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THE HEBREW GOSPEL OF MATTHEW Paperback – July 1, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865549893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865549890
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By S. English on May 24, 2009
Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, by George Howard, is the complete Hebrew text of Matthew that "appeared in the body of a fourteenth century Jewish polemical treatise" by a Jewish apologist named Shem-Tob (or Shem-Tov). Howard presents us with the Hebrew text and an English translation on facing pages followed by an analysis of the text.

Several of the early church fathers, including Papias, Eusebius, Irenaeus, Origin, and Jerome state that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew and others later translated it. Greek and Latin speaking Christians, however, did not retain this Hebrew text and, as a result, little is know about it.

Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew is particularly of interest because:
1. It is the earliest complete Hebrew text of the Gospel known.
2. Though preserved in a fourteenth century treatise, the text appears to predate the fourteenth century.
3. It does not appear to be a translation of any known Greek or Latin text.

In his analysis of the text, Howard begins by comparing various verses from Shem-Tob's Matthew to (1) Hebrew excerpts from Matthew that were quoted in earlier writings and to (2) the later Hebrew texts of Matthew published by Sebastian Münster (1537) and Jean du Tillet (1555). He shows both places where the various Hebrew texts agree with each other, but differ from the Greek Matthew, and places where the various Hebrew texts differ from each other. He concludes that Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew is not the same as Münster's and du Tillet's (which are very similar to each other) nor is it a translation of the Latin Vulgate or "any known copy of the Greek text." He also states reasons for believing that Münster and du Tillet's represent later revisions to the textual tradition preserved in Shem-Tob.
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By p on October 12, 2010
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It's an absolute scandal that theologians have ignored the FACT that the Book of Matthew in the bible was originally written in the Hebrew language as documented by the Church fathers. The FACT that one of the now twenty nine documents, written in ancient Hebrew was found in Hitler's collections after WW2 is one of the most important discoveries of our time. The fact that George Howard was brave enough to research, translate, and publish it 30 years ago and almost no one knows it, is a tragedy. Having moved in theological circles myself, I can only imagine what poor Mr. Howard must have gone through to publish this work in the first place. Thank God for a young Karaite Jewish scholar who cared enough for a Christian friends simple question, to miraculously find the original documents again in the archives in Jerusalem and reintroduce them, along with this immensely important book. This time we the laypeople get to see them for ourselves. I understand what it must have been like for folks at the time of the Reformation to finally get a copy of the bible and come out of the dark ages.

Thank You Nehemia Gordon for unearthing this yet one more time, and expounding on key passages in it for our clarity. We would have otherwise never even known they exist. Please don't stop interpreting them for us.

The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek JesusA Prayer to Our FatherThe Naming of Jesus in Hebrew Matthew
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I have hunted for this book for years, not knowing its exact title. Nehemia Gordon focused my direction here, and to my dismay I see the few copies available are far, far over-priced!

This most-needful text for Truth seekers focused on Hebrew Scripture and the Way of Y'suah needs to be freely available, not way over-priced by the few who find it at book and yard sales, and see Amazon seller inflates prices they then follow foolishly for mere financial gain!

In fact, and any savvy Amazon shopper will know and do this anyway, do a simple search for the title plus the letters "pdf" after the title in the search text window. This entire book is free in PDF form, and someone needs to get simple permission from the publisher to make it available here on Amazon for reasonable cost, which will bring far, far more profit to Amazon from the massive sales volume this title commands - at reasonable pricing.

That's not just some theory! I'm an author with simple marketing savvy. To make a good cash flow, publish a mass-demand title at a reasonable price, and far outrun over-priced onesy and twosy profit gougers!
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The first book I read about Hebrew Matthew Gospel was this Georges Howard book and I found it very well done and a must. In that time.

Then I learned it also exists 2 more Hebrew Matthew Gospel texts.

The first one has been published by Sebastian Munster in Basel 1537 as a book with the Hebrew text copied and a Latin translation and 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, with a Latin translation too.
Very important, DuTillet kept on the manuscript he found in Rome, and this manuscript is today in Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris (Richelieu building), under Hebrew Mss. # 132, written in medieval hebrew script.

I adquired copies of both texts and discussed them with scholars who studied them better that I did.

The 2 texts come from 2 distinct sources, but are very similar with few differences (except some verses at the beginning and at the end), but with many scribal simplifications in one or another text.
They agree with what old "Church Fathers" quote in the Hebrew text they could read.

A comparation of the Hebrew text vs the Greek version we know, makes obvious the Greek translator made many little translation errors, misunderstanding somme words with several meanings (Syria and Country), and more often confusing Hebrew similar letters (such as HE and HET or YOD and VAV).
It is clear theese Hebrew texts directly come from a Hebrew original, and the Greek we have is a translation.

In comparison, the Shem Tov editions Howard studied are a very very poor copy of the original text, modified by go-between scribes with certainly agendas to twist the text.

So, George Howard made a very good study of the wrong manuscript.
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