Did Jesus really cry out, "My God, my God..."?

There are historical Jesus scholars who argue that Jesus himself actually did cry out, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? from the cross, while others argue that the words are inauthentic and were only added later by the church to make Jesus seem like a fulfillment of Psalm 22.

What are the arguments on both sides of that question?
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Comments

  • Come on, folks.
    Give an argument as to why the words are not authentically from Jesus on the cross.
    Give an argument as to why the words are authentically from Jesus on the cross.

    Really, some very good scholars are rather sharply divided on this.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    It doesn't matter.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    The words are written in the Bible, so they must be True™.

    I daresay that's the view of many scholars. Others may differ, of course, as such differing from one another seems to be in the nature of scholars.

    But we are not students in your class, so please give us your view (and why you hold that view), so that we can agree, or differ, and discuss, accordingly.
  • When we're going through it, we often find a song with just the right words and sing along to it. (Or is this only me?) Why wouldn't Jesus sing a familiar Psalm from the cross?
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    I'd be inclined to say that it was genuine since it is a quote in Aramaic that only appears in Mark and Matthew. It is a human response and Jesus suffers and dies as a human.
  • Raptor Eye wrote: »
    When we're going through it, we often find a song with just the right words and sing along to it. (Or is this only me?) Why wouldn't Jesus sing a familiar Psalm from the cross?

    An intriguing thought. Yes, he would have been, as it were, steeped in the Psalms, though I suspect he shouted the words, painfully, rather than sang them.

  • Shouldn't this be in Kerygmania? Seems to me we discussed this there one time.
  • Yes, perhaps. It certainly feels Kerygmanic...
  • I've already expressed my opinion on the thinly veiled bullshittology that is Historical Jesus Studies.
  • These are words that could easily be misunderstood; in fact Luke and John omit them. To my mind that's an indication of their authenticity.
  • These are words that could easily be misunderstood; in fact Luke and John omit them. To my mind that's an indication of their authenticity.

    And easily understood? And less is more?
  • It's truth in the poetical sense.
  • Well, first let's look at why there would be a strong tendency to think the words are authentic. Then a counter argument to that. Then a counter argument to the counter argument. Then.... then... well, anyway, I will ultimately tell you what I firmly think and why. Have patience. But meanwhile, feel free to throw in any opinions you wish to express.
  • Everybody make your foolish statements, then the professor will correct us and show us the way.
  • I don't know. I wasn't there. I don't think it matters. Faith should not be so flimsy as to rely on a set of Trumpian tenements.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    Forty odd year ago, air time was actually given on the BBC, to the claim by some whack job that the Aramaic sounds like Quechua for 'ello, 'ello, my utility beast has eaten the bucket! or some such and that's what Jesus meant in some Jungian world spirit way. JB2 won't top that, no matter how much baited breath we exhale. Buckets made of buffalo leather are remarkably durable of course, I used them when I were a bobbin legger. A hundred years old. The buckets. Not me. Then. But there were no buffalo in Peru or Palestine. So it would have been a goatskin or wood perhaps. Certainly not tin, I mean llama's (I know, I know, it's jay) aren't that stupid. Far from it. They gave us syphilis after all.
  • :lol:

    Was that claim made on the BBC during Silly Season, i.e. August, I wonder?
  • Well, first let's look at why there would be a strong tendency to think the words are authentic. Then a counter argument to that. Then a counter argument to the counter argument. Then.... then... well, anyway, I will ultimately tell you what I firmly think and why. Have patience. But meanwhile, feel free to throw in any opinions you wish to express.

    I've told you what I think - the words are written in the Bible, so they must be True™.

    If they are not True™, someone must be telling fibs.

    Who?

  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    I don't think everything in the Bible is literally true. I don't think that Salome danced for Herod and was offered half his kingdom. But I think that many stories and traditions about John and Jesus were circulating in C1AD. And the gospel writers selected the traditions which best fitted their theological perspective about them. And I find that a very interesting idea.
  • Why do you think what you think?
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    It is probably because my background is in history and I think the historical critical method casts light on the meaning of the gospels. I'd like to understand the historical Jesus and His theology. And interpret the theologies of the 4 gospels, Acts and Paul. I think there is a progression of thought in the NT. It definitely shows in John's gospel and Paul's letters with their deeper levels of theological reflection and contextual/pastoral theology. For example, the Council of Jerusalem was a very radical decision and it determined the future of the church in the wider Gentile world rather than as a Jewish sect.
  • Paul's letters came first.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Rublev wrote: »
    It is probably because my background is in history and I think the historical critical method casts light on the meaning of the gospels. I'd like to understand the historical Jesus and His theology. And interpret the theologies of the 4 gospels, Acts and Paul. I think there is a progression of thought in the NT. It definitely shows in John's gospel and Paul's letters with their deeper levels of theological reflection and contextual/pastoral theology. For example, the Council of Jerusalem was a very radical decision and it determined the future of the church in the wider Gentile world rather than as a Jewish sect.

    But how does that cast doubt upon Salome dancing for Herod - although he'd scarcely be offering half his kingdom.
  • @mousethief your posts cheered up my day
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Rublev wrote: »
    It is probably because my background is in history and I think the historical critical method casts light on the meaning of the gospels. I'd like to understand the historical Jesus and His theology. And interpret the theologies of the 4 gospels, Acts and Paul. I think there is a progression of thought in the NT. It definitely shows in John's gospel and Paul's letters with their deeper levels of theological reflection and contextual/pastoral theology. For example, the Council of Jerusalem was a very radical decision and it determined the future of the church in the wider Gentile world rather than as a Jewish sect.

    But how does that cast doubt upon Salome dancing for Herod - although he'd scarcely be offering half his kingdom.

    Why would he not? In his will? Being his stepdaughter?
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    It sounds like the Jezebel trope embellished with folklore. A dastardly plot, a dance for the king, a head on a platter. It all seems a bit too melodramatic.
    Maybe the gospel authors were being diplomatic in not blaming Herod for a political execution. Which is what it was.
  • FIRST ARGUMENT.
    There was a scholarly tendency to assume that Jesus's "cry of dereliction" from the cross, Eloi, Eloi lema sabachthani? really was spoken by Jesus, based on the criterion of "embarrassment" or "contradiction."

    According to that criterion, if anything reported in the gospels was "embarrassing" or in any way problematic to the theology of the later church, then it is probably authentic (that is to say, it really was said or done), for it got reported before the later church would find it to be a problem. That is why, for example the reported baptism of Jesus by John must surely be authentic because it disturbed the later church that Jesus would submit to an inferior to undergo a ritual intended for the forgiveness of repentant sinners! (Matthew tried to paper this over by inserting a passage in which John himself says he's not worthy to baptize Jesus; Luke de-emphasizes that it was John himself who did the baptizing, and the Gospel of John simply omits the baptism altogether.)

    In like manner, it is argued that Jesus' cross cry, a citation of Psalm 22:1, must be authentic, for
    1) it is the only saying of Jesus from the cross in both Mark and Matthew, uttered just before he died;
    2) and yet "the unedifying groan ... did not fit the theological agendas of Luke or John."* It is replaced in Luke by Jesus' more edifying commendation of his soul to God and in John by the cry of triumph, "It is finished!"

    So Jesus really did say it. Case closed.

    Well, not really, as my next post will argue.
    ________
    *John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, vol 1, p.170.
  • @mousethief your posts cheered up my day

    <doffs cap>
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    @JamesBoswellII

    I have cross posted with you on your parallel thread. Three gospels concur that Jesus recited psalms upon the cross: Ps 22 (Mark and Matt) and Ps 31 (Luke). It sounds entirely reasonable that He would.
  • The interesting story of John’s death by beheading is found in Mark, and although the part about Salome’s dance may be folklore,* it is certain that John was executed by Herod Antipas, as the Jewish historian Josephus also tells us,** and that made Antipas very unpopular with the people, for most of them regarded John as a true prophet.

    *One reason for thinking the dance may be folklore: It is not reported by Josephus although he delighted in reporting anything bad or bizarre about Herod the Great (especially his insane later days) and anything else negative regarding the Herods.

    **Antipas' reason for arresting the Baptizer according to the gospels was that John had criticized Antipas' marriage. According to Josephus, Antipas feared John's popularity with the people and was afraid they might do anything John told them to do, so he took the preemptive strike of executing him.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    It's interesting that Herod Antipas does not execute Jesus, but sends Him back to Pilate. Perhaps the death of John had made him too unpopular and he didn't want to add to his reputation with the people.

    Herod Agrippa later executed James and arrested Peter (Acts 12: 1-6). But there is no mention of any dancing girls by Luke. And he doesn't include the story of Salome in his account of John's death (Luke 9: 7-9).
  • ADDENDUM to FIRST ARGUMENT
    Also, as some of you have pointed out, the fact that Jesus' words Eloi, Elloi, lema sabacthni? are given to us in Aramaic* weighs heavily in favor of authenticity.

    *Although for some reason Matthew has the first two words in Hebrew: Eli, Eli.
  • Rublev wrote: »
    @JamesBoswellII

    I have cross posted with you on your parallel thread. Three gospels concur that Jesus recited psalms upon the cross: Ps 22 (Mark and Matt) and Ps 31 (Luke). It sounds entirely reasonable that He would.

    There seems to be a certain amount of confusion as to which thread is which. Might it be possible for a Kindly Host to amalgamate them? I'm not sure if we're supposed to be considering Jesus' words on the cross, or the death of John the Baptist, here...
    :confounded:
  • I think enough has been said about the death of the Baptist. Any responses to FIRST ARGUMENT? I will allow time before I post again.
  • Thank you. How much time will you allow us?
  • You or anyone can respond right now.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    No, I meant how much time have we got to consider your argument before you post again, presumably on that subject? Sorry, I should have made it clearer.
  • “Jim,” my skeptical friend says, “I find this thesis of yours intriguing, if for no other reason than this: It helps me understand why Jesus in Gethsemane, although he was so very upset and frightened, remained convinced that it was God’s will that he should suffer and die. I believe that’s an idea that figures prominently in the suffering servant passage, doesn’t it?”

    “It does. The Isaian passage makes it clear that such suffering was the Lord God’s ‘will’ – or even ‘pleasure’ as some translations have it… And yes, Jesus was intensely frightened. After all, he believed that Isaiah 53 was about to be fulfilled in him, and that meant he was facing a rejection, an abuse, a mutilation and a death so horrible it would leave him ‘marred and disfigured, no longer appearing human.’ Faced with so dreadful and degrading a prospect, it’s little wonder Jesus became upset and temporarily lost his nerve.”

    “Indeed.”

    “But I think Isaiah Fifty-three helps us understand something else as well,” I say.

    “Oh?”

    “I think it helps us understand how that same Jesus who was so upset and frightened by what he was facing in Gethsemane – how a short while later he could stand before the Jerusalem Council who were about to condemn him to death and confidently tell them that they, even they, would see him highly exalted and raised up. Raised up to sit at God’s right hand and coming with the clouds of heaven.”



  • A moment of silence followed before my friend again speaks.
    “Jim, didn't you tell me earlier that you hope this – this expectation of Jesus – that even though it didn’t happen, you hope it might still be inspiring to many people?”

    “I do hope that. But of course that will depend on other people's thinking, not on mine.” I pause, then add, “I’ll just try to express it like this: I can’t think of anything more inspiring, more moving, more wonderful, than to think that Jesus, standing there before the very Temple authorities who are about to hand him over to the Romans for crucifixion – how he could say even to them that they too, they themselves, would see him exalted and coming with the clouds of heaven… I used to think that when Jesus spoke those words, he meant them as a warning or even a condemnation. I no longer think that. It now seems to me he meant them as a sort of invitation in anticipation of the glad possibility that they, even they, might soon be included among those voices depicted in the Isaian passage who cry out in amazement at the servant’s exaltation, who cry out joyously, and say, ‘Something we never understood before, we see – we see it now! We thought we were condemning him for his own sins, but now we understand he died for us, for our sins, and for the forgiveness of all sins everywhere.’”

    “…So then you’re saying,” my friend says, “—you’re saying you find this moving and inspiring, even though it didn’t happen.”

    “I do. I find it moving that Jesus envisioned an exaltation that would soon take place before the entire world, an exaltation that would be seen and understood by everyone, by people everywhere. All nations, all peoples, all families of the earth would be shown this marvelous wonder so clearly, so compellingly, that I find it difficult to imagine how – once they saw it, once they saw the glorious uplifting of the servant and understood the reason for his death – it’s hard to imagine how anyone could ever reject it.”

    I pause a moment before I add, “How could anyone not be touched, convinced, even claimed, by so overwhelming an outpouring of God’s all-merciful love?”

    "...Jim, I think you just poured out your heart."

    “But that’s not the important point here. That’s not the question. That’s not decisive. The decisive matter in this is: Does it reveal something valid about the heart of Jesus?”
  • I respectfully request a host or administrator to delete this and the previous two posts of mine as I put them here by mistake.
  • Oh, please! You meant to put those posts here because you are always trying to teach us unworthy Shipmates some special nugget of knowledge that only you seem to possess. Stop being so passive agressive and just admit you want us to fawn all over you and beg to see your important writings.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    edited August 2019
    Rublev wrote: »
    I don't think everything in the Bible is literally true. I don't think that Salome danced for Herod and was offered half his kingdom. ...
    It is, in any event, Josephus, not Mark, who gave us Salome's name. I can believe she danced for him, although it's certainly not necessary to any Biblical understanding; the Herodians were a remarkably nasty family. But who knows?




  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    Rublev wrote: »
    It is probably because my background is in history and I think the historical critical method casts light on the meaning of the gospels. I'd like to understand the historical Jesus and His theology. And interpret the theologies of the 4 gospels, Acts and Paul. I think there is a progression of thought in the NT. It definitely shows in John's gospel and Paul's letters with their deeper levels of theological reflection and contextual/pastoral theology. For example, the Council of Jerusalem was a very radical decision and it determined the future of the church in the wider Gentile world rather than as a Jewish sect.

    But how does that cast doubt upon Salome dancing for Herod - although he'd scarcely be offering half his kingdom.

    Why would he not? In his will? Being his stepdaughter?

    In the will - perhaps, but only just perhaps. The text reads as an immediate gift in any event.
  • I'm fairly sure there had been drink taken.
  • edited August 2019
    Anytime anyone someone starts anything with "Jim!", I expect Bones (Dr McCoy) to continue with something like "I'm a doctor, not your theological whipping boy. If you need one of those you can go to Vulcan during Pon Far and plenty of pointy eared fools will let you whip them while they tell you it doesn't hurt."
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    I think it is bracketing Herodias with other Killer Women of the Bible (Jezebel, Athaliah). The account of Josephus presents the death of John as a political murder. Matthew also tells us that, 'Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people because they considered John a prophet' (Matt 14: 5). It is Mark who claims that, 'Herod feared John and protected him knowing him to be a righteous, and holy man. When Herod heard John he was greatly puzzled, yet he liked to listen to him' (Mark 6: 20).

    There is a sense of shock surrounding John's death in the gospels. He had been seen as Elijah who had had a miraculous death. And stories begin to circulate that Jesus is John risen from the dead (Luke 9: 7-9). Josephus tells us that Herod's defeat in battle was seen as divine judgement upon him. So the folklore about Salome came out of these rumours and speculations. And I think the revision of the story of John the prophet into the tradition of Elijah the forerunner did too.
  • No, I meant how much time have we got to consider your argument before you post again, presumably on that subject? Sorry, I should have made it clearer.

    There you go Bishops Finger, nobody else can be arsed, so Anti-/Climacus it has to be.
  • No, those two posts were mistakenly put here late last night (my time) on this thread where they do not fit the discussion. They were intended to go on the Did Jesus Condemn ... thread where they do appear and do fit the discussion there. And there they can be discussed without any fawning. :wink: ;
  • What is this 'fawning' of which you speak?
    :grey_question:
  • See 5th Mary's comment.

    But perhaps we can let Salome rest from her dancing while we return to the man subject of this thread as I will attempt to do in my next post entitled SECOND ARGUMENT (returning to the subject of this thread)

    As said, there was a tendency to regard the cry from the cross as historical based on the criterion of embarrassment. In my next post (which I must now compose from scratch), I will attempt to show how scholars counter that.
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