I don’t write on this blog regularly anymore and this has two reasons: First, I simply lack inspiration. I feel like I have covered so many things already and I don’t intend on writing the same thing 5 times just using a different wording.
Second and this shouldn’t be news to anyone of you who follows me on Twitter (which is probably the majority of my readers) I simply don’t have much time.
But today is Saturday (at least for me) and I actually do have some time right now and a topic so I feel like addressing it.
It never ceases to amaze me how badly Christians can distort their own holy book in order to meet their agenda of preserving Biblical inerrancy.
I have observed this in many instances and the following is no exception:
Let’s talk about Psalm 22 and the crucifixion of Jesus. Christians claim that this Psalm prophecises Jesus fate on the cross namely his crucifixion.
Now whether it actually does (spoiler alert: it doesn’t) is not a trivial issue for the Christian. After all at the beginning of this Psalm the first person narrator asks “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These words appear again in Matthew 27: 46 :
About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,e lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”
If Psalm 22 isn’t actually Jesus speaking then not only does this mean that Jesus crucifixion is not prophecised in Psalm 22 it also means that the author of Matthew is deliberately deceitful for drawing a parallel between the Psalm 22 and Jesus.
Needless to say then, that the stakes are high so I suggest we dig right into the reasons why I don’t think that Psalm 22 refers to Jesus.
When we move on from the first sentence of the Psalm we get to this particular assertion:
” Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.”
Now the person saying this is Jesus. The Jesus who (supposedly) healed the blind, the man who walked on water, the man who fed thousands of people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Yet Christian would have us believe, that this same Jesus who “cries by day” (the word cries in Hebrew can be translated to call ) receives no answer but whatsoever by his father. He worked miracle after miracle after miracle yet God doesn’t listen to him?
Besides that, this stands in direct contradiction to John 11: 41-42:
If I as a Skeptic am to be convinced that we are indeed dealing with a messianic Prophecy here, this needs to be accounted for.
Moving on from this in my view problematic verse, right onto the next. Psalm 22: 6 :
“But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me”
Again this is Jesus speaking. The man whom (most) Christians not only believe to be the son of God but literally God incarnate. Most Christians claim that Jesus believed himself to be God. Yet this same Jesus who thought so highly of himself now references to himself as a worm? In what world do these two things fit together?
Now for the record it is true that Jesus did have one or two enemies (he wouldn’t have been crucified if he didn’t) but he also had a lot of supporters. Do the 12 disciples ring a bell? I am also not persuaded to believe that all the people whom he healed and for whom he worked miracles were in direct opposition to him.
The asserion that Jesus was “scorned by mankind and despised by the people.” is not just a little bit of a stretch it is outright false!
Now, after having shown my positive reasons why Psalm 22 cannot possibly refer to Jesus I think it may be worthwhile to address the elephant in the room:
Where do Christians get the idea from, that Psalm 22 prophecises the crucifixion?
The answer lies within the verses 12 to 21.
“Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws;you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet I can count all my bones they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!”
It seems strange right from the get-go that there were “Bulls of Bashan” present at the crucifixion. The same thing goes for the dogs, the lion as well as the wild oxen. Now of course one may argue that these animals are just symbols for the people who crucified Christ but what animal stands for whom or what exactly? Are these 4 animals representative of 4 people groups. As far as I know the only people present at the Crucifixion were the Jews and the Romans. Are these 4 animals merely representatives of 4 individuals? If so which animal stands for which person and why? How does one account for the “evildoers” who are presumably humans, if the animals are just symbols for other humans? If the animals are not symbols but real animals then why are the gospels silent on the fact, that there were wild and dangerous animals present for this incident?
For all intends and purposes the setting of the event doesn’t sound like a crucifixion at all. It sounds more like a person who is being eaten up in a Roman Arena (but maybe that’s just me).
So it all comes down to what the author means when he says that the evildoers have “pierced my hands and feet” . Long story short the word in question “pierced” ( כָּ֝אֲרִ֗י ) can be translated in many different ways (Yeah I know Wikipedia isn’t exactly scholarly) but as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter anyways due to the discrepancies surrounding it.
Besides this one word there is nothing which hints on this being a messianic Prophecy and as I hope to have shown there is a a lot which goes against that Hypothesis.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation