Tuesday, June 16, 2009
External Evidence for Hebrew Matthew
"Now, Matthew compliled the sayings (logia) in the Hebrew language, and then each one interperated them as they could"
Papias c.125 AD, recorded by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.39.16 (c.325)
"So, Matthew, with the Hebrews, in their own language, published a writing of a gospel, while Peter and Paul were in Rome evangellizing and founding the church."
Irenaeus c.185, recorded by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.8.2
"as learned by tradition about the four gospels ... that, first, written was Matthew ... who published it for the believers from Judaism, composed in Hebrew letters;"
Origen c.182-251, recorded by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.25.4
... and their's loads more These are just the earliest and perhaps the most interesting. Check out Prologi Monarchianorum, Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 3.24.6, Ephraem Syrus' Comentary on the Diatessaron (attesting that Matthew was translated from Hebrew to Greek), Epiphanius in Panarion haer. 5.3, and Hieronymus in De viris inlustribus II.
So, all the guys back in the day thought Matthew was written first, and in Hebrew (or perhaps Aramaic). All the guys today think Matthew was writen after Mark, and nobody says peep about a Hebrew version. What's it mean? More later...