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Was Jesus’ Piercing Prophesied?
by Daryl E. Witmer
One way to validate the truth of Christianity would be to conclusively demonstrate that the Christian Bible is true revelation from God, right?
One way to validate the Christian Bible as true revelation from God would be to conclusively demonstrate the case for fulfilled Bible prophecy, right?
One way to validate the case for fulfilled Bible prophecy would be to conclusively demonstrate that the scenes described in Psalm 22 became reality in the Gospels, right?
COMMONLY ACCEPTED FACT
DILEMMA FOR THE SKEPTIC
KEEP THIS IN MIND
ONE NOTABLE OBJECTION
ONE CREDIBLE RESPONSE
Jewish Bibles render the exact same phrase as follows: “Like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet.”
Why the difference? Who is right? Which is correct? Here’s where a little primer in ancient Hebrew becomes important.
The Hebrew term kaaru means: “they have pierced.” The Hebrew term kaari means: “like a lion.”
The two Hebrew terms are identical except for the fact that kaaru ends with the Hebrew letter vav, and
Vav and yod are essentially alike except for the fact that vav has a long “tail” on its end. Yod does not. (Read Hebrew right to left.)
It’s quite likely that at some point a scribe, tediously copying Hebrew text, inadvertently or otherwise, failed to attach that longer, vertical, descending line to the vav, thus rendering the vav a yod. This changed the meaning of the Massoretic Text, or standard text, which is the basis for the Jewish Bible.
A CRITICAL QUESTION
Not likely, for two reasons:
The Greek version of the Scriptures, known as the Septuagint (LXX), was authored by Jewish scholars in 250 B.C., long before the time of Jesus, and the Septuagint renders the text with kaaru, i.e. “they pierced.”
The phrase “they are at my” is not in the Massoretic Text, and “like a lion my hands and my feet” makes no sense. Even if those four words were there, the idea of lions being at one’s hands and feet is nonsensical.
In combination with the rest of Psalm 22 and the account of Jesus’ death, we have here a dramatic demonstration of fulfilled Bible prophecy and, thus, the Divine origin of the Christian Scripture.
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