It is now eight years since the first edition of this work appeared under the title The Gospel of Matthew according to a Primitive Hebrew Text (1987). As with all pioneering projects, the book contained a number of errors, typographical and otherwise, and raised a series of questions. This second and fully revised edition, retitled Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, intends to eliminate the errors and address the questions.
Considerable attention has been given to making the translation more readable. It has also been revised with regard to accuracy. The analysis section of the book has largely been rewritten to take into account a series of studies I have published on the text since 1987.1 have also tried to state things more clearly and less dogmatically. The main thrust of this second edition is to demonstrate that the Hebrew Matthew contained in Shem- Tob’s Evan Bohan predates the fourteenth century. In my judgment, Shem-Tob the polemist did not prepare this text by translating it from the Latin Vulgate, the Byzantine Greek, or any other known edition of the Gospel of Matthew.
He received it from previous generations of Jewish scribes and tradents.
It is my hope that the modifications of the present work will provide the reader with a text of Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew that is basically free from error and one that is set in a proper historical and linguistic context.
George Howard - Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
Mercer University Press
Джордж Ховард - Еврейское Евангелие от Матфея
Professor of Religion
University of Georgia
George Howard - Hebrew Gospel of Matthew - Contents
Preface to the Second Edition
Witnesses Used in This Edition
Interrelationships among the Witnesses
Text and Apparatus
Abbreviations and Notations
Part One Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew
The Hebrew Text and English Translation
Part Two Analysis and Commentary
Shem-Tob’s Matthew and the Hebrew/Aramaic-Matthean Tradition
Papias and Other Early Christian Writers
Du Tillet, Münster, and Allusions to and Quotations from Matthew in Early Jewish and Anti-Christian Writings
The Evidence from Shem-Tob’s Comments
Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew: A Literary, Textual, and Theological Profile
Linguistic Characteristics of the Hebrew Text
Revision and Modification of the Hebrew Text
Literary Characteristics of the Hebrew Text
Textual Nature of Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew
Shem-Tob and Codex Sinaiticus
Shem-Tob and the Short Ending of Matthew
Shem-Tob, the Old Syriac, and the Old Latin
Shem-Tob and the Other Gospels
Shem-Tob and the Coptic Gospel of Thomas
Shem-Tob and the Pseudo-Clementine Writings
Shem-Tob and the Tol’doth Yeshu
Shem-Tob and the Protevangelium of James
Theological Motifs in Shem-Tob ,s Matthew
John the Baptist
Different Meanings in Shem-Tob’s Matthew
The Divine Name
Other Interesting Readings in Shem-Tob’s Matthew
Summary and Conclusion
George Howard - Hebrew Gospel of Matthew - Introduction
A complete Hebrew Text of Matthew appeared in the body of a fourteenth- century Jewish polemical treatise entitled Even Bohan (4 ,»בן בוחןThe Touch- stone”). The author, Shem-Tob ben-Isaac ben-Shaprut (sometimes called Ibn Shaprut), was bom in Tudela in Castile in the middle of the fourteenth century.
He later settled in Tarazona in Aragon where as a physician he practiced medicine. There he completed the Even Bohan in 1380. He revised his work several times—in 1385, around 1400, and even later—by adding another five books or sections to the original twelve.1 Most manuscripts contain either fifteen or sixteen chapters, not always arranged in the same order. Of the original books, usually the first deals with the principles of the Jewish faith, the next nine deal with passages in the Bible that were disputed by Jews and Christians, the eleventh discusses haggadic sections in the Talmud used by Christians or Jewish proselytes to Christianity, and the twelfth (sometimes thirteenth) contains the entire Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew, with polemical comments by Shem-Tob interspersed throughout the text.
Part one of the present volume contains the Hebrew text of Matthew found in Shem-Tob *s treatise. A critical apparatus, noting manuscript variation, accompanies the text, and an English translation appears on facing pages. The polemical comments of Shem-Tob have been eliminated so that the gospel text may run continuously from beginning to end without interruption.
Part two contains an analysis of Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew, including its place within the traditional Hebrew/Aramaic-Matthew tradition, and a literary, textual, and theological profile.
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