Friday, June 15, 2018

Has Psalm 22:16 Been Mistranslated In Christian Bibles?

"For one, the Septuagint (the oldest Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible) reads “they pierced my hands and feet.” The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which is dated sometime between 250 B.C.E. and 132 B.C.E.[5] This was obviously not a Christian translation of Psalm 22, because Christianity didn’t even exist yet. This was a Jewish translation done by Jewish rabbis, and it was done before Jesus ever walked the Earth. Therefore, the Jews who translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek (from before the time of Christ) believed that this passage should be translated as “pierced.”[6]

In addition, our oldest Hebrew copy of this passage reads “they pierced my hands and feet.” In 1997, archaeologists found a fragment from the book of Psalms in Nahal Hever in the Judean Wilderness. It dates between 50-68 C.E., and it reads k’ ru (“they pierced”). Hebrew scholar Michael Rydelnik writes, “Thus, the oldest extant Hebrew manuscript… reinforces the Septuagintal, Syriac, and Vulgate readings, supporting the translation, ‘they pierced my hands and my feet.’”[7] In addition, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain this reading also.[8]

Furthermore, even the Masoretic Text is not conclusive on the “like a lion” reading. While almost all Masoretic manuscripts read ka ‘ari (“like a lion”), there are still a dozen medieval manuscripts that read ka’ aru or karu (“pierced”). Remember, the critics based their argument primarily on the Masoretic Text; yet the Masoretic Text isn’t in complete agreement on this reading."

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