Another King James Bible Believer


Psalms 22:16 "They pierced my hands and my feet"

Psalms 22:16 "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: THEY PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET."

This piercing of the hands and feet never occurred to king David, but was prophetic of Christ on the cross.

Charles Spurgeon comments: "They pierced my hands and my feet. This can by no means refer to David, or to any one but Jesus of Nazareth, the once crucified but now exalted Son of God. Pause, dear reader, and view the wounds of thy Redeemer."

It appears that many Hebrew manuscripts have deliberately been corrupted in this place, since it so clearly speaks of the crucifixion of the Son of God. Most Jewish translations have a nonsensical reading in this place. Instead of "they pierced my hands and my feet", they say: " LIKE A LION, my hands and my feet."

This is also the reading found in the Jehovah Witness New World Translation. It may surprise some to hear that Daniel Wallace, of Dallas Theological Seminary, in his idiosyncratic (i.e. goofy and weird) NET version, also makes up a similar reading, saying: "LIKE A LION THEY PIN my hands and feet."

However there are some Hebrew manuscripts, including the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls, that read "they PIERCED my hands and my feet".  

Also reading "the PIERCED my hands and my feet" are the so called Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and the ancient Ethiopic and Arabic versions. 

The NIV reads like the KJB in this place and in their footnote they tell us that so too do "some manuscripts of the Masoretic Texts, the LXX and the Syriac." In their book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, translated by Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint and Eugene Ulrich, on page 519 they tell us that the Hebrew Psalms scroll found at Hahal Hever (abbreviated 5/6HevPs) reads: "THEY HAVE PIERCED my hands and my feet".


"THEY PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET" is also the reading of the alleged Greek Septuagint, Lamsa's 1936 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, and almost all English and foreign translations, including Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, The Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, Darby 1890, Youngs 1898, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV 1973, RV 1885, ASV 1901, ESV 2001-2016 editions, the Holman Standard 2003, Names of God Version 2011, The Voice 2012 and the Jubilee Bible 2010.

Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - “For the vicious have surrounded me, the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me; THEY HAVE PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET.”

The 2011 Orthodox Jewish Bible also reads this way, saying: "For kelavim have surrounded me; the Adat Mere’im (congregation of evil men) have enclosed me; ka’aru yadai v’ragelai (THEY PIERCED my hands and my feet; see Isa 53:5; Zech 12:10 and medieval Hebrew Scripture manuscripts as well as the Targum HaShivim).

And The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 likewise reads "THEY PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET."


The Jewish Virtual Library Complete Tanach 1994 - “they PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET.”

Another Jewish translation, called the Ancient Roots Translation of 2008,  also reads  "they pierced my hands and my feet" 


You can see it here -  


Other Bibles that read "they PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET" are The Wellbeloved Scriptures 1862, The Living Bible 1971, The Word of Yah 1993, The Koster Scriptures 1998, God's First Truth 1999, Sacred Scriptures Family of Yah 2001, Green's Literal 2005, The Bond Slave Version 2009, The Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The New European Version 2010, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, The Conservative Bible 2011, The World English Bible 2012, the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2007 (Mebust) - "they PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET".  

Foreign Language Bibles


Foreign language bible that also read "they PIERCED my hands and my feet" are the Spanish Reina Valera of 1569, 1602, 1909 and 1960 and the Reina Valera Gómez of 2010 - "Horadaron mis manos y mis pies", the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1996 and  Louis Segond of 2007 - "ils ont percé mes mains et mes pieds", the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 and La Nuova Riveduta of 2006 - "mi hanno forato le mani e i piedi." and the Portuguese Almeida Actualizada - "transpassaram-me as mãos e os pés.

The ESV of 2011 reads: "they have PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET." Then it footnotes that this is the reading of  "Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac, but that most Hebrew mss. read "like a lion my hands and my feet"

Psalms 22:16 -


John Calvin goes with “they pierced my hands and my feet” and specifically says there are “strong grounds for conjecturing that this passage has been fraudulently corrupted by the Jews.”

Adam Clarke also goes with “they pierced my hands and my feet” and comments: “But there is a various reading here which is of great importance. Instead of caaru, they pierced, which is what is called the kethib, or marginal reading, and which our translators have followed; the keri or textual reading is caari, as a lion. In support of each reading there are both MSS. and eminent critics...the Syriac, Vulgate, Septuagint, AEthiopic, and Arabic read, "they pierced or digged;" and in the Anglo-Saxon the words are, {Anglo-Saxon}: "They dalve (digged) hands mine, and feet mine." 

Adam Clarke continues: “The Complutensian Polyglot has כארו caaru, they digged or pierced, in the text; for which it gives כרה carah, to cut, dig, or penetrate, in the margin, as the root whence כארו is derived. But the Polyglots of Potken, Antwerp, Paris. and London, have כארי caari in the text; and כארו caaru is referred to in the margin; and this is the case with the most correct Hebrew Bibles. The whole difference here lies between י yod and ו vau . which might easily be mistaken for each other; the former making like a lion; the latter, they pierced. The latter is to me most evidently the true reading.”

John Gill goes with “they pierced my hands and my feet” and comments: “In this clause there is a various reading; in some copies in the margin it is, "as a lion my hands and my feet", but in the text, "they have dug" or "pierced my hands and my feet"...The modern Jews are for retaining the marginal reading, though without any good is written "they pierced"; and Ben Chayim confirms this reading, and says he found it so written in some correct copies, and in the margin; and so it is written in several manuscripts; and which is confirmed by the Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Greek, and Vulgate Latin versions; in which it is rendered, "they dug my hands and my feet" 

The learned John Owen (161-1683) discussed how the corruption might have occurred back around 1660.

"But that which makes the greatest cry at present is the corruption of Psalm 22:17, where, instead of "ka'aroo", which the LXX. translated "Thruxan", "They digged" or "pierced," - that is, "my hands and feet," - the present Judaical copies, as the Antwerp Bibles also, read "ka'ree", "as a lion," so depraving the prophecy of our Savior's suffering, "They digged (or pierced) my hands and my feet," leaving it no sense at all; "As a lion my hands and my feet."

Owen covers the views of Simeon de Muys, Johannes Isaac to Lindanus, Buxtorf with agreement from Genebrard, Pagninus, Vatablus, Mercer, Rivet, etc., Voetius, Camets and Pococke. Not only were these gentlemen closer to the time of the Masoretic text printings, they were accomplished Hebraists.


This was all well known even at the time of the AV.


However we continue to have a group of looney tune versions like the NRSV of 1989 which actually reads: "My hands and my feet ARE SHRIVELED." Then in a footnote, the NRSV tells us that the Hebrew reading is uncertain.



Here is a 12 minute video done by Jewish, Hebrew speaking Christians who explain Psalms 22 and discuss the textual change from “they pierced my hands and my feet” to “a lion my hands and feet”. It begins at the 6 minute mark.

Some odd ball translations  


The Bible in Basic English - "they MADE WOUNDS IN my hands and feet."

The New Life Bible 1969 - "they have CUT THROUGH my hands and feet."

Dan Wallace and company's NET version - "like a lion THEY PIN my hands and my feet."

The Ancient Roots Translinear Bible 2006 has "TO BURROW MY HANDS AND MY FEET."

The Context Group Version 2007 - "they surround me like a lion threatening to TEAR ME TO PIECES"

The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 - "they HAVE DUG my hands and my feet"


International Standard Version 2014 - "they GOUGED my hands and feet."


Modern English Version 2014 - "like a lion they PIN my hands and my feet."

New English Bible 1970 - "they have HACKED OFF my hands and my feet."

Douay 1950- "they have DUG my hands and my feet."

Jerusalem Bible 1968 - "they TIE my hands and my feet"

New Jerusalem Bible 1985 - "as if to HACK OFF my hands and my feet"

Today's English Version (put out by the United Bible Society) 1992 "they TEAR AT my hands and my feet."

New Life Version 1997 - "They HAVE CUT THROUGH my hands and my feet."

Contemporary English Version 1995 (put out by the American Bible Society) - "TEARING AT my hands and my feet."

The Message 2002- "They PIN ME DOWN hand and foot and lock me in a cage."

The Common English Bible 2011 (another critical text version complete with the Apocryphal books) follows the wrong reading and paraphrases it as: "Dogs surround me; a pack of evil people circle me LIKE A LION --OH, MY POOR HANDS AND FEET!"

New Century Version 1991 (put out by Thomas Nelson, Inc.) - "THEY HAVE BITTEN my ARMS and MY LEG."!!!

The Catholic Connection

In typical fashion, the Catholic Versions are all over the board. The Douay-Rheims of 1582 and the Douay 1950 read: "THEY HAVE DUG my hands and feet."  

Then the 1968 Jerusalem bible went with "THEY TIE ME hand and foot". But the 1970 St. Joseph NAB actually got it right with "THEY PIERCED my hands and my feet".  

But then the 1985 New Jerusalem Bible changed this to "a gang of villains is closing in on me AS IF TO HACK OFF my hands and my feet." And now the 2009 The Sacred Bible Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it goes back to "THEY PIERCED my hands and feet."


Let's see..."DUG my hands and feet", or "TIE my hands and feet", or "HACKED OFF my hands and feet" or "they PIERCED my hands and feet"? 


Yep, pretty much sound like the old "Yea, hath God said?" syndrome to me.

Get yourself the King James Bible and stick to it. You will never go wrong.

Will Kinney

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