I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hebrew Gospel of Matthew

Recently I purchased "Hebrew Gospel of Matthew" by George Howard. He presents the Hebrew text and English translation of a Hebrew version of Matthew preserved in the Jewish community and copied into "Evan Bohan" by Rabbi Shem Tob Ibn Shaprut in the 14th century. While I believe the four gospels were written originally in Hebrew (see Claude Tresmontant and Carmignac)we must be careful in accepting that this version of Matthew is the complete original primitive Hebrew text. Of course Howard does not claim this for the text- it is others who are claiming such authority for this Hebrew text. In fact Howard has done a very good job of presenting the 'Shem Tob' Matthew to a wider audience and correcting certain incorrect assumptions of past scholarship on this issue.

This version I believe is certainly based on the original text of the Hebrew Matthew but it has obviously been edited by a Jewish Christian sect in the early centuries to remove any universal elements positive towards a Gentile mission and also it seems to have a rather elevated view of John the Baptist. We also know that there were groups of Jewish Christians that did reject the other gospels and the Gentile mission and had their own version of Matthew. Obviously remnants of these Jewish Christians reassimilated back into Judaism and brought their edited Hebrew Matthew with them.

The other two versions of the Hebrew Matthew preserved in the Jewish community of Rome are known as the Munster and Du Tillet versions. The obvious puns and word connections that are made clear when the gospels are translated back into Hebrew demonstrate that Hebrew and Aramaic were the first languages the Gospels were written in and then translated into a Septuagint type Greek.

The original text was written in Hebrew and then translated into Aramaic soon after. It is probably from the Aramaic text that the Greek was based on. A possible evidence for this is the famous passage about Peter and the Rock. In the Aramaic text the rock is Kepha (kaf alef feh alef) but in the Shem Tob Hebrew text it is Eben. The Du Tillet Hebrew text also uses Kepha or kifah (kaf yod feh heh). In the Aramaic text the play on words is with the word kepha "You are Kepha and upon this kepha" whereas the play on words in the Shem Tob Hebrew version is with Eben or even (rock/stone) and evneh or ebneh ( I will build). The Shem Tob Hebrew version makes it clearer that it is on Peter that he will build his Church. That you are a Stone (she'Atah Even) and I will build upon you ( v'ani evneh alayik)my House of Prayer (beit tefilati). However caution is urged as we don't know if Jesus spoke the original phrase in Hebrew or Aramaic or which version of the Hebrew. The du Tillet Hebrew version reads You are Kifah (atah kifah)and on this kifa (ve'al hakifah hazot)I will build my community (evneh et m'kehili). The Hebrew term kifah or kipah also has the meaning of dome or covering and is the name of the dome-like head covering of the Jewish male. Perhaps Simon Peter was wearing a dome-like head covering (kipah) when Jesus spoke to him before the shrine of the demonic God Pan. Until today the successors of Peter also wear the kipah. The Aramaic reads "d'anat hu kepha veal hadei kepha evneyh l'edati". The Shem Tob and du Tillet Hebrew versions also differ on the phrase gates of hell. The Shem Tob says Gates of Gehinnom (purgatory/Hell) whereas the du Tillet says takhatiot (underworlds) and the Aramaic Sheol(Hades). As I have not seen this verse in the Munster Hebrew version I would appreciate any one who has if they could share that reading with me.

Shem Tob Our Father

Avinu, yitkadesh shimkha
Our Father may your name be sanctified
v'yitbarekh malkhutkha
may your kingdom be blessed
ratzonkha yihiyi asui bashamayim uvaaretz
your will let it be done in heaven and on earth
v'titen lakhmaynu temidit
and give our bread daily
umekhol lanu khatotenu
and forgive us our sins
kaasher anakhnu mokholim lakhotim lanu
as we forgive those who sin against us
veal tevienu liday nisayon veshomrenu mekhol rah. amen

and do not lead us into temptation and keep us from all evil. amen

du Tillet Our Father

Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadesh shimkha
tavo malkhutkha, y'aseh ratzonkha k'bashamayim
uvaaretz, usilakh lanu et khovoteynu kaasher
anakhnu mekholim l'vaali khovoteynu,
veal tevienu liday nisayon ele hatzilnu mekhol rah,
ki lakh hamalkhuta v'hagevurah ukavod,
l'olam uleolmei olamim Amen


Anonymous said...

The parable of the husbandmen in Matthew 21 makes an important point:

"But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance."—Matthew 21:38


Indeed, Matthew chapter 21 is well worth studying.

Jesus is telling us that the Sanhedrin knew EXACTLY Who they were conniving to murder, "the Son," "the heir," and why they were doing it, to steal His inheritance. This connivance overcoming Roman opposition to the execution of Jesus is, of course, corroborated in the uncensored texts of the Torah (the Torah SheBeal Peh, the "Oral Torah") at Sanhedrin 43a.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your blog title, note well: All practicing Catholics, and only practicing Catholics, are Jews. The rest are as Jesus Christ, Son of God, Messiah, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived said in Apocalypse 3:9.


Athol (Aharon Yosef) said...


Your anti-semetic rants speak for themselves.

Also by what authority do you proclaim yourself as the interpreter of the magisterium and the documents of the church.

You quote in your different posts on this blog the same old misunderstanding of the council of Florence and you elevate any statements that can be read in an antijewish manner to the status of infalliblity while ignoring the continuing infallible magisterium of the Church and Pope today.

The whole negative theology on the Jews and Judaism followed by many Catholics in the past has been recognised by the magisterium in Vatican II and in the magisterial documents since to have been a false theological path that in some ways helped lead us to the horros of the Shoah. Of course those before Vatican II may have held those interpretations in good faith but today with the further magisterial development of doctrine those who hold to such theology are not thinking with the Church.

I might add that not everything in a Ecumenical Council's documents are infallible teaching- much of it is either pastoral or disciplinary. For example it is obviously infallible doctrine when the council of Florence affirms that to believe that one needs to keep particular Jewish observances and customs to be saved is a mortal sin. I and all Catholics would adhere to this. However the pastoral meaning of that for the Copts whom the council is addressing is another reality. if we read the document out of context and in a hyper-literal way we would assume that no Catholic may be circumised under pain of mortal sin. However we know that this was not the intention of the Church as after this time the Filippino people who practiced circumcision became Catholics and continued circumcising their sons to this day. What was the difference between the Copts of that day and the Filippinos- the copts were claiming that one had to be circumcisied to be a member of the Church (thus seeming to make an observance into a requirement for salvation) whereas for the Filippino people they practiced circumcision as a initiation rite for a boy into manhood which was a cultural custom with some spiritual significance. The church at the time of Florence obviously thought that asking the Copts (who came in to union with Rome) to stop circumcising their sons would be the best pastoral policy to protect that infallible doctrine that one does not require circumcision to be saved. In another age with another situation or group the Church will adapt its pastoral policy to suit that time and place. Pastoral policies may be bad or good but they are certainly not infallible.

In recent years the Church practiced a very bad pastoral policy in regard to the Tridentine Latin Mass by almost suppressing it and many clerics persecuting those who held it dear. In time the Church has come to realise this bad pastoral approach and has sought to implement a better pastoral approach in this regard. So it is with the issues relating to Jews and Judaism and Jews in the Church.

Anonymous said...

His words are loving and saving. What a pompous, deluded, and self-worshipping ass you are to suggest that Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, Messiah is antisemitic.

Like the Prophets, Jesus had much to say about His nation.

Too bad that your racial pride finds you denying the plain words of Jesus and His Magisterium. Your willful inversion of infallible, irrevocable Magisterium on Judaism finds you following in the footsteps of not Jesus, but the Pharisees who "voided the commandments of God for the traditions of men." Mark 7:9-13

The statements of the Council of Florence define the consistent, unbroken, infallible, and unchangeable Apostolic Tradition (capital "T"), hence the Council of Florence's dogmatic definition, complete with attached anathemas for denying the dogma, is DE FIDE dogma.

Screech as much rabbinical pilpul you want, your denial puts YOU outside the Church, a heretic—AND it is a bona fide charity, a genuine Spiritual Work of Mercy* to tell you so. Otherwise you would die the eternal death in your heresy.

* The spiritual works of mercy are:

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offences willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead.


Anders Branderud said...

Diego wrote: “ but the Pharisees who "voided the commandments of God for the traditions of men." Mark 7:9-13”

A logical analysis (found here: www.netzarim.co.il by the only legitimate Netzarim (which is in Ra’anana in Israel) of the earliest manusscripts (including the logical implications of the research by Ben-Gurion Univ. Prof. of Linguistics Elisha Qimron of Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT) of “the gospel of Matthew”, implies that Ribi Yehoshua was a Perushi (Pharisee). Ribi Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth was called a Ribi and only the Perushim had Ribis. Since “the gospels” contains anti-Torah statements the logical conclusion is that Ribi Yehoshuas talmidim Netzarim never accepted “the gospels”. Therefore a reconstruction of Matityahu is needed.

Ribi Yehoshua taught in NHM 23:1-3: ”Then Yehoshua spoke to the qehilot and to his talmidim saying, ”The Sophrim and those of the Rabbinic-Perushim sect of Judaism who advocate that Halakhah must be exclusively oral sit upon the bench of Mosheh. So now, keep shomeir and do concering everything – as much as they shall tell you! Just don’t imitate their maaseh (practice, doing, making) because they say but they don’t do.”

Ribi Yehoshua said to some of the Rabbinic Perushim who advocate that Halakhah must be exclusively oral, and Sophrim from Yerushalayim, in NHM 15: “Therefore, by your regulations, you’re in contempt of the Halakhah of Eil.” He did not say that Torah or Halakhah (which must have a logical connection to Torah she-biktav in order to be valid) is not valid.

Regards, Anders Branderud

Anonymous said...

Anders, you too promote "the traditions of men" in working to "void the commandments of God."

Good luck at the Judgment Seat!

Simon L'nu said...


I'd appreciate you not hotlinking to an image on my site (simonraven.kisikew.org). Thanks.

Athol (Aharon Yosef) said...

what image are you referring to? can you describe it?

Hebrew Scholar said...

Thanks for sharing your views on the three versions of Matthew's gospel. However, these arose in Mediaeval times, and there is no real evidence that they go back further than this, other some of the early Church fathers saying that the gospels were originally written in Hebrew script. If you want an original Semitic gospel, then look no further than the Aramaic Peshitta. Aramaic, rather than Hebrew was used when a wider audience was addressed, such as the portions of Daniel and Ezra which are written in Aramaic, and the verse in Jeremiah.

Catherine said...

Throughout most of Christianity's existence, there has been the trashy "Christ-killer" accusation against the Jews, which is contradicted by some Christian writings. In the book of Acts, chapter 4, verses 27 and 28, the early believers go through a list of those involved in the crucifixion. They list both Pilate, then Herod, and then they list the GENTILES before even mentioning the Jews. Now just why are the Gentiles part of "killing Christ", but NO Christians go around and persecute Gentiles using this type of accusation, the way that Christianity has done to the Jewish people?

And then Jesus in several places says that he gave his life willingly.

Craig Wallace Williams said...