The last words of Jesus on the cross are very confusing. First, there are four different versions of the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This raises major questions about the accuracy of recording a Holy Book. These verses are part of a Christian doctrine of divine inspiration. If God had inspired these four gospel writers, why did God inspire them to record different words? These verses are not just different words, but totally different concepts. It seems that the closest statement should be the one that Jesus said in his own Aramaic language:
"Jesus cried with aloud voice saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?
That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46, & Mark 15:34, though it is Eloi instead of Eli in Mark.) Which means God, God, why have you abandoned me?
It is hard to believe that Jesus said that God abandoned him. There are three possibilities:
- He said that. Then, why did the son of God think that his father abandoned him? Jesus told the disciples that he would die and rise from the dead in three days. He knew that he would die and be resurrected, so how can that be called abandonment? If he is the son of God that came to save humanity with his blood, so how can that be called abandonment? If he knew his mission in life, so how can that be called abandonment? This statement simply contradicts all the New Testament. Many Christian scholars have the same trouble justifying this statement.
- He did not say that. This means that Matthew and Mark were not accurate, and God did not inspire the Gospels, because God would not allow any inaccuracies.
- The man on the cross was not Jesus! This may seem at first sight as an unreasonable idea. But if we know that the same sentence, word for word, exists in the songs of David, Psalm 22.1, one may be tempted to suggest that the man on the Cross was a Jew asking God for help from his Old Testament.
It is interesting to note that Christian theologians introduced a branch called Apologetics to provide answers to criticisms against Christian beliefs. Apologetics started early in Christian history to resolve many contradictions in the New Testament. It is no secret that the word Apologetics came from the Latin word "apology", and the Greek origin "Logos." Some apologists suggest that Jesus said all the above versions. This is in spite of the fact that no single Gospel included all the four versions. Analyzing the Apologetics reasoning of the above four versions of Jesus′ last word does not present a satisfactory argument. Also, recent Apologetics advocates that historical and archeological evidences support early Christian history. That is a fair statement. However, historical and archeological evidences support the historical Jesus only, and cannot be extended to support the Christian belief about the nature of Jesus. In the New Testament, Jesus always presented himself as the "son of man." He never said that he was the son of god. Forty years later, Paul made him the "Son of God," and in the first Ecumenical Council of Churches, 325 AD, Athanasius made Jesus of the same Divine "substance" as that of God.