Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
This text of Scripture has been misunderstood and mistranslated in virtually all English Bible translations.
The translations we trust are faulty here, probably because of a built-in but unrecognized doctrinal bias in favor of a very mistaken Penal Satisfaction theory of the Atonement.
The more I study the Greek text with the help of the Lavender Translation and my shelves of Greek grammars, the more I come to see that we are almost hopelessly entangled in doctrinal error based on a tradition that takes us back not to the Bible, but to Anselm, who wrote a volume attempting to answer the question “Why did Christ have to die?”
This systematic error makes it much more difficult to present the Gospel in its fullness here at home and on the mission field.
Case in point: on a Facebook website discussion in a group called “Christianity and Islam Friendly Debate” a Muslim from Bauchi, Nigeria, posted this question:
“If Jesus died willingly and deliberately for the sins of others, why he prayed to God to escape him from dead?”
In other words, “Why did Jesus pray to God to keep him from dying?” is what I think the poster might have meant. It is hard to tell.
I answered, “Your question is not clear to me. Jesus prayed, ‘If it be possible.’ Jesus prayed ‘if it be thy will.’ If we consider John 10:18 and context and Hebrews 12:1, 2 we find Jesus voluntarily gave Himself for us, and did so with joy.”
In a following comment, the poster asks “How do one imagine that God will cry to another God for help?” with a citation of Mark 15:34 and a reference to Matthew 27:46.
He further comments, “I think no Christian in his sense could believe that his God was crying for help from another God. If you are one of those that believe Jesus as God you better change your mind before you die.”
I commented: “It would help very much if you understood the New Testament more accurately.”
In reply, the poster said to me, “empty words the Bible says let no one to deceive you with empty words.”
Just now, the Muslim responded with a single word: “lier.”
I replied, “That is hardly an acceptable reply in a discussion or debate. I documented my assertions with citations both from scholarly resources about Greek grammar, citing Moulton, and citations from the Bible itself. If “lier” is your best response, you have lost the debate!