Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

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Bernard Muller
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Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:46 pm

I have been inquiring about the probability of Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew, as thought by some according to Papias:
"Matthew put together the logia in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could."
I consulted these two websites (among others):
1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Matthew. Here is one extract:
"Most scholars believe the gospel was composed between AD 80 and 90, with a range of possibility between AD 70 to 110; a pre-70 date remains a minority view. The work does not identify its author, and the early tradition attributing it to the apostle Matthew is rejected by modern scholars. He was probably a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, and familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time.Writing in a polished Semitic "synagogue Greek", he drew on the Gospel of Mark as a source, plus the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source ..."
Of course it is my position as now, but I am opened to opposite views.
2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Gospel_hypothesis

I acknowledge Matthew and Q and Mark have Aramaisms into them, but is it enough to use that for an Hebrew/Aramaic origin of these texts (in particular for Matthew)?
And do some of the variants in the early copies of (Greek) Matthew indicate a translation from Hebrew/Aramaic, according to Papias, "... and each one interpreted them as best he could ..."?

Cordially, Bernard
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Gorit Maqueda
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Gorit Maqueda » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:02 am


John2
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by John2 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:20 am

While I don't think Papias is referring to the NT Matthew, I do think the NT Matthew might have incorporated (parts of) one or more translations of the Hebrew Matthew that Papias is referring to, and I think that Papias' Hebrew Matthew is the same one that is later said to have been used by Nazarene Jewish Christians.

I also think Edwards is on to something regarding the idea that Luke also incorporated (part of) a translation of the Hebrew Matthew and that the Ebionite Matthew did as well.

So in the big picture, I see these translations that were incorporated into the NT Matthew, Luke and the Ebionite Matthew as being (at least some of) the translations of the Hebrew Matthew that Papias mentions. So it would not surprise me if (as per Neil's recent series of posts regarding this issue in the link above) at least parts of the NT Matthew were translated from a Hebrew Matthew.

And while I don't think the medieval Hebrew Matthews that exist today are preservations of the original Hebrew Matthew, I think they at least illustrate the nature of the original Hebrew Matthew in the way that Neil's posts show how translating the NT Matthew into Hebrew reveals puns and such that would only make sense if it was (in my view at least partly) written in Hebrew.

To that extent, along with George Howard's book Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, I recommend to you Nehemia Gordon's book The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus, which "presents linguistic support for Hebrew as the original language for the Gospel of Matthew."


https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-revi ... eek-jesus/





https://books.google.com/books?id=4tdEB ... ew&f=false
Last edited by John2 on Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:52 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:27 am

Interesting.
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John2
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by John2 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:42 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:27 am
Interesting. Note Steven Avery's intimate association with these ideas. https://purebibleforum.com/index.php?th ... tthew.543/ https://purebibleforum.com/index.php?th ... ticus.997/ Thanks Steve!

Other people (such as Howard and Gordon, as I mentioned) have an "intimate association with these ideas," so why do you liken me to Steven Avery? I think it's because you have a pejorative view of him (irrespective of "these ideas") and thus mean to attack "these ideas" in that manner.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:23 pm

"Most scholars believe the gospel was composed between AD 80 and 90, with a range of possibility between AD 70 to 110;
Citation needed.
a pre-70 date remains a minority view.


Citation needed.
The work does not identify its author, and the early tradition attributing it to the apostle Matthew is rejected by modern scholars.
Citation needed
He was probably a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, and familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time.
Citation needed
Writing in a polished Semitic "synagogue Greek", he drew on the Gospel of Mark as a source, plus the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source ..."
Citation needed.

See man. This is what I hate about these people. Instead of coming out saying "we have no bloody clue" they come up with these arguments and act as if they're Gospel truth and crucify anyone who speaks blaspheme against it. And of course they think this way because scholasticism is rooted in religious mentalities, where "absolute truth" was the dictum, and if you can't find they truth you can force pieces together to make it up.

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Trees of Life
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Trees of Life » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:36 pm

For the Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew case, as reasoned by William Cureton, his examination of antient works is found here:

https://books.google.com.sg/books?redir ... es&f=false and https://archive.org/details/remainsofve ... 1/mode/2up

Preface excerpts:

‹ In the preceding observations upon the text of St. Matthew, it will be seen that I have assumed that his Gospel was originally written in the Hebrew dialect, generally spoken by the Jews in Palestine at the time when the events took place of which it furnishes the narrative. I have done this upon the conviction that no fact relating to the history of the Gospels is more fully and satisfactorily established. From the days of the Apostles themselves, down to the end of the fourth century, every writer who has had occasion to refer to this matter has testified the same thing: Papias, Irenaeus, Pantaenus, Origen, Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Epiphanius, and Jerome, all with one consent affirm this. Such a chain of historical evidence appears to be amply sufficient to establish the fact, that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew dialect of that time, for the benefit of the Jews, who understood and spake that language.

A careful and critical examination of the Greek text of this Gospel will afford very strong confirmation of this. Another means of enabling us to form some opinion as to the claims of this Syriac to be considered as having retained the original words which St. Matthew himself employed will be found in the comparison of the parallel passages of the first three Evangelists. Unless we admit the verbal inspiration of the Gospels, a theory long since abandoned by all scholars and critics, which, indeed, could only be maintained by those who are entirely ignorant of the way in which the New Testament has been transmitted to our own times, and which, if persisted in, must involve very serious objections against these inspired writings, and tend to infidelity, it is impossible to account for the close and even verbal coincidence of many parallel passages in the first three Gospels upon any other ground, than that one Evangelist copied from the other, or that they all borrowed from a common source.

But even this, although it may account for the material and verbal agreement between them, gives no satisfactory explanation of the discrepancies which exist in the midst of this agreement. Among the various hypotheses which have been advanced, the only one which appears to be sufficient to explain this, and which, therefore, has been most generally adopted, is, first, that in such passages as these three Greek Gospels have matter in common, they contain translations of some original Hebrew or Aramaic document made use of in them all, and that these three translations at the first were made independently of each other.

This will account for different but synonymous Greek terms being so often employed in relating the same thing; and, secondly, that the translation which followed next in order of time had been compared with that which had been already incorporated in the preceding Gospel; and, in certain cases where it was deemed proper, had been made to conform with it, even to the employment of the same terms. This will account also for the verbal identity wherever it occurs. If we, therefore, take this view of the matter, we may easily perceive how it came to pass that the same thing has been related by the separate Evangelists, sometimes in the very same words, and at others in different but synonymous terms. It does not at all belong to my present purpose to enter upon the question as to the extent of the original Aramaic document which the other two Evangelists used : whether it was the entire Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew himself, or some shorter history of the acts and sayings of the Lord Jesus Christ already existing in that language when he wrote, which he also used as well as the other Evangelists, and incorporated into his own narrative.*

* The reader will find what he may wish to know on this head in the works already cited of the able and really learned English bishop, Dr. Herbert Marsh, " Dissertation on the Origin and Composition of the Three First Canonical Gospels, and Illustration of the Hypothesis proposed in the Dissertation."

The object which I have now in hand is simply to apply this Syriac text as a test to the alleged fact, that certain parallel passages in the three Greek Gospels are translations from an Aramaic original. › William Cureton.
Last edited by Trees of Life on Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:52 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:03 pm

Sorry guys. I am now in a hospital in pain and won't be able to answer for a while.

Cordially, Bernard
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:49 pm

For the dating of the Synoptics, consult Peter Kirby web site http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
Please note that most Christians do not accept a dating after 70 CE, but rather no later than 65 CE.
I rarely follow the scholars near-consensus (such as Jesus was a teacher, itinerant, using parables, and that his disciples became Christians believing in the Resurrection & future resurrections and founded the church of Jerusalem). But all of that is thoroughly explained (with many pieces of evidence) on my website.
The same apply for the dating of the gospels, which I studied and concluded (from 70 to 100 CE), regardless of the scholars near-consensus.
Read http://historical-jesus.info/gospels.html and http://historical-jesus.info/appd.html

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: Matthew's gospel first written in Hebrew?

Post by Stuart » Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:22 pm

There is a simpler solution. Those citing Papias had no clue about the original language, and frankly didn't care. Their objective was to justify the binding order of the four gospels with Matthew first, before Mark. By saying he wrote in Hebrew helped give priority to Matthew, since it dovetailed into the orthodox factions claim of Jewish origin (fought by some of the heterodox). Hebrew was a badge of authenticity, and we see it in the Aramaic phrases in the Gospels, which usually are followed by a "which translated means", showing they were added for effect.

Matthew was the preferred Gospel since it best fit the theology of the orthodoxy. Mark lacked infancy and resurrection stories. John was the other competitor, but even in the Western order it came 2nd, not first.

There is no evidence that Matthew wrote in Hebrew. quite the contrary, the evidence is pretty strong for an underlying Greek source. Otherwise how does one explain the misunderstanding of Psalms 110:1 in Matthew 22:44. Surely a Hebrew speaker would have been scandalized by that.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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