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
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
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
Posted by Catholic Jew at 11:53 am