired Psalmist addresses them, calling them gods. Compare Exodus 22:28. The expression "word of God" is equivalent to "commission from God". Compare Luke 3:2, where John was commissioned.

  2. (And the scripture cannot be broken). The Jews regarded the Scripture as final authority. Jesus asserted this view by stating that the Scripture could not be broken; that is, could not be undone or set aside. We may regard Jesus as here ratifying their view, since he elsewhere concurred in it. See Matthew 5:19.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 10:35". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-10.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Them unto whom the word of God came; that is, the commission of God; meaning those commissioned by him to execute his will.--Cannot be broken; cannot be pronounced wrong.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-10.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

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.)

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.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-10.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 35. Unto whom the word of God came] That have their authority from God, whose substitutes and viceregents princes are, and of whom they have their patent. With what face then can the schoolmen defend Thomas Aquinas in that paradox, Dominium et praelatio introducta sunt ex iure humane? God and the bringing in for preference are from man’s law?


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 10:35". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-10.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

35.] πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγ. τ. θεοῦ ἐγ., to whom God (in those passages) spoke. We can hardly build on this passage, as Luthardt has done, a theory as to the distinction between those to whom ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ came merely in utterance, and those to whom He came in Person. See below on John 10:36.

The expression, καὶ οὐ δύν. λυθ. ἡ γρ. (which is not a parenthesis, but constructionally part of the sentence, depending on εἰ), implies, ‘and if you cannot explain this expression away,—if it cannot mean nothing,—for it rests on the testimony of God’s word,’ …


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 10:35". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-10.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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, 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].— 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.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 10:35". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

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.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 10:35". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-10.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Unto whom the word of God came; who were appointed and commissioned to act as his agents in ruling and administering justice in his stead among men.

Cannot be broken; cannot be set aside as speaking improperly when it calls magistrates gods on account of their office. The term is always used in such a connection as shows that they were but men.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

35. εἰ ἐκ. εἶ. θ. 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 a Greek Gnostic in the second century.

ὁ λόγος τ. θ. 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.

οὐ δ. λυθῆναι. Literally, ‘cannot be undone’ or ‘unloosed.’ The same word is rendered ‘unloose’ (John 1:27), ‘destroy’ (John 2:19; 1 John 3:8), ‘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, ἡ γραφή 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 αἱ γραφαί; John 5:39.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on John 10:35". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/john-10.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

35. Unto whom the word of God came—Unto whom these words of the psalm were by God addressed.

Broken—Made void, deprived of authority. The Lord’s argument assumed the absolute truth of Scripture, and their changeless, indestructible authority. His “theory of inspiration” is this: Whatever is found in Scripture is, in its true meaning, conclusive in religious argument.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-10.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

cannot = is not (Greek. ou. App-105) able to.

broken. Compare John 7:23.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 10:35". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

If he called them gods unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken;


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(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 came—i.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.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 10:35". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
unto
Genesis 15:1; Deuteronomy 18:15,18-20; 1 Samuel 14:36,37; 15:1; 23:9-11; 28:6; 30:8; 2 Samuel 7:5; 1 Chronicles 22:8; 2 Chronicles 11:2,3; 19:2; Romans 13:1
the scripture
12:38,39; 19:28,36,37; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; 26:53-56; 27:35; Luke 16:17; Luke 24:26,27,44-46; Acts 1:16

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 10:35". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-10.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 27th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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