What is it about?

This essay takes another look at Psalm 22, especially verses 9-11, as Christian Scripture. By looking again at the language with more sensitivity to the birth images there, we discover the greater experience of pain the Psalmist communicates. It is on this pain that Jesus specifically draws during his 'Cry of Dereliction' on the Cross. Seeing the pain anew, we can better appreciate Jesus' call to fellow sufferers.

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Why is it important?

This essay provides a new translation of Psalm 22:10b. It also counters a tendency in Christian scholarship to only think about the parts of Psalm 22 to which the Gospels allude. Finally, it supports (but does not fully engage) theological research on theodicy that suggests a distinction between phenomenological and ontological suffering and evil, one that is remarkably paralleled here in the Christology involved in the Cry of Dereliction. In that light, this reading suggests the biblical narrative of the Cross supports a phenomenological emphasis without admitting an ontological reality to suffering and evil.


I hope this essay helps deepen our appreciation of both Psalm 22 and the Cross, especially to see the Cry of Dereliction anew, as an invitation to sufferers.

Jonathan Parker
Berry College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: ‘My Mother, My God,’ ‘Why have you forsaken me?’: An Exegetical Note on Psalm 22 as Christian Scripture, The Expository Times, October 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0014524619883200.
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