Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A study of clouds and heaven (remember Yashua stated that "heaven is AT HAND")

Clouds are a Symbol used throughout the Bible~ 

Study this from beginning to end and learn the meaning of Clouds.  It is not just in the context of Acts or Matthew, for the foundation is laid out before that in the Old Testament, many times! 



A study of "clouds" and "up" and "ascension" in the Holy Bible  https://www.studylight.org/commentary/acts/1-9.html  These are selections from major theologians and Biblical scholars who offered commentary on this perplexing prophetic chapter in The Book of Acts included in the New Testament.

Expositor's Bible Commentary

Chapter 3

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST AND ITS LESSONS.

[Acts 1:9]

IN this passage we have the bare literal statement of the fact of Christ’s ascension. Let us now consider this supernatural fact, the Ascension, and meditate upon its necessity, and even naturalness, when taken in connection with the whole earthly existence of Incarnate God, and then strive to trace the results and blessings to mankind which followed from it in the gift of the new power, the covenanted gift of the Spirit, and in the spread of the universal religion.

I. The ascension of our Lord is a topic whereon familiarity has worked its usual results; it has lost for most minds the sharpness of its outline and the profundity of its teaching because universally accepted by Christians; and yet no doctrine raises deeper questions, or will yield more profitable and far-reaching lessons. First, then, we may note the place this doctrine holds in apostolic teaching. Taking the records of that teaching contained in the Acts and the Epistles, we find that it occupies a real substantial position. The ascension is there referred to, hinted at, taken as granted, presupposed, but it is not obtruded nor dwelt upon overmuch. The resurrection of Christ was the great central point of apostolic testimony; the ascension of Christ was simply a portion of that fundamental doctrine, and a natural deduction from it. If Christ had been raised from the dead and had thus become the firstfruits of the grave, it required but little additional exercise of faith to believe that He had passed into that unseen and immediate presence of Deity where the perfected soul finds its complete satisfaction. In fact, the doctrine of the resurrection apart from the doctrine of the ascension would have been a mutilated fragment, for the natural question would arise, not for one age but for every age. If Jesus of Nazareth has risen from the dead, where is He? Produce your risen Master, and we will believe in Him, would be the triumphant taunt to which Christians would be ever exposed. But then, when we closely examine the teaching of the Apostles, we shall find that the doctrine of the ascension was just as really bound up with all their preaching and exhortations as the doctrine of the resurrection; the whole Christian idea as conceived by them just as necessarily involved the doctrine of the ascension as it did that of the resurrection. St. Peter’s conception of Christianity, for instance, involved the ascension. Whether in his speech at the election of Matthias, or in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, or in his address in Solomon’s Porch after the healing of the crippled beggar, his teaching ever presupposes and involves the ascension. He takes the doctrine and the fact for granted. Jesus is with him the Being "whom the heavens must receive until the times of restoration of all things." So is it too with St. John in his Gospel. He never directly mentions the fact of Christ’s ascension, but he always implies it. So too with St. Paul and the other apostolic writers of the New Testament. It would be simply impossible to exhibit in detail the manner in which this doctrine pervades and underlies all St. Paul’s teaching. The ascended Saviour occupies the same position in St. Paul’s earliest as in his latest writings. Is he speaking of the lives of the Thessalonians in his First Epistle to that Church: "they are waiting for God’s Son from heaven." Is he pointing them forward to the second advent of Christ: it is of that day he speaks when "the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven." Is he in Romans 8:1-39. dwelling upon the abiding security of God’s elect: he enlarges upon their privileges in "Christ Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us." Is he exhorting the Colossians to a supernatural life: it is because they have supernatural privileges in their ascended Lord. "If ye then were raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God." The more closely the teaching of the Apostles is examined, the more clearly we shall perceive that the ascension was for them no ideal act, no imaginary or fantastic elevation, but a real actual passing of the risen Saviour out of the region and order of the seen and the natural into the region and order of the unseen and supernatural. Just as really as they believed Christ to have risen from the dead, just as really did they in turn believe Him to have ascended into the heavens.

II. But some one may raise curious questions as to the facts of the ascension. Whither, for instance, it may be asked, did our Lord depart when He left this earthly scene? The childish notion that He went up and up far above the most distant star will not of course stand a moment’s reflection. It suits the apprehension of childhood, and the innocent illusion should not be too rudely broken; but still, as the advance of years and of wisdom dispels other illusions, so too will this one depart, when the child learns that there is neither up nor down in this visible universe of ours, and that if we were ourselves transported to the moon, which seems shining over our heads, we should see the earth suspended in the blue azure which would overhang the moon and its newly-arrived inhabitants. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles does not describe our Saviour as thus ascending through infinite space. It simply describes Him as removed from off this earthly ball, and then, a cloud shutting Him out from view, Christ passed into the inner and unseen universe wherein He now dwells. The existence of that inner and unseen universe, asserted clearly enough in Scripture, has of late years been curiously confirmed by scientific speculation. Scripture asserts the existence of such an unseen universe, and the ascension implies it. The second coming of our Saviour is never described as a descent from some far-off region. No, it is always spoken of as an Apocalypse, - a drawing back, that is, of a veil which hides an unseen chamber. The angels, as the messengers of their Divine Master, are described by Christ in Matthew 13:1-58. as "coming forth" from the secret place of the Most High to execute His behests. What a solemn light such a scriptural view sheds upon life! The unseen world is not at some vast distance, but, as the ascension would seem to imply, close at hand, shut out from us by that thin veil of matter which angelic hands will one day rend for ever. And then how wondrously the speculations of that remarkable book to which I have referred, "The Unseen Universe," lend themselves to this scriptural idea, pointing out the necessity imposed by modern scientific thought for postulating some such interior spiritual sphere, of which the external and material universe may be regarded as a temporary manifestation and development. The doctrine of the ascension, when rightly understood, presents then no difficulties from a scientific point of view, but is rather in strictest accordance with the highest and subtlest forms of modern thought. But when we advance still closer to the heart of this doctrine, and endeavour, quite apart from all mere carping criticism, to realise its meaning and its power, we shall perceive a profound fitness, beauty, and harmony in this mysterious fact. Laying apart all carping criticism, I say, because the critical spirit is not appreciative, it is on the look-out for faults, it necessarily involves a certain assumption of superiority in the critic to the thing or doctrine criticised; and most certainly it is not to the proud critic, but to the humble soul alone, that the doctrines of the Cross yield of their sweetness, and make revelation of their profound depths. We can perceive a fitness and a naturalness in the ascension; we can advance even farther still, and behold an absolute necessity for it, if Christ’s work was to be perfected in all its details, and Christianity to become, not a narrow local religion, but a universal and catholic Church.

III. The ascension was a fitting and a natural termination of Christ’s earthly ministry, considering the Christian conception of His sacred Personality. When the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity wished to reveal the life of God among men, and to elevate humanity by associating it for ever with the person of Him who was the eternal God, He left the glory which He had with the Father before the world was, and entered upon the world of humanity through a miraculous door. "The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took Man’s nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, of her substance." These are the careful, accurate, well-balanced words of the second Article of the Church of England, in which all English-speaking Christians substantially agree. They are accurate, I say, and well-balanced, avoiding the Scylla of Nestorianism, which divides Christ’s person, on the one side, and the Charybdis of Eutychianism, which denies His humanity, on the other. The Person of God, the Eternal Word, assumed human nature, not a human person, but human nature, so that God might be able, acting in and through this human nature as His instrument, to teach mankind and to die for mankind. God entered upon the sphere of the seen and the temporal by a miraculous door. His life and work were marked all through by miracle, His death and resurrection were encompassed with miracle; and it was fitting, considering the whole course of His earthly career, that His departure from this world should be through another miraculous door. The departure of the Eternal King was, like His first approach, a part of a scheme which forms one united and harmonious whole. The Incarnation and the Ascension were necessarily related the one to the other.

IV. Again, we may advance a step further, and say that not only was the ascension a natural and fitting termination to the activities of the Eternal Son manifest in the flesh, it was a necessary completion and finish. "It is expedient," said Christ Himself, "that I go away; for if I go not away the Comforter will not come to you." For some reason secret from us but hidden in the awful depths of that Being who is the beginning and the end, the source and the condition of all created existence, the return of Christ to the bosom of the Father was absolutely necessary before the outpouring of the Divine Spirit of Life and Love could take place. How this can have been we know not. We only know the fact as revealed to us by Jesus Christ and affirmed by His Apostles. "Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath poured forth this which ye see and hear," is the testimony of the illuminated Apostle St. Peter on the day of Pentecost, speaking in strict unison with the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself as reported in St. John’s Gospel. But without endeavouring to intrude into these mysteries of the Divine nature, into which even the angels themselves pry not, we behold in the character and constitution of Christ’s Church and Christ’s religion sufficient reasons to show us the Divine expediency of our Lord’s ascension. Let us take the matter very plainly and simply thus. Had our Lord not ascended into the unseen state whence He had emerged for the purpose of rescuing mankind from that horrible pit, that mire and clay of pollution, immorality, and selfishness in which it lay at the epoch of the Christian Era, He must in that case (always proceeding on the supposition that He had risen from the dead, because we always suppose our readers to be believers) have remained permanently or temporarily resident in some one place. He might have chosen Jerusalem, the city of the great King, as His abode, and this would have seemed to the religious men of His time quite natural. The same instinct of religious conservatism which made the Twelve to tarry at Jerusalem even when persecution seemed to threaten the infant Church with destruction, would have led the risen Christ to fix His abode at the city which every pious Jew regarded as the special seat of Jehovah. There would have been nothing to tempt Him to Antioch, or Athens, or Alexandria, or Rome. None of these cities could have held out any inducement or put forward any claim comparable for one moment with that which the name, the traditions, and the circumstances of Jerusalem triumphantly maintained. Nay, rather the tone and temper of those cities must have rendered them abhorrent as dwelling-places to the great Teacher of holiness and purity.

At any rate, the risen Saviour, if He remained upon earth, must have chosen some one place where His presence and His personal glory would have been manifested. Now let us contemplate, and work out in some detail, the results which would have inevitably followed. The place chosen by our Lord as His visible dwelling-place must then have become the centre of the whole Church. At that spot pilgrims from every land must necessarily have assembled. To it would have resorted the doubter to have his difficulties resolved, the sick and weak to have their ailments cured, the men of profound devotion to bathe themselves and lose themselves in the immediate presence of the Incarnate Deity. All interest in local Churches or local work would have been destroyed, because every eye and every heart would be perpetually turning towards the one spot where the risen Lord was dwelling, and where personal adoration could be paid to Him. All honest, manly self-reliance would have been lost for individuals, for Churches, and for nations. Whenever a difficulty or controversy arose, either in the personal or ecclesiastical, the social or political sphere, men, instead of trying to solve it for themselves under the guidance of the Divine Spirit, would have hurried off with it to the Fount of supernatural wisdom, as an oracle, like the fabled pagan ones of old, whence direction would infallibly be gained. Judaism would have triumphed, and the dispensation of the Spirit would have ceased.

The whole idea, too, of Christianity as a scheme of moral probation would have been overthrown. Christ as belonging to the supernatural sphere would of course have been raised above the laws of time and space. For Him the powers of earth and the terrors of earth would have had no meaning, and heavenly glory, shooting forth from His sacred Person, would have compelled obedience and acceptance of His laws at the hands of His most deadly and obstinate foes. Sight would have taken the place of faith, and the terrified submission of slaves would have been substituted for the moral, loving obedience of the regenerate soul. The whole social order of life would also have been overthrown. God has now placed men in families, societies, and nations, that they might be proved by the very difficulties of their positions. The probation which God thereby exercises over men extends not to those alone who are subject to government, but to those as well who are entrusted with government. God by His present system tries governors and governed, kings and subjects, magistrates and people, parents and children, teachers and pupils, all alike. Any one who has ever made the experiment knows, however, how impossible it is to give full play to one’s power and faculties, whether of government or of teaching, when overlooked by the conscious presence of one who can supersede and control all arrangements made or all the instructions offered. Nervousness comes in, and paralyses the best efforts a man might otherwise make. So would it have been had Christ remained upon earth. Neither those placed in authority nor those set under authority would have done their best or played their part effectually, feeling there was One standing by whose all-piercing gaze could see the imperfection of their noblest actions. A modern illustration or two will perhaps exhibit more plainly what we mean. London, with its enormous and ever-growing population, constitutes in many respects a portentous danger to our national life. But thoughtful colonists often see in it a danger which does not strike us here at home. London has a tendency to sap the springs of local interest and local self-reliance. Every colonist who attains to wealth and position feels himself an exile till he Can get back to London, which he regards as the one centre of the empire worth living at; while the colonies, viewing London as the centre of England’s wealth, power, and resources, feel naturally inclined to fling upon London the care and responsibility of the empire’s protection, in which all its separate parts should take their proportionate share.

Or again, let us take an illustration from the ecclesiastical sphere. M. Renan is a writer who has depicted the early history of the Church from a sceptical point of view. He has done so with all the skill of a novelist, aided by the resources of immense erudition. Before Renan became a sceptic he was a Roman Catholic, and a student for the priesthood in one of those narrow seminaries wherein exclusively the Roman Church now trains her clergy. Renan can never, therefore, view Christianity save through a Roman medium, and from a Roman Catholic standpoint. Descended himself from a Jewish stock, and trained up in Roman Catholic ideas, Renan, sceptic though he be, is lost in admiration of the Papacy, because it has combined the Jewish and the ancient imperial ideas, so that Rome having taken the place which Jerusalem once occupied in the spiritual organisation, has now become the local centre of unity for the Latin Church, where Christ’s vicar visibly bears sway, to whom resort can be had from every land as an authoritative guide, and whence he and he alone dispenses with more than imperial sway the gifts and graces of Divine love. Rome is for the Latin Church the centre of the earth, and upon Rome and its spiritual ruler all interest as concentrated as Christ’s earthly representative and deputy. Now what London is to our colonists, what Rome is for its adherents, such, and infinitely more, would the localised presence of Jesus Christ have been for the Christian world had not the ascension taken place. The Papacy, instead of securing the universality of the Church, strikes a deadly blow at it. The Papacy, with its centralised ecclesiastical despotism, is not the Catholic Church, it is simply the local Church of Rome spread out into all the world; just as Judaism never was and never could have been catholic in its ideal, no matter how widely spread it was, from the shores of the British Islands in the West to the far-distant regions of China in the East. Its adherents, like the eunuch of Ethiopia, never felt a local interest in their religion, -their eyes ever turned towards Zion, the city of the great King. And so would it have been with the bodily presence of Christ manifested in one spot; the Christian Church would still have remained a purely local institution, and the place where the risen Saviour was manifested would have been for Christian people the one centre towards which all their thoughts would gravitate, to the complete neglect of those home interests and labours in which each individual Church ought to find the special work appointed for it by the Master. It was expedient for the Church that Christ should go away, to deepen faith, to strengthen Christian self-reliance, to offer play and scope for the power and work of the Holy Ghost, to render life a testing-ground, and a place of probation for the higher life to come. But above all, it was expedient that Christ should go away in order that the Church might rise out of and above that narrow provincialism in which the Jewish spirit would fain bind it, might attain to a truly universal and catholic position, and thus fulfil the Master’s magnificent prophecy to the woman of Samaria, when, viewing in spirit the Church’s onward march, beholding it bursting all local and national bonds, recognising it as the religion of universal humanity, He proclaimed its destiny in words which shall never die-"Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the Father. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." The ascension of Jesus Christ was absolutely necessary to equip the Church for its universal mission, by withdrawing the bodily presence of Christ into that unseen region which bears no special relation to any terrestrial locality, but is the common destiny, the true fatherland, of all the sons of God.

V. We have now seen how the ascension was needful for the Church, by rendering Christ an ideal object of worship for the whole human race, thus saving it from that tendency to mere localism which would have utterly changed its character. We can also trace another great blessing involved in it. The ascension glorified humanity as humanity, and ennobled man viewed simply as man. The ascension thus transformed life by adding a new dignity to life and to life’s duties.

This was a very necessary lesson for the ancient world, especially the ancient Gentile world, which Christ came to enlighten and to save. Man, considered by himself as man, had no peculiar dignity in the popular religious estimate of Greece and Rome .A Greek or a Roman was a dignified person, not, however, in virtue of his humanity, but in virtue of his Greek or Roman citizenship. The most pious Greeks or Romans simply despised mankind as such, regarding all other nations as barbarians, and treating them accordingly. Roman law exempted Roman citizens from degrading and cruel punishments, which they reserved for men outside the limits of Roman citizenship, because that humanity as humanity had no dignity attached to it in their estimation. The gladiatorial shows were the most striking illustration of this contempt for human nature which paganism inculcated.

It is a notable evidence, too, of the firm grasp upon the popular mind this contempt had taken, of the awful depths to which the fatal infection had permeated the public conscience, that it was not till four hundred years after the Incarnation, and not till one hundred years after the triumph of Christianity, that these frightful carnivals of human blood and slaughter yielded to the gentler and nobler principles of the religion of the Cross. No name indeed in the long roll of Christian martyrs, who for truth and righteousness have laid down their lives, deserves higher mention than that of Telemachus, the Asiatic monk, who, in the year 404, hearing that the city where the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul had suffered was still disgraced by the gladiatorial shows, made his way to Rome, and by the sacrifice of his own life terminated them forever within the bounds of Christendom. Telemachus rushed between the combatants in the arena, flung them asunder, and then was stoned to death by the mob, infuriated at the interruption of their favourite amusement. A tragic but glorious ending indeed, showing clearly how little the Roman mob realised as yet the doctrine of the sanctity of human nature; how powerful was the sway which paganism and pagan modes of thought held as yet over the populace of nominally Christian Rome; the tradition of which even still perpetuates itself in the cruel bull-fights of Spain. From the beginning, however, Christianity took exactly the opposite course, declaring to all the dignity and glory of human nature itself. The Incarnation was in itself a magnificent proclamation of this great elevating and civilising truth. The title Son of Man, which Christ, rising above all narrow Jewish nationalism, assumed to Himself, was a republication of the same dogma; and then, to crown the whole fabric, comes the doctrine of the ascension, wherein mankind was taught that human nature as joined to the person of God has ascended into the holiest place of the universe, so that henceforth the humblest and lowliest can view his humanity as allied with that elder Brother who in the reality of human flesh-glorified, indeed, spiritualised and refined by the secret, searching processes of death-has passed within the veil, now to appear in the presence of God for us. What new light must have been shed upon life-the life of the barbarian and of the slave-crushed beneath the popular theory of St. Paul’s day! What new dignity this doctrine imparted to the bodies of the outcast and despised, counted fit food only for the cross, the stake, or the arena! Man might despise them and ill-treat them, yet their bodies were made like unto the one glorious Body for ever united to God, and therefore they were comforted, elevated, enabled to endure as seeing Him who is invisible. Cannot we see many examples of the consoling, elevating power of the ascension in the New Testament? Take St. Paul’s writings, and there we trace the influence of the ascension in every page. Take the very lowest case. Slaves under the conditions of ancient society occupied the most degraded position. Their duties were of the humblest type, their treatment of the worst description, their punishments of the most terrible character. Yet for even these oppressed and degraded beings the doctrine of the ascension transformed life, because it endowed that menial service which they rendered with a new dignity. "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God." And why? Because life has been enriched with a new motive: "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ." Ye serve the Lord Christ. That was the supreme point. The cooking of a dinner, the dressing of an imperious lady’s hair, the teaching of a careless or refractory pupil-all these things were transfigured into the service of the ascended Lord. And as with the servants, so was it with their masters. The ascension furnished them with a new and practical motive, which, at first leading to kindly treatment and generous actions, would one day, by the force of logical deduction as well as of Christian principle, lead to the utter extinction of slavery. "Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." The doctrine of the ascension diffused sweetness and light throughout the whole Christian system, furnishing a practical motive, offering an ever-present and eternal sanction, urging men upwards and onwards; without which neither the Church nor the world would ever have reached that high level of mercy, charity, and purity which men now enjoy. Perhaps here again the present age may see the doctrine of the ascension asserting its glory and its power in the same direction. Much of modern speculation tends to debase and belittle the human body, teaching theories respecting its origin which have a natural tendency to degrade the popular standard. If people come to think of their bodies as derived from a low source, they will be apt to think a low standard of morals as befitting bodies so descended. The doctrine of evolution has not, to say the least, an elevating influence upon the masses. I say nothing against it. One or two passages in the Bible, as Genesis 2:7, seem to support it, appearing, as that verse does, to make a division between the creation of the body of man and the creation of his spirit. But the broad tendency of such speculation lies in a downward moral direction. Here the doctrine of the ascension steps in to raise for us, as it raised for the materialists of St. Paul’s day, the standard of current conceptions, and to teach men a higher and a nobler view. we leave to science the investigation of the past and of the lowly sources whence man’s body may have come; but the doctrine of the ascension speaks of its present sanctity and of its future glory, telling of the human body as a body of humiliation and of lowliness indeed, but yet proclaiming it as even now, in the person of Christ, ascended into the heavens, and seated on the throne of the Most High. It may have been once humble in it’s origin; it is now glorious in its dignity and elevation; and that dignity and that elevation shed a halo upon human nature, no matter how degraded and wherever it may be found, because it is like unto that Body, the firstfruits of humanity, which stands at the right hand of God. Thus the doctrine of the ascension becomes for the Christian the ever-flowing fountain of dignity, of purity, and of mercy, teaching us to call no man common or unclean, because all have been made like unto the image of the Son of God.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". "Expositor's Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/acts-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.’

Once Jesus had given His commission and prepared them for the downpouring of the Holy Spirit He was taken up skyward until He was hidden in a cloud. From that time onward they would see Him no longer, except in special revelations. It was a climactic moment. It was the last time that they would see Him until they met Him in His glory. The event emphasised that He would no longer be physically with them in this world, but had gone to God. It was a reminder to them that any views of His raising an army and leading an earthly insurrection were completely and utterly without meaning. He was no longer ‘of the earth’.

‘As they were looking, He was taken up.’ Here, in line with Elisha’s experience, was the final evidence that they would receive the coming Spirit. As with Elisha the seeing of their Master being taken was evidence that they would partake of His Spirit (2 Kings 2:9).

‘A cloud received Him out of their sight.’ They would recognise in this that He had gone to God Who, when He revealed Himself, regularly did so in a cloud (Exodus 13:21; Exodus 19:9; Exodus 19:16; Exodus 24:16; Exodus 34:5; Exodus 40:34 etc. Mark 9:7; Luke 9:34-35). And they would further remember that when the Son of Man received His Kingly Rule, He would do so in the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7:13-14). Thus they may well have seen His entering the cloud as indicating His departing to His heavenly throne.

Such a cloud would be a rare phenomenon in the Middle East at that time of the year, when the sun usually shone from a cloudless sky. And they had good reason to realise exactly what this symbolic act meant. Jesus had not left them in the dark about His future, for He had already informed them that all authority had now been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). They had therefore to recognise that He had now gone to take up His position of authority in Heaven from where He would send to them the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Mark 16:19 in fact declares, ‘after He had spoken to them He was received up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God’. They were not in any doubt as to the significance of what had happened. He had been made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36), and they would see Him no more until they went to Him (Philippians 1:23), or He returned again in His glory as He had promised (Mark 8:38; Mark 13:26-27 and often).


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/acts-1.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Taken up—Lifted up as the commencement of the movement.

Out of their sight—The terminal fact.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/acts-1.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus Christ"s ascension necessarily preceded the descent of the Holy Spirit to baptize and indwell believers, in God"s plan ( John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7; Acts 2:33-36). "While they were looking on" stresses the fact that the apostles really saw Jesus ascending, which they bore witness to later. This reference supports the credibility of their witness. In previous post-resurrection appearances Jesus had vanished from the disciples" sight instantly ( Luke 24:31), but now He gradually departed from them. The cloud seems clearly to be a reference to the shekinah, the visible symbol of the glorious presence of God (cf. Exodus 40:34; Matthew 17:5; Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7). [Note: See Richard D. Patterson, "The Imagery of Clouds in the Scriptures," Bibliotheca Sacra165:657 (January-March2008):18.] Thus what the disciples saw was the symbol of God"s presence receiving and enveloping Jesus into heaven. This connoted God"s approval of Jesus and Jesus" entrance into the glorious presence of God.

"It was necessary that as Jesus in a moment of time had arrived in the world in a moment of time He should leave it." [Note: Barclay, p6.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/acts-1.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Acts 1:9. He was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. When the last words had been spoken, while in the act of blessing them (Luke 24:51), the disciples of Jesus saw their Master lifted up from the ground; and as He rose, a cloud passed under Him—the bright cloud of glory which overshadowed Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, and which, in the wilderness journeys of Israel, now like a fire pillar, now like a cloud pillar, sailed through the air before the people as their guide. On this ‘royal chariot’—as Chrysostom calls it—did the eternal Son of God ascend from earth to the heaven of heavens. ‘The ascension of Elijah,’ writes Baumgarten, ‘may be compared to the flight of a bird, which none can follow; the ascension of Christ is as it were a bridge between earth and heaven, laid down for all who are drawn to Him by His earthly existence,’


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/acts-1.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Acts 1:9. ἐπήρθη: the word in Acts 1:2 is different, and ἐπήρθη seems not merely to denote our Lord’s first leaving the ground (as Weiss, Overbeck), but also to be more in accordance with the calm and grandeur of the event than ἀπήρθη; this latter word would rather denote a taking away by violence.— καὶ νεφέλη ὑπέλαβε: the cloud is here, as elsewhere, the symbol of the divine glory, and it was also as St. Chrysostom called it: τὸ ὄχημα τὸ βασιλίκον; cf. Psalms 104:3. In 1 Timothy 3:16 we read that our Lord was received up ἐν δόξη, “in glory,” R.V.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/acts-1.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He was raised up. Raised himself up, and ascended, &c. (Witham)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Acts 1:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/acts-1.html. 1859.

 

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יום רביעי, 21 באוקטובר 2015

GOSPEL OF THE HEBREWS

The Hebrew and Greek Gospels Written by Matthew the Apostle of Jesus Christ
The Main Evidence
Matthew's Authorship of a Hebrew and Greek Gospel
The historical literary evidence indicates that the early church fathers believed that Matthew originally wrote his gospel in Hebrew (Aramaic) and then wrote a Greek translation. Based on the originality of Greek Matthew, it would have been an expanded version, which would certainly be the case if you were expanding the purpose and audience of the work. The Hebrew Matthew was not widely used because few in the Christian world could read Hebrew Aramaic and the Greek Gospel of Matthew was more suitable for both Jewish and Gentile Christians who lived across the Roman Empire. The Greek Matthew was the Gospel circulated with the other three New Testament Gospels, which were in the Greek language.
The Hebrew Matthew in its original form eventually passed away from disuse. However, it is likely that it was taken by the Ebionites and textually corrupted in the late second century with many additions, deletions, and changes and called by them the Gospel of the Hebrews.
Robert Thomas and F. David Farnell concur with this view that the early church fathers taught that Matthew wrote both a Hebrew and Greek version of his Gospel when they write,
“Without exception they held that the apostle Matthew wrote the canonical Matthew and that he wrote it first in a Semitic language.”1
Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from The Early Church Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff, William B. Eerdman’s Publishing, Reprint 2001 at CCEL Internet Library
For a list of the early church fathers, who they were and when they lived, mentioned in this article, click here.
The Original Language of a Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
Although the original language of Matthew’s Gospel is called Hebrew by the early church fathers and scholars use that designation for convenience, it is not technically pure Hebrew.
David Brown writes, “It is believed by a formidable number of critics that this Gospel was originally written in what is loosely called Hebrew, but more correctly Aramaic, or Syro-Chaldaic, the native tongue of the country at the time of our Lord…”2
Matthew’s Writings Paralleled by Josephus’ Writings
Matthew’s writing of a Hebrew original and then an expanded Greek translation was not unparalleled in the Mediterranean world. Josephus (37-100AD) the famous Jewish historian and Matthew’s contemporary, wrote his Jewish Wars first in Hebrew (Aramaic) which was eventually lost and then in Greek in a more formal and expanded form.
Josephus writes in his preface to his Jewish Wars,“I have proposed to myself; for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians.”3
The Historical Literary Evidence – The Early Church Testimony
This belief of Matthew’s authorship of both the Hebrew and Greek Gospel of Matthew can be clearly seen in the writings of three important church fathers, Irenaeus, Origen, and Eusebius.
Irenaeus (c.120–c.202) was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John the Apostle so his testimony concerning the authorship of the Gospel of Matthew, both in Hebrew and Greek is extremely important.
Origen (c.185–c.254) was a Christian scholar who was one of the few church fathers that knew both Hebrew and Greek.
Eusebius (c.265-c.340) was a church historian who wrote a large work called Church History.
The Early Church’s Testimony to Matthew’s Authorship of Two Gospels
All three men were Christian leaders in a position to know what the apostles said about the origin of the gospels. Irenaeus knew a disciple of an apostle. Origen and Eusebius had access to documents of the writings of those who knew the apostles or their disciples and knew the tradition that had been handed down by the early church about it. All three men consistently agree that Matthew wrote both a Hebrew and Greek Gospel.
1. The Testimony of Irenaeus
The testimony of Irenaeus is very important because of his relationship with Polycarp who was a church father who knew and conversed with John the Apostle.
Thomas and Farnell discuss his life and significance,
“Irenaeus (born c. A.D 115-120 and martyred c. A.D.200) was an immigrant from Asia Minor and a presbyter of the church at Lyons in Gaul. He was one of the early church's most able apologists and theologians, writing against Marcion and the Gnostics with his work Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So-called, which tradition has more conveniently labeled Against Heresies (completed C. A.D. 185). In his youth Irenaeus claims to have been a disciple of Polycarp (born c. A.D. 70 and died c.A.D. 155-160). Irenaeus writes, ‘Polycarp ... was not only instructed by apostles and conversed with many who had seen the Lord, but was also appointed bishop by apostles in Asia in the church in Smyrna.' Irenaeus continues, ‘We also saw him [namely, Polycarp] in our childhood.... He [namely, Polycarp] constantly taught those things which he had learnt from the apostles, which also are the tradition of the church, which alone are true.’
As reported by Eusebius, Polycarp, in turn, was a disciple of the apostle John: ‘I namely, Irenaeus, remember the events of those days more clearly than those which happened recently, for what we learn as children grows up with the soul and is united to it, so that I can speak even of the place in which the blessed Polycarp sat and disputed, how he came in and went out, the character of his life, the discourses which he made to the people, how he [Polycarp] reported his intercourse with John and with the others who had seen the Lord, how he remembered their words, and what were the things concerning the Lord which he had heard from them ... and how Polycarp had received them from the eyewitnesses of the word of life.’
Besides Polycarp, Irenaeus also had met and conversed with many apostolic and sub-apostolic fathers of Asia Minor and obtained information from them about the life and teachings of the Lord and the activities of the early church. He thus reflected information from many sources and not only from his own childhood memories. Irenaeus also had traveled extensively (for instance, from Asia Minor to Gaul and also the church in Rome), so that his information is not from an isolated region but widespread.”4
Irenaeus' Statement of Matthew's Authorship of an Original Hebrew Gospel
Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.1
“Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.”
Irenaeus' Statements of Matthew's Authorship of the Greek Gospel
1) Irenaeus refers to the widespread use of the Greek Gospel of Matthew and then names its author as Matthew the apostle.
In the following passage, Irenaeus says that the four gospels are pillars of the church scattered throughout the world. This reference to the widespread use of the Gospel of Matthew can only refer to the Greek Gospel of Matthew. Only the Greek Gospel of Matthew was read by Christians everywhere. He then mentions the authors of each of these gospels including Matthew as the author of this Greek Gospel of Matthew and quotes from the Greek text of Matthew.
Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.11.8
“It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the Church is scattered throughout all the world, and the ‘pillar and ground’ of the Church is the Gospel and the spirit of life; it is fitting that she should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh. From which fact, it is evident that the Word, the Artificer of all, He that sitteth upon the cherubim, and contains all things, He who was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four aspects, but bound together by one Spirit. For that according to John relates His original, effectual, and glorious generation from the Father, thus declaring, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ Also, ‘all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made.’ For this reason, too, is that Gospel full of all confidence, for such is His person. But that according to Luke, taking up [His] priestly character, commenced with Zacharias the priest offering sacrifice to God. For now was made ready the fatted calf, about to be immolated for the finding again of the younger son. Matthew, again, relates His generation as a man, saying, ‘The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham;’ and also, ‘The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise.’ This, then, is the Gospel of His humanity; for which reason it is, too, that [the character of] a humble and meek man is kept up through the whole Gospel. Mark, on the other hand, commences with [a reference to] the prophetical spirit coming down from on high to men, saying, ‘The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet,’ pointing to the winged aspect of the Gospel; and on this account he made a compendious and cursory narrative, for such is the prophetical character.”
2) Irenaeus refers to Matthew’s use of the Septuagint in writing the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
Irenaeus also indicates that Matthew wrote the Greek Gospel of Matthew when he writes that Matthew quoted from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, used by the apostles and the early church, which would only have been true of the Greek Gospel of Matthew. In the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, Matthew would have used the Hebrew Old Testament.
In the passage below, Irenaeus defends the apostles’ use of prophecies of the Old Testament in the Gospels and the letters of Paul. The Ebionites and other heretics who wanted to prove that Jesus was a mere man attacked the apostle’s use of the Old Testament saying that they added words to the prophecies to make Jesus divine.
Irenaeus first defends the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament by relating the tradition of its faithful translation by seventy Jewish elders and then defends the apostles’ careful use of this translation saying they added nothing to it. He then gives quotes from the Gospel of Luke and the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
Because the Septuagint was said to have been written in Egypt by seventy elders, in the passage below, Irenaeus calls the Septuagint, the “unadulterated Scriptures in Egypt” and the “interpretation of the elders.”
Irenaeus Against Heresies 3.21.3-4
“Since, therefore, the Scriptures [LXX, the Septuagint] have been interpreted with such fidelity, and by the grace of God, and since from these God has prepared and formed again our faith towards His Son, and has preserved to us the unadulterated Scriptures in Egypt [the LXX Septuagint] …But our faith is steadfast, unfeigned, and the only true one, having clear proof from these Scriptures [LXX, the Septuagint], which were interpreted in the way I have related; and the preaching of the Church is without interpolation. For the apostles, since they are of more ancient date than all these [heretics], agree with this aforesaid translation; and the translation harmonizes with the tradition of the apostles. For Peter, and John, and Matthew, and Paul, and the rest successively, as well as their followers, did set forth all prophetical [announcements], just as the interpretation of the elders contains them.
For the one and the same Spirit of God, who proclaimed by the prophets what and of what sort the advent of the Lord should be, did by these elders give a just interpretation of what had been truly prophesied; and He did Himself, by the apostles, announce that the fullness of the times of the adoption had arrived, that the kingdom of heaven had drawn nigh, and that He was dwelling within those that believe on Him who was born Emmanuel of the Virgin. To this effect they testify, saying, that before Joseph had come together with Mary, while she therefore remained in virginity, "she was found with child of the Holy Ghost;" [Matt.1: 18] and that the angel Gabriel said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;"[Luke 1:35] and that the angel said to Joseph in a dream, "Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, Behold, a virgin shall be with child." [Matt.1:22-23]
Irenaeus is saying that Peter (Mark’s Gospel), John (John’s Gospel), Matthew (Matthew’s Greek Gospel), and Paul (Luke’s Gospel) all quoted from the Septuagint. In terms of Matthew’s Gospel, this would only have been true of the Greek Matthew. Only the Greek Matthew would have used the Septuagint and Irenaeus only had the Greek Matthew to evaluate what Matthew was quoting.
3) Irenaeus states that Matthew made conscious choices as he wrote by the power of the Spirit and quotes those statements from the Greek text of Matthew.
In particular one of the phrases Irenaeus points out that Matthew uses is “God with us.” This is a translation of the Hebrew (Aramaic) word “Emmanuel” which Matthew added to explain the word to Gentile readers and would have only appeared in the Greek text. Irenaeus therefore must have assumed Matthew wrote the Greek text.
Irenaeus Against Heresies, 3.16.2
“That John knew the one and the same Word of God, and that He was the only begotten, and that He became incarnate for our salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord, I have sufficiently proved from the word of John himself. And Matthew, too, recognizing one and the same Jesus Christ, exhibiting his generation as a man from the Virgin, even as God did promise David that He would raise up from the fruit of his body an eternal King, having made the same promise to Abraham a long time previously, says: ‘The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.’ Then, that he might free our mind from suspicion regarding Joseph, he says: ‘But the birth of Christ was on this wise. When His mother was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then, when Joseph had it in contemplation to put Mary away, since she proved with child, the angel of God standing by him, and saying: ‘Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins. Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is, God with us;’ clearly signifying that both the promise made to the fathers had been accomplished, that the Son of God was born of a virgin, and that He Himself was Christ the Saviour whom the prophets had foretold; not, as these men assert, that Jesus was He who was born of Mary, but that Christ was He who descended from above.
Matthew might certainly have said, ‘Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise;’ but the Holy Ghost, foreseeing the corrupters, and guarding by anticipation against their deceit, says by Matthew, ‘But the birth of Christ was on this wise;’ and that He is Emmanuel, lest perchance we might consider Him as a mere man: for ‘not by the will of the flesh nor by the will of man, but by the will of God was the Word made flesh;’ and that we should not imagine that Jesus was one, and Christ another, but should know them to be one and the same.”
4) Irenaeus compares the writings of all four evangelists using similar phrasing expressing authorship for all four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John while quoting from the Greek Matthew.
Irenaeus Against Heresies 4.6.1
“For the Lord, revealing Himself to His disciples, that He Himself is the Word, who imparts knowledge of the Father, and reproving the Jews, who imagined that they, had [the knowledge of] God, while they nevertheless rejected His Word, through whom God is made known, declared, ‘No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whom the Son has willed to reveal [Him].’ Thus hath Matthew set it down, and Luke in like manner, and Mark the very same; for John omits this passage.”
The Credibility of Irenaeus’ Testimony
This clearly indicates that Irenaeus believed that Matthew had written the Greek Gospel of Matthew. Since Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John the apostle, Irenaeus’ knowledge of the authorship of the Greek Gospel of Matthew was based on what was told to him by those who were in a position to know who actually wrote it. This is powerful testimony to Matthew’s authorship of the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
2. The Testimony of Origen
Origen's Statement of Matthew's Authorship of an Original Hebrew Gospel
Origen Commentary on Matthew 1.1
“Concerning the four Gospels which alone are uncontroverted in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the Gospel according to Matthew, who was at one time a publican and afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first; and that he composed it in the Hebrew tongue and published it for the converts from Judaism. The second written was that according to Mark, who wrote it according to the instruction of Peter, who, in his General Epistle, acknowledged him as a son, saying, ‘The church that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.’ And third, was that according to Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, which he composed for the converts from the Gentiles. Last of all, that according to John.”
In the statement by Origen above, he implies that he considered the Hebrew Gospel and Greek translation made by Matthew as one work.
This is seen in the fact that in the first part of each statement he can only be referring to the Greek Matthew when he says “the four Gospels which alone are uncontroverted in the church of God” and “the four gospels, which even alone are not spoken against in the church of God under heaven.” The Greek Matthew was the only one circulated among the churches throughout the Roman Empire even to Origen’s day. Origen did not possess the Hebrew Matthew. Yet in the second part of the statement he mentions the original Hebrew Matthew. He must have seen them as one work.
Thomas Hartwell Horne, English Theologian and Bibliographer, agrees with this conclusion that when Origen wrote of the authorship of the Gospel of Matthew he had in mind the Greek Gospel even though he mentioned the Hebrew original, “The testimony of Origen has been thought perfectly to correspond with this: for surely, it has been said, when he cited tradition for the existence of a Hebrew Gospel, written by Matthew for the converts from Judaism, he by no means denied but rather presupposed his Greek Gospel, written for all classes of Christians, composing the whole church of God under heaven, for whose use the Hebrew Gospel would be utterly inadequate.”5
Origen's Statements of Matthew's Authorship of the Greek Gospel
1) Origen indicates his belief in the authorship of Greek Matthew when he cites Matthew’s origination of a Greek word in the Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew.
Origen, On Prayer 17
“Let us now consider what the word ‘epiousion,’ ‘needful,’ means. First of all it should be known that the word ‘epiousion’ is not found in any Greek writer whether in philosophy or in common usage, but seems to have been formed by the evangelists. At least Matthew and Luke, in having given it to the world, concur in using it in identical form. The same thing has been done by translators from Hebrew in other instances also.”
Thomas Hartwell Horne concurs that this is evidence that Origen believed that Matthew was the writer/translator of Greek Matthew,
“In fact, in his treatise on prayer, he intimates that the Evangelist published it in Greek also; for, discoursing on the word ‘epiousion,’ he considers it as formed by the Evangelists themselves.”6
Thomas Townson concurs,
“Origen, who, as we have seen above, speaks of St. Matthew's Gospel as written in Hebrew, seems in his book on Prayer to suppose it published by him in Greek too: for in discoursing on the word ‘epiousion’ he considers it as a word formed by the Evangelist himself.”7
2) Origen compares the writings of all four evangelists using similar phrasing expressing authorship for all four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John while quoting from the Greek Matthew.
Origen in his Commentary on John compares the Greek texts of the four NT Gospels. As he does this he compares and contrasts what each of the authors wrote including Matthew. Because he was comparing the Greek text of Matthew’s Gospel he clearly indicates that he believed that Matthew was its author/translator.
Origen, Commentary on John 6.17
“These, then, are the parallel passages of the four; let us try to see as clearly as we can what is the purport of each and wherein they differ from each other. And we will begin with Matthew, who is reported by tradition to have published his Gospel before the others, to the Hebrews, those, namely, of the circumcision who believed.”
Origen Commentary on John 6.31
“John the disciple does not tell us where the Saviour comes from to John the Baptist, but we learn this from Matthew, who writes: ‘Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptized of him.’ And Mark adds the place in Galilee; he says, ‘And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in Jordan.’ Luke does not mention the place Jesus came from, but on the other hand he tells us what we do not learn from the others, that immediately after the baptism, as He was coming up, heaven was opened to Him, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. Again, it is Matthew alone who tells us of John's preventing the Lord, saying to the Saviour, ‘I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?’ None of the others added this after Matthew, so that they might not be saying just the same as he. And what the Lord rejoined, ‘Suffer it now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness,’ this also Matthew alone recorded.”
Thomas and Farnell write that Origen made no distinction between the Aramaic and Greek versions of Matthew’s Gospel. They share this in their analysis of Origen’s statement in his Homily on Luke 1,
“Origen accepted only four gospels: [Origen states] ‘For Matthew did not 'take in hand' but wrote by the Holy Spirit, and so did Mark and John and also equally Luke.’ In this quotation, Origen does not distinguish between Greek and Aramaic versions of Matthew, but includes the Greek Matthew as written by the apostle himself along with the other three gospels (namely, John, Mark, and Luke). Though Origen was aware that Matthew originally wrote in Hebrew…this latter statement implies that he made no distinction between the Aramaic and Greek versions, but included the Greek as equally authoritative with the other three gospels and also stressed its origin from the Holy Spirit.”8
3. The Testimony of Eusebius
Eusebius' Statement of Matthew's Authorship of an Original Hebrew Gospel
Eusebius Church History 3.24.5-6
“And the rest of the followers of our Savior, the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and countless others besides, were not ignorant of these things. Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity. For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.”
Eusebius' Statements of Matthew's Authorship of the Greek Gospel
1) Eusebius refers to Matthew’s translating of the Hebrew text to Greek in his Old Testament quotations.
In his Commentary on Psalms, he does this by referring to Matthew’s translating of the Hebrew to Greek in citing OT passages. Only if Matthew was the author of the Greek Matthew, could Matthew be said to change the Hebrew text into Greek when he was writing (or translating) the text of the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
Eusebius, Commentary on Psalms, Ps.78 (Comparing Ps.78:2 to Matt.13:35)
“Which also the scripture of the sacred gospels teaches, where it is said: ‘All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables. And without a parable spake he not unto them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation.’ For instead of, ‘I will speak dark sayings of old,’ [or from the beginning,] Matthew, as being a Hebrew, uses a translation of his own, saying: ‘I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation.’ Instead of which Aquila has translated: ‘I will pour down things which have been enigmatical from the beginning.’ And Symmachus: ‘I will cause to spring up ancient dark sayings.’”9
William Lee evaluated Eusebius’ statement about Ps.78,
“Eusebius, commenting on Ps. 78, observes that the phraseology of the LXX is different from that employed by S. Matthew, who, himself master of the Hebrew language, has cited the words according to his own translation…”10
Thomas Townson shows his agreement when he wrote,
“Eusebius also, who in one place relates that Matthew wrote in Hebrew in another remarks, that in Chapt. xiii. ver. 35. he does not follow the Seventy, but as a Hebrew makes his own translation.”11
2) Eusebius directly states that Matthew translated the Hebrew text of his gospel into Greek and gives an example.
In his work, Questiones Ad Marinum, Eusebius clearly states that Matthew himself changed or translated the Hebrew into the Greek Matthew.
Eusebius, Questiones Ad Marinum (Comparing Matt. 28:1 to Jn.20:1)
“For on the one hand the evangelist Matthew transmitted the gospel in the Hebrew language. On the other hand, having changed it to the Greek language, he said ‘the hour drawing towards dawn unto the Lord’s day, after the close of the Sabbath.’ Thus therefore, Matthew mentioned the time drawing towards the dawn of the Lord’s Day, ‘after the close of the Sabbaths [plural]’ not having said ‘the evening of the Sabbath’, nor ‘after the Sabbath [singular].’”12
William Lee comments on this passage also,
“He [Eusebius] is discussing the relation of S. Matt, xxviii.1, to S. John, xx. 1…On this, he proceeds to argue as if the Greek term ‘opse’ had proceeded from S. Matthew; as well as from the use of the plural, sabbaton.”13
3) Eusebius refers to the Gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew and then in the same paragraph refers to the Gospel of Matthew written in Greek indicating that he saw them as one gospel.
Eusebius' reference occurs in the passage below from his Church History.
This indicates that he referred to them as the same work because the Greek Gospel was Matthew’s expanded translation of his original Hebrew Gospel.
In v.5 below, Eusebius mentions that Matthew and John were the only apostles who left Christians written memorials (gospels).
In v. 6, Eusebius refers to Matthew’s writing of his gospel in Hebrew with the words, “committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue.”
In v.7, he refers to John the Apostle having all three gospels and then writing his gospel. When he refers to these Gospels that John had, he also says about all three that they came “into the hands of all” which means that the church at large possessed the three Gospels which Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote. The only Gospel of Matthew that the church possessed at large was the Greek Gospel of Matthew. He refers to John accepting the Greek Matthew and its truthfulness along with the other two.
Eusebius Church History 3.24.5-8
“v.5 And the rest of the followers of our Savior, the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, and countless others besides, were not ignorant of these things. Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity.
v.6 For Matthew, who had at first preached to the Hebrews, when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence.
7. And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry.
8. And this indeed is true. For it is evident that the three evangelists recorded only the deeds done by the Saviour for one year after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and indicated this in the beginning of their account.”
9. For Matthew, after the forty days’ fast and the temptation which followed it, indicates the chronology of his work when he says: “Now when he heard that John was delivered up he withdrew from Judea into Galilee.”
10. Mark likewise says: “Now after that John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee.” And Luke, before commencing his account of the deeds of Jesus, similarly marks the time, when he says that Herod, “adding to all the evil deeds which he had done, shut up John in prison.”
If you look carefully, you will see that Eusebius refers to the Hebrew Matthew of v.5 in v.7 as “the three gospels already mentioned” yet he refers to the Greek Matthew when he says, “having come into the hands of all.” The only way that could be true is if Eusebius considered them both as one work, a Hebrew and Greek version of one Gospel of Matthew. This is perfectly understandable if the Greek Matthew was an expanded translation of the Hebrew Matthew both written by Matthew.
In v.9 and 10, he compares the writings of Matthew with Mark and Luke using similar phrasing expressing authorship for all four evangelists while quoting from the Greek Matthew.
Thomas and Farnell agree with this conclusion when they comment on this passage of Eusebius (3.24.5-10),
“Though Eusebius mentions that Matthew first wrote in the Hebrew language, he also considers Greek Matthew to have come from the apostle's hand. He notes that John was aware of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and confirmed their accuracy when he composed his gospel. Eusebius refers to sections of the Greek Matthew and ascribes them to the apostle as their author."14
4) Eusebius indicates that Matthew wrote a passage that could only have come from Greek Matthew, thus indicating his belief that Matthew wrote the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
In the passage below, Eusebius quotes the words of Jesus on the cross in Matthew’s Gospel. These words are first given in the Hebrew Aramaic which Jesus spoke to explain why people thought Jesus was crying out for Elijah. It is then translated into Greek by the author whom Eusebius says is Matthew when he writes “Matthew recorded.” This could only be true of the Greek Matthew where the author would have translated them into Greek to help his readers understand what Jesus was saying. There would have been no need for this in the Hebrew Matthew.
Eusebius Demonstratio Evangelica 10.8
“The words, ‘My God, give ear to me, why hast thou forsaken me?’ spoken at the opening of the Psalm, are recorded by Matthew to have been said by our Saviour at the time of the Passion: ‘And at the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and at the ninth hour Jesus called with a loud voice, Eloim, Eloim, lama sabachthani, that is to say, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’”
(Quote is from The Proof of the Gospel Being The Demonstratio Evangelica of Eusebius of Caesarea, Tr. W.J. Ferrar, Vol.1 The Macmillan Company, New York, 1920 (CCEL))
John Owen concurs with this when he writes,
“The words he uttered were taken from Ps. 22:1, of which ‘Eli, Eli, lama’ are Hebrew, and ‘sabachthani’ is the Aramean or Syro-Chaldaic, which was the language then in common use…’That is to say, i. e. which being interpreted.’ These are the words of the Evangelist, who wrote his gospel in Greek, but retained the words as spoken by Jesus, in order to show why the Jews represented him as calling upon Elias. Those who contend that Matthew's gospel was first written in Hebrew or the Aramaic, make the words ‘that is to say,’ those of the translator.”15
5) Eusebius refers to Matthew as the writer of the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
He writes of the “gospel written by him” and quotes Greek Matthew.
Eusebius Demonstratio Evangelica 3.5
“The Apostle Matthew, if you consider his former life, did not leave a holy occupation, but came from those occupied in tax-gathering and over-reaching one another. None of the evangelists has made this clear, neither his fellow-apostle John, nor Luke, nor Mark, but [Matthew] himself, who brands his own life, and becomes his own accuser. Listen how he dwells emphatically on his own name in the Gospel written by him, when he speaks in this way: ‘And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll, and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.’”
(Quote is from The Proof of the Gospel Being The Demonstratio Evangelica of Eusebius of Caesarea, Tr. W.J. Ferrar, Vol.1 The Macmillan Company, New York, 1920 (CCEL))
And again further on, when he gives a list of the disciples, he adds the name "Publican" to his own. For he says: ‘Of the twelve apostles the names are these: First, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican.’ Thus Matthew, in excess of modesty, reveals the nature of his own old life, and calls himself a publican, he does not conceal his former mode of life, and in addition to this he places himself second after his yoke-fellow.”
Summary:
The testimonies of these three early church fathers were chosen because they offer the clearest evidence that it was believed by the early church that Matthew wrote both a Hebrew and a Greek Gospel of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
They also offer different perspectives. Irenaeus was a bishop who knew a disciple of the apostles. Origen was a Biblical scholar. Eusebius was a church historian.
The historical literary evidence demonstrates that Matthew wrote a gospel in Hebrew for Jewish converts and then wrote an expanded Greek gospel for both Jews and Gentiles around the world. The Greek Matthew had many original additions. The Hebrew Matthew was not widely used and eventually passed out of sight.
When the early church fathers indicated that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew they never indicated that the Greek Matthew was written or translated by Matthew because it was fully accepted.
This conclusion is the only one that takes into consideration all the statements of the church fathers and synthesizes them into a coherent belief. This is what is demonstrated by the historical literary evidence.
Matthew’s Authorship of a Hebrew and Greek Gospel
More Evidence
In our main article we saw the testimony of three early church fathers, Irenaeus, Origen, and Eusebius indicate that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew (Aramaic) and in Greek. In this article is more testimony from other early church fathers.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from The Early Church Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff, William B. Eerdman’s Publishing, Reprint 2001 at CCEL Internet Library
For a list of the early church fathers, who they were and when they lived, mentioned in this article, click here.
Testimony for Matthew’s Authorship of a Hebrew Gospel
The historical literary evidence demonstrates that the early church understood Matthew the Apostle to have been the author of an original Hebrew (Aramaic) Gospel of Matthew.
1. The Testimony of Papias (100-120 AD)
Papias was an early church father who ministered in the first half of the second century.
James Morison explains his significance to the question of a Hebrew Gospel of Matthew,
“But let us look…at the earliest and most important of all the testimonies on the subject. It has been singularly preserved in a fragment of the writings of Papias, that has itself been happily preserved by Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History. Papias flourished in the beginning of the 2nd century. He was, says Irenaeus, ‘a companion of Polycarp.’ He became bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia. He had been a hearer of Aristion and John the Presbyter, personal disciples of the Lord.”1
Papias as quoted by Eusebius 3.39.16
“But concerning Matthew he writes as follows: ‘So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.’”
There are several views that scholars take regarding what Papias’ brief statement means. It is the view of the author that Papias is most likely describing a Hebrew original version of Matthew’s Gospel, which at the beginning needed to be translated into Greek to be understood by Greek speaking Gentiles of which there were many. Once Matthew wrote the Greek version a Hebrew version was no longer necessary.
Robert Thomas holds this view as he writes,
“A final view, distinct from the others (and also from their synoptic hypotheses) is that Papias referred to an earlier edition of Matthew. This was written entirely in Hebrew (namely, Aramaic) and preceded the Greek version of the gospel. That was perhaps a proto-Matthew, namely, a shorter version that eventually came to be incorporated into (not necessarily translated from but contained within) an expanded Greek version, namely, the canonical gospel of Matthew.
Thus, Papias indicated that Matthew wrote first (prior to the other gospels) and that in so doing, he produced an initial Aramaic edition. The Aramaic edition served as a model and/or source for some of the contents of his Greek edition that he most likely produced as a fresh work soon after he wrote the Aramaic one.”
2. The Testimony of Pantaenus (d.c.200 AD)
Eusebius writes concerning the testimony to the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew of an important church leader named Pantaenus. Pantaenus had become leader of the Catechetical School of Alexandria previous to Clement who was followed by Origen.
Eusebius, History of the Church 5.10.3-4
“Pantaenus was one of these and is said to have gone to India. It is reported that among persons there who knew of Christ, he found the Gospel according to Matthew, which had anticipated his own arrival. For Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them, and left with them the writing of Matthew in the Hebrew language, which they had preserved till that time. After many good deeds, Pantaenus finally became the head of the school at Alexandria, and expounded the treasures of divine doctrine both orally and in writing.”
Jerome also mentions Pantaenus and his testimony in his work, The Lives of Illustrious Men.
Jerome Lives of Illustrious Men, 36
“Pantaenus, a philosopher of the stoic school, according to some old Alexandrian custom, where, from the time of Mark the evangelist the ecclesiastics were always doctors, was of so great prudence and erudition both in scripture and secular literature that, on the request of the legates of that nation, he was sent to India by Demetrius bishop of Alexandria, where he found that Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, had preached the advent of the Lord Jesus according to the gospel of Matthew, and on his return to Alexandria he brought this with him written in Hebrew characters. Many of his commentaries on Holy Scripture are indeed extant, but his living voice was of still greater benefit to the churches. He taught in the reigns of the emperor Severus and Antoninus surnamed Caracalla.”
William Lee comments concerning Pantaenus’ testimony,
“To the foregoing passages must be added the strictly independent, and, therefore, from the nature of this controversy, most important, testimony of S. Pantaenus (A. D. 181). Eusebius tells us that S. Pantaenus preached the Gospel as far as India; and that he there found some persons acquainted with S. Matthew's Gospel, to whom S. Bartholomew the Apostle had already preached (Hist. Eccl. lib. v. ?. 10, p. 223). The evidence, of which a sketch has thus been given, must be held to establish the fact that S. Matthew originally wrote in Hebrew, or rather Syro-Chaldaic.”3
3. The Testimony of Epiphanius (c.320- 403AD)
Epiphanius was bishop of Salamis, a city on the east coast of the island of Cyprus.
Epiphanius indicates in his Panarion that Matthew wrote first and in Hebrew (Aramaic) for the Hebrews.
Epiphanius Panarion 51.5.1
“For Matthew was the first to become an evangelist. He was directed to issue the Gospel first. (I have spoken largely of this in another sect; however I shall not mind dealing with the same things again, as proof of the truth and in refutation of the erring.) As I said, Matthew, was privileged to be the first Gospel, and this was absolutely right. Because he had repented of many sins, and had risen from the receipt of custom and followed him who came for man’s salvation and said, ‘I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance, it was Matthew’s duty to present the message of salvation first as an example for us, who would be saved like this man who was restored in the tax office and turned from his iniquity. From him men would learn the graciousness of Christ’s advent.”
(Quote is from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Tr. Frank Williams, BRILL, Boston, Mass. 1987)
Epiphanius Panarion 51.5.3
Matthew himself wrote and issued the gospel in the Hebrew alphabet, and did not begin at the beginning, but traced Christ’s pedigree from Abraham. ‘Abraham begat Isaac’ he said, ‘and Isaac begat Jacob’ and so on down to Joseph and Mary.
(Quote is from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Tr. Frank Williams, BRILL, Boston, Mass. 1987)
4. The Testimony of Augustine (354AD-430AD)
Augustine is important because he lived at the same time as Jerome and most likely reflects the views of the bishops and other leaders of the church apart from Jerome’s scholarly speculation concerning the Gospel of Matthew.
Augustine indicates in his Harmony of the Gospels that Matthew wrote his gospel in the Hebrew language.
Augustine Harmony of the Gospels, 1.2.4
“Of these four, it is true, only Matthew is reckoned to have written in the Hebrew language; the others in Greek. And however they may appear to have kept each of them a certain order of narration proper to himself, this certainly is not to be taken as if each individual writer chose to write in ignorance of what his predecessor had done, or left out as matters about which there was no information things which another nevertheless is discovered to have recorded. But the fact is, that just as they received each of them the gift of inspiration, they abstained from adding to their several labours any superfluous conjoint compositions. For Matthew is understood to have taken it in hand to construct the record of the incarnation of the Lord according to the royal lineage, and to give an account of most part of His deeds and words as they stood in relation to this present life of men.”
5. The Testimony of Jerome (342-420 AD)
Jerome was a Biblical scholar who studied Greek and Hebrew, wrote the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible and several commentaries.
Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, 3
“Matthew also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed…”
For more testimony on the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew by Jerome, see the article “Jerome’s Scholarly Speculation.”
Testimony for Matthew’s Authorship of the Greek Gospel
The historical literary evidence demonstrates that the early church understood Matthew the Apostle himself to have been the author of the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
Note: It is held by virtually all scholars that the early church fathers had only the Greek Gospel of Matthew. Any commentary on the text they make comes from their reading and study of the Greek text of Matthew. Hence, all statements made by the church fathers about the prominence and widespread use of the Gospels always refer to the Greek Gospel of Matthew. There were references to the existence of a Hebrew Matthew at one time, but there is no clear evidence that a church father actually possessed it and used it.
Only Origen and later Jerome even understood Hebrew and could have used it anyway. Jerome mentions that he had what people in his time were calling the “Original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew,” but he never uses it as if it were indeed the original Hebrew Matthew. For more information on Jerome’s statements see “Jerome’s Scholarly Speculation.”
1. The Testimony of Tertullian (c.160 – c.220)
1) Tertullian refers to the impact and widespread use of the Greek Gospel of Matthew and then names its author as Matthew the apostle.
In the following two passages from chapter 4 of Tertullian’s work Against Marcion Tertullian states that John and Matthew “first instilled faith into us” referring to their authorship of their respective gospels which had spiritually impacted the lives of believers throughout the Mediterranean world (4.2). He then states that the churches “possessed” the four gospels, referring to the widespread use of the four gospels (4.5). Both comments about the widespread use of the gospels could only have been true of the Greek Matthew since the churches at large didn’t possess the Hebrew Matthew. His indication that Matthew was the author of his gospel refers to the Greek Matthew.
Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.2
“We lay it down as our first position, that the evangelical Testament has apostles for its authors, to whom was assigned by the Lord Himself this office of publishing the gospel. Since, however, there are apostolic men also, they are yet not alone, but appear with apostles and after apostles; because the preaching of disciples might be open to the suspicion of an affectation of glory, if there did not accompany it the authority of the masters, which means that of Christ, for it was that which made the apostles their masters. Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instill faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards. These all start with the same principles of the faith, so far as relates to the one only God the Creator and His Christ, how that He was born of the Virgin, and came to fulfill the law and the prophets.”
Tertullian Against Marcion, 4.5
“…The same authority of the apostolic churches will afford evidence to the other Gospels also, which we possess equally through their means, and according to their usage--I mean the Gospels of John and Matthew--whilst that which Mark published may be affirmed to be Peter's whose interpreter Mark was. For even Luke's form of the Gospel men usually ascribe to Paul. And it may well seem that the works which disciples publish belong to their masters.”
2) Tertullian indicates that Matthew wrote the Greek gospel he quotes. He uses standard phrases that express authorship.
This is especially significant in that Tertullian never mentions the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. All his references to the Gospel of Matthew come from the Greek text.
Tertullian, On The Flesh of Christ 20
“It is, however, a fortunate circumstance that Matthew also, when tracing down the Lord's descent from Abraham to Mary, says, ‘Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Christ.’”
Tertullian, On the Flesh of Christ 22
“There is, first of all, Matthew, that most faithful chronicler of the Gospel, because the companion of the Lord; for no other reason in the world than to show us clearly the fleshly original of Christ, he thus begins his Gospel: ‘The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.’”
2. The Testimony of Epiphanius (c.320- 403AD)
As mentioned above, Epiphanius is significant because he lived the same time as Jerome and reflects what was held by the bishops of the church concerning the authorship of the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
Quotes are from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Tr. Frank Williams, BRILL, Boston, Mass. 1987
Epiphanius indicates in his Panarion that Matthew wrote the Greek gospel he quotes. He uses standard phrases that express authorship.
Epiphanius Panarion 8.2
“For St. Matthew enumerated the generations (of Christ’s genealogy) in three paragraphs, and said that there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David till the captivity, and fourteen until the captivity until Christ.”
Epiphanius Panarion 51.5.4
“And he wrote at the beginning, ‘The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David,’ and then said, ‘the son of Abraham.’ Then, coming to his main point, he said, “The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”
Epiphanius Panarion 51.6.2
“Didn’t God give each evangelist his own assignment, so that each of the four evangelists whose duty was to proclaim the gospel could find what he was to do and proclaim some things in agreement and alike to show that they were from the same source, but otherwise describe what another had omitted, as each received his proportionate share from the Spirit?”
3. The Testimony of Augustine (354AD-430AD)
Augustine, like Epiphanius is important because he lived at the same time as Jerome and balances out any scholarly speculation by Jerome concerning the Greek Gospel of Matthew. Augustine’s views most likely represented the ones held by the bishops of the church.
1) Augustine also indicates that Matthew wrote the Greek Gospel of Matthew by quoting a passage that could only have come from Greek Matthew and naming Matthew as its author.
In the passage below, like Eusebius, Augustine quotes the words of Jesus on the cross in Matthew’s Gospel. These words are first given in the Hebrew Aramaic which Jesus spoke to explain why people thought Jesus was crying out for Elijah. It is then translated into Greek by the author whom Augustine says is Matthew when he writes “Matthew continues [in his narrative].” This could only be true of the Greek Matthew where the author would have translated them into Greek to help his readers understand what Jesus was saying. There would have been no need for this in the Hebrew Matthew.
The Harmony of the Gospels, 3.17.54
“Matthew proceeds in the following terms: ‘Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.’ The same fact is attested by two others of the evangelists. Luke adds, however, a statement of the cause of the darkness, namely, that the sun was darkened. Again, Matthew continues thus: ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani! That is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ And some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, ‘This man calls for Elias.’ Mark's agreement with this is almost complete, so far as regards the words, and not only almost, but altogether complete, so far as the sense is concerned.”
2) Augustine also indicates in his Harmony that Matthew was the author of the Greek Matthew in his statement that Matthew gave the world his gospel which could only have been the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
Augustine Harmony of the Gospels, 1.1.1
“In the entire number of those divine records which are contained in the sacred writings, the gospel deservedly stands pre-eminent. For what the law and the prophets aforetime announced as destined to come to pass, is exhibited in the gospel in its realization and fulfillment. The first preachers of this gospel were the apostles, who beheld our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in person when He was yet present in the flesh. And not only did these men keep in remembrance the words heard from His lips, and the deeds wrought by Him beneath their eyes; but they were also careful, when the duty of preaching the gospel was laid upon them, to make mankind acquainted with those divine and memorable occurrences which took place at a period antecedent to the formation of their own connection with Him in the way of discipleship, which belonged also to the time of His nativity, His infancy, or His youth, and with regard to which they were able to institute exact inquiry and to obtain information, either at His own hand or at the hands of His parents or other parties, on the ground of the most reliable intimations and the most trustworthy testimonies. Certain of them also - namely, Matthew and John - gave to the world, in their respective books, a written account of all those matters which it seemed needful to commit to writing concerning Him.”
Again, Augustine indicates that Matthew was the author of the Greek Matthew with his statement that his gospel, along with the other evangelists, had remarkable circulation over the whole world which could only be true of the Greek Matthew.
Augustine Harmony of the Gospels, 1.2.3
“Now, those four evangelists whose names have gained the most remarkable circulation over the whole world, and whose number has been fixed as four—it may be for the simple reason that there are four divisions of that world through the universal length of which they, by their number as by a kind of mystical sign, indicated the advancing extension of the Church of Christ—are believed to have written in the order which follows: first Matthew, then Mark, thirdly Luke, lastly John. Hence, too, [it would appear that] these had one order determined among them with regard to the matters of their personal knowledge and their preaching [of the gospel], but a different order in reference to the task of giving the written narrative. As far, indeed, as concerns the acquisition of their own knowledge and the charge of preaching, those unquestionably came first in order who were actually followers of the Lord when He was present in the flesh, and who heard Him speak and saw Him act; and [with a commission received] from His lips they were dispatched to preach the gospel. But as respects the task of composing that record of the gospel which is to be accepted as ordained by divine authority, there were (only) two, belonging to the number of those whom the Lord chose before the Passover, that obtained places—namely, the first place and the last. For the first place in order was held by Matthew, and the last by John. And thus the remaining two, who did not belong to the number referred to, but who at the same time had become followers of the Christ who spoke in these others, were supported on either side by the same, like sons who were to be embraced, and who in this way were set in the midst between these two.”
Thomas and Farnell comment that this passage reveals Augustine’s belief that Matthew authored both the Hebrew and Greek versions of Matthew’s Gospel.
“Here Augustine implicitly accepts that the Greek Matthew came from the apostle Matthew as its author and that John was written by the apostle John...Augustine goes on to note that prior to the Greek version of Matthew, the apostle wrote first in the Hebrew language, once again confirming the tradition set forth in the other church fathers: ‘Of these four, it is true, only Matthew is reckoned to have written in the Hebrew language; the others in Greek.’ Yet as with other church fathers, Augustine does not explain the transition from Aramaic to Greek, but accepts without question that the Greek version was from the apostle. He confirmed that latter point by following up his comments on the order of the Gospels and on Matthew's composition of his gospel in Greek before the others with his analysis of the Greek Matthew (as well as the other Greek gospels) as to their themes and character, thereby leaving the strong impression that he saw no significant difference between the Aramaic and Greek versions of Matthew's gospel.”4
4. Jerome (342-420 AD)
For the comments by Jerome, see article entitled “Scholarly Speculation of Jerome.”
5. Leo the Great (395-461 AD)
Leo was a significant leader in the church of the 5th century who lived after Jerome. He also shows that the bishops of the church believed that Matthew wrote the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
1) Leo, like Augustine, indicates that Matthew wrote the Greek Gospel of Matthew by quoting a passage that could only have come from Greek Matthew and naming Matthew as its author.
He states “Matthew says” and then quotes the same Greek text that Irenaeus quotes Emmanuel which is interpreted ‘God with us.’ This is a translation of the Hebrew (Aramaic) word “Emmanuel” which Matthew added to explain the word to Gentile readers and would have only appeared in the Greek text. Like Irenaeus, Leo therefore must have assumed Matthew wrote the Greek text.
Leo the Great (d. 461A.D.), Sermon 23, On the Feast of the Nativity III
“And so God, the Son of God, equal and of the same nature from the Father and with the Father, Creator and Lord of the Universe, Who is completely present everywhere, and completely exceeds all things, in the due course of time, which runs by His own disposal, chose for Himself this day on which to be born of the blessed virgin Mary for the salvation of the world, without loss of the mother’s honour. For her virginity was violated neither at the conception nor at the birth: ‘that it might be fulfilled,’ as the Evangelist says, ‘which was spoken by the Lord through Isaiah the prophet, saying, behold the virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is interpreted, God with us.’ For this wondrous child-bearing of the holy Virgin produced in her offspring one person which was truly human and truly Divine.”
2) Leo indicates in his other works that Matthew wrote the Greek gospel he quotes. He uses standard phrases that express authorship.
Leo the Great, Letter 28, To Flavian commonly called "the Tome"
“But if he could not draw a rightful understanding (of the matter) from this pure source of the Christian belief, because he had darkened the brightness of the clear truth by a veil of blindness peculiar to himself, he might have submitted himself to the teaching of the Gospels. And when Matthew speaks of ‘the Book of the Generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.’ he might have also sought out the instruction afforded by the statements of the Apostles.”
Scholarly Support For the Authorship of the Hebrew and Greek Gospels of Matthew by Matthew the Apostle
Many New Testament scholars past and present accept the position that Matthew wrote an original briefer edition of his gospel and then later wrote an expanded Greek version of his gospel.
General Statements by NT Scholars that Matthew wrote both the Hebrew and Greek Gospels of Matthew.
These statements are arranged chronologically.
1. Thomas Townson
“But there seems more reason for allowing two originals than for contesting either; the consent of antiquity pleading strongly for the Hebrew, and evident marks of originality for the Greek. There are instances of authors who have themselves published the same work in two languages. So Josephus wrote the History of the Jewish War. And as St. Matthew wanted not ability nor disposition, we cannot think he wanted inducement, to ‘do the work of an Evangelist’ for his brethren of the common faith, Hellenists as well as Hebrews; to both of whom charity made him a debtor. The popular language of the first believers was Hebrew, what is called so by the sacred and ancient ecclesiastical writers; but they who spoke Greek quickly became a considerable part of the church of Christ.”1
2. Nathaniel Lardner
“Here is an authentic testimony to the genuineness of the gospel of St. Matthew. It was well known in the time of Papias. No one doubted but it was written by him…Allowing St. Matthew's gospel to have been written in Hebrew, it does not follow from what Papias says that there was then no Greek gospel of St. Matthew, or that Papias knew of no such.
Papias collected accounts of former things from any persons whom he thought credible. What he says, therefore, of every one interpreting it as he was able, may relate only to some short time after it was written. All that can be concluded from what Papias says is that he thought the gospel of Matthew was written originally in Hebrew; and that for some time, till a Greek translation was published, every one interpreted it as he could. That at the time of Papias, and before, there was extant a Greek gospel of St. Matthew, is apparent from the quotations or allusions of the apostolical fathers, particularly those of Ignatius and Polycarp; there being a great agreement between them and our Greek gospel, not only in sense, but also in the very words.”2
3. Archibald Alexander
“By the testimonies already cited, it seems that there was but one opinion among the ancients in regard to this matter. With one voice they inform us, that it was written in Hebrew; or in the vernacular tongue of the Jews, which in the Scriptures, and by the Christian Fathers, is called Hebrew. This language is now called Syro-Chaldaic…Although the Greek language was understood by all the learned in Judea at this time, and by many of the people, yet it was not the vernacular language of the Jews dwelling in Palestine. In a book composed for the immediate use of the churches in Judea, it was necessary that it should be in that language which they all understood…This being the first gospel that was composed, it would naturally be in great request with all Christians who knew of its existence; and as none but the Jewish Christians could understand it, as first published, it is exceedingly probable, that a request was made of the author to publish an edition of it in Greek, also, by those who did not understand the Hebrew; or, by such as were going to preach the gospel in countries where the Greek language was in common use.”3
4. Johann Albrecht Bengel
“By the same authorities [the early church fathers], Matthew is said to have written his gospel in Hebrew. Why should he not have written the same work, the same without the slightest variation, in Greek as well as in Hebrew, even though he did not, strictly speaking, translate it from one language into another?”4
5. William Lee
“We cannot doubt, therefore, that, as soon as the want was felt of a Greek translation of the Hebrew Gospel, means were taken to supply it to which the additional motive was added of providing a work profitable for the Church universal, which day after day was taking deeper root among the Gentiles as it was spurned by the Jews. The Hebrew Gospel, therefore, was at once supplanted by its Greek successor, which from the earliest times has occupied the first place in the New Testament Canon. On no other hypothesis, indeed, than that of S. Matthew himself having supplied the present form of his earlier work, can we account either for the profound silence of ancient writers respecting the translator whose version, as we have seen, was everywhere received and quoted as if it actually proceeded from S. Matthew himself; or for the absence of the least trace of any other Greek translation of the Hebrew original.”5
6. John Kitto and Charles Hitchcock
“Many of the ancients say that he wrote it in the Hebrew or Syriac language…it is probable that there might be an edition of it in Hebrew, published by St. Matthew himself, at the same time that he wrote it in Greek; the former for the Jews, the latter for the Gentiles, when he left Judaea to preach among the heathen.”6
7. Thomas Hartwell Horne
“From a review of all the arguments adduced on this much litigated question, we cannot but prefer the last stated opinion as that which best harmonizes with the consent of antiquity, namely, that St. Matthew wrote first a Hebrew Gospel for the use of the first Hebrew convert…It also is clear, that our present Greek Gospel is an authentic original, and consequently an inspired production of the Evangelist Matthew…”7
8. Philip Schaff and M.B. Riddle
“Those fathers who assert that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, also assert that his work was translated into Greek, and unhesitatingly employ the present Greek Gospel as a faithful representative of the Apostolic production. If we accept a Hebrew original, then we must also conclude that when the necessity for a Greek version became obvious, Matthew himself made, or caused to be made, the present Greek Gospel…it accords with the testimony of the fathers, accounts for the double assignment of dates which we find, and also for the universal acceptance of our Gospel.”8
9. Frederic Louis Godet
“But what if we were led to this result, that the two opinions are each partly true, and that our first gospel is partly a Hebrew writing and partly an original Greek writing? In any case, is it not evident that if Jesus spoke in Aramaic, every Greek reproduction of His words is consequently a translation either of His spoken words or of His words committed to writing? But how can we pronounce with certainty on such an alternative?
We should mention yet a hypothesis…namely, that Matthew after having, as the Fathers say, written his gospel in Hebrew, published it anew in Greek. One can quote as an instance of a like procedure what Josephus tells us of himself, ‘that he had first written his book in Hebrew, his mother-tongue for the barbarians, — thus does he designate his own people, — and that then he translated it into the Greek language for those who are under the Roman dominion.’ Gloag cites further the procedure of the historian Ihne, who published an excellent Roman history in German, and then in English, while the English work was not precisely a translation of the German.”9
10. Louis Berkhof
“The evangelist after writing his Gospel in Hebrew with a view to his countrymen, possibly when he had left Palestine to labor elsewhere, translated or rather furnished a new recension of his Gospel in the Greek language with a view to the Jews of the Diaspora. The former was soon lost and altogether replaced by the latter. In formulating our opinion in regard to this question, we desire to state first of all that we have no sufficient reason to discredit the testimony of the early Church [that there was a Hebrew original]…the internal evidence of our present Gospel proves conclusively that this is not a mere translation of a Hebrew original. The evidence adduced seems quite sufficient. The Greek Matthew may be and most likely is in substance a translation of the original Hebrew; yet it must be regarded as in many respects a new recension of the Gospel…it seems most plausible that Matthew himself, shortly after he had written the Hebrew Gospel, translated it, adjusting it in several respects to the needs of the Jews that were dispersed in different lands.”10
11. Henry C. Thiessen
“Papias was right as to an Aramaic original, but Matthew also wrote our Greek Matthew. This hypothesis…is very plausible, for it reconciles the declarations of the Fathers concerning an original Hebrew (Aramaic) Matthew with the evidence that our present Matthew was written in Greek. It is evident that when the Greek Matthew had once become current in the Church, the Aramaic edition of it dropped out. Josephus wrote his Wars of the Jews in Aramaic and secured the help of Greek writers in freely reproducing and improving it in the Greek language. The Greek edition alone has come down to us. We believe that in the same manner, though perhaps without the assistance of Greek writers, Matthew reproduced his Gospel in Greek.”11
Later Thiessen attempts to reconstruct the possible circumstances surrounding Matthew’s writing of his Hebrew and Greek Gospels,
“Perhaps the tradition that after fifteen years of preaching in Palestine, Matthew left for foreign nations, but left behind his Hebrew (Aramaic) Gospel as a kind of compensation for his absence, is not far wrong after all. This would roughly give a date of A.D. 45 for the Aramaic Gospel of Matthew. It is the Aramaic Gospel that Papias refers to. When he said that ‘each one interpreted them [the oracles] as he was able,’ it is obvious that he was referring to a time when no translation was available, when each one who used the Gospel with Greek-speaking people was obliged to make an oral translation of it to the best of his ability.
Papias wrote about A.D. 130 and used the past tense; he was not referring to his own time, for the Greek Matthew was well known by that time. Since none of the Synoptics, not even the Greek Matthew, report the fall of Jerusalem and the temple, but speak of these events as still future, they must have been written before this tragedy or long after it. Few writers would put them long after it; so they must have been written before A. D. 70. Furthermore, since Acts also is silent with regard to these catastrophes, it, too, must have been written before A. D. 70. And since Luke's Gospel is earlier than the Book of Acts, and Matthew undoubtedly is earlier than Luke, we believe that Matthew must have prepared his Greek Gospel shortly after he wrote the Aramaic. We, therefore, date the Greek Matthew about A. D. 50.”12
12. D. Edmond Hiebert
“The other alternative is that Papias was correct concerning the original language of Matthew, yet he accepted the evidence that our Greek Matthew was originally composed in Greek. The reconciliation lies in the unexpressed assumption of the patristic witnesses that Matthew originally wrote a gospel in Hebrew for Jewish readers and later wrote our Greek gospel as a satisfactory representative of or replacement for the original work for a broader group of readers. Such a view, that Matthew produced a gospel in two forms, would suit the tradition concerning authorship and language yet account for the character of our Greek Matthew. When Matthew's ministry was extended beyond Palestinian Christian circles he found it necessary to put his account into a new form and language while retaining in essence the message of his other work.”13
Later, Heibert in writing of Matthew‘s abilities to write two works in different languages states,
“His bilingual abilities would equip him to produce a gospel in both languages. It may be assumed that when Matthew later wrote his gospel in Greek for a larger circle of readers he retained the essential thrust of his earlier work but felt free to modify and enlarge it as judged desirable. It is known that Josephus, who was bilingual, wrote his Wars of the Jews in Aramaic and then secured the assistance of Greek writers in freely reproducing and improving it in the Greek language.”14
13. Gijs van den Brink
“We may just as well assume Matthew wrote both an Aramaic and a Greek gospel. As Davies and Allison rightly observe, it is not easy to determine whether an ancient text, especially one so clearly bearing the marks of two cultures, as does Matthew, is or is not a translation. They mention the fact that learned Greeks, such as Eusebius, Origen, Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus, presumably knew the Greek language better than most modern scholars. And they all took canonical Matthew to be the translation of a Semitic original.
There are several arguments in favour of the traditional view concerning the person of the author which deserve serious attention. Firstly, there are the quotations of the Church Fathers who unanimously mention Matthew as being the author. Even though they speak of an original gospel in Hebrew, about which nothing is known to us, it is nevertheless remarkable that they do not question the identity of the writer.
Secondly, it is not impossible that Matthew first composed an Aramaic gospel for the Jewish Christians and afterwards wrote the Greek gospel that has been incorporated into our canon…a historical tradition exists which points to Matthew as the author of this gospel, and we cannot disregard this tradition…as a former tax collector Matthew was pre-eminently qualified to keep a report of Jesus' words and deeds. Among the twelve Matthew was without a doubt the person who was very capable with the pen and used to keeping accurate accounts.
Finally, if the apostle Matthew is not the author of this gospel, the actual author remains anonymous. In that case, two questions need to be answered in a satisfactory way. How is it possible that the original author was so quickly forgotten that the title 'according to Matthew' could be already added to this book before 100 AD? (cf. Hengel 1985: 64-85). Secondly, how did a tradition arise that Matthew was the author of the first gospel? As long as these questions remain unanswered, the traditional view concerning authorship has a good right to speak…”15
14. Robert Thomas and F. David Farnell
Thomas and Farnell give the following statement regarding their view of what the early church fathers believed about Matthew’s authorship of his Hebrew and Greek Gospel,
“Without exception they [the early church fathers] held that the apostle Matthew wrote the canonical [Greek] Matthew and that he wrote it first in a Semitic language.”16
Later, in writing an analysis of Papias’ statement that “Matthew collected the oracles in the Hebrew language and each interpreted them as best he could” they give their view of the Matthew’s authorship of his Hebrew and Greek Gospel,
“A final view, distinct from the others (and also from their synoptic hypotheses) is that Papias referred to an earlier edition of Matthew. This was written entirely in Hebrew (namely, Aramaic) and preceded the Greek version of the gospel. That was perhaps a proto-Matthew, namely, a shorter version that eventually came to be incorporated into (not necessarily translated from but contained within) an expanded Greek version, namely, the canonical gospel of Matthew. Thus, Papias indicated that Matthew wrote first (prior to the other gospels) and that in so doing, he produced an initial Aramaic edition. The Aramaic edition served as a model and/or source for some of the contents of his Greek edition that he most likely produced as a fresh work soon after he wrote the Aramaic one.
Several arguments support this proposal. First, it permits Papias to speak for himself and allows for an understanding of his words in their natural sense. Since he was closest to the events and relied on excellent sources, his information must have priority over speculative modern hypotheses.
Second, an expanded Greek version would have been quickly helpful among Matthew's targeted Jewish audience, especially those hellenized Jews who no longer spoke Hebrew (the Diaspora [Acts 6:1]). Although Matthew concentrated his efforts at first among Hebraistic Jews who spoke Aramaic, such a gospel would have limited appeal outside of the land of the Jews. Tradition has it that Matthew eventually left the environs of Jerusalem to minister among non-Aramaic-speaking peoples. The dominance of Greek in the Hellenistic world would have impelled him to produce another edition. Because he was a former tax collector for the Romans, he would most likely have been conversant in Greek as well as Aramaic, thus facilitating the writing of both versions. Once the Greek Matthew became current in the church, the limited appeal of Aramaic caused that edition to fall into disuse. Papias' statement that "each interpreted" Matthew's gospel (Aramaic version) "as best he could" probably hints at the reason why Matthew would have quickly produced a Greek version: to facilitate the understanding of his gospel in the universal language of Greek.
Third, this view accords with the very early and consistent manuscript ascription of the gospel to Matthew (KATA MATHAION). The title is not a part of the original text, but no positive evidence exists that the book ever circulated without this title. Moreover, the ascription has a very early date, approximately A.D. 125. As Guthrie notes, "the title cannot be dismissed too lightly, for it has the support of ancient tradition and this must be the starting point of the discussion regarding authorship.
Fourth, though patristic witnesses like Papias uniformly spoke about an Aramaic original for the gospel, they accepted the Greek Matthew as unquestionably authoritative and coming from the apostle Matthew himself. They offered no explanation concerning the change in language. Most likely, that indicates their regard for the Greek Matthew as authoritative and substantially representative of the Hebrew ta logia. Besides, all references to the gospel of Matthew in the early church fathers reflect the Greek Matthew rather than the Hebrew. They never viewed the Greek gospel of Matthew as inferior but as equal or better than the other Greek canonical gospels in terms of its authority and influence.
Fifth, the universal ascription of the Greek Matthew to the apostle Matthew and the failure of tradition to mention any other possible author except Matthew renders unconvincing any suggestion that the early church forgot the true author of the work. Only a brief span of fifty to sixty years passed between its composition and the statements of Papias. A less-prominent apostle such as Matthew would not have been a likely candidate to receive credit for such an important and influential document as the Greek Matthew unless he did indeed write it.
As indicated earlier in this chapter, ‘of all the New Testament Writings, the Gospel of Mt. was the one whose literary influence was the most widespread and the most profound in Christian literature that extended into the last decades of the second century.... [T ]he first gospel remained the gospel par excellence.... The gospel was, therefore, the normative fact of Christian life. It created the background for ordinary Christianity.’ The only explanation for the gospel's influence and overwhelming popularity in the early church is its apostolic authorship. That one of the Twelve wrote it soon after writing his Aramaic ta logia and before Mark and Luke wrote their gospels is far and away the most satisfactory explanation for the facts that remain from early church history.”17
Later Thomas and Farnell give the evidence for the originality of the Greek Matthew which demonstrates that the Greek Matthew was not simply a word for word translation of the Hebrew Matthew, but an authoritative expansion of the Hebrew written by the apostle Matthew himself. They write,
“The canonical Greek version shows no signs of being translated from Aramaic. For example, in certain places it transliterates Aramaic into Greek before giving a Greek translation—for instance, Matt. 1:23, Emmanouel, ho estin methermeneuomenon Meth'hemon ho theos (‘Immanuel, which is interpreted ‘God with us’); Matt. 27:33, Golgotha, ho estin Kraniou Topos legomenos (‘Golgotha,’ which is called ‘the Place of the Skull’); cf. also Matt. 27:46. Also, the Greek Matthew provides explanations of local customs among the Jews that would have been unnecessary for an Aramaic-speaking audience (for instance, Matt. 27:15). Though the Greek Matthew is not a translation, Matthew may have produced an expanded version of the life of Christ that incorporated much of the original Aramaic without being a direct translation of it. Such an entirely reworked version would have suited the needs of the Diaspora Jews and others.)18
The Scholarly Speculation of Jerome Concerning Matthew's Original Hebrew Gospel
Jerome lived from 342 AD – 420 AD. He had been commissioned by Pope Damasus in 382 to revise the Old Latin texts of the Bible and in particular the four Gospels from the best Greek texts. He was asked to produce a standard Latin version of the Bible. By the time of Damasus’ death in 384 Jerome had completed the task of revising the four New Testament gospels.
Jerome is important in a discussion of the original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew because he is the first and only church father who mentions that he had seen the original Hebrew text of Matthew’s gospel. Early in his writings he mentions that he had seen it and even translated it. However, later, he seems to have changed his opinion. He is also important because he is the first church father to mention the possibility of a translator of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew into Greek other than Matthew. The comments that he makes on these issues need to be evaluated if a thorough investigation into this subject is to be accomplished.
Are Jerome’s comments based on solid church tradition and careful research or the speculation of a scholar?
Most scholars do not feel confident that Jerome can be trusted in his comments about the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. Some of the reasons for this are in the scholarly comments below.
For a list of the early church fathers, who they were and when they lived, mentioned in this article, click here.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from The Early Church Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff, William B. Eerdman’s Publishing, Reprint 2001 at CCEL Internet Library.
Epiphanius quotes are from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis Book 1, by Epiphanius, Trans. Frank Williams, Published by BRILL, Boston, Mass. 1987
This article is divided into three main points:
The Scholarly Comments of Jerome on Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel
The Scholarly Use of Only the Greek Gospel of Matthew by Jerome
Evaluations of Jerome’s Comments by Later Scholars
The Scholarly Comments of Jerome on Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel
The Early Statements of Jerome in his Lives of Illustrious Men (393 AD)
In his earliest work after the Latin Vulgate, the Lives of Illustrious Men, Jerome states the following:
1) Matthew first composed his gospel in Hebrew.
2) It is not certain who translated the gospel of Matthew into Greek.
3) A copy of the Hebrew Matthew is in the library at Caesarea Maritima.
4) Jerome made a copy of this Hebrew Matthew which he received from the Nazarenes.
These above statements are made in the passage below written by Jerome in his Lives of Illustrious Men about 393 AD.
Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, Ch.3
“Matthew also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Caesarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Beroea, a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist, whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Savior quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the translators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew. Wherefore these two forms exist “Out of Egypt have I called my son,” and “for he shall be called a Nazarene.”
The Later Statements of Jerome in his Commentaries
In his later commentaries Jerome connects the original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew with the Gospel of the Hebrews which he says was used by the Nazarenes and Ebionites. He makes the following statements:
1) The Nazarenes use the Gospel of the Hebrews.
2) The Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use which he had translated into Greek is called by many the original Gospel of Matthew.
3) The Gospel used by the Nazarenes is called the “Gospel according to the Hebrews” or the “Gospel of the Apostles” or as most term it, the “Gospel According to Matthew.” It is in the library of Caesarea (which Jerome mentioned in Illustrious Men).
These above statements are made in the passage below written by Jerome in his commentaries.
1) The Nazarenes use the Gospel of the Hebrews.
Jerome, on Isa., Preface to Book 18“For when the apostles thought him to be a spirit or, in the words of the Gospel of the Hebrews which the Nazarenes read, ‘a bodiless demon’ he said to them...”
(Quote from translation by J.K. Elliott quoted in The New Testament and Early Christian Writings, Bart Erhman, Oxford University Press, 1998, 138)
2) The Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use which he had translated into Greek is called by many the original Gospel of Matthew.
Jerome, On Matt. 12:13 (398 AD)
“In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use (which I have lately translated into Greek from the Hebrew, and which is called by many (or most) people the original of Matthew), this man who had the withered hand is described as a mason, who prays for help in such words as this: ‘I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands. I pray thee, Jesus, to restore me mine health, that I may not beg meanly for my food.’”
(Quote from The Apocryphal New Testament, Montague Rhode James, (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1924), 1-8.
3) The Gospel used by the Nazarenes is called the “Gospel according to the Hebrews” or the “Gospel of the Apostles” or as most term it, the “Gospel According to Matthew.” It is in the library of Caesarea (which Jerome mentioned in Illustrious Men).
Jerome Dialogue Against Pelagius, 3.2 (415 AD)
“In the Gospel according to the Hebrews which is indeed in the Chaldaean and Syriac speech but is written in Hebrew letters, which the Nazarenes use to this day, called 'according to the apostles', or, as most term it, 'according to Matthew', which also is to be seen in the library of Caesarea, the story tells: ‘Behold, the mother of the Lord and his brethren said unto him, ‘John Baptist baptizeth unto the remission of sins; let us go and be baptized of him.’ But he said unto them, ‘Wherein (what) have I sinned, that I should go and be baptized of him? unless peradventure this very thing that I have said is a sin of ignorance.’”
(Quote from The Apocryphal New Testament, Montague Rhode James, (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1924), 1-8)
The Scholarly Use of Only the Greek Gospel of Matthew by Jerome
Jerome used only the Greek manuscripts of the Gospels for his Latin Vulgate. Even though Jerome mentions that Matthew originally wrote his gospel in Hebrew, he states in his preface to the Four Gospels that he used only the Greek manuscripts to revise the Latin texts for his Latin Vulgate.
Although he had said that he possessed the original Hebrew Matthew when he wrote Illustrious Men, he never used it in his translation of the Gospel of Matthew for the Latin Vulgate. This demonstrates that he did not really believe in its authenticity as the original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew or that he did not believe that he could discover what part of the text of the Gospel of the Hebrews was authentically part of the Original Hebrew Matthew and what part had been changed and corrupted.
Jerome, Preface to the Four Gospels (383 A.D.)
“I am now speaking of the New Testament. This was undoubtedly composed in Greek, with the exception of the work of Matthew the Apostle, who was the first to commit to writing the Gospel of Christ, and who published his work in Judaea in Hebrew characters. We must confess that as we have it [New Testament] in our language it is marked by discrepancies, and now that the stream is distributed into different channels we must go back to the fountainhead [the Greek manuscripts]…I therefore promise in this short Preface to the four Gospels only, which are to be taken in the following order, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, as they have been revised by a comparison of the Greek manuscripts. Only early ones have been used.”
Scholars, Bart Erhman and Bruce Metzger write about Jerome’s use of the Greek text of the Gospels in translating the Latin Vulgate.
Bruce Metzger and Bart Erhman, in writing of the old Latin versions (translations) of the New Testament which formed the basis of Jerome’s Vulgate along with the Greek texts, state,
“In the opinion of most scholars today, the Gospels were first rendered into Latin during the last quarter of the second century in North Africa, where Carthage had become enamored of Roman culture. Not long afterward, translations were also made in Italy, Gaul, and elsewhere. The wooden and literalistic style that characterizes many of these renderings suggests that early copies were made in the form of interlinear renderings of the Greek.”1
In discussing the Latin Vulgate, Jerome’s important Latin revision, they write,
“Toward the close of the fourth century, the limitations and imperfections of the Old Latin versions became evident to leaders of the Roman Church. It is not surprising that about A.D. 382 Pope Damasus requested the most capable biblical scholar then living, Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus, known today as St. Jerome, to undertake a revision of the Latin Bible. Within a year or so, Jerome was able to present Damasus with the first fruits of his work, a revision of the text of the four Gospels, where the variations had been extreme. In a covering letter, he explained the principles that he followed: he used a relatively good Latin text as the basis for his revision and compared it with some old Greek manuscripts. He emphasized that he treated the current Latin text as conservatively as possible and changed it only where the meaning was distorted. Though we do not have the Latin manuscripts that Jerome chose as the basis of his work, it appears that they belonged to the European form of the Old Latin. The Greek manuscripts apparently belonged to the Alexandrian type of text.”2
Summary and Comments on Jerome’s position regarding the Hebrew and Greek Gospel of Matthew
Jerome along with many other church fathers believed Matthew first composed his gospel in Hebrew. But unlike many church fathers, he was not sure who had translated it. This comment must have been based on his perception of a lack of evidence from the earlier church fathers concerning who wrote the Greek Gospel of Matthew. However, there was evidence that Irenaeus, Origen and Eusebius clearly indicated that Matthew himself wrote it (See article entitled “Matthew’s Authorship of a Hebrew and Greek Gospel – Main Evidence”).
It is possible that Jerome did not see this evidence or like many scholars today did not give it its proper prominence as evidence. Also, Bible teachers contemporary with him and after him held to the conviction that Matthew did indeed write the Greek Gospel. (See Epiphanius, Augustine, and Leo the Great in article entitled “Matthew’s Authorship of a Greek Gospel – More Evidence”).
Jerome also stated that there was a copy of the Hebrew Matthew in the library at Caesarea Maritima and that he had made a copy of a manuscript of it he had received from the Nazarenes. Based on his later comments, this text was the Gospel used by both the Nazarenes and the Ebionites and was called the “Gospel According to the Hebrews” or the “Gospel of the Hebrews” or the “Gospel of the Apostles.” Jerome says he had translated this text into Greek and Latin.
For more information on the Gospel of the Hebrews, see article entitled, Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel and The Gospel of the Hebrews.
In his earlier comments in his Illustrious Lives Jerome’s seems to agree with what people were saying about the Gospel of the Hebrews being the original Matthew. Later, however, when he writes his other works, he does not mention what he thinks. He only mentions what many or most say.
There is no question that many people at the time of Jerome believed that the Gospel of the Hebrews was indeed based on the text of the original Matthew. However, it seems that Jerome when he wrote later did not want to put his stamp of approval on this view as he had earlier.
As seen earlier, we do know that when Jerome had the opportunity to use the Hebrew Gospel in his translation or exegesis, he did not give it an authority equal to the Greek Gospel of Matthew. Also, Jerome must have realized that the Gospel of the Hebrews did not entirely match the Greek Gospel of Matthew since he would not have had to translate it because it was already translated into Greek.
Jerome’s and his contemporaries’ views of the Gospel of the Hebrews does reflect the view of this author and many scholars that the Gospel of the Hebrews was most likely a severely corrupted version of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew with many additions and deletions. It was corrupted in the second century with Jewish and Gnostic views. Other church fathers who lived at the time of Jerome indicate that they believed that the Greek Gospel was written by Matthew. (See Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel and the Gospel of the Hebrews for what Epiphanius states)
Evaluations of Jerome’s Comments by Later Scholars
These comments are arranged in chronological order.
1. William Lee
“It would appear, too, from many parts of his writings, that he regarded S. Matthew's Hebrew Gospel as agreeing substantially with that received by the Nazarenes and Ebionites, and which he himself had translated… A writer in ‘The Edinburgh Review’ (July, 1851, p. 39) observes: ‘Jerome himself at first thought that it was the authentic Matthew, and translated it into both Greek and Latin from a copy which he obtained at Boroea in Syria. This appears from his Catalogue of Illustrious Men, written in the year 392. Six years later, in his Commentary on Matthew, he spoke more doubtfully about it. Later still, in his book on the Pelagian heresy, written in the year 415, he modifies this account still further.’”
Later on Lee wrote,
On all such statements two remarks are to be made: (1) S. Jerome would surely not have translated this document into Greek, had it not differed considerably from the Canonical Gospel. (2) Whenever S. Jerome refers to the Gospel of S. Matthew, he quotes it according to our present Greek text; and when he introduces diverging statements of the ‘Hebrew Gospel,’ he does so in a manner which proves that he regarded it as of no authority whatsoever.”3
2. George Clark
“That Jerome thought he had discovered the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew in the one used by the Nazarenes; but afterward he found reason to doubt it. That although so many of the early writers assert that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, yet we do not find that any of them ever used it or saw it. Hence if there ever was a Hebrew copy, it must have been lost very early, soon after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jerome, who knew Hebrew, as other Latin and Greek fathers did not, obtained in the fourth century a copy of this Hebrew Gospel of the Nazarenes, and at once asserted that he had found the Hebrew original. But when he looked more closely into the matter, he confined himself to the statement that many supposed that this Hebrew text was the original of Matthew's Gospel. He translated it into Latin and Greek, and made a few observations of his own on it.”4
3. James Morison
“It will be noticed that, in the passage quoted from the book On Illustrious Men, Jerome says that the Nazarenes made use of the Hebrew Matthew. It will also be noticed that he mentions that a copy of the work was preserved in the Pamphilian library at Caesarea. These statements are proof that at the time, at least, when Jerome wrote his Illustrious Men, he was fully convinced that the Gospel, generally known as the Gospel according to the Hebrews, was Matthew's original Hebrew Gospel. This is rendered still more evident, if additional evidence were necessary, by what he says in the third book of his Dialogue against the Pelagians, written in the year 415: ‘In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, written in the Syro-Chaldaic language, but with Hebrew letters, the Gospel which the Nazarenes use to the present day, and which is also the Gospel according to the Apostles, or, as most suppose, the, Gospel according to Matthew, and which is preserved in the library of Caesarea, it is narrated, etc.’
It is noteworthy, however, that in this passage, written in his old age, Jerome does not speak so positively regarding his own conviction of the identity of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, used by the Nazarenes, and the Hebrew Gospel according to Matthew, as he did, three and twenty years before, in his Illustrious Men. He now only says that ‘most believe’ that the two works are identical. Indeed, in his Commentary on Matthew, which was written just six years after his Illustrious Men, he speaks with the same bated breath, and makes, in addition, another rather remarkable statement. He says, ‘In the Gospel, which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use, and which I lately translated into Greek from the Hebrew tongue, and which is called by most the authentic Gospel of Matthew, the ‘man who had the withered hand is described as a mason,’ etc.
Not only does he here say that the Gospel according to the Hebrews is identified ‘by most’ with the authentic Gospel according to Matthew, he mentions what is very remarkable, that he himself had some time ago translated it into Greek. He had translated it, indeed, more than six years before. For he says in the second chapter of his Illustrious Men, that ‘the Gospel, which is called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and which was lately translated by me both into Greek and into Latin, which also Origen ‘frequently used, relates,’ etc. Jerome had, it seems, translated the Gospel according to the Hebrews both into Greek and into Latin.
It is nothing wonderful that he should have translated it into Latin, but it is certainly remarkable that he should have thought of translating it into Greek, if it was really the case, as so many assumed, that the common Greek Gospel, which was in every one's hands, was but a translation of that original Hebrew text. There is evidence of some confusion here. And the confusion gets worse confounded when we take into account, that, in the last three passages which we have quoted from Jerome, as well as in a good many others, there are quotations made from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which have nothing corresponding to them in our Greek Gospel, as we have it now, and as Jerome had it in his day!”5
4. M.R. James
M.R. James commenting on Jerome’s change in perspective in his later years concerning the Hebrew Matthew writes, “In later years Jerome ceased to regard the Hebrew Gospel as the original Matthew.”6
5. R.C.H. Lenski
“We may add that Jerome (second half of the fourth century) thought that he had discovered Matthew's Hebrew Gospel in the Aramaic ‘Gospel of the Nazarenes,’ or ‘Gospel of the Hebrews,’ a Jewish Christian sect, but he himself later discovered his mistake.”7
For more information Jerome’s and others’ views specifically on the Gospel of the Hebrews see the article entitled “Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel and The Gospel of the Hebrews.”
The Disappearance of Matthew's Original Hebrew Gospel
The historical literary evidence demonstrates that Matthew’s original Hebrew Gospel was not widely used because few in the Christian world could read Hebrew (Aramaic) and the Greek Gospel of Matthew was more suitable for both Jewish and Gentile Christians who lived across the Roman Empire. The Greek Matthew was the Gospel circulated with the other three New Testament Gospels, which were in the Greek language.
The Hebrew Matthew in its original form eventually passed away from disuse. However, it is also likely that it was taken by the Ebionites and textually corrupted in the late second century with many additions, deletions, and changes and called by them the Gospel of the Hebrews.
Matthew’s Hebrew Gospel was not used by the churches at large.
It is a held by virtually all scholars that the early church fathers had only the Greek Gospel of Matthew. Hence, all statements made by the church fathers about the prominence and widespread use of the Gospels always refer to the Greek Gospel of Matthew.
There were references to the existence of a Hebrew Matthew, but no church father actually possessed it and used it. Only Origen and later Jerome even understood Hebrew and could have used it. Jerome is the only one who said he had seen it and even translated it, but he later changed his statements about it.
For a discussion of Jerome and his view, see Jerome’s scholarly speculation.
This lack of possession of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew is a commonly accepted position among Biblical scholars based on the following historical literary evidence:
1. No early church father quotes from a Hebrew Gospel of Matthew or claims to have seen or used it.
When the early church fathers quote from the gospel of Matthew, it is always from the Greek Gospel of Matthew. When the early church fathers compare gospel passages from each of the gospels, it is always using the Greek text of Matthew. No reference is ever made to what a Hebrew text of the Gospel of Matthew actually said. Augustine mentions the possibility that there might have been a Hebrew text, but he implies that he did not have it and he had never seen it.
William Smith, noted English lexicographer and classical scholar, in his Dictionary of the Bible, states, “The original Hebrew of which so many speak, no one of the witnesses ever saw. And so little store has the church set upon it, that it has utterly perished.”1
J. W. McGarvey wrote,
“All of the ancient writers, whose extant writings allude to the question, represent Matthew as having written a narrative in Hebrew; but not one of them claims to have seen it except Jerome, and he subsequently expresses doubt as to whether the book which he saw under this name was the genuine Matthew. If a genuine Hebrew narrative at anytime existed, it perished with the age which gave it birth.”2
Johann David Michaelis writes,
“…amongst all the writers who have asserted that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew, not one has pretended to have actually seen and used the original.”3
2. There are no extant manuscripts of copies of an original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.
There are more manuscripts of the New Testament than any other ancient work and yet none have been discovered which could be identified as a copy of an original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.
There are manuscripts of Gospels of Matthew in Hebrew from later centuries, but they are not accepted by the majority of scholars as copies of an original Hebrew Matthew.
Louis Berkhoff writes,
“In all probability no one has ever seen the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, and no trace of it can now be found. All the quotations from Matthew in the early Church fathers are taken from the present Greek Gospel. The Gospel of Matthew always stood on an equal footing with the other Gospels and is cited just as much as they are.”4
3. There are no translations or versions of the Gospel of Matthew that have been discovered that are based on a Hebrew text of the Gospel of Matthew.
George Clark writes,
“All the Versions, even the Peshito Syriac, the language in which the Gospel is said to have been originally written, conform to the present Greek text. All the quotations of the early writers are from the Greek copy…It should be further noted that although so many of the early writers assert that Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, yet we do not find that any of them ever used it or saw it. Hence if there ever was a Hebrew copy, it must have been lost very early, soon after the destruction of Jerusalem…”5
Clark further comments concerning Jerome’s testimony,
“It should be further noted that Jerome thought he had discovered the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew in the one used by the Nazarenes; but afterward he found reason to doubt it…Jerome, who knew Hebrew, as other Latin and Greek fathers did not, obtained in the fourth century a copy of this Hebrew Gospel of the Nazarenes, and at once asserted that he had found the Hebrew original. But when he looked more closely into the matter, he confined himself to the statement that many supposed that this Hebrew text was the original of Matthew's Gospel. He translated it into Latin and Greek, and made a few observations of his own on it.”6
Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman, writing of the early versions (translations) of the New Testament, state that they were translated from Greek texts which include the Gospel of Matthew,
“The earliest versions of the New Testament were prepared by missionaries, to assist in the propagation of the Christian faith among peoples whose native tongue was Syriac, Latin, or Coptic. Besides being of great value to the Biblical exegete for tracing the history of the interpretation of the Scriptures, these versions are of no less importance to the textual critic in view of their origin in the second and third centuries…As for other questions, however, such as whether or not a given phrase or sentence was present in the Greek exemplar from which the translation was made, the evidence of the versions is clear and valuable.”7
F.F. Bruce writes about Jerome’s translation of the Latin Vulgate,
“He revised the Gospel text apparently on the basis of the best existing form of the European text [Latin], correcting it with the aid of Greek manuscripts, and produced his edition of the four gospels in 384AD.”8
How could the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew pass away?
Most likely, the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew was not useful for the church at large since Hebrew Aramaic was spoken only in Palestine and a few other areas. Greek was the lingua franca, the common language, at the time and was understood by the greatest number of people in the Mediterranean world including Jewish people. Most of the church fathers except Origen and Jerome did not know Hebrew and thus could not read it. All the New Testament documents were written in Greek including those addressed to Jewish Christians such as James and Hebrews.
They also believed that the Greek version of the Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew himself so there would be no need to consult the Hebrew version even if they possessed it. This is most likely the main reason, it was not preserved.
The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew which may have formed the basis of the Gospel of the Hebrews could not be recognized or trusted because it was so corrupted by the Ebionites. For further discussion of the Gospel of the Hebrews and its relationship to the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, see “The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of the Hebrews.”
Josephus’s Aramaic Original of the Jewish Wars was lost as was Hebrew Matthew.
It is similar to Josephus who first wrote his Jewish wars in Aramaic and then in Greek. The Aramaic one is gone, only the Greek one remains. If this happened to Josephus’ Aramaic version, it certainly could happen to Matthew’s Aramaic version.
Scholarly Support for the Disappearance of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
These statements are arranged chronologically.
1) Johann David Michaelis
“Now there are many books besides St. Matthew's Gospel, which are no longer extant in the language in which they were written, and yet we do not doubt, that those books once existed. It is surely not incredible that a Gospel written in Hebrew might dwindle into oblivion, and become gradually extinct, after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Hebrew Jews. Palestine ceased at the end of the first century to be a seminary for Jewish converts, who understood Hebrew: and to the Greek Christians, a Hebrew Gospel was of no value.
But suppose the Hebrew Gospel continued several centuries in existence, yet, if we except Origen and Jerome, perhaps none of the fathers, who have spoken of this Gospel, were able to read it. The objection therefore applies chiefly, if not entirely to Origen and Jerome. But Jerome not only declares that he had seen the Hebrew Gospel, which was believed to be St. Matthew's original, but even that he made a translation of it. Origen indeed rejects the Hebrew Gospel used by the Nazarenes, which is the Gospel that Jerome translated, whence it is inferred that in Origen's opinion the author of it was not an Apostle. But this inference is liable to many objections: for the Gospel used by the Nazarenes, which Jerome translated, may have been originally the work of St. Matthew, and afterwards so corrupted by alterations and additions, as deservedly to lose all canonical authority…But whether it is admitted that the Hebrew Gospel used by the Nazarenes was originally the work of St. Matthew or not, yet, if we may credit the accounts of Eusebius and Jerome, Pantaenus at least saw it in the hands of the Christians in Arabia Felix, a country where we may not unreasonably suppose that a Hebrew Gospel must have been longer preserved than in Palestine itself.”9
2) Joseph Benson
“The sacred deposit was first corrupted among them, and afterward it disappeared; for that ‘the gospel according to the Hebrews,’ used by the Nazarenes, (to which, as the original, Jerome sometimes had recourse, and which, he tells us, he had translated into Greek and Latin,) and that the gospel also used by the Ebionites, were, though greatly vitiated and interpolated, the remains of Matthew's original, will hardly bear a reasonable doubt.”10
3) Archibald Alexander
“It has been considered a strong objection to the Hebrew original of this gospel, that no person, whose writings have come down to us, has intimated that he had ever seen it; and from the earliest times it seems to have existed in the Greek language. But this fact is perfectly consistent with the supposition now made; for the desolation of Judea, and dispersion of the Jewish Christians, having taken place within a few years after the publication of Matthew’s gospel, the copies of the original Hebrew would be confined to the Jewish converts; and as other Christians had copies in the Greek, of equal authenticity with the Hebrew, no inquiries would be made after the latter. These Jewish Christians, after their removal, dwindled away in a short time, and a large part of them became erroneous in their faith; and though they retained the Hebrew gospel of Matthew, they altered and corrupted it to suit their own heretical opinions. There is reason to believe, that the gospel of the Nazarenes, was the identical gospel of Matthew, which in process of time was greatly mutilated and corrupted by the Ebionites…”11
4) Thomas Horne
“From a review of all the arguments adduced on this much litigated question, we cannot but prefer the last stated opinion as that which best harmonizes with the consent of antiquity, namely, that St. Matthew wrote first a Hebrew Gospel for the use of the first Hebrew converts. Its subsequent disappearance is easily accounted for, by its being so corrupted by the Ebionites that it lost all its authority in the church, and was deemed spurious, and also by the prevalence of the Greek language, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Jewish language and everything belonging to the Jews fell into the utmost contempt. It also is clear, that our present Greek Gospel is an authentic original, and consequently an inspired production of the Evangelist Matthew…”12
5) Louis Berkhof
“The evangelist after writing his Gospel in Hebrew with a view to his countrymen, possibly when he had left Palestine to labor elsewhere, translated or rather furnished a new recension of his Gospel in the Greek language with a view to the Jews of the Diaspora. The former was soon lost and altogether replaced by the latter.
In formulating our opinion in regard to this question, we desire to state first of all that we have no sufficient reason to discredit the testimony of the early Church [that there was a Hebrew original]…the internal evidence of our present Gospel proves conclusively that this is not a mere translation of a Hebrew original. The evidence adduced seems quite sufficient. The Greek Matthew may be and most likely is in substance a translation of the original Hebrew; yet it must be regarded as in many respects a new recension of the Gospel. The loss of the Hebrew original and the general substitution for it of the Greek version is readily explained by the scattering of the Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem, and by the early corruption of the Hebrew Gospel in the circles of the Ebionites and the Nazarenes...it seems most plausible that Matthew himself, shortly after he had written the Hebrew Gospel, translated it, adjusting it in several respects to the needs of the Jews that were dispersed in different lands.”13
5) Henry Thiessen
“It is evident that when the Greek Matthew had once become current in the Church, the Aramaic edition of it dropped out. Josephus wrote his Wars of the Jews in Aramaic and secured the help of Greek writers in freely reproducing and improving it in the Greek language. The Greek edition alone has come down to us. We believe that in the same manner, though perhaps without the assistance of Greek writers, Matthew reproduced his Gospel in Greek.”14
The Gospel of the Ebionites
In the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis,
In the Gospel that is in general use among them which is called "according to Matthew",
which however is not whole and complete but forged and mutilated - they call it the
Hebrews Gospel-it is reported:
There appeared a certain man named Jesus of about thirty years of age, who chose us.
And when he came to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon whose surname
is Peter, and opened his mouth and said: "As I passed the Lake of Tiberias, I chose John
and James the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and Thaddeus and Simon the
Zealot and Judas the Iscariot, and you, Matthew, I called as you sat at the receipt of
custom, and you followed me. You, therefore, I will to be twelve apostles for a testimony
unto Israel." (Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.2-3)
And:
It came to pass that John was baptzing; and there went out to him Pharisees and were
baptized, and all of Jerusalem.
And John had a garment of camel`s hair and a leather girdle about his loins, and
his food, as it is said, was wild honey, the taste if which was that of manna, as a cake
dipped in oil.
Thus they were resolved to pervert the truth into a lie and put a cake in the place of locusts.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.4-5)
And the beginning of their Gospel runs:
It came to pass in the days of Herod the king of Judaea, when Caiaphas was high priest,
that there came one, John by name, and baptized with the baptism of repentance in
the river Jordan. It was said of him that he was of the lineage of Aaron the priest, a
son of Zacharias and Elisabeth : and all went out to him.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.6)
And after much has been recorded it proceeds:
When the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John.
And as he came up from the water, the heavens was opened and he saw the
Holy Spirit in the form of a dove that descended and entered into him.
And a voice sounded from Heaven that said:
"You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased. "
And again: " I have this day begotten you".
And immediately a great light shone round about the place.
When John saw this, it is said, he said unto him :
"Who are you, Lord?"
And again a voice from Heaven rang out to him:
"This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
And then, it is said, John fell down before him and said:
"I beseech you, Lord, baptize me."
But he prevented him and said:
"Suffer it; for thus it is fitting that everything should be fulfilled."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7-8)
Moreover, they deny that he was a man, evidently on the ground of the
word which the Saviour spoke when it was reported to him:
"Behold, your mother and your brethren stand without." namely:
"Who is my mother and who are my brethren?"
And he stretched his hand towards his disciples and said:
"These are my brethren and mother and sisters, who do the will of my Father."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.14.5)
They say that Christ was not begotten of God the Father, but created as one of
the archangels ... that he rules over the angels and all the creatures of the
Almighty, and that he came and declared, as their Gospel, which is called
Gospel according to Matthew, or Gospel According to the Hebrews?,
reports:
"I am come to do away with sacrfices, and if you cease not sacrificing,
the wrath of God will not cease from you."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.16,4-5)
But they abandon the proper sequence of the words and pervert the saying,
as is plain to all from the readings attached, and have let the disciples say:
"Where will you have us prepare the passover?"
And him to answer to that:
"Do I desire with desire at this Passover to eat flesh with you?"
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.22.4)
“the especial delight of those of the
Hebrews who have accepted Messiah”
(Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 3:25:5)
“the Gospel which the Nazarenes
and Ebionites use”
(Jerome; On Mat. 12:13)
B'sorah HaEv'rim
The
Goodnews
according
to the
Hebrews
Reconstructed
By
James Scott Trimm
INTRODUCTION
The original Jewish followers of Yeshua as Messiah were an ancient Jewish sect
known as the Nazarenes ( Acts 24:5). The "church father" Jerome (4th Cent.)
described these Nazarenes as those
"...who accept Messiah in such a way
that they do not cease to observe the old Law."
(Jerome; On. Is. 8:14).
The fourth century "church father" Epiphanius gives a more detailed description:
But these sectarians... did not call themselves Christians—but
"Nazarenes," ... However they are simply complete Jews. They use
not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the
Jews do... They have no different ideas, but confess everything
exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion-- except for
their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both
the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and
declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Y'shua the Messiah.
They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire
Law, the Prophets, and the...Writings... are read in Hebrew, as they
surely are by the Jews. They are different from the Jews, and
different from Christians, only in the following: They disagree with
Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are
still fettered by the Law—circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest--
they are not in accord with Christians.... they are nothing but Jews....
(Epiphanius; Panarion 29)
This ancient sect of Jewish believers in Messiah used an apocryphal synoptic
Gospel known as "The Gospel according to the Hebrews" sometimes called "The
Gospel of the Nazarenes". Jerome referred to this Gospel as
"...the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use..."
(Jerome On Mt. 12:13).
Eusebius said
"And among them [doubted books] some have placed the Gospel according
to the Hebrews which is the especial delight of those of the Hebrews who
have accepted Messiah."
(Eccl. Hist. 3:25:5)
Unfortunately the Gospel according to the Hebrews is a lost Gospel. Not one copy
of this Gospel has come down to us. However about 50 quotations and citations of
the document have survived from various sources (primarily quotations by the
"Church Fathers").
What was this Gospel? Was it an original, longer version of Matthew? Was it the
synoptic source? Who wrote it? When was it composed? What did it teach? What
does it tell us about the ancient Nazarenes?
Modern scholars have had a difficult time defining just what GH really was.
According to Montague Rhodes James GH was "a divergent yet not heretical form
of our Gospel according to St. Matthew."1 Other scholars see in GH a completely
unique apocryphal synoptic Gospel. And still others speculate that it was a Gospel
Harmony. The difficulty originates in confusing statements by the ancient writers.
Jerome, for example, refers to GH as "the original of Matthew"2 yet elsewhere he
and others quote portions which have parallels only in Luke. This difficulty might
be resolved of GH was an unabridged Matthew which also served as a source for
Luke.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews was used by both Nazarenes and Ebionites
(who split off from the Nazarenes in 70 C.E.). Jerome refers to it as
"...the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use..."3
However it seems that the two groups had slightly different versions of the same
book:
• The Nazarene Version (GH-n) which Epiphanius says was "quite complete... as
it was first written."4
• The Ebionite Version (GH-e) which Epiphanius says was "not wholly complete
but falsified and mutilated."5
1 Apocryphal New Testament p. 1
2 Jerome; On Matt. 12:13
3 ibid
4 Pan. 29:9:4 (this quote actually speaks of Hebrew Matthew however I have included it because: 1)
Throughout the Church Fathers there is a confusion between the original "complete" Hebrew Matthew and
GH (as we will discuss later they may be the same) this is compounded by the context of this quote in
contrast to the Ebionite text of GH (elsewhere the "Church Fathers" say that Ebionites used only Matthew
and do not mention GH lending to the implication that they are the same.)
5 Pan. 30:13:2
By the middle ages the Nazarene version became known as "the Gospel of the
Nazarenes" and in modern times the Ebionite version has come to be known as
"The Gospel of the Ebionites."
The Gospel according to the Hebrews:
The Synoptic Solution
The Gospel according to the Hebrews is an apocryphal Gospel which was
used by the ancient Nazarenes and Ebionites. Scholars have long recognized
the profound importance of this document.
Barnes wrote:
…the Gospel according to the Hebrews by its very title claims
an authority equal to, if not actually greater than, that of the
four which eventually received the approval of the Church.
(A. S. Barnes; The Gospel according to the Hebrews;
Journal of Theological Studies 6 (1905) p. 361)
And Schonfield writes:
The Gospel according to the Hebrews is a literary outlaw with a price
on its head; but in spite of the scholarly hue and cry it still evades
capture. Neither monastic libraries nor Egyptian rubbish heaps have
so far yielded up a single leaf of this important document....
For behind Hebrews lies the unknown potentialities of the Nazarene
tradition, which may confirm or contradict some of the most cherished
beliefs of Orthodox Christianity. It is useless for certain theologians to
designate Hebrews as "secondary" on the evidence of the present
fragmentary remains preserved in quotation. ...
Judged by ancient testimony alone it is indisputable that Hebrews has
the best right of any Gospel to be considered a genuine apostolic
production;...
Here is obviously a most valuable witness, perhaps the most valuable
witness to the truth about [Yeshua] whom even a jury composed
entirely of orthodox Christians could not despise, and who ought to be
brought into court. But the witness is missing, and all that we have is a
few reported statements of his taken long ago...
(Hugh Schonfield; According to the Hebrews; 1937; pp. 13-18)
The Synoptic Problem
Mattityahu, Mark and Luke are known as the synoptic gospels. This is
because in many cases these three gospels use identical phrasing to recount
many of the same stories. The Synoptic Problem is the problem of
explaining these similarities and their interrelationships. This problem is
nothing new, it was first addressed in the fifth century by the Christian
"Church Father" Augustine.
The Semitic Source Document
Many synoptic variances point to an underlying Semitic text as the common
synoptic source document. For example:
Mt. 4:19 = Lk. 5:10 "fisher's of men"/"catch men" = )dyc  (Aram.)
Mt. 11:8 = Lk. 7:7:25 "In King's Houses"/"Among Kings"
Myklm tybb(Heb.)
)klm tyb(Aram.)
Mt. 11:27 = Lk. 10:22 "and no one knows the Son"/"and no one knows who the
son is" = )rbl (dy #n) )lw (Aram.)
Mt. 12:50 = Mk. 3:35 & Lk. 8:21 "my brother"/"brother of me" = yx) (Hebrew or
Aramaic)
Mt. 16:26 & Mk. 8:36 = Lk. 9:25 "his soul"/"himself" = w#pn (Heb.) or h#pn
(Aram.)
Mt. 27:15 = Lk. 23:17 "accustomed"/"necessary" = d(m (Aram.)
The Gospel according to the Hebrews
The Gospel according to the Hebrews was a Gospel which was once used by
the Nazarenes and Ebionites. Eusebius said that GH was “the especial
delight of those of the Hebrews who have accepted Messiah” (Eccl. Hist.
3:25:5). When speaking of the Ebionites, Epiphanius calls GH “their
Gospel” (Pan. 30:16:4-5) and Jerome refers to GH as “the Gospel which the
Nazarenes and Ebionites use” (On Mat. 12:13). The actual document has been lost to history, but about fifty quotations and citations of this document
are preserved in quotations and citations from the so-called “Church
Fathers” and other commentators even into the middle ages.
It is unlikely that the Hebrews themselves called their own Gospel
“according to the Hebrews”. This is likely a title given the book by Gentile
Christians. GH was also called “the Gospel according to the Apostles”; “the
Gospel according to the Twelve”; and “the Gospel according to Matthew”
and one of these may have been its name among the Hebrews who used it.
Even the most conservative of scholars have given a very early date to the
composition of the Gospel according to the Hebrews. In his book Evidence
that Demands a Verdict Josh McDowell (p. 38) assigns GH a date of A.D.
65-100. The book certainly had to have existed before the time of
Hegesippus (c. 180 C.E.) who Eusebius tells us made use of GH in his
writings (Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 4:22:8):
And from the Gospel according to the Hebrews,
and from the Syriac
and particulars from the Hebrew language
he makes extracts.
ek te tou kaq Ebraiouj euaggeliou
kai to Suriakou
kai idiwj ek thj Ebraidoj dialektou
tina tiqhsin

Ignatious (98 C.E.) quotes from GH in his letter to the Smyraneans (3:1-2
(1:9-12 some editions)). Although Ignatious does not identify his quote as
coming from GH, Jerome (4th Century) does later cite GH as the source (Of
Illustrious Men 16). GH (in differing versions) was used by both Nazarenes
and Ebionites. Since neither group would have been likely to adopt the
other’s book after they split from each other around 70 C.E., it appears that
GH in its original form must have originated prior to that time.
There has been much debate about the original language of the Gospel
according to the Hebrews. Eusebius refers to GH as “the Gospel that is
spread abroad among the Jews in the Hebrew tongue” (Theophina 4:12 on
Mt. 10:34-36) and “the Gospel [written] in Hebrew letters” (ibid on Mt. 25:14f). Jerome refers to GH as “written in the Chaldee and Syrian language
but in Hebrew letters” (Against Pelagius III.2) but seems to refer to the same
document in another passage as “in the Hebrew language and letters” (Of
Illustrious Men 3). In context however Jerome seems to say that GH was
originally written in “the Hebrew language and letters” but that the copy in
the library at Caesarea is “written in the Chaldee and Syrian language but in
Hebrew letters” (i.e. Aramaic). Thus Schonfield is correct in writing:
The original language of the Gospel was Hebrew. It has
generally been assumed on insufficient grounds that this
Hebrew was in fact Aramaic (commonly called Hebrew).
(According to the Hebrews p. 241)
Many misconceptions have circulated concerning the Gospel according to
the Hebrews. For example many scholars have attempted to make GH into
several documents. These refer to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the
Gospel of the Nazarenes and the Gospel of the Ebionites as three different
documents. However nowhere do the “Church Fathers” refer to a “Gospel of
the Ebionites”. Epiphanius says that the Ebionites used the “Gospel
according to the Hebrews” and never refers to a document titled “Gospel of
the Ebionites”. The term “Gospel of the Nazarenes” is never used by the
“Church Fathers” either and only appears in the middle ages where it is
clearly a euphemism for the Gospel according to the Hebrews. The
presumption that there were three documents called GH has taken root in
scholarship. Part of the basis for this assumption is that Clement of
Alexander (who did not know Hebrew or Aramaic) quotes GH in Greek
before Jerome translated GH into Greek. However it is quite possible that
Clement obtained his quotation from a secondary source who did know
Hebrew and that had quoted GH in ad hoc Greek, a secondary source which
is now unknown. The fact that Clement of Alexander quotes the book in
Greek prior to Jerome’s translation is far to little evidence from which to
conclude multiple documents.
Another misconception is the presumption that thirteen readings in marginal
notes found in certain manuscripts of Greek Matthew and which refer to
alternate readings taken form “the Judaikon” (i.e. the “Jewish version) refer
to the Gospel according to the Hebrews.While one of these readings (a note
to 18:22) agrees with the reading of GH as given by Jerome (Against Pelag.
III 2) that in itself is not enough evidence to jump to the far reaching
conclusion that the “Judaikon” is the same as GH. The “Judaikon” readings may also be readings from a Jewish (Hebrew or Aramaic?) version of
canonical Matthew and not to GH at all.
While there is no reason to presume that there were three different Gospels
called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, it is certainly clear that
Nazarenes and Ebionites used different versions of GH. Epiphanius
describes the version of GH used by the Ebionites as “called ‘according to
Matthew’, which however is not wholly complete but falsified and
mutilated” (Pan. 30:13:2) however in speaking of the Nazarenes he refer to
the “Gospel of Matthew quite complete in Hebrew… preserved… as it was
first written, in Hebrew letters” (Pan. 29:9:4). So it would appear that the
Ebionite version of GH was “not wholly complete but falsified and
mutilated” while the Nazarene version was “quite complete… preserved…
as it was first written.”.
This explains why the Ebionite version omitted the birth narrative and
opened with the ministry of Yochanan (Pan. 30:13:6) while the Nazarene
version is known to have included material parallel to the first two chapters
of Matthew.
There are also some important parallels between the Gospel according to the
Hebrews and our Hebrew and Aramaic versions of the Synoptic Gospels. To
begin with Jerome indicates that GH tended to agree with the Hebrew Tanak
against the Greek LXX in its quotations from the Tanak (Of Illustrious Men 3).
In the account of the immersion of Yeshua GH as quoted by Epiphanius says
that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) descended “in the form of a dove”.
This reading not only agrees with Luke (3:22) against Matthew (3:16) it also
agrees with DuTillet Hebrew Matthew and the Siniatic Old Syriac text of
Matthew 3:16. GH as quoted by Jerome also says that the Ruch HaKodesh
“rested” upon Yeshua at this event. This agrees with the Old Syriac reading
of Matthew 3:16 against Greek Matthew. The Shem Tob Hebrew Matthew
similarly has that the Rucah HaKodesh “dwelt” upon Yeshua in Mt. 3:16.
There may also be a tendency of GH to agree with the Greek Western type
text of the canonical Gospels. For example the immersion event GH (as
recorded by Epiphanius) has the voice say (in part) “I have this day begotten
you” which is also found in the Greek Western type text of Codex D in Luke
3:22 (compare Ps. 2:7; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5). Moreover GH as cited by
Jerome has the voice at the immersion of Yeshua speak “to him” as does the Greek Western type text of Codex D in Mt. 3:17. This is important because
as I have shown elsewhere the Greek Western type text is the oldest most
Semitic type of Greek text6.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews: a Synoptic Source Document?
Many scholars through the years have seen within GH possible answers to
questions about synoptic origins.
In 1778 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) known as a founder of the
Scientific Method, proposed the idea that GH was the primary source for our
Synoptic Gospels7.
In 1866 Hilgenfeld concluded:
At length the Gospel according to the Hebrews offers those
of us who are investigating the origin of the gospels the
punctum Archimedis8 which so many learned men have
vainly sought in the Gospel according to Mark.9
In 1905 A. S. Barnes proposed an identification between GH and the Logia
document which many scholars closely associate with "Q". Barnes writes:
Is it possible seriously to maintain that there were two separate
documents, each of them written at Jerusalem during the Apostolic
age and in the Hebrew tongue, each of them assigned to the Apostle
Matthew, and each of them dealing in some way with the Gospel
story? Or are we not rather forced to the conclusion that these two
documents, whose descriptions are so strangely similar, must really be
identical,...
(A. S. Barnes; The Gospel according to the Hebrews;
Journal of Theological Studies 6 (1905) p. 361)
6 See my book The Hebrew and Aramaic Origin of the New Testament.
7 The Hilbert Journal 3 (1904); The Gospel according to the Hebrews; Walter F. Adeney, M.A., D.D.,; p.
139
8 “point of origin”
9 Ibid; Novum Testamentum extra Canonem Receptum, fasciculus iv. P. 13. Apad. Nicholson, The Gospel
according to the Hebrews, p. ix.
In 1940 Pierson Parker concluded:
...the presence in this gospel of Lukan qualities and parallels,
the absence from it of definitive... Markan elements... all point
to one conclusion, viz., that the source of the Gospel according
to the Hebrews... was most closely related to sources underlying
the non-Markan parts of Luke, that is, Proto-Luke.
(Pierson Parker; A Proto-Lukan Basis for the Gospel according to
the Hebrews; Journal of Biblical Literature 59 (1940) p. 478)
And Hugh Schonfield concluded of GH:
...it may be argued that there has been dependence not of 'Hebrews'
on the Synoptics but vice versa-- that 'Hebrews' was one of the
sources on which one or more of them drew.
(Hugh Schonfield; According to the Hebrews; 1937;pp. 13-18)
As this book will demonstrate, the Gospel according to the Hebrews does
indeed lie at the root of all four of our canonical Gospels.
Mark: A Secondary Gospel
The original documentary theory claimed that Mattitiyahu and Luke were
dependent on a collection of sayings known as the Logia or as "Q". "Q" is
from the German word "Quelle" meaning "source" and a narrative document
usually identified as Mark. This may be illustrated as follows.
Streeter developed this theory further. He realized that Luke and Mattitiyahu
contained narratives in common which could not be found in Mark. He
attributed these to a third document, which he called "Proto-Luke". Proto-
Luke was said to have had incorporated into it "Q", the non-Markan portions
of Luke and the narrative material which Luke and Matthew held in
common.
The late Dr. Robert Lindsey made further observations. Lindsey points out
that the phrase "and immediately" occurs in Mark over 40 times. Luke
contains this phrase only once and then in a portion with no parallel in Mark.
Lindsey pointed out that it is unimaginable that Luke systematically purged
the phrase "and immediately" from every portion of Mark which he used,
especially since he uses the phrase himself elsewhere. This means that Luke could not have copied from Mark and that Mark therefore copied from Luke.
If we eliminate all of the Lukan passages from Mark then almost everything
else can be found in Mattitiyahu. In fact only 31 verses of Mark cannot be
found in either Luke or Mattitiyahu. It is clear as a result that Mark was
compiled using Luke and Mattitiyahu. The following three facts also support
this conclusion:
1.When Mark and Matthew differ in chronology Luke agrees with Mark.
2.When Mark and Luke differ in Chronology, Matthew agrees with Mark.
3. Matthew and Luke never agree in chronology against Mark.
Mark therefore is secondary, compiled from Matthew and Luke with only 31
lines of original material. It plays no part in synoptic origins.
Matthew: An Abridgement of the Gospel according to the Hebrews
The so-called “Church Fathers” do not hesitate in hinting to us that
Matthew’s source document was the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
Jerome writes of GH:
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use which
I have lately translated into Greek from the Hebrew and
which is called by many people the original of Matthew…
(Jerome; On Matt. 12:13)
Jerome is not the only “Church Father” to identify GH with Matthew.
Irenaeus says that the Ebionites used only the Gospel of Matthew (Heresies
1:26:2), Eusebius says they “used only the Gospel called according to the
Hebrews” (Eccl. Hist. 3:27:4) while Epiphanius says that the Ebionite
“Gospel” “…is called "Gospel according to Matthew, or Gospel according
to the Hebrews” (Panarion 30:16:4-5). Moreover Jerome seems to refer to
the original Hebrew of Matthew and GH interchangeably.
This led Hugh Schonfield to conclude:
My own opinion is that the canonical Gospel [of Matthew]
is an abridged edition of a larger work, of which fragments still survive,… I believe that this Protevangel was written in
Hebrew, not in Aramaic,…Whatever may have been its
original title, we have early allusions to it under the name of
“the Gospel” “the Gospel of the Lord,” “the Gospel of the
Twelve, or of the Apostles,” “the Gospel of the Hebrews”
and “the Hebrew Matthew.”
- Hugh J. Schonfield
(An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew’s Gospel; 1927 p. viii)
However ten years later Schonfield writes:
The only difficulty in fact that stands in the way of accepting
the Greek [of Matthew] as really translated from the Hebrew
[of Matthew], instead of vice versa, is undoubtedly the
irrefutable evidence that Greek Matthew has largely
used Mark.
- Hugh J. Schonfield
(According to the Hebrews; 1937; p.248)
Schonfield finally comes to the conclusion of…
…the strong probability that Hebrews was one of the
sources of canonical Matthew.
(ibid p. 254)
The pseudo-fact that Matthew used Mark as one of his sources (a theory
Lindsey has since disproved) is the only thing which held Schonfield back
from concluding that Greek Matthew is a translation of Hebrew Matthew
and that Hebrew Matthew was an abridgement of the Gospel according to
the Hebrews. With the barrier of presumed Markan priority being removed
we may now adopt the logical conclusion that Schonfield hesitated from.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews as Luke’s Source
Now having explained the origin of Mark as secondary we need not look to
Mark as a primary Gospel source for Luke either. Instead we need concern
ourselves only with Proto-Luke (and perhaps “Q”). Proto-Luke or the Proto-
Narrative would be the common source behind Matthew and Luke,
explaining their common material.
Now we may easily conclude that the Gospel according to the Hebrews is
the Proto-Luke or Proto-Narrative which served as the common source for
both Luke and Matthew.
To begin with Luke admits to having had source documents when writing
his gospel (Luke 1:1-4).
Secondly we have already established that the Gospel according to the
Hebrews served as the source for canonical Matthew. If Matthew and Luke
had a common source (which is clearly the case) then that source was almost
certainly the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
Finally several of the surviving readings from the Gospel according to the
Hebrews parallel Luke only and not Matthew. For example only Luke gives
Yeshua’s age as being 30 (Lk. 3:23); only Luke includes the account of
Yeshua being comforted by an angel (Lk. 22:43); only Luke includes the
discussion about eating the Passover as described in Luke 22:45 and only
Luke includes Yeshua’s words at the crucifixion “father forgive them…”
(Lk. 23:34). There are also Lukan elements even in the material that also
parallels Matthew. As shown earlier the immersion account as cited by
Epiphanius also included the words “in the form of [a dove]” (as in Luke’s
account) and the phrase “I have this day begotten you” (as in Luke’s account
in the Greek Western type text of Codex D). In fact we should expect that
the Proto-Narrative would have readings which parallel Matthew only,
readings which parallel only Luke and readings which are common to
Matthew and Luke (and sometimes Mark) but should not expect readings
which parallel only Mark. This is exactly the case with the Gospel according
to the Hebrews.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews and John
The Gospel of Yochanan (John) also seems to have made some use of the
Gospel according to the Hebrews but on a much smaller scale. The GH
account that Yeshua “kissed the feet of each one of them” recalls the foot
washing of Jn. 13:5. The account that one of the talmidim were known to the
High Priest also found in GH is found in John only (Jn. 18:15) and the
crucifixion as described in John 19 was said to parallel somewhat that of
GH. Thus it appears that even the non-synoptic Gospel of John made some
use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews and Barnabas
While doing some recent research I discovered that the Gospel of
Barnabas (a sort of Islamic apocryphal Gospel from the Middle Ages) seems
to have imbedded in it some elements from the Gospel according to
the Hebrews.
This relationship is not a complete surprise, some scholars have maintained
that there was a relationship between the ancient Ebionites and the roots of
early Islam10 (and Barnabas has its closest affinity with the Ebionite version
of GH). Moreover the editor of Barnabas must have used some earlier
Gospel(s) as his source material, since GH was certainly in existence, we
should not be surprised that it was used as a source text.
My first clue came from Barnabas’ account of the immersion of Yeshua (or
at least its reworking of that account). Barnabas reworks the immersion story
into a story about how Yeshua (i.e. “Jesus”) received the “Gospel”. In
Islamic belief the “Gospel” was a book that “Jesus” received from Gabriel in
much the same way that Mohammed is supposed to have received the
Quran. In keeping with this idea Barnabas reworks the immersion account
into an account of Yeshua receiving his book in much the same way that
Muhammed supposedly received the Quran:
Jesus having come to the age of thirty years, as he himself said
unto me, went up to Mount Olives with his mother to gather
olives. Then at midday as he was praying, when he came to these
words: 'Lord, with mercy . . . ,' he was surrounded by an exceeding
bright light and by an infinite multitude of angels, who were
saying: 'Blessed be God.' The angel Gabriel presented to him as it
were a shining mirror, a book, which descended into the heart of
Jesus, in which he had knowledge of what God hath done and what
hath said and what God willeth insomuch that everything was laid
bare and open to him; as he said unto me: 'Believe, Barnabas, that I
know every prophet with every prophecy, insomuch that whatever I
say the whole bath come forth from that book.'
Jesus, having received this vision, and knowing that he was a
10 James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea
Scrolls; Robert Eisenman; 1997
prophet sent to the house of Israel, revealed all to Mary his mother,
telling her that he needs must suffer great persecution for the honour
of God, and that he could not any longer abide with her to serve her.
Whereupon, having heard this, Mary answered: 'Son. Ere thou west
born all was announced to me; wherefore blessed be the holy name
of God. Jesus departed therefore that day from his mother to attend
to his prophetic office.
(Barnabas 10)
Now immediately we may take note of the fact that in Barnabas, as in GH, it
is mentioned that Yeshua’s mother is present at the event, we may also note
that both Barnabas and GH indicate that Yeshua was thirty years old.
The phrase "was surrounded by an exceeding bright light" in Barnabas
recalls the phrase "a great light shone around the place" in GH.
The phrase "a book, which descended into the heart of Jesus" in Barnabas
recalls: "the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending and entering into
him" in the Ebionite version of GH.
The phrase "everything was laid bare and open to him" (Barnabas) recalls
"the heavens were opened" in GH (and Matthew).
The phrase "Son. ere thou west born" (Barnabas) recalls "…Son… I have
begotten" (GH Ebionite) and "My son… my firstborn son" (GH Nazarene).
"That day" (Barnabas) recalls "this day" (GH Ebionite)
These parallels cannot be mere coincidence. The account in Barnabas is
clearly a corruption based (at least in part) in the account of Yeshua’s
immersion in GH.
Within Barnabas we also find a solution to a long time GH mystery. The
Ebionite version of GH had the following quote:
"I am come to do away with the sacrifices,
and if you cease not sacrificing
the wrath of God will not cease from you."
(This quote only appeared in the Ebionite version and was not in the original Nazarene version, so I have not included it in my reconstruction.)
Scholars have long been curious about where this quote belonged in the text
since there was no obvious parallel or context in the canonical Gospels.
However similar material occurs in Barnabas which could easily be the
home of this quote:
'For ye say unto them: "Bring of your sheep and bulls and lambs to
the temple of your God, and eat not all, but give a share to your
God of that which he hath given you"; and do not tell them of the
origin of sacrifice, that it is for a witness of the life granted
to the son of our father Abraham, so that the faith and obedience of
our father Abraham, with the promises made to him by God and the
blessing given to him, should never be forgotten. But by Ezekiel the
prophet saith God: "Remove from me these your sacrifices, your
victims are abominable to me." For the time draweth near when that
shall be done of which our God spoke by Hosea the prophet,
saying: "I will call chosen the people not chosen." And as he saith
in Ezekiel the prophet: "God shall make a new covenant with his
people, not according to the covenant which he gave to your fathers,
which they observed not and he shall take from them a heart of
stone, and give them a new heart": and all this shall be because ye
walk not now in his law. And ye have the key and open not: rather do
ye block the road for those who would walk in it.'
The priest was departing to report all to the high priest, who
stood nigh unto the sanctuary, but Jesus said: 'Stay, for I will
answer thy question.'
(Barnabas 67)
Barnabas also offers a solution to another great GH mystery. Scholars have
long noted that the quotes from GH seem to switch from a third person
account, to a first person account from the Emissaries, to a first person
account from Yeshua himself, but how this took place was a mystery.
For example Epiphanius quotes the Ebionite version of GH as reading:
There appeared a certain man named Jesus of about thirty years
of age, who chose us. And when he came to Capernaum, he
entered into the house of Simon whose surname is Peter, and
opened his mouth and said: "As I passed the Lake of Tiberias, I
chose John and James the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the Iscariot, and
you, Matthew, I called as you sat at the receipt of custom, and
you followed me. You, therefore, I will to be twelve apostles for
a testimony unto Israel."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.2-3)
Here we see this shift taking place, but in other passages it is not so simple
to understand how this shift took place. For example Origin quotes GH as
follows:
“Even now did my mother the Holy Spirit take me by one of mine
hairs, and carried me away unto the great mountain Thabor”
(Origen; on Jn. 2:12)
Now this appears to be an account of the Temptation, but all three canonical
accounts of the Temptation are in the third person, how could GH have
worked in a first person account?
Again Barnabas gives us the solution. In Barnabas the flowing third person
narrative is at times interrupted by a first person account by an emissary
(Barnabas) recalling and recounting a first person account of the events
given them by Yeshua.
In Barnabas, for example, we read:
“…as he said unto me: 'Believe, Barnabas, that I know every
prophet with every prophecy, insomuch that whatever I say
the whole bath come forth from that book.'”
(Barnabas 10)
Barnabas and GH must both have had such interspersed interruptions
suddenly shifting from the third person into a first person account of an
emissary (or emissaries) recalling a first person account they received from
Yeshua.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews and the Toldot Yeshu
In his monumental work on the subject, According to the Hebrews, Hugh Schonfield demonstrated that the Hostile Rabbinic parody Gospel known as
the Toldot Yeshu was a parody based on the Gospel according to the
Hebrews.
…the neglected—indeed despised—Toldoth Jeshu will be
found on serious examination to supply a most important
witness to the structure of the lost Gospel according to the
Hebrews… the original Toldoth Jeshu was a counterblast to
the Gospel according to the Hebrews. This is all the more
likely when it is remembered that it was the Jewish custom to
name their books from the opening words. Thus Exodus is in
Hebrew Shemoth from the opening words of the book ‘we-eleh
shemoth’. The title Toldoth Jeshu (Generations of Jesus) must
have been taken from a book beginning with those words. The
only known Gospel which does so is of course Matthew, which
opens with: ‘The book of the Generations of Jesus.’11 Now it
was commonly held that the Gospel according to the Hebrews
was the lost Hebrew Gospel of Matthew…
(According th the Hebrews; Hugh J. Schonfield; 1937; p.24)
…We would urge that our hypothesis that the Toldoth is based
on Hebrews is proved not only by the similarities which we have
illustrated, but by the overwhelming cumulative evidence12,…
(According th the Hebrews; Hugh J. Schonfield; 1937; p.268)
The Five Fold Gospel
While the Gospel according to the Hebrews is at the root of the four
canonical Gospels, this in no way reduces the value of the four Gospels.
While the Gospel according to the Hebrews was the original Gospel used by
the Nazarenes (and in a variant form by Ebionites) other gospels were
fashioned to meet various needs. I believe the four canonical Gospels were
composed to present the Gospel story to four specific non-Nazarene groups.
I believe that Matthew was an abridgement of the GH designed to present
11 It should be noted that Hebrew Matthew (both DuTillet and Shem Tob) begins Eleh Toldot Yeshu[a]…
“These are the generations of Yeshua”.
12 The reader may wish to consult Schonfield’s 1937 book According to the Hebrews, which lays this
argument out in detail.
Yeshua as the Messiah to the Pharisee audience. This is evidenced by: 1)
The many parallels with the wisdom sayings in the Mishna, Talmud,
Midrashim etc. 2) The frequent citations of the Tanak (128 quotations)
aimed at establishing the Messiahship of Yeshua. 3) The defense of
Nazarene Halachic authority (16:18-19; 18:18; 21:20-21, 23-27 & 23:1-34)
4) More discussion of halachic issues than any other Gospel (5:21-7:12;
9:14-17; 12:1-14; 15:1-6; 17:24-27; 19:3-9; 22:15-22; 23:1-34).
I believe that Luke used GH as a source document in writing a Gospel
account aimed at Sadducees. The book of Luke was written originally to
Theophilus, who served as High Priest from 37 to 42 C.E.. Theophilus was
both a priest and a Sadducee. It would appear that the Gospel was intended
to be used by others as well and was likely targeted at Sadducee readers.
Theophilus was the son of Annas and the brother-in-law of Caiaphas, as a
result he grew up in the Temple. This explains many features of Luke. Luke
begins the story with an account of Zechariah the righteous priest who had a
vision of an angel at the Temple (1:5-25) he quickly moves on to an account
of Miriam's purification and Yeshua's redemption rituals at the Temple
(2:21-39) and then to the event of Yeshua teaching at the Temple at the age
of twelve (2:46). Luke makes no mention of Caiaphas' role in Yeshua's
crucifixion and emphasizes Yeshua's literal resurrection (24:39) (Sadducees
did not believe in the resurrection of the dead).
I believe that Mark used elements of Matthew and Luke to compile a
shortened simplified Gospel account for the Gentiles. He probably wrote the
book for use by Aramaic speaking Syrians and Assyrians he encountered
while in Babylon with Kefa (1Kefa 5:13). Since Mark was addressing
Gentiles he did not include Yeshua's genealogy, the Sermon on the Mount,
makes fewer quotations from the Tanak and makes less mention of Jewish
customs that the other Gospels.
I believe that John made some use of GH in composing a Gospel account
aimed at the Essenes. This is evidenced by the fact that only Yochanan
reveals the fact that Yochanan the immerser had an (Essene) community of
talmidim living with him in the wilderness (Yochanan 1). This is further
evidenced by the mystical nature of Yochanan's account. (The Essenes were
mystics and in fact many scholars see the roots of what we now call
"Kabbalah" as stemming from the Essenes.).
The result was four Gospels which covered all four levels of understanding
of the original Gospel according to the Hebrews. The Hebrew/Aramaic word
PARDES is spelled in Hebrew and Aramaic without vowels as PRDS.
PaRDeS refers to a park or garden, esp. the Garden of Eden. The word
PRDS is also an acronym (called in Judaism "notarikon") for:
[P]ashat (Heb. "simple") The plain, simple, literal level of understanding.
[R]emez (Heb. "hint") The implied level of understanding.
[D]rash (Heb. "search") The allegorical, typological or homiletically level of
understanding.
[S]od (Heb. "hidden") The hidden, secret or mystical level of understanding.
These are the four levels of understanding. The Four Gospels each express
one of these four levels of understanding of The Gospel according to the
Hebrews. Each also expresses a different aspect of the Messiah and
corresponds to each of the four faces of the living beings in Ezekiel 1.
The Pashat Gospel is Mark. Mark presents the Messiah as the servant (the
servant who purifies the Goyim in Is. 52:13, 15) the "my servant the Branch"
of Zech.3:8 who is symbolized by the face of the Ox in Ezekiel 1 (the Ox
being a servant, a beast of burden). Mark does not begin with an account of
the birth of Messiah as do Matthew and Luke because, unlike the birth of a
King, the birth of a servant is unimportant, all that is important is his work as
a servant which begins with his immersion by Yochanan. Thus Mark's
simplified account omits any account of Yeshua's birth or preexistence and
centers on his work as a servant who purifies the Goyim.
The Remez Gospel is Luke. Luke wrote a more detailed account for the
High Priest Theophilus (a Sadducee). The Sadducees were rationalists and
sticklers for details. Luke presents Yeshua as the "Son of Man" and as "the
man whose name is the Branch" (Zech 6:12) who is presented as a High
Priest and is symbolized by the face of the man in Ezekiel 1. Luke wants to
remind by remez (by implication) the High Priest Theophilus about the
redemption of the filthy High Priest Joshua (Zech. 6) and its prophetic
foreshadowing of a "man" who is a Messianic "Priest" and who can purify
even a High Priest.
The Drash Gospel is Matthew. Matthew presents his account of Yeshua's life
as a Midrash to the Pharisees, as a continuing story tied to various passages
from the Tanak (for example Mt. 2:13-15 presents an allegorical
understanding of Hosea 11:1).. As a drash level account Matthew also includes a number of parables in his account. Matthew presents Messiah as
the King Messiah, the Branch of David (Jer. 23:5-6 & Is. 11:1f) symbolized
by the face of the lion in Ezekiel 1.
The Sod Gospel is Yochanan . Yochanan addresses the Mystical Essene sect
and concerns himself with mystical topics like light, life, truth, the way and
the Word. Yochanan includes many Sod interpretations in his account. For
example Yochanan 1:1 presents a Sod understanding of Gen. 1:1. Yochanan
3:14; 8:28 & 12:32 present a Sod understanding of Num. 21:9 etc.).
Conclusion
The Gospel according to the Hebrews which was the “especial delight of
those of the Hebrews who have accepted Messiah” was a primary source
document either directly or indirectly for all four of our canonical Gospels.
The Gospel of Matthew was an abridgement of that Gospel made originally
to bring the message of Yeshua to the Pharisees. The Gospel of Luke was
drawn largely from GH and was composed to present the message of Yeshua
to the Sadducees. The Gospel of Mark was compiled from Matthew and
Luke in order to present a shorter, simpler account to the Gentiles. And the
Gospel of John made some use of GH in composing a Gospel account aimed
at the Essene community. The resulting four Gospels covered all of the
levels of understanding (PaRDeS) of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
Mark gives us the pashat, Luke the remez, Matthew the drash and John the
Sod. Thus the four canonical Gospels provide us with a complete
understanding of the Gospel according to the Hebrews which lies at the root
of all of them.
James Trimm
Reconstructing a Lost Gospel
In his 1937 book According to the Hebrews, Schonfield concludes:
It is a great temptation to conclude an investigation of this kind
with an attempted reconstruction of Hebrews. We believe that
ere long it will be possible for such an attempt to be made on
the lines of the connections and associations which have been
set out in the foregoing pages. It is even now possible to restore
conjecturally considerable passages from the indications which
we have discovered of their contents.
(According to the Hebrews; 1937; Hugh J. Schonfield; p. 268)
It has been nearly seventy years since Schonfield wrote these words, and the
time has now come that the long lost Gospel according to the Hebrews can
be reconstructed and published to the world.
The following point serve as the basis for this reconstruction:
1. GH is a longer “original” version of our Gospel of Matthew.
2. GH served as a source text for our Gospel of Luke.
3. GH served as a source text for some portions of John.
4. GH served as a source text for the apostate Gospel of Barnabas.
5. The Toldot Yeshu is a hostile Rabbinic parody on GH.
6. The Judaikon fragments probably express readings found in GH.
Using these foundational points I have begun with the text of the Book of
Matthew. Starting with this text I have worked the fifty or so fragments of
GH preserved in various sources into the text. In cases where these
fragments correspond only with Luke or John, I have taken the
corresponding sections of Luke or John and worked them into the text of
Matthew and then worked the fragment of GH into its proper place. For
example I took the foot washing event from John and placed it in Matthew
(on the premise that John had derived the material from GH in the first
place) and then restored the fragment from GH about Yeshua kissing the feet of his talmidim. Although some cases required a judgment call as to exactly
where a certain fragment belonged, I believe that after 20 years of studying
the matter, that I have restored these fragments to their proper place with the
greatest amount of accuracy possible. I am convinced that if a manuscript
copy of GH is ever found, it will agree very closely with the Gospel as it is
presented here. It is possible that there is material still missing from the text,
in fact much of what is now in Luke, but is not in Matthew may have
originated in GH, but there is no way to know this for sure. In the end I
believe that the text presented here-in is effectively the text of the Gospel
according to the Hebrews that was used by our Nazarene fore fathers and at
the very least it is close as we can currently get to the original.
James Trimm
The Goodnews according to the
Hebrews
1 These are the generations of Yeshua13, the son of David, the son of
Avraham.
2. Avraham begat Yitzchak, Yitzchak begat Ya’akov, Ya’akov begat
Y’hudah and his brothers.
3 Y'hudah begat Peretz and Zerach by Tamar, Peretz begat Chetzron,
Chetzron begat Ram,
4 And Ram begat Amminadav, Amminadav begat Nachshon, Nachshon
begat Salmon,
5 Salmon begat Bo'az by Rachav, Bo'az begat Oved by Rut, And Oved begat
Yishai,
6 Yishai begat David the king. David begat Shlomo by the wife of Uriyah,
7 And Shlomo begat Rechav'am, Rechav'am begat Aviyah, And Aviyah
begat Asa,
8 And Asa begat Y'hoshafat, Y'hoshafat begat Y'horam, Y'horam begat
Uziyahu,
9 Uziyahu begat Yotam, Yotam begat Achaz, Achaz begat Chizkiyahu,
10 Chizkiyahu begat M'nasheh, M'nasheh begat Ammon, Ammon begat
Yoshiyahu,
11 Yoshiyahu begat Y'khanyah and his brothers in the Babylonian exile.
12 Y'khanyah begat Sh'altiel, Sh'altiel begat Z'rubavel,
13 Z'rubavel begat Av'ichud, Av'ichud begat Av'ner, Av'ner begat Elyakim,
13 “These are the generations of Yeshua” Hebrew: Eleh Toldot Yeshua”. Schonfield has shown that the
hostile Rabbinic Gospel known as the “Toldot Yeshu” was a parody on GH (see According to the
Hebrews; Hugh J. Schonfield; 1937; p. 23-24). Ancient Semitic books were often named after the first
major opening word(s) of the book. For example the Hebrew names of the books of the Torah are each
taken from the opening words of that book and the Arabic names for each of the surahs of the Quran are
taken from the opening words of that surah. Thus the document of which the Toldot Yeshu was a parody
(which was almost certainly GH) must have opened with these words, just as Matthew opens. Thus also
GH must have contained the genealogy found in Matthew 1:1-17. One may infer from statements by
Epiphanius that the Nazarene version included an opening genealogy. Also one Greek manuscript of
Matthew (Codex 1424) has a marginal note to Matt. 1:6 giving an alternate reading from the Judaikon, but
unfortunately the note was later erased.
Elyakim begat Azur,
14 Azur begat Tzadok, Tzadok begat Ammon, Ammon begat El'ichud,
15 El'ichud begat El'azar, El'azar begat Mattan, Mattan begat Ya'akov,
16. Ya'akov begat Yosef, Yosef who was betrothed to Miriam the virgin,
who begat Yeshua, who is called Messiah.
17 And all the generations from Avraham to David are fourteen generations,
and from David to the Babylonian exile are fourteen generations, and from
the Babylonian exile to the Messiah are fourteen generations.
18 And the birth of Yeshua the Messiah was this way: after his mother
Miriam was betrothed to Yosef, before he came unto her, the Ruach
HaKodesh found her pregnant.
19 And Yosef her husband was a righteous man, and not willing to deliver
her up to death, and not to disclose her; only it was in his heart to send her
away in secret.
20 And while he thought on this, the angel appeared to him in a dream,
saying, "Yosef son of David, fear not to take Miriam your wife, for that
which will be born of her is from the Ruach HaKodesh; for from the Ruach
HaKodesh she has conceived.
21 And behold, she will bear a son, and you will call his name Yeshua; for
he will save his people from all their sins.
22 And all this was to fulfill what was spoken from YHWH by prophet
Yesha'yahu, saying,
23 "Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and will call his
name Immanu'el "14
24 And Yosef awoke from his sleep, and did as the angel of YHWH had
commanded him, and took her as his wife.
25 and he had no intercourse with her until she had born her son, and he
called his name Yeshua.
CHAPTER 2
1 And after Yeshua was born in Beit Lechem, a city of Y'hudah, in the days
of Herod the king, behold, there came believers from the east to
Yerushalayim,
2 saying, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his
star in the east, and have come to pay homage to him."
3 And when Herod heard, he was filled with anger, he, and all Yerushalayim
with him.
14 Is. 7:14
4 And he gathered all the Chief Cohenim and scribes of the people, and
inquired from them in what place the Messiah should be born.
5 And they said to him, "In Beit Lechem, Y'hudah; for thus it was spoken by
the mouth of the prophet.
6 "But you Beit Lechem, Ef'ratah, are not to be lightly esteemed among
the thousands of Y'hudah15, for from you shall he come forth to me
which is to be ruler among my people Yisrael."16
7 Then Herod called the believers in secret, and questioned them diligently
as to the time of the star, which had appeared to them.
8 And he sent them to Beit Lechem, and said, "Go and inquire diligently
concerning the boy; and when you have found him, tell me, in order that I
may come and pay homage to him also."
9 And when they had heard the king, they went; and behold, the star, which
they saw in the east, went before their eyes, until it came and stood still
above, over against where the boy was.
10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 When Yosef looked out with his eyes, he saw a crowd of pilgrims who
were coming in company to the cave, and he said: I will arise and go out to
meet them.
12 And when Yosef went out, he said to Shim'on, “It seems to me as if those
coming were soothsayers, for lo, every moment they look up to heaven and
confer with one another.
13 But they seem to be strangers, for their appearance differs from ours; for
their dress is very rich and their complexion quite dark; they have caps on
their heads and their garments seem to be silky, and they have breeches on
their legs.
14 And they have halted and are looking at me, and lo, they have halted and
are looking at me, and lo, they have again set themselves in motion and are
coming here17.
15 And they came into the house, and they found the boy, and his mother,
Miriam, with him, and they fell on the ground and paid homage to him: and
opened their stores, and they presented to him gifts; gold, and frankincense,
and myrrh.
15 “Bethlehem of Judaea. This is a mistake of the scribes: for I think it was originally expressed by the
Evangelist as we read in the Hebrew: ‘of ‘of Judah’ not ‘of Judaea’”. – Jerome on Mat. 2:6
16 Mic. 5:1(5:2)
17 2:11-14 “For the Gospel which is entitled According to the Hebrews reports: … From these words it is
clear that not merely three men, but a crowd of pilgrims came to the Lord, even if according to the foremost
leaders of this crowd were named with the definite names Melchus, Casper and Phadizarda.” (Sedulius
Scotus, Comm. On Mt.; MSS: Berlin, Phill. 1660, saec. IX fol. 17v; Vienna 740, saec IX, fol. 15r.v.: cited
by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 203f.)
16 And it came to pass, they were fast asleep, and behold, the angel
appeared to them, saying, "Beware of returning to Yerushalayim to Herod,"
and they went and returned to their own land by another way.
17 And after they had departed, and behold, the angel of YHWH appeared to
Yosef in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the boy and his mother, and flee you
away into Egypt and be there; and there you will stay until I return to you;
for Herod is seeking to put the boy to death."
18 And he arose, and took up the boy and his mother by night, and departed
into Egypt:
19 and was there until the death of Herod: to fulfill what was spoken from
YHWH by the prophet, who said,
"From out of Egypt I have called my son."18
20 Then Herod, seeing that he was deceived by the magi, was exceedingly
furious, and sent forth, and put to death all the boys that were in Beit
Lechem,
and in all the border thereof, from two years old and under, as he had heard
the set time from the magi.
21 Then was established that which was spoken by Yirmeyahu the prophet,
who said,
22 "A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more."19
23 And after Herod the King was dead, behold, the angel of YHWH
appeared in a dream to Yosef in Egypt,
24 saying, "Arise, and take up the boy and his mother and go into the Eretz-
Yisrael: for they are dead which sought the child's nefesh."
25 And he arose, and took the child and his mother, and came to Eretz-
Yisrael.
26 And when he heard that Archelaus reigned in Y'hudah in the place of
Herod his father, he was afraid to go to there: and being warned in sleep, he
went to the land of Galil:
18 Hos. 11:1; “To these [citations where Matt. Follows the Hebrew rather than the LXX] belong two: ‘Out
of Egypt I called my son.’And ‘For he shall be called a Nazarene.’” – Jerome; of Illustrious Men 3
19 Jer 31:14 (15)
27 and came and dwelt in the city of Natzeret: to fulfill what was spoken by
the mouth of the prophet, for he will be called Natzeret820.
28 And his people, during every year, went to Yerushalayim for the
celebration of the feast of Unleavened Bread, of Pesach.
29 And when he was twelve years old, they went up, as they were
accustomed for the feast.
30 And after the feast days were completed, they returned. But the child
Yeshua remained in Yerushalayim, though his kinsfolk did not know.
31 For they thought he was with people in their company. And after they had
gone a one-day journey, they searched for him among their company and
among their kinsfolk and among those who knew them.
32 And they did not find him. So they returned again to Yerushalayim and
searched for him.
33 And after three days, they found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of
the teachers. And he was listening to them and questioning them.
34 Now on a certain day the rabbis were debating matters of civil damages.
Then began he to utter halachot before them.
35 Then said one of them to him, "Have you not heard that everyone that
speaks a halacha in the presence of his master is worthy of death?"
36 He said to that wise man, "Who is the master and who is the talmid? And
which of the two is wiser, Moshe or Yitro? Was it not Moshe, the father of
the prophets and chief of the wise men?
37 Moreover the Torah witnesses concerning him: And there arose not
since in Yisra’el a prophet like unto Moshe.21
Withal Yitro was an alien,
yet
he dictated to Moshe right conduct, according to the saying: And set over
them rulers of thousands and rulers of hundreds.22
38 But if you therefore say that Yitro was greater than Moshe then would
there be an end to his greatness?"23
39 And all those who heard him were amazed at his wisdom and his
answers.
40 And when his kinsfolk saw him they were amazed, and his mother said to
him, My son, why have you acted toward us in this manner? For behold, we
have been searching for you with much worry.
20 “To these [citations where Hebrew Matt. follows the Hebrew rather than the LXX] belong two: ‘Out of
Egypt I called my son.’And ‘For he shall be called a Nazarene.’” – Jerome; of Illustrious Men 3
21 Deut. 34:10
22 Ex. 18:21
23 2:34-38 This material is extracted from Toldot Yeshu 1:26-30 but since it is in no way antagonistic
toward Yeshua, it must have been part of the original source of that document: The Goodnews according to
the Hebrews.
41 (And) he said to them, Why were you searching for me? Do you not
know that it is necessary for me to be in the House of my Father?
42 And they did not understand the saying that he had told them.
43 And he went down with them and came to Natzaret and was subject to
them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.
44 And Yeshua grew in his stature and in his wisdom and in favor with
Elohim and men.
CHAPTER 3
1 It came to pass in the days of Herod the king of Y’hudah, when Kayafa
was Cohen HaGadol24, that there came one, Yochanan by name, and
immersed with the immersion of repentance in the river Yardan.
2 It was said of him that he was of the lineage of Aharon the cohen, a son of
Z'kharyah and Elisheva25
: and all went out to him.26
3 and he cried in the wilderness of Y'hudah
4 saying, "Make you teshuva in your lives, for the Kingdom of Heaven is
offered to come."
5 And this is he, of whom Yesha'yahu spoke, saying,
“A voice crying, ‘in the wilderness
Prepare you the way of YHWH,
make straight in the desert, a path for our Elohim.’”27
6 It came to pass that Yochanan was immersing; and there went out to him
P’rushim and were immersed, and all of Yerushalyim.
7 And the garment of Yochanan was of camel's hair, and a leather belt about
his waist; and his food was the locust28
and wild honey.29
8 and they were immersed of him in the Yarden, and confessing their sins.
9 And when he saw many from the P'rushim and from the Tz'dukim, which
24 Luke 3:2
25 Luke 1:5 & 3:2
26 3:1-2 “And the beginning of their [the Ebionites] Gospel runs…” – Epiphanius; Panarion 30:13:6
27 Is. 40:3
28 The Ebionite version had been revised to read “his food was wild honey, the taste of which was that of
manna, as a cake dipped in oil.” But the Nazarene version certainly agreed with Matthew 3:4 as I have it
here.
29 3:6-7 “In the Gospel that is in general use among them [Ebionites] which is called ‘according to
Matthew’, which however is not whole and complete but forged and mutilated- they call it the Hebrew
Gospel- it is reported: …Thus they were resolved to pervert the truth into a lie and put a cake in place of
locusts.” – Epiphanius; Panarion 30:13:2-5
came to his immersion, he said to them, "Generation of vipers, who has
informed you to flee from the wrath to come?
10 Bring forth therefore the fruit in keeping with repentance:
11 and say not among yourselves, 'Because Avraham is our father...' for I
say to you, that Elohim has the power to raise up sons of Avraham from
these stones.”
12 And already the axe is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree which
yields not good fruit will be cut down and cast into the fire.
13 Behold I am only immersing you in water to repentance, and he that
comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry, and he
will immerse you with the fire of the Ruach HaKodesh,
14 whose winnowing fork is in his hand, that he may clean his threshing
floor, and gather his wheat into the granary, and he will burn up the chaff in
unquenchable fire."
15 It came to pass there was a certain man named Yeshua of about thirty
years of age30
who chose us.31
16 [And] behold, the mother of our Adon and His brothers said to him,
Yochanan the immerser immerses for the remission of sins; let us go and be
immersed by him.
17 But He said to them, what sin have I committed that I should go and be
immersed by him? Unless perchance, the very words which I have said
are [a sin of] ignorance32.33
18 When the people were immersed Yeshua also came and was immersed by
Yochanan.
19 And when the Adon ascended from the water, the heavens were opened
and he saw the whole fount of the Ruach HaKodesh in the form of a dove34
30 Luke 3:23
31 3:15 The quote given by Epiphanius in Panarion 30:13:2-3 appears to come from three different parts of
the document. The opening phrase of this quote “It came to pass there was a certain man named Yeshua of
about thirty years of age, who chose us” seems to go best here, but the rest of the quote corresponds to a
time much later on Yeshua’s third visit to Kefa’s home. Here the emissaries are revealed as the narrators of
the document which may be part of the reason it was also known as the Goodnews according to the
Emissaries (According to Jerome, Against Pelagius III, 2) see note to 18:1-4.
32 Heb. 9:7; Lev. 4:2, 22, 27; 5:15-18; 22:14
33 3:16-17 “In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldee and Syrian language,
but in Hebrew characters, and is used by the Nazarenes to this day (I mean the Gospel according to the
Emissaries, or, as generally maintained, the Gospel according to Matthew, a copy of which is in the library
at Caesarea), we find. …” – Jerome; Against Pelagius III, 2)
34 “in the form of a dove” compare Luke 3:22- agrees with DuTillet Heb. Matthew and the Old Syriac
Aramaic Matthew (OS(s)) against Greek Matthew.
that descended and rested35
upon him,36
20 And said to him, “My son, in all the prophets I was waiting for you, that
you might come, and that I might rest in you. For you are my rest; and you
are my firstborn son, who reigns forever.
21 You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased.” And Again, “I have
this day begotten you37.”
22 And immediately a great light shone round about the place38. When
Yochanan saw this, he said to him “Who are you Adon?”
23 And again a voice from Heaven rang out to him, “This is my beloved Son
in whom I am well pleased.”
24 And Yochanan fell down before him and said, “I beseech you Adon,
immerse me.”
25 But he prevented him and said, “Permit it; for thus it is fitting that
everything should be fulfilled.39
CHAPTER 4
1. Then Yeshua was led up by the Ruach HaKodesh into the wilderness in
order that he might be tempted by HaSatan. As He said unto us "Even so did
my mother the Ruach HaKodesh take me by one of my hairs, and carried me
away unto the great mountain40
Tabor"41,
2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was
hungry.
3. And the tempter came, he said to him, "If you are the Son of Elohim, say
35 “rested upon him” (Nazarene version) the Ebionite version read “entered into him”.
36 Is. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Testament of Levi 18:6-7 “rested” agrees with the Old Syriac Aramaic of Matthew
and similar to the Hebrew Shem Tob Matthew (which has “dwelt”) against Greek Matthew.
37 Ps. 2:7; this reading appears also in the Greek Western text of Codex D in Luke 3:22. This Psalm is never
quoted in any of our four Gospels but is cited as a Messianic proof text in the Toldot Yeshu. See Acts
13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5
38 Some Old Latin manuscripts of Matthew contain a similar phrase “And when Yeshua was being
immersed, a great light shone from the water, so that all that gathered together feared.” (Codex
Sangermanensis); “And when he was being immersed, a very great light shone round about from the water,
so that all that had come there feared.” (Codex Vercellensis); Also in the “Church Fathers” “a fire was
kindled in Jordan.” – Justin Martyr; Dialog with Trypho 88; “a light rising over the water” – Ephraim
Syrus
39 3:18-25 see appendix
40 “wilderness… mountain” In Judean Aramaic dialects the word )rw+ can mean “wilderness” or can
mean “hill” or “mountain” although this is not the word used in the Old Syriac or Peshitta in this passage of
Matthew, Mark or Luke.
41 4:1b “Even so…Tabor.” – “And if any accept the Gospel according to the Hebrews, where the savior
himself says: …he will be perplexed.” (Origen on John 2:12) (also quoted in Origen’s Jer. Homily xv 4;
Jerome on Micah 7:6; Is. 40:9ff and Ezek. 16:13).
that these stones be made bread."
4. And Yeshua answered and said, "It is written,
'For not by bread alone will man live, but by everything that
proceeds from the mouth of YHWH will man live.'"42
5. Then HaSatan took him up to Yerushalayim43, and set him on a turret of
the Temple,
6. and said to him, "If you are the Son of Elohim, drop yourself down, for
surely it is written,
'For he will give his angels charge concerning you, to keep you in
all your ways, upon the palms of their hands they will bear you
up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"44
7 And Yeshua answered him and said, "It is also written,
'You shall not tempt YHWH your Elohim.'"45
8 And again HaSatan took him up into an exceedingly high mountain, and
showed him all from the kingdoms of the world, and their glory;
9 and said to him, "All these will I give you, if you will fall down and
worship me."
10 Then said Yeshua to him, "Get yourself gone, adversary, for it is written,
'YHWH your Elohim you shall worship, and him alone you shall
serve.'"46
11 Then HaSatan left him, and behold, angels drew near and attended him.
12 And after Yeshua had heard that Yochanan was imprisoned, he went to
Galil;
13 and leaving Natzeret, he left and dwelt in K'far Nachum (which is a city
by the sea, on the border of Z'vulun and Naftali.)
14 to establish what was spoken by the mouth of Yesha'yahu the prophet,
who said,
15 "Land of Z'vulun, and land of Naftali, the way of the sea, beyond
42 Deut. 8:3
43 Some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note to Mt. 4:5 which reads “The Judaikon
[Jewish] has not ‘into the holy city’ but ‘in Jerusalem’”. (agrees with Luke 4:9).
44 Ps. 91:11-12
45 Deut. 6:16
46 Deut. 6:13
Yarden, Galil of the Goyim;
16 the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; the
inhabitants of the land of the shadow of death, a light has shined upon
them."47
17 And then began Yeshua to cry, saying, “Turn you, turn you, in
repentance: for the Kingdom of Heaven is offered.”
18 And when Yeshua was walking by the sea shore of Galil, he saw two
brothers, Shim'on who was called Kefa, and Andrew his brother, casting a
net into the sea, for they were fishers.
19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
20 And they immediately left the nets, and followed him.
21 And when he departed from there, he saw two other brothers, Ya'akov
Ben Zavdai, and Yochanan his brother, in a boat with Zavdai their father,
mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him.
23 And Yeshua went about all Galil, teaching in their synagogues, and
announcing the good news of the Kingdom and healing all manner of
sickness and pain among the people.
24 And the report of him went out to all the people, and they brought to him
all that had any physical illness, or that had fallen into various ailments, and
diseases, both epileptics and paralytics; and he healed them.
25 And there followed him great crowds from Galil, and from the ten towns,
and from Yerushalyim, and from Y'hudah, and from beyond Yarden.
CHAPTER 5
1 And when Yeshua saw the crowds, he went up to a mountain: and after he
had sat down, and his talmidim approached him:
2 and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,
3 "Happy are the poor of spirit48,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
4 Happy are the mourners,
for they will be comforted49.
5 Happy are the meek,
for they will inherit the Land50.
47 Isa. 8:23-9:1 (9:1-2)
48 Is. 66:2; 57:15
49 Is. 61:2; 66:10, 13
6 Happy are they, which hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied51.
7 Happy are the merciful,
for they will obtain mercy.
8 Happy are the pure in heart52,
for they will see Elohim.
9 Happy are the peacemakers,
for they will be called the sons of Elohim.
10 Happy are they which are persecuted for the sake of
righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
11 Happy are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall
say all evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice and be glad53, for great is your reward in heaven, for persecuted
they the prophets.
13 You are the salt of the earth, and if the salt has lost its savor, how will it
be salted? it is afterwards good for nothing, but to be cast outside, and
trampled by men.
14 You are the light of the world54. A city that is set on a hill cannot be
hidden.
15 Neither do they obtain a lamp, to put it under a measure, but on a lamp
stand; to give light to all that are in the house.
16 So let your light shine before the sons of men, in order that they may see
your good works, to honor your Father, which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets, I have
not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
18 Truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one yud or one
hook will pass away from the Torah, until they all be fulfilled.
19 And whoever shall abolish one of these least commandments, and shall
teach the sons of men so, the same will be called least in the Kingdom of
Heaven. And whoever shall keep one of these least commandments, and
shall teach the sons of men so, the same will be called greatest in the
Kingdom of Heaven.
20 And I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the
P’rushim and scribes, you will not come into the Kingdom of Heaven.
50 Ps. 37:11
51 Is. 66:11-12
52 Ps. 24:4; 51:10; 73:11
53 Is. 66:10
54 Is. 49:6
21 You have heard what was said to them of old time, 'You shall not
murder55, and whoever commits murder, the same will be condemned to the
judgment,'
22 but I tell you that whoever shall be enraged against his brother56, he will
be condemned to the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'you are
nothing!,” he will be condemned to the council of the synagogue. And
whoever says to him, 'You impious one', he will be condemned to the fire of
Gey Hinnom.
23 And whoever grieves the spirit of his brother is guilty of one of the
greatest sins57.
24 And if you present your offering at the altar, and there remember that
your brother has something against you,
25 leave your offering there before the altar, and go you first to atone to your
brother, and then come and give your offering.
26 And never be joyful except when you look on your brother with love58.
27 Come to terms with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on
the way; lest HaSatan deliver you up to the judge, and the judge deliver you
up to the officer, and you be cast into the jail.
28 Amen, I tell you, you will not go out from there until you have paid the
last penny.
29 You have heard that it was said to them of old time, ' You shall not
commit adultery,'59
30 but I tell you, that whoever sees a woman and covets her has already
committed adultery with her in his heart.
31 And if your right eye offends you, pluck it out, and cast it from you, for it
is better for you that one of your members should perish, than that thy whole
body should be cast into Gey Hinnom.
32 And if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you, for it is
better for you that one of your members should perish, than that your whole
body should be cast into Gey Hinnom.
33 It was also said concerning him that would put away his wife, that he
should write her a bill of divorcement, and give it to her, and send her
away from his house,60
55 Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17
56 Aramaic and Greek Matthew add the phrase “without cause” here, some manuscripts of Greek Matthew
have a marginal note to this phase that reads “The word [for] ‘without cause’ is not written in some copies,
nor in the Judaikon.’”. The phase is also lacking from Hebrew Matthew.
57 “And in the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which the Nazarenes are accustomed to read, one of the
greatest sins is to grieve the spirit of one’s brother.” – Jerome; Comm. On Ezek. 18:7
58 “As also we read in the Hebrew Gospel that the Lord spoke to his talmidim: …”- Jerome; On Eph. 5:4
59 Ex. 20:13 (20:14); Deut. 5:18
34 but I tell you, that whoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause
of fornication, commits adultery with her, and whoever takes her that is cast
off commits adultery.
35 Again, you have heard that it was said to them of old time, ‘You shall
not forswear yourself, but shall pay to YHWH your vow’,61
36 but I tell you, you shall not swear by a confirming word; not by heaven,
for it is Elohim's throne,
37 and not by the earth, for it is the footstool62 of his feet; and not by
Yerushalayim, for it is the city of the great king63.
38 and you shall not swear by your head, in that you have no power to
whiten one hair or turn it black again.
39 But let your words be, 'Yes, yes'; 'No, no'; for whatever is more than
these words is of evil.
40 You have heard what was said, 'An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'64
41 but I tell you, that you not withstand evil; but if one would smite you on
the right cheek, turn unto him the other.
42 And whoever wishes to contend you in judgment, and wishes to take
from
you your coat, leave him the cloak also.
43 And he that impresses you for one mile, go with him even two.
44 And whoever asks of you gives to him, and from him that would borrow
of you turn not you away.
45 You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor65, and
hate your enemy',
46 but I tell you, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and
pray
for them which persecute you and despitefully use you;
47 in order that you may become the sons of your Father which is in heaven,
who makes his sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the
righteous and on the wicked.
48 For if you love only them which love you, what reward have you? do not
even the transgressors do this?
49 And if you ask after the shalom of your brothers only, what do you
exceed? do not even the Goyim do this?
50 You therefore be whole-hearted, like your Father which is in heaven, who
60 Deut. 5:21
61 Lev. 19:12; Num. 30:3 (30:2); Deut. 23:22 (23:21)
62 Is. 66:1
63 Ps. 48:2
64 Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21
65 Lev. 19:18
is whole-hearted.
CHAPTER 6
1 See that you not bestow your tzadakim before men, so that they may see
you, for then you have no reward on the part of your Father, which is in
heaven.
2 Therefore when you give tzedakah, do not blow a shofar before you, like
the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, in order that men may
honor them.
3 Amen, I tell you that they have already received their reward. But you,
when you give tzedakah, your left hand shall not know what your right hand
does,
4 that your tzedakah may be in secret, and your Father which sees in secret
will himself recompense you publicly.
5 And be not like the hypocrites when you pray, for they delight to stand in
the assemblies and at the corners of the streets to pray, that men may see
them. Truly I tell you that they already have received their reward.
6 But you, when you pray, enter into your chamber, and shut the door, and
pray to your Father, which is in secret; and your Father, which sees in secret,
will recompense you publicly.
7 And you, when you pray, multiply not words like the Goyim do, who think
that in an abundance of words they will be heard.
8 But you do not be like them: for your Father knows what is needed for
you, before you ask him.
9 And you: this way will you pray:
Our Father, which is in heaven,
Your name be set-apart.
10 Your Kingdom come.
Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
11 Give us today our bread of tomorrow66.
12 And forgive us our debts,
like we release our debtors.
13 And let us not come into temptation,
66 “In the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews instead of ‘essential to existence’ I found rxm
‘mahar’, which means ‘of tomorrow’, so that the sense is: ….” –Jerome; On Mat. 6:11; “In the Hebrew
Gospel according to Matthew it is thus: …That is, ‘The bread which you will give us in the Kingdom, give
us this day.” –Jerome; On. Ps. 135; see Prov. 30:8
but deliver us from all evil:
for yours is the Kingdom, and the might and the honor,67
forever and forever and ever. Amen.
14 For if you forgive men their sins, your Father which is in heaven will also
forgive you your sins:
15 but if you forgive not men, neither will He forgive you your sins.
16 And you, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites: for they begrime
and disfigure their faces that they may appear in the sight of men to fast.
Amen, I tell you that they already have their reward.
17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;
18 that you appear not to men to fast, but to your Father which is in secret,
who will recompense you publicly.
19 Lay not up for yourselves stores upon earth, and moth devour, and where
thieves break through and steal,
20 but lay up for yourselves stores in heaven, where caterpillar and moth
waste not, and where thieves do not steal,
21 for just where your store is, there your heart will be also.
22 The lamp of your body is your eye, if therefore your eye is sound, your
whole body will be in great light.
23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body shall be gloomy. If therefore the
light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love
the other; or else he will love the one, and hate the other. You cannot serve
Elohim and Mammon.
25 And therefore I tell you, be not anxious for your nefeshot, in what you
will eat, or in what you will drink, or for your bodies, with what you will be
clothed. Is not the nefesh more than food, and the body more than garment?
26 See the birds of the heavens, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor
gather into their granaries; yet your Father which is in heaven feeds them.
Are you not much better than they?
27 And which of you by taking thought can add even a single cubit unto his
stature?
28 Why, then, are you anxious about garment? Consider the lilies of the
field, how they grow, yet they toil not, neither do they spin.
29 Of a truth I tell you, that not even Shlomo in all his glory was so arrayed
like one of them.
30 Therefore, if Elohim so clothes the herb of the field, which today is, and
67 1Chron. 29:11-13
tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more so you, of little faith?
31 Therefore be not anxious, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we
drink?' or, 'What will we wear?'
32 (For after all these things do Goyim seek) for your Father, which is in
heaven, knows that you have need of all things.
33 Therefore, you seek at the first the dominion of Elohim, and all his
righteousness; and all things will be added unto you.
34 And be not anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Sufficient to today is the evil thereof.
CHAPTER 7
1 Judge not, and you will not be judged, condemn not, and you will not be
condemned.
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with what
measure you mete, it will be measured to you again.
3 And how [do] you see the splinter in your brother's eye, but see not the
beam that is in your own eye?
4 And how [do] you say to your brother, 'Suffer it now brother, so that I may
pull out the splinter out of your eye,' and behold, a beam is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, pull out at the first the beam from your own eye, and then
you will be able to see to pull out the splinter out of your brother's eye.
6 Do not hang earrings on dogs, neither cast you pearls before swine, lest
they trample them with their feet, turn again and rend them.
7 Ask, and it will be given to you,
seek and you will find,
knock and it will be opened to you
8 or everyone that asks, receives;
and he that seeks, finds;
and to him that knocks it will be opened.
9 He who seeks will not cease until he finds,
and having found he will be amazed,
and having been amazed he will resign,
and having reigned he will rest.68
68 “Also in the Gospel according to the Hebrews is written: …” – Clement of Alexandria; Stromateis i, 9,
45; “For those words (from Plato, Timaeus 90) have the same force as these:…” –Stromateis v, 14, 96.
10 And which of you, whose son will ask of him bread, his father will
deliver to him a stone?
11 Or whose son will ask him for a fish, his father will put in his hand a
serpent?
12 If you then, being evil, know how to seek to give good gifts to your
children, how much more so your Father which is in heaven, which gives
good gifts to them that seek of him and ask him?
13 Therefore whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so
to them: for this is the Torah and the Prophets.
14 Enter you in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate, and wide the way,
that leads to destruction, and many there be that go there.
15 How narrow is the gate, and narrow the way, which leads to life, and few
there be that find it.
16 Be warned of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's garment, but
beneath their garment they are <as full of deceit> as ravening wolves.
17 But by their fruits you will recognize them. Are grape clusters gathered
from thorns, or figs from thistles?
18 Even so every good tree yields good fruit, but every bad tree yields bad
fruit.
19 A good tree cannot yield bad fruit; neither can a bad tree yield good fruit.
20 But indeed, every tree that yields not good fruit is cut down, and cast into
the fire.
21 And you, by their fruit you will know them.
22 Not everyone that says to me, 'Adonai, Adonai,' will enter into the
Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of my Father, which is in
heaven, the same will enter with me into the Kingdom of Heaven.
23 Many will say to me in that day, 'Adonai, Adonai', did we not eat and
drink in your name and have we not prophesied in your name? And in your
name have cast out shadim? And in your name done many powerful works?
24 And then will I profess to them, that I know them not. If you are in my
bosom and do not the will of my Father which is in heaven, out of my
bosom will I cast you away69. Depart from me, all you workers of Torahlessness70.”
69 Some Greek manuscripts of Matthew have the following marginal note to 7:5 (obviously belonging
instead to 7:21-23) which reads “The Judaikon [Jewish] has here, “If you are in my bosom and do not the
will of my Father which is in heaven, out of my bosom will I cast you away.” ; This is also referred to by
Clement in his second letter to the Corinthians “Also let us not fear men, but rather God. Wherefore, if we
should do such wicked things, the Lord has said, ‘Though you should be joined to me, even in my very
bosom and keep not my commandments, I would cast you off, and say to you, ‘Depart from me; I know not
who you are, you workers of iniquity.’” (2Clement 4:5 (2:15 some editions))
70 Ps. 6:9 (6:8)
25 Whoever hears these my words, and does them, is comparable to a wise
man, which built his house upon a rock:
26 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat
upon that house, it fell not, for it was based upon the rock.
27 And whoever hears these, my words, and does them not, is comparable to
a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand,
28 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew upon it,
and beat upon the house, it fell, and great was the fall of it."
29 And it came to pass, that when Yeshua had ended these words, the
crowds were amazed at his teaching,
30 for he was teaching as one having ability of his own, and not from the
mouth of the scribes and P'rushim.
CHAPTER 8
1 Then Yeshua had come down from the mountain; many people followed
him.
2 And behold, there came one man, a leper and paid homage to him, saying,
"If you desire, you can make me clean."
3 Then Yeshua put out his hand, and touched him, and said "I do desire, be
you clean." And immediately he was cleansed from his leprosy.
4 And Yeshua said to him, "See [that] you tell no man, but go your way, and
show yourself to the Cohen, and bring to him your offering, as Moshe
commanded them for a testimony.
5 And when Yeshua had entered K'far Nachum, there drew near to him a
centurion, and beseeched him, saying,
6 "My master, my son lies in the house, and he is paralytic, and greatly
afflicted."
7 And Yeshua said to him, "I will come and heal him."
8 But the centurion answered and said, "My master, I am not ready that you
should come under my roof, but only speak a word, and my son will be
healed.
9 For even I am placed under the authority of another man, and I have
authority, and under me are valiant men, and if I say to this one, 'go', then he
goes; and to another, 'come' then he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this', then
he does it."
10 Now when Yeshua heard, he was amazed, and told them that followed
him, "Amen, I tell you, I have not found such faith as this in Yisrael.
11 And I tell you that many will come from the east, and from the west, and
will recline with Avraham, Yizchack and Ya'akov in the Kingdom of
Heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom will be cast into the darkness outside,
and there will be crying and gnashing of teeth."
13 And Yeshua said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have
believed, be it to you." And the boy was healed the same hour.
14 And when Yeshua had come into Kefa's house, he saw his mother-in-law
lying in a continual burning fever.
15 And he touched her hand, and the burning fever left her, and she arose
and served them.
16 And when it was evening, they brought to him many that were possessed
by shadim, and he, by his word alone, cast out for them the spirits, and
healed them that were in evil state,
17 to establish what was spoken by Yesha'yahu the prophet, who said,
"He took our diseases,
and our pains he carried."71
18 Now when Yeshua saw great crowds surrounding him, he commanded
his talmidim to go to the other side of the sea.
19 Then one of the scribes approached, and said to him, "Rabbi, I will
follow you wherever you go."
20 And Yeshua said to him,
"Foxes have holes, and the birds of the heavens nests,
but the Son of Man has no floor where he may lay his head."
21 And one of his talmidim said to him, "Give me leave until I bury my
father."
22 But Yeshua answered him, "Come after me, and leave the dead to bury
their dead."
23 And he went up into the ship, and his talmidim came after him.
24 And, behold, there was a great storm at sea, and the ship was covered
with
the waves, but he himself was asleep.
25 And his talmidim drew near to him, and awoke him, saying,
26 "My master, save us lest we perish." Then Yeshua said to them, "Why are
you afraid, O little of faith?" Then he arose, and commanded the winds and
the sea, and there was a great calm.
71 Is. 53:4
27 But the men were amazed, and said, “Who is this, that the winds and the
sea hearken to him?”
28 After this, Yeshua came to the other side of the sea, into the country of
the Girgashites, and there came to meet him two possessed of shadim
coming out of the tombs, and they were exceedingly fierce, so that because
of them no man could pass that way.
29 And behold, they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with you,
Yeshua, you Son of Elohim? Why have you come here, to afflict us before
the set time?"
30 Now near by was a herd of many pigs feeding.
31 And the shadim beseeched him saying, "If you cast us out from here,
send us away into the herd of pigs."
32 And, behold, the whole herd went with a rush and with great commotion,
and precipitated themselves into the sea, and perished.
33 Then the herdsmen fled, and came into the city, and told all these things,
and also concerning those in whom were the shadim.
34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Yeshua, and when they saw
him, they beseeched him that he would pass out of their coasts.
CHAPTER 9
1 And Yeshua went up into the ship, and departed from the other side of the
sea, and came into his own city.
2 And, behold, they brought to him a man stricken with paralysis, lying on a
bed, and when Yeshua saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Have faith,
my son, for your sins are forgiven you."
3 And, behold, the scribes said among themselves, "Behold, he is a
blasphemer."
4 And when Yeshua perceived their thoughts, he said, "Why think you evil
in your hearts?
5 For which is easier to say 'Your sins are forgiven you'; or to say 'Arise and
walk?'
6 But that you may know that a son of man has authority on earth to forgive
sins," (then said he to the paralytic), "Arise, and take up your bed, and walk
into your house."
7 And he arose, and walked into his house.
8 But when the crowds saw it thus, they were afraid, and gave honor to
Elohim, which had given such power to the Son of Man.
9 And as Yeshua departed there, he saw one man, sitting in the
customhouse, whose name was Mattityahu, and he said to him, "Follow me."
10 And it came to pass, as they sat down to eat in the house, behold, many
transgressors and sinners came in and ate with Yeshua and his talmidim.
11 And the P'rushim, seeing, they said to his talmidim, why does your
teacher eat with transgressors and sinners?
12 But when Yeshua heard, he answered, saying, "There is no need of a
physician to heal the healthy, but to heal them that are sick."
13 Therefore, go you and learn what is written:
'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,'72
for I have not come to call the righteous,
but the sinners.
14 Then approached him the talmidim of Yochanan, saying, "Why [do we]
and the P'rushim fast often, but your talmidim fast not?"
15 And Yeshua said unto them,
"Can the sons of the bridegroom cry,
as long as they have the bridegroom with them?
But the days will come, when the bridegroom will be taken from
them, and then will they fast.
16 There is no one who would put a patch of worthless cloth upon
an old robe, for he takes away its completeness from the robe,
and his tear is made worse than before.
17 Neither do they put new wine into worn out wine-skins,
for the wine-skins would be split, and the wine spilled,
but new wine they put into new wine-skins, and both are preserved."
18 And while he was speaking these words to them, behold one ruler of their
synagogue drew near and paid homage, saying "My master, my daughter
Miriam73 is but recently dead, but you come and lay your hand upon her, and
she will live."
19 And Yeshua arose, and followed him with his talmidim.
72 Hosea 6:6
73 “’the daughter’, that is the synagogue, whose name is Mariossa.” (Historical Commentary on Luke 8:42;
MS: Clem. 6235 fol. 55v, cited by Bischoff op. cit., 262)
20 And, behold, Miriam74, a woman, which had an issue of blood twelve
years, approached behind him, and touched the tzitzit of his garment,
21 for she said within herself, "If I touch his garment only, I will be
delivered."
22 But Yeshua turned, and when he saw her, he said, "Have faith, my
daughter, for your faith has delivered you." And the woman was delivered
the same hour.
23 And when Yeshua had obtained entry to the ruler's house, and saw the
pipers and dirge makers of the people,
24 he said, "Withdraw, for the girl is not dead, but sleeps." And they
ridiculed him.
25 But when the multitude was put out, he obtained entry, and took her by
the hand, <and said, "Arise, arise, e "> and the girl arose.
26 And this report went out to all that land.
27 And when Yeshua passed over from there, there followed him two blind
men, crying, and saying, "Take pity on us, O Son of David."
28 And when he had come into the house, the blind men drew near to him,
and Yeshua said to them, “Believe you that I am able to do this for you?"
and they said to him "Yes, I believe my master.”
29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, “according to your faith be it done to
you.”
30 And their eyes were opened, and Yeshua straightly charged them, saying,
"See that no man knows this."
31 But they, when they went away, publicized the report of him in all that
land.
32 And as they went out, behold, they brought to him a man mute, and
possessed by a shad.
33 But when the shad was cast out of him, he spoke, <and was no more
mute, > and the crowds were amazed, saying "It was never so seen in
Yisrael."
34 But the P'rushim said, "By the chief of the shadim he casts out the
shadim."
35 And Yeshua went about all the cities, teaching in their synagogues, and
declaring the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and
every disease among the people.
36 But when he saw the crowds, he took pity on them because they were
tired and powerless, as sheep, which have no shepherd.
74 “[a woman with an issue of blood] named Mariosa.” (Comm. On Mat. 9:20; MS:Wurzburg, M. p. th. Fol.
61, 8th-9th Century; cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252)
37 Then said he to his talmidim, "There is a plentiful harvest, but the
workers are few,
38 beseech you therefore the master of the harvest that he will send out the
laborers to reap his harvest."
CHAPTER 10
1 And when he had called out his twelve < talmidim, > he gave the authority
over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every sickness and disease.
2 Now the names of the twelve emissaries are these:
The first, Shim'on, who is called Kefa,
and Andrew his brother;
3 Philip, and Bar Talmai;
Ya'akov Ben Zavdai,
and Yochanan his brother;
Toma, and Mattityahu, who was a transgressor;
4 and Ya'akov [Bar] Chalfai,
and Taddai,
Shim'on the Zealot,
and Y'hudah from the shore of Sk'riot, who delivered him up to
death.
5 And Yeshua sent out these twelve, and commanded them, saying,
"Go you not in the way of the Goyim,
and into the cities of the Samaritans enter you not;
6 but go you to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.
7 Go, and cry, saying
‘Turn you, turn you, for the Kingdom of Heaven is offered,’
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out
shadim, for nothing you have received, for nothing you will
give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor lesser coin in your belts.
10 Pack not for the journey, either two coats, or sandals, or a staff,
for the laborer is worthy of his food.
11 And into whatever city or town you will enter,
enquire who in it is honorable,
and there abide until you go out from there.
12 And when you obtain entry into a house,
ask after its shalom, <saying, 'Shalom be with this house.'>
13 And if this house be honorable, it will return to you your
'Shalom'.
14 But any man who will not receive you,
nor listen to the sound of your words,
go away, outside of the house or city,
and shake off even the dust from your feet.
15 Amen, I tell you, It will be easier for the land of S'dom and
'Amora in the day of doom, than for that city.
16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves,
be you therefore wise more than serpents75, and simple as doves.
17 Take care to yourselves of men,
lest they deliver you up to the courts,
and scourge you with whips in the assemblies,
18 and you will be led unto officers and kings for my sake,
or a testimony to them and the Goyim.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you
will say, for it will be put into your mouths in that hour what you
will answer.
20 For it is not you that will speak,
but the Spirit of your Father will speak in you.
21 And the brother will deliver up the brother to death,
and the father the son, and the sons will rise up against their
parents, to cause them to be put to death.
22 And all men will hate you on account of my name,
but he that endures to the end, the same will be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in one city, flee you to another,
Truly, I say to you, you will not have finished the House of
Yisrael, until the Son of Man has come.
24 There is no talmid above the teacher,
nor servant above his master.
25 But enough for the talmid that he be as his rabbi,
and the servant as his master.
If they have called the master of the house Ba'al Z'vuv,
how much more the sons of the house?
26 Fear them not therefore,
for there is nothing covered, that will not be revealed,
and hid, that will not be known.
75 Some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note to this phase which reads “The Judaikon
[Jewish] has ‘[wise] more than serpents’”
27 What I tell you in the darkness, that speak you in the light,
and what you hear in the ear, that cry you from the roofs.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but cannot kill the nefesh,
but fear you him which can destroy both nefesh and body in
Gey Hinnom.
29 Now the young boys of Galil were making birds of clay.
30 And Yeshua fashioned there of twelve sparrows.
31 And Yeshua clapped his hands together and cried out to the
sparrows and said to them, “Go!”
32 and the sparrows took their flight and went away chirping.
33 Then he spoke saying:76
Are not two sparrows sold for the smallest coin?
and one of them will not fall on the ground without your Father.
34 But the very locks of your hair are all numbered.
35 Fear you not therefore, for you are better than many sparrows.
36 Whoever therefore will confess me before men,
him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
37 But whoever will deny me before men,
him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
38 Think not that I have come to send shalom on earth,
I have not come to send shalom, but the sword.
39 For I have come to separate a man from his father,
and the daughter from her mother,
and the daughter-in-law from her mother-in-law.
40 And a man's enemies will be the men of his own house.77
41 And whoever loves his father and mother more than me is not
worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me
is not worthy to be with me in the Kingdom of Heaven.
42 And whoever takes not his gallows, and follows me, the same is
not worthy of me.
43 I choose for myself the most worthy;
the most worthy are those whom my Father in heaven has given
me.78
44 Whoever finds his nefesh will lose it,
76 64 10:29-33a See appendix 3
77 Micah 7:6
78 “He (Messiah) himself taught the reason for the separation of souls that take place in houses, as we have
found somewhere in the Gospel that is spread among the Jews in the Hebrew tongue, in which it is said:…”
– Eusebius; Theophania (preserved in Syriac) 4:12 on Matt. 10:34-36
and he that loses his nefesh for my sake will find it.
45 Whoever receives you, the same receives me,
and he that receives me the same receives him that sent me.
46 Whoever receives the prophet in the name of a prophet,
the same receives a prophet's reward;
and whoever receives the righteous man in the name of a
righteous man, the same receives a righteous man's reward.
47 And he that gives to drink to one of these little ones,
even a single cup of cold water, in the name of a talmid,
amen, I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.
CHAPTER 11
1. And it came to pass, when Yeshua had finished commanding his twelve
talmidim, he passed over from there to teach and to proclaim in their cities.
2 Now Yochanan when he heard, in the prison, the deeds of the Messiah,
sent two of his talmidim, and said to him,
3 "Are you he that is destined to come, or do we await another?"
4 And Yeshua answered and said to them, "Go you and tell Yochanan what
you have heard and seen;
5 the blind see, the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear79,
and the dead are raised, the poor are made happy80:
6 and happy is he that is not offended in me."
7 And after these were departed, Yeshua began to speak to the crowds
concerning Yochanan. "What went you out into the wilderness to see?Was it
a reed shaken in the wind?
8 But what went you out to see?Was it a man clothed in soft garment?
Behold, they that are clothed in soft garment are in king's houses.
9 Only what went you out to see? The prophet? Yes, I say to you, he was
more than a prophet.
10 For he it is, concerning whom it was written:
'Behold, I send my messenger,
79 Is. 35:5-6
80 Is. 61:1
and he will clear the way before me.'81
11 Amen I say, among them that are born of women there has not arisen a
[one] greater that Yochanan the immerser, nevertheless he that is least in the
Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.
12 Only from the days of Yochanan the immerser until now the Kingdom of
Heaven is constricted, and the forceful plunder82
it.
13 For all the Prophets and the Torah prophesied concerning Yochanan.
14 And if you will receive it, this is Eliyahu, which comes.
15 Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 To what shall I compare this generation? It is compared to boys, which sit
in the market, who call to their companions, and say,
17 'We have played happily to you, and you have not danced, We have
played sadly, and you have not lamented.'
18 For Yochanan came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'he is
possessed by a shad.'
19 The Son of Man came both eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold the
man is a glutton and a drunk, and a friend of transgressors and sinners.' But
wisdom is justified by her children."
20 Then began he to rebuke the cities in which he showed many of his
mighty works, because they turned not from their evil deeds.
21 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Beit Tzaidah! for if the fifty three83
mighty works were done in Tzor and Tzidon, which were done in you, they
would have turned from evil long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 Surely I say to you, that it shall be easier for Tzor and Tzidon in the Day
of Judgment, than for you.
23 And you, K'phar Nachum, are you not exalted to the heavens? to She’ol
will you be brought down84, for if the mighty works were done in S'dom,
which were done in you, perhaps it would have remained until this day.
24 Of a truth, I tell you, that it will be easier for the land of S'dom in the day
of doom, than for you."
81 Micah 3:1
82 Greek Matthew has “take it by force” but some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note to
this phrase which says “The Judaikon [Jewish] has ‘is ravished/plundered’” in agreement with DuTillet
Hebrew Matthew which reads here Nylzwg “plundered”.
83 “In these cities (namely Chorazin and Bethsaida) many wonders have been wrought, as their number the
Gospel according to the Hebrews gives fifty three.” (Historical Commentary on Luke 10:13; MS: Clem.
6235 fol. 56r, cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954. p. 262)
84 Is. 14:13, 15
25 At that time Yeshua answered and said, "I give thanks85
to you, O Father,
Adon of heaven and earth, which has concealed these things from the wise
and prudent, and has revealed them to the lightly esteemed.
26 Yes, O Father, for so was your will before you.
27 All has been given me by the Father, and no man knows the son but the
father; neither knows anyone the Father except the son, and to whomever the
son wills to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will satisfy you.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and downcast in
spirit, and you will find rest for your nefeshot.86
30 For my yoke is gentle, and my burden easy.
CHAPTER 12
1 At that time Yeshua went through the grain on the Sabbath, and his
talmidim were hungry, and began to pluck the ears from the stalks, and to
eat.
2 But the P’rushim seeing, said, "Behold, your talmidim do that which is not
right to do on the Sabbath."
3 But he said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he was
hungry, both he and they that were with him,
4 for he entered into the House of Elohim, and did eat the show-bread,
which was not lawful for him to eat them, neither for them which were with
him, but only for the cohenim?87
5 Have you not read in the Torah, that the cohenim profane the Sabbath in
the Temple, and are blameless?
6 But I tell you, that here is greater than the Temple.
7 But if you had known what it means, 'For I desire mercy, and not
sacrifice'88, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of Man is Adonai even of the Sabbath."
9 And when he had passed over from there, he entered into their synagogue.
85 The Greek of Matt. 11:25 has literally “I confess” (although many translations translate “I give thanks”)
some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note to this word which says “The Judaikon [Jewish]
has ‘I give thanks/praise to you’” this agrees with Hebrew and Aramaic Matthew.
86 Jer. 6:16; Ps. 23:3
87 1Sam. 21:6
88 Hosea 6:6
10 And behold, Melek89, a man which had his hand withered praying "I was
a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands: I pray you Yeshua, to restore
me my health, that I may not beg meanly for food."
11 And they asked him, saying, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to heal the
sick?" And all this was that they might accuse him <before the beit din. >
12 And he said to them, "What man among you, having one sheep that shall
fall into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
13 And is not a man better than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on
the Sabbath."
14 Then said he to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out,
and it was restored to health, like as the other.
15 Then the P'rushim went out, and took counsel against him, how they
might destroy him.
16 But when Yeshua knew, he withdrew from there, and many multitudes
followed him, and he healed them all,
17 and commanded them that they should not make him known,
18 in order that it might be established which was spoken by Yesha'yahu the
prophet, who said;
19 "Behold my servant, whom I uphold;
my chosen, in whom my nefesh delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him,
he will make righteousness to go out to the Goyim.
20 He will not cry, nor lift up,
nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
21 A bruised reed will he not break,
and the dimly burning wick will he not quench;
he will make the right go out according to the truth.
22 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
until he has set right in the earth;
and the isles shall wait for his Torah."90
23 Then was brought to him one possessed by a shad, blind and mute, and he
healed him, so that he was both to speak and to see.
24 And all the crowds were amazed, and said, "Is he not the Son of David?"
25 But when the P'rushim heard, they said, "He does not cast out the shadim,
but by Ba'al Z'vuv the chief of the shadim."
89 “’Aman’ by name Malchus and he was a mason.” (Comm. On Mt. 12:10; MS:Wurzburg, M. p. th. Fol.
61, 8th-9th Century; cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252)
90 Is. 42:1-4
26 And when Yeshua knew their thoughts, he said to them, "Every kingdom
divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house
divided against itself will not stand,
27 and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself, and how then
will his kingdom stand?
28 And if I by Ba'al Z'vuv cast out the shadim, by whom do your sons cast
out? Therefore they will be your judges.
29 But because I am casting out the shadim by the Spirit of Elohim, then the
Kingdom of Elohim has come to you.
30 And how can a man enter into the strong man's house to plunder his
goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will plunder his
house.
31 Whoever is not with me, the same is against me, and whoever gathers not
with me, the same scatters.
32 And therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven the
sons of men, but the blasphemy which is against the Spirit will not be
forgiven.
33 And every man that says a word against a son of man, it will be forgiven
him, but he that says a word against the Ruach HaKodesh, it will not be
forgiven him, neither in this world, or in the world to come.
34 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree bad, and its
fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
35 Generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, being yourselves
evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
36 The good man brings forth good things out of his good store, but the evil
man brings forth evil things out of his evil store.
37 And I tell you, that every idle word that men shall speak,
they will render an account thereof in the day of judgment.
38 For by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned."
39 Then certain of the scribes and of the P'rushim answered him, saying,
"Rabbenu, we wish to see a sign from you."
40 But he answered and said to them,
"An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it except the sign of Yonah the prophet.
41 For as Yonah was three days and three nights in the fish's belly91, so
will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth92.
42 And the men of Nineveh will arise in the judgment with this generation,
and will condemn it93, because they repented at the proclaiming of Yonah94,
and behold, a [one] greater than Yonah is here.
43 Meroe of Ethiopia95, the queen of the south will arise in the judgment
with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the farthest
parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo96, and behold, a [one]
greater than Shlomo is here.
44 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, it goes through dry places,
seeking rest, but finds none.
45 Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came out,' and it
comes, and finds it empty, and cleaned out with shovels, and adorned.
46 Then it goes, and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and
they enter in and dwell there, so that the latter end of that man is worse than
the beginning97. Even so will it be to this wicked generation."
47 And as he continued to speak to the crowds, behold, his mother and his
brothers stood outside, and sought to speak with him.
48 Then one said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand
outside."
49 But he answered him that told him [this], and said, "Which is my mother?
and who are my brothers?"
50 And he stretched out his hand toward his talmidim, and said, "Behold, my
brothers and mother and sisters,
51 who do the will of my Father."98
91 Jonah 1:17
92 Matthew also says that the Son of Man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note to this phrase which says “The Judaikon
[Jewish] has not ‘three [days and three nights]’ there [in the heart of the earth]”
93 Ex. 22:9(8)
94 Jonah 3:4-10
95 “’the queen’ namely Meroe, ‘of the South’ that is Ethiopia (Comm. On Mat. 12:42; MS:Wurzburg, M. p.
th. Fol. 61, 8th-9th Century; cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252); “’the queen of the south’
whose name is Meruae.” (Historical Commentary on Luke 11:31; MS: Clem. 6235 fol. 57v, cited by
Bischoff op. cit., 262)
96 1Kn. 10:1; 2Chron. 9:1
97 Num. 24:20; Job 42:12
98 12:48-51 “Moreover they [Ebionites] deny that he was a man, evidently on the ground of the word
which the Savior spoke when it was reported to him…” –Epiphanius, Panarion 30:14:5
CHAPTER 13
1 The same day Yeshua went out of the house, and sat by the seaside.
2 And great crowds crowded him, so that he went up into the ship, and sat,
and all the people stood on the seashore.
3 And he spoke much to them in parables, and said, "Behold the sower went
out to sow his seed,
4 and as he sowed, some of them fell by the wayside, and the birds of the
heavens came and ate them up.
5 And others fell upon the rock, where there was not much earth, and outside
they sprouted, because they had no depth in the earth,
6 and when the sun was risen, they were withered, and because they had no
root, they withered away.
7 And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked
them.
8 But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, one a hundred
times, and another sixty, and another thirty times.
9 Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear."
10 And his talmidim came near to him, and said to him, "My Master, why
speak you with us in parables?"
11 And he answered and said to them, "Because it is given to you to
understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to these it is not
given.
12 Now whoever has, to him shall be given, and he will abound, but
whoever
has not, even what he has will be taken from him.
13 And therefore I am speaking to you in parables, who seeing will not see,
and hearing will not hear, neither will they understand.
14 To establish in them the prophecy of Yesha'yahu, he who said,
'Hear you indeed, but understand not,
and see you indeed, but perceive not.
15 Make the heart of this people fat,
and make their ears heavy,
and shut their eyes,
lest they, seeing with their eyes,
and hearing with their ears,
and understanding with their heart,
return, and be healed.'99
16 But happy are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
17 Truly, I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to
see what you are seeing, but have not seen, and to hear what you are hearing,
but have not heard.
18 Hear you therefore the parable of the seed.
19 Whoever hears the word of the kingdom, and understands not, the evil
one comes and plucks out that which was sown in his heart. And this is that
which was sown by the way side.
20 But as for that which was sown on the rock, this is he that hears the word,
and immediately with joy receives it,
21 but is comparable to the seed which has no root, for he endures but for an
hour, and when tribulation or persecution arises, he is immediately offended.
22 And as for that which was sown among the thorns, the same is he that
hears the word of Elohim, but the care of this world, and the lust for the false
Mammon, choke the word, and becomes unfruitful.
23 But as for that which was sown on good ground, the same is he that hears
the word, and understands, and brings forth fruit, and one produces a
hundred
times and another sixty, and another thirty times."
24 Yet another parable put he forth to them, saying, "The Kingdom of
Heaven is comparable to a man which sowed good seed in his field,
25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat,
and went his way.
26 But when the blade grew up, and produced the fruit, then appeared there
the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came near and said to him, 'My
master, did not you sow good seed in your field? From where then came the
tares into it?'
28 And he said to them, 'A man that is an enemy has done this. Then the
servants said to him, will you that we go and gather them up?'
29 But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the
wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will say to
the reapers, gather first the tares, and bind them in bundles for burning, but
gather the wheat into the floor.'"
31 Still another parable put he forth to them, saying, "The Kingdom of
Heaven is comparable to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and
99 Is. 6:9-10
sowed it in his field,
32 which indeed is least of all seeds, for when it is grown, becomes the
greatest of herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the heavens come
and nest in the branches thereof."
33 And he spoke to them another parable, "The Kingdom of Heaven is
comparable to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of
meal, until the whole should be leavened."
34 All these are sayings of Yeshua in parables to the crowds, and without
parables spoke he not to them,
35 to fulfill the utterance of the prophet who said, "I will open my mouth
with a parable. I will utter dark sayings concerning days of old."100
36 Then he sent the crowds away, and entered into the house, and his
talmidim approached him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of
the field."
37 Then he answered and said, "He that sowed the good seed is the Son of
Man,
38 and the field is the world, and the good seed they are the sons of the
kingdom, but the tares, they are the sons of B'liya'al,
39 and the enemy that sowed them is HaSatan, and the harvest is the end of
the world, and the reapers, they are the angels.
40 And just as the tares were gathered up and burned in the fire, so will it be
in the end of the world.
41 For the Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of
his kingdom all offences, and them which do Torah-less-ness,
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire, [where] there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then will the righteous shine out as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.
44 The Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to treasure hid in a field, which if
a man finds, he hides, and out of his joy he goes and sells all that he has, and
buys that field.
45 Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to a man that is a
merchant, seeking good pearls,
46 who, when he had found one precious pearl, went and sold all that he
had, and bought it.
47 Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to a drag net, that was cast
into the sea, and gathered of every kind of fish,
48 which they, drawing forth when it was full, and sitting down on the sea
100 Ps. 78:2
shore, chose the good fish as being good, but the bad they cast away.
49 So will it be in the end of the world, for the angels will go out, and
separate the wicked from among the righteous,
50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire, [where] there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.
51 Have you understood these things?" And they said to him, "Yes".
52 They said to them, "Therefore every scribe taught in the Kingdom of
Heaven is comparable to a man that is a householder, which brings forth out
of his store new and old."
53 And it came to pass, when Yeshua had finished speaking these parables,
he passed over from there.
54 And when he had come into his native land, he taught them in their
synagogues, and they were amazed, saying, "Where has he this wisdom, and
might?
55 Is he not the smith's son? Is not his mother called Miriam, and his
brothers Ya'akov, and Yosef, and Shim'on, and Y'hudah?
56 And are not his sisters all with us? Where then has he all these things?"
57 And they were offended in him. But Yeshua said to them, "There is no
prophet without honor, except in his native place, and in his own house."
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their lack of faith.
CHAPTER 14
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report concerning Yeshua,
2 and said to his servants, “This is Yochanan the immerser; he is risen from
the dead, and therefore the powers are worked by him.”
3 For Herod had laid hold on Yochanan, and bound him, and put him in
prison from before Herodias, his brother's wife.
4 For she said to him, "Yochanan is not worthy to be with you."
5 And he wished to kill him, but he feared the people, for he was as a
prophet in their eyes.
6 Now on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst,
and she won approval in the eyes of Herod.
7 And he swore to her with an oath to give her whatever she would ask of
him.
8 And she, being instructed by her mother, said, "Give me here, in a dish, the
head of Yochanan the immerser."
9 And it grieved the king, but on account of the oath, and on account of
them, which sat together with him at the table, he commanded it to be given her.
10 And he sent, and cut off the head of Yochanan which was in the prison,
11 that his head might be brought in a dish, and that they might give it to the
girl. And they did so. And it was given to the girl, and she brought it to her
mother.
12 Then his talmidim approached, and removed his body, and buried it, and
his talmidim came and told Yeshua.
13 And when he heard it, he escaped from there into a wilderness place
alone. Now when the crowds heard, they followed him on foot out of their
cities.
14 And he went forth, and saw many people, and took pity on them, and
healed their sick.
15 And when evening had come, his talmidim came near to him, saying,
"This place is desolate, and the hour has already passed; take leave of the
crowds, therefore, that they may go into villages, and buy themselves food."
16 But Yeshua said to them, "There is no need for them to go; give you them
to eat."
17 And they answered him, "We have here but five loaves, and two fishes."
18 And he said to them, "Bring them here to me."
19 And he commanded the people to sit down to eat on the grass in the field,
and he took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and lifting up his eyes to
heaven, he blessed, and broke, and gave the loaves to his talmidim, and his
talmidim gave to the crowds.
20 And they did all eat, and were satisfied, and there were left over to them
twelve baskets full of the crumbs.
21 And the number of them that did eat was five thousand men, besides the
women and infants.
22 And immediately Yeshua urged his talmidim to go up into a ship, and go
before him across the sea, while he took leave of the crowds.
23 And when he had taken leave of the people, he went up alone into the
mountain to pray, and it was evening, and he was there alone.
24 Now the ship was tossed in the midst of the sea by the waves, for the
wind was against them.
25 And it came to pass in the fourth watch of the night that he came to them
and walked upon the sea.
26 And when they saw him walking upon the sea, they were terrified, and
said, "It is a vicious spirit," and they cried out for fear.
27 But right away Yeshua spoke to them, saying, "Have faith, for it is I; be
not afraid."
28 Then Kefa answered and said, "My Master, if it is you, bid me come to you over the water."
29 And he said, "Come." So Kefa descended from the ship, and went over
the water, to come to Yeshua.
30 But when he saw the boisterous wind, he was exceedingly afraid, lest he
should sink, and cried out, saying, "My master, save me!"
31 And immediately Yeshua stretched out his hand, and caught him, and
said
to him, "O you little in faith, why did you doubt?"
32 And when they had gone up into the ship, immediately the wind
subsided.
33 And when they were in the ship, they came and paid homage to him,
saying, "In truth you are the Son of Elohim."
34 And they departed from over the sea, and came to the land of Gey N'sar.
35 And the men of that place, when they knew it, sent into all that land, and
brought to him all that were in an evil state,
36 and beseeched him that they might touch the corner101 of his garment,
and as many as touched were healed.
CHAPTER 15
1 Then came near to him scribes and P'rushim from Yerushalayim, saying,
2 "Why do your talmidim transgress the decrees of the elders? For they
clean not their hands when they eat bread."
3 But he answered them and said, "And why do you transgress the
commandments of Elohim by means of your decrees?
4 Is it not written in your Torah from the mouth of Elohim, 'Honor your
father and your mother?'102
And more-over written, 'And he that curses
his father and his mother will surely die?'103
5 But you say, "Whoever says to father and mother, It is all an offering104,
whatever of mine might profit you,'105
6 and he honors not his father and his mother. Thus have you made void the
commandments of Elohim on account of your judgments?
7 You hypocrites, Yesha'yahu did well indeed to prophesy concerning you,
101 Num. 15:37-41
102 Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16
103 Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9
104 Nbrq
105 Some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note to this verse which says “The Judaikon
“corban [an offering] is what you should obtain from us.’” This agrees with Aramaic Matthew and Greek
Mark 7:11.
saying,
8 'This people honors me with their mouth and with their lips, but have
removed their heart far from me,
9 And their fear of me is a commandment learned of men.'"106
10 Then he called the crowds to himself, and said, "Hear, and know;
11 What enters into the mouth defiles not the man, but what proceeds out of
the mouth, that defiles the man."
12 Then his talmidim approached him, and said, "Know you that the
P'rushim which heard this saying were annoyed."
13 But Yeshua answered and said, "Every plant, which my Father which is
in heaven has not planted, will be uprooted.
14 Leave them alone, for they are blind. And if the blind lead another blind,
both of them will fall into the ditch."
15 Then answered Kefa and said to him, "Explain to us this parable."
16 And Yeshua said, "Are you also still without understanding?
17 Do you not understand, that whatever enters into the mouth enters into
the belly, and is cast out in the latrine?
18 But those things, which come out of the mouth, they come from the heart,
and they are those things, which defile the man.
19 For from the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
fornications, thefts, lies, and blasphemies,
20 these are those things which defile the man, but that a man should eat
without washing his hands that defiles not the man."
21 Then Yeshua went out from there, and entered into the parts of Tzor and
Tzidon.
22 And behold, a merchant woman came out of those coasts, and cried out,
and said to him, "Take pity on me, O My master, you Son of David, for my
daughter is very afflicted by a shad."
23 But Yeshua answered her not at all. And his talmidim came near and
beseeched him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries after us."
24 But he answered and said, "I was not sent but to the lost sheep of the
house of Yisrael."
25 Then came she and prostrated herself to the ground to him, and said, "My
master, deliver me."
26 But Yeshua answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread
and to give it to the dogs."
27 Then answered she and said, "Truth certainly, My master, but the dogs,
even they eat of the crumbs which fall under their masters' table."
106 Is. 29:13
28 Then Yeshua answered and said to her, "O woman, how great is your
faith, be it to you even as it is in your heart." And her daughter was healed
the same hour.
29 And Yeshua passed over from there, and came by the Sea of Galil, and
went up to a mountain, and sat down there.
30 And there came near to him great crowds, having with them mute, blind,
lame, maimed, and many others, and laid them down at his feet, and he
healed them.
31 And the people were amazed, when they saw the mute speaking, and the
lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they glorified the Elohi of Yisrael.
32 Then Yeshua called his talmidim and said to them, "I have compassion
for the people, because it is now three days that they dwell with me in the
wilderness, and they have nothing that they may eat, and I will not let them
go fasting, lest they faint by the way.
33 And his talmidim said to him, "Where should we have bread enough in
the wilderness, to satisfy these people?"
34 And Yeshua said to them, "How many cakes of bread have you?" And
they answered and said, "Seven, and a few fishes.”
35 Then he commanded the people to sit down on the ground.
36 And he took the seven cakes of bread and the fishes, and gave thanks, and
broke, and gave to his talmidim, and they gave to the people.
37 And they did all eat, and were satisfied, and what was left over by the
crowds they took up seven baskets full.
38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, besides the infants and
women.
39 And he took leave of the crowds, and went up into the ship, and came to
the coast of Magdala.
CHAPTER 16
1 And there approached him P'rushim and Tz'dukim tempting and asking
that he would show a single sign from heaven.
2 But he answered them, and said to them107,
3 An evil and lewd stock seek a sign, and no sign will be given it, but the
107 Some manuscripts of Greek Matthew have a marginal note here which reads “What is marked by an
asterisk [‘When it is evening you say ‘fair weather, for the heaven is red’And in the morning ‘foul weather
today, for the heaven is red and lowering.’You know how to discern the face of heaven; but you cannot
{discern) the signs of the times’] is not found in other manuscripts, also it is not found in the Judaikon.”;
The phrase is also lacking in the Aramaic of the Old Syriac text of Matthew.
sign of Yonah the prophet." And he left them, and went his way.
4 And when his talmidim had come to the other side of the sea, they had
forgotten to take bread.
5 And he said to them, "See and beware of the leaven of the P'rushim and
Tz'dukim."
6 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "Is it because we have
carried no bread?"
7 And when Yeshua knew, he said, "What are you thinking, O little faith,
that
it is because you have taken no bread?
8 Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves to the five
thousand men, and how many baskets you took up?
9 Neither the seven loaves to the four thousand men, and how many baskets
you took up?
10 And why then do you not understand that it was not concerning loaves
that I spoke to you. Beware of the leaven of the P'rushim and Tzadukim?"
11 Then they heard and understood that he said not to beware of the leaven
of bread, but of the teaching of the P'rushim and Tz'dukim.
12 And Yeshua came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi. And he asked one
and all of his talmidim, saying, "Who do the sons of men say that the Son of
Man is?"
13 And they said, "Some, that he is Yochanan the immerser; and some,
Eliyahu; and others; Yirmeyahu, or another of the prophets."
14 And Yeshua said to them, "And you, who say you that I am?"
15 Then answered Shim'on Kefa, saying, "You are Messiah, the Son of the
living Elohim."
16 And Yeshua said to him,
"Happy are you Shim'on Ben Yochanan108,
for this was not revealed to flesh and blood
but to you, when it was revealed to you
by my Father which is in heaven.
17 And I tell you, that you are Kefa,
and upon this rock I will build my assembly,
and the gates of takh'ti will not prevail against you.
18 And to you will I give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,
and whatever you will prohibit on earth
108 Matthew has here “son of Yonah” but some Greek manuscripts of Matthew have a marginal note which
reads “The Judaikon has ‘son of Yochanan.”
prohibited in heaven; and
whatever you will permit on earth
is permitted in heaven."
19 Then commanded he his talmidim that they should tell no man that he,
Yeshua, was the Messiah.
20 And then began Yeshua to make known to his talmidim, that he must go
to Yerushalayim, and to suffer there many scourgings, and many mockings,
of the elders and scribes, and of the Chief Cohenim, and to be killed, and to
rise again the third day.
21 Then Kefa took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from
you, My master, all this will not be unto you."
22 But he turned, and said to Kefa, "Follow me. Satan, you are an offence to
me, for you savor not the things that are of Elohim, but those that are of
men."
23 Then said Yeshua to his talmidim, "who ever wishes to follow me, let
him reject himself, and take up his gallows, and follow me.
24 For whoever will desire to save his nefesh will lose it, and whoever will
lose his nefesh for my sake, the same will find it.
25 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and in his own
nefesh receive injury? Or what exchange will a man give for his nefesh?
26 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels,
and then will he pay every man, each according to his deeds.
27 Truly I tell you, there are those standing here which will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.
CHAPTER 17
1 And after six days Yeshua took Kefa, and Ya'akov, and Yochanan his
brother, and brought them up to a high mountain apart,
2 and the fashion of his face was altered before them, and his face did shine
as the sun, and his raiment became white as the snow.
3 And, behold, there appeared to them Moshe and Eliyahu talking with him.
4 Then answered Kefa, and said to Yeshua, "My master, it is good for us to
be here, if you will let us make here three tabernacles; for you one, for
Moshe one, and for Eliyahu one."
5 While still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. And,
behold, a [bat] kol out of the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with
whom I am well pleased, hear you him."
6 And when the talmidim heard, they fell on their faces, and were very
afraid.
7 But Yeshua approached and touched them, and said to them, "Arise, and
be not afraid."
8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one, save Yeshua
only.
9 And as they came down from the mountain, Yeshua commanded them,
saying, "Tell no man the vision which you have seen, until the Son of Man is
raised from the dead."
10 And the talmidim asked him, saying, "Why then say the scribes that
Eliyahu must come first?"
11 And he answered and said to them, "Eliyahu will surely come, and
restore all things.
12 And I tell you, that Eliyahu has come already, and they knew him not, but
have done to him whatever they chose. Likewise will the Son of Man
receive from them."
13 Then the talmidim heard and understood that he was speaking of the
immerser Yochanan, when he spoke to them.
14 And when they had come to the crowd, there came near to him one man,
and fell on his knees before him, saying,
15 "My master, have compassion on my son, for he is epileptic, and with
this sickness he is very afflicted, for often he falls into the fire, and often he
falls into the water.
16 And I brought him to your talmidim, but they could not cure him.
17 Then Yeshua answered and said, "O stubborn and perverse generation,
how long will I be with you? How long will I suffer you? Bring him to me."
18 And Yeshua rebuked him, and the shad went out of him, and the boy was
cured the same hour.
19 Then came near to him the talmidim privately, and asked him, "Why
could not we cast him out?"
20 And he answered them and said, "On account of your lack of faith. Truly
I say to you, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, and shall tell this
mountain, 'Pass away from here,' it will immediately pass away, and the
thing will not be withheld from you.
21 But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting."
22 And as they were going into Galil, Yeshua spoke to them and said, "The
Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men.
23 and they will kill him, and the third day he will rise again." And they
were very grieved.
24 And when they had come into K'far Nachum109, they that received the
drachma came near to Kefa, and said to him, "Does your rabbi pay the
drachma?"
25 And he said, "Certainly." And as he came to the house, Yeshua prevented
him, saying, "How seems it to you, Shim'on? The kings of the earth, of
whom do they receive tribute and custom? Of their own children, or of
strangers?"
26 And he said, "Of strangers." Then Yeshua said to him, "If so, the children
are free.
27 But in order that we may not provoke them, go you to the sea, and cast
the baited net, and take the fish that first comes up, and when you have
opened its mouth, you will find a litra, that take, and give to them for me and
you.”
CHAPTER 18
1 And he entered into the house of Shim’on whose surname is Kefa, and
opened his mouth and said:
2 “As I passed the Lake of Tiberias, I chose Yochanan and Ya’akov the sons
of Zavdai, and Shim’on and Andrew and Taddai and Shim’on the Zealot and
Y’hudah Iscariot,
3 and you Mattiyahu, I called as you sat at the receipt of custom, and you
followed me.
4 You therefore, I will to be twelve emissaries for a testimony to Yisrael.110
5 And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.
6 And Yeshua called one boy, and stood him in the midst of them,
7 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you repent, and become as children,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
8 And whoever therefore will humble himself as this boy, the same will be
greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
9 And whoever receives one such boy as this in my name receives me.
10 And whoever offends one of these little ones, which believe in me, it is
better for him that an upper millstone be hanged around his neck, and that he
109 See note to 18:1-4
110 verses 1-4 “In the Gospel that is in general use among them which is called ‘according to Matthew’,
which however is not whole and complete but forged and mutilated – they call it the Hebrew Gospel- it is
reported: ‘It came to pass there was a certain man named Yeshua of about thirty years of age, who chose
us. And when he came to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon…(etc.)”-Epiphanius; Panarion
30:13:2-3
be cast into the depth of the sea.
11 Woe to the world because of offences. It must be that offences come, but
woe to that man by whom the offence comes.
12 And if your hand or your foot offends you, cut it off, and cast it from you,
for it is better for you to enter into life maimed or lame, rather than having
both hands and both feet to be cast into the eternal fire.
13 And if your eye offends you, pluck it out, and cast it from you, for it is
better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having both eyes to
be cast into the fire of Gey Hinnom.
14 See that you despise not one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their
angels in heaven do continually see the face of my Father, which is in
heaven.
15 For the Son of Man has [come] to save that which is lost.
16 How seems it to you? If a man has a hundred [sheep], and one of them is
lost, does not a man leave the ninety-nine sheep on the mountain, and goes
to find that which was lost?
17 And if so be that he finds it, truly I tell you, that he rejoices over it more
18 Even so it is not the will of your Father, which is in heaven, that one of
these little ones should be lost.
19 And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him between you
and him alone, and if he will hear you, you have won your brother.
20 But if he will not hear you, take to yourself one witness or two, that at
the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.111
21 And if he will not hear them, speak to him in the assembly, but if he
neglects to hear in the assembly, let him be to you as a Goy or a
transgressor.
22 Truly I tell you, all that you will prohibit on earth is prohibited in
heaven also, and all that you will permit on earth is permitted in
heaven also.
23 Again I tell you, If two of you might be worthy on earth as touching a
thing that they will ask, it will be for them of my Father which is in heaven.
24 For in every place where two or three will assemble in my name, there
am I in the midst of them."
And if your brother sins against you in a word and makes amends with you,
receive him seven times in a day"
25 Shim'on, His talmid, said to Him, "Seven times in a day?"
26 The Adon answered and said to him, "I say to you, until seventy times
seven. For the prophets, after they were anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh,
111 Deut. 19:15
were guilty of a word of sin."112
27 And therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to a man that is a
king, who wished to make a reckoning with his servants.
28 And when he had begun to make the reckoning, one was brought to him,
which was due to render him ten thousand talents.
29 And as he had not with which to pay, his master commanded that he be
sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, until full payment
should be made of what was due to him.
30 Then that servant fell down and beseeched him, saying, 'Give me time,
and I will pay you all.'
31 And the master had pity on his servant, and let him go, and forgave him
his debt.
32 But this servant went out, and found one of those who were servants like
himself, and this one was due to render him a hundred meahs, and he seized
him, and held him fast, saying, 'Pay what you are due to render me.'
33 Then that servant fell down, and beseeched him, saying, 'Give me time,
and I will pay you all.'
34 But he would not, and went and cast him into prison, until he should pay
all his debt.
35 So when the other servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly
grieved, and came and related to their master all that had happened.
36 Then his master called to him, and said to him, 'Servant of B'liya'al, I
forgave you all the debt, because you did beseech me,
37 and should not you also have had pity on your fellow servant, even as I
had pity on you?'
38 And his master's anger was kindled, and he delivered him to the prison,
until he should pay all his debt.
39 So likewise will my Father, which is in heaven, do to you, if you from
your hearts forgive not every man his brother their trespasses.
CHAPTER 19
1 And it came to pass, that after Yeshua had finished speaking these sayings,
112 Verses 21-22 “In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldee and Syrian
language, but in Hebrew characters, and is used by the Nazarenes to this day (I mean the Gospel according
to the Emissaries, or, as generally maintained, the Gospel according to Matthew, a copy of which is in the
library at Caesarea), we find [a quote in chapter 3] and in the same volume…” – Jerome; Against Pelagius
III, 2) also some Greek manuscripts of Matthew have a marginal note reading “The Judaikon [Jewish] has,
immediately after the ‘seven times seven’, ‘for in the prophets, after they were anointed with the Ruach
HaKodesh, there was found in them the word of sin.”
he departed from Galil, and came into the borders of Y'hudah at the crossing
of the Yarden.
2 And great crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And the P'rushim approached him, and tempted him, saying, "Is it right for
a man to put away his wife for every cause?"
4 And he answered and said to them, "Have you not read, that he who made
man at the beginning, made them male and female.113
5 and said, 'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and
shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh?'114
6 And now they are no more two, but one flesh only. What therefore Elohim
has joined together, man cannot separate."
7 But they said, "And why did Moshe then command to give a bill of
divorcement, and to put her away if she was not pleasing in his
sight?"115
8 And he answered them and said, "Because Moshe on account of the
hardness of your hearts allowed you to put away your wives, but from the
beginning it was not so.
9 And I tell you, that every man that has put away, or shall put away his
wife,
except it be for fornication, and takes another, commits adultery, and
whoever
takes the divorced also commits adultery."
10 And his talmidim said to him, "If the case of the man be so with his wife,
it is not good to marry."
11 But he said to them, "All cannot accept this saying, but they to whom it is
given.
12 For there are faithful ones, which were so born from their mother's
womb,
and there are faithful ones which were made of man, and there are faithful
ones which are self-made faithful ones for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake.
Whoever can accept, let him accept."
13 Then were brought to him children, that he should lay hands on them and
pray, but his talmidim rebuked them.
14 And Yeshua said, "Allow the children, and hinder them not from coming
to me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
113 Gen. 1:27; 5:2
114 Gen. 2:24
115 Deut. 24:1, 3
15 And when he had laid hands on them, he departed there. And as he sat
out on his journey he came upon two rich men.116
16 And, behold, one came near, and said to him, “Good Rabbi, and what
good thing shall I do that I may acquire the life of the world to come?”
17 And he said to him, "Why ask you me concerning what is good? There is
none good but one, there is a good, and that is El. And if you desire to enter
into the life of the world to come, keep the commandments of El."
18 And he said to him, "And which?" And Yeshua answered and said, "you
shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you
shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,117
19 honor your father and your mother118, and you shall love your
neighbor as yourself."119
20 But the young man said to him, "All these things have I kept from my
youth, and what lack I still?"
21 And Yeshua said to him, "If you will be whole-hearted, go sell all that
you have, and give to the poor, and you will have great store in heaven, and
come follow me."
22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away troubled, for he
had great possessions.
23 The second of the rich men said unto him: Adon, what good thing can I
do and live? He said unto him: O man, fulfil the Torah and the Prophets.
24 He answered him: I have kept them. He said unto him: Go, sell all that
you own, and distribute it unto the poor, and come, follow me. But the rich
man began to scratch his head, and it pleased him not.
25 And the Adon said unto him: How say you: I have kept the Torah and the
Prophets? For it is written in the Torah: You shall love your neighbor as
yourself120, and lo, many of your brothers, sons of Avraham, are clad in
filth, dying for hunger, and your house is full of many good things, and
nothing at all goes out of it unto them.
26 And he turned and said unto Shim'on his talmid who was sitting by him:
Shim'on, son of Yonah, it is easier for a rope121
to enter the eye of a needle
116 verse 15b is borrowed in part from Mark 10:17 slightly modified to facilitate the two rich men in the
account found in GH.
117 Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17-20
118 Ex. 20:12
119 Lev. 19:18
120 Lev. 19:18
121 The Latin as Origen preserves it has “camel” agreeing with the Greek but I have corrected this to agree
with the Aramaic of Matthew, Mark and Luke have GAMLA )lmg which can mean “camel” or “rope”.
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven122.
27 And when the talmidim heard these sayings, they marveled exceedingly,
saying, "Who then can be saved?"
28 And Yeshua regarded them, and said, "On men's part this is impossible,
but to Elohim all such things are possible."
29 Then answered Kefa and said to him, "Here are we, we have left
everything, and followed you, and what will we have?"
30 And Yeshua said to them, "Truly I tell you, that you which have followed
me, in the second birth when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you
also will sit on twelve thrones, and judge the twelve tribes of Yisrael.
31 And whoever leaves house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or
wife, or children, or lands, on account of my name, will receive a hundred
times, and will inherit the sublime life.
32 But many of the first will be last, and the last will be first.
CHAPTER 20
1 The Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to a man that is a householder,
who went out early in the morning to hire laborers to tend his vineyard.
2 And when he had contracted with them at the rate of a coin for the whole
day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out at the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the
market place,
4 and said to them "Go you also into my vineyard, and whatever is right I
will give you." And they went their way.
5 Again he went out at the sixth hour and the ninth, and did likewise.
6 And at the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing, and said
to them, 'Why stand you here all the day idle?'
7 And they said to him, 'No man has hired us.' And he said to them, 'Go you
also into my vineyard.'
8 And when it was evening, the master of the vineyard said to his overseer,
"Call the laborers, and give them their wage, beginning from the first to the
last."
9 And when those came which came at the eleventh hour, they received each
man a coin.
122 19:23-24 “It is written in a certain Gospel which is called according to the Hebrews (if at least anyone
care to accept it, not as authoritative, but to throw light on the question before us):… “ – Origen; On Mat.
15:14 on 19:16ff in Latin version (some regard this as a pseudo-Origen). See appendix.
10 And when the first came, they thought that they should have received
more than these, and they likewise received each man a coin.
11 And when they had seen it, they murmured against the householder,
saying,
12 'These last have labored but one hour, and you have put them on a level
with us, which have borne the burden of the day and the heat.'
13 But he answered them, and said, 'Brother, I do you no injury. Did you not
contract with me for a coin?
14 Take what is yours, and go your way, and as to my will to give to this
last, the same as to you,
15 have I no right to do what I will in my own sight? Or, is your eye bad,
because I am good?'
16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many were called, but few
were chosen."
17 And as Yeshua went up to Yerushalayim, he took his twelve talmidim
privately, and said to them,
18 "Behold, we are going to Yerushalayim, and the Son of Man will be
delivered up to the Chief Cohenim and the scribes, and they will condemn
him to death,
19 and will deliver him over to the Goyim to be mocked, and scourged, and
crucified, and the third day he will rise again."
20 Then came near to him the mother of Zavdai's children, with her sons,
and worshiped him, and would ask of him.
21 And he said to her. "What wish you?" And she said to him, "Grant that
these, my two sons, may sit, the one on your right hand, and the other on
your left, in your kingdom."
22 But Yeshua answered and said, “You know not what you ask. Can you
drink the cup that I will drink of, and be immersed in the immersion that I
will be immersed in?”123
They said to him, “We can.”
23 Then he said to them, "You will drink indeed of my cup, and will be
immersed in the immersion that I will be immersed in, but to sit on my right
hand, or on my left, is not mine to give you, but for whom it is prepared of
my Father."
24 And when the ten heard, they were displeased with the two brothers,
25 but Yeshua called them to himself, saying, and "You know that the chiefs
of the Goyim rule over them, and the great ones exercise authority among
them
26 It shall not be so among you, but whoever among you wishes to be great,
123 Ps. 42:7
let him be your servant,
27 and he among you that wishes to be first, let him be your servant,
28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served to, but to serve, and to give
his nefesh a ransom for many."
29 And as they went out from Yericho, a great crowd followed him.
30 And, behold, two blind men went out and sat by the wayside, and when
they heard that Yeshua passed by, they cried out saying, "My master, take
pity on us, O Son of David."
31 And the crowd rebuked them, and told them to keep silence, but they
cried out the more, saying, "My master, take pity on us, O Son of David."
32 And Yeshua stopped, and called to them, saying, "What wish you that I
do for you?"
33 And they said to him, "My master, that our eyes may be restored to
sight."
34 And Yeshua had pity on them, and touched their eyes, and immediately
they saw, and followed him.
CHAPTER 21
1 And when they came near to Yerushalayim, and had come to Beit Pagey,
to the mount of Olives, then sent Yeshua two talmidim,
2 and said to them, "Go to the enclosure which is before you, and right away
you will find there an ass tied, and a foal by her side; loose and bring [them]
to me.
3 And if any man say anything to you, you will say that, My master has need
of them, and immediately he will let them go."
4 And this was to establish what was spoken by the prophet, who said,
5 "say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold your king comes to you... poor,
and riding upon an ass, even upon a foal, the offspring of an ass.'"124
6 And the talmidim went, and did as Yeshua commanded them,
7 and brought the ass, and the foal, and they put upon them their garments,
and mounted him thereon.
8 And a great crowd spread their garments in the way, and others cut down
leafy branches of trees, and carpeted the way.
9 And the multitude that went before him, and behind him, cried, saying,
"Hoshianna to the Son of David,
124 Zech. 9:9
Blessed is he that comes in the name of YHWH,
Hoshianna125
barrama126."
10 And when he had come into Yerushalayim, the whole city was seething,
saying,
11 "Who is this?" And the people said, "It is Yeshua the prophet, from
Natzeret of Galil."
12 And Yeshua entered into the Temple of Elohim, and cast outside all the
vendors and buyers in the Temple, and overturned the tables of the
moneychangers,
and the stalls of them that sold the doves,
13 and said to them, "It is written, 'For my house will be called a house of
prayer,'127
but you have made it a robber's den.128"
14 rays went forth from his eyes, by which they were frightened and fled117.
15 And the blind and the lame drew near to him in the Temple, and he
healed
them.
16 And when the Chief Cohenim and the scribes saw the wonders that he
did,
and the children cried in the Temple, saying, "Hoshianna129
to the Son of
David"
17 They were displeased, and they said to him, "Hear you not what these
say?" And Yeshua said to them, "Have you not read that,
"Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings
you have found strength?"130
18 And he left them, and went out of the city to Beit Anyah, and lodged
there.
19 And as he returned in the morning to the city, he was hungry.
20 And when he saw a fig tree by the way side, he came to it, and found
125 Psalm 118:25-26
126 “Matthew, who wrote his Gospel in Hebrew speech, put it thus: ‘Osanna barrama, i.e. Onanna in the
highest.” –Jerome; Letter to Damasus 20
127 Isa. 56:7
128 Jer. 7:11
129 “In the Gospel books which the Nazarenes use we read: …” (Marginal note in Aurora of Peter Riga
manuscript). This is probably the source for Jerome’s statement “For a certain fiery and starry light radiated
from his eyes and the majesty of the Godhead gleamed in his face.” -Jerome; on Mat. 21:12
118 Psalm 118:25
130 Ps. 8:3 (8:2)
nothing thereon, but leaves only. And he said to it, "Let there not come forth
of you fruit forever," and immediately the fig tree withered away.
21 And when the talmidim saw, they marveled, saying, "How did it
immediately wither away?"
22 And Yeshua answered and said to them, "Truly I tell you, if you will
have faith, and doubt not, you will not do such things to a fig tree only, but if
you will say to this mountain, 'Be you lifted up, and cast into the sea', it will
come to pass.
23 And whatever you will ask in prayer and faith, you will receive.
24 And when he had come to the Temple, the Chief Cohenim and the elders
of the people approached him as he was teaching, saying, "By what authority
do you these things? And who gave you this authority?"
25 And Yeshua answered and said to them, "I also will ask you this thing,
which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what means I do what I
am doing.
26 The immersion of Yochanan, of where was it? of Heaven, or of men?"
And they reasoned with themselves, and said, "If we shall say, 'Of Heaven',
he will say to us, 'Why did you not believe him?'
27 But if we shall say, 'Of men', we fear the crowd, for Yochanan was in the
eyes of all as a prophet.
28 And they answered and said to Yeshua, "We know not.” And he also said
to them, “And neither tell I you by what means I do these things.”
29 But how seems it to you? There was one man which had two sons, and he
approached the first, and said, 'My son, go work today in my vineyard.'
30 But he answered and said, 'I will not do so,' but after that he repented, and
went.
31 And he approached the second, and said likewise. And he answered and
said, 'I will go, my master,' but he went not.
32 Which of these two did the father's will?" They answered him, "The
first."
And Yeshua said to them, "Truly I tell you, that the transgressors and harlots
go before you in the Kingdom of Elohim.
33 For Yochanan came to you in the way of righteousness, and you believed
him not, but the transgressors and harlots believed him, and you, when you
had seen, repented not after that, to believe him.
34 Hear you another parable: There was a man that was a householder,
which planted a vineyard, and surrounded it with a hedge, and dug a
winepress in it, and built a tower, and delivered it to vinedressers to cultivate
it, and went abroad.
35 And when the time of the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, to receive the fruit.
36 But the vinedressers seized his servants, and beat one, and slew another,
and another they stoned.
37 Again he sent other servants more than the first, and they did to them
likewise.
38 But at last he sent to them his son, saying, 'Perhaps they will honor my
son.'
39 But the vinedressers, when they saw the son, said among themselves,
‘This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.’ i
40 And they seized him, and brought him outside the vineyard, and slew
him.
41 Think for yourselves, when the master of the vineyard has come, what
will he do to these vinedressers?"
42 And they answered him and said; "He will destroy the wicked
vinedressers in their wickedness, and will hire out his vineyard to another,
which will render him the fruit in its seasons."
43 And Yeshua said to them, "Have you not read in the scripture,
'The stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner.
This is from YHWH,
It is wonderful in our eyes?'131
44 And therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of Elohim will be taken away from
you, and given to people, who will bring forth the fruits thereof.
45 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken, but on whomever it falls,
it will break him."
46 And when the Chief Cohenim and P'rushim heard his parables, they knew
that he spoke concerning them.
47 But when they sought to seize him, they feared the crowds, for he was in
their eyes a prophet.
CHAPTER 22
1 And Yeshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying,
2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is comparable to a man that is a king, who made
a marriage for his son,
131 Ps. 118:22-23
3 and sent his servants to call them that were invited to the marriage, but
they would not come.
4 Again, he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell you them which are invited,
'Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my oxen and my geese are cooked,
and all things are ready, come you to the marriage.''
5 But these remained unresponsive, and went their ways, one to his village,
another to his merchandise,
6 and the rest seized his servants, whom with violence they slew.
7 But when the king heard, his anger was kindled, and he sent his hosts, and
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city with fire.
8 Then said he to his servants, 'The marriage indeed is ready, but they which
were invited were not worthy.
9 Go you therefore to the outgoing of the ways, and whomever you will find,
call to the marriage.'
10 So his servants went out by the ways, and gathered together all whom
they found, both bad and good, and the marriage was filled with them that
sat at the table.
11 And when the king came in to see them that were seated, he saw there a
man not clothed with the marriage garment, and said to him,
12 'Friend, how came you in here not having a marriage garment?' And he
was silent.
13 Then said the king to his servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him
into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
14 For many were called,
but few were chosen."
15 Then went the P'rushim, and took counsel together concerning this
saying.
16 And they sent to him their talmidim with the servants of Herod, saying,
"Rabbi, we know that you are a sincere man, and teach the way of Elohim in
truth, and are not influenced by any man, for you regard not the face of man.
17 Tell us therefore, how seems it to you? Is it right to give tribute to Caesar
or not?"
18 But Yeshua knew the evil in their hearts, and said to them, "You
hypocrites, why tempt you me?
19 Show me a coin of the tribute." And they brought to him a coin.
20 And he said to them, "Whose is the likeness and this inscription?"
21 And they answered him and said, "Caesar's." Then said he to them,
"Give therefore to Caesar what is Caesar's,
and to Elohim the things that are Elohim's."
22 And when they heard it, they were amazed, and left him, and withdrew.
23 The same day the Tz'dukim, which are those that say that there will not
be
a resurrection, came near to him, and asked him, saying,
24 "Rabbi, Moshe said, 'If a man dies, and has no son, his brother shall
take to himself to wife, the wife of the dead, that he may raise up seed to
his brother.'132
25 And he left his wife to his brother.
26 Likewise the second, and the third, until the seventh.
27 And after that the woman died also.
28 In the resurrection whose will she be? Because all the seven were her
husbands."
29 And Yeshua answered and said to them,
"You do err, not knowing the Scriptures,
nor the power of Elohim.
30 For in the resurrection they marry not,
neither are they betrothed,
but are as the angels of Elohim in heaven.
31 And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was
spoken by Elohim, who said to you,
32 'I am the Elohi of Avraham,
I am the Elohi of Yitzchak,
I am the Elohi of Ya'akov'?133
and he is not the Elohi of the dead
but Elohi of the living."
33 And when the crowds heard, they were amazed concerning his teaching.
34 But when the P'rushim heard that he had silenced the Tz'dukim, they took
counsel together.
35 And one of them, which was a doctor of the Torah, asked him, and tested
him, and said to him,
36 "Rabbi, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?"
132 Deut. 25:5-6
133 Ex. 3:6
37 And Yeshua answered him, and said, "You shall love YHWH your
Elohim with all your heart, and with all your nefesh, and with all your
might.134
38 This is the greatest commandment in the whole Torah.
39 And this is the first, but the second is like it, ‘And you shall love your
neighbor as yourself.’135
40 On these two commandments hang all the Torah and the Prophets."
41 Now while the P'rushim were assembled, Yeshua asked them, saying,
42 "How seems it to you concerning the Messiah? Whose son is he?" And
they said to him, "He is the Son of David."
43 But he said to them, "And how then spoke David, by the Ruach
HaKodesh calling him "My Adon,” saying,
44 'YHWH said to my Adon, Sit you on my right hand, until I make
your enemies the footstool of your feet'?136
45 If David then calls him 'My Adon', how is he his son?"
46 And they could not return him a word; neither did any man wish again to
question him further from that day.
CHAPTER 23
1 Then spoke Yeshua to the crowds, and to his talmidim, saying,
2 "On Moshe’s seat sit the scribes and P'rushim.
3 And all that he says to you observe and do. But do not you according to
their works, for they say, but do not.
4 For they bind up heavy burdens, and put them on men's shoulders, but they
will not stagger around with them themselves.
5 And so all their works they do that they may be seen by the sons of men,
for they make broad the straps of their t’ffila137, and enlarge the corners of
their mantles138,
6 and love the principal couches at the suppers,
7 and the principal seats in the synagogues, and benedictions in the market,
and to be called by men, 'Rabbi'.
8 But you shall not be called 'rabbi' for one is your rabbi, and that is the
Messiah. And all of you are brothers.
134 Deut. 6:5
135 Lev. 19:18
136 Psalm 110:1
137 Ex. 13:1-16; Deut. 6:4-9; 11:13-21
138 Num. 15:37-41
9 Also be not you called 'father' upon the earth, for one is your Father, which
is in heaven.
10 Neither be you called 'teachers', for one is your teacher, and that is
Messiah.
11 Whoever will be greatest among you let him be your servant.
12 For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and whoever is abased will be
exalted.
13 Woe to you, scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites! Who close the Kingdom of
Heaven against the sons of men, for you enter not yourselves, neither do you
allow them that are eager to enter.
14 Woe to you, scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites, who devour widows'
houses
in order to pray lengthy prayers, and therefore will receive a lengthy
judgment.
15 Woe to you, scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites, who compass the sea and
land in order to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him
two
times more a son of Gey Hinnom than yourselves.
16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘whoever swears by the Temple, is
not
obligated, but he that swears by the gold of the Temple, is obligated.’
17 Fools and blind, which is greater, the gold, or the Temple that sanctifies
the gold?
18 And ‘Whoever swears by the altar, is not obligated, but he that swears by
the gift that is upon it, is obligated.’
19 O blind, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift?
20 He that swears by the altar swears by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And he that swears by the Temple swears by it, and by that which abides
therein.
22 And he that has sworn by heaven swears by the throne of Elohim, and by
him that sits thereon.
23 Woe to you, scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites! Who tithe mint, and rue,
and cumin, and have neglected those things which are weightiest in the
Torah: judgment, loving-kindness and faith. Those things ought you to have
done, neither to have rejected these.
24 Blind guides, who strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel.
25 Woe to you scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites, which clean the outside of
the cup and the dish, but within, they are full of extortion and uncleanness.
26 Blind Parush, clean first that which is within the cup and dish that the
outside may be clean also.
27 Woe to you, scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites, for you are like whitened
sepulchers, which appear outwardly fair to the sons of men, but within are
full of the bones of the dead, and all uncleanness.
28. And so you also seem outwardly righteous to the sons of men, but within
you, you are full of depravity and violence.
29. Woe to you, scribes and P'rushim, hypocrites, which build the sepulchers
of the prophets, and adorn the sepulchers of the righteous, and say,
30. 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been their
accomplices in the blood of the prophets?
31. Therefore you are witnesses to yourselves, that you have come by them,
which slew the prophets, and their children you are.
32. Fill you up then the measure of your fathers.
33. Serpents, and generations of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of
Gey Hinnom?
34. Therefore I tell you, Behold, I send to you prophets, and the wise men,
and the scribes, and some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of
them will you scourge with whips in your synagogues, and persecute from
city to city,
35. that upon you may come all the righteous blood which has been shed
upon the earth, from Hevel the righteous, to Z'kharyah Ben Y'hoyada139,
whom you slew between the Temple and the alter.
36. Truly I tell you, that all these things will come upon this generation.
37. Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim, which kills the prophets, and stones them
which are sent to you, how many times would I have gathered your children
together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would
not!
38. Behold, your house is forsaken to you desolate.140
39. And I tell you, that you will not see me here after, until you say, 'Blessed
is he that comes in the name of YHWH141.
CHAPTER 24
1. And Yeshua went out, and as he was departing from the Temple, his
talmidim came near in order to show him the buildings of the Temple.
2. But he answered them, saying, "Regard you all these things? Truly I tell
you, there will not be left here a stone upon a stone that will not be
139 “In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, instead of ‘son of Barachias’we have found written ‘son of
Joiada.’” –Jerome; on Matt. 23:35
140 Jer. 22:5
141 Psalm 118:26
overthrown.
3 And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, his talmidim approached him
privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what sign will
there be at your coming, and the end of the world?"
4 Then Yeshua answered and said to them, "Let no man deceive you.
5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am Messiah’, and will deceive
many.
6 For you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that you are not foolish.
It must be that such things be done, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and
there will be pestilence, and famine, and earthquake in every place.
8 And these are but the beginning of plagues.
9 Then will they give you over to tribulation, and will slay you, and all
Goyim will hate you on account of my name.
10 And then will many be offended, and a man will betray his neighbor, yes,
a man will hate his brother.
11 And many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray.
12 And because apostasy will abound, the love of many will wax cold.
13 But whoever endures to the end, the same will be saved.
14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the
world for a witness to all the Goyim, and then will the end come.
15 When you therefore will see the abomination of desolation, spoken of
by Dani'el the prophet, he who said that it would stand in the set-apart
place142, (whoever reads, let him understand).
16 Then let them which are in Y'hudah flee to the mountains,
17 and he that is upon the roof, let him not descend to take anything out of
his house,
18 and he that is in the field, let him not return to take his clothes.
19 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that are about to bear,
and to them that give suck in those days.
20 And pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath,
21 for then will be great tribulation, such as there has never been from
the beginning of the world until now, neither will be after it143.
22 And if those days had not been shortened, there should no flesh be saved;
only on account of the chosen those days will be shortened.
23 Then if any man says to you, 'Behold, here is the Messiah,' or 'there',
believe it not.
142 Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11
143 Joel 2:2; Dan. 12:1
24 Because there will arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and will give
great signs and wonders, that so they may bring about, if that were possible,
the going astray of the very chosen.
25 Behold, I have told you.
26 Therefore, if they will say to you, 'Behold, he is in the wilderness', go not
out, 'Behold he is in the apartments', believe it not.
27 For as the lightning goes out from the east, and appears even to the west,
so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
28 Wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together144.
29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days will the sun be
darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars145
will fall
from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken,
30 and then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then will
all the tribes of the land mourn146, when they will see the Son of Man
coming in the clouds of heaven147
with great power and glory.
31 And he will send his angels with a shofar148, and a great voice, that they
may gather together his chosen from the four winds, from the heights of
heaven to its extremities149.
32 Learn you the parable from the fig tree, when its branch is tender, and the
leaves sprout, you know that the summer fruit is near,
33 so likewise you, when you will see all these things, know that it is near,
even at the doors.
34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away, until the whole is
accomplished.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
36 Until that day, and concerning that hour there will be no man that knows,
not even the angels in heaven, but my Father only.
37 And as it was in the days of Noach, so will it be at the coming of the Son
of Man.
38 For as they were in the days that were before the flood eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noach entered
into the ark,
39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the
coming of the Son of Man.
40 Then will two be in the field, one will be taken, and one left.
144 Ezek. 39:17; Is. 34:3, 15
145 Is. 13:10; 24:32; Ezek. 32:7; Joel 2:10; 3:4(2:31); 4:1(3:15)
146 Zech. 12:10, 14
147 Dan. 7:13-14
148 Is. 27:13
149 Is. 11:12; Deut. 30:4; Zech. 2:6
41 Two will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken, and one will be left.
42 Be you alert therefore, for you know not at what hour your Adon comes.
43 But know this, if the householder had known at what hour the thief would
come, in truth, he would have been alert, and not allowed his house to be
broken into.
44 Therefore be you also ready, for you know not at what hour the Son of
Man comes.
45 Who then is a faithful and prudent servant, whom the master had set over
his household, that he may give them bread in due season?
46 Happy is that servant who, at his master's coming to his house, he will
find so doing.
47 Truly I tell you, that in truth, he will set him over all his substance.
48 But if such a servant will say evilly in his heart, that his master delays to
come,
49 and begins to hit the servants which are with him, and eats and drinks
with the drunken,
50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he expects not, and in
an hour when he knows not, and will surprise him suddenly,
51 and appoint his portion with the hypocrites; there will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth.
CHAPTER 25
1 Then will the Kingdom of Heaven be comparable to ten virgins, which
took their torches, and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish, and five of them were prudent.
3 The five foolish, when they took the torches, took no oil with them,
4 but the prudent took the oil in their vessels with the torches.
5 And while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom has come, go out
now to meet him.'
7 Then all those virgins arose, and made ready their torches.
8 And the foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us now of your oil, for our
torches are extinguished.'
9 But the prudent answered and said to them, 'We may not give you, lest
there suffice not for us and you, but go now therefore to them that sell, and
buy for yourselves.'
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were
ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.
11 And after that came the rest of the virgins, saying, 'My master, my
master, open to us.'
12 But he answered, saying, 'Amen, I say to you, I know you not.'
13 Be you alert therefore, for you know not the day and the hour when the
Son of Man comes.
14 For it is like the man who went abroad, seafaring, and which called his
servants, and delivered to them his substance.
15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every
man gave he according to his power, and right away took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and squandered his
master's substance with harlots and flute-girls.
17 And likewise, he that had received the two traded with the same, and
gained another two.
18 But he that had received the one, went and dug in the earth, and hid it in
the earth.
19 And it came to pass that after a long time that master returned, and made
an accounting with them.
20 He also that had received the five talents came near, and said, 'master,
you delivered to me the five talents, and, behold, I have gained these five
more.'
21 And his master said to him, 'Aha! In that you have been a good servant
and faithful over the few, come now, and I will give you charge over the
many; go enter into the joy of your master.'
22 So he that had received the two talents came near, saying, 'My master,
you delivered to me two talents and, behold, I have squanderd them.'
23 And his master said to him, 'Aha! You have been an idle servant.
24 He also that had received the one talent came near and said, 'master, I
knew that you are a hard man, and reap where you have not sown, and
gather where you have not scattered,
25 and I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth, behold, you
have what is yours.'
26 And this master answered and said to him, 'You evil and slothful servant,
you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not
scattered,
27 you ought to have delivered my money to the money-changers, then
surely, at my coming I should have received my own with increase.
28 Take now therefore the talent from him, and give it to him that has the ten
talents.'
29 For to whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance,
but who has not, from him even what he seems to have shall be taken away.
30 And the idle servant, cast you him into the darkness outside, where there
will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 And when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all his angels with
him, then will he sit upon his glorious throne,
32 and he will bring before himself all nations150, and will separate them,
these from those, as the shepherd separates the lambs from the kids,
33 and he will set the lambs on the right hand, and the kids on the left hand.
34 And then will the king say to them that are on his right hand, 'Come, you
blessed by my Father, and possess the kingdom prepared for you from the
beginning of the world.
35 I was hungry, and you gave me to eat,
I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink.
36 I was a stranger, and you entertained me.
I was naked, and you clothed me,
I was sick, and you visited me,
I was in prison, and you came to me.
37 Then will the righteous answer him saying,
'Adonai, when saw we you hungry, and fed you?
or thirsty, and gave you drink?
38 And when saw we you a stranger, and entertained you?
or naked, and clothed you?
39. Or when saw we you sick,
or in prison, and came to you?'
40 And the king will answer and say to them,
'Amen I say to you,
Inasmuch as you have done it to one of these which are to me as
younger brothers, it is as if you had done it to me.'
41 And then will the king say to them that are on his left hand, 'Withdraw
from me, you cursed. Go you into the eternal fire, prepared for Satan and his
angels.'
42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat.
150 Jer. 3:17
I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink.
43 I was a stranger, and you entertained me not.
I was naked, and you clothed me not.
I was sick, and in prison, and you visited me not.'
44 Then will they answer him, saying,
'Adonai, how saw we you hungry,
or thirsty,
or a stranger,
or naked,
or sick,
or in prison, and did not service to you?'
45 Then will he answer them, saying,
'Amen I say to you,
Inasmuch as you did it not to one of these little ones,
you did it not to me.'
46 And these will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal
life.151
CHAPTER 26
1 And it came to pass, when Yeshua had finished all these sayings, he said to
his talmidim.
2 "You know that after two days is the Feast of Unleavened Bread which is
called the Pesach, and the Son of Man will be betrayed, and shall be bound,
that he be crucified.
3Which signify eight days after the recurrence of the Pesach at which the
seed of Adam will be judged."
4 Then were assembled the cohenim, and elders of the people, to the court of
the Chief Cohen, who was called Kayafa,
151 Verses 14-46 “But since the Gospel written in Hebrew characters which has reached our hands turns the
threat not against the man who hid the talent, but against him who had lived riotously (for it told of three
servants, one who desereved his master's substance with harlots and flute-girls, another who multiplied it
by trading, and another who hid the talent; and made the one to be accepted, another only rebuked, and
another to be shut up in prison), the question occurs to me whether in Matthew, after the conclusion of the
speech against the man who did nothing, the threat that follows may refer, not to him, but by epanalepsis
(i.e. taking up a former subject again) be said of the first, who ate and drank with the drunken.” –Eusebius;
Theophania on Mat. 25:14f
6 But they said, “Let us not do this on the feast day, lest there be a great
commotion among the people.”
7 And in the morning he came again to the Temple and all the people came
to him. And while he was sitting, he was teaching them.
8 And the scribes and P’rushim brought a woman who was caught in
adultery. And placing her in the midst,
9 They said to him, Teacher, this woman was caught in the open in the act of
adultery.
10 Now in the Torah of Moshe, he commanded that we stone those who are
like these. Now, what do you say?
11 They said this testing him so that they would have a reason to accuse
him. But Yeshua, after he had stooped down, wrote on the ground152.
12 And when they continued asking him, he straightened himself and said to
them, Whichever one of you is without sin may cast the first stone at her153.
13 And again after he had stooped down, he was writing on the ground.
14 And when they heard [it], they went out one by one having begun with
the elders. And the woman was left by herself being in the midst.
15 And after Yeshua straightened himself he said to the woman, Where are
they? Does no man condemn you?
16 And she said, No man, Adon. And Yeshua said, Neither do I condemn
you. Go, and from now on do not sin again154.
17 And as Yeshua was in one Beit Anyah, in the house of Shim'on the jar
merchant,
18 there approached him a woman having in her hand a flask of precious oil,
which she poured upon his head, as he was sitting.
19 And when the talmidim saw it, they were vexed, and said, "To what
purpose is this waste?
20 For this oil could have been sold for much, and given to the poor."
21 When Yeshua knew, he said to them, “Why pester you this woman? For
she has wrought a good and wonderful work upon me.
22 And the poor will be continually with you, but I will not be continually
152 Jer. 17:3 & Num. 5:12-31
153 Deut. 17:7
154 Verses 7-16 “He [Papias] has set forth (or expounded) another story, about a woman accused of many
sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews also contains.” –Eusebius; Eccl. Hist.
3:39:17. This seems to refer to the story of the adulteress as found in John 7:53-8:11. This story does not
appear in the Aramaic Old Syriac or Peshitta versions. It is also not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts.
Those Greek manuscripts that do contain the story sometimes place it in John 7:53-8:11 some after John
7:36 or 7:52 or 21:24. Some manuscripts instead place the story in Luke after 21:24. The story appears not
to have originated as an original part of either Luke of John but as part of GH. I have placed it in GH in a
position corresponding to the placement after Luke 21:24.
with you.
23 For in that she has cast away this oil upon my body, she has done it for
my burial.
24 Truly I tell you, in every place where this good news will be proclaimed
throughout the world, there will be told of all that she has done, <for her
name> and her memorial.”
25 Then went one of his twelve talmidim, and it was he which was called
Y'hudah from K'riot, and went to the Chief Cohenim,
26 and said to them, "What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you?"
And they allotted him thirty pieces of silver155.
27 Thereafter he sought a convenient time to betray him.
28 And on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the talmidim came
near to Yeshua, saying, "Where will you have us prepare the Pesach?"
29 And Yeshua said, "Go you into the city to such a one, and say to him,
'The teacher said, my time is at hand, and with you will I celebrate the
Pesach with my talmidim.'"
30 And the talmidim did as Yeshua commanded them, and prepared the
Pesach.
31 And when it was evening, he sat down at the table with his twelve
talmidim.
32 And he said to them, I have a great desire that I eat this Pesach with you
before I suffer.156
33 And he arose from Dinner and laid aside his garments and took a cloth
and girded his loins.
34 And he put water into a bowl and began to wash the feet of his talmidim,
and he was wiping with the cloth by which he had girded his loins
35 and he kissed the feet of each one of them.157
36 And when he came to Shim’on Kefa, Shim’on said to him, Are you, my
Adon, going to wash my feet for me?
37 Yeshua answered and said to him,What I do you do not know now, but
afterwards you will know.
38 Shim’on Kefa said to him, You will never wash my feet for me. Yeshua
155 Zech. 11:2
156 “But they [Ebionites] abandon the proper sequence of the words and pervert the saying. As plain to all in
the readings attached, and have led the disciples to say: ‘Where will you have us prepare the Passover?’
And him to answer to that: ‘Do I desire with desire at this Passover to eat flesh with you?’” –Epiphanius,
Panarion 30:22:4. In restoring the orignal Nazarene text I have restored the text to read as it does in Luke
22:45. The alteration may have originated because some Hebrew and Aramaic statements can also be
understood as questions and because Ebionites were doctrinal vegetarians.
157 “[And he wiped their feet] And as it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes:…” (Historia passionis
Domini; MS: Theolg. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th Century, foll. 25v) From this it is clear that the
footwashing story found in John 13 also appeared in GH.
to him, If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.
39 Shim’on Kefa said to him, Then my Adon, wash not only my feet for me
but also my hands and my head.
40 Yeshua said to him, He who is washed does not need but to wash his feet
alone, for all of him is clean. Also you are all clean but not all of you.
41 For Yeshua knew him who would betray him; because of this he said ,
Not all of you are clean.
42 And after he had washed their feet, he took up his garments and seated
himself and said to them, Do you know what I did to you?
43 You call me, Rabbi, and our Adon, and you speak well, for I am.
44 If therefore I your Adon and your Rabbi wash your feet for you, how
much more ought you to wash the feet of another?
45 For I have given you this example, that you might also do as I have done
for you.
46 Truly, Truly, I say to you that there is no servant who is greater than his
master, and there is no emissary who is greater than him who sent him.
47 If you know these things you are happy if you do them.
48 And as they did eat, he said, "Amen I tell you, that one of you will betray
me."
49 And their anger was kindled exceedingly, and each one began saying,
"Am I he, my master?”
50 But he answered and said; "He that dips the hand with me in the dish, the
same will betray me.
51 And surely the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that
man by whose hand the Son of Man will be betrayed. It [would] have been
good for that man if he had not been born."
52 Then Y'hudah, who betrayed him answered and said, "Am I he, rabbi?"
And he said to him, "You have said."
53 And it came to pass, as they sat down to eat, Yeshua took the bread, and
blessed, and broke, and gave to his talmidim, saying, "Take you, and eat
this, which is my body."
54 And afterwards he took the cup, and blessed, and gave to them, saying,
"Drink you all of it,
55 for this is my blood of the New Covenant158, which is shed for many to
atone for sinners.
56 And I tell you, hereafter I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until that
day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father which is in
heaven."
158 Jer. 31:31
57 Then Ya'akov said "I swear that I shall not eat bread from this hour until I
see you risen from among those that sleep."159
58 And when they had recited the Psalm, they went out to the Mount of
Olives.
59 Then said Yeshua to them, "All you will be offended in me this night." It
is written, 'Smite the shepherd, and the flock will be scattered.'160
60 But after I have risen, I will go into Galil before you.
61 Then answered Kefa and said to him, "If they all will be offended, I will
not be offended in you."
62 And Yeshua said to him, "Amen I tell you that this night, before the
rooster crows, three times will you deny me."
63 Then Kefa said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you."
And so likewise said all the talmidim.
64 Then comes Yeshua with them to a village whose name was Gey
Sh'manim161, and said to his talmidim, "Sit you here, while I go yonder and
pray."
65 And he took with him Kefa and the two sons of Zavdai, and began to be
grieved and downcast.
66 And then said he to them, "My nefesh is grieved to death, await you me
here, and watch with me."
67 And he passed on a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "O
Father, if it is possible that this cup pass away from me, let it be done, but let
it not be done as I will, but as you will."
68 And he came to his talmidim, and found them sleeping, and said to Kefa,
"Could you not watch with me a single hour?
69 Awake and pray, that you enter not [into temptation,]
the spirit indeed is watchful,
but the flesh is frail."
70 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, "O Father, if
this cup cannot pass away from me, but I must drink it, be it as you will."
71 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven strengthening him
saying "Be constant, Adon, for now comes the time in which through your
passion mankind sold in Adam will be ransomed."162
159 See note to 28:27-30
160 Zech. 13:7
161 Is. 28:1
162 “And how the angel strengthened Messiah in his struggle in prayer, as is told in the Gospel of the
72 And he came again, and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
73 And he went away again, and prayed the third time, and said the same
prayer as he had said already.
74 Then came he to his talmidim, and said to them, "You have slept now,
and taken your rest, behold, the hour is at hand wherein the Son of Man will
be given into the hands of sinners.
75 Arise, and let us go, behold, he draws near that betrays me."
76 While he was still speaking, behold, Y'hudah, one of his twelve talmidim,
came, and with him a great force with swords and spears, that were sent
from the Chief Cohenim and elders of the people.
77 Now Y'hudah, who betrayed him, had given a sign to those people which
came with him, saying, "Whomever I will kiss, that same is he, secure you
him."
78 And forthwith he approached Yeshua, and said, "Shalom rabbi," and
kissed him.
79 And Yeshua said to him, "Beloved, why have you come?" Then they
came near, and laid hands on Yeshua, and seized him.
80 And, behold, one of them, which was with Yeshua, put out his hand, and
drew his sword, and struck the servant of the Chief Cohen, and cut off his
ear.
81 Then said Yeshua to him, “Return your sword to its place,
for all they that take the sword
will perish with the sword.”
82 Think you that I cannot ask of my Father that he should send now on my
behalf more than twelve legions of angels?
83 But how then will the Scriptures be established, which have written that
in this way it must be done?"
84 In that same hour said Yeshua to the crowds, "Have you come out to
meet me as against a robber, with swords and spears to secure me? Every
day I sat beside you and taught you in the Temple, and you seized me not.
85 But all this has come to pass to establish the Scriptures of the Prophets."
Then all the talmidim forsook him and fled.
86 So they seized Yeshua, and led him to Kayafah the Chief Cohen, where
the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
87 And Kefa followed him afar off to the court of the Chief Cohen, and
Nazarenes. And the same is also adduced by Anselm in his lamentation: …” (Historia passionis Domini;
MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th Century, foll. 32r) see Luke 22:43
entered into the beit [din], And Shim'on Kefa and one of the other talmidim
were following Yeshua. And the Chief Cohen knew that talmid
88 as he was the son of the poor fisherman Zavdai, he had often brought fish
to the palace of the high cohenim Hananyah and Kayafah.
89 And Yochanan went out to the damsel that kept the door and secured
from her permission for his companion Kefa, who stood weeping loudly
before the door, to come in.163
90 and he entered the beit-din with Yeshua and sat with the menials, to see
what would be the end.
91 Now the Chief Cohenim, and the whole council, sought false witness
against Yeshua, to deliver him up to death.
92 But they found none, though there came forward many false witnesses.
But at the last there came two false witnesses, and said,
93 "He said, 'I can pull down the Temple of El, and before three days I can
build it.'"
94 Then the Chief Cohen arose, and said to him, "Answer you nothing at all
concerning these things which they witness against you?"
95 But Yeshua answered nothing, but was silent. Then the Chief Cohen said
to him, "I adjure you by the living Elohim, that you tell us whether you are
Messiah, the Son of Elohim."
96 And Yeshua answered and said to him, "You have said. Therefore I say
to you,
hereafter you will see the Son of Man, that sits here on the right hand of
the Power of Elohim, coming in the clouds of heaven."164
97 Then the Chief Cohen tore his garments, saying, "He has blasphemed.
What further need have we of witnesses? Behold, you have heard now that
he has blasphemed.
98 How seems it to you?" And they answered, saying, "He is condemned to
death."
99 Then they spat in his face, and struck him with the fist, and others put
their hands upon his face,
100 saying, "Prophecy to us, O Messiah, who it is that assaulted you?"
101 Now Kefa sat out in the court, and there approached him a maidservant
saying, "You too were with Yeshua the Galilean."
102 But he denied in the sight of all, saying, "I know not what you say."
103 And when he was going out to the door, another saw him, and said to
them that were there, "He also was with Yeshua the Natzrati.
163 vss. 58-60 “In the Gospel of the Nazarenes the reason is given why John was known to the high priest.
…” (Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th Century, foll. 35r)
164 Dan. 7:13; Ps. 110:1
104 And again he denied with an oath, and said, "I do not know him!"
105 And after a while they that stood there came near, and said to Kefa, "In
truth you are of them, for your tongue reveals you."
106 Then he denied and swore and cursed165
that he knew not that man. And
immediately the rooster crowed.
107 And Kefa remembered the words of Yeshua, who had said, "Before the
rooster crows, three times will you deny me." And then he went outside, and
wept bitterly.
CHAPTER 27
1 And it came to pass in the morning, that all the Chief Cohenim and elders
of the people were in a conclave together concerning Yeshua in order to
condemn him to death.
2 And they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him to Pontius
Pilate the governor.
3 Then Y'hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that he was condemned to
death, and repented, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver which had
been given him, and gave them to the Chief Cohenim and elders,
4 saying, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the blood of the righteous."
But they said, "What is that to us? See you to it."
5 And he cast the thirty pieces of silver into the Temple, and hanged himself
with a halter.
6 And the Chief Cohenim took the pieces of silver, and said, It is not right to
cast them into the treasury, for they are the price of blood.
7 And they took counsel, and brought with them the portion of the potter's
field, for the burial of strangers.
8 Therefore the portion was called Chakel Damah to this day.
9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet, who said, "And
they took the thirty pieces of silver, a good price of him that was valued,
whom they valued of the children of Yisrael,
10 and gave them for the potter's portion, as YHWH appointed me."166
11 Now Yeshua stood before the governor, and the governor asked him,
saying, "Are you king of the Jews?" And Yeshua answered him, and said,
"You say."
165 Greek Matthew has “then began he to curse and to swear” but some Greek manuscripts of Matthew have
a marginal note which reads “The Judaikon: ‘and he denied and swore and cursed.’” Shem Tob Hebrew
Matthew has “Then he began to deny and to swear…”
166 Zech. 11:12-13
12 But when the Chief Cohenim and elders slandered him, he answered
them nothing.
13 Then said Pilate to him, "Hear you not the testimony which they witness
against you?"
14 But he answered him nothing, not even a single word, so that the
governor marveled exceedingly.
15 Now on the feast day it was the custom for the governor to bring out to
the people one prisoner, whom they would.
16 And they had then in custody one prisoner, a bandit, whose name was
called Bar Rabbah167.
17 Therefore when they were assembled, Pilate said to them, "Who wish you
that I release to you? Bar Rabbah, or Yeshua which is called Messiah?"
18 For he knew that for hatred they had delivered him up.
19 And when he had set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him,
saying, "Have you nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered
many things this day because of him."
20 But the Chief Cohenim and elders persuaded the people to ask Bar
Rabbah, and destroy Yeshua.
21 And the governor answered and said to them, "Which of the two wish
you
that I release to you?" And they said, "Bar Rabbah."
22 And Pilate said to them, "What will I do then with Yeshua who is called
Messiah?" And they all answered and said, "Let him be crucified."
23 Then the governor said to them, "But what evil has he done?" And they
repeated and cried, "Let him be crucified."
24 Then Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, for a great commotion
arose. Therefore he took water, and washed his hands before the people,
saying, "I am innocent of the blood <of this righteous man, > this see you."
25 Then answered all the people, and said, "His blood be on us, and our
children."
26 Then released he Bar Rabbah to them, but delivered Yeshua to them to be
scourged with whips, and crucified.
27 For certain Judeans had bribed four of the soldiers to scourge him so
severely that the blood might flow from every part of his body.168
167 “Barabbas… is interpreted in the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews as ‘son of their teacher’” –
Jerome; on Matt. 27:16. This agrees with the reading of the Hebrew DuTillet version of Matthew which has
“Bar Rabbah” meaning “Son of a Master”.
168 “We read in the Gospel of the Nazarenes that… They had also bribed the same soldiers to the end that
they crucified him as it is said in John 19.” (Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift
14th-15th Century, foll. 44r)
28 And then the soldiers of the governor took Yeshua, and delivered him to
them in the judgment hall, and gathered to him the whole crowd.
29 And they stripped him, and robed him in a scarlet tunic,
30 and encircled his head with thorns for a crown, and placed a reed in his
right hand, and bowed their knees before him, and mocked him, saying,
"Shalom to you, king of the Jews!"
31 And they spit upon him, and they took the reed, and smote him on the
head.
32 And after that they had ridiculed him, they stripped him of his tunic, and
clothed him in his own garments, and led him away to be crucified.
33 And as they were going out, they found a man of Cyrene, whose name
was Shim'on, and he they brought to carry his gallows.
34 And when they had come to the place which is termed Gulgolta,
35 they gave him wine mingled with gall169, and when he had tasted, he
would not drink.
36 Then said Yeshua, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they
do."
37 At this word many thousands of the Jews who were standing around the
gallows became believers.170
38 And after they had crucified him, they parted his garments, and cast lots,
to fulfill that which was spoken by the mouth of the prophet, who said,
"They part my garments among them,
and upon my garment they cast lots.’171
39 And they sat down and guarded him.
40 And they set his sentence above his head, and thus it was written:
THIS IS YESHUA, KING OF THE JEWS.
41 Then were crucified with him two robbers, one on the right hand, and one
on the left hand.
42 And all they that passed by were reviling him, and nodding their
heads172,
43 saying, "Aha! You that destroy the Temple of Elohim, and in three days
169 Ps. 69:22(21)
170 “As it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes:…” (Haimo of Auxerre; Comm. On Is. 53:2); “[Father
forgive them, for they know not what they do.] Note that in the Gospel of the Nazarenes we have to read
that at this virtuous discourse of Messiah eight thousand were later converted to the faith; namely three
thousand on the day of Pentecost as stated in the Acts of the Apostles 2 [2:41], and subsequently five
thousand about whom we are informed in the Acts of the Apostles 10 [this likely refers to Acts 4:4 rather
than 10].” (Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th Century, foll. 55r)
171 Psalm 22:19(18)
172 Psalm 22:8(7)
build it, save yourself. If you be the Son of Elohim, come down from the
gallows."
44 And likewise the Chief Cohenim reviled him, with the scribes and elders,
45 saying, "He saved others, but himself he cannot save. If he is the king of
Yisrael, let him now come down from this gallows, and we will believe in
him.
46 He believed in Elohim, let him deliver him now, if he delight [in
him]173, for he said, 'I am the Son of Elohim.'"
47 And so likewise the robbers, which were crucified with him, reproached
him.
48 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the
ninth hour.
49 And at the ninth hour Yeshua cried with a loud voice, and said, "My El,
my El, why have you forsaken me?"174
50 And some of the men that stood by, when they heard, and said, "He calls
for Eliyahu."
51 And one of them ran right away, and took the sponge, and filled it with
vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.175
52 But the others said, "Let be, and let us see if Eliyahu will come to deliver
him.
53 Then Yeshua cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.
54 And, behold, the earth did quake, the lintel of the Temple of wondrous
size was broken and even forced asunder176, the veil of the Temple was torn
in two from the top to the bottom, and, and the rocks were torn,
55 and the sepulchers were opened, and many bodies of the set-apart ones,
which were laid, arose,
56 and went out from the sepulchers after his resurrection, and entered into
the set-apart city, and were seen by many.
57 And the centurions which were with Yeshua, to guard him, when they
saw the earthquake, and those things that had come to pass, were
exceedingly afraid, and said, "In truth, he was the Son of Elohim."
58 Now many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Yeshua
173 Psalm 22:9(8)
174 Psalm 22:2(1)
175 Psalm 69:22(21)
176 “But in the Gospel which is written in Hebrew characters we read not that the veil of the Temple was
rent, but that the lintel of the Temple of wondrous size was broken and even forced asunder.” –Jerome;
Letter 120 to Hedibia; Jerome on Mat. 27:51; “Also in the Gospel of the Nazarenes we read that at the time
of Messiah’s death the lintel of the Temple, of immense size, had split (Josephus says the same and adds
that overhead awful voices were heard which said: ‘Let us depart from this abode). (Historia passionis
Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th Century, foll. 65r)
from Galil, serving him,
59 among who was Miriam the From Magdala, and Miriam Bat Ya'akov,
and the mother of Yosef, and the mother of Zavdai.
60 And when it was evening, there came one rich man from HaRamatayim,
whose name was Yosef, and he also was a talmid of Yeshua.
61 And he approached Pilate, and asked the body of Yeshua. Then Pilate
commanded the body of Yeshua to be given.
62 And Yosef took the body of Yeshua, and wrapped it in pure linen,
63 and placed it in his new sepulcher, which was cut out of the rock. Then
he rolled the great stone over the door of the sepulcher, and went his way.
64 And there were there, Miriam from Magdala, and the other Miriam's,
sitting over against the sepulcher.
65 Now on the next day, which was following the search for leaven, the
Chief Cohenim and P'rushim came together to Pilate,
66 Saying, "My master, we remember that this deceiver said before three
days I will rise again.
67 Therefore give command to guard the sepulcher until the third day, lest
his talmidim enter, and steal him away, and say to the people, that he has
risen from the dead, so the last error will be worse than the first."
68 And Pilate said to them, "Behold, you have a guard, go, and keep guard
as you know." And he delivered to them armed men, that they might sit over
against the cave and keep it day and night177.
69 So they went, and made the sepulcher inaccessible with guards, and
sealed the stone.
CHAPTER 28
1 And when the Sabbath had passed, as it dawned toward the first day of the
week178, came Miriam from the Magdala and the other Miriam to see the
sepulcher.
2 And, behold, there had been a great earthquake, for the angel of YHWH
had descended from heaven, <and approached> and rolled away the stone
from the door, and sat on it.
3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his garments like snow,
4 and for fear of him the guards trembled, and became as dead.
5 And the angel answered and said to the woman, "Fear you not, I know that
177 Some Greek manuscripts of Matthew have a marginal note which reads “The Judaikon has ‘And he
delivered to them armed men, that they might sit over against the cave and keep it day and night.”
178 Toldot Yeshu 5:1 ia s parody on this verse.
you are seeking Yeshua.
6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said179. Come now, and see the place
wherein HaAdon was laid.
7 And go now right away, and tell his talmidim that he has risen from the
dead, and behold, he goes before to Galil, and there will you see him, and
behold, I have told you."
8 And Shim’on went out and Yochanan, and they came to the sepulcher.
9 And both of them were running together, but Yochanan ran before
Shim’on and came first to the sepulcher.
10 And he looked in and saw the linen clothes put off, but he in no way
11 And Shim’on came after him and entered the sepulcher and saw the linen
cloths put off.
12 And the head cloth that had been wrapped around his head, not with the
linen cloths, but folded and put aside in one place.
13 Then entered also that talmid that had come to the sepulcher first, and he
saw and believed.
14 For they did not yet know from the scriptures that he was to arise from
among the dead.
15 And the talmidim went again to their place.180
16 And Miriam was standing by the grave and was crying. And as she cried,
she looked into the grave.
17 And she saw two angels in white who were sitting, one at the place of his
head and one at his feet, where the body of Yeshua had been laid.
18 And they said to her,Woman, why are you crying? She said to them,
Because they have taken my Adon, and I do not know where they have laid
him.
19 She said this and turned around and saw Yeshua standing. And she did
not know it was Yeshua.
20 Yeshua said to her,Woman, why are you crying, and whom do you seek?
And she thought that he was the gardener and said to him, My master, if you
have taken him, tell me where you have placed him, I will go and take him.
21 Yeshua said to her, Miriam. And she answered and said to him, Rabbuli,
which means teacher.
22 Yeshua said to her, Do not come near to me, for I have not yet ascended
to my father. But go to my brothers and tell them I ascend to my father and
your father, and my Elohim and your Elohim.
179 Toldot Yeshu 5:5 is a parody on this verse.
180 Verses 8-15 – This material would have served as the basis for Jn. 20:3-10 and Luke 24:12. Its presence
is also implied by the reference to the linen cloth which is referred to in verses 27-30 and because it sets up
the context for verses 16-23. It has been restored from Jn. 20:3-10.
23 Then Miriam from Magdala came and declared to the talmidim that she
had seen our Adon, and that he had told her these things181.
24 And they having went out quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great
joy, and ran to tell his talmidim.
25 And as they were going to tell his talmidim, behold, Yeshua came to
meet them, saying, "Shalom be with you." And, behold, they approached
and held him by the feet, and worshiped him.
26 Then said Yeshua to them, "Fear you not, go now and tell my brothers
that they go to Galil, for there will they see me."
27 Now the Adon, when he had given the linen cloth to the servant of the
cohen, went to Ya'akov and appeared to him.
28 And the Adon said "Bring a table and bread."
29 He took the bread and blessed and broke and gave it to Ya'akov
HaTzadik and said to him,
30 My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them
that sleep182.
31 And behold, some of the guards came to the city, and told the Chief
Cohenim all that had come to pass.
32 And when they had assembled the elders, and had taken counsel, they
gave much money to the soldiers,
33 Saying, "Say you, that his talmidim came by night, and stole him away
while we lay down.
34 And if this should be heard by the governor, we will persuade him, and
secure you."
35 So they took the money, and did as they were taught, and the saying is
common among the Jews until this day.
36 And when he came to Kefa, and those who were with Kefa, he said to
them,
37 “Take, handle me, and see that I am not a bodiless spirit”. And forthwith
181 Verses 16-23 are restored from Jn. 20:11-17 on the basis that Toldot Yeshu 5:16-20 is a parody on these
verses.
182 verses 27-30 “Also the Gospel called according to the Hebrews, recently translated by me into Greek
and Latin, which Origin often uses, says after the resurrection of the Savior: ‘Now the Lord, when he had
given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him (for James had sworn
that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drunk the Lord’s cup until he should see him
risen from among them that sleep). And a little further on the Lord says, ‘Bring a table and bread.’ And
immediately it is added, ‘He took bread…” –Jerome, On Illustrious Men, 2; This event is referred to in
1Cor. 15:7 but is not recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. “The appearance to Ya'akov (James), ...is
not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament but is reported in one of the apocryphal books, the Gospel
according to the Hebrews...” (Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern on 1Cor. 15:7)
they touched and believed, being convinced both by his flesh and spirit.;183
38 Then his eleven talmidim went away to Galil, to a mountain were Yeshua
had appointed them.
39 And they saw him, and worshiped him, but some doubted.
40 And Yeshua approached and spoke to them, saying,
"All authority is given me in heaven and earth.
41 Go you therefore, and teach all the Goyim,
and immerse them in the name of the Father, and the Son,
and the Ruach HaKodesh,
42 and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you,
and here am I with you all the days, to the end of the world.
CHAPTER 29
1 And while he ate bread with them, he commanded them that they should
not depart from Yerushalayim, but that they should wait for the promise of
the Father, which you have heard from me.
2 For Yochanan immersed in water, but you will be immersed in Ruach
HaKodesh after not many days.
3 And while they were assembled, they asked him and said to him, Our
Adon, will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Yisra'el?
4 He said to them, This is not yours to know the time of times that the Father
has placed in his own authority.
5 But when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you, you will receive power,
and you will be witnesses for me in Yerushalayim and in all Y'hudah and
also among the Samaritans, even unto the ends of the earth.
6 And while he had said these things, while they watched him, he was taken
up, and a cloud received him and he was hidden from their eyes.
7 And while they were gazing into heaven, while he was departing, two men
were found standing near them in white garment.
8 And they said to them, men of Galil, why do you stand and gaze into
183 Verses 36-37 “Of the Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp. In it he also inserts a testimony about the person
of Messiah, from the Gospel which was recently translated by me; his words are “But I both saw him in the
flesh after the resurrection, and believe that he is in the flesh: and when he came to Peter,…” –Jerome; of
Illustrious Men 16 and Comm. On Isa. Preface to book 18. Actually the quote is from Ignatious to the
Smyraneans 3:1-2 (1:9-12 in some editions) (Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna); Eccl. Hist. 3:36 indicates
this also appeared in a now lost work called the Doctrine of Peter.; see Lk. 24:36-39
heaven? This Yeshua who was taken up from you into heaven will come in
the same manner like you have seen him who ascended into heaven.
9 And afterward, they returned to Yerushalayim from the mountain that is
Beit Zayta, which was near Yerushalayim and distant from it about a
Sabbath day’s journey.
10 And after they entered, they went up into an upper room in which lived
Peter and Yochanan and Ya'akov and Andrew and Philip and T'oma and
Matti and Bar Talmai and Ya'akov Bar Chalfai, and Shim’on, the zealot, and
Y'hudah Bar Ya'akov.
11 All of these as one were steadfast in prayer with one nefesh with the
women and with Miriam, the mother of Yeshua, and with his brothers.
12 And in those same days, Shim’on Kefa stood up in the midst of the
talmidim (now there was there a gathering of about one hundred and twenty
men) and said,
13 Men, our brothers, it was right that the scripture be fulfilled which the
Ruach HaKodesh foretold by the mouth of David about Y'hudah, who was a
guide to those who seized Yeshua,
14 Because he was numbered with us and had a portion in this service.
15 For it is written in the Book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate
and let no one be a dweller in it184, and let another take his service185.
16 And it is right therefore for one of these men who were with us during
this whole time in which our Adon Yeshua entered and went out among us,
17 Who began from the immersion of Yochanan until the day that he was
taken up from being with us, to be a witness of his resurrection with us.
18 And they caused two to stand, Yosef, who was called Bar Sabba, who
was named Justus, and Mattityahu who was called Levi186.
19 And when they prayed they said, You, YHWH, know that which is in the
hearts of all; show the one that you have chosen of these two,
20 That he might receive a portion of the service and emissariship from
which Y'hudah departed to go to his place.
21 And they cast lots, and it fell upon Mattityahu. And he was numbered
with the eleven emissaries.
184 Psalm 69:26(25)
185 Psalm 109:8
186 “It seems that Matthew is named Levi in the Gospel according to Luke. But they are not the same, but
Matthias who replaced Judas and Levi are the same with a double name, this appears from the Gospel
according to the Hebrews.” (Didymus the Blind; Comm. On Psalms K-R, 198)
Appendix I
The Immersion Account
In regards to the account of Yeshua’s immersion Jerome gives us a citation of the
Nazarene while Epiphanius gives a citation of the Ebionite version of the same
event. On the surface it might appear that each of these are citing unrelated
documents. However the very early writer Justin Martyr makes use of an account
of this story in two consecutive sections of his Dialogue which makes it apparent
that he was familiar with the account expressed in GH and which seems to
reconcile the two versions. It would appear that Jerome and Epiphanius may each
be citing partial quotes. In the reconstruction I have therefore made use of both of
them in reconstructing the original reading of GH. The following chart illustrates
the point:
Nazarene Version Ebionite Version Justin Martyr
When the Lord ascended
from the water, the whole
fount of the Holy Spirit
descended and rested upon
him, and said to him, “My
Son, in all the prophets I
was waiting for you, that
you might come, and
that I might rest in you.
For you are my rest; and
you are my firstborn son,
who reigns forever.
(Jerome; Commentary on
Is. 11:2)
And as he came up from the
water, the heavens was
opened and he saw the
Holy Spirit in the form of a
dove that descended and
entered into him. And a
voice sounded from
Heaven that said:
"You are my beloved Son,
in you I am well pleased. "
And again: " I have this day
begotten you".
And immediately a great
light shone round about the
place. When John saw this,
it is said, he said unto him :
"Who are you, Lord?"
And again a voice from
Heaven rang out to him:
"This is my beloved Son in
whom I am well pleased."
(Epiphanius, Panarion
30.13.7-8)
The Scripture says that
these enumerated powers of
the Spirit have come upon
him… because they would
rest in him… So that there
would be no more prophets
after the ancient custom.
(He explains that each
prophet had received one or
more gifts of the Spirit, but
Jesus had received all the
powers of the Spirit.)
(Justin; Dial. lxxxvii)
And when Jesus had come
to the river Jordan where
John was baptizing, when
Jesus had gone down to the
water both a fire was
kindled, and when he had
gone up from the water the
Holy Spirit is recorded… to
have lighted upon him as a
dove.
(Justin; Dial. lxxxviii)
Appendix II
A Fragment from an Apostate Version
Among citations attributed to GH is a citation which (as it is presented at
least) cannot be an authentic portion of the original text of GH due to its
clearly apostate nature.
The context of the citation Cyril of Jerusalem sends for a monk from
Maioma of Gaza who has been teaching apostate doctrines. The account of
his questioning of the Monk goes as follows:
It is written in the Gospel to the Hebrews that when Christ wished to
come upon the earth to men, the good Father called a mighty power in
the heavens which was called Michael, and committed Christ to the
care thereof. And the power came down into the world and it was
called Mary, and Christ was in her womb seven months. Afterwards
she gave birth to him, and he increased in stature, and he chose the
apostles, . . . 'was crucified, and taken up by the Father'. Cyril asked:
Where in the Four Gospels is it said that the holy Virgin Mary the
mother of god is a force? The monk said: In the Gospel to the
Hebrews. Then, said Cyril, there are five Gospels? Where is the fifth?
The monk said: It is the Gospel that was written to the Hebrews.
(From a Discourse on Mary by Cyril of Jerusalem)
This was clearly a corrupt version, if this material appeared in any version of
GH at all it may be that the original read "and it came near (brq) to
Miriam" but was at some point miscopied “and it was called ()rq) Miriam”
Thus the original reading may have been:
When Messiah wished to come upon the earth to men, the good Father
called a mighty power in the heavens which was called Michael, and
committed Messiah to the care thereof. And the power came down
into the world and it came near to Miriam, and Messiah was in her
womb seven months. Even with this modification the material has
apostate implications.
Appendix III
The Story of the Sparrows
The account of the sparrows is given in GH 10:28-35.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but cannot kill the nefesh,
but fear you him which can destroy both nefesh and body in Gey Hinnom.
29 Now the young boys of Galil were making birds of clay.
30 And Yeshua fashioned thereof twelve sparrows.
31 And Yeshua clapped his hands together and cried out to the sparrows
and said to them, “Go!”
32 and the sparrows took their flight and went away chirping.
33 Then he spoke saying:
Are not two sparrows sold for the smallest coin?
and one of them will not fall on the ground without your Father.
34 But the very locks of your hair are all numbered.
35 Fear you not therefore, for you are better than many sparrows.
The source for this material is somewhat complex. The Toldot Yeshu gives
this account as follows:
Now the men of Galilee were making birds of clay. And he spoke the
letters of the Ineffable Name and they flapped their wings.
(Toldot Yeshu 3:16)
Now this account is a parody on the original account which must have
appeared in GH.
Our next source is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas which has:
Jesus… having made soft clay, he fashioned thereof
twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when he did
these things…And a certain Jew when he saw what
Yeshua did… departed straightway and told his father
Joseph: Lo, your child is at the brook, and he has taken
clay and fashioned little birds, and polluted the Sabbath
day. And Joseph came to the place and saw: and cried out to him, saying: Wherefore do you these things on the
Sabbath which it is not lawful to do? But Jesus clapped
his hands together and cried out to the sparrows and said
to them: Go! and the sparrows took their flight and went
away chirping. And when the Jews saw it they were amazed,
and departed and told their chief men that which they had
seen Jesus do.
(Infancy Gospel of Thomas 2:2-5)
Now let us return to the reference in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The
authors of this Infancy Gospel often filled in the missing years of Yeshua’s
life by transplanting events from Yeshua’s adulthood into his childhood.
Among these are the resurrection of a dead child and the feeding of a
multitude. It is therefore no surprise to us that Thomas has transplanted the
animation of the clay sparrows from Yeshua’s adulthood (as in the Toldot
Yeshu) to his childhood.
Or final source for this tradition is the recurrence of this tradition in the
Quran:
O Jesus, son of Mary… how you did shape of clay
as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission,
and did blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission.
(Quran; Surah 5:110 see also Surah 3:49)
Now this author does not accept the Quran as authoritative, nor does he
accept Muhammed as a prophet, however as was pointed out in the
introduction, some scholars have maintained that there was a relationship
between the ancient Ebionites and the roots of early Islam187 Where did
Muhammed get this tradition from? He could easily have received it from
the Ebionites who would have had the incident recorded in the Gospel
according to the Hebrews.
Now because of literary parallels between the text of Toldot Yeshu 3 and the
synoptic Gospels in the material which parallels Matthew 10-12 it would
seem that this story occurs somewhere in the portion of GH which
corresponds with Matthew 10-12.
187 James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead
Sea Scrolls; Robert Eisenman; 1997
fits perfectly in-between Matthew 10:28 and Matthew 10:29.
In Matthew 10:28 Yeshua says:
And fear not them which kill the body, but cannot kill the nefesh,
but fear you him which can destroy both nefesh and body in Gey
Hinnom.
Then Yeshua demonstrates his power over life and death:
Now the young boys of Galil were making birds of clay.
And Yeshua fashioned thereof twelve sparrows.
And Yeshua clapped his hands together and cried out to the sparrows
and said to them, “Go!”
and the sparrows took their flight and went away chirping.
Then Yeshua says in 10:29-31:
Are not two sparrows sold for the smallest coin?
and one of them will not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very locks of your hair are all numbered.
Fear you not therefore, for you are better than many sparrows.
Appendix 4
A List of Citations
Citations by Irenaeus
Fragment 1
But [the Ebionites] use only the Gospel which is according to Matthew, and
repudiate the Apostle Paul, calling him an apostate from the Law.
(against Heresies, 1:26:2)
Citations by Clement of Alexandria
Fragment 2
Also is written in the Goodnews according to the Hebrews
"He who... is amazed, ... will reign,
and having reigned he will rest."
(Stromateis i; 9; 45)
For those words (from Plato, Timaeus 90) have the same force as these:
"He who seeks will not cease until he
finds,
and having found he will be amazed,
and having been amazed he will reign,
and having reigned he will rest."
(Stromateis v; 14; 96)
Citations by Origen
Fragments 3 & 4
And if any accept it (ean de prosihtai tij) the Goodnews according to the
Hebrews (to kaq Ebraiouj euaggelion), where the savior himself says:
"Even now did my Mother the Holy
Spirit
take me by one of my hairs,
and carried me away
to the great mountain Tabor."
He will be perplexed.
(On John 2:12)
And if any one receives it (ei de tij paradexetai to):
"Even now did my Mother the Holy Spirit
take me ...
and carried me away
to the great mountain Tabor."
and the rest...
(On Jer. homily xv 4)
Jerome also records these words in Latin:
But in that Gospel written to the Hebrews,
which is read by the Nazarenes, the Lord
says:
A moment ago my mother, the Holy Spirit,
took me up.
Sed et in Evangelio quod juxta Hebraeos
scriptum, Nazaraei lectitant, Dominus
loquitur:
modo me tulit mater mea,
Spiritus sanctus.
(Jerome on Isaiah 40:9ff. also in Micah 7:6, and Ezekiel 16:13)
Fragment 5
It is written in a certain Gospel which is called according to the Hebrews
(scriptum est in evangelio quodam, quod dictur secundum Hebraeos)
(if at least anyone care to accept it, not as authoritative, but to throw light on
the question before us):
The other of the two rich men said to him:
Master, what good thing must I do
that I may live? He said to him,
"Man fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
He answered him, "That I have done."
He said to him, "Go and sell all that you
possess and distribute it among the poor,
and then come and follow me."
But the rich man began to scratch his head
and it pleased him not.
And the Lord said to him,
"How can you say 'I have fulfilled the Law
and the Prophets?'
For it stands written in the Law,
"Love your neighbor as yourself"
and behold many of your brothers,
sons of Abraham, are begrimed with dirt
and die of hunger-- and your house is full
of many good things
and nothing at all comes forth from it to
them. And he turned and said to Simon,
his disciple, who was sitting by him,
"Simon, son of Jonah, it is easier for a
camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom
of Heaven."
dixit (inquit) ad eum alter divitum:
magister quid bonum faciens
vivam? dixet et:
homo, legem et prophetas fac.
respondit ad eum: feci.
dixit ei: vade, vende omnia quae
possides et divide pauperibus,
et veni, sequere me.
coepit autem dives scalpere caput
suum et non placuit ei.
et dixit ad eum dominus:
quomodo dicis: fei
legem et prophetas?
quoniam scriptum est in lege:
diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum
et ecce multi fraters tui
filli Abrahae, amiciti sunt stercore,
morientes prae fame, et domus tua
plena est multis bonis,
et non egreditur omnino aliquid ex ae
ad eos. Et converses dixit Simoni
discipulo suo sedenti apud se:
Simon, fili Ionae, facilius est
camelum intrare per foramen
acus quam divitem in regnum
caelerum.
(Origin; On Mt. 15:14 on 19:16ff in the Latin version)
Citations by Eusebius
Fragment 6
He [Papias] has set forth (or expounded) another story, about a woman
accused of many sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the
Hebrews also contains.
(Eccl. Hist 3:39:17)
Fragment 7
[Eusebius says of Hegesippus and his five volume work called Memoirs]
And from the Gospel according to the
Hebrews,
and from the Syriac
and particulars from the Hebrew
language
he makes extracts.
(Eccl. Hist. 4:22:8)
Fragment 8
But there are also some who number
among these [genuine books], the Gospel
according to the Hebrews, with which
those of the Hebrews that have received
Messiah are particularly delighted. These
may be said to be all concerning which
there is any dispute.
(Eccl. Hist. 3:25:5)
Fragment 9
[The Ebionites] used only the Gospel called according to the Hebrews.
(Eccl. Hist. 3:27:4)
Fragment 10
He (Messiah) himself taught the reason for the separations of souls that take
place in houses, as we have found somewhere in the Gospel that is spread
abroad among the Jews in the Hebrew tongue, in which it is said:
I choose for myself the most worthy:
the most worthy are those whom my Father
in heaven has given me.
(Eusebius; Theophania; preserved in Syriac 4:12 on Mt. 10:34-36)
Fragment 11
But since the Gospel [written] in
Hebrew characters which has come
into our hands enters the threat not
against the man who had hid [the
talent], but against him who had lived
dissolutely, for he [the master] had
three servants: one who squandered
his master's substance with harlots and
flute-girls, one who multiplied the
gain, and one who hid the talent; and
accordingly one was accepted (with
joy), another merely rebuked, and
another cast into prison, I wonder
whether in Matthew the threat which
is uttered after the word against the
man who did nothing may refer not to
him, but by epanalepsis to the first
who had feasted and drunk with the
drunken.
(Eusebius; Theophania on Mt. 25:14f)
Citations by Epiphanius
Fragment 12
They [the Nazarenes] have the Gospel according to Matthew quite complete
in Hebrew, for this Gospel is certainly still preserved among them as it was
first written, in Hebrew letters.
(Epiphanius; Panarion 29:9:4)
Fragment 13
In the Gospel that is in general use among them which is called "according
to Matthew ", which however is not whole and complete but forged and
mutilated - they call it the Hebrew Gospel- it is reported:
It came to pass there was a certain man
named Yeshua of about thirty years of
age, who chose us.
And when he came to Capernaum,
he entered into the house of Simon
whose surname is Peter, and opened his
mouth and said:
"As I passed the Lake of Tiberias,
I chose John and James the sons of
Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and
Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot and
Judas the Iscariot, and you, Matthew, I
called as you sat at the receipt of custom,
and you followed me. You, therefore, I
will to be twelve apostles for a testimony
unto Israel."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.2-3)
Fragment 14
And:
It came to pass that John was baptizing;
and there went out to him Pharisees
and were baptized, and all of Jerusalem.
And John had a garment of camel’s hair
and a leather girdle about his loins,
and his food, as it is said, was wild
honey, the taste if which was that of
manna, as a cake dipped in oil.
Thus they were resolved to pervert the truth into a lie and put a cake
in the place of locusts.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.4-5)
Fragment 15
And the beginning of their Gospel runs:
It came to pass in the days of Herod
the king of Judaea, when Caiaphas was
high priest, that there came one, John by
name, and baptized with the baptism of
repentance in the river Jordan.
It was said of him that he was of the
lineage of Aaron the priest, a son of
Zacharias and Elisabeth : and all went out
to him.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.6)
Fragment 16
And after much has been recorded it proceeds:
When the people were baptized, Jesus
also came and was baptized by John.
And as he came up from the water, the
heavens was opened and he saw the Holy
Spirit in the form of a dove that
descended and entered into him. And a
voice sounded from Heaven that said:
"You are my beloved Son, in you I am
well pleased. " And again: " I have this
day begotten you". And immediately a
great light shone round about the place.
When John saw this, it is said, he said
unto him: "Who are you, Lord?" And
again a voice from Heaven rang out to
him: "This is my beloved Son in whom I
am well pleased." And then, it is said,
John fell down before him and said: "I
beseech you, Lord, baptize me." But he
prevented him and said: "Suffer it; for
thus it is fitting that everything should be
fulfilled."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7-8)
Fragment 17
Moreover, they deny that he was a man,
evidently on the ground of the word
which the Savior spoke when it was
reported to him: "Behold, your mother
and your brethren stand without."
namely: "Who is my mother and who are
my brethren?" And he stretched his hand
towards his talmidim and said:
"These are my brethren and mother and
sisters, who do the will of my Father."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.14.5)
Fragment 18
They say that Messiah was not begotten of God the Father,
but created as one of the archangels ... that he rules over the angels and all
the creatures of the Almighty, and that he came and declared, as their
Gospel, which is called Gospel according to Matthew, or Gospel According
to the Hebrews, reports:
I am come to do away with sacrifices,
and if you cease not sacrificing,
the wrath of God will not cease from you.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.16,4-5)
Fragment 19
But they abandon the proper sequence of the words and pervert the saying,
as is plain to all from the readings attached,
and have let the disciples say:
"Where will you have us prepare the
Passover?" And him to answer to that:
"Do I desire with desire at this Passover
to eat flesh with you?"
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.22.4)
Citations by Jerome
Fragment 20
To these [citations where Mt. follows the Hebrew rather than the LXX]
belong the two:
Out of Egypt have I called my son. ex Aegypto vocaui filium meum.
And
For he shall be called a Nazarene. Quoniam Nazaraeus vocabitur.
(Jerome; of Illustrious Men 3)
Fragment 21
In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldee and
Syrian language, but in Hebrew characters, and is used by the Nazarenes to
this day (I mean the Gospel according to the Apostles, or, as is generally
maintained, the Gospel according to Matthew, a copy of which is in the
library at Caesarea), we find,
Behold, the mother of our Lord and His
brothers said to Him, John Baptist
baptizes for the remission of sins; let us
go and be baptized by him. But He said
to them, what sin have I committed that I
should go and be baptized by him?
Unless, erchance, the very words which I
have said is [a sin of] ignorance.
ecce mater domini et fratres eius dicebant
ei: Joannes baptista baptizat in
remissionem peccatorum, eamus et
baptizemur ab eo. dixit autem eis:
quid peccaui, ut uadam et baptizer ab eo?
nisi forte hoc ipsum quod dixi ignorantia
est.
(in Jerome, Against Pelagius III.2)
Fragment 22
And in the same volume,
If your brother sin against
you in word, and make
amends to you, receive
him seven times in a
day."
Simon, His disciple, said
to Him, "Seven times in
a day?" The Lord
answered and said to him,
"I say
unto you until seventy
times seven."
Even the prophets, after
they were anointed with
the Holy Spirit, were
guilty of a word of sin.
si peccauerit (inquit)
frater tuus in uerbo et
satus tibi fecerit, septies in
die suscipe eum dixit illi
Simon discipulus eius:
septies in die?
Respondit dominus
et dixit ei: eliam ego dico
tibi, usque septuagies
septies,
etenim in prophetis quoque
postquam uncti sunt
spiritu sancto, inuentus est
sermo peccati.
(in Jerome, Against Pelagius III.2) (Greek taken from Judaikon)
Fragment 23
According to the Gospel written in the Hebrew speech, which the Nazarenes
read (euangelium quod Hebraeo sermone conscriptum legunt Nazaraei), the
whole fount of the Holy Spirit shall descend upon him....Further in the
Gospel which we have just mentioned we find the following written
(scripta):
When the Lord ascended from the water,
the whole fount of the Holy Spirit
descended and rested upon him, and said
to him, "My son, in all the prophets I was
waiting for you, that you might come, and
that I might rest in you.
For you are my rest; and you are my
firstborn son, who reigns forever."
Factum est autem cum ascendisset
dominus de aqua, descendit fons omnis
spiritus sancti, et requieuit super eum, et
dixit illi: fili mi, in omnibus prophetis
exspectabam te, ut uenires, et
recquiescerem in te. Tu es enim requies
mea, tu es filus meus primogenitus, qui
regnas in sempiternum.
(in Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah 11:2)
Fragment 24
And in the Gospel according to the Hebrews,
which the Nazaraeans are accustomed to read, one of the greatest sins is:
He who grieves the spirit of one's brother. qui fratris sui spiritum contristaurit.
(in Jerome Commentary on Ezekiel 18:7)
Fragment 25
As also we read in the Hebrew Gospel that the Lord spoke to his disciples:
And never, (he said) be joyful except
when you look on your brother with love.
et numquam (inquit) laeti sitis, nisi cum
fratrem uestrum uideritis in caritate.
(Jerome on Ephesians 5:4)
Fragment 26
--Also the gospel called according to the Hebrews, recently translated by me
into Greek and Latin, which Origen often uses, says after the resurrection of
the Savior:
Now the Lord, when he had given the linen
cloth to the servant of the priest, went to
James and appeared to him (for James had
sworn that he would not eat bread from that
hour in which he had drunk the Lord's cup
until he should see him risen from among
them that sleep).
dominus autem, cum dedisset sindonem
seruo sacerdotis iuit ad Iacobum et
apparuit ei. eurauerat enim Iacobus se
non comesurum panem ab illa hora qua
biberat calicem domini, donec uideret eum
resurgentem a dormientibus.
And a little further on (rursusque post paululum),
Bring (said the Lord) a table and bread. adferte (ait dominus) mensam et panem.
And immediately it is added,
He took bread and blessed and broke and
gave it to James the Just and said to him,
‘My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of
man is risen from among them that sleep.'
tulit panem et benedixit et fregit et dedit
Iacobo iusto iusto et dixit ei: frater mi,
comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit filus
hominis a dormientibus.
(in Jerome, On Illustrious Men, 2)
Fragment 27
In the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews instead of "essential to
existence" (supersubstantiali pane) I found "mahar" (rxm), which means
"of tomorrow" (crastinum), so that the sense is:
Our bread of tomorrow (that is
of the future) give us this day.
Panem nostrum crastinum (id est
futurum) da nobis hodie.
(On Mt. 6:11)
In the Hebrew Gospel according to Matthew it is thus:
Our bread of tommorrow (that is of the future)
give us this day.
That is, "The bread which you will give us in the Kingdom, give us this
day".
(On. Ps. 135)
Fragment 28
Matthew, who wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew speech, put it thus:
Osanna barrama, i.e. Osanna in the highest.
(Letter to Damasus 20)
Fragment 29
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use which I have lately
translated into Greek from the Hebrew and which is called by many people
the original of Matthew (Matthaei authenticum), this man who has the
withered hand is described as a mason, who prays for help in such words as
these:
I was a mason seeking a livelihood
with my hands: I pray you Yeshua,
to restore me my health,
that I may not beg meanly for food.
caementarius eram, minibus uictum
quaeritans; precor te, Iesu,
ut mihi restituas sanitatem,
ne turpiter mendicem cibos.
(Jerome; On. Mt. 12:13)
Fragment 30
Bethlehem of Judaea. This is a mistake of the scribes: for I think it was
originally expressed by the Evangelist as we read in the Hebrew: "of Judah"
not "of Judaea".
(On. Mt. 2:6)
Fragment 31
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, instead of
"son of Barachias" we have found written "son of Joiada."
(Jerome; On. Mt. 23:35)
Fragment 32
Barabbas... is interpreted in the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews
as "son of their teacher" (filius magistri eorum)
(Jerome; On. Mt. 27:16)
Fragment 33
But in the Gospel which is written in Hebrew characters
we read not that the veil of the Temple was rent, but that:
the lintel of the Temple of wondrous size
was broken and even forced asunder.
superliminare templi infinitae magnitudinis
fractum esse atque diuisum.
(Jerome; Letter 120 to Hedibia and On. Mt. 27:51)
Fragment 34
Of the Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp. In it he also
inserts a testimony about the person of Messiah, from the Gospel which was
recently translated by me; his words are:
Jerome’s words: Ignatius’ actual words: Ignatius’ actual Greek
But I both saw him in the
flesh after the resurrection,
and believe that he is in
the flesh:
And when he came
to Peter, and those who
were with Peter, he said to
them,
"Lo, feel me and see
that I am not
a bodiless spirit. And
forthwith they touched him
and believed.
But I know that even
after his resurrection,
he was in the flesh;
and I believed he is still so.
And when he came
to those who
with Peter, he said to
them,
“Take, handle me, and see
that I am not
a bodiless spirit. And
forthwith they
touched and believed;
being convinced both by
his flesh and spirit.
(Jerome; Of Illustrious Men 16)
For since the apostles believed him to be
spirit according to the Gospel which is of
the Hebrews and is read by the Nazarenes,
a bodiless spirit, he said to them.
Cum enim Apostoli eum putarent spiritum,
vel juxta Evangelium, quod Hebraeorum
lectitant Nazaraei, incorporale daemonium,
dixit eis.
(Jerome; Comm. on Isa. Preface to Book 18)
Citation by Didymus the Blind (teacher of Jerome)
(313-398 CE)
Fragment 35
It seems that Matthew is named Levi in the Gospel according to Luke. But
they are not the same, but Mathias who replaced Judas and Levi are the same
with a double name, this appears from the Gospel according to the
Hebrews.
(Didymus the Blind; Comm. on Psalms K-R, 198)
Various Citations from the Middle Ages
Fragment 36
As it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes:
At this word of the Lord
many thousands of the Jews who were
standing round the cross became believers.
Sicut enim in Evangelio Nazarenorum
habetur, ad hanc vocem Domini
multa milla Iudaeorum adstantium
circa crucem crediderunt.
(Haimo of Auxerre; Com. on Is. 53:2)
Fragment 37
In the Gospel books which the Nazarenes use we read:
(in libris euangeliorum quibus utuntur Nazareni legitur quod):
Rays went forth from his eyes,
by which they were frightened and fled.
Radii prodierunt ex oculis
Eius quibus territi fugabantur.
(Marginal note in Aurora of Peter of Riga manuscript)
Fragment 38
These eight days of Passover, at which Messiah the son of G-d rose again,
signify eight days after the recurrence of the Passover, at which the seed of
Adam will be judged, as is proclaimed in the Gospel of the Hebrews; and fo
this reason the learned believe that the day of judgement will be at "Easter"
time, because on that day Christ rose again, that on that day also the saints
should rise again.
(cited in the Catechese celtique of the Breton Vaticanus Reginus, lat. 49;
Studi e Testi 59, 1933, p. 58)
Fragment 39
For thus the Gospel which is entitled According to the Hebrews reports:
When Joseph looked out with his eyes,
he saw a crowd of pilgrims who were
coming in company to the cave,
and he said: I will arise and go out to meet them.
And when Joseph went out, he said to Simon:
It seems to me as if those coming were soothsayers,
for lo, every moment they look up to heaven and
confer one with another.
But they seem also to be strangers, for their
appearance differs from ours;
for their dress is very rich and their
complexion quite dark; they have caps on their heads
and their garments seem to me to be silky, and they
have breeches on their legs. And lo, they have halted
and are looking at me, and lo,
they have again set themselves
in motion and are coming here.
From these words it is clear that not merely three men, but a crowd of
pilgrims came to the Lord, even if according to some the foremost leaders of
this crowd were named with the definite names Melchus, Caspar and
Phadizarda.
(Sedulius Scotus, Com. On Mt.; MSS: Berlin, Phill. 1660,
saec. IX, fol. 17v; Vienna 740, saec. IX, fol. 15r.v.; cited by Bischoff in
Sacris Erudiri VI,1954, 203f.)
Fragment 40
[a woman with an issue of blood] named Mariosa.
(Comm. on Mt. 9:20; MS: Wurzburg, M. p. th. fol. 61, 8th-9th Century;
cited
by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252)
Fragment 41
"a man" by name Malchus and he was a mason.
(Comm. on Mt. 12:10; MS: Wurzburg, M. p. th. fol. 61, 8th-9th Century;
cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252)
Fragment 42
"the queen", namely Meroe, "of the South" that is Ethiopia.
(Comm. on Mt. 12:42; MS: Wurzburg, M. p. th. fol. 61, 8th-9th Century;
cited by Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954, 252)
Fragment 43
"the daughter", that is the synagogue, whose name is Mariossa.
(Historical Commentary on Luke 8:42; MS: Clem. 6235 fol. 55v, cited by
Bischoff op. cit., 262)
Fragment 44
In these cities (namely Chorazin and Bethsaida)
many wonders have been wrought, as their number
the Gospel according to the Hebrews gives 53.
(Historical Commentary on Luke 10:13; MS: Clem. 6235 fol. 56r, cited by
Bischoff in Sacris Erudiri VI, 1954. p. 262))
Fragment 45
"the queen of the south" whose name is Meruae.
(Historical Commentary on Luke 11:31; MS: Clem. 6235 fol. 57v, cited by
Bischoff op. cit., 262)
Fragment 46
[And he wiped their feet.] And as it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes:
He kissed the feet of each of them.
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th
Century, foll. 25v)
Fragment 47
And how the angel strengthened Messiah in his struggle in prayer, as is told
in the Gospel of the Nazarenes. And the same is also adduced by Anselm in
his lamentation: Be constant, Lord, for now comes the time in which through
thy passion mankind sold in Adam will be ransomed.
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th
Century, foll. 32r)
Fragment 48
In the Gospel of the Nazarenes the reason is given why John was known to
the high priest. As he was the son of the poor fisherman Zebedee, he had
often brought fish to the palace of the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. And
John went out to the damsel that kept the door and secured for her
permission for his companion Peter, who stood weeping loudly before the
door, to come in.
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th
Century, foll. 35r)
Fragment 49
We read in the Gospel of the Nazarenes that the Judeans bribed four soldiers
to scourge the Lord so severly that the blood might flow from every part of
his body. They had also bribed the same soldiers to the end that they
crucified him as it is said in John 19...
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th
Century, foll. 44r)
Fragment 50
[Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.]
Note that in the Gospel of the Nazarenes we have to read that at this
virtuous discourse of Messiah eight thousand were later converted to the
faith; namely three thousand on the day of Pentecost as stated in the Acts of
the Apostles 2 [2:41], and subsequently five thousand about whom we are
informed in the Acts of the Apostles 10 [this likely refers to Acts 4:4].
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th
Century, foll. 55r)
Fragment 51
Also in the Gospel of the Nazarenes we read that at the time of Messiah's
death the lintel of the Temple, of immense size, had split (Josephus says the
same and adds that overhead awful voices were heard which said: "Let us
depart from this abode).
(Historia passionis Domini; MS: Theolog. Sammelhandschrift 14th-15th
Century, foll. 65r)
Citation by Cyril of Jerusalem
Fragment 52
It is written in the Gospel to the Hebrews:
When Christ wished
to come upon the earth to men,
the good Father summoned
a mighty power in Heaven,
which was called Michael,
and entrusted Christ to the care thereof.
And the power came into the world
and it was called Mary,
and Christ was in her womb seven months.
Afterwards she gave birth to him,
and he increased in stature,
and he chose the emisaries,...
was crucified, and taken up by the Father.
Cyril asked: Where in the Four Gospels is it said that the holy Virgin Mary
the Mother of God is a force? The monk said: "In The Gospel to the
Hebrews." Then, said Cyril, there are five Gospels? Where is the fifth? The
monk said: "It is The Gospel that is written to the Hebrews."
(Cyril of Jerusalem, Discourse on Mary Theotokos 12a)
Citation by Stichometry of Nicephorus
Fragment 53
Doubted books of the New Testament:
Apocalypse of John, Apocalypse of Peter, Epistle of Barnabas, and Gospel
according to the Hebrews, 2,200 lines (300 lines less than Matthew).
Appendix 5
THE JUDAIKON
TO  IOUDAIKON
Some thirty-six or more Greek manuscripts of Matthew contain subscriptions preserving
readings of a Jewish version of Matthew called “the Judaikon” which is described as a
standard version on Zion, the Holy Mount, in Jerusalem. There was until the fourth
century a Nazarene Synagogue (commonly and wrongly called the “Church of the
Apostles”) on Mt. Zion which had been build from the stones of the Temple following its
destruction. None of the manuscripts
contain all of the notes but each of them contain some of them.
READING 1
( Mt. 4:5 )
Then the devil took him into the holy city; and set him on the pinnacle of the Temple.
The Judaikon has not “into the holy city” but “in Jerusalem”.
NOTES: This reading agrees with that of Luke 4:9 against canonical Matthew 4:5.
READING 2
( Mt. 5:22 )
but I say to you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be in
danger of the judgement…
The word [for] “without cause” is not written in some copies, nor in the Judaikon.
NOTES: + “without cause” = Western Type and their revisions (Codex D; Old Latin &
Latin Vulgate; Old Syriac and Peshitta) and the Byzantine Type (Majority Text, Textus
Receptus and Peshitta). –“without cause” = almost all (if not all) Alexandrian witnesses.
Also Hebrew Matthew (DuTillet, Munster and Shem Tob) all lack “without cause”. Final
point: according to the Talmud (b.Yoma 9b) at the time of the Second Temple “hatred
without cause” predominated.
READING 3
( Mt. 7:21-23 )
21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
iniquity.
The Judaikon has here, “If you are in my bosom and do not the will of my Father which
is in heaven, out of my bosom will I cast you away.”
NOTES: This is quite probably the writing being referred to by Clement (early Second
Century) in his Second Letter to the Corinthians where Clement says:
Also let us not fear men, but rather God. Wherefore, if
we should do such wicked things, the Lord has said,
“Though you should be joined to me, even in my very bosom
and not keep my commandments, I would cast you off,
and say to you, ‘Depart from me; I know not who you are,
you workers of iniquity.’”
(2Clement 4:5 (2:15 in some editions))
READING 4
( Mt. 10:16 )
Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, be you therefore wise as serpents
and as harmless as doves.
The Judaikon has “[wise] more than serpents”
READING 5
( Mt. 11:12 )
And from the days of Yochanan the immerser until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers
violence, and men of violence take it by force.
The Judaikon has “is ravished/plundered”
Notes: DuTillet Hebrew Matthew has here “the Kingdom of Heaven is constricted and
the forceful plunder (Nylzwg) it.
READING 6
( Mt. 11:25 )
At that time Yeshua answered and said, “I confess (logoumai) to you, O Father…
The Judaikon has “I give thanks/praise to you”
NOTES: Du Tillet & Munster have “thank you” Kdw) Shem Tob “praise” (xbt#y) ;
Old Syriac and Peshitta have “thank” ()dwm).
READING 7
( Mt. 12:40 )
For Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of
Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The Judaikon has not “three [days and three nights]” there [in the heart of the earth].
READING 8
( Mt. 15:5 )
…that which you might have been profited by me is a gift (dwron).
The Judaikon “corban [an offering] is what you should obtain from us.”
NOTES: “corban” (korban = Nbrq) agrees with Greek Mark 7:11 as well as the
Aramaic of the Old Syriac and Peshitta Versions.
READING 9
( Mt. 16:2-3 )
2: He answered and said unto them, *When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather:
for the sky is red.
3: And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye
hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the
times?*
What is marked with an asterisk is not found in other manuscripts, also it is not found in
the Judaikon.
NOTES: This text is also absent from the Aramaic of the Old Syriac.
READING 10
( Mt. 16:17 )
And Yeshua answered and said to him, “Blessed are you Shimon bar Yonah…
The Judaikon has “son of Yochanan”.
READING 11
( Mt. 18:22 )
Yeshua said to him, “I say not to you, ‘Until seven times’ but ‘until seventy times
seven’”.
The Judaikon has, immediately after the “seven times seven”, “for in the prophets,
after they were anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, there was found in them a word of
sin.
NOTES: This passage agrees with a reading of the Goodnews according to the Hebrews
(recorded in Jerome; adv. Pelag III 2). This single agreement has caused some scholars
to assume that the Judaikon is identical with this book, however one cannot draw that
conclusion from a single common reading.
READING 12
( Mt. 26:74 )
Then began he to curse and to swear, “I know not the man,” and right away the rooster
crowed.
The Judaikon “and he denied and swore and cursed.”
NOTES: Shem Tob has “then he began to deny (rwpkl) and to swear that at no time had
he known him…”
READING 13
( Mt. 27:65 )
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard, go make it sure as you can.”
The Judaikon has “And he delivered to them armed men, that they might sit over gainst
the cave and keep it day and night.”
A
NAZARENE
COMMENTARY
ON
THE
GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO
THE
HEBREWS
Section 1
Messiah's birth in ...Bethlehem of Judah...
The birth of Messiah at Beit-Lechem is prophecied in
Micah 5:1 (5:3 in gentile versions) which reads:
And you, Beit-Lechem Efratah,
though you be little
` among the thousands of Judah,
yet out of you shall come forth to me
he that is to be ruler in Israel;
whose goings forth have been from old,
from everlasting.
The Targum on this prophecy reads:
And you, Beit-Lechem Efrat,
you who were to little to be numbered
among the thousands of the House of Judah,
from you shall come before me
the Messiah, to ruler over Israel;
he whose name was mentioned from before,
from the days of creation.
________________________________________________
Section 2
...When Joseph looked out with his eyes, he saw a crowd of pilgrims who were
coming in company
This entire segment of GH is unusually aggadic and may
actually come from an aggadic midrash on GH.
Here we have not the traditional three wise men of
Christendom, but a crowd of pilgrims.
to the cave, This agrees with the apocryphal Gospel known
as the Protoevangelion of James the Lesser
(ProtoEvangelion 15:9). This is especially interesting
because Schonfield has shown a close relationship between
the ProtoEvangelion and the DuTillet Hebrew version of
Matthew. There is no conflict with the Hebrew and
Aramaic of Matthew 2:11 which have the Hebrew word
BEIT which can refer to a house or any "place".
and he said: I will arise and go out to meet them.
And when Joseph went out, he said to Simon:
Shim'on was one of Yeshua's brothers ( Mt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3
) he later succeeded Ya'akov HaTzadik as Nasi of the
Nazarene Sanhedrin. His appearance in the story so early
is significant. If Shim'on was there then Miriam was not
Yosef's first wife. Yosef had sons from a previous
marraige.
It seems to me as if those coming were soothsayers,
for lo, every moment they look up to heaven and
confer one with another.
The Aramaic and Greek of Matthew identify these men as
"Magi". The Hebrew of DuTillet has "magicians". The
Shem Tob Hebrew has "astrologers" and in one place
"lookers at stars". They were certainly looking at the star
mentioned in Matthew chapter 2. This "star" reminds us of
Num. 24:17 which mentions a "star" as part of a Messianic
Prophecy.
But they seem also to be strangers, for their
appearance differs from ours;
for their dress is very rich and their
complexion quite dark;
they have caps on their heads
and their garments seem to me to be silky, and they
have breeches on their legs.
And lo, they have halted
and are looking at me, and lo,
they have again set themselves
in motion and are coming here....
From this description of their complection and dress they
would appear to be Persians.
___________________________________________
Section 3
...Out of Egypt have I called my son....
Here GH cites Hosea 11:1 and certainly applied it to
Yeshua.
Hosea 11:1 reads:
When Israel was a child, then I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called My son.
This passage draws from Exodus 4:22-23:
Then you shall say to Pharaoh,
"Thus says YHWH:
'Israel is my first-born son.
I have said to you, 'Let My son go,
that he may worship Me,'
yet you refuse to let him go.
Now I will slay your first-born son.'"
(Sh'mot (Ex.) 4:22-23)
Now if Israel is the first-born son of YHWH spoken of in
these passages, then why did GH as well as the Nazarene
writer Mattitiyahu apply this passage (Hoshea 11:1) to the
Messiah?:
So he [Yosef (Joseph)] got up,
took the child [Yeshua] and his mother,
and left during the night for Egypt,
where he stayed until Herod died.
This happened in order to fulfill
what YHWH had said through the
prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
(Mt. 2:14-15)
Now why in the world does YHWH (may his name be
blessed forever) identify Israel as His first born son? Why
does Mattitiyahu identify Messiah as His son? Who in
Judaism is the first-born Son of YHWH? Why the apparent
confusion? Is Mattitiyahu taking Hoshea 11:1 out of
context?
The Zohar tells us that the "Son of Yah" is a figure called
"Metatron" and the "Middle Pillar of the Godhead":
The Middle Pillar [of the Godhead] is Metatron,
Who has accomplished peace above,
According to the glorious state there.
(Zohar, vol. 3. Ra'aya Mehaimna, p. 227,
Amsterdam Edition)
Better is a neighbour that is near,
than a brother far off.
This neighbour is the Middle Pillar in the Godhead,
which is the Son of Yah.
(Zohar, vol. ii, Ra'aya Mehaimna ;p. 115,
Amsterdam Edition)
Moreover the Zohar teaches that Metatron is not just the
Son of Yah, but that he is "first begotten of all the creatures
of God":
"And Abraham said to his oldest servant
of his house" (Gen. 24:2)
Who is this of whom it said "his servant?"
In what sense must this be understood?
Who is this servant? R. Nehori answered:
"It is in no other sense to be understood
than expressed in the word "His servant,"
His servant, the servant of God, the chief
to His service. And who is he? Metatron,
as said. He is appointed to glorify
the bodies which are in the grave.
This is the meaning of the words
"Abraham said to His servant" that is
to the servant of God. The servant is
Metatron, the eldest of His [YHWH's]
House, who is the first-begotten of all
creatures of God, who is the ruler
of all He has; because God has committed
to Him the government over all His hosts.
(Zohar, Gen. ; Midrash HaNe'elam ; P. 126
Amsterdam Edition)
So in Judaism both Israel and "Metatron" are identified as
the "first-born Son of YHWH".
Who is this "Metatron" figure? According to the Zohar he
is the "Way to the tree of life" and the only mediator
between ELOHIM and man:
"To keep the way of the tree of life." (Gen. 3:24)
Who is the way to the tree of life?
It is the great Metatron, for he is
the way to that great tree, to that
mighty tree of life. Thus it is written, "The Angel of God, which went before the
camp of Israel, removed and went
behind them." (Ex. 14:19)
And Metatron is called the Angel of God.
Come and see, thus says R. Simeon.
The holy One, blessed Be He,
has prepared for Himself a holy Temple
above in the heavens, a holy city,
a city in the heavens, and called it Jerusalem,
the holy city. Every petition sent to the
King, must be through Metatron.
Every message and petition from here below,
must first go to Metatron, and from
thence to the king. Metatron is the
Mediator of all that comes from heaven
down to the earth, or from the earth
up to heaven. And because he is
the mediator of all, it is written "
And the Angel of God, which went
before the camp of Israel, removed; that is,
before Israel which is above." (Ex. 14:19)
This Angel of God is the same
of whom it is written "And YHWH went
before them" (Ex. 13:21) to go by day
and by night as the ancients
have expounded it. Whoever will speak
to me [says God] shall not be able to do so,
till he has made it known to Metatron.
thus the holy One, blessed be He,
on account of the great love to and mercy
with which He has over the Assembly of Israel, commits her (the Assembly)
to Metatron's care. What shall I do for Him
(Metatron)? I will commit my whole house
into His hand, etc. Henceforth be you
a Keeper as it is written "The Keeper of Israel"
(Ps. 121:4)
(Zohar; Vol. ii,, Exodus p. 51, Amsterdam Edition)
So when YHWH says in Sh'mot (Ex.) 4:22-23 and Hoshea
11:1 that Israel is his first-born son He must be speaking
allegorically. He is comparing Israel to Metatron. And
when GH and Mattitiyahu quote Hoshea 11:1 and apply
this sonship to Messiah he is referring to the reality behind
the allegory of Hosea 11:1 and Sh'mot 4:22-23. In effect
GH is saying that Yeshua the Messiah is the figure that
later Rabbinic Judaism came to call
"Metatron". Therefore the Torah in Sh'mot 4:22-23 is
prompting us that there is an allegorical relationship
between Israel and Messiah/Metatron.
So how is the Messiah allegorically like Israel?
• Both made a major impact on the world.
• Both were born through a biological
miracle on their mother's womb.
• Both were taken into Egypt to save their lives.
• Both are called up out of Egypt
• Both have been despised and rejected by man.
• Rome attempted to execute each of them.
• Both are resurrected never to die again.
By saying "Israel is my first-born son", ELOHIM is saying
that by oppressing Israel, it is as if Pharaoh was oppressing
the Son of Yah, the Messiah himself.
_______________________________________________
Section 4
...For he shall be called a Nazarene....
________________________________________________
Section 5
It came to pass in the days of Herod
the king of Judaea, A similar phrase appears in both
Matthew and Luke but in reference to another Herod (Mt. 2:1; Lk. 1:15)
when Kayafa was high priest, This phrase is similar to
Luke 3:2. Kayafa was appointed High Priest by Valerius
Gratus in 18 C.E. and served until 36 C.E.
that there came one, John by name, This phrase closely
parallels Mt. 3:1 and Mark 1:3.
and baptized with the baptism of repentance The term
"immersion of repentance" appears in all three synoptics
(Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3) as well as in Acts (Acts 13:24;
19:4). ) Baptism for uncleanness - The Mosaic Torah
requires "washings" for "uncleanness" (Lev. 13-15) which
can sometimes result from sin (Lev. 18:1ff). King David
was aware of this "washing" for cleansing from sin (Ps.
51:2, 7). The Qumran community are known to have
engaged in this type of immersion as early as 150 B.C.E.
(1Qs Col. 3 line 4f; Col 5 line 13; Damascus Document
Col. 10,lines 10-13). John the Baptist also taught this
immersion(Mt. 3:6, 11; Mk. 1:4-5; Lk. 3:2-3, 7; Acts 19:3-
4). The first century Jewish historian Josephus recorded
that John "...commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both
as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards
one another, and piety towards G-d, and so to come to
baptism [immersion] for that the washing would be
acceptable..." (Josephus; Ant. 18:5:2) Note that this was a
Jewish ritual being participated in by Pharisees and
Saducees (Mk. 1:5; Mt. 3:5-7 with Lk. 3:7).
in the river Jordan. The river Na'aman was immersed in
(2Kn. 5:8-14)
It was said of him that he was of the lineage of Aaron
the priest, a son of Zacharias and Elisabeth :
This passage parallels Luke 1:5 & 3:2. This would have
made Yochanan part of the high priestly line and would
have given him a high place in the Qumran community
which eteemed such individuals highly.
and all went out to him...
(Synoptic parallels to this phrase: Mt. 3:5; Mk. 1:5; Lk.
3:7)
________________________________________________
Section 6
...It came to pass that John was baptzing; and there
went out to him Pharisees and were baptized, Compare
Mt. 3:4; Mk. 1:4-5 & Jn. 1:24. That those being immersed
were the Pharisees become apparant from a combined
reading of Mt. 3:7 & Lk. 3:7.
and all of Jerusalem. Compare Mt. 3:5; Mk. 1:5; Lk. 3:7.
And John had a garment of camel's hair and a leather
girdle about his loins, and his food, as it is said, locusts
and wild honey.188... This passage parallels Mt. 3:4 and
Mk. 1:6 exactly. a garment of camel's hair demonstrates
that that by this time Yochanan was not an Essene, since
Essenes only wore white (Josephus; Wars 2:8:7)
188 "locusts and wild honey" (GH-n); "wild honey, the taste if which was that of manna,
as a cake dipped in oil" (GH-e)
locusts and wild honey Here GH(e) had EGKRIS (cakes)
where our canonical gospels have AKRIS (locusts).
Personally I think that Greek speaking Ebionites being
doctrinal vegitarians, altered locusts to cakes taking their
prompting from the LXX. We do know that the Qumran
community (which spawned John) included locusts as part
of their diet. Both Matthew and Mark tell us that John ate
locusts (Mt. 3:4; Mk. 1:6). (Of course Leviticus lists these
incects as kosher (Lev. 11:20-23)). The Dead Sea Scrolls
tell us that the Qumran community also made locusts as
part of their diet. In fact the Dead Sea Scrolls even tell us
how they were to be cooked (Dam. Doc. xii, 11-15).
___________________________________________
Section 7
...Behold, the mother of our Lord
and His brethren said to Him,
John Baptist baptizes for the remission of sins;
let us go and be baptized by him.
But He said to them, what sin have
I committed that I should go
and be baptized by him?
Unless, perchance, the very words
which I have said
is [a sin of] ignorance....
This passage raises the obvious question: If Yochanan
immersed unto the remission of sins (see Mt. 3:11; Mk.
1:4-5; Lk. 3:2-3, 7; Acts 19:3-4) and Yeshua was without sin (Heb. 4:15) then why should he be immersed for the
remission of sins? The potential of [a sin of] ignorance is
proposed as a possible reason. The concept of sinning in
ignorance is found in the Torah (Lev. 4:2, 22, 27; 5:15-18;
22:14) and in Hebrews (Heb. 9:7). Now Messiah gave up
certain qualities to become a man (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:7, 9,
14) and this apparantly included omniscience. In Luke we
are told that Messiah "grew and filled with wisdom" and
"increased in wisdom" (Lk. 2:40, 52) Even as an adult
Messiah did not have all of the knowledge the Father had
(Mk. 13:32). The possibility is presented in GH that
Messiah could have sinned in ignorance (which is not to
say that he did as Heb. 4:15 says that he did not). Yeshua
would not have known if he had sinned in ignorance
because by definition he would not have known.
_________________________________________
Section 8
...When the people were baptized,
Yeshua also came and was baptized by John.
[And] when the Lord ascended189 from the water,
the whole fount of190 the Holy Spirit191
descended and rested upon192 him,
189 "when the Lord ascended" (GH-n); "as he ascended" (GH-e)
190 "the whole fount of" (GH-n) ; "the heavens was opened and he saw" (GH-e)
191 "the Ruach HaKodesh" GH-e adds "in the form of a dove"
192 "and rested upon" (GH-n); "and entered into" (GH-e)
This passage points to Is. 11:2; 42:1 & 61:1. It also closely
parallels the Pseudepigraphal Testament of of the Twelve
Patriarchs which has:
The heavens will be opened,
and from the Temple of glory,
sanctification will come upon him,
with a Fatherly voice, as from Avraham to Isaac.
And the glory of the Most High
shall burst forth upon him.
And the Spirit of understanding,
and sanctification193 shall rest upon him in the water.
- Test. of Levi 18:6-7
GH(e) has in the form of a dove which may be an original
reading. This phrase does not appear in Greek Matthew
3:16 but it does appear in Greek Luke (Luke 3:22) and it
does appear in the Hebrew DuTillet Hebrew Matthew 3:16
as well as in the Siniatic Old Syriac Aramaic text of Mt.
3:16. rested GH(e) has "entered" but this seems to be a
doctrinally motivated alteration in the text. rested agrees
with Is. 11:1-4 which is fulfilled in this eventand with the
Old Syriac Aramaic of Mt. 3:16 which also reads "rested".
This reading also closely parallels the ShemTob Hebrew of
Mt. 3:16 which has "dwelt". And a voice sounded from
Heaven and said to him, appears in GH(e) This is what
Judaism calls a "bat-kol" a voice from heaven. "My son,
in all the prophets I was waiting for you, that you might
come, and that I might rest in you. For you are my rest;
Here "rest" of Isaiah 11:2 is likened to eschatological rest
193 "Spirit ... of Sanctification" underlying Hebrew: Ruach... HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)
(compare Hebrews 4). Here it is the Ruach HaKodesh and
not the Father which identifies Messoah as "son". This
implies that the Ruach HaKodesh is the Messiah's "Mother"
(see Section 15).
and you are my firstborn son, who reigns forever194
(See comments to Section 3 on the concept of sonship) GHe
has "I have this day begotten you" This reading appears
also in the Greek Western text, Codex Bezae of Lk. 3:22.
This phrase comes directly from Psalm 2:7 (see also Acts
13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5).
And immediately a great light shone round about the
place. This reading is not purely apocryphal. It occurs in
certain manuscripts of Mt. 3:17. Greek Codex
Sangermanensis which reads:
And when Yeshua was being immersed,
a great light shone from the water,
so that all that gathered together feared.
Old Latin Codex Vercellensis on Mt. 3:16 has:
And when he was being immersed,
a very great light shone round about from the water,
so that all that had come there feared.
194 ; And a voice sounded from Heaven that said: "You are my beloved Son, in you I am
well pleased. " And again: " I have this day begotten you" (GH-e)
Two statements by "Church Fathers" seem to recall this
event:
"a fire was kindled in Jordan."
- Justin Martyr; Dialog with Trypho 88
"a light rising over the water"
- Ephraem Syrus (Syriac "Church Father")
When John saw this, it is said, he said unto him :
"Who are you, Lord?" And again a voice from Heaven
rang out to him: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am
well pleased." Here the statement appears as it does in Mt.
3:17. The concept of the Spirit resting upon him in
conection with the Father being well pleased with the
Messiah parallels the prophecy of Is. 11:1-4 with Is. 42:1.
And then, it is said, John fell down before him
and said: "I beseech you, Lord, baptize me."
But he prevented him and said: "Suffer it; for thus it is
fitting that everything should be fulfilled."...
This passage parallels Mt. 3:14-15, however Matthew
places this dialog immediately before the immersion.
Perhaps there were two immersions, one right after the
other, which is the Jewish practice.
________________________________________________
Section 9
...There appeared a certain man named Yeshua
of about thirty years of age, This statement closely
parallels Luke 3:23.
who chose us. (compare Mt. 10:1; Mk. 3:16; Lk. 6:13)
And when he came to Capernaum, a village on the North
West shore of the Sea of Galil idetified with the "Tel Hum"
ruins.
he entered into the house of Simon whose surname is
Peter, and opened his mouth and said: "As I passed the
Lake of Tiberias, Another name for the Sea pf Galil (Jn.
6:1, 23; 21:1). Compare Mt. 8:5, 14; Mk. 1:21, 29; Lk.
4:38; 7:1
I chose John and James the sons of Zebedee,
and Simon and Andrew and Thaddeus
and Simon the Zealot and Judas the Iscariot,
and you, Matthew, I called as you sat at
the receipt of custom, and you followed me.
(compare Mt. 4:18; 10:2-6; 19:28; Mk. 1:16; 3:14, 16-19;
Lk. 5:1, 27; 22:30; Acts 1:13)
You, therefore, I will to be twelve apostles
for a testimony unto Israel."... This seems to contrast Gal.
2:7-8; 1:16; Acts 9:15 and the Nazarene Midrash on Isaiah
9 which identify Paul as having a testimony to the Gentiles.
________________________________________________
Section 10
Our bread of tommorrow give us this day - This reminds
us of the double portion of manna which was given before
the Shabbat each week while the Children of Israel were in
the wilderness.
________________________________________________
Section 11
...He who seeks will not cease until he finds,
and having found he will be amazed,
and having been amazed he will reign,
and having reigned he will rest....
This saying does not appear in any of the canonical Gospels
but it does appear in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas
(saying 2) which is also a synoptic Gospel. Although this
text does not specificly mention what is being sought, it
would seem to be immediately aplicalble to the search for
wisdom and understanding. Here that search is broken
down into a series of five stages. Such a search can and
will challenge many of the paradigns we take for granted.
When these paradigns which we were locked into are
destroyed we become open to whole new possiblilities
which amaze us. Theis amazement is uplifting to us and
gives us the comfortable security that comes from true
understanding. Compare this echatological concept of
"rest" with Hebrews chapter 4.
Section 12
[one of the greatest sins is] ...to grieve the spirit of one's
brother... This is a Johnian style corollary drawn from the
Torah (Lev. 19:18).
________________________________________________
Section 13
...And never, be joyful except when you look on your
brother with love.... Like the previous saying, this also is a
Johnian style corollary drawn from the Torah (Lev. 19:18).
______________________________________________
Section 14
...I choose for myself the most worthy:
the most worthy are those whom my Father
in heaven has given me....
This passage is a prime example of "Climactic
Paralellism". Climactic parallesism, sometimes called
"step parallelism", combines the qualities of synonymous
and synthetic parallelism. In climactic parallelism the
second line echoes the concept or repeats part of the first
and also adds to it an element which carries forward or
completes the meaning which is the climax of the whole.
Examples:
Ascribe to YHWH, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to YHWH glory and strength.
(Ps. 29:1)
Pray to your Father who is in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
(Mt. 6:6b)
This passage is Johnian in character. This passage
combines two Johnian concepts which appear to be at odds
with one another and brings them into a reasonable
relationship. Embeded in this simple saying is the very
clear paradox of predestination versus freewill. On the one
hand we have the concept of chosenness, and on the other
hand we have the concept of worthiness. The concept of
chosenness would seem to imply predestination while the
concept of worthiness would seem to imply freewill. A
second paradox is also implied in this passage. This is the
paradox within John. Are the members of Messiah's
assembly chosen by him (Jn. 6:70; 13:18; 15:16, 19) or
given to him by the Father (Jn. 6:37; 10:29; 17:6, 9, 24)?
I choose for myself - The concept of the "chosen" or the
"elect" has created a great deal of confusion in
Christendom. This has been largely due to the advent of
Replacement Theology coupled with the influx of Fatalism
or Predestination.
In the Tanak the "chosen" is a term used to refer to the
people of Israel:
For you are a holy people unto YHWH
your Elohim; YHWH your Elohim has
chosen you to be a special people that
are upon the face of the earth.
(Deut. 7:6 see also 10:15; 14:2)
(See also Is. 41:8-9; 43:20f; 65:9, 15, 22; Ps. 89:3; 135:4 ;
1Chr. 16:13)
Now replacement theologians teach that the "Church" has
replaced Israel. This creates a problem because of the term
"elect"/"chosen". Theoretacly the "Church" is understood
to refer to those who choose to follow YHWH, but on the
other hand the term the "Chosen/Elect" would seem to
imply that they were chosen by YHWH not that YHWH
chose them. This opens the door to the concept of
predestination. To resolve the aparant conflict created by
replacement theology predestinationalists propose that
YHWH chose certain souls and predetermined that they
would choose Him. However if we understand that the
term "chosen" refers to Israel and not the "Church" then the
predestination doctrine is not needed. Now it is beyond the
scope of this commentary to enter fully into the debate over
freewill verses predestination. Here we wish only to show
that if we do not accept replacement theology then the
concept of "chosenness" does not indicate the doctrine of
predestination.
But if his "chosen" refers to Israel why does the text then
refer to them as "the most worthy"? The term "worthy"
implies those who receive Messiah (see Mt. 10:13) yet not
all of Israel has always accepted Messiah. The problem
here is that the term "chosen" sometimes refers to all of
Israel, believing and unbelieving (Is. 45:4), and sometimes
refers only to believing Israel.
those whom my Father in heaven has given me. (Jn.
6:37; 10:29; 17:6, 9, 24) These are the Messiah's followers
(Jn. 10:27) his sheep (Jn. 10:27-29) and they are saved (Jn.
10:28-29). However not all Jews are intended (Jn. 10:26-
27). The text that we are dealing with refers to those that
are inwardly Jews as well as outwardly Jews (see Jn. 13:18
& Rom. 9:6f).
_______________________________________________
Section 15
...Even now did my Mother the Holy Spirit
take me by one of my hairs,
and carried me away
to the great mountain Tabor....
Even now did my Mother the Holy Spirit - This
statement reminds us of GH Section 8:
And it came to pass
when the Lord was come up out of the water,
the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him,
and said to him, "MY SON,
in all the prophets was I waiting for you
that you should come, and I might rest in you.
For you are my rest,
you are MY first BEGOTTEN SON,
that reigns forever."
[Jerome- On Is. 11:2]
There can be no doubt that here the Ruach HaKodesh is
seen as a Heavenly Mother. Now you may be thinking that
these concepts are very strange, but they are not so strange
in the context of Judaism. To begin with, in Hebrew and
Aramaic Ruach HaKodesh is a feminine term, so that in the
original language of the Bible, the Ruach HaKodesh is
always a "she". Moreover the Jewish Kabbalists taught that
there is a Heavenly Mother as
well as a Heavenly Father, as the following quotes from the
Encyclopedia Judaica artical on KABBALAH indicate:
References to male and female appear not only in the
symbolism of father and mother, son and daughter...
but also in the striking use of sexual imagery which
is a particular characteristic of the Zohar...
p. 573
The Sefirot Hokhmah and Binah
now become the parzufim of
Abba and Imma ("father and mother")...
p. 599
In Romans 1:19-20 we are told that "what may be
known of God is manifest in them [mankind] his invisible
atributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things
that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead
[or divine nature]..." then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that
those who fail to percieve these things may fall into the
errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in
creation were Elohim's invisable atributes manifested in
man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in
Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness...
So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
Now following the parallelism of the passage, "Our
image"; "Our likeness" and "male and female" appear to be
parallel terms.
Also Is. 49:1-8 and Is. 66:13 where YHWH is described as
a "mother" who "comforts" also note that in the NT the
Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) is called "the comforter"
(John 14-17)
take me by one of my hairs, and carried me away - This
is a close parallel to Ezek. 8:3 "And he put forth the form
of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head...".
Interestingly the Hebrew word for "lock" here is "tzitzit".
Section 16
The Woman with an Issue of Blood: ...Mariosa... All
three Synoptic Gospels contain this story (Mt. 9:20-21; Mk.
5:25-29; Lk. 8:43-44) though all three lack her name
"Mariosa") Mariosa (Aramaic name meaning: "my Lord
has made"). In this story the womn grabs Yeshua's tzitzit
and is healed. This story points us to a prophecy in the
Tanak which speaks of "Sun of Rightousness" "with
healing in his wings" of Mal. 4:1-2. The New Testament
never uses Mal. 4:1-2 as messianic passages (in fact the NT
never cites them at all). However Midrash Exodus Rabbah
31:10 does indicate that this passage of Malachi indicates
that Messiah will come with healing in his wings.
Now the Hebrew word for wings in Mal. 4:1-2 is
KANAPH (Strongs Hebrew 3671) this word means
"wings" or "corners" and is also the word for "corners" in
the Torah in Num. 15:37-41 where we are commanded to
wear fringes (tzitzi) on the four corners (wings) of our
garments. Thus Messiah would have healing in the four
corners of his garment, where his tzitzi (fringes) were.
________________________________________________
Section 17
Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you Bethsaida!
for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. In these cities
(namely Chorazin and Bethsaida) many wonders have
been wrought, as their number the Gospel according to
the Hebrews gives 53. Compare: Isaiah 23:1-8; Ezek. 26-
28; Joel 3:4-8; Amos 1:9-10; Zech. 9:2-4.
________________________________________________
Section 18
...Malchus... ...this man who has the withered hand is
described as a mason, who prays for help in such words
as these: ...I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my
hands: I pray you Yeshua, to restore me my health,
that I may not beg meanly for food.... In GH the man's
name is included along with a prayer which indicates that
the healing was indirectly related to the man's work, thus
amplifing the principle Yeshua is teaching from Hosea 6:6,
that mercy overrides the sacrifices which overide the
Shabbat and that therefore mercy overides the Shabbat. In
this case, even if the issue is indirectly related to work.
It seems that healing was permitted on the Sabbath by
Pharisees if a life was in danger (m.Yoma 8:6) but there
were serious limitations (m.Shabbat 22:5).
The Qumran community, with its stricter Halacha likely did
not permit healing on the Shabbat at all. They did not
allow carrying medicine on the Shabbat nor did they allow using a tool to save a life on the Shabbat (Dam. Document
col. 10; lines 14-18).
Now Yeshua's Halacha on the issue seems to have been
less strict than either of these.
The man with the withered hand did not have his life in
danger. Neither did the lame man or blind man in John nor
the woman with an issue of blood or the man with epilepsy
in Luke.
Yeshua argues in favor of his halacha in the following
ways:
A. By kol V'khomer (light and heavy).
Kol V'Khomer is the first rule of Hillel. It is an argument
based on weight. Some mitzvot are of greater weight
than others (Mt. 23:23). A Kol V'Khomer argument
argues based on weight. If x is true of y then x must
even more so be true of z.
Yeshua argues that healing on shabbat must be permitted
since the following items of lesser weight are permitted:
1. It is permitted to water an animal. (Lk. 13:14-17)
Even the Qumran Community allowed leading an animal
to graze on the Shabbat (Dam. Doc. col. 10; lines 14-18)
so long as the animal was not disciplined.
2. It is permitted to rescue an animal from a pit. (Mt. 12:11
and Lk. 14:3-6) This was in direct conflict with Qumran
Halacha. (Dam. Doc. col. 10; lines 14-18)
3. Circumcision is permitted on Shabbat. (Jn. 7:21-24)
In agreement with Pharisaic Halacha (m.Shabbat 18:3-
19:2) (also b.Shabbat 128a)
B. The Father is still working (Jn. 5:17).
This is not a lame argument. In Heb. 3:7-4:10 Paul gives a
Proem homiletic midrash on Ps. 95:7-11 & Gen. 2:2
connecting the words "work" and "rest." (Ps. 95 was part
of the Temple Sabbath liturgy and still is part of the
Synagogue liturgy). In this midrash it is argued that the true
meaning of "rest" in these passages is the 1,000 year
Kingdom. In other words Yeshua argues that in the 1,000
year Kingdom halacha will be stricter, but that in this world
it is less strict. This closely parallels Rabbinic Judaism
which favors Hillels "spirit of the Torah" halacha for this
world, but Shamai's "letter of the Torah" halacha for the
world to come.
Yeshua also applies this whole concept to "good deeds" in
general (Mt. 12:12).
What can we conclude as Nazarene Halacha regarding
healing (and good deeds) on the Shabbat?
In Matters of KHESED the Shabbat is Loosed. - The
sacrifices are of greater weight than Shabbat (Lev. 23:37-
38; Mt. 12:5-6) and KHESED is of greater weight that sacrifice(Hosea 6:6; Mt. 12:7). Therefore KHESED is of
greater weight than Shabbat.
________________________________________________
Section 19
The queen of the South:...Meroe/Meruae of Ethiopia...
shall rise up in the judgement with this generation
Apparently the Queen of Sheba (1Kn. 10:1-10; 2Chron.
9:1-12) One of the grandsons of Cush was named "Sheba"
(Gen. 10:7; 1Chr. 1:9) Ethiopia was known as Cush and
was inhabitted by "Cushites".
________________________________________________
Section 20
[It was reported to him] ..."Behold, your mother and
your brothers stand without."... [he replied:] ..."Who is
my mother and who are my brothers?" And he
stretched his hand towards his talmidim and said:
"These are my brethren and mother and sisters, who do
the will of my Father."... This passage parallels all three
synoptics (Mt. 12:46-50; Mk. 3:31-35; Lk. 8:19-21) the
will of my Father i.e. those who are Torah Observant.
Section 21
...If thy brother sin against thee in word, and make
amends to thee, receive him seven times in a day."
Simon, His disciple, said to Him, "Seven times in a
day?" The Lord answered and said to him, "I say unto
thee until seventy times seven." Even the prophets, after
they were anointed with the Holy Spirit, were guilty of a
word of sin...
a word of sin A semitism meaning "some matter of sin"
This passage parallels a footnote to some Greek
manuscripts of Matthew which gives variant readings from
"the Jewish Version" (literally the "Judaikon")
seventy times seven The "seventy times seven" seems to
be an inverse of Elohim's punishment to Israel. Initially
YHWH punished Israel with a 70 year exile. However if
they did not repent he had threatened to multiply that by
seven and follow those 70 years up with 70 * 7 years (490
years) (See Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10; Zech. 7:5; Lev. 26:18, 21,
24, 28; Daniel 9)
_______________________________________________
Section 22
...The other of the two rich men said to him:
Master, what good thing must I do
that I may live?
He said to him,
"Man fulfil the Torah and the Prophets.
He answered him, "That I have done."
He said to him,
"Go and sell all that you possess
and distribute it among the poor,
and then come and follow me."
But the rich man began to scratch his head
and it pleased him not.
And the Lord said to him,
"How can you say 'I have fulfilled the Torah
and the Prophets?' For it stands written
in the Torah "Love your neighbor as yourself"
and behold many of your brothers,
sons of Avraham, are begrimed with dirt
and die of hunger-- and your house is full
of many good things and nothing at all
comes forth from it to them. And he turned
and said to Simon, his disciple,
who was sitting by him, "Simon, son of Jona,
it is easier for a large rope to go through
the eye of a needle than for a rich man
to enter the Kingdom of Heaven....
(This story parallels Mt. 19:16-24; Mk. 10:17-25; Lk.
18:18-25)
The other of the two rich men said to him Unlike the
canonical version GH seems to have had two rich men in
this story.
Master, what good thing must I do that I may live?
The Aramaic NT uses "life" for "salvation".
He said to him, "Man fulfil the Torah and the Prophets.
Unlike the version in canonical Matthew the man does not
refer to Yeshua as "good" and Yeshua does not avert the
description as aplying only to Elohim. In place of "keep
the commandments" GH has fulfil the Torah and the
Prophets which is familiar from Mt. 5:17. Its usage here
demonstrates the propblem with the Christian interpretation
of Mt. 5:17 where we read that Messiah came not to
"destroy the Torah and the Prophets but to fulfil them."
Traditinally Christians have interpreted this phrase in such
a way that it could only apply to the Messiah. However In
Hebrew and Aramaic the phrase "destroy the Torah and the
Prophets" means to teach the Torah falsely and to violate
Torah. The phrase "fulfil the Torah and the Prophets"
means to keep the Torah and to teach it correctly.
He answered him, "That I have done." In other words
the man says "I am Torah observant"
He said to him, "Go and sell all that you possess and
distribute it among the poor, and then come and follow
me." Yeshua is giving his application of Lev. 19:18.
But the rich man began to scratch his head - This
superfolous reference to position and movement is a typical
Semitism and also typical of aggadic expansion "How can
you say 'I have fulfilled the Torah and the Prophets?'
For it stands written in the Torah "Love your neighbor
as yourself" Quoting Lev. 19:18. In the canonical version
Yeshua lists a series of commandments including and infact
ending with Lev. 19:18 but he does so before telling the
man to sell his goods.
and behold many of your brothers, sons of Avraham, "your brothers" and "sons of Avraham"
are both Semitisms that also attest to the general character
of the book.
are begrimed with dirt and die of hunger-- and your
house is full of many good things and nothing at all
comes forth from it to them. In the canonical version we
are never told why the man should sell his goods and give
the profits to the poor, but here it is prersented as a halachic
aplication of Lev. 19:18. comes forth from it is a
Semitism.
And he turned another Semitism.
and said to Simon, his talmid, who was sitting by him,
once again the Semitism of refering to a persons position
superfolously.
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Aramaic word for "camel" is GAMLA which can
mean "camel" or " a large rope". Since we know that GH
was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic we may infer
that the word camel should be "a large rope". I have
corrected this in the reconstruction.
__________________________________________
Section 23
An account of the triumphal entry In which the crowd
proclaims in part: ...Osanna barrama,...
Section 24
...Rays went forth from his eyes, by which they were
affrightened and fled.... The context for this quote is the
cleansing of the Temple. A similar phrase appears in the
same context in Jerome's commentary on Matthew:
For a certain fiery and starry light radiated
from his eyes and the majesty of the Godhead
gleamed in his face.
(Jerome on Mt. 21:12)
This is especially significant because in his Commentary on
Matthew Jerome often refers to GH and while he does not
credit this information to GH that is likely his source. It
may even be that the Jerome statement is a more exact
quote of the first half of this phrase from GH. While this
material may on the surface seem somewhat fantastic it is
no more fantastic than the Tanak which has a similar
statement about Moshe (Exodus 34:29-35) and in the case
of Moshe the event instilled fear into those around him.
Messiah's face shines in a similar way in Mt. 17:2 = Lk.
9:29. (There is a similar tradition attached to Enoch in
1Enoch 38:4; 39:14; 2Enoch 69:10-12; 70:2; Jasher 3:20)
Section 25
...That upon you may come all the righteous blood
shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel
onto the blood of Zechariah ben Joiada, whom you slew
between the Temple and the alter....195
So-called anti-missionaries are quick to point out that there
is an error in Matthew 23:35 where the name "Zechariah" is
"Zechariah ben Berechiah" (Zech. 1:1) however the story
refered to is that of "Zechariah ben Jehoidai" (2Chr. 24:20-
21). Jerome tells us that in the original Hebrew which he
identifies with GH the name appeared as Zechariah "ben
Joida" in agreement with 2Chron. 24:20-21. There are two
important relationships between this Zechariah and Abel.
First Abel is killed toward the beginning of the first book of
the Tanak and Zechariah ben Joida was killed toward the
end of the last book of the Tanak (going by the original
manuscript order of the Tanak books as Jews still do
today). Thus Yeshua refers to every murder committed in
the Tanak. Secondly of these martyrs' blood cried out for
justice. This is recorded of the blood of Abel in Genesis
and is recorded of Zechariah ben Joida in the Talmud
(b.San. 96). Moreover the Talmud and Yeshua's account
agree as to where in the Temple this Zechariah was killed,
although that information does not appear in the Tanak.
Section 26
Parable of the Talents....enters the threat not against the
man who had hid [the talent], but against him who had
lived dissolutely-- for he [the master] had three servants:
one who squandered his master's substance with harlots
and flute-girls, one who multiplied the gain, and one who
hid the talent; and accordingly one was accepted (with
joy), another merely rebuked, and another cast into
prison-- A Talent was a large sum of money worth
hundreds of thousands of dollars.
________________________________________________
Section 27
..."Where will you have us prepare the Passover?"..."I
desire with desire to eat this Passover with you196"... The
Ebionites, being doctrinal vegeatarians had altered the
Ebionite version of this text. Since there is no special
interegative clause they understood the passage to mean
"Do I desire with desire to eat this Passover with you?" and
added the word "flesh".
________________________________________________
Section 28
An account of the footwashing which states:
196 "I desire with desire to eat this Passover with you" GH-n reconstructed from Lk.
22:45 ;"Do I desire with desire at this Passover to eat flesh with you?" GH-e
...He kissed the feet of each of them....
The footwashing appears in our canonical Gospels only in
John. In GH the humility involved in the footwashing is
amplified with this phrase. (see Is. 52:7)
______________________________________________
Section 29
Ya'akov swears
that he would not eat bread
from that hour in which
he had drunk the Lord's cup
until he should see him risen
from among them that sleep
(for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from
that hour in which he had drunk the Lord's cup until he
should see him risen from among them that sleep)."
Apparantly the lost GH account of the "Last Supper"
Passover Sader had Ya'akov HaTzadik present. This
passage reminds us of Yeshua's statementy in the canonical
text that he would not drink the cup until he would drink it
with his talmidim in the Kingdom (Mt. 26:29; Mk. 14:25;
Lk. 22:16). This also reminds us of Paul's statement in
1Cor. 11:26 that we drink the cup to show the Lord's death
till he comes.
Section 30
A statement is made which indicates that...These eight
days of Passover, at which Messiah the son of G-d rose
again, signify eight days after the recurrence of the
Passover, at which the seed of Adam will be judged, as is
proclaimed in the Good News of the Hebrews; and for
this reason the learned believe that the day of judgement
will be at ...[Passover] time, because on that day Messiah
rose again, that on that day also the saints should rise
again.
eight days of Passover It has been suggested that this
statement might imply that the Nazarenes kept an eight day
Passover system with the 14th of Aviv as Passover and the
15th through the 21st as the seven days of Unleavened
Bread.
Passover, at which the seed of Adam will be judged
Because of the connection of the 144,000 with the
firstfruits offering (firstborn and firstfruits are the same in
Hebrew) and the [Passover Lamb]. And because of the
marraige supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19) and because of the
seal of the 144,000 being closely connected with the
Passover (Ex. 13:9, 16) and finally because of the theme of
the redemption of the firstborn, there is reason to associate
the judgement with Passover.
Section 31
...the angel strengthened Messiah in his struggle in
prayer, as is told in the Gospel of the Nazarenes. And
the same is also adduced by Anselm in his lamentation:
Be constant, Lord, for now comes the time in which
through thy passion mankind sold in Adam will be
ransomed.
the angel strengthened Messiah in his struggle in prayer,
In GH Messiah is comforted by an angel in the Garden.
mankind sold in Adam will be ransomed. It is difficult to
determine if this phrase was also drawn from GH or was
only drawn from the Lamentation of Anselm (1Cor. 15:21-
22; Rom. 5:12-21).
___________________________________________
Section 32
In the Gospel of the Nazarenes the reason is given why
John was known to the high priest: ...As he was the son
of the poor fisherman Zebedee, he had often brought
fish to the palace of the high priests Annas and
Caiaphas. And John went out to the damsel that kept
the door and secured for her permission for his
companion Peter, who stood weeping loudly before the
door, to come in....
If this is true it would likely indicate that John had also
fished the Medeturanian Sea since it is much closer to
Jerusalem.
________________________________________________
Section 33
Barabbas... is interpreted in the so-called Gospel
according to the Hebrews as "son of their teacher"
This would point to Bar Rabbon or Bar Rabba rather than
Bar Abba. This is interesting because the DuTillet Hebrew
manuscript of Matthew has Bar Rabbah.
___________________________________________
Section 34
...the Judeans bribed four soldiers to scourge the Lord so
severly that the blood might flow from every part of his
body. They had also bribed the same soldiers to the end
that they crucified him as it is said in John 19... Thus
fulfilling Isaiah 52:14 and Isaiah 53.
________________________________________________
Section 35
...At this word of the Lord many thousands of the Jews
who were standing round the cross became believers...
This would support the concept that the Nazarenes were a
large sect of Judaism.
________________________________________________
Section 36
...the lintel of the Temple of wonderous size
collapsed....
Jerome sees this as being instead of the tearing of the veil.
In fact the two ideas seem to go hand in hand. The lintel
was a crosbeam over the doorway to the Holy of Holies in
the Temple. The lintel stoot atop pillars eight stories high
which formed this doorway. The lintel was some thirty feet
across and made of solid stone. It would have weighed
about 30 tons! At the death of Yeshua there was an
earthquake. This earthquake seems to have caused the
lintel to split, breaking in the middle. It would have been
no small event when the two pieces of this thirty ton lintel
came crashimg down eight stories! The veil hung from the
lintel on the outside of the doorway. The hekel doors were
attached to the pillars. When the lintel broke it caused the
veil to be rent in two from top to bottom. In the Jewish
culture it is common for a father to morn the death of his
son by renting his garment in just such a fashion. This
colapse of the lintel seems to have
damaged the hekel doors as well. The Talmud states:
[For] forty years before the Temple was destroyed...
the gates of the Hekel opened by themselves.
until Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai rebuked them
saying "Hekel, Hekel, why alarm you us? We know
that you are destined to be destroyed. For of you
has prophesied Zechariah Ben Iddo (Zech. 11:1):
"Open your doors, O Lebanon and the fire shall
eat your cedars."
(b.Yoma 39b)
Thus the lintel colapsed renting the Temple veil and
damaging the Hekel gates so that they fell open by
themselves during the last forty years of the Temple
(about 30 C.E. to 70 C.E.).
________________________________________________
Section 37
an account of the buial in linen cloth is implied by
Fragment 26 Wraping of a body in a shroud for burial is a
Jewish tradition which survives to this very day.
_______________________________________________
Section 38
...Now the Lord,
when he had given the linen cloth
to the servant of the priest,
went to James and appeared to him...
Now the Lord, when he had given the linen cloth
The mention of the linen cloth here suggests that GH had
earlier recorded an account of the burial which included
mention of the linen cloth. (Lk. 23:53; 24:12; Jn. 19:40;
20:5)
to the servant of the priest, named Malchus (Jn. 18:10)
went to James and appeared to him This apperance to
Ya'akov is mentioned in 1Cor. 15:7 but not in any of the
the canonical Gospels. Ya'akov HaTzadik an important
figure to the ancient Nazarenes was that of James the Just
(Ya'akov HaTzadik). After the death of Y'shua, the
Nazarenes recognized his brother James the Just as legal
heir to the throne of David. For this reason the Nazarenes
recognized James the Just as the Nasi of their Nazarene
Sanhedrin ((Acts12:17; 15:13-29; 21:18-26 & Gal. 1:19;
Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 2:23)).
________________________________________________
Section 39
"Bring a table and bread."
[And immediately it is added,]
He took bread and blessed and broke
and gave it to James the Just and said to him,
"My brother, eat your bread,
for the Son of man is risen
from among them that sleep."...
He took bread and blessed and broke and gave it to
James the Just and said to him, "My brother, eat your
bread, for the Son of man is risen from among them
that sleep. Obviouly the Passover matzah is intended here.
The matzah is tied to the resurcted Messiah who was
described as apparantly having been wrapped in white
linen. The reader of GH is clearly expected to mentally
connect the Passover matzah here with Yeshua. The
Passover Sader begins with three matzahs. The middle
matzah is removed, broken, wrapped in white linen and
hidden away until the third cup when it is brought out,
passed around and eaten in remembrance of the Passover
lamb.
________________________________________________
Section 40
...and when he came
to Peter, and those who were with Peter,
he said to them, "Lo, feel me and see
that I am not a bodiless spirit."
And forthwith they touched him and believed....
(Compare Lk. 24:36-39) Jerome attributes this quote to a
quote of GH by Ignatius in his letter to Polycarp but it is
actually from his letter to the Smyraneans 3:1-2 (1:9-12 in
some editions) (Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna which
could explain the confusion). According to Eccl. Hist. 3:36
it also appeared in the Doctrine of Peter.
Some have theorized that the Greek word ASOMANOS
(bodiless) could not have been translated from Hebrew or
Aramaic and therefore proves a Greek origin for GH.
However other scholars have argued that ASOMANOS
was an explainatory gloss added by Ignatius to stress the
dichotomy between spirit and flesh. It is also possible that
the underlying Hebrew for ASOMANOS was two Hebrew
words. ASOMANOS combines SOMONOS (flesh; body)
with the Greek preposition A- (without). The same phrase
can be created in Hebrew as AYN BASAR (without flesh).
Anyone translating AYN BASAR into Greek would likely
render it ASOMANOS.
________________________________________________
Section 41
It seems that Matthew is named Levi
in the Gospel according to Luke.
But they are not the same,
but Mathias who replaced Judas and Levi
are the same with a double name,
this appears from the
Gospel according to the Hebrews.
This passage was unknown in 1937 when Schonfield
proposed his theory that the Toldot Yeshu was a hostile
Rabbinic Parody on GH. As part of his theory he proposed
that GH, like the Toldot Yeshu, must have had an Acts
portion. The discovery of this fragment has proven that
Schonfield was correct in theorizing an Acts portion to GH.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews:
The Synoptic Solution
By James Scott Trimm
The Synoptic Problem
Mattityahu, Mark and Luke are the synoptic gospels. In many cases these
three gospels even use identical phrasing. As a result they are known as
the "synoptic gospels." The Synoptic Problem is the problem of explaining
these similarities and their interrelationships. This problem was first
addressed in the fifth century by the Christian "Church Father" Augustine.
The Semitic Source Document`
Many synoptic variances point to an underlying Semitic text as the common
synoptic source document. For example:
Mt. 4:19 = Lk. 5:10 "fisher's of men"/"catch men" = TZAYADA (Aram.)
Mt. 11:8 = Lk. 7:7:25 "In King's Houses"/"Among Kings" = B'BAYET M'LAKIM
(Heb.)
or B'BEIT MAL'KE (Aram.)
Mt. 11:27 = Lk. 10:22 "and no one knows the Son"/"and no one knows who the
son is" = V'LO 'NASHA YIDA L'B'RA (Aram.)
Mt. 12:50 = Mk. 3:35 & Lk. 8:21 "my brother"/"brother of me" = AKHI
(Hebrew or Aramaic)
Mt. 16:26 & Mk. 8:36 = Lk. 9:25 "his soul"/"himself" = NAF'SHO (Heb.) or
NAFSHEH (Aram.)
Mt. 27:15 = Lk. 23:17 "accustomed"/"necessary" = M'AD (Aram.)
The Gospel according to the Hebrews
The Gospel according to the Hebrews was a Gospel which was once used by
the Nazarenes and Ebionites. Eusebius said that GH was “the especial
delight of those of the Hebrews who have accepted Messiah” (Eccl. Hist.
3:25:5). When speaking of the Ebionites, Epiphanius calls GH “their
Gospel” (Pan. 30:16:4-5) and Jerome refers to GH as “the Gospel which the
Nazarenes and Ebionites use” (On Mat. 12:13). The actual document has
been lost to history, but about 50 quotations and citations of this
document are preserved in quotations and citations from the so-called
“Church Fathers” and other commentators even into the middle ages.
It is unlikely that the Hebrews themselves called their own Gospel
“according to the Hebrews”. This is likely a title given the book by
Gentile Christians. GH was also called “the Gospel according to the
Apostles”; “the Gospel according to the Twelve”; and “the Gospel according
to Matthew” and one of these may have been its name among the Hebrews who
used it.
Even the most conservative of scholars have given a very early date to the
composition of the Gospel according to the Hebrews. In his book Evidence
that Demands a Verdict Josh McDowell (p. 38) assigns GH a date of A.D.
65-100. The book certainly had to have existed before the time of
Hegesippus (c. 180 C.E.) who Eusebius tells us made use of GH in his
writings (Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 4:22:8). Ignatious (98 C.E.) quotes from
GH in his letter to the Smyraneans (3:1-2 (1:9-12 some editions)).
Although Ignatious does not identify his quote as coming from GH, Jerome
(4th Century) does later cite GH as the source (Of Illustrious Men 16).
GH (in differing versions) was used by both Nazarenes and Ebionites.
Since neither group would have been likely to adopt the other’s book after
they split from each other around 70 C.E., it appears that GH in its
original form must have originated prior to that time.
There has been much debate about the original language of the Gospel
according to the Hebrews. Eusebius refers to GH as “the Gospel that is
spread abroad among the Jews in the Hebrew tongue” (Theophina 4:12 on Mt.
10:34-36) and “the Gospel [written] in Hebrew letters” (ibid on Mt.
25:14f). Jerome refers to GH as “written in the Chaldee and Syrian
language but in Hebrew letters” (Against Pelagius III.2) but seems to
refer to the same document in another passage as “in the Hebrew language
and letters” (Of Illustrious Men 3). In context however Jerome seems to
say that GH was originally written in “the Hebrew language and letters”
but that the copy in the library at Caesarea is “written in the Chaldee
and Syrian language but in Hebrew letters” (i.e. Aramaic). Thus
Schonfield is correct in writing:
The original language of the Gospel was Hebrew.
It has generally been assumed on insufficient grounds
that this Hebrew was in fact Aramaic (commonly called
Hebrew).
(According to the Hebrews p. 241)
Many misconceptions have circulated concerning the Gospel according to the
Hebrews. For example many scholars have attempted to make GH into several
documents. These refer to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the Gospel
of the Nazarenes and the Gospel of the Ebionites as three different
documents. However nowhere do the “Church Fathers” refer to a “Gospel of
the Ebionites”. Epiphanius says that the Ebionites used the Gospel
according to the Hebrews” and never refers to a document titled “Gospel of
the Ebionites”. The term “Gospel of the Nazarenes” is never used by the
“Church Fathers” either and only appears in the middle ages where it is
clearly a euphemism for the Gospel according to the Hebrews. The
presumption that there were three documents called GH has taken root in
scholarship. Part of the basis for this assumption is that Clement of
Alexander (who did not know Hebrew or Aramaic) quotes GH in Greek before
Jerome translated GH into Greek. However it is quite possible that
Clement obtained his quotation from a secondary source who did know Hebrew
and that had quoted GH in ad hoc Greek, a secondary source which is now
unknown. The fact that Clement of Alexander quotes the book in Greek
prior to Jerome’s translation is far to little evidence from which to
conclude multiple documents.
Another misconception is the presumption that thirteen readings in
marginal notes found in certain manuscripts of Greek Matthew and which
refer to alternate readings taken form “the Judaikon” (i.e. the “Jewish
version) refer to the Gospel according to the Hebrews. While one of these
readings (a note to 18:22) agrees with the reading of GH as given by
Jerome (Against Pelag. III 2) that in itself is not enough evidence to
jump to the far reaching conclusion that the “Judaikon” is the same as GH.
The “Judaikon” readings may also be readings from a Jewish (Hebrew or
Aramaic?) version of canonical Matthew and not to GH at all.
While there is no reason to presume that there were three different
Gospels called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, it is certainly clear
that Nazarenes and Ebionites used different versions of GH. Epiphanius
describes the version of GH used by the Ebionites as “called ‘according to
Matthew’, which however is not wholly complete but falsified and
mutilated” (Pan. 30:13:2) however in speaking of the Nazarenes he refer to
the “Gospel of Matthew quite complete in Hebrew… preserved… as it was
first written, in Hebrew letters” (Pan. 29:9:4). So it would appear that
the Ebionite version of GH was “now wholly complete but falsified and
mutilated” while the Nazarene version was “quite complete… preserved… as
it was first written.”. This explains why the Ebionite version omitted
the birth narrative and opened with the ministry of Yochanan (Pan.
30:13:6) while the Nazarene version is known to have included material
parallel to the first two chapters of Matthew.
There are also some important parallels between the Gospel according to
the Hebrews and our Hebrew and Aramaic versions of the Synoptic Gospels.
To begin with Jerome indicates that GH tended to agree with the Hebrew
Tanak against the Greek LXX in its quotations from the Tanak (Of
Illustrious Men 3).
In the account of the immersion of Yeshua GH as quoted by Epiphanius says
that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) descended “in the form of a dove”.
This reading not only agrees with Luke (3:22) against Matthew (3:16) it
also agrees with DuTillet Hebrew Matthew and the Siniatic Old Syriac text
of Matthew 3:16. GH as quoted by Jerome also says that the Ruch HaKodesh
“rested” upon Yeshua at this event. This agrees with the Old Syriac
reading of Matthew 3:16 against Greek Matthew. The Shem Tob Hebrew
Matthew similarly has that the Rucah HaKodesh “dwelt” upon Yeshua in Mt.
3:16.
There may also be a tendency of GH to agree with the Greek Western type
text of the canonical Gospels. For example the immersion event GH (as
recorded by Epiphanius) has the voice say (in part) “I have this day
begotten you” which is also found in the Greek Western type text of Codex
D in Luke 3:22 (compare Ps. 2:7; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; 5:5). Moreover GH
as cited by Jerome has the voice at the immersion of Yeshua speak “to him”
as does the Greek Western type text of Codex D in Mt. 3:17. This is
important because as I have shown elsewhere the Greek Western type text is
the oldest most Semitic type of Greek text.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews: a Synoptic Source Document?
Many scholars have seen within GH possible answers to questions about
synoptic origins.
A. S. Barnes proposed an identification between GH and the Logia document
which many scholars closely associate with "Q". Barnes writes:
Is it possible seriously to maintain that there were two separate
documents, each of them written at Jerusalem during the Apostolic
age and in the Hebrew tounge, each of them assigned to the Apostle
Matthew, and each of them dealing in some way with the Gospel story?
Or are we not rather forced to the conclusion that these two
documents,
whose descriptions are so strangely similar, must really be
identical,...
(A. S. Barnes; The Gospel according to the Hebrews;
Journal of Theological Studies 6 (1905) p. 361)
Pierson Parker concluded:
...the presence in this gospel of Lukan qualities and parallels,
the absence from it of difinitive... Markan elements... all point
to one conclusion, viz., that the source of the Gospel according
to the Hebrews... was most closely related to sources underlying
the non-Markan parts of Luke, that is, Proto-Luke.
(Pierson Parker; A Proto-Lukan Basis for the Gospel according to
the Hebrews;
Journal of Biblical Literature 59 (1940) p. 478)
And Hugh Schonfield concluded of GH:
...it may be argued that there has been dependence not of 'Hebrews'
on the Synoptics but vice versa-- that 'Hebrews' was one of the
sources
on which one or more of them drew.
(Hugh Schonfield; According to the Hebrews; 13-18)
As this article will demonstrate, the Gospel according to the Hebrews does
indeed lie at the root of all four of our canonical Gospels.
Mark: A Secondary Gospel
The original documentary theory claimed that Mattitiyahu and Luke were
dependent on a collection of sayings known as the Logia or as "Q". "Q" is
from the German word "Quelle" meaning "source" and a narrative document
usually identified as Mark. This may be illustrated as follows.
Streeter developed this theory further. He realized that Luke and
Mattitiyahu contained narratives in common which could not be found in
Mark. He attributed these to a third document, which he called
"Proto-Luke". Proto-Luke was said to have had incorporated into it "Q",
the non-Markan portions of Luke and the narrative material which Luke and
Matthew held in common.
The late Dr. Robert Lindsey made further observations. Lindsey points out
that the phrase "and immediately" occurs in Mark over 40 times. Luke
contains this phrase only once and then in a portion with no parallel in
Mark. Lindsey pointed out that it is unimaginable that Luke systematically
purged the phrase "and immediately" from every portion of Mark which he
used, especially since he uses the phrase himself elsewhere. This means
that Luke could not have copied from Mark and that Mark therefore copied
from Luke. If we eliminate all of the Lukan passages from Mark then almost
everything else can be found in Mattitiyahu. In fact only 31 verses of
Mark cannot be found in either Luke or Mattitiyahu. It is clear as a
result that Mark was compiled using Luke and Mattitiyahu. The following
three facts also support this conclusion:
1. When Mark and Matthew differ in chronology Luke agrees with Mark.
2. When Mark and Luke differ in Chronology, Matthew agrees with Mark.
3. Matthew and Luke never agree in chronology against Mark.
Mark therefore is secondary, compiled from Matthew and Luke with only 31
lines of original material. It plays no part in synoptic origins.

Matthew: An Abridgement of the Gospel according to the Hebrews
The so-called “Church Fathers” do not hesitate in hinting to us that
Matthew’s source document was the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Jerome
writes of GH:
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use
which I have lately translated into Greek from the Hebrew
and which is called by many people the original of Matthew…
(Jerome; On Matt. 12:13)
Jerome is not the only “Church Father” to identify GH with Matthew.
Irenaeus says that the Ebionites used only the Gospel of Matthew (Heresies
1:26:2), Eusebius says they “used only the Gospel called according to the
Hebrews” (Eccl. Hist. 3:27:4) while Epiphanius says that the Ebionite
“Gospel” “…is called "Gospel according to Matthew, or Gospel according to
the Hebrews” (Panarion 30:16:4-5). Moreover Jerome seems to refer to the
original Hebrew of Matthew and GH interchangeably.
This led Hugh Schonfield to conclude:
My own opinion is that the canonical Gospel [of Matthew]
is an abridged edition of a larger work, of which fragments
still survive,… I believe that this Protevangel was written in
Hebrew, not in Aramaic,… Whatever may have been its
original title, we have early allusions to it under the name
of “the Gospel” “the Gospel of the Lord,” “the Gospel of
the Twelve, or of the Apostles,” “the Gospel of the Hebrews”
and “the Hebrew Matthew.”
- Hugh J. Schonfield
(An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew’s Gospel; 1927 p. viii)
However ten years later Schonfield writes:
The only difficulty in fact that stands in the way
of accepting the Greek [of Matthew] as really
translated from the Hebrew [of Matthew], instead
of vice versa, is undoubtedly the irrefutable evidence
that Greek Matthew has largely used Mark.
- Hugh J. Schonfield
(According to the Hebrews; 1937; p.248)
Schonfield finally comes to the conclusion of…
…the strong probability that Hebrews was one
of the sources of canonical Matthew.
(ibid p. 254)
The pseudo-fact that Matthew used Mark as one of his sources (a theory
Lindsey has since disproven) is the only thing which held Schonfield back
from concluding that Greek Matthew is a translation of Hebrew Matthew and
that Hebrew Matthew was an abridgement of the Gospel according to the
Hebrews. With the barrier of presumed Markan priority being removed we
may now adopt the logical conclusion that Schonfield hesitated from.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews as Luke’s Source
Now having explained the origin of Mark as secondary we need not look to
Mark as a primary Gospel source for Luke either. Instead we need concern
ourselves only with Proto-Luke (and perhaps “Q”). Proto-Luke or the
Proto-Narrative would be the common source behind Matthew and Luke,
explaining their common material.
Now we may easily conclude that the Gospel according to the Hebrews is the
Proto-Luke or Proto-Narrative which served as the common source for both
Luke and Matthew.
To begin with Luke admits to having had source documents when writing his
gospel (Luke 1:1-4).
Secondly we have already established that the Gospel according to the
Hebrews served as the source for canonical Matthew. If Matthew and Luke
had a common source (which is clearly the case) then that source was
almost certainly the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
Finally several of the surviving readings from the Gospel according to the
Hebrews parallel Luke only and not Matthew. For example only Luke gives
Yeshua’s age as being 30 (Lk. 3:23); only Luke includes the account of
Yeshua being comforted by an angel (Lk. 22:43); only Luke includes the
discussion about eating the Passover as described in Luke 22:45 and only
Luke includes Yeshua’s words at the crucifixion “father forgive them…”
(Lk. 23:34). There are also Lukan elements even in the material that also
parallels Matthew. As shown earlier the immersion account as cited by
Epiphanius also included the words “in the form of [a dove]” (as in Luke’s
account) and the phrase “I have this day begotten you” (as in Luke’s
account in the Greek Western type text of Codex D). In fact we should
expect that the Proto-Narrative would have readings which parallel Matthew
only, readings which parallel only Luke and readings which are common to
Matthew and Luke (and sometimes Mark) but should not expect readings which
parallel only Mark. This is exactly the case with the Gospel according to
the Hebrews.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews and John
The Gospel of Yochanan (John) also seems to have made some use of the
Gospel according to the Hebrews but on a much smaller scale. The GH
account that Yeshua “kissed the feet of each one of them” recalls the foot
washing of Jn. 13:5. The account that one of the talmidim were known to
the High Priest also found in GH is found in John only (Jn. 18:15) and the
crucifixion as described in John 19 was said to parallel somewhat that of
GH. Thus it appears that even the non-synoptic Gospel of John made some
use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
The Five Fold Gospel
While the Gospel according to the Hebrews is at the root of the four
canonical gospels, this in no way reduces the value of the four Gospels.
While the Gospel according to the Hebrews was the original Gospel used by
the Nazarenes (and in a variant form by Ebionites) other gospels were
fashioned to meet various needs. I believe the four canonical Gospels
were composed to present the Gospel story to four specific non-Nazarene
groups.
I believe that Matthew was an abridgement of the GH designed to present
Yeshua as the Messiah to the Pharisee audience. This is evidenced by: 1)
The many parallels with the wisdom sayings in the Mishna, Talmud,
Midrashim etc. 2) The frequent citations of the Tanak (128 quotations)
aimed at establishing the Messiahship of Yeshua. 3) The defense of
Nazarene Halachic authority (16:18-19; 18:18; 21:20-21, 23-27 & 23:1-34)
4) More discussion of halachic issues than any other Gospel (5:21-7:12;
9:14-17; 12:1-14; 15:1-6; 17:24-27; 19:3-9; 22:15-22; 23:1-34).
I believe that Luke used GH as a source document in writing a Gospel
account aimed at Sadducees. The book of Luke was written originally to
Theophilus, who served as High Priest from 37 to 42 C.E.. Theophilus was
both a priest and a Sadducee. It would appear that the Gospel was intended
to be used by others as well and was likely targeted at Sadducee readers.
Theophilus was the son of Annas and the brother-in-law of Caiaphas, as a
result he grew up in the Temple. This explains many features of Luke. Luke
begins the story with an account of Zechariah the righteous priest who had
a vision of an angel at the Temple (1:5-25) he quickly moves on to an
account of Miriam's purification and Yeshua's redemption rituals at the
Temple (2:21-39) and then to the event of Yeshua teaching at the Temple at
the age of twelve (2:46). Luke makes no mention of Caiaphas' role in
Yeshua's crucifixion and emphasizes Yeshua's literal resurrection (24:39)
(Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead).
I believe that Mark used elements of Matthew and Luke to compile a
shortened simplified Gospel account for the Gentiles. He probably wrote
the book for use by Aramaic speaking Syrians and Assyrians he encountered
while in Babylon with Kefa (1Kefa 5:13). Since Mark was addressing
Gentiles he did not include Yeshua's genealogy, the Sermon on the Mount,
makes fewer quotations from the Tanak and makes less mention of Jewish
customs that the other Gospels.
I believe that John made some use of GH in composing a Gospel account
aimed at the Essenes. This is evidenced by the fact that only Yochanan
reveals the fact that Yochanan the immerser had an (Essene) community of
talmidim living with him in the wilderness (Yochanan 1). This is further
evidenced by the mystical nature of Yochanan's account. (The Essenes were
mystics and in fact many scholars see the roots of what we now call
"Kabbalah" as stemming from the Essenes.).
The result was four Gospels which covered all four levels of understanding
of the original Gospel according to the Hebrews. The Hebrew/Aramaic word
PARDES is spelled in Hebrew and Aramaic without vowels as PRDS. PaRDeS
refers to a park or garden, esp. the Garden of Eden. The word PRDS is
also an acronym (called in Judaism "notarikon") for:
[P]ashat (Heb. "simple") The plain, simple, literal level of
understanding.
[R]emez (Heb. "hint") The implied level of understanding.
[D]rash (Heb. "search") The allegorical, typological or
homiletically level of understanding.
[S]od (Heb. "hidden") The hidden, secret or mystical level of
understanding.
These are the four levels of understanding. The Four Gospels each express
one of these four levels of understanding of The Gospel according to the
Hebrews. Each also expresses a different aspect of the Messiah and
corresponds to each of the four faces of the living beings in Ezekiel 1.
The Pashat Gospel is Mark. Mark presents the Messiah as the servant (the
servant who purifies the Goyim in Is. 52:13, 15) the "my servant the
Branch" of Zech.3:8 who is symbolized by the face of the Ox in Ezekiel 1
(the Ox being a servant, a beast of burden). Mark does not begin with an
account of the birth of Messiah as do Matthew and Luke because, unlike the
birth of a King, the birth of a servant is unimportant, all that is
important is his work as a servant which begins with his immersion by
Yochanan. Thus Mark's simplified account omits any account of Yeshua's
birth or preexistence and centers on his work as a servant who purifies
the Goyim.
The Remez Gospel is Luke. Luke wrote a more detailed account for the High
Priest Theophilus (a Sadducee). The Sadducees were rationalists and
sticklers for details. Luke presents Yeshua as the "Son of Man" and as
"the man whose name is the Branch" (Zech
6:12) who is presented as a High Priest and is symbolized by the face of
the man in Ezekiel 1. Luke wants to remind by remez (by implication) the
High Priest Theophilus about the redemption of the filthy High Priest
Joshua (Zech. 6) and its prophetic foreshadowing of a "man" who is a
Messianic "Priest" and who can purify even a
High Priest.
The Drash Gospel is Matthew. Matthew presents his account of Yeshua's life
as a Midrash to the Pharisees, as a continuing story tied to various
passages from the Tanak (for example Mt. 2:13-15 presents an allegorical
understanding of Hosea 11:1).. As a drash level account Matthew also
includes a number of parables in his account. Matthew presents Messiah as
the King Messiah, the Branch of David (Jer. 23:5-6 & Is. 11:1f) symbolized
by the face of the lion in Ezekiel 1.
The Sod Gospel is Yochanan (John). Yochanan addresses the Mystical Essene
sect and concerns himself with mystical topics like light, life, truth,
the way and the Word. Yochanan includes many Sod interpretations in his
account. For example Yochanan 1:1 presents a Sod understanding of Gen.
1:1. Yochanan 3:14; 8:28 & 12:32 present a Sod understanding of Num. 21:9
etc.).
Conclusion
The Gospel according to the Hebrews which was the “especial delight of
those of the Hebrews who have accepted Messiah” was a primary source
document either directly or indirectly for all four of our canonical
Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew was an abridgement of that Gospel made
originally to bring the message of Yeshua to the Pharisees. The Gospel of
Luke was drawn largely from GH and was composed to present the message of
Yeshua to the Sadducees. The Gospel of Mark was compiled from Matthew and
Luke in order to present a shorter, simpler account to the Gentiles. And
the Gospel of John made some use of GH in composing a Gospel account aimed
at the Essene community. The resulting four Gospels covered all of the
levels of understanding (PaRDeS) of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
Mark gives us the pashat, Luke the remez, Matthew the drash and John the
Sod. Thus the four canonical Gospels provide us with a complete
understanding of the Gospel according to the Hebrews which lies at the
root of all of them.
The Gospel of the Hebrews is known from quotations by Cyril of Jerusalem (Discourse on Mary Theotokos 12a), Origen (Commentary on John 2.12.87), Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis 2.9.45.5, 5.14.96.3), and Jerome (Commentary on Isaiah 4, Commentary on Ephesians 3, Commentary on Ezekiel 6, De viris illustribus 2). These are the only passages that are quoted in Cameron's The Other Gospels. pp. 85-86, which follows the translation made by Philipp Vielhauer and George Ogg in New Testament Apocrypha.
The following selection is excerpted from Montague Rhode James in The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1924), pp. 1-8. There are two things to be noted. First, Cameron believes that the Gospel of the Hebrews may have been independent from the canonical gospels. Thus, most of the references adduced by M.R. James, aside from the ones mentioned above, would be assigned by Cameron to another Jewish-Christian Gospel, most likely the Gospel of the Nazoreans. Second, the "Oxyrhynchus Sayings" are now known to come from the Gospel of Thomas.
The Gospel According to the Hebrews
This is on a different level from all the other books we have to deal with. It was a divergent yet not heretical form of our Gospel according to St. Matthew. Even to sketch the controversies which have raged about it is impracticable here. What may be regarded as established is that it existed in either Hebrew or Aramaic, and was used by a Jewish Christian sect who were known as Nazaraeans (Nazarenes), and that it resembled our Matthew closely enough to have been regarded as the original Hebrew of that Gospel. I believe few, if any, would now contend that it was that original. It is generally, and I believe rightly, looked upon as a secondary document. What was the extent of the additions to or omissions from Matthew we do not know: but two considerations must be mentioned bearing on this: (1) The Stichometry of Nicephorus assigns it 2,200 lines, 300 less than Matthew. This figure, if correct, means that a good deal was left out. (2) If the Oxyrhynchus Sayings (see post) are really, as competent schoalrs think, extracts from it, we must suppose a large quantity of additional matter: for we have but two rather brief fragments of that collection of sayings, and eight out of thirteen sayings are either not represented in the canonical text, or differ widely therefrom.
Jerome, who is our chief source of knowledge about this Gospel, says that he had made a Greek and a Latin version of it. The statement is wholly rejected by some, and by others thought to be an exaggeration. It is very difficult to accept it as it stands. Perhaps, as Lagrange suggests, the truth may be that Jerome took notes of the text in Greek and Latin. Schmidtke, it should be added, has tried to show that all Jerome's quotations are borrowed from an earlier writer, Apollonaris; but there is no positive evidence for this.
If the Oxyrhynchus Sayings do come from Hebrews, they seem to imply the existence of a Greek version before Jerome's time. This is also implied by the entry in the Stichometry.
I will translate the fragments as they appear in the most recent study on the subject, that of the Rev. Pere Lagrange in the Revue Biblique, 1922.
He begins by giving the fragments quoted by Epiphanius from what is properly called the Gospel of the Ebionites. Then he gives those of our Gospel, arranging them in the chronological order of the writers and the works in which they are found. This entails some little repetition, but is otherwise historically interesting, and sound.
Irenaeus Against Heresies, i.26.2. But the Ebionites use only that Gospel which is according to Matthew, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, calling him an apostate from the Law.
iii.11.7. For the Ebionites, who use only that Gospel which is according to Matthew, are convicted out of that very book as not holding right views about the Lord.
The Ebionites mentioned here are a more primitive sect than those of whom Epiphanius speaks. See below.
Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis i. 9. 45). Even (or also, in the Gospel according to the Hebrews is written the saying, 'he that wondereth shall reign, and he that reigneth shall rest'.
id. (Strom.) v.14.96. For those words have the same force as these: He shall not cease from seeking until he find, and having found, he will be amazed, and having been amazed will reign, and having reigned will rest.
This is identical with one of the Sayings from Oxyrhynchus: see below.
Origen on John, ii. 12. And if any accept the Gospel according to the Hebrews, where the Saviour himself saith, 'Even now did my mother the Holy Spirit take me by one of mine hairs, and carried me away unto the great mountain Thabor', he will be perplexed, &c. . . .
On Jeremiah, homily xv.4. And if anyone receive that saying, 'Even now my mother the Holy Spirit took me and carried me up unto the great mountain Thabor', and the rest. . . .
The description of the Holy Spirit as 'my mother' is due to the fact that the Hebrew word for spirit is of the feminine gender. The saying, it is generally thought, refers to the Temptation.
Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. iii.39.17, speaking of the early writer Papias, says: He has also set forth (or expounded) another story, about a woman accused of many sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews also contains.
It is the obvious, and general, view that this story was that of the woman taken in adultery, which, as is well known, forms no part of the true text of St. John's Gospel, though it is inserted by most manuscripts at the beginning of the eighth chapter. A few manuscripts place it in St. Luke's Gospel. The description suggests that Papias's story, with its mention of many sins, differed from ours in detail.
id. iv.22.8. Hegesippus made use in his Memoirs of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
id. iii.25.5 (in his list of antilegomena, writings whose canonicity was disputed): And among them some have placed the Gospel according to the Hebrews which is the especial delight of those of the Hebrews who have accepted Christ.
iii.27.4. (The Ebionites repudiated Paul) and used only the Gospel according to the Hebrews, making but slight account of the others.
Theophany, iv.12 (preserved in Syriac). As we have found somewhere in the Gospel which the Jews have in the Hebrew tongue, where it is said: I choose for myself them that are good (or well pleasing): the good are they whome my Father which in heaven giveth (or hath given) me.
ibid. (A passage preserved in Greek also.) But since the Gospel written in Hebrew characters which has reached our hands turns the threat not against the man who hid the talent, but against him who had lived riotously (for it told of three servants, one who desereved his master's substance with harlots and flute-girls, another who multiplied it by trading, and another who hid the talent; and made the one to be accepted, another only rebuked, and another to be shut up in prison), the question occurs to me whether in Matthew, after the conclusion of the speech against the man who did nothing, the threat that follows may refer, not to him, but by epanalepsis (i.e. taking up a former subject again) be said of the first, who ate and drank with the drunken.
Epiphanius, Heresy xxix.9.4 (Nazoraeans). They have the Gospel according to Matthew quite complete, in Hebrew: for this Gospel is certainly still preserved among them as it was first written in Hebrew letters. I do not know if they have even removed the genealogy from Abraham to Christ.
Their Gospel was 'quite complete' as distinguished from the Ebionite-Gospel, which was mutilated.
Stichometry of Nicephorus (of uncertain date, but much older than the ninth-century chronicle to which it is attached).
Antilegomena of the New Testament:
Apocalpyse of John, Apocalpyse of Peter, Epistle of Barnabas, and
Gospel accrding to the Hebrews, 2,200 lines (300 lines less than the canonical Matthew).
Jerome. He is our principal authority in this matter.
On Ephesians, v. 4. As also we read in the Hebrew Gospel: 'And never, saith he, by ye joyful, save when ye behold your brother with love.'
On Micah vii.6. (The quotation about the Holy Spirit given above under Origen. Jerome quotes it again several times, not always in full.
Of illustrious men, 2 (on James the Lord's brother).
Also the Gospel according to the Hebrews, lately translated by me into Greek and Latin speech, which Origen often uses, tells, after the resurrection of the Saviour: 'Now the Lord, when he had given the linen cloth unto the servant of the priest, went unto James and appeared to him (for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour wherein he had drunk the Lord's cup until he should see him risen again from among them that sleep)', and again after a little, 'Bring ye, saith the Lord, a table and bread', and immediately it is added, 'He took bread and blessed and brake and gave it unto James the Just and said unto him: My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that sleep'.
This is a famous passage. One interesting clause is apt to escape notice, about the giving of the shroad to the servent of the (high) priest, which implies that priests must have been apprised of the resurrection as soon as the apostles. Was the servant of the priest Malchus? Presumably the servant was at the sepulchre: if so, it was being guarded by the Jews as well as the Roman soldiers (as in the Gospel of Peter).
ibid. 3. Further, the Hebrew itself (or original) is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea which was collected with such care by the martyr Pamphilus. I also had an opportunity of copying it afforded me by the Nazarenes who use the book, at Beroea, a city of Syria.
This Boroea is Aleppo. In later years Jerome ceased to regard the Hebrew Gospel as the original Matthew.
ibid. 16. Of the Epistle of Ignatius 'to Polycarp' (really to Smyrna). In it he also inserts a testimony about the person of Christ, from the Gospel which was lately translated by me; his words are: But I both saw him (this is wrongly quoted) in the flesh after the resurrection, and believe that he is in the flesh: and when he came to Peter and those who were with Peter, he said to them: Lo, feel me and see that I am not a bodiless spirit (demon). And forthwith they touched him and believed.
Ignatius, to the Smyrnaeans, iii., 1, really says: For I know, and I believe that he is in the flesh even after his resurrection.
Another citation of these words of Christ is given by Origen as from the Doctrine of Peter: see p. 18.
On Matt. ii. Bethlehem of Judaea. This is a mistake of the scribes: for I think it was originally expressed by the Evangelist as we read in the Hebrew, 'of Judah', not Judaea.
On Matt vi.11 (the Lord's Prayer).
In the Gospel according to the Hebrews for 'super-substantial' bread I found mahar, which means 'of the morrow', so that the sense is: Our bread of the morrow, that is, of the future, give us this day.
The word supersubstantial is meant to render literally the difficult word epiousios which we translate 'daily'.
On Ps. cxxxv. In the Hebrew Gospel according to Matthew it is thus: Our bread of the morrow give us this day; that is, 'the bread which thou wilt give us in thy kingdom, give us this day'.
On Matt. xii. 13. In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use (which I have lately translated into Greek from the Hebrew, and which is called by many (or most) people the original of Matthew), this man who had the withered hand is described as a mason, who prays for help in such words as this: 'I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands: I pray thee, Jesus, to restore me mine health, that I may not beg meanly for my food.'
The mention of the Ebionites here is gratuitous. Jerome nowhere speaks of them as using the Gospel, and everything goes to show that, in his time, they did not.
Letter to Damascus (20) on Matt. xxi. 9. Matthew, who wrote his gospel in the Hebrew speech, put it thus: Osanna barrama, i.e., Osanna in the highest.
On Matt. xxiii. 35. In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, for 'son of Barachias' I find 'of Joiada' written.
This reading avoids an historical difficulty, and is doubtless secondary.
On Matt. xxvii. 16. This Barabbas, in the Gospel entitled (wrtten) according to the Hebrews, is interpreted 'son of their master' (teacher).
By 'interpreted, says Lagrange, it is not meant that the Gospel translated the name, but that it used a form of it which suggested the meaning - Bar-abban.
On Matt. xxvii.51. In the Gospel I so often mention we read that a lintel of the temple of immense size was broken and divided.
Letter to Hedibia (ep. 120) 8. But in the Gospel that is written in Hebrew letters we read, not that the veil of the temple was rent, but that the lintel of the temple of wondrous size fell.
This was probably a change made under the influence of Isa. vi. 4, 'the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried'.
On Isa. xi.2. (The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him) not partially as in the case of other holy men: but, according to the Gospel written in the Hebrew speech, which the Nazarenes read, 'There shall descend upon him the whole fount of the Holy Spirit'. . . .In the Gospel I mentioned above, I find this written: And it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him, and said unto him: My son, in all the prophets was I waiting for thee that thou shouldst come, and I might rest in thee. For thou art my rest, and thou art my first begotten son, that reignest for ever.
On Isa. xi. 9, My mother the Holy Spirit.
On Isa., preface to bk. xviii. For when the Apostles thought him to be a spirit, or, in the words of the Gospel which is of the Hebrews, which the Nazarenes are wont to read, 'a bodiless demon', he said to them (Luke xxiv. 38).
On Ezek. xvi.13. My mother, the Holy Spirit.
On Ezek. xviii.7. And in the Gospel according to the Hebrews which the Nazarenes are accustomed to read, it is placed among the greatest sins 'if a man have grieved the spirit of his brother'.
Dialogue against Pelagius, iii.2. In the Gospel according to the Hebrews which is indeed in the Chaldaean and Syrian speech but is written in Hebrew letters, which the Nazarenes use to this day, called 'according to the apostles', or, as most term it, 'according to Matthew', which also is to be seen in the library of Caesarea, the story tells: Behold, the motehr of the Lord and his brethren said unto him: John Baptist baptizeth unto the remission of sins; let us go and be baptized of him. But he said unto them: Wherein (what) have I sinned, that I should go and be baptized of him? unless peradventure this very thing that I have said is a sin of ignorance.
ibid. And in the same book: If thy brother (saith he) have sinned by a word and made thee amends, seven times in a day receive thou him. Simon his disciple said unto him: Seven times in a day? The Lord answered and said unto him: Yea, I say unto thee, unto seventy times seven times. For in the prophets also, after they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, the word of sin was found.
'Word of sin' is Hebraistic for 'somewhat of sin': similarly 'sinned by a word' means 'sinned in anything'.
Latin version of Origen on Matthew (now called Pseudo-Origen).
It is written in a certain Gospel which is called according to the Hebrews (if at elast any one care to accept it, not as authoritative, but to throw light on the question before us):
The second of the rich men (it saith) said unto him: Master, what good thing can I do and live? He said unto him: O man, fulfil (do) the law and the prophets.
He answered him: I have kept them. He said unto him: Go, sell al that thou ownest, and distribute it unto the poor, and come, follow me. But the rich man began to scratch his head, and it pleased him not. And the Lord said unto him: How sayest though: I have kept the law and the prophets? For it is written in the law: Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, and lo, many of thy brethren, sons of Abraham, are clad in filth, dying for hunger, and thine house is full of many good things, and nought at all goeth out of it unto them.
And he turned and said unto Simon his disciple who was sitting by him: Simon, son of Joanna, it is easier for a camel to enter in by a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
It is probable that this extract was found by the translator of Origen's comentary in some work of Jerome. It seems to be agreed that it was not in Origen's own commentary.
Some manuscripts of the Gospels have marginal notes recording readings of 'the Jewish' Gospel, by which our Gospel is evidently meant. Some of these were published by Tischendorf, others more recently by Schmidtke. According to the latter these notes were originally made between 370 and 500 by some one who did his work at Jerusalem.
Matt. iv. 5. The Jewish copy has not 'unto the holy city' but 'in Jerusalem'.
Matt. v. 22. The word 'without cause' is not inserted in some copies, nor in the Jewish.
Matt. vii. 5. The Jewish has here: If ye be in my bosom and do not the will of my Father which is in heaven, out of my bosom will I scast you away.
(The 'Second Epistle of Clement', iv. 5, has: The Lord said: If ye be with me gathered together in my bosom and do not my commandments, I will cast you away and say unto you: Depart from me; I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of wickedness.)
Matt. x. 16. The Jewish has '(wise) more than serpents' instead of 'as serpents'.
Matt. xi. 12. (The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence.) The Jewish has: 'is ravished (or plundered).'
Matt. xi. 25. (I thank thee (lit. confess unto thee), O Father.) The Jewish: 'I give thee thanks.'
Matt. xii. 40b. The Jewish has not: three days and three nights (in the heart of the earth).
Matt. xv. 5. The Jewish: Corban by which ye shall be profited by us.
Probably it is meant that the verse ran: But ye say to your father and mother: Corban, &c.
Matt. xvi. 2, 3. Omitted by 'the Jewish' (as by many extant manuscripts).
Matt. xvi. 17. The Jewish: (Simon) son of John.
Matt. xviii. 22. The Jewish has, immediately after the seventy times seven: For in the prophets, after they were anointed with the Holy Spirit, there was found in them a word (matter) of sin.
This shows the identity of 'the Jewish' with Jerome's gospel.
Matt. xxvi. 74. The Jewish: and he denied and swore and cursed.
Matt. xxvii. 65. The Jewish: And he delivered unto them armed men, that they might sit over against the cave and keep it day and night.
A commentary on Isaiah (liii.12) by Haimo of Auxerre (c. 850) has this apropos of the word 'Father forgive them':
For, as is contained in the Gospel of the Nazarenes, at this word of the Lord many thousands of Jews that stood round about the Cross believed.
A marginal note (thirteenth century) on a copy of the versified Bible called the Aurora (by Petrus de Riga), in a manuscript at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (one of a number of remarkable notes) is:
At the cleansing of the Temple:
In the books of the Gospels which the Nazarenes use it is read that rays issued from his eyes whereby they were terrified and put to flight.
Jerome on Matt. xxi. 12 says that the people whom Jesus drove out did not resist him: 'For a certain fiery and starry light shone (radiated) from his eyes and the majesty of the Godhead gleamed in his face.'
When I published the note, I took it that it was a reminiscence of Jerome's words: ray and radiate occur in both. But Dr. Zahn was of opinion that it might really represent something in the old Gospel: so I include it, though with hesitation.
One other mention of this Gospel has to be added.
In Budge's Miscellaneous Coptic Texts is a Discourse on Mary by Cyril of Jerusalem. Cyril (Pseudo-Cyril) relates that he had to send for a monk of Maioma of Gaza who was teaching false doctrine. Called on for an account of his belief the monk (p. 637, Eng. trans.) said: It is written in the Gospel to the Hebrews that when Christ wished to come upon the earth to men, the good Father called a mighty power in the heavens which was called Michael, and committed Christ to the care thereof. And the power came down into the world and it was called Mary, and Christ was in her womb seven months. Afterwards she gave birth to him, and he increased in stature, and he chose the apostles, . . . 'was crucified, and taken up by the Father'. Cyril asked: Where in the Four Gospels is it said that the holy Virgin Mary the mother of god is a force? The monk said: In the Gospel to the Hebrews. Then, said Cyril, there are five Gospels? Where is the fifth? The monk said: It is the Gospel that was written to the Hebrews. (Cyril convinced him of his error and burned the books. No more is told of the Gospel, which, whatever it may have been, was certainly not the book we have been dealing with, but a writing of pronouncedly heretical (Docetic?) views. The last sentence of themonk's account of Christ, which I did not quote in full just now, is perhaps worth recording.) 'After they had raised him up on the cross, the Father took him up into heaven unto himself.' This, with its omissin of all mention of the resurrection, might be construed as heretical: on the other hand, it may be merely a case of extreme compression of the narrative.
The following selection is excerpted from Ron Cameron in The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1982), pp. 85-86. Philipp Vielhauer and George Ogg made the original translation in New Testament Apocrypha.
It is written in the Gospel of the Hebrews:
When Christ wished to come upon the earth to men, the good Father summoned a mighty power in heaven, which was called Michael, and entrusted Christ to the care thereof. And the power came into the world and it was called Mary, and Christ was in her womb seven months.
(Cyril of Jerusalem, Discourse on Mary Theotokos 12a)
According to the Gospel written in the Hebrew speech, which the Nazaraeans read, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit shall descend upon him. . . Further in the Gospel which we have just mentioned we find the following written:
And it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended upon him and rested on him and said to him: My son, in all the prophets was I waiting for thee that thou shouldest come and I might rest in thee. For thou art my rest; thou art my first-begotten Son that reignest for ever.
(Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah 4 [on Isaiah 11:2])
And if any accept the Gospel of the Hebrews - here the Savior says:
Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away on to the great mountain Tabor.
(Origen, Commentary on John 2.12.87 [on John 1:3])
As also it stands written in the Gospel of the Hebrews:
He that marvels shall reign, and he that has reigned shall rest.
(Clement, Stromateis 2.9.45.5)
To those words (from Plato, Timaeus 90) this is equivalent:
He that seeks will not rest until he finds; and he that has found shall marvel; and he that has marvelled shall reign; and he that has reigned shall rest.
(Ibid., 5.14.96.3)
As we have read in the Hebrew Gospel, the Lord says to his disciples:
And never be ye joyful, save when ye behold your brother with love.
(Jerome, Commentary on Ephesians 3 [on Ephesians 5:4])
In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which the Nazaraeans are wont to read, there is counted among the most grievous offences:
He that has grieved the spirit of his brother.
(Jerome, Commentary on Ezekiel 6 [on Ezekiel 18:7])
The Gospel called according to the Hebrews which was recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently uses, records after the resurrection of the Savior:
And when the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest, he went to James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until he should see him risen from among them that sleep. And shortly thereafter the Lord said: Bring a table and bread! And immediately it added: he took the bread, blessed it and brake it and gave it to James the Just and said to him: My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of man is risen from among them that sleep.
(Jerome, De viris inlustribus 2)
The Gospel of the Hebrews
Extracts and Commentary
Taken from Gospel Parallels,
Ed. Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr.
ISBN 0-8407-5150-8
And
The Other Bible
Ed. Willis Barnstone
ISBN 0-06-250030-904143784
The Gospel of the Nazaraeans ("observers") in Hebrew is believed to have been the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew and the source for the present gospel (which was composed in Greek). There are reliable witnesses that this gospel was both used and circulated among the earliest followers of Yahshua in the diaspora. Some believe it originated in Egypt, and that the latest possible date it might have been written was during the first half of the second century; however, there are other opinions that it was composed in the middle of the first century, when "Jesus" traditions were first being produced and collected. An earlier date is more likely than a later one. Jerome, Eusebius, and Hegesippus (the latter two not quoting it) make mention of it as do Origen, Clement (both Alexandrians). It is believed to have been known to Papias who died about 130 C.E. and may have quoted it in his lost "Exegesis of the Sayings of the Lord" (which is now "lost"). It is significant to note that Nicephorus, when drawing up his list of canonical and apocryphal books, stated that the Gospel of the Hebrews contained only 2200 lines, 300 fewer than Matthew. It has been suggested that these three hundred lines are the birth narratives of the first and second chapters of our canonical Matthew.
The following are the only known extractions from it. Care should be exercised to separate the actual quotations of the extractions from the interpretative remarks made by the church writers. I have placed any corresponding New Covenant verses (taken from the KJV) before each extract. All material underlined, bold-faced, and italicized contains my own emphasis.
Matthew 3:13: "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him."
To Matt. 3:13: cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews, (in Jerome, Against Pelagius III.2)--The mother of the Lord and his brothers said to him, "John the Baptist baptizes for the forgiveness of sins; let us go and be baptized by him." But he said to them, "In what way have I sinned that I should go and be baptized by him? Unless, perhaps, what I have just said is a sin of ignorance."
Commentary:
Within the Torah are different categories of sin; a sin of ignorance is a mis-stepping, or a "side-slip", meaning that in order to learn from one's mistakes he often side-steps to the left or right hand through ignorance, but once he has realized his mistake he then again attempts to step back on the "way" or "path" of righteousness. In the New Covenant this type of sin is often referred to as a "trespass".
Matthew 3:16-17: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God [Elohim] descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
(From Gospel Parallels)
To Matt. 3:16-17 cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews, (in Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah 11:2)--When the Lord ascended from the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him, and said to him, "My son, in all the prophets I was waiting for you, that you might come, and that I might rest in you. For you are my rest; and you are my firstborn son, who reigns forever."
(From The Other Bible)
(Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah 4 [on Isaiah 11:2])
According to the Gospel written in the Hebrew speech, which the Nazaraeans read, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit shall descend upon him....Further in the Gospel which we have just mentioned we find the following written: "And it came to pass when the Lord was come up out of the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended upon him and rested on him and said to him: My son, in all the prophets was I waiting for you that you should come and I might rest in you. For you are my rest; you are my firstbegotten Son that reigns forever.
Commentary:
The earliest followers of Yahshua believed that Yahshua was empowered by the Holy Spirit at his immersion, not at his birth (thus they did not include the later birth narratives in their gospel). The important point in using the word "rest" above is that it refers to the Jewish belief that the Messiah's name will be called "Menachem", or "rest". You will also notice that while our present Matthew does not include the idea of the "firstborn" son (implying that there will be others), they use also the second phrase as quoted in Psalm 2:7 as well: "this day have I begotten thee". You will note that John 1:14 is translated as the "only begotten", but the word "only" there is an addition to the text. It should read "the begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He (the Father) hath declared." The word "begotten" here implies only that he was in the Father's bosom before the creation of the world. In the Hebrew, as used in Zechariah 12:10, the word for "only" is yachid meaning "beloved" and implying the "firstborn" son, and as the book of Hebrews states, that Yahvah would use Yahshua, His Firstborn, for "bringing many sons to glory" [Hebrews 2:10] as an "elder brother". Please note that this gospel was written first in Hebrew by the testimony of several of the "church fathers".
Matthew 4:8: "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them."
(From Gospel Parallels)
To Matt. 4:8 cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews (in Origen, Commentary on John 2:12 and Homily on Jeremiah 15:4)--And if any accept the Gospel of the Hebrews, here the Savior says: "Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs, and carry me to the great Mount Tabor." Jerome also records these words in Latin in his commentaries on Micah 7:6, Isaiah 40:9ff., and Ezekiel 16:13.
(From The Other Bible)
(Origen, Commentary on John 2.12.87 [on John 1:3]):
And if any accept the Gospel of the Hebrews -- here the Savior says: Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my hairs and carry me away on to the great mountain Tabor.
Commentary:
Within Judaism, the Shekinah (or "visible" cloud of the Presence) is a feminine word, thought to be Yahvah's feminine aspect; therefore, they called the Spirit the "mother". You will note, likewise, that the Renewed City of Jerusalem that "descends from heaven" is also referred to as female, as the "mother" of us all. Jewish studies have shown that this Heavenly Jerusalem is a "palace of overcomers" (the Overcomer's Palace), and is called by the ancient Jewish kabbalists Binah ("Understanding"), a house with "many rooms" (in the New Covenant it is translated "many mansions"). The verse above follows the motif in the book of Ezekiel where it is stated: "And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem" [Ezekiel 8:3], i.e. to a "holy mountain". Tabor (meaning "mound"; Strong's has broken" or "fragile") was a "very high mountain" located as a landmark within the territories of Issachar and Zebulon, overlooking the Plain of Esdraelon (Greek for Jezreel); and is where Barak gathered his ten thousand men in Deborah's campaign. This is why some believe that "Har Megiddo" or "Armageddon" will be the gathering place of the final battle of the age. While it is entirely possible that this mountain is the one referred to in the book of Revelation, we must realize also that the word "megiddo" means "gathering place" and could mean any "gathering place". Isaiah refers to the Mount of the Congregation (or the Mountain in Jerusalem) as the Har Moed, the Mountain of Appointment, or "meeting"; and since all Scripture states the "Day of Yahvah" will occur in Jerusalem, we must also consider that Tabor is a "symbolic" term used because of its historical significance as a "gathering place". Note: Origen, an Alexandrian, both quoted from and used the Gospel of the Hebrews. The reason he says "if any accept it" is because many of his colleagues in the west did not.
Matthew 5:23: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee..."
(From Gospel Parallels)
To Matt. 5:23 cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews (in Jerome Commentary on Ezekiel 18:7): And in the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which the Nazaraeans are accustomed to read, one of the greatest sins is "To grieve the spirit of one's brother." And, Jerome on Ephesians 5:4 writes: As also we read in the Hebrew Gospel that the Lord spoke to his disciples: "And never," he said, "be joyful except when you look on your brother with love."
(From The Other Bible)
(Jerome, Commentary on Ephesians 3 [on Ephesians 5:4]):
As we have read in the Hebrew Gospel the Lord says to his disciples
: And never be you joyful, save when you behold your brother with love.
(From The Other Bible)
(Jerome, Commentary on Ezekiel 6 [on Ezekiel 18:7]):
In the Gospel according to the Hebrews which the Nazaraeans are wont to read
there is counted among the most grievous offenses: He that has grieved the spirit of his brother.
Commentary:
The saying in Matthew 5:23-24 appears to confirm the saying in the Gospel of the Hebrews. Even Jerome seems to agree with the saying in this Gospel about "brotherly love".
Matthew 7:7: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you..."
(From Gospel Parallels)
To Matt. 7:7 cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews (in Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies V.14.96); also cf. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 654, Logion 1: "He who seeks will not give up until he finds; and having found, he will marvel; and having marveled, he will reign; and having reigned, he will rest."
(From The Other Bible)
(Clement, Stromateis 2.9.45.5)
As also it stands written in the Gospel of the Hebrews: He that marvels shall reign, and he that has reigned shall rest.
Commentary:
I have explained this in other early gospel commentaries. When we seek ardently, we shall find, and when we find, we shall be in awe, and having come to an understanding, we shall be in the "house of understanding", reigning as priests and rulers with Yahshua, our Chief, and that will be our rest.
Matthew 11:29: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
(From Gospel Parallels)
To Matt. 11:29 cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews (in Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies II.9.45)--He who has marveled shall reign, and he who has reigned shall rest. He who seeks will not give up until he finds; and having found, he will marvel; and having marveled, he will reign, and having reigned he will rest, Ibid. V.14.96.
(From The Other Bible)
(Clement, Stromateis 5.14.96.3)
To those words (from Plato, Timaeus 90) this is equivalent: He that seeks will not rest until he finds; and he that has found shall marvel; and he that has marveled shall reign; and he that has reigned shall rest.
Commentary:
Apparently, the editors of these books have chosen to use this verse to identify these sayings (although the previous verse defines it better), the similarity that I find here is the concept of learning from Yahshua to understand and, thus receiving rest.
Luke 24:50-53: "And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen."
(From Gospel Parallels)
Luke 24:50-53 cf. Gospel according to the Hebrews (in Jerome, On Illustrious Men, 2)--Also the gospel called according to the Hebrews, recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen often uses, says, after the resurrection of the Savior: "Now the Lord, when he had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him (for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drunk the Lord's cup until he should see him risen from among them that sleep)." And a little further on the Lord says, "Bring a table and bread." And immediately it is added, "He took bread and blessed and broke and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of man is risen from among them that sleep.'"
(From The Other Bible)
(Jerome, De viris inlustribus 2):
The Gospel called according to the Hebrews which was recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen frequently uses, records after the resurrection of the Savior: And when the Lord had given the linen cloth to the servant of the priest, he went to James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drunk the cup of the Lord until he should see him risen from among them that sleep. And shortly thereafter the Lord said: Bring a table and bread! And immediately it is added: he took the bread, blessed it and brake it and gave it to James the Just and said to him: My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of man is risen from among them that sleep.
Commentary:
This verses from the KJV above really have little to do with the resurrection narrative in the Gospel of the Hebrews concerning James (Yacov or Jacob). There was a tradition among the early apostles that James, having been present at the Passover meal, did not believe his brother would be raised from the dead, but that Yahshua visited him first after his resurrection. The present gospels seem to evidence the fact that James nor his brothers were followers of Yahshua prior to the execution and resurrection and actually believed that he might be "mad" (see Mark 3:21; Luke 8:19-20; Matthew 12:46-50; John 7:1-9, especially verse 5). At the Feast of Weeks, however, Judas the brother of James, is at least listed among the group of believers (see Acts 1:14). Jude, in his own epistle, claims verifies that he is the same "brother of James" [Jude 1]. Shaul (Paul) in 1 Corinthians 15:7 would seem to provide the evidence that Yahshua did, in fact, visit James after the resurrection but after Cephas and the twelve, then more than five hundred "brethren" who were still alive at the time of Shaul's writing: "After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles". During the beginning of Yahshua's ministry James did not believe Yahshua was the Messiah; however, there was some great catalyst that changed his mind, for he became the leader of the Nazaraean community in Jerusalem and produced our present epistle of James (written before 61 C.E. -- 42 C.E., or earlier, being the most likely date of the writing -- when he was stoned by the Sanhedrin under the authority of Ananus, the son or grandson of Annas who had been responsible for bringing Yahshua to trial; see Josephus, Antiquities 20.9.200) where he makes mention of Yahshua as the Messiah only twice; in verse 1: "James, a servant of Elohim and of the Lord Jesus Christ [Master Yahshua haMashiach], to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting" (he was writing to the "diaspora"); and in James 2:1: "My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [Master Yahshua haMashiach], (the Lord) of glory, with respect of persons." (The words "the Lord" are not in the manuscript). James, as the leader of the Jerusalem Jewish believers in Yahshua, was apparently a Nazaraean (or Nazir) and "high priest" (Mary was of the lineage of Aaron) and entitled to enter the "Holy of Holies" for which we also have evidence. Eusebius quotes Hegesippus, who states: "This apostle was consecrated from his mother's womb. He drank neither wine nor fermented liquors, and abstained from anima food. A razor never came upon his head, he never anointed with oil, and never used a bath. He alone was allowed to enter the sanctuary. He never word woollen, but linen garments [i.e. as the priests did]...And indeed, on account of his exceeding great piety, he was called the Just, and Oblias (or Zaddick and Ozleam) which signifies justice and protection of the people. Some of the seven sects [of Judaism], therefore, of the people, mentioned by me above in my Commentaries, asked him what was the door to Jesus? And he answered, 'that he was the Saviour.'. From which, some believed that Jesus is the Christ..." [Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book II, Chapter XXIII]. Likewise, he was said to have worn the "crown" or "sacradotal plate" of the high priest. This has also been interpreted to have been the "ephod"; however, the "plate" was the golden "crown" upon which the letters YHVH were inscribed and placed on the "turban" on top of the forehead.
Other references mentioning the Gospel of the Hebrews:
(Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book III, Chapter XXIV):
"...yet of all the disciples, Matthew and John are the only ones that have left us recorded comments, and even they, tradition says, undertook it from necessity. Matthew also having first proclaimed the gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going also to other nations, committed it to writing in his native tongue, and thus supplied the want of his presence to them, by his writings.
(Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book III, Chapter XXV) in compiling the "canon":
But there are also some who number among these [genuine books], the gospel according to the Hebrews, with which those of the Hebrews that have received Christ are particularly delighted. These may be said to be all concerning which there is any dispute.
(From The Other Bible)
(Cyril of Jerusalem, Discourse on Mary Theotokos 12a):
It is written in the Gospel of the Hebrews: When Christ wished to come upon the earth to men, the good Father summoned a mighty power in Heaven, which was called Michael, and entrusted Christ to the care thereof. And the power came into the world and it was called Mary, and Christ was in her womb seven months.
Commentary:
This is obviously a heretical and distorted interpretation of the words in the Hebrew gospel to convince the "church" that Mary is the "Mother of God" and a perpetual virgin. This appears to be an interpretation evidencing the Eastern influence on the "church" at the Council of Ephesus (431 C.E.) where she was proclaimed Theotokos, "God-bearer" and "perpetual virgin". "Virgin birth stories (e.g., Hera, Rhea, Silvia, Brigid [also Venus, Aphrodite, among others]) were circulated in other cultures, as were tales of mothers mourning lost and deceased children (e.g., Demeter and Persephone; Isis and Horus [also the story of Tammuz, etc.]. Iconographically, just as Mary was often portrayed holding or nursing the infant Jesus, so too was the Egyptian goddess Isis depicted suckling her infant son, Horus. Even as Mary was called Queen of Heaven and sometimes depicted surrounded by the zodiac and other symbols, so too were the deities Isis, Magna Mater, and Artemis. Such parallels show that Mary's cult had roots in the cults of the female deities of the Greco-Roman pantheon, cults ultimately eradicated by Christianity" [Bruce Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 500]. The "Jesus Movement" was utilized by Constantine for cult assimilation of the Greco-Roman world into a "one-world government". He succeeded. The "love-feasts" on the eight day ("Sun-day") commemorating the "Last Supper" (or Pesach) of Yahshua became separated and ritualized in the "church" as the Eucharist, and a heirarchy of governmental "priests" became the harbingers of the Scriptures and the canonizing of the New Covenant, initiating the "Dark Ages" when it was illegal for any common individual to have copies. It was about this time that the "Cult of the Saints" was also spawned. There can be little doubt that the above reflects a perversion of the original Hebrew gospel.
The Gospel of the Nazoreans
The following selection is excerpted from Ron Cameron's The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1982), pp. 99-102. Philipp Vielhauer and George Ogg of New Testament Apocrypha originally made the translation.
To these (citations in which Matthew follows not the Septuagint but the Hebrew original text) belong the two: "Out of Egypt have I called my son" and "For he shall be called a Nazaraean."
(Jerome, De viris inlustribus 3)
Behold, the moter of the Lord and his brethren said to him: John the Baptist baptizes unto the remission of sins, let us go and be baptized by him. But he said to them: Wherein have I sinned that I should go and be baptized by him? Unless what I have said is ignorance (a sin of ignorance).
(Jerome, Adversus Pelagianos 3.2)
The Jewish Gospel has not "into the holy city" but "to Jerusalem."
(Variant to Matthew 4:5 in the "Zion Gospel" Edition)
The phrase "without a cause" is lacking in some witnesses and in the Jewish Gospel.
(Variant to Matthew 5:22, ibid.)
In the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews instead of "essential to existence" I found "mahar," which means "of tomorrow, so that the sense is: "Our bread of tomorrow" - that is, of the future - "give us this day."
(Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 1 [on Matthew 6:11])
The Jewish Gospel reads here as follows: "If ye be in my bosom and do not the will of my Father in heaven, I will cast you out of my bosom."
(Variant to Matthew 7:5 - or better to Matthew 7:21-23 - in the "Zion Gospel" Edition)
The Jewish Gospel: (wise) more than serpents.
(Variant to Matthew 10:16, ibid.)
The Jewish Gospel has: (the kingdom of heaven) is plundered.
(Variant to Matthew 11:12, ibid.)
The Jewish Gospel has: I thank thee.
(Variant to Matthew 11:25, ibid.)
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and the Ebionites use, which we have recently translated out of Hebrew into Greek, and which is called by most people the authentic (Gospel) of Matthew, the man who had the withered hand is described as a mason who pleaded for help in the following words: "I was a mason and earned (my) livelihood with (my) hands; I beseech thee, Jesus, to restore me to my health that I may not with ignominy have to beg for my bread."
(Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 2 [on Matthew 12:13])
The Jewish Gospel does not have: three d(ays and nights).
(Variant to Matthew 12:40 in the "Zion Gospel" Edition)
The Jewish Gospel: corban is what you should obtain from us.
(Variant to Matthew 15:5, ibid.)
What is marked with an asterisk (i.e., Matthew 16:2-3) is not found in other manuscripts, also it is not found in the Jewish Gospel.
(Variant to Matthew 16:2-3, ibid.)
The Jewish Gospel: son of John.
(Variant to Matthew 16:17, ibid.)
He (Jesus) said: If thy brother has sinned with a word and has made three reparations, receive him seven times in a day. Simon his disciple said to him: Seven times in a day? The Lord answered and said to him: Yea, I say unto thee, until seventy times seven times. For in the prophets also after they were anointed with the Holy Spirit, the ord of sin (sinful discourse?) was found.
(Jerome, Adversus Pelagianos 3.2)
The Jewish Gospel has after "seventy times seven times": For in the prophets also, after they were anointed with the Holy Spirit, the ord of sin (sinful discourse?) was found.
(Variant to Matthew 18:22 in the "Zion Gospel" Edition)
The other of the two rich men said to him: Master, what good thing must I do that I may live? He said to him: Man, fulfil the law and the prophets. He answered him: That have I done. He said to him: Go and sell all that thou possessest and distribute it among the poor, and then come and follow me. But hte rich man then began to scratch his head and it (the saying) pleased him not. And the Lord said to him: How canst though say, I have fulfilled the law and the prophets? For it stands written in the law: Love thy neighbor as thyself; and behold, many of the brethren, sons of Abraham, are begrimed with dirt and die of hunger - and thy house is full of many good things and nothing at all comes forth from it to them! And he turned and said to Simon, his disciple, who was sitting by him: Simon, son of Jona, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(Origen, Commentary on Matthew 15.14 [on Matthew 19:16-30])
In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, instead of "son of Barachias" we have found written "son of Joiada."
(Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 4 [on Matthew 23:35])
But since the Gospel (written) in Hebrew characters which has come into our hands enters the threat not against the man who had hid (the talent), but against him who had lived dissolutely - for he (the master) had three servants: one who squandered his master's substance with harlots and flute-girls, one who multiplied the gain, and one who hid the talent; and accordingly one was accepted (with joy), another merely rebuked, and another cast into prison - I wonder whether in Matthew the threat which is uttered after the word against the man who did nothing may not refer to him, but by epanalepsis to the first who had feasted and drunk with the drunken.
(Eusebius, Theophania 22 [on Matthew 25:14-15])
The Jewish Gospel: And he denied and swore and damned himself.
(Variant to Matthew 26:74 in the "Zion Gospel" Edition)
Barabbas. . . is interpreted in the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews as "son of their teacher."
(Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 4 [on Matthew 27:16])
But in the Gospel which is written in Hebrew characters we read not that the veil of the temple was rent, but that the lintel of the temple of wondrous size collapsed.
(Jerome, Epistula ad Hedybiam 120.8)
The Jewish Gospel: And he delivered to them armed men that they might sit over against the cave and guard it day and night.
(Variant to Matthew 27:65 in the "Zion Gospel" Edition)
He (Christ) himself taught the reason for the separations of souls that take place in houses, as we have found somewhere in the Gospel that is spread abroad among the Jews in the Hebrew tongue, in which it is said: "I choose for myself the most worthy: the most worthy are those whom my Father in heaven has given me."
(Eusebius, Theophania 4.12 [on Matthew 10:34-36])
Gospel of the Nazaraeans
[Extracted from Gospel Parallels
Ed. Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr.;
ISBN 0-8407-5150-8]
The following is a listing of all known fragments of the Hebrew Gospel called the Gospel of the Nazaraeans. I was unable to locate on the internet a copy of it; thus, I am providing it from extracts taken from a book in my library. Those items that I have emphasized are in boldface with italics and underlined; all others are by the editor of the above book. I have placed the Scripture (as in the KJV) to which the fragment refers above the fragment and, in places, written a brief commentary. There can be no doubt that the original "Matthew" was written in the Hebrew language, that Jerome and Eusebius, both, had copies of it and that the two together translated it into the Latin and Greek languages. Eusebius apparently translated it into the Greek, while Jerome translated it into the Latin and incorporated it (in his own words, even changing some of them) into the Latin Vulgate from which the English versions (including KJV) are now derived. In the Scriptures, the words in italics are added to the text by the translators (as poetic license, and to make complete sense of the Scripture). Everything that is underlined is my own emphasis. It is clear that the original gospel was that attributed to Matthew, which some of the earliest scholars say was being recorded even while Yahshua (Jesus) was ministering. It is also obvious since there is historical evidence that it was the first Hebrew gospel that Mark and Luke were derived from it. Luke makes this admission in his first paragraph: "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things [thus there were many others who were gathering information to write in a "book" also] which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us [Luke took his account from many other "books"], which from the beginning were eyewitnesses [Luke's admission that he was not an "eyewitness" but received this information from others], and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also [Luke wanted to write about this, too], having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus [obviously Luke's patron], that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed."
Luke's second treatise to Theophilus, originally appended to the first was the book of Acts, a continuation of his explanation to his patron, yet the "church fathers" canonized it separately from the first book of Luke. If one reads Luke and then Acts, he might have a more complete understanding of what Luke has been saying, for the one naturally and logically follows the other. The book of John should not have been placed fourth in order. Luke states in Acts 1:1-2, making this clear: "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilius, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost [Spirit] had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen".
Another thing to keep in mind as you read this study is that the early church fathers regarded anything the Hebrew wrote as "heresies" and called many of the Jews "gnostics"; however, it is quite clear from the writings of Shaul (Paul), from Yahshua himself, and from the apostolic letters (called the "general epistles", the ones written in Hebrew and were disputed by the church fathers) that "gnosticism" was a prevalent religious concept in both Judaism and the Primitive Congregation of Yahshua. These "gnostics" (any first century Jew writing in the Hebrew language about the concept of "good and evil") were considered heretical. The reason for this is that the latter "church" (from 70 C.E. onward) was steeped in Babylonian mysticism due to so many of its members being former pagans who promulgated the "savior god" or the "man-god" of the Babylonian and Egyptian pantheons.
It is also clear that the earliest list of books written about Yahshua was recorded by Marcion (who was sharply criticized and called a "heretic"). There were many other lists that were developed prior to the canonization of the "New Covenant", the books on which were generally circulated among the earliest messianic believers in Yahshua. For instance, the Gospel of Peter, criticized and labeled today as "gnostic" was read regularly in the earliest assemblies.
Jerome, who even changed some of the words of Yahshua in his Latin Vulgate, was quite smug in his own interpretations. Here are a few quotes from Testament by John Romer.
"Jerome was yet a man of whom it has been said that he was canonized not for his qualities of saintliness, but for the services he rendered the Roman church. Hot-tempered, outspoken, passionately devoted to his work and his friends, Jerome is certainly one of the most extraordinary figures in church history. And doubtless, it is due to his special temperament that his Latin Bible has come to be regarded by many people almost as if it were the unmediated word of God himself" [p. 234].
"For Augustine had written to tell him that the Christian congregation of a nearby town, Tripoli, rioted when Jerome's new translation of the Book of Jonah had been read at the Sunday service! So indignant had they become that some of the members had gone into the Jewish quarter of the town to ask Hebrew readers their opinion of the true meaning of the words of the text. At that time Jerome had been meeting Jewish scholars for some twenty years and surely knew exactly where the truth of the matter lay. What Jerome had done was to replace the traditional reading of the Hebrew word qiqqayon, changing it from the Latin cucurbita meaning a gourd, to hedera meaning ivy, and this had brought into question a favourite image of the artists of his day, the gourd bower of Paradise" [p. 236].
As to the "gourd bower" referred to, it was a pagan motif well-known among the pagan religions of the world. "The Christian artists have teken these images of Paradise directly from the pagan world...so one of the pagan fish is a sea monster, the whale that swallows Jonah the biblical prophet, while in another part of the scene, in suspended time, another fish spews him out. Even the putti [Egyptian motif] fishing traditionally in these Egyptian-style scenes seem to have been turned into Christians - into fishers of men. Appearing once again, Jonah sits serenely in his Paradise under a bower of gourds." The image, however, actually shows the "ivy" of Jerome [p. 235].
"It was the new translation of Job which in 403 had brought on the riot in Tripoli. In his letter Augustine wondered whether or not Jerome should have translated those texts. Though they were probably quite incorrect in their older versions - Augustine says that he himself could not judge as he had little Greek and no Hebrew - they had served the faithful well enough. Less sensitive critics simply questioned Jerome's right to tamper with the sacred words at all, especially with the traditional translations of the words of Jesus, some of which he had changed considerably" [p. 240].
Jerome, in his arrogance, makes this statement: "Why not, he asks, go back to the original Greek and correct the mistakes introduced by inaccurate translators and the blundering alterations of confident but ignorant critics and, further, all that has been inserted or changed by copyists more asleep than awake? [p. 240]" He assumes that the Greek is error-ridden. Of the fact that he changed the original Hebrew there can be no doubt, for he, by his own admission, translated that original Hebrew gospel into a more "suitable" gospel for the "church". Eusebius, likewise, makes this admission. The evidence is found in the gospel fragments below.
Matthew 2:15: "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."
To Matt. 2:15 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans, (in Jerome, On Illustrious Men 3)--"Out of Egypt have I called my son" and "For he shall be called a Nazaraean." Cf. Also margin of codex 1424 -- This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son . . ."
Commentary:
The original text of "Matthew" (whose name was appended to the present gospel) had "for he shall be called a Nazaraean"; Jerome left this out when translating, but makes mention of it later in his own works.
Matthew 4:5: "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple..."
To Matt. 4:5 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has not to the holy city, but to Jerusalem.
Commentary:
The acknowledgment that there was a Jewish Gospel written prior to the Greek versions is clear. Naturally, the name of the most important city in the world would be stated. The phrase "the holy city", depending on who is reading the text, might refer to the Samaritan "holy city" (where the Samaritans were known to have built a copy of the Jewish Temple).
Matthew 6:11: "Give us this day our daily bread."
To Matt. 6:11 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 6:11)--In the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews, for "bread essential to existence" I found "mahar," which means "of tomorrow"; so the sense is: our bread for tomorrow, that is, of the future, give us this day.
Commentary:
Note Jerome's admission of the Hebraic gospel. I believe the original gospel verse is correct, since Yahshua was preaching the coming "Kingdom of God".
Matthew 7:5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
To Matt. 7:5 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel reads here: "If you be in my bosom and do not the will of my Father who is in heaven, I will cast you away from my bosom."
Commentary:
You will note that this is an addition to the text we presently have that was, apparently, deleted from Jerome's version.
Matthew 10:16: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
To Matt. 10:16 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans -- The Jewish Gospel: [wise] more than serpents.
Commentary:
The sense of "wise" here appears to be caution, not cunning.
Matthew 11:12: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
To Matt. 11:12 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: [the kingdom of heaven] is plundered.
Commentary:
The words have been changed, thus damaging the original sense of the phrase. What is being said here appears to be that the death of John the Immerser was a great blow to the testimony for the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."
To Matt. 11:25 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: I am grateful to thee.
Commentary:
Even though the words have been altered, the context is the same.
Matthew 12:10: "And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? That they might accuse him."
To Matt. 12:10 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 12:13)--In the Gospel which the Nazarenes and the Ebionites use, which we have recently translated from Hebrew to Greek, and which most people call the authentic [Gospel] of Matthew, the man who had the withered hand is described as a mason who begged for help in the following words: "I was a mason, earning a living with my hands; I beg you, Jesus, restore my health to me, so that I need not beg for my food in shame."
Commentary:
Here is the admission by Jerome that "most people" call the original Hebrew gospel (that the Nazarenes and Ebionites - sects of messianism - use the authentic (original) gospel. He also tells us here that he translated it from Hebrew to Greek (thus the additions, deletions, etc. that we now have in our New Covenant).
Matthew 12:40: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
To Matt. 12:40b cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel does not have: three days and three nights.
Commentary:
The alteration of this verse is quite significant, for it alters what Yahshua said. He, apparently, had said that the only sign given to the people would be the "sign of Jonah" -- that is, Jonah was sent to declare YHVH's judgment against the people of Nineveh if they did not repent. Likewise, Yahshua was sent to declare YHVH's judgment against the people of Israel, yet they would not repent. Thus, the verse probably read: "For as Jonas was in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth". Of course, Yahshua was comparing himself and his situation to Jonah's in every sense. The "heart of the earth" and the "whale's belly" were known to have represented "Leviathan", or figuratively, the "grave" and "death", because it is also associated with the word "yam", the "sea", or the "abyss". The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols states: "these sea-monsters have many names: "Tannim" (dragon); "rahav" (expanse) and "yam" (se", but the most common name is Leviathan, known in Jewish legend as the King of the Sea" [p. 96]. In the book of Revelation, Leviathan is called Abaddon, the King of "destruction" (or corruption), who comes up from the abyss or "Sea"; Abaddon is the "beast of the sea", that "old serpent" whose abode is an "expanse" (the grave).
Matthew 15:5: "But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me..."
To Matt. 15:5 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: Corban is what you should gain from us.
Commentary:
Corban (or korban) is the gift of a child to his parents in their old age, sort of like a pension, by which they are provided for when they are no longer able to work or care for themselves.
Matthew 16:2-4: "He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye said, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" ...A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
To Matt. 16:2 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: What is marked with an asterisk [i.e., from "When it is evening" to the end of v. 3] is not found in other manuscripts, and is not found in the Jewish Gospel.
Commentary:
In other words, what we have here is an addition to the text, one that Jerome apparently wanted to elaborate on with another chance to call the Jews "hypocrites". In reply to the question posed to Yahshua, he simply stated that they would receive no sign except the sign of Jonah.
Matthew 16:17: "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jo-na: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
To Matt. 16:17 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: "son of John" [for "Bar-Jona"].
Commentary:
This is telling us that Simon (Peter) is the son of Yohanan (John), not Jonah or Yonah.
Matthew 18:21-22: "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
Luke 17:3-4: "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
To Matt. 18:21-22 (Luke 17:3-4) cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Against Pelagius, III.2)--He says, "If your brother has sinned by a word, and repented, receive him seven times a day." Simon, his disciple, said to him, "Seven times a day?" The Lord answered, "Yes, I tell you, as much as seventy times seven times! For in the prophets also, after they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, a word of sin [sinful speech?] was found."
Commentary:
Sinning by a "word" simply implies that any man might sin in his speech; thus, if he realizes his error and turns from it (i.e. learns from his mistake), then he should be received by his brothers as many times as is necessary. This is called "regeneration", a honing process by which one learns the path to YHVH.
Matthew 18:22: "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
To Matt. 18:22 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has, immediately after "seventy times seven": For in the prophets also, after they were anointed by the Holy Spirit, a word of sin [sinful speech?] was found in them.
Commentary:
Even the prophets were not free of sin even though they were the "oracles" of Elohim.
Matthew 19:16-24: "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you , That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
To Matt. 19:16-24 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Origen, Commentary on Matt. 15:14 in the Latin version) The second of the rich men said to him, "Teacher, what good thing can I do and live?" He said to him "Sir, fulfil the law and the prophets." He answered, "I have." Jesus said, "Go, sell all that you have and distribute to the poor; and come, follow me." But the rich man began to scratch his head, for it did not please him. And the Lord said to him, "How can you say, I have fulfilled the law and the prophets, when it is writtten in the law: You shall love your neighbor as yourself; and lo, many of your brothers, sons of Abraham, are covered with filth, dying of hunger, and your house is full of many good things, none of which goes out to them?" And he turned and said to Simon, his disciple, who was sitting by him, "Simon, son of Jonah, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
Commentary:
This verse is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Since the Gospel of the Nazaraeans was written first in Hebrew, Mark and Luke had to have taken their own renditions from it. Mark, although purportedly written first, follows the Hebrew original here. See the following:
Mark 10:18: "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God."
Luke 18:19: "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God."
To Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19 cf. Gospel of the Naassenes [perhaps a reference to the Gospel of the Nazaraeans] (in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, V.7.26)--"Why do you call me good? One there is who is good -- my Father who is in heaven -- who makes his sun to rise on the just and on the unjust, and sense rain on the pure and on sinners." (Cf. Also Matt. 5:45).
Commentary:
Special mention must be made of this verse. It is found in all three gospels. Here, Yahshua is making a plain and clear statement: that he is not God and refuses to be called "good", that there is only one God, his Father - Yahvah! Since it is in the Hebrew gospel, the original, we must conclude that Mark and Luke both copied it specifically from that source in the Hebrew that was the original of what has known to have become the book of "Matthew".
Matthew 20:22: "But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able."
To Matt. 20:22 cf. Gospel of the Naassenes [believed to be a gloss for Nazaraeans] (in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, V.8.11)--"But" he says, "even if you drink the cup which I drink, you will not be able to enter where I go."
Commentary:
Yahshua is telling the disciples that even though they might die with him, they would not yet sit at the Father's right hand; that event is for a future time, after Yahshua has "prepared" a place for them.
Matthew 21:12: "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves..."
To Matt. 21:12 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans, quoted in a marginal note of a thirteenth century manuscript [thus if this is true, and there are other sources that also seem to have had access to the Hebrew gospel at that time, then this Hebrew Gospel was available even in the 13th century] of the Aurora by Peter of Riga -- In the Gospel books which the Nazarenes use it is written: From his eyes went forth rays which terrified them and put them to flight.
Commentary:
First of all, the word "temple" here does not refer to the interior of the Temple, but to the "heiron" or precincts of the Temple. These precinct buildings were both on the hill of Ophel, on the Bridge of the Red Heifer, and on the Mount of Olives where the family of Hanan (Annas) had a dove aviary and sold doves to pilgrims (who gathered on the Mount of Olives at festivals to await the opening of the doors of the Temple at midnight). This area was referred to as Beth Pagi in the Talmud. Beth Pagi, however, was both within and without the Sabbath Limit. Where the boundary of Bethphage left off, the boundary of Beth Hini (or Bethany) began. The combined area was called Beth Pagi. The elders would have to go to the area outside the Sabbath Limit in order to judge a rebellious elder, or to add to the City Limits of Jerusalem. Thus there were moneychangers, vendors of all sorts, and the dove aviary of Annas (the Vice President of the Sanhedrin who was called the Ab bet din, or Father of the Court) before whom Yahshua would have been taken for the accusatory process (by Jewish law). This is why Yahshua was first taken to Annas, who either would have written (legally it could have been oral) the charges against him. His office (and home) would have been in the area of Beth Pagi on the Mount of Olives. There is overwhelming evidence of this fact. The second high priest (literally called the High Priest) was the "President" of the Beth Din. The real power, however, lay in the hands of the "Father of the Court", Annas (Hanan), who was called by Josephus the "ancientest of the priests", and the patriarch of an assimilated family: Boethus, Kimchit, Hanan, and Phiabi (Fabus), who operated the government of Israel from the time of King Herod until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The Talmud and Tosefta speak of these families as "serpents"; therefore, it is no wonder that John the Immerser and Yahshua referred to them in those terms (vipers, serpents, etc.). These families were intermarried with the "Herodians" who were, in fact, instrumental to them as "spies". For more complete information on this family, see A Book of Evidence at http://members.tripod.com/~nkuehl/index.html -- in particular, "The Night of Watching" and "The Jewish Trial".
Matthew 23:27: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."
To Matt. 23:27 cf. Gospel of the Naassenes [again, probably a reference to Nazaraeans] (in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, V.8.23)--"You are whitewashed tombs filled within with dead men's bones," that is, there is not within you the living man.
Commentary:
There were a multitude of tombs around Jerusalem. During festival periods, they were whitened so that the public might not touch them and become defiled, which would prevent them from "eating the passover" (in particular), or entering the Temple grounds. This was probably, however, a reference to the "Tombs of the Prophets", believed to have been built during the first century to memorialize the "prophets". These are the same prophets that Yashua refers to as having been killed by the ancestors of the people who built them.
Matthew 23:35: "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zach-a-ri-as son of Bar-a-chi-as, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."
To Matt. 23:35 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 23:35)--In the gospel which the Nazarenes use, for "son of Barachiah" we find written, "son of Jehoiada." Cf. Also -- And Zechariah the son of Jehoiada said, "For he was of two names" -- Peter of Laodicea Commentary on Matthew 23:35 ed. Heinrici V.267.
Commentary:
Jehoiada was the father of Zechariah the prophet, a high priest [2 Chronicles 24:20]. There can be no doubt that Jerome replaced this name with "Barachiah", for it was clearly in the Hebrew original as Jehoiada.
Matthew 25:22: He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them."
To Matt. 25:22ff. Cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Eusebius, Theophany on Matt. 25:14f.)--But the Gospel [written] in Hebrew letters which has reached our hands [Eusebius, by his own admission, claims that there was a gospel written in the Hebrew] turns the threat not against the man who had hid [the talent], but against him who had lived dissolutely--for it told of three servants: one who wasted his master's possessions with harlots and flute-girls, one who multiplied his gains, and one who hid the talent; and accordingly, one was accepted, one was only rebuked, and one was shut up in prison.
Commentary:
A different version of the same parable.
Matthew 26:74: Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew."
To Matt. 26:74 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans: The Jewish Gospel has: And he denied, and he swore [i.e., took an oath], and he cursed.
Commentary:
This is interesting, for here we understand clearly that Peter not only cursed [bitterly cursed, or execrated Yahshua], but he also denied knowing him, and most importantly, he "took an oath" that he did not know him. Taking an "oath" or sheba [seven] is the most serious self-condemnation that he committed. This is literally a swearing of truth between Yahvah and man. It is like standing before Yahvah and denying adamantly knowing Yahshua. Yahvah is the Elohim of the Oath, thus of Complete and Perfect Truth. No wonder he cried bitterly. He knew he had lied to Yahvah.
Matthew 27:16: "And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas."
To Matt. 27:16 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 27:16)--In the Gospel according to the Hebrews Barabbas is interpreted as "son of their master (teacher?)." He had been condemned because of insurrection and murder.
Commentary:
This makes complete sense. Barabbas, means literally "son of the father" (or in the philosophical sense "teacher" or "master"). He was probably a leader of the Zealot faction who were then attempting to do away with Roman administration in Jerusalem. He might well have been associated with Judas the Galilean, the head of the Zealot movement.
Luke 23:34: "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."
To Luke 23:34 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Haimo of Auxerre, Commentary on Isaiah 53:12)--As it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes: At this word of the Lord, many thousands of Jews standing around the cross, believed.
Commentary:
Just prior to a Jewish execution, the accused is asked to confess (not his crime, but his sin) so that he might be forgiven by Yahvah and be allowed to enter the World Without End. The Mishnah is quite clear about this: "[When] he was ten cubits from the place of stoning (beth haseqilah or execution site, which was on the Mount of Olives at Beth Pagi) they say to him, "Confess," for it is usual for those about to be put to death to confess. For whoever confesses has a share in the world to come" [Mishnah, Sanhedrin 6:2]. The reason given for this is that Joshua asked Achan to confess his transgression before the congregation put him to death. Yahshua did not confess as they wanted him to; instead, he prayed that the Father (Yahvah) might forgive them for their sin. The second thing about this Scripture in the Hebrew that we must note is that the word "cross" did not exist during the first century in the Hebrew language. Therefore, the Jews who wrote that original Hebrew gospel would not have used the Greek word "stauros" - stake or pole - but the word 'ets - "tree" (it is always translated in the apostles, and Peter, in particular, as xulon -- living tree, or "green tree"). The Jewish people had to adapt another word in order to come up with the modern Hebrew word tslav for "cross".
Matthew 27:51: "And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent..."
To Matt. 27:51 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans (in Jerome, Letter 120 to Hedibia and Commentary on Matthew 27:51): In the Gospel that is written in Hebrew letters we read, not that the curtain of the temple was torn, but that the astonishingly large lintel of the temple collapsed.
Commentary:
Again, here is a notation by Jerome that this gospel was written in Hebrew. The "lintel" to which Jerome is here referring was not a lintel over the Sanctuary House of the Temple. It was the lintel over the inner Nicanor Gate, and it was this lintel (held in place by a 60-foot high wall around the Sanctuary) from which hung the first veil. The Holy Place of the Temple was inside the Sanctuary area, not exclusively in the House. It was restricted to all Israelites (per Josephus) by this 60-foot high wall; thus, no one might be able to see into the Court of the Priests nor the altar area. The wall carving at Dura Europa of the Temple clearly shows this Nicanor Gate with its veil hanging in place, and behind we see the smoke from the altar and the blue veil hanging over the Holy of Holies.
The Nicanor was the "Great Gate" of the Temple referred to in Mishnah, Middot 4:2. "A golden vine was standing at the entrance of the sanctuary, trained over the posts. Whoever gave a leaf or a berry or a cluster brings it and hangs it on it. Said R. Eleazar bar Sadoq, 'There was an incident, and three hundred priests were appointed [to clear it since it was too heavy'" [Mishnah, Middot 3:8]. The "Great Gate" was seventy-five feet in height, and its doors were sixty feet high. It would have taken this "Great Gate" in order to hold up the great stone lintel holding the veil at the entrance of the Sanctuary. (Note, the Sanctuary is the complete interior courtyard of the priests, including the building of the House of Yahvah. It includes the Court of Priests, the Altar, the Porch and Steps and the House, as well as the priestly offices on either side of the building and its underground offices).
Matthew 27:65: "Pilate said unto them, Ye [i.e. the Sanhedrin of the Temple have their own police force or "watch"] have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can."
To Matt. 27:65 cf. Gospel of the Nazaraeans, as recorded in a marginal note of some mss: The Jewish Gospel has: And he delivered armed men to them, that they might sit opposite the cave and guard it day and night.
Commentary:
Note something here: there were never Roman centurians who guarded the Tomb of Yahshua -- there were only Temple police guards present at the tomb. Thus this is the reason they reported to Caiaphas the events of that morning. Roman guards would never have fallen asleep on the job, lest they be put to death; neither would they have reported to Caiaphas who would have had no control over them.
The Gospel of the Ebionites is known only by the quotations from Epiphanius in these passages of his Panarion: 30.13.1-8, 30.14.5, 30.16.4-5, and 30.22.4.
The following selection is excerpted from Montague Rhode James in The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1924), pp. 8-10.
All our knowledge of this is derived from Epiphanius, and he uses very confusing language about it (as about many other things). The passages are as follows:
And they (the Ebionites) receive the Gospel according to Matthew. For this they too, like the followers of Cerinthus and Merinthus, use to the exclusion of others. And they call it according to the Hebrews, as the truth is, that Matthew alone of New Testament writers made his exposition and preaching of the Gospel in Hebrew and in Hebrew letters.
Epiphanius goes on to say that he had heard of Hebrew versions of John and Acts kept privately in the treasuries (Geniza?) at Tiberias, and continues:
In the Gospel they have, called according to Matthew, but not wholly complete, but falsified and mutilated (they call it the Hebrew Gospel), it is contained that 'There was a certain man named Jesus, and he was about thirty years old, who chose us. And coming unto Capernaum he entered into the house of Simon who was surnamed Peter, and opened his mouth and said: As I passed by the lake of Tiberias, I chose John and James the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and <Philip and Bartholomew, James the son of Alphaeus and Thomas> Thaddaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the Iscariot: and thee, Matthew, as thou satest as the receipt of custom I called, and thou followedst me. You therefore I will to be twelve apostles for a testimony unto (of) Israel.
And:
John was baptizing, and there went out unto him Pharisees and were baptized, and all Jerusalem. And John had raiment of camel's hair and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat (it saith) was wild honey, whereof the taste is the taste of manna, as a cake dipped in oil. That, forsooth, they may pervert the word of truth into a lie and for locusts put a cake dipped in honey (sic).
These Ebionites were vegetarians and objected to the idea of eating locusts. A locust in Greek is akris, and the word they used for cake is enkris, so the change is slight. We shall meet with this tendency again.
And the beginning of their Gospel says that: It came to pass in the days of Herod the king of Judaea <when Caiaphas was high priest> that there came <a certain man> John <by name>, baptizing with the baptism of repentance in the river Jordan, who was said to be of the lineage of Aaron the priest, child of Zecharias and Elisabeth, and all went out unto him.
The borrowing from St. Luke is very evident here. He goes on:
And after a good deal more it continues that:
After the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John; and as he came up from the water, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Holy Ghost in the likeness of a dove that descended and entered into him: and a voice from heaven saying: Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased: and again: This day have I begotten thee. And straightway there shone about the place a great light. Which when John saw (it saith) he saith unto him: Who art thou, Lord? and again there was a voice from heaven saying unto him: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. And then (it saith) John fell down before him and said: I beseech thee, Lord, baptize thou me. But he prevented him saying: Suffer it (or let it go): for thus it behoveth that all things should be fulfilled.
And on this account they say that Jesus was begotten of the seed of a man, and was chosen; and so by the choice of God he was called the Son of God from the Christ that came into him from above in the likeness of a dove. And they deny that he was begotten of God the Father, but say that he was created as one of the archangels, yet greater, and that he is Lord of the angels and of all things made by the Almighty, and that he came and taught, as the Gospel (so called) current among them contains, that, 'I came to destroy the sacrifices, and if ye cease not from sacrificing, the wrath of God will not cease from you'.
(With reference to the Passover and the evasion of the idea that Jesus partook of flesh:)
They have changed the saying, as is plain to all from the combination of phrases, and have made the disciples say: Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the Passover? and him, forsooth, say Have I desired with desire to eat this flesh of the Passover with you?
These fragments show clearly that the Gospel was designed to support a particular set of views. They enable us also to distinguish it from the Gospel according to the Hebrews, for, among other things, the accounts of the Baptism in the two are quite different. Epiphanius is only confusing the issue when he talks of it as the Hebrew Gospel - or rather, the Ebionites may be guilty of the confusion, for he attributes the name to them.
The Gospel according to the Twelve, or 'of the Twelve', mentioned by Origen (Ambrose and Jerome) is identified by Zahn with the Ebionite Gospel. He makes a good case for the identification. If the two are not identical, it can only be said that we know nothing of the Gospel according to the Twelve.
Revillout, indeed, claims the title for certain Coptic fragments of narratives of the Passion which are described in their propery place in this collection: but no one has been found to follow his lead.
The Gospel of the Ebionites
In the Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis,
In the Gospel that is in general use among them which is called "according to Matthew",
which however is not whole and complete but forged and mutilated - they call it the
Hebrews Gospel-it is reported:
There appeared a certain man named Jesus of about thirty years of age, who chose us.
And when he came to Capernaum, he entered into the house of Simon whose surname
is Peter, and opened his mouth and said: "As I passed the Lake of Tiberias, I chose John
and James the sons of Zebedee, and Simon and Andrew and Thaddeus and Simon the
Zealot and Judas the Iscariot, and you, Matthew, I called as you sat at the receipt of
custom, and you followed me. You, therefore, I will to be twelve apostles for a testimony
unto Israel." (Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.2-3)
And:
It came to pass that John was baptzing; and there went out to him Pharisees and were
baptized, and all of Jerusalem.
And John had a garment of camel`s hair and a leather girdle about his loins, and
his food, as it is said, was wild honey, the taste if which was that of manna, as a cake
dipped in oil.
Thus they were resolved to pervert the truth into a lie and put a cake in the place of locusts.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.4-5)
And the beginning of their Gospel runs:
It came to pass in the days of Herod the king of Judaea, when Caiaphas was high priest,
that there came one, John by name, and baptized with the baptism of repentance in
the river Jordan. It was said of him that he was of the lineage of Aaron the priest, a
son of Zacharias and Elisabeth : and all went out to him.
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.6)
And after much has been recorded it proceeds:
When the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John.
And as he came up from the water, the heavens was opened and he saw the
Holy Spirit in the form of a dove that descended and entered into him.
And a voice sounded from Heaven that said:
"You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased. "
And again: " I have this day begotten you".
And immediately a great light shone round about the place.
When John saw this, it is said, he said unto him :
"Who are you, Lord?"
And again a voice from Heaven rang out to him:
"This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
And then, it is said, John fell down before him and said:
"I beseech you, Lord, baptize me."
But he prevented him and said:
"Suffer it; for thus it is fitting that everything should be fulfilled."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7-8)
Moreover, they deny that he was a man, evidently on the ground of the
word which the Saviour spoke when it was reported to him:
"Behold, your mother and your brethren stand without." namely:
"Who is my mother and who are my brethren?"
And he stretched his hand towards his disciples and said:
"These are my brethren and mother and sisters, who do the will of my Father."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.14.5)
They say that Christ was not begotten of God the Father, but created as one of
the archangels ... that he rules over the angels and all the creatures of the
Almighty, and that he came and declared, as their Gospel, which is called
Gospel according to Matthew, or Gospel According to the Hebrews?,
reports:
"I am come to do away with sacrfices, and if you cease not sacrificing,
the wrath of God will not cease from you."
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.16,4-5)
But they abandon the proper sequence of the words and pervert the saying,
as is plain to all from the readings attached, and have let the disciples say:
"Where will you have us prepare the passover?"
And him to answer to that:
"Do I desire with desire at this Passover to eat flesh with you?"
(Epiphanius, Panarion 30.22.4)

Gospel of the Hebrews
Information
Sources: Patristic quotations.
The gospel of the Hebrews is one of several known Jewish-Christian gospels. The texts identified here are those attributed to the gospel of the Hebrews by A. F. J. Klijn in Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition. It should be noted that the extracts identified in the text and translation section below are sometimes subject to my own modest, conservative efforts at reconstruction (turning indirect dialogue into direct, combining quotations of what is apparently the same source text, and so forth). The full quotations in their original state (as rendered in standard texts) are given in the context and textual parallels section further down the page. Dubious or spurious extracts are listed in the attestation section.
Index to other gospel texts.
Text and Translation

Patristic Quotations in Greek or Latin Patristic Quotations in English   
1 [Dicitur:] «Descendet super eum omnis fons spiritus sancti». .... Factum est autem cum ascendisset dominus de aqua descendit fons omnis spiritus sancti, et requievit super eum, et dixit illi: «Fili mi, in omnibus prophetis exspectabam te, ut venires et requiescerem in te. tu es enim requies mea. tu es filius meus primogenitus, qui regnas in sempiternum». .... 1 [It is said,] "The whole fountain of the Holy Spirit shall descend over him." .... Moreover, it happened that, when the Lord ascended from the water, the whole fountain of the Holy Spirit descended and rested over him, and said to him, "My son, in all the prophets I was expecting you, that you should come and I might rest in you. You indeed are my rest. You are my firstborn son, who reigns in eternity." ....   
2 [Αὐτὸς ὁ σωτήρ ἔφη·] «Ἄρτι ἔλαβέ με ἡ μήτηρ μου, τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, ἐν μιᾷ τῶν τριχῶν μου καὶ ἀπήνεγκέ με εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ μέγα Θαβώρ». .... 2 [The savior himself said,] "Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, took me by one of my hairs and bore me up to Tabor, the great mountain." ....   
3 [Οὔχ ὁ Μαθθαῖος ἀλλὰ] Μαθθίας [καὶ ὁ̣ Λ̣ε̣υ̣ὶς εἷς διώνυμοί εἰσιν.] .... 3 [Not Matthew but rather] Matthias [and Levi are one person with a double name.] ....   
4 [Ἔφη·] «ὁ θαυμάσας βασιλεύσει καὶ ὁ βασιλεύσας ἀναπαήσεται». .... 4 [He said,] "The one who marveled shall reign, and the one who reigned shall rest." ....   
5 [Dominus ad discipulos locutus est:] «Nunquam laeti sitis nisi cum fratrem vestrum videritis in charitate». .... 5 [The Lord said to the disciples,] "Never be content except when you look upon your brother in charity." ....   
6 [Dixit:] «Inter maxima ponitur crimina qui fratris sui spiritum contristaverit». .... 6 [He said,] "Among the maximal crimes is placed one who caused sorrow to the spirit of his brother. ....   
7 Dominus autem cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit ad Iacobum et apparuit ei. iuraverat enim Iacobus se non comesturum panem ab illa hora quia biberat calicem Domini donec videret eum resurgentem a dormientibus. .... «Afferte», ait Dominus, «mensam et panem». Tulit panem et benedixit, ac fregit, et dedit Iacobo Iusto, et dixit ei: «Frater mi, comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit Filius Hominis a dormientibus». .... 7 The Lord, however, when he had given the shroud to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him. James indeed had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour when he had drunk the chalice of the Lord until he saw him risen from among those who sleep. .... "Bear forth," said the Lord, "a table and bread." He bore bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to James the Just, and said to him, "My brother, eat your bread, because the Son of Man has resurrected from among those who sleep." .... 

Notes and Quotes
Context and Textual Parallels
1. Jerome, On Isaiah 4, commentary on 11.2: Sed iuxta evangelium quod Hebrao sermone conscriptum legunt Nazaraei: «Descendet super eum omnis fons spiritus sancti». .... porro in evangelio cuius supra fecimus mentionem haec scripta reperimus: «Factum est autem cum ascendisset dominus de aqua descendit fons omnis spiritus sancti, et requievit super eum, et dixit illi: Fili mi, in omnibus prophetis exspectabam te, ut venires et requiescerem in te. tu es enim requies mea. tu es filius meus primogenitus, qui regnas in sempiternum». / But according to the gospel which the Nazaraeans read, written up in Hebrew speech: "The whole fount of the Holy Spirit shall descend over him." .... Further on in the gospel of which we made mention above we find these things written: "But it happened that, when the Lord ascended from the water, the whole fount of the Holy Spirit descended and rested over him, and said to him: 'My son, in all the prophets I was expecting you, that you should come, and I might rest in you. You indeed are my rest. You are my firstborn son, who reigns in eternity.'"
Isaiah 11.2: וְנָחָ֥ה עָלָ֖יו ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֑ה ר֧וּחַ חָכְמָ֣ה וּבִינָ֗ה ר֤וּחַ עֵצָה֙ וּגְבוּרָ֔ה ר֥וּחַ דַּ֖עַת וְיִרְאַ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃ / καὶ ἀναπαύσεται ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ συνέσεως πνεῦμα βουλῆς καὶ ἰσχύος πνεῦμα γνώσεως καὶ εὐσεβείας. / The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Wisdom of Sirach 24.7: μετὰ τούτων πάντων ἀνάπαυσιν ἐζήτησα καὶ ἐν κληρονομίᾳ τίνος αὐλισθήσομαι. / Among all these I [Wisdom] sought a resting place; I sought in whose territory I might lodge.
Luke 1.33 (reigning in eternity).
Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 87.1-6 (relating Isaiah 11.2 to Christ).
Tertullian, Against the Jews 8.14: ...ex quo signata est visio et prophetia id est statuta, et merito evangelista: Lex et prophetae usque ad Iohannem baptizatorem. Baptizato enim Christo id est sanctificante aquas in suo baptismate omnis plenitudo spiritalium retro charismatum in Christo cesserunt signante visiones et prophetias omnes quas adventu suo adimplevit. / ...since which event "sealed is vision and prophecy," that is, confirmed. And justly does the evangelist write, "The law and the prophets (were) until John" the Baptist. For, on Christ's being baptized, that is, on His sanctifying the waters in His own baptism, all the plenitude of bygone spiritual grace-gifts ceased in Christ, sealing as He did all vision and prophecies, which by His advent He fulfilled.
Jerome, Against the Pelagians 3.2 ((baptism of Jesus in the gospel according to the Nazoraeans).
Epiphanius, Panarion 30.13.7-8 (baptism of Jesus in the gospel according to the Ebionites).
Ephrem, Commentary on the Diatessaron: The Spirit which rested upon him during his baptism.... Many were baptized that day, but the Spirit descended and rested upon only one....
Hugo of Saint Cher, On the Book of Isaiah: In evangelio Nazaraeorum, quod Hebraice scriptum est, ita habetur: Factum est cum ascendisset dominus de aqua descendit fons omnis spiritus et requievit super eum et dixit ei: Expectabam te, fili, in omnibus prophetis, ut venires et requiescerem in te. tu enim es requies mea. tu es filius meus primogenitus, qui regnas in sempiternum. / In the gospel of the Nazaraeans, which was written in Hebraic, it is held thus: But it happened that, when the Lord ascended from the water, the whole fount of the holy spirit descended and rested over him, and said to him: My son, in all the prophets I was expecting you, that you should come, and I might rest in you. You indeed are my rest. You are my firstborn son, who reigns in eternity.
2a. Origen, On John 2.12, commentary on John 1.3: Ἐὰν δὲ προσιῆται τις τὸ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγέλιον, ἔνθα αὐτὸς ὁ σωτήρ φησιν· «Ἄρτι ἔλαβέ με ἡ μήτηρ μου, τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, ἐν μιᾷ τῶν τριχῶν μου καὶ ἀπήνεγκέ με εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ μέγα Θαβώρ», ἐπαπορήσει, πῶς «μήτηρ» Χριστοῦ τὸ διὰ τοῦ λόγου γεγενημένον «πνεῦμα ἅγιον» εἶναι δύναται. / But if any should admit the gospel according to the Hebrews, where the savior himself says: "Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, took me by one of my hairs and carried me to Tabor, the great mountain," he will be confused as to how the holy spirit can be the mother of Christ, born through the word.
2b. Origen, On Jeremiah 15.4: εἰ δέ τις παραδέχεται τὸ «ἄρτι ἔλαβέ με ἡ μήτηρ μου τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, καὶ ἀνήνεγκέ με εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ μέγα τὸ Θαβὼρ» καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς, δύναται αὐτοῦ ἰδεῖν τὴν μητέρα. / And if any accepts this: "Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, took me to Tabor, the great mountain," and what follows, he can see his mother.
2c. Jerome, On Micah 2, commentary on 7.6: Sed qui legerit canticum canticorum et sponsum animae dei sermonum intellexerit, credideritque evangelio quod secundum Hebraeos editum nuper transtulimus, in quo ex persona salvatoris dicitur: «Modo tulit me mater mea, sanctus spiritus, in uno capillorum meorum», non dubitabit dicere sermonem dei ortum esse de spiritu, et animam, quae sponsa sermonis est, habere socrum sanctum spiritum, qui apud Hebraeos genere dicitur feminino rua (רוח). / But he who reads the Song of Songs and understands the spouse of the soul to be the speech of God, and believes the gospel which we recently translated, that published as according to the Hebrews, in which from the person of the savior it is said: "Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, bore me by one of my hairs," will not doubt to say that the speech of God springs from the spirit, and that the soul, which is the spouse of the speech, has the holy spirit as a mother-in-law, which among the Hebrews is said by the female gender, rua (רוח).
2d. Jerome On Isaiah 11, commentary on 40.9: Sed et in evangelio quod iuxta Hebraeos scriptum Nazaraei lectitant, dominus loquitur: «Modo me tulit mater mea, spiritus sanctus». / But also in the gospel which the Nazaraeans read, written according to the Hebrews, the Lord says: "Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, bore me away."
2e. Jerome, On Ezekiel, commentary on 16.13: In evangelio quoque Hebraeorum, quod lectitant Nazaraei, salvator inducitur loquens: «Modo me arripuit mater mea, spiritus sanctus». / In the gospel of the Hebrews also, which the Nazaraeans read, the Savior is introduced saying: "Just now my mother, the holy spirit, snatched me away."
Matthew 4.8 = Luke 4.5 (the mountain in the temptation, called Tabor in Christian tradition).
Matthew 17.1 = Mark 9.2 = Luke 9.28 (the mountain in the transfiguration, also called Tabor in Christian tradition).
A. F. J. Klijn comments: In N.T. Ms. 1424 it is said in a marginal gloss to Matth. 28,16 that Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection εἰς τὸ Θαβώρ.
Ezekiel 8.3 LXX (the spirit picking one up by the hair).
Daniel 14.35 Vulgate = Bel and the Dragon 1.36 (an angel picking up on by the crown of the head).
Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch 6.3; Acts 8.26; 13.2; 16.7 (being carried away by the Holy Spirit).
Kölner Mani Kodex 55.16-23 [...] ἐξα[ί]φνης ἥρπ[ασὲν] με π[νεῦμα τὸ] ζῶν καὶ ἀν[ήνεγκεν βί]αι μεγίστη[ι καὶ με κατέ]στησεν κα[τὰ τὸ ἄκρον] ὄρους ὑψη[λοτάτου.] / [...] sudd[e]nly [the] living s[pirit] sna[tched] me and with grea[t fo]rce [bore me] up [and] se[t me] do[wn on the peak] of a [very] high mountain.
3. Didymus the Blind, On the Psalms 184.9-10, commentary on Psalm 34.1 (33.1 LXX): τὸν Μαθθαῖον δοκεῖ ἐν τῷ κατὰ Λουκᾶν Λευὶν ὀνομάζειν. οὔκ ἐστιν δὲ αὐτός, ἀλλὰ ὁ κατασταθεὶς ἀντὶ τοῦ Ἰούδα ὁ Μαθθίας καὶ ὁ̣ Λ̣ε̣υ̣ὶς εἷς διώνυμο<ί> εἰσιν. ἐν τῷ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦτο φαίνεται. / It seems that in the one according to Luke Matthew is named Levi, but it is not the same person, but rather the Matthias who was installed instead of Judas and Levi are one person with a double name. This appears in the gospel according to the Hebrews.
Matthew 9.9 = Mark 2.13-14 = Luke 5.27-28 (call of Matthew or Levi).
Matthew 10.2-4 = Mark 3.16-19 = Luke 6.13-16; Acts 1.12; Epistula Apostolorum 2 (names of the twelve apostles).
Acts 1.23 (Matthias).
A. F. J. Klijn comments: Both the name Matthew and Matthias are translations of the Hebrew מתתיה. However, this name is also rendered in Greek by words like ματθαθίας, ματθίας, ματταθίας, ματταθία, μαθθίας, μαθθαθίας, μαθθανίας and ματθιας. From this it appears that the name Matthias was known among Greek-speaking Jews. If Hebrew- or Aramaic-speaking Jewish-Christian circles knew an apostle by the name מתתיה, it is easy to explain how that this name was translated as Matthias by some Greek-speaking Christians and as Matthew by others. The occurrence of two or even more different renderings of the same Hebrew name is quite normal. The result of all this is that Matthias in this context seems to be no one other than Matthew.
4. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 2.9 (45.5): ᾗ κἀν τῷ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγελίῳ «ὁ θαυμάσας βασιλεύσει» γέγραπται «καὶ ὁ βασιλεύσας ἀναπαήσεται». / Which also is written in the gospel according to the Hebrews: "He who marveled shall reign, and he who reigned shall rest."
Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 5.14 (96.3).
Matthew 7.7 = Luke 11.9 (he who seeks shall find).
Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654, lines 5-9.
Thomas 2: Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"
Acts of Thomas 136: καὶ οἱ ἀξίως μεταλαμβάνοντες τῶν ἐκεῖ ἀγαθῶν ἀναπαύονται καὶ ἀναπαυόμενοι βασιλεύουσιν. / They which worthily partake of the good things that are therein do rest, and resting do reign.
Eusebius, History of the Church 2.13.7 (a similar saying amongst the Simonians).
5. Jerome, On Ephesians 3, commentary on Ephesians 5.4: Ut in Hebraico quoque evangelio legimus, dominus ad discipulos loquentem: «Nunquam», inquit, «laeti sitis nisi cum fratrem vestrum videritis in charitate». / As we read also in the Hebraic gospel, the Lord, speaking to the disciples, says: "Never be content except when you look upon your brother in charity."
Matthew 5.24 (be reconciled to your brother; but this is not a very close parallel).
Mark 10.21 (Jesus looked at him and loved him).
Liège Diatessaron: Doe sach ihs lieflec op hem. / Then Jesus looked upon him lovingly.
6. Jerome, On Ezekiel 6, commentary on 18.7: Et in evangelio quod iuxta Hebraeos Nazaraei legere consueverunt, inter maxima ponitur crimina qui fratris sui spiritum contristaverit. / And in the gospel which the Nazaraeans are accustomed to read, according to the Hebrews, it places among the maximal crimes one who has caused sorrow to the spirit of his brother.
1 Thessalonians 5.19 (do not quench the Spirit).
Ephesians 4.30 (do not grieve the Spirit).
Shephard of Hermas, Mandate 10.2.5: μὴ θλῖβε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τὸ ἐν σοὶ κατοικοῦν. / Do not crush the holy spirit that dwells in you.
Shephard of Hermas, Mandate 10.3.2: ὁ δὲ λυπηρὸς ἀνὴρ πάντοτε πονηρεύεται· πρῶτον μὲν πονηρεύεται, ὅτι λυπεῖ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τὸ δοθὲν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἱλαρὸν· δεύτερον δὲ λυπῶν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἀνομίαν ἐργάζεται, μὴ ἐντυγχάνων μηδὲ ἐξομολογούμενος τῷ κυρίῳ. / The one who is filled with grief, on the other hand, always does what is evil. First, he does evil because he grieves the cheerful holy spirit that has been given him; second, he grieves the holy spirit by behaving lawlessly, neither praying nor making confession to the Lord.
Cyprian, On Gamblers 3: Monet Dominus et dicit: «Nolite contristare spiritum sanctum qui in vobis est et nolite extinguere lumen quod in vobis effulsit». / The Lord warns and says: Do not cause sorrow to the Holy Spirit who is in you and do not extinguish the light which has shone in you.
7. Jerome, On Famous Men 2: Evangelium quoque quod appellatur secundum Hebraeos, et a me nuper in Graecum Latinumque sermonem translatum est, quo et Origenes saepe utitur, post resurrectionem salvatoris refert: «Dominus autem cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdotis, ivit ad Iacobum et apparuit ei. iuraverat enim Iacobus se non comesturum panem ab illa hora quia biberat calicem domini donec videret eum resurgentem a dormientibus». Rursusque post paululum: «Afferte, ait dominus, mensam et panem». statimque additur: «Tulit panem et benedixit, ac fregit, et dedit Iacobo iusto, et dixit ei: Frater mi, comede panem tuum, quia resurrexit filius hominis a dormientibus». / Also the gospel which is named according to the Hebrews, and which was recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which also Origen often used, refers after the resurrection of the savior: "But the Lord, when he had given the shroud to the servant of the priest, went to James and appeared to him. James indeed had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour when he had drunk the chalice of the Lord until he saw him risen from among those who sleep." And again after a little bit: "Bear forth, said the Lord, a table and bread." And immediately is added: "He bore bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to James the just, and said to him: My brother, eat your bread, because the son of man has resurrected from among those who sleep."
1 Corinthians 15.7 (resurrection appearance to James).
Mark 16.14; Luke 24.36-49; John 21.1-17 (resurrection appearance involving a meal).
Matthew 20.22 = Mark 10.38; Matthew 26.39 = Mark 14.36 = Luke 22.42; John 18.11 (drinking the cup).
Acts of Thomas 49: ἐκέλευσεν δὲ ὁ ἀπόστολος τῷ διακόνῳ αὐτοῦ παραθεῖναι τράπεζαν· παρέθηκαν δὲ συμψέλλιον ὃ εὗρον ἐκεῖ, καὶ ἁπλώσας σινδόνα ἐπ' αὐτὸ ἐπέθηκεν ἄρτον τῆς εὐλογίας. / And the apostle bade his minister (deacon) to set forth a table; and he set forth a stool which they found there, and spread a linen cloth upon it and set on the bread of blessing.
Pseudo-Abdias, Apostolic Histories 6.1: Quorum minor natu Iacobus Christo salvatore in primis semper dilectus tanto rursus desiderio in magistrum flagrabat ut crucifixo eo cibum capere noluerit, priusquam a mortuis resurgentem videret, quod meminerit sibi et fratribus a Christo agente in vivis fuisse praedictum. quare ei primum omnium ut et Mariae Magdalenae et Petro apparere voluit ut discipulum in fide confirmaret et ne diutinum ieiunium toleraret, favo mellis oblato ad comedendum insuper Iacobum invitavit. / Of those James the lesser by birth was always first beloved by Christ the savior and in turn burned with such desire for the master that after he was crucified he wished not to take food until he saw him rising from the dead, which he and his brothers remembered was predicted while he was active among the living. Therefore, he wished first of all to appear to him and to both Mary Magdalene and Peter to confirm the disciple in faith and not to allow him to suffer from fasting any longer, and he offered him a honeycomb and invited James to eat.
Gregory of Tours, Book of Ten Histories 1.22: Fertur Iacobus apostolus, cum domino iam mortuum vidisset in cruce, detestasse atque iurasse numquam se comisurum panem nisi dominum cerneret resurgentem. tertia denum die rediens dominus, spoliato Tartaro cum triumpho, Iacobo se ostendens ait: Surge, Iacobe, comede, quia iam a mortuis resurrexi. hic est Iacobus iustus, quem fratrem domini nuncupant, pro eo quod Ioseph fuerit filius ex alia uxore progenitus. / It is said that James the apostle, when he had seen the Lord already dead on the cross, cursed and sword never to eat bread unless he should discern the Lord rising. When on the third day the Lord returned, having despoiled Tartarus with his triumph, he showed himself to James and said: Rise, James; eat, because I have already resurrected from the dead. This is James the just, whom they call the brother of the Lord, since he was the son of Joseph born from another wife.
Sedulius Scotus, Pauline Collection at 1 Corinthians 15.7: Deinde Iacobo, Alphaei filio, qui se testatus est a coena domini non cemesurum panem usquequo videret Christum resurgentem, sicut in evangelio secundum Hebraeos legimus. / Next, James the son of Alphaeus, who testified that he would not eat bread from the table of the Lord until he saw Christ rising, just as we read in the gospel according to the Hebrews.
Jacobus a Voragine, Legenda Aurea 67: In parasceue autem, mortuo domino, sicut dicit Iosephus et Hieronymus in libro de viris illustribus, Iacobus votum vovit se non comesurum donec videret dominum a mortuis surrexisse. in ipsa autem die resurrectionis, cum usque ad diem illam Iacobus non gustasset cibum, eidem dominus apparuit ac eis qui cum eo erant; dixit: Ponite mensam et panem. deinde panem accipiens benedixit et dedit Iacobo iusto, dicens: Surge, frater mi; comede, quia filius hominis a mortuis resurrexit. / On the Preparation [Friday], however, when the Lord died, just as Josephus and Jerome say in the Book of Illustrious Men, James took an oath not to eat until he saw the Lord rise from the dead. On that same day of the resurrection, however, since right up until that day James had not enjoyed food, the Lord appeared to him and to those who were with him; he said: Put up a table and bread. Next he accepted bread and blessed it and gave it to James the just, saying: Rise, my brother; eat, because the son of man has risen from the dead.
Irish reference Bible: De eo testatur euangelium eius secundum Ebreos et a me nuper in Graecum et Latinum translatum, quod et Ori{g}enes uti{tur} post resurrectionem domini refert: Dominus cum dedisset sindonem servo sacerdoti ibit ad Iacobum et apparuit ei. iuraverit enim Iacobus se non commessurum panem ab illa hora qua biberet calicem dominus donec videret eius resurrectionem a mortuis. inde dominus post benedixit panem et fregit et dedit Iacobo, dicens ei: Frater mi, comede panem tuum, quia surrexit filius hominis. / About this his gospel according to the Hebrews testifies, and it has been translated by me into Greek and Latin, which also Origen used when it says after the resurrection of the Lord: The Lord when he had given a shroud to the servant of the priest went to James and appeared to him. For James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which the Lord drank the cup until he saw his resurrection from the dead. Then after this the Lord blessed the bread and broke it and gave it to James, saying to him: My brother, eat your bread, because the son of man has arisen.
Attestation and Dubious Texts
Eusebius, History of the Church 3.25.5: ἤδη δ' ἐν τούτοις τινὲς καὶ τὸ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγέλιον κατέλεξαν, ᾧ μάλιστα Ἑβραίων οἱ τὸν Χριστὸν παραδεξάμενοι χαίρουσιν. / And some indeed catalogue also the gospel according to the Hebrews among these [illegitimate scriptures], in which those of the Hebrews who have accepted Christ especially rejoice.
Eusebius, History of the Church 3.27.4: οὗτοι δὲ τοῦ μὲν ἀποστόλου πάμπαν τὰς ἐπιστολὰς ἀρνητέας ἡγοῦντο εἶναι δεῖν, ἀποστάτην ἀποκαλοῦντες αὐτὸν τοῦ νόμου, εὐαγγελίῳ δὲ μόνῳ τῷ καθ' Ἑβραίους λεγομένῳ χρώμενοι, τῶν λοιπῶν σμικρὸν ἐποιοῦντο λόγον. / And these [Ebionites] reckoned that all the epistles of the apostle ought to be denied, calling him an apostate from the law, and, using only the gospel called according to the Hebrews, they make little of the word of the rest.
Eusebius, History of the Church 3.39.17: κέχρηται δ' ὁ αὐτὸς μαρτυρίαις ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰωάννου προτέρας ἐπιστολῆς καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Πέτρου ὁμοίως, ἐκτέθειται δὲ καὶ ἄλλην ἱστορίαν περὶ γυναικὸς ἐπὶ πολλαῖς ἁμαρτίαις διαβληθείσης ἐπὶ τοῦ κυρίου, ἣν τὸ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγέλιον περιέχει. καὶ ταῦτα δ' ἡμῖν ἀναγκαίως πρὸς τοῖς ἐκτεθεῖσιν ἐπιτετηρήσθω. / And [Papias] himself used testimonies from the first epistle of John and similarly from that of Peter, and set out also another record about a woman who was charged for many sins before the Lord, which the gospel according to the Hebrews has. And let these things also be necessarily observed by us on top of the things that have been set out.
Eusebius, History of the Church 4.22.8: ἔκ τε τοῦ καθ' Ἑβραίους εὐαγγελίου καὶ τοῦ Συριακοῦ καὶ ἰδίως ἐκ τῆς Ἑβραΐδος διαλέκτου τινὰ τίθησιν, ἐμφαίνων ἐξ Ἑβραίων ἑαυτὸν πεπιστευκέναι, καὶ ἄλλα δὲ ὡς ἐξ Ἰουδαϊκῆς ἀγράφου παραδόσεως μνημονεύει. οὐ μόνος δὲ οὗτος, καὶ Εἰρηναῖος δὲ καὶ ὁ πᾶς τῶν ἀρχαίων χορὸς πανάρετον Σοφίαν τὰς Σολομῶνος Παροιμίας ἐκάλουν. / [Hegesippus] sets out something from the gospel according to the Hebrews and from the Syriac, and likewise from the Hebrew dialect, making apparent that he himself had come to faith out of the Hebrews. And other things also he records, as if from the unwritten Jewish tradition. And not only this man, but also Irenaeus and all the chorus of the ancients, called the proverbs the all-virtuous wisdom of Solomon.
Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem, Discourse on Mary Theotokos 12a: [El monje dice:] «Está escrito en [el evangelio] según los Hebreos que, deseando Cristo venir a la tierra para efectuar la redención, el buen padre llamó a una fuerza celestial por nombre Miguel, recomendándole el cuidado de Cristo en esta empresa. Y vino la fuerza al mundo, y se llamaba María, y estuvo siete meses en su seno. Después le dió a luz, y creció en estatura y escogió los apóstoles..., fue crucificado y asumido por el padre». Cirilo le dice: «¿En qué lugar de los cuatro evangelios se dice que la santa virgen María, madre de Dios, es una fuerza?» El monje responde: «En el evangelio de los Hebreos». «Entonces», dice Cirilo, «¿son cinco los evangelios? ¿Cuál es el quinto?» El monje responde: «Es el evangelio que fue escrito para los Hebreos». / "It is written in [the gospel] according to the Hebrews that, when Christ desired to come to earth to effect redemption, the good father called forth the celestial power, Michael by name, commending the care of Christ to him in this enterprise. And the power came down to the world, and it was called Mary, and he was in her womb for seven months. Afterward she brought him to light, and he grew in stature and chose the apostles {who preached him everywhere. He fulfilled the appointed time that was decreed for him. The Jews grew envious of him and came to hate him. They changed the custom of their law, and they rose up against him, and laid a trap, and caught him. They turned him over to the governor, who gave him back to them to crucify, [and he]} was crucified and assumed by the father." Cyril says to him: "In which part of the four gospels is it said that the holy virgin Mary, mother of God, is a force?" The monk responds: "In the gospel of the Hebrews." "Then," says Cyril, "are there five gospels? Which is the fifth?" The monk responds: "It is the gospel that was written for the Hebrews. [The text in braces {} comes from The Complete Gospels and fills in a lacuna left by Aurelio de Santos Otero.]
Epiphanius, Panarion 46.1: λέγεται δὲ τὸ διὰ τεσσάρων εὐαγγέλιον ὑπ' αὐτοῦ γεγενῆσθαι, ὅπερ κατὰ Ἑβραίους τινὲς καλοῦσι. / And it is said that the Diatessaron gospel, which some call according to the Hebrews, was made by [Tatian].
Jerome, On Famous Men 16: ...et proprie ad Polycarpum, commendans illi Antiochensem ecclesiam, in qua et de evangelio quod nupe a me translatum est super persona Christi ponit testimonium dicens: «Ego vero et post resurrectionem in carne eum vidi, et credo quai sit. et, quando venit ad Petrum et ad eos qui cum Petro erant, dixit eis: Ecce, palpate me, et videte quia non sum daemonium incorporale». et statim tetigerunt eum et crediderunt. / ...and properly [Ignatius wrote] to Polycarp, commending the Antiochene church to him, in which he put testimony also of the gospel which was recently translated by me about the person of Christ, saying, "I also truly saw him in the flesh after the resurrection, and believe that he is. And, when he came to Peter and to those who were with Peter, he said to them: Behold, handle me and see that I am not an incorporeal daemon." And immediately they touched him and believed. Refer also to Jerome, On Isaiah, preface to book 18: Cum enim apostoli eum putarent spiritum, vel iuxta evangelium quod Hebraeorum lectitant Nazaraei incorporale daemonium, dixit eis: «Quid turbati estis, et cogitationes ascendunt in corda vestra? videte manus meas et pedes, quia ipse ego sum. palpate et cernite, quia spiritus carnem et ossa non habet sicut me videtis habere». et cum hoc dixisset, ostendit eis manus et pedes. / Since indeed the apostles supposed him a spirit, or according to the gospel which the Nazaraeans read of the Hebrews an incorporeal daemon, he says to them, "Why are you troubled, and cogitations ascend in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself. Handle and discern, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And, when he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. Refer also to Origen, On First Things 1, preface 8: Si vero quis velit nobis proferre ex illo libello qui Petri doctrina appellatur, ubi salvator videtur ad discipulos dicere: «Non sum daemonium incorporeum», primo respondendum est ei quoniam liber ipse inter libros ecclesiasticos non habetur, et ostendendum quia neque Petri est ipsa scriptura neque alterius cuiusdam qui spiritu dei fuerit inspiratus. / If someone truly wishes to recite to us from that little book which is called the teaching of Peter, where the savior is seen to say to the disciples, "I am not an incorporeal daemon," it must first be responded to that person that this book is not held among the ecclesiastical books, and [then] demonstrated that it was written neither by Peter nor by any other one who was inspired by the spirit of God.
Jerome to Damasus, epistle 20: Denique Matthaeus, qui evangelium Hebraeo sermone conscripsit, ita posuit: «Osanna barrama», id est: «Osanna in excelsis». / At last Matthew, who wrote the gospel in Hebrew speech, puts it thus: "Hosanna barrama," that is, "Hosanna in the highest." Refer also to Paschasius Radbertus: Secundum quod Matheus, qui hoc evangelium hebreo sermone scripsit, hoc verbum in fine proposuit, «osanna rama», quod est secundo dicere, «salus in excelsis». / Therefore Matthew, who wrote this gospel in Hebrew speech, put this word at the end, "osanna rama," which is to say a second time, "salvation in the highest."
Jerome, On Matthew 1, commentary on Matthew 2.5: «In Bethleem Iudaeae»: Llbrariorum hic error est; putamus enim ab evangelista primum editum sicut in ipso Hebraico legimus, «Iudae», non «Iudaeae». / "In Bethlehem of Judea:" this is an error of the scribes; we suppose indeed that it was first published from the evangelist as we read in the Hebraic [gospel], "of Judah," not "of Judea." Refer also to Paschasius Radbertus: Nam in Hebraeo sic habet: «Et tu, Bethleem Efrata, parvus es in milibus Iuda». / For in the Hebrew is has thus: "And you, Bethlehem Ephratha, are small among the thousands of Judah." Refer also to Sedulius Scotus: Librariorum error est; putamus enim ab evangelista primum editum sicut in ipso Ebraico legimus, «Iudae», non «Iudeae». / It is an error of the scribes; we suppose indeed that it was first published from the evangelist as we read in the Hebraic, "of Judah," not "of Judea."
Philip Sidetes: τὸ δὲ καθ' Ἑβραῖους ἐυαγγέλιον καὶ τὸ λεγόμενον Πέτρου καὶ Θωμᾶ τελείως ἀπέβαλλον, αἱρετικῶν ταῦτα συγγράμματα λέγοντες. / But the ancients completely cast out the gospel according to the Hebrews and that called of Peter and of Thomas, saying that these were the writings of heretics.
Chronology of Nicephorus: Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἑβραίους, στίχοι ͵βσʹ. / The gospel according to the Hebrews, 2200 lines.
Sedulius Scotus, Commentary on Matthew: Ita nanque refert evangelium quod secundum Ebraos praetitulatur: «Intuitus Ioseph oculis vidit turbam viatorum comitantium venientium ad speluncam et dixit: Surgam et procedam foras inobviam eis. cum autem processisset, dixit ad Simonem Ioseph: Sic mihi videnture isti qui veniunt augures esse. ecce enim omni momento respiciunt in caelum et inter se disputant. sed et peregrini videntur esse, quoniam et habitus eorum differt ab habitu nostro. nam vestis eorum amplissima est, et color fuscus est eorum densius, et pilea habent in capitibus suis et molles mihi videntur vestes eorum et in pedibus eorum sunt saraballae. et ecce steterunt et intendunt in me, et ecce iterum coeperunt huc venientes ambulare.» Quibus verbis liquide ostenditur non tres tantum viros sed turbam viatorum venisse ad dominum, quamvis iuxta quosdam eiusdem turbae praecipui magistri certis nominibus Melchus, Caspar, Phadizarda nuncupentur. / For thus the gospel which is entitled according to the Hebrews reports: "When Joseph looked out with his eyes, he saw a crowd of pilgrims who were coming in company to the cave, and he said: I will arise and go out to meet them. And, when Joseph went out, he said to Simon: 'It seems to me as if those coming were soothsayers, for lo, every moment they look up to heaven and confer with one another. But they seem also to be strangers, for their appearance differs from ours; for their dress is very rich and their complexion quite dark; they have caps on their heads and their garments seem to me to be silky, and they have breeches on their legs. And lo, they have halted and are looking at me, and lo, they have again set themselves in motion and are coming here.'" From these words it is clear that not merely three men but a crowd of pilgrims came to the Lord, even if according to some the foremost leaders of this crowd were named with the definite names Melchus, Caspar, and Phadizarda. Refer also to Maelbrigte: Legitur in evangelio secundum Ebreos quod venit Ioseph foras ex diversorio ante quam intrarent domum et, admirans eos, dixit Semeon filium suum quod perigrini essent cognoscens ab habitu / It is read in the gospel according to the Hebrews that Joseph came outside from the inn before they entered the house and, admiring them, said [to] Simeon his son that they were pilgrims, knowing this from their attire.
Historical Investigation of the Gospel According to Luke, folio 56 recto, on Luke 10.13: Bezaida, in qua sanavit paraliticum cata Iohannem. in his civitatibus multae virtutes facte sunt, quae evangelium secundum Hebraos quinquaginta ter virtutes in his factas enumerat. / Bethsaida, in which he healed the paralytic according to John. In these cities many miracles were done, which the gospel according to the Hebrews ennumerates as fifty-three three miracles done in them.
Vaticanus Latinus 49: Item isti VIII dies pascae in quo resur{rexit} Christus filius dei significant VIII dies post remi{ssionem} pascae in quo iudicabitur totum semen Adae, ut nuntiatur in evangelio Ebreorum, et ideo putant sapientes diem iudicii in tempore pascae, eo quod in illo die resur{rexit} Christus ut in illo iterum resurgant sancti. / Likewise these eight days of Passover in which Christ the son of God resurrected signify eight days after the remission of Passover in which the entire seed of Adam will be judged, as is announced in the gospel of the Hebrews, and therefore wise men suppose that the day of judgment is at the time of the Passover, since on that day Christ resurrected so that on that same day the saints might rise up again.
Book of Uí Máine in the Royal Irish Academy: Inn-aidchi geini Críst cain seacht n-inganta dég domain is áibind indister dùibh 'san [s]oiscéla nEabhroibh. / The night of the birth of Christ the fair there were seventeen miracles of the world. Delightfully are they related to you in the gospel of the Hebrews. Refer also to the Yellow Book of Lacan in Trinity College, Dublin: An n-aidchi geni Crist chain Secht n-inganta déc demain Is aibind innister daib Isan t-soiscel iar n-Ebraib.
Leabhar Breac, concerning the donkey and colt appropriated for the triumphal entry: Ructha imorro focetoir o'n t-shlaníccid na hech-si for cúla di-a tigernaib, amal demnigter is-in soscela iar n-ébraidib. / Haec autem animalia a salvatore retro ducta sunt dominis suis, ut in evangelio secundum Ebraeos legitur. / These animals, however, were led back by the savior to their owners, as it is read in the gospel according to the Hebrews.
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