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Library Resources

Shem-Tob Manuscripts

The University of Leiden in the Netherlands has a complete copy of one of the revised editions of his original work from 1584. This work is described as “a discussion on the articles of Christian belief. The thirteenth book, exhibited here (incorrectly called the twelfth book) is a translation and a critique on the Gospels, starting with Matthew” (University of Leiden Bible Collection http://ub.leidenuniv.nl/bc/

tentoonstelling/Judaica/object7.htm accessed 15 July, 2005

Hebrew Mss at Cambridge described at page 480

See also "Hebrew Matthew Project" - collection of Shem-Tob mss.

Why Ignored Until Now?

NCCRG.Org explains:

The language is very much 1st century Hebrew, now...there are some translation corrections from later centuries in the manuscript, but these are very obvious due to the striking language change, and so, we are able to tell quite well how the origional text reads even in these cases.  The aritcle I have is from Bible Review, Winter 1986, [actually, over a year now since the discovery], and it was found amongst the writings of the 14th century Hebrew treatise written by Rabbi Shem-Tob ben Shaprut, called Even Bohan, the Touchstone. Written in 1380, revised in 1385-1400+.  The reason it was overlooked for so long, as it was always assumed to be a 14th century Hebrew translation of Matthew untill looked at closely in the last couple of years. And also because in 1690, Richard Simon in Histoire Critique des Versions du Nouveau Testament, [Rotterdam R.Leers, 1690, p.231] mistakenly identified the Hewbrew Matthew in Shem-Tob's work with the Hebrew Matthew in Munster and du Tillet.  So, was ignored till of late. http://nccg.org/shem_tov/MATTINTR.txt

Author of Polemic That Includes Shem-Tob

Shem-Tov ben Joseph ibn Falaquera (ca. 1225–1295) bio at  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/falaquera/

Authentic Original?


Ministry of Rev. Ron Jones, The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew - website dedicated to topic

Sir William Smith, ed., Dictionary of Christian Biography (1917) Vol. 2  at 709-710 "The Gospel of the Hebrews...was reckoned by many according to Eusebius (H.E. iii, 25) among the Homologumena of the New Testament but was placed in the Antilogumena by Eusebius himself and in the stichmetry of Nicephorus. It owes the high honor in which it was once held to the fact that it was almost universally regarded in the first centuries as the Hebrew original of our canonical gospel of Matthew  (Hieronymn in Matt xii 13; contra Pelagian iii, 1, cf. Catal vir illustr 3. This opinion was transmitted by the Jewish Christians or Ebionites among whom the title went by the Gospel of St. Matthew....Papias is an early witness for St. Matthew having written in Hebrew (ap. Eusebius iii, 39), and the same tradition is repeated by Irenaeus (Haer. iii, 1, 1), Paentanus ap. ...."

Stichometry of Nicephorus (9th Century). The Hebrew Matthew existed into the 9th Century. This is when the Patriarch of Constantinople, Nicephorus, did a total of the lines of the Hebrew Matthew, and found it 300 lines shorter than the canonical Gospel of Matthew. This was part of a project known as the Stichometry of Nicephorus -- a project to count the lines of all books of the Bible. See this link.

Lynn Boughton sympathizes Shem-Tob is very early in Tyndale Bulletin (word doc)

Wilhelm Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and related writings (Westminster John Knox Press, 1991) at 140 - discusses original patristic commentary on the Gospel Acc. to the Hebrews.


"Hebrew Gospel of Matthew," Wikipedia

Howard, The Hebrew Matthew (books.google.com with preview)

Howard, Reply to Petersen

Horbury, "The Hebrew Text in Shaprut's Shem Tob....," A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on St. Matthew's Gospel (1997) at 729. Good summary of Shaprut's work and Howard's publication of it. Horbury mentions 269246 for Matthew 1:1 to 23:33 and Jewish Theological Seminary of America M.S. 2426 for the rest of the gospel. Id., at 730. Horbury admits it is possible Howard is correct the original substratum of our Greek text was a Hebrew original, but he posits a more "likely" explanation. He believes there is an underlying Latin origin.

Lange, The Life of the Lord Jesus - brings out all the testimony of early church commentators that there was a Hebrew Matthew original. Lange at 143 points out that quotes of the OT inserted by Matthew are all original Hebrew-OT, but quotes of Jesus are in LXX. Lange at 144 agrees we must admit that the Greek Matthew is a translation, and thus permit belief of slight emandations of the text due to translation. Lange at 145 notes that Westcott in his Introduction (NT) collected all the sayings from the Hebrew Gospel.

Higginson, The Spirit of the Bible (1839) -at 261 Greek translator of Matthew used Hebrew OT except (a) when Mark wrote on same topic, in which case Mark's version was used (indicating Greek Matthew post-dates Mark), and only when Mark not have an item in common, translator borrowed from Luke.

Fraser's Magazine --at 58 in one instance Hebrew Matthew as quoted in Patristic readings "gave a right reading" which had "perplexed orthodox" doctors of church -- namely when Jesus refers to Zachariah the Son of Barachiah. But the Ebionite Hebrew Matthew mentions Zachariah son of Jehoidah which is found in the OT.

Dillinger, - carefully details Jerome's words, and shows he speaks only of one original Hebrew instead of an Aramaic and Hebrew. Jerome said the Hebrew Matthew only quotes the Hebrew version of the OT rather than the Septuagint.

Gibbon, Rise and Fall -- Hebrew Matthew preserved original teachings but "unaccountably" lost -- 778

Fulke, A Defense of the sincere and true translations of the NT -- at 50 discusses Jerome's statement that Matthew in Hebrew version never follows LXX, and in particular the Hebrew is the source of 2 quotes not found in the LXX.

The Oldest Gospel (1870) by Matthew (an attempt to find sections in the Greek NT version)

Tillet, An old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew's Gospel (1927) - no google preview

Dictionary of the Bible by Smith - St. Matthew originally written in Hebrew

Arthur Carr, Gospel of Matthew - evidence written in Hebrew

"Matthew," Catholic Encylopedia - affirms written in Hebrew, and Jerome used to clear up interpretation

Kitto, A Cyclopedia - argues against that we have a mere translation

Alexander Roberts, Discussions - reveals where our Greek Matthew renders Septuagint and sometimes not -- with citations. Roberts thinks this proves not a translation but inconclusive

Cambridge Bible - it shows the Septuagint is only used when it lines up with other gospels, but when no parallel, the quotes follow the Hebrew version of texts.

France, Gospel According to Matthew - makes similar comment that Septuagint is used in Greek Matthew used only when it matches Mark. Otherwise, the Hebrew original is in the Greek NT.

Bloomfield, He Kaine -- Greek Matthew has many marks of being a translation

Fallows, The popular encyclopedia - cites critics of Papias' claim to a Hebrew Matthew

Adam Clarke, The Holy Bible (1825) - history favors a Hebrew original

Butler, Lives of Primitive Fathers - Jesus spoke Hebrew, not Greek, and all the early 'fathers' said Matthew was written in Hebrew. Absurd opinion of some that Greek is the original.

The Edinburgh Review - Justin Martyr quotes 5 x the Hebrew Gospel. Close affinity to our gospel, but with a few interesting twists. These 5 quotes are not often mentioned elsewhere The "Variations are so trivial and the verbal identities so striking" that only prejudiced deny the relationship. At page 267, the review covers in great detail the variations. One interesting variant has "be ye merciful even as your father in heaven is merciful."

Edward Gibbon, History of Christianity at 185 - says Eusebius affirms 6x existence of Hebrew Matthew, and all the early 'fathers mention.' Papias defended.

Seisenberg, Practical Handbook -- says Eusebius dates Matthew to 41 AD, and was before Matthew went and preached in other lands

Lardner, Works of Nathanial Lardner - Papias's note that the Hebrew Matthew was interpreted as everyone was able implies there was no Greek NT translation for some time

Horne, An Introduction to Holy Scripture - the Ebionites did not have the first 2 chapters that appeared in the Greek NT, but the Nazarenes did, including the virgin birth. [I believe Horne misreads Epiphanius, and there were first to chapters, but missing certain parts.]

Proceedings of Liverpool -- not suprising that Hebrew Matthew lost when Josephus's works, originally written in Hebrew, also are all lost. Because many suppose a translation cannot be inspired, many resist accepting fact of a Hebrew original

Penny Encyclopedia - "Gospel of Matthew" (1839)

Smith, Dr. William Smyth's Dictionary - at 3393 - says in 12th Century Syrian church they claimed a Syriac version translated from a Hebrew version of Matthew. Explains the Curetonian Syriac gospels are closer to original Hebrew and were translations of the Hebrew original. (Henry Harmon claimed these were translations of a Greek original. See this link.)

The Syriac version was translated into English in 1904 -- as Evangelion Da-mepharreshe -- see books.google.com at this link. Syriac Matthew is at this link - ch. 3,

Hilgenfeld in 1866 though there was an Hebrew original underlying Greek -- See 2009 work Gospel According to the Hebrews at 2.

E.B. Nicholson, Gospel According to the Hebrews (1879) - 14 fn. says Epiphanius known for being destitute of logical power and dishonest in disputing heretics.

Baeda in 5th Century thought it improper to view as apocryphal the Gospel According to the Hebrews, but instead an 'ecclesiastical historical document' worthy of consideration:

Baeda at the beginning of the eighth century, does not seem to have known any more of this Gospel than what he learnt from Jerome. After speaking of Apocryphal Gospels, he says ' Here it must be noted that the Gospel according to the Hebrews, as it is called, is not to be reckoned among apocryphal but among ecclesiastical histories : for it seemed good even to the very translator of Holy Scripture, Jerome, to use very many evidences from it, and to translate it into the Latin and Greek language.' §§ The words ecclesiastical and histories are doubtless borrowed from our last passage of Jerome. E.B. Nicholson, The Gospel according to the Hebrews (1879) at 23.]

Todd, The Gospel according to the Hebrews (1933) - no preview

Howard's Texts: 1. The Gospel of Matthew acc to a Primitive Hebrew Text - no preview

George Howard, The Textual Nature of the Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew Journal of Biblical Literature (The Society of Biblical Literature) Vol. 108, No. 2 (Summer, 1989) at 239-257 - Jstor (purchase $14)

Helmut Koester, The Ancient Christian Gospels (1990) at 316 says it is "certain" there was no Hebrew Matthew because of the "Greek literary style of the Gospel of Matthew and its use of Greek sources (Mark and Q)." But Koester is circular, for those views were arrived at without knowledge of the Hebrew Matthew which shows the Hebrew idiom underlying the Greek text and proves why Mark did not have the Sermon on the Mount -- he could not read Hebrew -- destroying the Marcan priority claim that did not factor in an original Hebrew version of Matthew.

Variant list in Wikipedia from patristic references to Gospel of the Nazarenes. See http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Nazaraeans

On the appearance 21 times in the Shem Tob of Yahweh - referenced as "the Name" -- see Banak's article at this link.

Matthew in Hebrew by Toldot -- Spanish rendered in English via google

Lataster, Was the New Testament Really Written in Greek? (2009)

Throckmorton, Hebrew Matthew citations in Gospel Parallels

Online Truth - mentions Panteus brought gospel to India in Hebrew form. It includes this excellent synopsis of Shem Tob (which has much in common with Horbury's scholarly article cited above):

Notes on Shem Tov's Hebrew Matthew

The 14th century polemical treatise Even Bochan [Isaiah 28:16] written by Shem-Tob ben-Isaac ben-Shaprut Ibn Shaprut], a Castilian Jewish physician, living later in Aragon. 12th/ 13th book contains a Hebrew version of the complete text of Matthew. EB completed in 1380 CE, revised in 1385 & 1400. This is not to be confused with the Sebastian Münster (1537; dedicated to Henry VIII under title The Torah of the Messiah); or Jean du Tillet (1555) versions of Hebrew Matthew. In 1690 Richard Simon mistakenly identified Shem-Tob's Matthew with the version sof Münster and du Tillet.

Howard's edition based on nine manuscripts of ST dating from 15th to 17th centuries; namely British Library Add no. 26964 for chapters 1:1-23:22; and JTS Ms. 2426 for 23:23-end.

Shem-Tov's text is basically BH (Vav Consecutive predominates) with a mixture of MH and later rabbinic vocabulary and idiom. In addition the text reflects considerable revision to make it conform more closely to the standard Greek and Latin Gospel texts. The underlying text, however, reflects its original Hebrew composition, and it is the most unusual text of Matthew extant in that it contains a plethora of readings not found in any other codices of Matthew. It appears to have been preserved by the Jews, independent from the Christian community.

**** The Pseudo-Clementine writings (Recognitions and Homilies) when quoting or referring to Matthew occasionally agree with ST Hebrew Matthew against the canonical Greek versions.

"Jewish Christian Gospels," Wikipedia -- discusses Ebionites, Nazarenes, GAH, etc.

Dr. Tabor, "The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew," - scholarly analysis and background but brief.

Cureton, Remains of a very antient recension of the four Gospels in Syriac (1858) - defends there was an original version of Matthew in Hebrew at lxxvi -- argues most likely reflected in Syriac translation, not Greek.  Article in Journal of Sacred Literature 1859 -- tried to pick apart Cureton's thesis as merely accepting 'reports', and supposedly no first hand proof from Jerome etc., at this link But all history involves such analysis.

"Hebrew Gospel of Matthew" - scholarly notes on Howard's Shem-Tob translation - webpage.

"Hebrew Gospel of Matthew" Wikipedia

On Moses's seat, another Hebrew expert spotted it says "he says," not "they say," and thus misread. See Ross Nichols, "The Seat of Moses: A Note on Matthew 23:2-3 According to Shem Tob’s Hebrew Matthew," http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/nichols357923.shtml

Hasting's Dictionary 1915 on Uncanonical Matthew-- scholarly

"Jewish Christian Gospels," Wikipedia

"Jewish Christian Gospels"  with great links at http://jewish-christian-gospels.co.tv/#cite_note-38

"Dating New Testament - Matthew." Among other issues, this article points out: "The book looks as if the Hebrew has been updated from what it would have been in the first century A.D. In some cases, this has wiped out Hebraisms that actually remain in the Greek text of the book. For example, the Greek New Testament always says “amen” (A Hebraism) for “truly”, as in Matt 5:20, while the Shem Tov Matthew says “in truth” (b’emeth)."

Another interesting point raised in this article is as follows which points to Q (really the original Hebrew Matthew) as the source for the Greek Matthew & Luke:

In the canonical New Testament, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 is a single long message spoken by Jesus, without any narrative interruption. However, in the Shem Tov Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount is interrupted 16 times by the introductory phrase “Again Jesus said to His disciples”, or something similar. These interruptions occur in Matt 5:13, 5:17, 5:20, 5:25, 5:27, 5:31, 5:43, 6:2, 6:5, 6:16, 6:19, 6:24, 7:6, 7:13, 7:15 and 7:24. The location of the interruptions is significant when placed in parallel with Luke’s usage of the same verses. Every time the Hebrew has an interruption, Luke either jumps to a different place in his gospel, or Luke does not have those verses. This curious fact may suggest that a common source or sources for the sayings of Jesus stand behind both Matthew and Luke. In a way, these interruptions could be considered fingerprints of the famous Q source. But if so, it would point to a Hebrew language Q. A similar thing happens in the Olivet discourse of Matthew 24-25. The Shem Tov version of Matt 24:27 interrupts Jesus' talk with the narrative “Again Jesus said to His disciples.” This ends a section that appears also in Mark, while the following passage (Matt 24:27) does not appear in Mark. Interruptions also in Matt 24:37 (Luke diff spot, Mark doesn’t have it), 24:42 (Mark has it, diff spot, Luke does not), 25:1 (not in Mark or Luke), 25:14, 25:31 (not in Mark or Luke).

Online Versions of Shem-Tob

http://nccg.org/shem_tov/MATTINTR.txt -- introduction to Shem-Tob

http://nccg.org/shem_tov/MATTCH15.TXT - comparison KJV to Shem-Tob

http://nccg.org/shem_tov/MATTCH15.TXT - Messianic evangelicals

http://nccg.org/shem_tov/MATTCH23.TXT - Chapter 23

http://www.scripture.net.nz/chapter_mty_13_hebrewenglish.html - chapter 13 Shem Tob with each Hebrew word actively linked to Strong's number in Hebrew. Plus aliterated

http://www.scripture.net.nz/chapter_mty_12_hebrewenglish.html - chapter 12 Shem Tob

http://www.scripture.net.nz/ -- main page

http://www.ebionim.org/servosdejave_matthew.htm ... J. Paulo Fernandez translation, 2005, updated 2009

Translation Alternatives


B'sorot Matti, The Good News According To Matthew, From An Old Hebrew Manuscript.  Hebrew/Aramaic New Testament Research Institute. Post Office Box 471, Hurst, Texas 76053


Critics of Shem Tob Matthew - highlights variants that displease him, and Howard's unorthodox interpretations (which are unfounded)

Verse differences construed negatively

Kabbalah and Shem Tob

Too long.com Criticism -- comparison of Shem Tob against KJV

Jesus Words in the Aramaic Gospel -- critical of the Shem Tob -- see page 192

Gospel Apocrypha

Gospel of Thomas (English translation) for comparison

Gospel of the Perfect Life (Alleged Tibetan version of Matthew) -supposedly found by Rev. Ousely 1881 - for comparison. Also called "Gospel of the Holy Twelve." It is a literary fraud.

Apocryphal Tradition - Schaff from Bible.hub

Greek Manuscript Discoveries

Magdalen Papyrus -- Matthew 26 in Greek

Variants in Wieland Willker, A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels -- PDF -- excellent

Washingtonianus 1906 -- Dr. Lee Woodard uses it to date Matthew to 37 AD and Mark to 68 AD. See http://washington-codex.org/

Hebrew v. Aramaic Issue

Last words of Jesus on Cross - argues for Hebrew as original

Evidence that Hebrew spoken and in Matthew -- bravehost

"Aramaic of Jesus,' Wikipedia (takes it as proven Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic)

Gustaf Dalman, The Words of Jesus (1902) --at 53 dogmatic contention there was no original Hebrew basis to Synoptic Gospels, twisting and turning to make Aramaic only spoken language - now proven wrong. But interesting to see the works he criticized that fought for a Q version in Hebrew.

Syriac Comparison

"Curetonian Gospels," Wikipedia

The Syriac Gospels in the translation entitled Evangelium Da-mpharreshe (University Press, 1904)

Matthew ch. 13 at 71

Cureton Remains of a very antient recension of the four Gospels in Syriac, hitherto unknown in Europa (1858)

Article critical of Cureton Journal of Sacred Literature (1859) at 464.

"F.C. Burkitt published an English translation of this ancient Syriac text of Matthew in 1904 that is out of print but in the public domain and available on the web at www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/aramat1.htm  " (Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty (2010) at 349.)

[This does not work]

The Syriac New Testament (1896) Matthew at page 1.

Aramaic Comparison

Online Interlinear to Aramaic Peshitta text at www.peshitta.org

Variants Mentioned by Patristic Fathers

Expositary Times at 185 - discusses Jerome's finding about 'tomorrow's bread and proves Aramaic influence
E.B. Nicholson, The Gospel of the Hebrews (1879) at 6.
Text Excavations - breakdown of each by designation and source - see this link
Text excavations - Nazareans Gospel -- at this link
Bernhard Pick, Paralipomena: remains of gospels and sayings of Christ (1908) - at 1 --  the Gospel According to the Hebrews
Baring-Gould, The lost and hostile gospels (1874)
Variants from mss -Bible Query - Early Manuscripts of Matthew February 6, 2010 catalogued 2010
Justin Martyr [120 AD] The Sayings of Jesus in Justin Martyr (ed. Bellinzoni 1869)(E.J.Brill, 1967) - page 130 supports that Justin is harmonizing the 3 synoptic gospels with a fourth parallel source. Bellinzoni notes that Justin's work proves Mark was sometimes harmonizing Matthew and Luke rather than the other way around. On page 131, Bellinzoni mentions there are 3 sayings in Justin of sayings of Jesus that have no parallel in the synoptics. These are at Dialogue 35:3b; 47:5, and Apology 61:4 but the latter fits with John, and not the synoptics (discusssed at page 134-35). Bellinzoni does conclude that these variants do not prove that Justin was necessarily dependent on an extra-canonical gospel. Id., at 138. Bellinzoni later categorically rejects Bousset's thesis that a pre-synoptic source was used. Id., at 139. Bellinzoni then asserts himself something not capable of proof: "there is a considerable amount of evidence that Justin's sources were not always the canonical gospels themselves but rather post-canonical sources based upon the synoptic gospels." Id. But another possibility is the canonical synoptic version of Matthew was based upon a then canonical Hebrew version of Matthew that was regarded as a valid source of additional words of Jesus.

Variants in Talmud

By Robert Travers Herford Christianity in Talmud and Midrash at 154

Apostolic Approval of Hebrew Version of Matthew

Bartholomew took this Gospel to "India" and Pantaenus brought back to Alexandria in 180 AD.
Pantaenus account in Hebrew and Christian records: an historical enquiry concerning the ..., Volume 2 By John Allen Giles at 156.
Webpage discussing Pantaenus.

Word Studies in Shem Tob

Macedonia, Magedon, Armageddon

Word Studies Across Gospels

Nazareth in Philomena French, The Fourth Gospel - An Aramaic Source, Part I (2015)

Gospel According to the Hebrews (Ebionite)

See "Gospel of Matthew," Wikipedia

See "Gospel of the Nazarenes," Wikipedia

Fraudulent "Gospel of the Holy 12"

The Nazarenes is a name that legitimate sects may use. However, in 1870 was a fraudulent effort to recover what was called "Gospel of the Nazarenes" or "Gospel of the Holy 12" and some by saying they are "Nazarenes" mean to say they follow this 1870 text that purported to be the original gospel.

This Gospel of the Holy 12 represents a very clever effort to mix the 42 true patristic era quotes with a lot of interpretive material presented as 'gospel-fact' when the entire effort is a fraud. It sucked me in for a time because of the legitimate 42 quotes, and the reasonable guesses it often had as to what might be other missing material.

But then I noticed it depicted Jesus as once having a wife (who died), endorsed strict vegetarianism, etc. And thus we need to carefully examine its authenticity.

The Gospel of the Holy 12 begins with an 1870 work claiming antiquity -- found by an Irish theologian of a manuscript in a Tibetan monestary written in Aramaic which purports to contain what was the more original Gospel of Matthew. For a defensive discussion, see http://messianic.nazirene.org/gospel_comentary.htm (No Aramaic text was ever published to allow scholars to examine the claims).

However, tekton did an expose that this claim of an authentic Gospel of the Holy 12 is bogus -- that there was no mss found in sense we would understand; instead visions and divine messages gave it to them in Aramaic. Here is the article discussing this: http://www.tektonics.org/lp/ouseley01.html

Confirming this is a modern "Nazarene" website http://www.thenazareneway.com/ght_table_of_contents.htm that mentions:

The Preface, in part, notes:

"Their 'Gospel of the Holy Twelve' was communicated to the Editors, in numerous fragments at different times, by Emmanuel Swedenborg, Anna Kingsford, Edward Maitland, and a priest of the former century, giving his name as Placidus, of the Franciscan Order, afterwards a Carmelite. By them it was translated from the original, and given to the Editors in the flesh, to be supplemented in their proper places, where indicated, from the 'Four Gospels' (A.V.) revised where necessary by the same.

To this explanation, the Editors cannot add, nor from it take away. By the Divine Spirit was the Gospel communicated to the four above mentioned, and by them translated, and given to the writers; not in seance rooms (where too often resort the idle, the frivolous and the curious, attracting spirits similar to themselves, rather than the good), but 'in dreams and visions of the night,' and by direct guidance, has God instructed them by chosen instruments; and now they give it to the world, that some may be wiser unto Salvation, while those who reject it, remain in their blindness, until they will to see."

The modern Essenes recognize this Gospel of the Holy 12 is a hoax, and describe GOHT as work that claims to be "channelled," and not truly 'discovered' in the normal sense of the word. See this link from Order of Nazarean Essenes.

A revived Nazarene movement explains the origin of the GOHT, and Epiphanius' mention of Hebrew Matthew at this link.

The so-called Gospel of the Holy Twelve is at this webpage for easier access -- page 2

The so-called Gospel of the Holy Twelve as a books.google.com version is at this link.

In my opinion, the GOHT was a sophisticated hoax, using many of the 42 patristic era quotes of the Gospel according to the Hebrews. This gave a researcher the sense that if there was a true discovery of an Aramaic mss. with all these quotes, it must be tied to the original Hebrew version of Matthew. But we come to realize there was no true discovery in the sense we understand the word "discovered" -- it was discovered by visions and divine messages, and not by finding a mss. The authors admitted this, and admitted using the KJV to fill in blanks. But then if they were really researchers, they should have showed us what was original and what was the King James. They should have identified the additions, which they did not do. They did not set out side-by-side the Aramaic text to allow others to interpret their supposedly 'amazing' find.' The fact they did not (and in over 100 years since nothing more was produced) shows again those who perpetuated this claim in 1870 were frauds.

Du Tillet Hebrew Matthew

Schonfield in PDF http://www.torahresource.com/DuTillet/Schonfield.pdf

Munster Hebrew Matthew

--Evangelium secundum Matthaeum in lingua hebraica (1537).


Munster's Hebrew Bible --New Translation (into Latin) is at this link


Septuagint Translations Impacting Matthew

Isaiah's Servant Poems According to the Septuagint -- table of contents at books.google.cm

  • Translation in Hebrew and LXX of Isaiah 42:1-4 quoted in Matt. 10 is at this link.

"Isaiah Quotations in the NT," Companion to KJV -- table at page 117

Puns in Hebrew

Michael Banak wrote in 2003:

In the fall of 1986, George Howard published an announcement of his forthcoming translation of the OTHER text, the Shem Tob text.  Up till that point in time I had ignored the Shem Tob, seeing how Schonfield cast such a bad light upon it.  George Howard reported in the Bible Review Magazine how he was astounded to find the Shem Tob Text saturated with puns, word plays and other unique Hebrew constructions.  In many ways, this Shem Tob text appeared to be more valuable than the du Tillet text.  Let's digress for a moment and ponder the significance of puns, word-plays, etc.

The Old Testament is also filled with such things.  For an example of a pun, please see Jeremiah 1:11-12. "Moreover, the Word of Yahweh came unto me saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou?  And I said, I see the rod of an Almond tree.  Then said Yahweh unto me, thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it."  It is important to know that the Hebrew word for almond (Strong's number 8247, shaw-kade) sounds like the Hebrew word for 'hasten' (Strong's number 8245, shaw-kad).  That is an example of a pun.  Psalm 122:6 has a fine example of a word-play.  Where it says 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,' the Hebrew is pronounced, 'Shalu shalom Yerushalaim.'  The Old Testament has many other examples of this kind of writing.  We should, therefore, find it no surprise when we turn-up a Hebrew Matthew which also has these things.  Further, it shows strong evidence that the Shem Tob text was NOT a translation from the Greek.

Hebrew Matthew Project At Torah Resources

An excellent library for other materials. See www.torahresources.org -- Hebrew Matthew project

You will find pdfs of original copies of the Shem-Tob there.

It provides a link to a Du Tillet version of Matthew translated by Schonfeld at this link to a PDF

Matthew's Gospel Focused Materials


Jewish-Christian with focus on Hebrew Tillet and Shem-Tob, and Midrash sources at this site


Clarke, New Testament with Commentary -- at books.google.com


Probable Corruptions in Greek Matthew

See "Matthew 16:2b-3," Wikipedia

Efforts to Supplant 12 Apostles

Gospel of Mary - Mary Magdalen claims Jesus could reveal visions to her. Peter objects. Gnostic tactic

Hebrew Studies

Alphabet and Numerals

Ebionites & Nazarenes

"Nazarenes," Wikipedia - main difference from Ebionites is they accepted virgin birth account. This mentions some details about Jerome's encounter with them and the Hebrew Matthew:

St.Jerome wrote that Matthew, the tax collector and later an Apostle, composed his gospel near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians. It was then translated into Greek but the Greek copy was lost. The Hebrew original was preserved at the Library of Caesarea, which Pamphilus diligently gathered. The Nazarenes transcribed a copy for Jerome which he used in his work. [25] Jerome adds that Matthew's gospel was called the Gospel according to the Hebrews or sometimes the Gospel of the Apostles, and was used by the Nazarene communities.[26] Jerome and Epiphanius both wrote how the Nazarene sect existed in their day,[27][28]. However, little is known how their sect disappeared or what happened to the Gospel of the Nazarenes.[29]


In the 4th century Jerome also refers to Nazarenes as those "...who accept Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old Law." In his Epistle 79, to Augustine, he said:

"What shall I say of the Ebionites who pretend to be Christians? To-day there still exists among the Jews in all the synagogues of the East a heresy which is called that of the Minæans, and which is still condemned by the Pharisees; [its followers] are ordinarily called 'Nasarenes'; they believe that Christ, the son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, and they hold him to be the one who suffered under Pontius Pilate and ascended to heaven, and in whom we also believe. But while they pretend to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither." [30]

Jerome viewed a distinction between Nazarenes and Ebionites, a different Jewish sect, but does not comment on whether Nazarene Jews considered themselves to be "Christian" or not or how they viewed themselves as fitting into the descriptions he uses. His criticism of the Nazarenes is noticeably more direct and critical than that of Epiphanius.

Matthew 1:11 - Jeconiah v. Jehoakim

If it says Jeconiah, God cursed Jeconiah that no one in his line would sit on the throne of David. So it is important to find variants from standard Greek to preserve Jesus' Messiahship. Here is what I found, and wrote a correspondent:


A mistake in the translation from Hebrew to Greek explains how the father --Jahoichin / Jehoikim -- became Jeconiah . Jehoiakim appears the spelling in the Irenaeus version of matthew just before the Greek Matthew began to replace the hebrew:  "In Irenaeus' Latin version of this text Jehoiakim's name appears, but this is the only piece of textual evidence for this theory." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_1:11  It then mentions such textual evidence, showing 2 editors of this one Wikipedia article: "Some manuscripts have additional reading in this verse — ??? ??????, ?????? ?? ????????? (Joakim, Joakim begot) — MU ? ? f1 33 258 478 661 954 1216 1230 1354 1604Lectionary 54 syrh geo.[5]"


So there is good reason to believe the Hebrew was misrendered by the Greek translator as Jeconiah.


Muslim Resources On Sayings Attributed to Jesus

Tarif Khalidi, The Muslim Jesus: sayings and stories in Islamic literature (Harvard University Press, 2001)

I don't find any are legitimate, but scholars should weigh this possibility.

Son of Man Studies

Edwin A Abott, "Son of Man" (1910) - References in Gospels - books.google.com

Discusses lack of evidence Jesus called himself 'bar Adam' at page 18


1. Google search on Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew - finished 3 pages

Virgin Birth Issues

B'nai PDF critical of case for virgin birth This says Epiphanius said in Panarion 30.13 that the Ebionites did not have the first 2 chapters of Matthew. This is I think an exaggeration by this article.

See our subpage discussion.

John the Baptist - More Emphasis in Original Matthew

John the Baptist By Frederick Brotherton Meyer (Revell, 1900) preface at 6.

Dove and Voice of God

Bat kol is “a voice from heaven.” (Deborah Sawyer, Midrash aleph beth (1992) at 126.) Shekinah has “in Greek no equivalent unless it is deza, ‘a gleam of light.’”....This idea of a dove-like form is found in Jewish literature. The phrase in Cant. 2:12 ‘the voice of the dove’ (AV ‘turtle’) is translated in the Targum ‘the voice of the Holy Spirit.' The passage in Gen. 1:2, ‘And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’ is interpreted by Ben Zurana (ca. 190AD) to mean ‘A dove that hovers above her brood without touching it.’” (Isidore Singer, The Jewish Encyclopedia (1964) Vol. 6 at 448.)]

Modern Ebionites

Bookstore - Vermes books trying to find original words of Jesus.

Jerome and Osianna Quote

Fitzmeyer, Dead Sea Scrolls etc. -- discusses at 122 the GATHM osianna in Hebrew.

In Latin it is osianna. See this link.

Letter 20 is at this ccel link.

A 1695 work by Jerome's modern compiiler details the Italian Latin vulgate variances which often match the Gospel According to the Hebrews by Matthew. Here is a link.

 Septuagint Alterations of Matthew 

Jerome said Matthew in Greek of the versions exisitng prior to 390 AD always used the Hebrew, and ignored the Septuagint variants. Jerome was battling Augustine's demands that Jerome "employ" the Septuagint to render Matthew's Greek version of the Hebrew Bible when quoted. Who won? Augustine.

However, now the Greek Matthew has the numerous verses which follow the Septuagint and not as Jerome said -- the Hebrew, at total odds with translated the Hebrew in the 400s. In a book called The Jerome Conspiracy by Michael Wood (Iuniverse, 2008) at pages 97-101, he cites these verses to claim Jerome intentionally made the references in Matthew, Paul, etc., to the Septuagint look wrong by translating the Hebrew OT differently. 

Matt 1:23 a ... Isaiah 7:14 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture.

Matt 1:23b--- Isaiah 8:8, 10 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture.

Matt 4:10 -- Deut 6:13 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture.

Matt 9:13 - Hosea 6:6 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture.

Matt 12:7 - Hosea 6:6 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture

Matt 12:21 - Isaiah 42:4 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture

Matt 13:14-15  - Isaiah 6:9-10 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture

Matt 15:8-9 - Isaiah 29:13 reads as Septuagtint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture

Matt 21:16 - Psalm 8:2 reads as Septuagint, not as Jerome reads the Hebrew scripture

What explains this? Obviously, the Greek manuscripts Jerome found in the 390 AD era were all altered to now read quotes in Matthew from the Hebrew Bible to conform to the Septuagint Greek translation of 297 BC. Thus, we can honestly restore the Hebrew version to each 10 verses above.