Did It Really Please The Lord To Crush Jesus?

Did It Really Please The Lord To Crush Jesus? August 6, 2020

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you already know by now that a title like this one is probably answered by a resounding “No”, but just in case you’re new here, let me go ahead and make it abundantly clear: God was NOT pleased to crush His Son on the cross.

Now, you probably wonder how I can say this since we all remember a very famous passage of scripture from Isaiah that seems to pretty much slam dunk my claim into oblivion:

“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” [Isaiah 53:10]

See that? You’re wrong, Keith! Wrong, wrong, WRONG!

Well…not really.

See, that passage above [which is what most modern English translation of the Bible say in this verse], isn’t really the most reliable or accurate version of that text.

How do I know?

Well, because [for some strange reason] most modern English translations of the Old Testament are from the Masoretic Text, which is about 1,000 years NEWER than the version of the Old Testament scriptures that Jesus referred to.

Yes. Jesus read the Old Testament scriptures from the Septuagint text.

What’s the Septuagint, you ask?

Well, that’s the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures that everyone in the First Century read out of.

This is the version that Jesus quoted from, and the version that Paul, Peter, James and John quote from [and all the Gospel writers, too].

How do we know this? Well, because if you ever find yourself reading along in the Gospels or the book of Acts or even some of Paul’s epistles, you may run across a quotation from Isaiah, or Zechariah, or Jeremiah, or the Psalms, and when you do what you’ll read there is a quote from the Septuagint [not the Masoretic text].

Without getting into the convoluted historical reasons why we ended up inheriting the far inferior Masoretic texts for our English translations rather than the greatly superior Septuagint text, let’s just take a look at the major differences between the “new and improved” Masoretic version versus the “older and more reliable” Septuagint version of our passage in Isaiah.

MASORETIC ISAIAH 53:10

“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” [Isaiah 53:10]

SEPTUAGINT ISAIAH 53:10

“The Lord is willing to cleanse him of the injury. If you make a sin offering, our soul will see long-lived offspring, and the Lord is willing to remove him from the difficulty of his soul.”

Wait a minute…did you see that?

Two huge changes were made:

First, it’s not “the Lord” who does the crushing. It’s actually the Lord who “is willing to cleanse [or to heal]” the Messiah.

Secondly, it’s not “the Lord” who “makes his life an offering for sin.” It’s actually “you” [and I] who “make [him] an offering for sin.”

That means that the older, more reliable version of this text actually tells us that we did the crushing and God did the healing. It also doesn’t say that it was God who made the Messiah an offering for our sins. That was added much later. [Like, a THOUSAND YEARS later].

Maybe we should take some time to at least mention that the Masoretic text was created [read “modified”] by the Jewish Rabbis much later as a reaction to the rise of the Christian sect. In other words, there was an obvious and not-so-subtle attempt to scrub references from the Old Testament scriptures that might seem to support the early Christian religion centered around Jesus as the Messiah.

So, just to make my point: God was NOT “pleased to crush him [Jesus]” on the cross. That’s a very, very bad and inaccurate translation of what the older and more accurate Septuagint version clarifies as being about God’s pleasure to heal him after we had offered Jesus as an offering for our own sins.

There are a few other radically different examples of how the Septuagint contrasts with the Masoretic text. Wanna see?

Here goes:

MASORETIC: “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.” [Isaiah 53:4]

SEPTUAGINT: “This one carries our sins and suffers pain for us, and we regarded him as one who is in difficulty, misfortune, and affliction. [Isaiah 53:4]

Whoa! Big difference here. In the version of Isaiah read and quoted by Jesus it says that the Messiah was regarded as one who is in difficulty, misfortune and affliction.

Later, the Jewish scribes edited the text to suggest that the Messiah was “…punished by God…”

Yowza.

Ready for another shocker? Try this:

MASORETIC:

“The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.” [Exodus 15:3]

SEPTUAGINT:

“The Lord who shatters wars, the Lord is his name.” [Exodus 15:3]

So…is God a warrior as the more modern text says, OR is God the one who “shatters wars” as the original version says?

Want to see a few more startling differences between the Masoretic and the Septuagint?

How about these:

In Romans 9:33, Paul quotes Isaiah 28:16 from the Septuagint which refers to Jesus as the cornerstone which God has placed in Zion, saying “whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” HOWEVER, in the Masoretic text the stone is not a person in whom one should trust but a promise from God that, if one believes in the promise, “…will not panic.”

In Romans 10:15, when Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7 from the Septuagint it actually proclaims “the good news” [or “gospel”] message. BUT, in the Masoretic text it does NOT announce good news or gospel, but merely “peace.”

In Romans 10:20, Paul reads from the Septuagint version of Isaiah 65:1-2 and quotes that “…God is found by people who did not look for Him.” This is an obvious reference to the Gentiles. HOWEVER, in the Masoretic text it was changed to say that God is ready for Israel to find Him, with no mention of the Gentiles.

In Acts 15:16-18, James [the brother of Jesus] quotes from Amos 9:11-12. This quote is from the Septuagint and freely welcomes other nations to seek the Lord. HOWEVER, the Masoretic text changes that to say that the house of David (or the House of Israel) will possess the nations, which completely undermines the meaning of the point that James is trying to make.

In Romans 10:21, Paul once again quotes from the Septuagint version of Isaiah 11:10 which makes reference to “the One who rises to rule.” HOWEVER, in the Masoretic text these words have been removed entirely.

In the short epistle of 1 Peter we find the most Old Testament references per verse [from the Septuagint] than in any other New Testament book – the bulk of which from Psalm 33. HOWEVER, not a single one of these references in 1 Peter match the Masoretic text of the same passage.

That’s the short list.

Bottom line: You really owe it to yourself to go out and find a copy of the Septuagint text of the Old Testament. It’s not only 1,000 years older than the version you currently own, it’s also the version of the Old Testament used by Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John and the early Christian Church.

I don’t know about you, but if it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Starting on Monday, August 10 I’ll be leading a 3-week online course – Jesus Unbound: Looking At The Bible Through The Lens of Christ.

Learn more and Register HERE:

Keith Giles and his wife, Wendy, work with Peace Catalyst International to help build relationships between Christians and Muslims in El Paso, TX.  Keith was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church over a decade ago to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today he is the author of several best-selling books, including Jesus Undefeated: Condemning the False Doctrine of Eternal Torment” which is available now on Amazon.

 

 

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