Was the NT written in Hebrew? [email protected]*&$"??

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
We were discussing the NT usage of Hebrew phrases and idioms and the tradition that Mathew was originally written in Hebrew. My friends proposition was that the New Testament was written at a time when Hebrew WAS the common language in Palestine. The NIV inaccurately translates "Hebrew" as Aramaic (there's a shock!).

Now I am willing to grant that Hebrew thought was dominant and yes hebrew idioms do not have the same force in Greek...
...but can I go as far as saying the textus recepticus was Hebrew?

The main thrust/fulcrum was the preservation of the Hebrew phrases and idioms - why are they preserved when a paraphrase of their meaning could be clearer?

Well that set me thinking. Israel has yet to turn to their Messiah. When they do they will need the NT in Hebrew. When the NT is translated "back" into Hebrew all these phrases and idioms will be there - preserved for thousands of years!

Q1. Anyway back to my original question was Mathew written in Hebrew? This seems to be the only NT doc which is well attested by church fathers as Hebrew originally.

Q2. What of the rest of the NT?

It worries me a little that we will get a "restored" New Testament based on a reconstruction of the Hebrew "original"! ( Q3. Was it not Wellhausen who "reconstructed" all sorts of annual enthronement ceremonies and "restored" our proper understanding of the OT?:2cents:)

:judge:
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
As I understand it, Aramaic is not technically the same as OT Hebrew, but a derivative that arose among the Jews during the inter-testamental period. There is some regard for the view that Matthew may have been originally penned in Aramaic. However, it is generally agreed that the remainder of the NT books were originally penned in the common (koine) Greek language of the day.

The Eastern Mediterranean had been thoroughly Hellenized before the time of Jesus, and the universal language of trade and commerce was common Greek. The Jews would have spoken both Aramaic and Greek.
 
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CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Eoghan,

The majority view is that a form of Aramaic was the common language of Israel, along with Greek. The presence of Semitic idioms in the NT Greek text does not indicate that it was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, only that it was written by people accustomed to those languages. Multilingual people tend to still think in a dominant language that colors their usage.

There is no solid evidence that any of the NT was written in anything other than Greek. However, there has been much interest expressed concerning a possible Aramaic substratum to some of the texts. If you're REALLY interested, you can read about that in Matthew Black's An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts. Amazon.com: An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts: Matthew Black: Books

Also, Modern Hebrew is sufficiently different from Biblical Hebrew that the Bible cannot be read by modern Jews without translation. I don't know about idiomatic usages.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
OK, I'd be the last the comment on original languages because I have zero background in them, but I have often wondered if the presence of the sayings and poetry in the New Testament is somewhat like the sayings of "the old country" by people living here in the US. In other words, it was simply part of the culture, a carry-over from their families?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
We were discussing the NT usage of Hebrew phrases and idioms and the tradition that Mathew was originally written in Hebrew. My friends proposition was that the New Testament was written at a time when Hebrew WAS the common language in Palestine.
It's a common claim made by hard core King James onlies. They have a complicated theory which involves a huge conspiracy by historians and linguists to cover up what they see as a truth that God would preserve His Word in one specific volume.

Now I am willing to grant that Hebrew thought was dominant and yes hebrew idioms do not have the same force in Greek...
What do you mean by Hebrew thought?

...but can I go as far as saying the textus recepticus was Hebrew?
Only extreme King James onlies believe that the Textus Receptus was around prior to 1518, when a man compiled a few Greek texts.
Well that set me thinking. Israel has yet to turn to their Messiah. When they do they will need the NT in Hebrew. When the NT is translated "back" into Hebrew all these phrases and idioms will be there - preserved for thousands of years!
They are preserved for the rest of us as well. They are preserved for the Swedes, Japanese, Zulus and will be for the several thousand peoples who currently don't have parts of the Bible in their language.

It worries me a little that we will get a "restored" New Testament based on a reconstruction of the Hebrew "original"!
Now you're putting a new twist on things. That instead of God preserving a text perfectly pure in one specific volume, you're worried that God did preserve a perfect text and we lost it, so a proper NT in Hebrew is impossible.

______________________________________________________________________________

As I understand it, Aramaic is not technically the same as OT Hebrew, but a derivative that arose among the Jews during the inter-testamental period.
It's a totally different language, not a derivative of Hebrew by any definition used today by anyone who specializes in the subject. Aramaic is said by Scripture to be a totally different, mutually unintelligible language then Hebrew.
2Ki 18:26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall."
2Ki 18:27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, "Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?"
2Ki 18:28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: "Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!
It was a different language in the time of Christ, and remains a different language today.I've dealt with the subject on the longish WCF 1.8 thread by pasting in personal letters from three leading experts on the subject. A few follow here.
Thank you for your email. The claims presented to you
are not true.
Mishnaic Hebrew is just the post-Biblical Hebrew of
the Tannaitic period. Since in this period in
Palestine the spoken vernacular was Western Aramaic
(in the shape of several dialects like Galilean,
Judean, etc.) the Mishnaic Hebrew is influenced by
Aramaic (lexically and syntactically).
Amoraic Hebrew belongs to the next historical stage of
Hebrew which is usually called "leshon Haza"l" or the
Hebrew of the Sages.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Hayim Y. Sheynin

I forgot to mention another thing. Amoraic is derived
from the term amo:ra, one of the term for the teachers
(the amoraim were preceded by the tannaim
and followed by saburaim). Amaraim should not be
confused with the Amorites who were an Eastern
Canaanite tribe which left some written records.

Dr. Hayim Y. Sheynin
No, Palestinian dialect of Aramaic is not dialect of
Hebrew. It is one of dialects of late and middle
Western Aramaic. The closest dialects are Samaritan
Aramaic and Nabatean Aramaic.

The Jews used Palestinian Aramaic for Jerusalem
Talmud, Midrashim (like Bereshit Rabba), Targumim,
Tosefta, etc. The early Christians used it for
translations of Greek Christian books, starting from
New Testament [it started around 2nd century C.E.],
sometimes it is called Palestinian Syriac. See works
of Edward Kutscher, S. Liberman, Michael Sokoloff,
Christa Muller, etc.

Hayim Sheynin
 
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Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
. . . It's a totally different language, not a derivative of Hebrew by any definition used today by anyone who specializes in the subject. Aramaic is said by Scripture to be a totally different, mutually unintelligible language then Hebrew. . .

I did not realize this, Tim. Thanks for the clarification. Any references for this?

Edit to add: I see there are many references. Now I need to read up on this. Thanks again
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I did not realize this, Tim. Thanks for the clarification. Any references for this?

There are zillions of references for this, but unfortunately there are about 4 where people like Gill, F.F. Bruce, Edersheim and one other guy either got sloppy or were misread to read that the word dialect could be used to describe a relationship between Hebrew and Aramaic, and the AVers pounce on those 4 out of 1,000,000 references and hold them equal to the others in value. So what I did was to contact some living experts, and they all said what I quoted above. I've posted their emails to me on the WCF 1.8 thread. You can also do a bit of Googling, and most of what you get is accurate. If I recall correctly the SIL (Wycliffe) site has a language tree.

You'll end up with the idea that Palestinian Aramaic was like Yiddish. Yiddish is based on German, and people speaking Yiddish can't understand Hebrew. But Yiddish is a type of German with lots of Hebrew loan words, etc.. In the same way the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic can't be understood by a Hebrew only speaker, but it has lots of Hebrew loan words etc...

They are both Semitic languages, like English and Norwegian are both Germanic language. One of the experts I quoted compared the differences between Palestinian Aramaic and Hebrew like the differences between English and the Dutch dialect of Frisian.
Regards
Tim
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Eoghan, there is a very small minority of current people who advocate an Aramaic primacy to Matthew. Scholars almost unanimously, however, hold that Matthew itself was written in Greek (though a good number of modern scholars do, indeed, hold that Matthew may have used Aramaic/Hebrew sources in composing his Greek gospel).
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
. . . It's a totally different language, not a derivative of Hebrew by any definition used today by anyone who specializes in the subject. Aramaic is said by Scripture to be a totally different, mutually unintelligible language then Hebrew. . .

I did not realize this, Tim. Thanks for the clarification. Any references for this?

Edit to add: I see there are many references. Now I need to read up on this. Thanks again


This assertion is not true.

While there are a few significant differences in areas such as the classification of the verbal system, there is also a great deal of similarity and overlap between the two languages in terms of vocabulary (with much of it being identical), the vowel system, and syntax. One of the Aramaic grammars that was used during my course of study in that language made clear the connections between the two languages, and that the logical course of progression for the study of Aramaic was first the study of Biblical Hebrew.

While it would surely be difficult to read on the basis of similarities alone, it cannot be considered a different language altogether.

:judge:
 

Mathetes

Puritan Board Freshman
There are some early traditions testifying to a Hebrew text of the Gospel of Matthew. Here's what Philip Schaff has to say on the subject:

Next we hear of a Hebrew Matthew from Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, "a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp." He collected from apostles and their disciples a variety of apotolic traditions in his "Exposition of Oracles of the Lord," in five books. In a fragment of this lost work preserved by Eusebius, he says distinctly that "Matthew composed the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew tongue, and everyone interpreted them as best he could."

Unfortunately the Hebrew Matthew, if it ever existed, has disappeared, and consequently there is much difference of opinion about this famous passage, both as regards the proper meaning of "oracles" (λόγια) and the truth of the whole report.

1. The "oracles" are understood by some to mean only the discourses of our Lord; by others to include also the narrative portions. But in any case the Hebrew Matthew must have been chiefly an orderly collection of discourses. This agrees best with the natural and usual meaning of Logia, and the actual proponderance of the doctrinal element in our canonical Matthew, as compared with our Mark.

2. The report of a Hebrew original has been set aside altogether as a sheer mistake of Papias, who confounded it with the Ebionite "Gospel according to the Hebrews," known to us from a number of fragments. It is said that Papias was a credulous and weak-minded, though pious man. But this does not impair his veracity or invalidate a simple historical notice. It is also said that the universal spread of the Greek language made a Hebrew Gospel superfluous. But the Aramaic was still the vernacular and prevailing language in Palestine (comp. Acts 21:40; 22:2) and in the countries in the Euphrates.

There is an intrinsic probability of a Hebrew Gospel for the early stage of Christianity. And the existance of a Hebrew Matthew rests by no means entirely on Papias. It is confirmed by the independent testimonies of most respectable fathers, as Irenaeus, Pantaenus, Origen, Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, and Jerome.

This Hebrew Matthew must not be identified with the Judaizing "Gospel according to the Hebrews," the best among the apocryphal Gospels, of which in all thirty-three fragments remain. Jerome and other fathers clearly distinguish the two. The latter was probably an adaptation of the former to the use of the Ebionites and Nazarenes. Truth always precedes heresy, as the genuine coin precedes the counterfeit, and the real portrait the caricature. Cureton and Tregelles maintain that the Curetonian Syriac fragment is virtually a translation of the Hebrew Matthew, and antedates the Peshito version. But Ewald has proven that it is derived from our Greek Matthew.

Papias says that everybody "interpreted" the Hebrew Matthew as well as he could. He refers no doubt to the use of the Gospel in public discourses before Greek hearers, not to a number of written translations of which we know nothing. The past tense (ήρμήνυσε) moreover seems to imply that such necessity existed no longer at the time when he wrote; in other words, that the authentic Greek Matthew had since appeared and superseded the Aramaic predecessor which was probably less complete. Papias accordingly is an indirect witness of the Greek Matthew in his own age; that is, the early part of the second century (about A.D. 130). At all events the Greek Matthew was in public use even before that time, as is evident from the quotations in the Didache, and the Epistle of Barnabas (which were written before 120, probably before 100).

(Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume 1, Chapter 80)
 
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Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Fortunately, if there ever was a "Hebrew Matthew," whatever it was, we don't need it, and so we are at no great loss by not having it. It might be interesting, academically helpful, a good historical resource for understanding early aspects of thought in the church and in the gospel tradition -- BUT: we confess that we have our scripture already; God has preserved it for us, and our canonical books have not been lost.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
This assertion is not true.

While there are a few significant differences in areas such as the classification of the verbal system, there is also a great deal of similarity and overlap between the two languages in terms of vocabulary (with much of it being identical), the vowel system, and syntax. One of the Aramaic grammars that was used during my course of study in that language made clear the connections between the two languages, and that the logical course of progression for the study of Aramaic was first the study of Biblical Hebrew.

While it would surely be difficult to read on the basis of similarities alone, it cannot be considered a different language altogether.
The assertion is true, since the assertion was that all living people specializing in the subject say it's a different language, and there's no one out there who says otherwise. If you know Dutch or Frisian you'll see why the comparison was made between Frisian and English as an analogy to Palestinian Aramaic and Hebrew. I can say My hand is in warm water and you can get on a plane, go to South Africa, Belgium or Holland and you will be perfectly understood. But if you're an English only speaker you won't be able to have a conversation with them.
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I used to have Sacred Name-ist connections, and they emphasize that the NT was written in Hebrew, not Greek. (Not even the Greek doctor Luke!) This is how they justify inserting Yahweh into the NT (but never in reference to Jesus... sorry, Yahshua).

Matthew? Maybe. Everything else, nah.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
This assertion is not true.

While there are a few significant differences in areas such as the classification of the verbal system, there is also a great deal of similarity and overlap between the two languages in terms of vocabulary (with much of it being identical), the vowel system, and syntax. One of the Aramaic grammars that was used during my course of study in that language made clear the connections between the two languages, and that the logical course of progression for the study of Aramaic was first the study of Biblical Hebrew.

While it would surely be difficult to read on the basis of similarities alone, it cannot be considered a different language altogether.
The assertion is true, since the assertion was that all living people specializing in the subject say it's a different language, and there's no one out there who says otherwise. If you know Dutch or Frisian you'll see why the comparison was made between Frisian and English as an analogy to Palestinian Aramaic and Hebrew. I can say My hand is in warm water and you can get on a plane, go to South Africa, Belgium or Holland and you will be perfectly understood. But if you're an English only speaker you won't be able to have a conversation with them.


Well, it's not a big enough deal for me to argue over with someone who, to my knowledge, hasn't completed any formal academic studies in the subject.

Your statement that "all living people who specialize in the subject say it's a different language" apparently does not account for the living Aramaic profs, grammarians, and others from whom we read who would make such a connection. In any academic endeavor there are always conflicting opinions among the specialists, and I would not expect there to be an exception to this within Aramaic studies.

I don't perceive that the whole issue is really all that big of a deal in the broader scheme of things.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Well, it's not a big enough deal for me to argue over with someone who, to my knowledge, hasn't completed any formal academic studies in the subject.
True, of course. So the proper course of action would be to quote the Aramaic grammar you studied. Do you still have it? If not, do you remember the title? If not, who taught the class? I'm not willing to put myself on the line as contradicting the
living Aramaic profs, grammarians, and others from whom we read who would make such a connection
whom you studied, but since you are the one who claims they support your disagreement with the three top scholars I recently contacted, a couple names shouldn't be hard to find.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
To answer the OP,

The fact of Mathew being written in Hebrew isn't a Vast KJV-Only Conspiracy. The church fathers listed Mathew as originaly written in Hebrew. They know more than the 'modern' scholars as they lived closer to the time. It was translated in to Greek early on. The rest of the New Testament was written in Greek.

When it comes to early Church history, I go by the Church fathers, not the 'modern' scholars, because they tend to re-write history and change it what the father's wrote.
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
Well, it's not a big enough deal for me to argue over with someone who, to my knowledge, hasn't completed any formal academic studies in the subject.
True, of course. So the proper course of action would be to quote the Aramaic grammar you studied. Do you still have it? If not, do you remember the title? If not, who taught the class? I'm not willing to put myself on the line as contradicting the
living Aramaic profs, grammarians, and others from whom we read who would make such a connection
whom you studied, but since you are the one who claims they support your disagreement with the three top scholars I recently contacted, a couple names shouldn't be hard to find.

The books and notes are right here on my shelf, but I don't play these kind of board games. There are better things to do with one's time. Have a good night, Tim.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
To answer the OP,

The fact of Mathew being written in Hebrew isn't a Vast KJV-Only Conspiracy. The church fathers listed Mathew as originaly written in Hebrew. They know more than the 'modern' scholars as they lived closer to the time. It was translated in to Greek early on. The rest of the New Testament was written in Greek.

When it comes to early Church history, I go by the Church fathers, not the 'modern' scholars, because they tend to re-write history and change it what the father's wrote.

Can you give some specific fathers/writings, Rushbo?
 

Rocketeer

Puritan Board Freshman
The assertion is true, since the assertion was that all living people specializing in the subject say it's a different language, and there's no one out there who says otherwise. If you know Dutch or Frisian you'll see why the comparison was made between Frisian and English as an analogy to Palestinian Aramaic and Hebrew. I can say My hand is in warm water and you can get on a plane, go to South Africa, Belgium or Holland and you will be perfectly understood. But if you're an English only speaker you won't be able to have a conversation with them.

I speak Dutch and English fluently, and I have at times tried to understand the Frisian dialect, but fared very ill. It is practically unintelligible to Dutch or English-speaking persons, even though it is grammatically and idiomatically closely related to both those languages, and I know both. I teach English on a Reformed High School, and my Frisian students have more problems with the English language, not less, both because it is not mutually intelligible with Frysian, and because the books are in Dutch, which is their second language. According to my colleagues, this holds in general.

Also, if you were to say My hand is in warm water you would not be intelligible to someone that speaks Dutch or Afrikaans and not English; the Dutch variant is Mijn hand is in warm water, and though that looks the same, it is pronounced very differently; the 'ij' does not exist in English, the 'r's are rolled (as in French and German), the 'i's are much shorter than in English, the first two 'a's are pronounced as in ant, the pronunciation of the last 'a' does not exist in English, and the 'd' is pronounced as 't'.

Even German and Dutch are not easily mutually intelligible; you can try it (I have), but it takes a considerable amount of patience on both sides, as well as a lot of gesticulations, and generally does not get beyond ordering a cup of coffee. It is a hard thing for me, who only speak standard Dutch, to fully comprehend many of my own countrymen who speak a Dutch dialect, even when they try to speak standard Dutch.

For all these reasons, do not try to equate Aramaic to Hebrew; they are different languages and not mutually intelligible.

As a final note, though, do not tell a Frysian his language is a Dutch dialect; it is a separate language, and he will be sorely offended if you do.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Even German and Dutch are not easily mutually intelligible; you can try it (I have), but it takes a considerable amount of patience on both sides, as well as a lot of gesticulations, and generally does not get beyond ordering a cup of coffee. It is a hard thing for me, who only speak standard Dutch, to fully comprehend many of my own countrymen who speak a Dutch dialect, even when they try to speak standard Dutch.

For all these reasons, do not try to equate Aramaic to Hebrew; they are different languages and not mutually intelligible.

That was my whole point. Aramaic and Hebrew, even though they are as related as English and Dutch or Frisian are mutually unintelligable. I don't think you understood my post. Here was the email I posted
Aramaic and Hebrew are two different, though closely related, languages (say, like English and Frisian). Amoraic Hebrew was a literary type of Hebrew written by native speakers of Palestinian Aramaic. Naturally, Pal.Aram. influenced Amoraic Hebrew, and to some degree vicas versa, but Hebrew and Aramaic were not and are not the same language.

Best wishes,
Hezy Mutzafi
I got this after writing Hezy Mutzafi from Tel Aviv University who's specialty is dialects of Aramaic.

-----Added 12/20/2008 at 07:47:27 EST-----

The books and notes are right here on my shelf, but I don't play these kind of board games. There are better things to do with one's time. Have a good night, Tim.
Better things like accusing someone of a false assertion and demanding that everyone take your word?
 
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Rocketeer

Puritan Board Freshman
TimV, yeah, I know; I was trying to augment your position by backing your examples. We agree! I'm sorry if my post was confusing, though.
 

PastorTim

Puritan Board Freshman
would this then raise the question as to whether the "Peshitta", Syrian Aramaic translation, was penned first and translated into Greek?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
TimV, yeah, I know; I was trying to augment your position by backing your examples. We agree! I'm sorry if my post was confusing, though.
Ah! Ek is jammer, verskoon my! Fortunately of the the Dutch Elder at my church lived in Africa, so we can speak Afrikaans together. With his Dutch wife I've got to speak English, though, since even between Dutch and Afrikaans there's too much difference when they're speaking fast.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Can you give some specific fathers/writings, Rushbo?

Yes, Eusebius I know does. He quotes Irenaeus in Chapter 5, #8. And in Chapter 3, #39 He quotes Papias as saying it was written in Aramaic.

There are a few others, but due to old age, I can't remember who off the top of my head. I don't have their writings to access like I used to. But I alway keep a copy of Eusebius at hand. He's good!
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Testimony of a Hebrew Matthew can be found in Papias, Irenaeus, Eusebius, Origen, Epiphanius, Jerome, Nazienzen, Augustine, Chrysostom, Theophylact and more.

A few notes:
1.) Many of the later fathers are dependent upon the earlier fathers for this assertion; and,
2.) It is not always clear to what exactly these fathers are referring; books such as The Gospel to the Hebrews and others come into play here.
3.) Also, in response to Tim -- this view certainly has nothing to do with KJV advocates, since the biggest supporter of the Hebrew/Aramaic-original theory has been the Roman Catholic church.

Anyway, all that being said: I'm pretty sure it was written in Greek. And when I say I'm pretty sure, I mean have no doubts.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
The evidence is both interesting and contradictory

(3) Finally, were the Logia of Matthew and the Gospel to which ecclesiastical writers refer written in Hebrew or Aramaic? Both hypotheses are held. Papias says that Matthew wrote the Logia in the Hebrew (Hebraidi) language; St. Irenæus and Eusebius maintain that he wrote his gospel for the Hebrews in their national language, and the same assertion is found in several writers. Matthew would, therefore, seem to have written in modernized Hebrew, the language then used by the scribes for teaching. But, in the time of Christ, the national language of the Jews was Aramaic, and when, in the New Testament, there is mention of the Hebrew language (Hebrais dialektos), it is Aramaic that is implied. Hence, the aforesaid writers may allude to the Aramaic and not to the Hebrew. Besides, as they assert, the Apostle Matthew wrote his Gospel to help popular teaching. To be understood by his readers who spoke Aramaic, he would have had to reproduce the original catechesis in this language, and it cannot be imagined why, or for whom, he should have taken the trouble to write it in Hebrew, when it would have had to be translated thence into Aramaic for use in religious services. Moreover, Eusebius (Church History III.24.6) tells us that the Gospel of Matthew was a reproduction of his preaching, and this we know, was in Aramaic. An investigation of the Semitic idioms observed in the Gospel does not permit us to conclude as to whether the original was in Hebrew or Aramaic, as the two languages are so closely related. Besides, it must be home in mind that the greater part of these Semitisms simply reproduce colloquial Greek and are not of Hebrew or Aramaic origin. However, we believe the second hypothesis to be the more probable, viz., that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Aramaic.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Gospel of St. Matthew
but at the end of the day, Matthew was received by the Church inspired in Greek, which makes concerns like
It worries me a little that we will get a "restored" New Testament based on a reconstruction of the Hebrew "original"!
moot.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Scottish Reformed Baptist No.2,

The NT was not written in Hebrew for a few prominent reasons:

1. The NT writers interpret Aramaic phrases:

Matthew 1:23 (King James Version) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Mark 5:41 (King James Version) And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

Mark 15:22 (King James Version) And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

John 1:38 (King James Version) Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

Acts 4:36 (King James Version) And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

Note, Luke does not interpret any phrases, because he didn't use any phrases that would be unknown to the Gentiles. This proves that the other Evangelists wrote in Greek, even if they thought in Hebrew idioms.


2. The New Covenant is inclusive of the Gentiles, therefore all New Covenant writings must be inclusive of the Gentiles: written in their common language, which at the time was Greek. It is mere speculation that Matthew is a "gospel for the Jews"; it has no internal evidence. Also, outside of the Gospels, only Peter would be qualified to write a so-called "Gospel for the Jews", since he was the Apostle to the Jews, but he did not.


3. God promised to confuse the unbelieving nation with a foreign language:

1 Corinthians 14:20-22 (King James Version) 20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

The context in Moses and Isaiah that Paul alludes to is specifically related to the unbelieving Jews.

These points all seem to make it hard to escape the conclusion that the New Covenant writings were and had to be in the common language of the Gentiles.

ANYwho, just some ramblings.

Cheers,

Adam
 

TsonMariytho

Puritan Board Freshman
The context in Moses and Isaiah that Paul alludes to is specifically related to the unbelieving Jews.

These points all seem to make it hard to escape the conclusion that the New Covenant writings were and had to be in the common language of the Gentiles.

ANYwho, just some ramblings.

Cheers,

Adam

That last point is a fascinating idea; I don't recall seeing that verse applied to the Biblical text itself before. Even if the supernatural tongues seem to fit the face value of the passage better, the view above seems to fulfill more of the spirit of that judgment.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
The context in Moses and Isaiah that Paul alludes to is specifically related to the unbelieving Jews.

These points all seem to make it hard to escape the conclusion that the New Covenant writings were and had to be in the common language of the Gentiles.

ANYwho, just some ramblings.

Cheers,

Adam

That last point is a fascinating idea; I don't recall seeing that verse applied to the Biblical text itself before. Even if the supernatural tongues seem to fit the face value of the passage better, the view above seems to fulfill more of the spirit of that judgment.

Andrew,

I realized the applicability of this a while back while listening to a Judaizing "reformed" pastor a few years back who was bashing "all things Helenic". It made me realize that this gentleman was way out of step with the Helenic spirit of the New Testament (I mean that in a linguistic and philosophical sense; not in a moral sense :lol:).

To a Jew, foreign tongues would be bad, but the GREEK tongue would be the lowest and basest of them all. This is why the N.T. often uses "Greek" as a snynechdoche for all Gentiles (e.g. "to the Jew first, and also to the Greek").

Cheers,

Adam
 
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