Did Jesus (a.s.) Cry Out "Lamma Sabachthani" from the Cross?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

There are two mentions of Jesus (a.s.) crying out against God on the Cross:

Matthew 27:46
46 And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

46 περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων: ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι τοῦτ' ἔστιν: θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες;

46 Et circa horam nonam clamavit Jesus voce magna, dicens: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? hoc est: Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me?

Mark 15:34
34 And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

34 καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ: ελωι ελωι λεμα σαβαχθανι ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον: ὁ θεός μου ὁ θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με;

34 Et hora nona exclamavit Jesus voce magna, dicens: Eloi, eloi, lamma sabacthani? quod est interpretatum: Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me?

This is a clear allusion to the Old Testament:

Psalm 22:2
2 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Loudly I call, but my prayer cannot reach thee.

2 ὁ θεὸς ὁ θεός μου πρόσχες μοι ἵνα τί ἐγκατέλιπές με μακρὰν ἀπὸ τῆς σωτηρίας μου οἱ λόγοι τῶν παραπτωμάτων μου

2 Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti?  longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum.

The Gospels are full of allusions to the Old Testament, and narrative parallelism: “אֵלִ֣יאֵ֭לִי לָמָ֣ה עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי”, Keli, Keli, lama azavtani..  As can be seen, the authors of both Gospels are native speakers of Koine Greek, not Aramaic, or Hebrew.  This means that there is an obvious error in the word “sabachthani”, since it neither exists in Aramaic, nor Hebrew.  The root word would probably have been “שְׁבַק”, “shabaq”, which means “to leave”, making the like phrase, “lamna shabaqtani”.

Linguistics aside, I believe to be a later addition, a fabrication, in a poor attempt to create another narrative parallelism with the Old Testament.  It would have been out of character for Jesus (a.s.) to suddenly doubt God, especially for those who adhere to the theological conception of the Trinity.


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