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- Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
- Mercer University Press
- GHT1 JCR4
- Amazon Review/s; Also read or downooad various manuscript versions from Torah Resouce's Hebrew Matthew Project
Summary: In 1380, author and medical doctor Shem-Tob ben Isaac ben Shaprut born in Tudela, Spain who later settled in Tarazona, Aragon wrote an 12-volume anti-Christian polemic ''Even Bochan" (The Touchstone). The 12th volume contained an entire Hebrew manuscript of Matthew's gospel, undated, but preserved by the Jewish community, the subject of this book. For the first time an attempt is made at translation and textual criticism and comparison with other ancient manuscript versions. When approaching the reliability of the Shem Tov edition, a crucial question is what agenda may in-between scribes have had to twist the text in their favor. The Shem Tov manuscript is kept in the London library. At least two other Hebrew editions of Matthew have been found. The first one has been published by Sebastian Munster in Basel 1537 as a book with the Hebrew text copied and a Latin translation. There were several reprints of this text during the 16th century. The original Hebrew manuscript is lost, and there is a possibility Munster had to fill some little gaps in his manuscript. The second text is the DuTillet edition in Paris, Jean Mercier 1555, also with a Latin translation. Originally, DuTillet kept the manuscript he found in Rome, but it is now at Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris (Richelieu building), as Hebrew Mss. # 132, which is written in medieval Hebrew script. It is clear these Hebrew texts come from an older Hebrew original, and the Greek Matthew gospel we have may well be a translation. Publishers comment on the back cover quote Jerome (4th century) in his De Viris Illustribus (Of Illustrious Men): "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 Saviour 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."
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