Rabbi Dtovia Singer has a video on youtube saying the church is lying about christology.  In this video he says when Isaiah talks about Jesus’ peirced hands it is actually spun by Origen and other church fathers. The Rabbi claims the verse says that King David is like a lion surrounded by dogs with their paws upraised, and that Christian authors spun it to read His hands were pierced. The rabbi claims to know Hebrew.  What is your take on this guy?  He has a lot of videos on youtube and gets thumbs up on everything he says. He says only Origen and some other church father were fluent in Hebrew and they dealt from the bottom of the card deck to mislead us. He even goes so far as to say the verse Jesus read in the temple was a currupt translation where He says it was fulfilled in their hearing.


Rabbi Dtovia Singer is not talking about Isaiah, I assume.  He is talking about Psalm 22:16, which was written by David, not by Isaiah.  He is calling this “spin” by Origen.  I will let you decide.  Below is the Hebrew and the literal translation of the words involved:

yaday               kaari                hiqqipuni                   mereim            adat                    ketabim            sababuni                 ki          weraglay

my hands       they pierced     has enclosed me    of the wicked   the congregation    dogs         have surrounded me     for   and my feet

This does not sound like spin to me.

Now, it is true that the word kaari “they have pierced” is a Hebrew word very close to the word for lion.  In fact, some Masoretic texts have this version of the word.  The majority of Masoretic texts have the word for lion, nor for they have pierced.

However, the evidence, overall, strongly supports they have pierced.  Here is why:

1. The hebrew in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which predate the Masoretic text by nearly 1000 years have “they have pierced, and this is unmistakable.

2. The old Syriac, the Vulgate and the Ethiopic translations, all of which predate the Masoretic also have “they have pierced”

3. Most importantly of all, the Septuagint–the Greek translation by Jews 200 years before Christ also has “they have pierced.”

Therefore, the normal rules of textual criticism very strongly support the reading “They have pierced my hands and my feet.”

Besides, if the word is lion, then the passage by David really does not make sense.  This Rabbi’s translation is awkward at best.  Also, look at Psalm 22:17-18 which is a continuation of the prophecy about Jesus, mention that his bones were not broken and his garments were gambled over.

Here is a logical question:  Which is more likely, that the Jews altered the Masoretic text slightly in order to deflect the use by Christians of Psalm 22 or that Origen willfully mistranslated Psalm 22 in order to justify belief that Jesus is the Messiah?  Remember, that every single piece of evidence we have (Dead Sea Scrolls, Syriac, Vulgate, Ethiopic and Septuagint) tells us that they have pierced is the only version available in the third century AD.

It is possible that the change to the Hebrew was accidental. It is also possible that it was on purpose.  We cannot be sure, but the chronology all suggests that Origen was faithfully reading from the Hebrew.  By the way, it is also possible that he was working from the Greek Septuagint, which was the Old Testament of the early church.  If this is the case, then Origen is also not spinning the text.

So, I am sorry, but I am afraid that the one doing the spinning is not Origen, but it is Rabbi Dtovia Singer.  He clearly has a bias.  It is unfortunate that he almost certainly knows the facts I am listing above, yet he still publishes this highly biased and unjustified material.  Why?  You will have to ask him.

About the verse Jesus read in the temple, I am not sure what verse that is referring to, so can you please be more specific so I can respond?

John Oakes

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