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Was Jesus Forsaken On The Cross? (Part 2)
I took this over to 'The Aramaic Peshitta Bible Repository' from here at Forums, and now I bring it back. Praise MarYah!!

Was Jesus Forsaken On The Cross? (Part 2)
?? Thread Started on Sept 4, 2007, 12:40pm ??

Joined: 20 Nov 2003
Posts: 696
Location: New York state Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:19 am Post subject:

Shlama Akhi Andrew,

The Aramaic "Shabaq" has 17 active meanings according to the Lexicons. Kiraz has compiled all of them from all available sources as you know on his CAL web site. "Spare" is not one of them; neither is "Keep".
The closest to either is "Reserve", but that is not the word you or Lamsa have chosen to use, and "reserve" is a rather mild word, especially in the context of the trauma our Lord was suffering!
??bq vb. to leave

1 to leave, depart Com. --(a) to divorce Gal, Syr.
2 to leave s.t. left over Com. --(a) ?????????? ?? : aside from, to say nothing of (i.e., just like English 'let alone') Syr. --(b) to entrust, to put aside, leave behind OfA, Gal, PTA. --© to bequeath Gal.
3 to abandon, leave alone Com.
4 to permit, allow Com.
5 to condone, to forgive Gal, PTA, Syr.
6 to send out Syr.
7 ???????? : to shed blood Syr.
8 ???????????? : to admit Syr.
9 to admit Syr.
11 to reserve Syr.
12 to make fire Syr.
14 to let alone Gal.
15 to omit s.t. Gal.

1 to divorce Gal, PTA.

1 to permit Syr.

If God wanted to convey the word "spare", He would have used the word for "Spare" , which is sx "Khas" -"to have pity, to spare"

This word occurs twenty times in The Peshitta NT, one of which is in Romans 8:32, which tells us : "God spared not His own Son..."

Beside the obvious fact that God did not spare His Son, why would our Lord have waited until He was not being spared from suffering and death to ask "Why have you spared me?" He might have asked that question earlier, say, when He was having dinner at Simon the potter's house or at Mary and Lazarus' place, or while He was praying at the Mount of Olives. It makes no sense to have Him saying those words while hanging on the cross.

As for the Hebrew "azab" , you are simply ignoring the fact that the translation you are giving it in Psalms 22:1 is found nowhere as a meaning of the word. You are adding your own interpretation which seems to work for some verses in Leviticus about leaving some grain behind for the poor to reap, which is the best translation of the text.

But even the sense of "sparing some grain for the poor" has the idea of leaving it behind for them to glean. All the uses of this word have the idea of "leaving" in the Qal form.My point is that even in "sparing" in the sense in which you use it, something is being left alone or forsaken. The person "sparing" is not present with the person or thing "spared". The sparer leaves the spared.

It is also inconvenient that Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon does not have "spared" as a meaning; neither does The Modern Hebrew Dictionary, neither Strong's. It seems you are adding your own definition to a word whose root sense is "Leave,Forsake,Loose" , and as used in Scripture always indicates "Leaving" or "Letting go".

I know this: "Leaving" does not mean "Staying"; "Letting go" does not mean "Staying".

When our Lord Yeshua cried, "Lemana Shabaqthani?", He did not mean, "Why have you stayed with me?", or "Why have you kept me with you?", because the root word Shabaq in Shabaqthani always has the idea of separation between two entities.
Even if you insist on using the word "spared" as a translation, it means to spare by "leaving behind".

You are ignoring all Aramaic and Hebrew authority in your translation of the text in Psalms 22:1 and in both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34.
Paul Younan is not a lexical authority on Aramaic, as he has never written a lexicon, even as you and I are not lexical authorities on English as we have never compiled an English dictionary, and even if we had, we would have to rely on prior usage and written works to compile a new dictionary and new meanings for words.
We are not at liberty to invent new entries.

Neither is Lamsa an authority on Aramaic usage. He has amply demonstrated that he would mistranslate at a whim and insert his doctrinal views where he should have translated Aramaic. He has done this cavalierly as you know and Otto knows. Yet I believe it was Lamsa that got this "Why have you spared me" ball rolling. Well, please excuse the pun, but "Spare me"!

It is going to take more than a Lamsa, a Younan, a Roth, (or a Bauscher,for that matter) to change the clear meaning of Aramaic and Hebrew words!

Now, as to the objection that I seem to be saying that God abandoned His Son, that is not what I have said. I do believe as you do that God would never abandon His Son.

That does not negate the fact that Yeshua asked the question, "My God,my God,Why have you forsaken me?"
We cannot presume to say as you did, that Yeshua did not feel deserted. How can you say what He felt? I bow before the One Who cried so from the cross. His words ought to break our hearts as they broke His.
I understand from John 19 that He died of a ruptured heart, evidenced by the separated serum and Hemoglobin which issued from the pericardium when a soldier lanced His side under the heart.

He evidently not only felt abandoned; he believed He was abandoned and experienced the effects a complete abandonment by His Father would have produced- Death!

Still, I say I do not believe The Father abandoned His Son for a moment!

I am not going to say any more than what I said in my previous post about it. I will leave the mystery for you to ponder, as it is indeed a mystery to ponder.

Everyone should ponder that terrible cry of our Lord Maryah Meshikha, Creator of heaven and earth. It should haunt us and all creation that He said those words. Our very existence and that of the entire universe (The Heavens and the Earth) depends on those words, not to mention our salvation.

Shlama am kulcown
Peace be with you all,


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Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 209
Location: Davis, California Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:40 pm Post subject:

George M. Lamsa, New York, NY
As published in THE DEFENDER, April 1960.

"At about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, Eli, Eli lemana shabakthani! which means, My God, My God, for this I was kept! (This was my destiny for which I was born.)" Matthew 27:46

ELI, ELI, lemana shabakthani! which means, My God, My God, for this I was spared. It was a feeble cry which came from the lips of a dying Man.

The heavy punishment inflicted on Jesus, the thirst and loss of blood had weakened the strong and healthy body which for years had withstood the rigor of climate, hunger, thirst, and other difficulties.

In this last hour of agony, intense thirst and suffering, Jesus words were so weak that the people who stood near the cross could hardly understand them.

And even His enemies, who stood close to Him, thought He was calling on the Prophet Elijah for help. This is because the name of Elijah, Aramaic Elia, is close to Eli, My God. They said let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.

None of the men who stood near the cross watching Jesus dying ever said that his cry was one of despair; nor the cry of a man who had been deserted and betrayed; nor the cry of a man who had lost faith in the cause for which he had dedicated his life.

No, no one who was standing on the historic hill of Golgotha accused Jesus of weakening. No one said, at last God has deserted Him. But they said He has trusted in God, let Him deliver Him.

Had Jesus in this last hour said that God had forsaken Him, the Jews would have used this saying against Him. They would have taken it as a confession that He was a blasphemer and therefore God had deserted Him in His darkest hour; because God never forsakes the righteous, but He may forsake the sinners.


This is not all. Had Jesus' cry meant forsaking, He not only would have destroyed the faith of his disciples and followers, but would have contradicted His own teaching, the very assurance which He had given to His disciples, and the very cause for which He was dying.

On the other hand, judgement and death on the cross did not come upon Jesus suddenly. On many occasions He had told his disciples that He would die on the cross and rise again; they had heard him saying, "You will leave me alone; and yet I am never alone because the Father is with me." (John 16:32)

They had heard Him saying that He and God were One. Moreover, the Jews had heard him telling Pilate, "For this I was born." Which means I came to die for the sake of the truth; so that the world may know God and walk in his way.

How is it that the European translators of the Bible in the 17th Century A.D. who were thousands of miles from Palestine, and who could not speak Aramaic, knew more about Jesus' cry on the cross than the Jews who spoke Aramaic and stood near the cross watching Him die?

And how is it that Peter, John, and other disciples and follows of Jesus never commented on these ominous words? Indeed, if Jesus had meant desertion they would have commented on it, because such a statement, or even such a thought was contrary to all Jesus had preached and taught.

The apostles did not comment on these last words simply because they knew what Jesus meant in their Galilean dialect, or northern Aramaic.

Jesus' disciples and His followers knew that these precious words were uttered for them in order to strengthen their faith in Him and remind them that He had to die on the cross and that the prophecies had to be fulfilled.

Moreover, they knew had He meant forsaken, He would have used the Aramaic word taa tani, which means forsaken.

Indeed, Jesus could have asked a legion of angels to come down from heaven to deliver Him; but He wanted to drink from the bitter cup so that He might fulfill the prophecies and trod a new way of meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness, and to redeem mankind with His precious blood which poured on the cross and on the green grass.


The Aramaic word shabakthani is derived from shabak which means to keep, to allow, to spare, to leave, and to forgive. The meaning of this word, like the meanings of many other Aramaic words, is determined by the context.

For example, shabak li, which means allow me. Saul killed all males, but he shabak, spared the women, shabaklan khoben, forgive us our trespasses.

Shabak li lakhma, keep me some bread. Even today in Aramaic we say God has kept us, or spared us for this cause, or for this mission, or for this destiny.

The Aramaic text reads lemana, which in the vernacular speech is lemodi, that is, for what a thing, or for this thing. When we use the word meaning why, we add another word, mitol, mitol lemana, which would mean why.

The Gospels tell us that in Gethsemane Jesus placed His life in His future in the hands of God His Father, with secure confidence of ultimate victory over death, the cross and sin.

During that crucial hour of prayer and decision, He was willing to drink the bitter cup because it was the will of God. In those dark hours He said, "O my Father, if this cup cannot pass and I must drink it, let it be according to thy will." (Matthew 26:42)

In other words, Jesus surrendered His will to do the will of God, with ultimate confidence of victory.

Paul says, "Even when He was clothed in flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death; and verily he was heard." (Hebrews 5:7)

After His resurrection, Jesus upbraided the two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus, saying, "O dull-minded and heavy-hearted, slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken; did not Christ have to suffer all these things in order to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:25-26)

Indeed Jesus' rejection, judgement, and death on the cross were foretold by Isaiah centuries ago. Death on the cross was the only means of salvation and the only way to reveal God's love towards His children.

"For God so loved the world that he even gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)


In the East from the time of the inception of Christianity to the present day, we believe that God was with Jesus in the womb, on the cross, and in the grave. Jesus' deity and His humanity were inseparable.

Of course, we believe God let Jesus suffer on the cross and die the death of a malefactor for the sake of our sins. That is to say, God did not interfere with the punishment and suffering which were inflicted on the humanity of Jesus.

No, God was with Him on the cross and even nature shared in this great human tragedy, the sun and stars refused to shine.

The Eastern Christians have always believed that Jesus suffered as a man and died as a man, and God was with Him, but God neither suffered nor died nor was buried nor deserted Him.

As we have said, Jesus knew that God was with Him, and that is why in His last cry He said, "O my Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit." The scriptures tell us that God does not forsake tie righteous nor does He forsake those who trust in Him.

Indeed, Jesus died with the secure confidence that He was to rise again triumphantly. This is because he knew God was with Him, and His suffering and death were not in vain, but the only means of salvation of the world from sin and evil forces.

Invariably, every man and every woman has a destiny in this life. We all suffer, but we suffer for a cause; for a new lesson in life and for rich experiences which guide us in the future.

Jesus' suffering was not in vain; it was a victory over death and evil forces; the sinister death which every Jew dreaded.

Jesus, with His death on the cross, was to demonstrate once for all that life is eternal and indestructible, because God is indestructible; and that man is a child of God created in His own image and likeness.

Prior to Jesus' death, death was looked upon as the end. All those who died were cut off from God forever. Jesus had to prove that this ancient concept was wrong, and therefore He had to become an example of a new life -- life eternal.


As we have said, Jesus' cry was not a cry of despair but a triumphant cry, because He had fulfilled His mission with positive faith in God His Father, and had triumphed over death and the grave.

The grave of Jesus is the only empty grave, and His body did not see corruption, because God was with him.

Millions of Christians in the western world are disappointed and bewildered on Good Friday when they are told that Jesus was forsaken on the cross. They are confused because during the whole year they are taught that Jesus in the Son of God and that He and God are One.

Moreover, in the mission field, Moslems, Hindus and people of other faiths have used this verse against the divinity of Jesus. I remember Moslems telling the European missionary that, "Your Bible itself states that God forsook Him." If He was God, how could He have forsaken Himself?

I pray God that the new rendition of the words on the cross will help the Christians to have faith in the divinity of Jesus, His Messiahship and the triumphant victory He won on the cross.

Such a belief will give us more strength during our trials and sufferings and will bring God closer to our hearts in the time when we need Him most.

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Joined: 20 Nov 2003
Posts: 696
Location: New York state Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:40 am Post subject:

Shlama Akhi Otto,

What part of my statement above-Quote:
Now, as to the objection that I seem to be saying that God abandoned His Son, that is not what I have said. I do believe as you do that God would never abandon His Son.

do you not understand?

And again I wrote:Quote:
Still, I say I do not believe The Father abandoned His Son for a moment!

Do you even bother to read my posts, Otto?



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Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 209
Location: Davis, California Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:22 pm Post subject:

September 3, 2007

I read carefully your posts of this subject. You seem to be saying that your don't believe that Jesus was forsaken by God, but you also believe that Jesus said he was forsaken by God.

My original point was that among the shades of meaning, "forsake" in English may be too srong a word for what Jesus meant.

Lamsa was a native Asyrian and native Aramaic speaker who was born over 100 years ago. He relied primarily on his personal understanding of his native Aramic language and the associated idioms. I posted his published article for consideration of his understanding of spoken Aramaic, as well as his statement of theological perspective.

I am sorry if I offended you. I did not mean to....



*Albion again here.*

I would agree that it's very likely that Yeshua in His agony was trying to quote Psalm 22.

Here it is from 'The Jerusalem Bible--The Koren Edition'.

Psalm 22: 1 & 2

"My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken me? Why art Thou so far from helping me, from the words of My loud complaint?"

I think that in this case Dave Bauscher is right on, and the word "spared" is NOT even used in this text of the P'shitta N.T., nor was it used in the Psalm!

Lamsa was WRONG.

As much as I admire Paul Younan, I think that he was wrong TOO.

Nor do I think that this was "a Midrash", or a kind of commentary, on Psalm 22: 1 & 2.

I really respect Andrew Gabriel Roth, but In my respect, I find myself in disagreement with him over this passage.

It makes sense that Messiah Yeshua was trying to Pray that particular Psalm, in His death agonies, and we must remember that this was later written down BY EYE WITNESSES, to what Messiah actually said!

This doesn't have to be an "I'm right, and your wrong" kind of deal.

This passage of the N.T. is too important for that kind of pettiness.

But I think that it IS important that we really understand what Yeshua cried out on the cross/execution stake.

And I understand why Jewish people are offended by the word "cross", historically, but I Love the Jewish people, and I mean NO offense, honestly!

I'd like to hear YOUR opinion about this important passage, if you'd like to chime in on this thread.

Shlama, Albion

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Location: British Columbia, Canada Re: Was Jesus Forsaken On The Cross? (Part 2)
?? Reply #1 on Sept 4, 2007, 10:03pm ??
The Ambrosiano Codex (Peshitta AN"K-Psalm 22:2) translates the Hebrew "azav" as "shabakh" just as the Peshitta New Testament does. (Khabouris Codex-Matthew 27:46) The prime meaning of Hebrew word "azav" means "to leave, leave behind; to forsake, abandon, desert, quit; to loosen, release, relinquish, set free, let go; to omit". (Reuben-Alcalay Hebrew-English Dictionary)
In Romans 8:32 Paul uses the phrase "lo khas" for "spared not".
As a general rule in translating any word or phrase in the Peshitta New Testament it is instructive to refer, where possible, to the original Hebrew phrase or word, as it is translated from the Hebrew TN'K to that particular word or phrase found in the Peshitta AN'K. In my opinion the Peshitta New Testament should not be translated in such a way as to deviate from the original text of the Hebrew TN"K.

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?? Reply #2 on Sept 5, 2007, 10:55pm ??
Here are two more posts on this same subject from forum(s).


Joined: 20 Nov 2003
Posts: 697
Location: New York state Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:36 am Post subject:

Shlama Akhi Otto,

Lamsa cannot set himself against all Aramaic lexical authority anymore than you or I can set aside Webster's English Dictionary and invent new entries for a certain English word. There must be precedent for a particular meaning of a word or it is misleading to list that meaning with authority. "Spare" is not a meaning given in any lexicon. "Reserve" is the closest to "spare", and strikes me as a rather mild word in the context of the agony of the crucifixion.

Lamsa must also reckon with the Hebrew and Aramaic of Psalm 22:1, since the Aramaic there is identical to that of Mark 15:34, and the Hebrew "Azab" is the cognate for "Shbaq" and has the root meaning of "cut off" (See Jastrow's Hebrew-Aramaic Dictionary).

No translation (and I have ten of them) of the Hebrew of Psalm 22:1 has ,"Why have you spared me?"- (remember the Peshitta verb "Sbaqthani" of that verse is the same as in The Peshitta NT of Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
One meaning of "Azab" is "to release", though it does not fit the context at all. Every English translator of this verse uses the English word "forsaken". The LXX has the Greek "egkatelipev" -"forsake,leave". The Latin Vulgate has dereliquisti -"you abandoned me".

There is no philological reason for translating this verse differently; Lamsa and other have chosen a theological reason for "spared me", but are ignoring the weight and authority of precedent of word usage in Hebrew and in Aramaic.

Even Lamsa translated the same Aramaic phrase differently in the NT from his OT translation in Psalms 22:1. In Matthew and Mark he has "My God,My God, for this I was spared."
In Psalms 22:1 he has, "My God,My God, why hast thou let me to live ?"
These are quite different translations of the same words! One is a statement and the other a question, yet the Aramaic words in question are identical in all three verses (Psalm,Matthew,Mark)!

This guy Lamsa is very unreliable, and should not be used as an authority in a case like this one. I believe his translation is reliable for the most part, but many of his odd ball verses are unsound, to say the least.

I don't want to come off sounding like I think I know Aramaic better than Lamsa did, because I don't. In this case and in some others, it is a matter of integrity and strict honesty, and I just don't see those qualities in him, I'm sorry to say.

The verse is what it is. It certainly is a hard saying and presents difficulties to our understanding. We should accept the hard sayings with the easy ones and proceed from there to try to understand.

We will never know what they mean if we don't know what they say.

We all must struggle at times to understand. It makes discovery of the truth so much more valuable and rewarding.

Peace and Grace,


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Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Davis, California Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:02 pm Post subject:

September 5, 2007

Dear Dave,

Thanks for you clear reply about Lamsa. I only met him once, and during the two hours that we chatted I was favorably impressed.

I don't know enough about Aramaic lexicons, nor about changes in word usage or shades of meaning. Lamsa was born in the 19th Century. Maybe his native Aramaic interpretations would differ from current definitions. I don't know. Surely there must be a wide difference in the meaning of words from the First Century until now. Isn't there room for big differences in meaning over the Centuries. I have heard it said that the original King James Bible used some words that now have opposite meaning. Personally, I can't make much sense out of Shakespeare's English, and that's much more recent than the original Aramaic text of the Peshitta. There just seems to be some room for uncertainty.

You wrote: Even Lamsa translated the same Aramaic phrase differently in the NT from his OT translation in Psalms 22:1. In Matthew and Mark he has "My God,My God, for this I was spared."
In Psalms 22:1 he has, "My God,My God, why hast thou let me to live ?"

There are two issues: (1) are these questions or statements, and (2) do they have different meanings.

As for the second issuue, I am struck by the impression that "I was spared" and "let me to live" have nearly identical meaning.

I have been reading your "The Original Aramaic Gospels in Plain English", and I like it very much. I plan to put it on my Christmas Gift list. I hope you are getting a good monetary commission for all your efforts to put this book in print.

However, I must admit I would have preferred the words "yet spared" for the word "forsaken" in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34.

Best regards,

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?? Reply #3 on Sept 8, 2007, 8:49pm ??
Andrew Gabriel Roth's latest entry;

Shlama all--

Akhi David, with all due respect, SHABAQ is rendered this way not just by Lamsa but by Paul Younan too, along with myself. I am not saying that Psalm 22:1 MUST mean something other than "forsake". I am saying the word in question in Hebrew and Aramaic does have different uses and meanings. I proved that. My position is that Y'shua is NOT QUOTING THE PSALM, but that even if he was, he did not intend the forsake meaning.

Now Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon says:

??bq vb. to leave

1 to leave, depart Com. --(a) to divorce Gal, Syr.
2 to leave s.t. left over Com. --(a) ?????????? ?? : aside from, to say nothing of (i.e., just like English 'let alone') Syr. --(b) to entrust, to put aside, leave behind OfA, Gal, PTA. --© to bequeath Gal. 3 to abandon, leave alone Com.
4 to permit, allow Com.
5 to condone, to forgive Gal, PTA, Syr.
6 to send out Syr.
7 ???????? : to shed blood Syr.
8 ???????????? : to admit Syr.
9 to admit Syr.
11 to reserve Syr.
12 to make fire Syr.
14 to let alone Gal.
15 to omit s.t. Gal.

For me this language is the same as SPARE or RESERVE, to LEAVE ASIDE. The root has the universal conccept of "setting aside" which is why it can mean "forgive", to set aside offenses, and yes to forsake the penalties, but also to spare. If you like go with the English of "My El, my El, why are you leaving (my life) aside" or "My El, my El, why are you (still) leaving me alone/reserving me?" Again, he wanted his suffering on the cross to end. He had been up there for 6 hours and proven he was ready to die and now he wanted it over with. YHWH grants that request almsot immediately. The meaning and the text are consistent. The meaning BEQUEATH is certainly that of "sparing" funds, or reserving them, for another person.

I don't think Lamsa should always be trashed automatically although I have been a fierce critic of his elsewhere. And I certainly think Paul Younan knows Aramaic well enough that his support of the reading is significant and cannot be cast aside so easily.

Just because Y'shua did not use another word is really no argument to me. He can use whatever term he likes and we cannot question that choice, but we can know what meaning contradicts his teachings directly and what does not.

In this case you can't prove SHBAQ does not mean "spare" and quite a few other sources are saying it does. Y'shua could NOT feel forsaken because he ALWAYS knew he was going to die for YHWH, and he was never divorced from that knowledge, and says so, many times.

Again we must agree to disagree.

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
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?? Reply #4 on Sept 10, 2007, 5:02pm ??
Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:30 am Post subject: Why have you spared me?

Shlama all,

Otto, Janet Magiera's translation follows the precedent of word usage and meaning for Shabaq. Lamsa, Younan and Roth do not. "Why have you left me?" sounds the same to me as "Why have you forsaken Me?".

The "spared" interpretation" lacks all authority and precedent. I reiterate my former statement. Paul Younan, George Lamsa, Andrew Roth and David Bauscher together do not constitute the Aramaic authority of documented word usage.
Word meaning is not established by fluency in a language. It is established by documenting how a word has been used for centuries, and in this case, thousands of years ago.

I'm sure that I am as fluent in English as Lamsa was in Aramaic. That does not make me an authority on word meaning in the English language, especially if I contradict all English dictionaries in defining a certain word.

The closest definition to "spare" listed in any lexicon is "reserve".

But let's say for argument's sake that "Shabaq" in Mark 15:34 and Matthew 27:46 means "spare".

"Spare" has four definitions in English:
1. To treat with mercy or leniency; refrain from killing and injuring, troubling or distressing; to save.
2. To save or free a person from something ???to spare someone trouble???.
3. To refrain from, omit, avoid using or use frugally ???to spare no effort.???
4. To give up the use or possession of; to part with or give up conveniently; ???able to spare cup of sugar.???
Webster's New World Dictionary 2nd College Edition

Romans 8:32 eliminates the first two definitions as possible meanings for the cry from the cross, as obviously our Lord was not treated with mercy or leniency;neither was he being saved or set free on the cross. "God spared not His own Son..."

To assert that God "spared" His Son in the normal sense of the word "spared" is a direct contradiction to the statement of scripture in Romans 8:32
The third definition cannot be the right one here; the only other possibility is the fourth and last definition:
4. To give up the use or possession of; to part with or give up conveniently;

There are several ways we may think about this, but it is clearly taught that God "gave up His Son' for us to deliver us from sin.

John 3:16 says it very plainly. When "He gave us His Son", He had to part with Him. We cannot give something and keep it at the same time. We must give it up or we do not give at all.

We can go on for eternity about how God is one with His Son and that they are inseparable, etc. (which I also believe), but then we have to ask ourselves "What was God willing to give up in order to save us all?

There is only one sense in which Yeshua would have asked "Why have you spared Me?" and that is in the sense, "Why have you given up possession of Me?"
Which brings us right back to the traditional translation.

Sorry, Andrew; I cannot seem to bring myself to "agree to disagree"; not just yet, at least.

BTW my translation of John 3:16 is :Quote:
For God loved the world in this way: so much that he would give up his Son, The Only One, so that everyone who trusts in him shall not be lost, but he shall have eternal life.

Romans 8:32 says : 32. Quote:
And if he did not show pity upon his son, but he handed him over for the sake of us all, how shall he not give us everything with him?

(My translation)

The NT is clear that God did not spare Yeshua and that He did give Him up and handed Him over to death.

He was therefore "not spared" but "forsaken", if Romans 8:32 and John 3:16 are correct.

But this is the God I have come to know and love. He would give up and hand over His very Soul and Life to save us, and that is exactly what he did when he gave up His Only One-Yeshua our LIFE, THE LIFE of all living.

Tishbokhta L'Abba wal'Emra wal'Rukha d'Qudsha


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Joined: 08 Sep 2003
Posts: 213
Location: Davis, California Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:29 am Post subject:

Septemner 10, 2007

Dear Dave,

The problem as I see it is not so much with the Aramaic as with the meaning in the English translation. There is a big difference to the English speaker between the words "leave" and "forsake". I think "forsake" has far-reaching and inappriopriate negative connotations.

forsake = totally abandon, renounce without recourse....

leave = go away from, forgo moving or intetfereing with, depart....

If youi think "left" and "forsaken" are equivalent to the Aramaic meaning, it would be better if you would use "left".

To me, Janet Magiera's translation of Matthew 27:46 has none of the baggage of yours.

A Letter to Albion...........

Here is the direct quote from a personal letter from The Very Reverend Michael Birnie, Chorepiscopus, from St. Thomas the Apostle Church of the East in Seattle, Washington, dated Dec. 4th, 1990, to yours truly.

I was asking about this same quote from one of Rocco Errico's (who was /is Lamsa's student) books.

Here's Father Birnie's answer to me, MINUS ALL OF THE SYRIAC QUOTES.

"In regard to the Scripture you asked about, it really should not be a matter of dispute. (eil, eil lmana shbaqtan[i]?") can only have one meaning: El (the typical form of address for God [Elleh, the equivalent in Aramaic being "Allaha"], El, for what, or "why?" (l'mana is an interrogative, and what follows must be framed as a question,) have you left me (or, abandoned me, or forgotten me, etc.)? The following is the authorative Payne-Smith "Syriac-English Dictionary" definition for the neuter interrogative pronoun "man, mana": "What? Why? Wherefore?" with the prepositional prefix "l" added: "to what end? Why? Wherefore?" It is grammatically unacceptable to turn the interrogative into a declarative or expostulatory statement.

To understand this even more clearly, one should substitute Mr. Errico's translation for the opening sentence of Psalm 22 (which Jesus was quoting). The Syriac sentence reads, "Allah[i] allah[i] l'manashbaqtan[i]," or, "My God, my God, why have you left me," and goes on, "warkheqt men[i] porqan[i] b melle dsaklwath[i]," or, "and remove from my salvation through [in, because of] the words of my folly?"

The second verse goes on to reinforce the sense of loss and abandonment: "Allah[i] eqreikh bimama la tenein[i]? Wablelya ola t'khattar li?" or, "My God, my God, I will cry to you in the day--will you not answer me?--and in the night--will you not remain with me[stand by me]?" One might ask oneself the question: How would "O sustainer to what a purpose you have left me! and removed from me... etc." sound in the context of the psalm. David is expressing an agonizing sense of loss, loneliness, and fear. Christ's identification of himself with this same sense of loss, etc., is the point of the quotation. The Christological issue,developed at length by the theologians and scholars of later generations, is that the manhood of Christ bore the full measure of grief and suffering in the crucifixion, from the sweating of drops of blood--"if it be possible, let this cup pass from me"--to the ultimate death throes. It was in his manhood that the priestly role was carried out. His Godhead was in him and with him in a quiescent or passive sense, but did not suffer or die in its nature as his bodily substance did in giving up His spirit. ["Sh'baq rokheh]," or, "his spirit departed [went away, took leave, went out, etc.]" In his manhood, he suffered the full range of human emotion associated with such a predicament (though without sin), and to suggest that he did not is to rob the crucifixion of is its power and impact and meaning.

I would suggest a great deal of care be taken--I sense that you already do this--in approaching the teachings of such as Mr. Errico. Those teachings are not subject to the discipline or correction of the Church or of recognized scholarship. There are many with a private agenda who utilize the P'shitta (which is generally unknown and inaccessible to the public) to build carreers--sometimes quite comfortable ones--and who mold the text to fit the agenda. I do not know if this applies to Mr. Errico, I do not know him and have not seen his work. Wariness is called for becuase Christology is at issue and Christology is the Great Tradition upon which orthodoxy stands or falls. ("Who do men say that I am?")

The Payne-Smith Dictionary is the authoritative Syriac-English dictionary. It is published by Oxford (the latest edition I ordered cost $130). Probably any book dealer can order it for you. I suppose that I should warn you that the entries are in the West Syrian script, which would necessitate you learning that alphabet. It is exactly the same as the classical East Syrian alphabet, but the characters are modified and the pointing is with modified Greek letters positioned in the place of the points. Insofar as speaking the language is concerned, you will not find anyone to speak it back. Modern "Assyrian" is a much later development on classical Syriac (in which the P'shitta was written) which itself is a devleopment on Aramaic, much like Spanish and Italian are developments on Latin."

(Albion again) This is all very intense and scholarly, read it two or three times to digest it all. I believe that Father Birnie is probably CORRECT in *everything* that he said here to me.

Shlama, Albion

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