Jesus answers the religious leaders with an argument from Psalm 82. Verses 34-36:
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 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?Jesus says, in the Old Testament corrupt judges were called gods, probably ironically, but the word "gods" was used for them because they received the Word of God, and they were the agents of God. If the term “gods” could be applied to corrupt leaders, it’s not a stretch for the incorruptible, perfect, sinless, righteous, Son of God to be called God. Jesus debunks their charge of blasphemy due to His words, putting back in play what should have been the criteria of their evaluation of Him as Messiah, His works (vv. 37-38).
In the middle of Jesus' argument, almost as an aside, He says, "unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken." Here we get an astonishing revelation by the Lord Jesus Christ of His own bibliology. First, He affirms that scripture is the Word of God and that the Word of God is scripture. The writings (graphe) to which He referred were the Word of God, speaking of the inspiration and authority of the Old Testament, and especially Psalms.
To whom did the word of God come? Jesus is referring to God's Old Testament institution, the nation Israel. God deposited His Words with Israel for their keeping. One of the words in particular was elohim, "gods," in Psalm 82:1 (which the NASV translates in a way that Jesus would not have approved, "rulers"). The Word of God, Scripture, says, "gods." God inspired that word and now Jesus was making an entire argument from one word. That one word was given to Israel in Psalm 82 and continued in a line from there to when Jesus used that chapter and that verse and that word to make an argument. So, second, the line of inspiration and teaching began with God's deliverance of the word "gods" (elohim) to Israel.
Third, scripture cannot be changed, not one word. Scripture remained a seamless chain that could not be broken. God would not allow even one word to be lost. It is axiomatic. The written scripture cannot be broken. In perhaps the most serious claim Jesus could ever make, He makes His argument on the basis of one word. This isn't the first or only time He had done that. This was His view of scripture.
When Jesus says that scripture cannot be broken, and He is speaking of just one word. God would not allow the uninterrupted chain of inspiration and then perfect preservation to be broken. It cannot be broken.
Fourth, by saying that scripture cannot be broken, He is saying that every Word of Scripture would also be available. Preservation implies availability. If it is not available to you, then it isn't preserved for you. Every Word would always be available to the institution to which God ordained. By the time we get past the long, hand-copy phase of preservation, scripture is still not broken. It cannot be broken. Every Word of God is available for whatever argument is necessary to defend the teaching of Scripture.
God gave the Words of the New Testament to the church and He continued to use the church has His means of continuity of the Words of God. Just like His Old Testament Words, God's New Testament Words would remain available in God's New Testament institution, the church, for the purposes of proclamation and practice. The use of "scripture cannot be broken" in its context reinforces the powerful argument of God's perfect preservation of scripture.
No one can prove that what Jesus was saying was true. We don't possess the original manuscripts of the Old Testament. How could one trust that every Word of Scripture was preserved? Jesus said so. That's how. If He said so, then it is a matter of faith, a matter of faith that is rejected by those who correct the Hebrew Masoretic text with either the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Septuagint, either of which is to say that Scripture can be broken and it was instead lost for awhile in contradiction to what Jesus said.
If the New Testament Scripture could not be broken, which it can't, then the seamless chain of preservation must exist between 1500 and 1881 and then beyond. We can trust what Jesus said.
The Pharisees did not contend with the argument of Jesus. They did not say, "Oh yes, scripture was too broken." They didn't believe that. Jesus affirmed scripture cannot be broken. If the New Testament is scripture, which it is, then it cannot be broken either. If the New Testament cannot be broken, then the church unto which God gave the New Testament could not and would not lose any of the Words of God. If any were lost, like modern textual critics and most evangelicals and many fundamentalists assert, then what Jesus said was not true. What Jesus said was true as what Jesus said would always be true.