[b-hebrew] Mark 15:34, Mat 27:46, & Psalm 22

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Apr 20 06:45:58 EDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
Cc: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Mark 15:34, Mat 27:46, & Psalm 22

> On 20/04/2004 00:05, Yigal Levin wrote:
> >Yes, it is an Aramaic transltation of Ps. 22. Presumably, either Jesus
> >himself, or whoever recorded what he said, was a native speaker of
> >This was fairly common among first century Jews.
> >
> >Yigal
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: <david.kimbrough at charter.net>
> >To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> >Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 7:17 AM
> >Subject: [b-hebrew] Mark 15:34, Mat 27:46, & Psalm 22
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >>Mark 15:34: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"
> >>
> >>Mat 27:46 "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?"
> >>
> >>22nd Psalm "Eliy, Eliy, lama azabetani" yle) yle) mh yntbz(
> >>
> >>The cry of Jesus on the cross as recorded by two of the
> >>Gospels does not match the Hebrew in the 22nd Psalm.  I
> >>have been told that Mark 15:34 is actually Aramaic, as is
> >>the the second half of Mat 27:46.  Is this correct?
> >>
> >>
> >>
> But Mark's "Eloi" sounds more like Hebrew Elohi, suggesting that Jesus
> was misquoting Hebrew (or quoting a different Hebrew text), i.e. using a
> different word for "God", for the first half of the verse. Matthew's
> "Eli" looks like a correction to match the Hebrew better. Neither form
> is Aramaic, surely.
> --
> Peter Kirk

The Aramaic translation of Hebrew Eloha is Ellah. The Targum Onkelos for vs.
2 is indeed "Eli", but for vs. 3 it's "Elohi". I doubt that either Jesus or
Mark had the Targum Onkelos as we know it (since it was composed much
later), perhaps the targum that they were familliar with used Elohi for vs.
2 as well. Perhaps they were quoting from (imperfect) memory, or translating
spontaniously. Or maybe even the text of Ps. 22:2 that they were familiar
with actually said "Elohi" or "Elohai" (is there a DDS version of this
As for "Elohi" becoming "Eloi", Galileans were famous for not pronouncing
their He's and Ayin's (that's how "Yehoshua'" became Yeshu). And of course,
niether sound exists in Greek, which is the language that we actually have
the qutation transcribed into.
And assuming "Markan priority", I agree that Matthew may well have been
"correcting" the text to match either the Hebrew or the Aramaic translation
that he knew.


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