Friday, November 15, 2013

Authentic Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew is dependent on Gospel of Nazarenes:

James R. Edwards (2009) argues that the canonical Matthew is based on a Hebrew original, and that the citations of the Gospel of the Nazarenes are part of that original.

 An example:

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Raca, or Raka, in the Aramaic of the Talmud means empty one, fool, empty head.

Note: The phrase "without a cause" is missing from Matthew 5:22 in the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus.

Further discrepancies:
  • (GN 3) Matthew 4:5 has not "into the holy city" but "to Jerusalem."
  • (GN 5) Matthew 6:11 reads, "Give us today our bread for tomorrow." (Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 6:11)
  • (GN 6) Matthew 7:23 adds, "If ye be in my bosom, but do not the will of my Father in heaven, out of my bosom I will cast you." Compare with noncanonical 2 Clement 4:5.
  • (GN 7) Matthew 10:16 has "wise more than serpents" rather than "wise as serpents."
  • (GN 23) On Matthew 10:34-36, the Syriac translation of Eusebius' Theophania contains: '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, Syriac translation 4.12)
  • (GN 8) Matthew 11:12 reads "is plundered" instead of "suffers violence."
  • (GN 9) Matthew 11:25 has "I thank thee" rather than "I praise you."
  • (GN 10) At Matthew 12:10-13, the man who had the withered hand is described as a mason who pleaded for help in the following words: "I was a mason seeking a livelihood with my hands. I beseech thee, Jesus, to restore me to my health, that I may not in shame have to beg for my food." (Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 12:13)
  • (GN 11) Matthew 12:40 omits "three days and three nights" immediately preceding "in the heart of the earth."
  • (GN 12) Matthew 15:5 reads, "It is a korban (offering) by which ye may be profited by me." Compare Mark 7:11.
  • (GN 14) Matthew 16:17 has Hebrew "Shimon ben Yochanan" (Simon son of John) instead of Aramaic "Simon Bar-Jonah" (Simon son of Jonah).
  • (GN 15) At Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus is recorded as having said: "If your brother has sinned by 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, saying 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, a word of sin was found.(Jerome, Against Pelagius 3.2)
  • (GN 16) At Matthew 19:16-24, Origen, in his Commentary on Matthew, records there having been two rich men who approached Jesus along the way. Origen records that the second rich man asked Jesus, "Rabbi, what good thing can I do that I may live?" He (Jesus) said to him, "Man, fulfill the Law and the Prophets." He answered him, "I have done (so)." Jesus said, "Go, sell all that you have, and distribute to the poor; and come, follow me." But the rich man began to fidget (some copies read, '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 written in the Law: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself', and 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 (Jesus) turned and said to Simon his disciple, who was sitting by him, "Simon son of John, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."(Origen, Commentary on Matthew 19:16-30)
  • (GN 17) At Matthew 21:12, Jerome records, "For a certain fiery and starry light shone from His eyes, and the majesty of the Godhead gleamed in His face." Also, there is quoted in a marginal note of a thirteenth-century manuscript of the Aurora by Peter of Riga the following: "Rays issued forth from His eyes which terrified them and put them to flight."
  • (GN 18) Matthew 23:35 reads "Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada" instead of "Zechariah, the son of Barachiah."(Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 23:35)
  • (GN 21) Matthew 27:51 states not that the veil of the temple was rent, but that the lintel of the temple of wondrous size collapsed.(Jerome, Letter to Hedibia 120.8)
Jerome describes the language of the original Matthew as "Chaldee" written with "Hebrew characters". Chaldee is Aramaic:

The evidence of these verses would tend to support the claims of St. Papias and Irenaeus that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic presumably for Aramaic speakers in Syria-Palestine.

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