Shem Tob – du Tillet – Munster
“Matthew collected the oracles (ta logia) in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could.” – Papias (Eusebius, H.E. 3.39.16)
“Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews n their own dialect while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the church.” – Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3.1.1
“As having learnt by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are unquestionable in the Church of God under heaven, that first was written according to Matthew, who was once a tax collector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language.” – Origen (Eusebius, H.E. 6.25.4)
Historical references do speak of a Hebrew gospel of Matthew. Today there are those who present the Shem Tob version of Matthew as an accurate representation of that manuscript. Unsuspecting believers are being led by unbelievers to accept an anti-Christian version of Matthew which was found as a part of a polemic (anti-Christian) document entitled Eban Bohan. This document was authored by Shem Tob, an unbelieving Jewish theologian.
Quoting Professor George Howard, translator of Shem Tob:
In regard to theology, Shem-tob’s Hebrew Matthew is heretical according to the standard of traditional Christianity. It never identifies Jesus with the Messiah. (See Reference Note 1.) John the Baptist is given an exalted role (even takes on messianic traits), — Shem-Tob’s text envisions the salvation of the Gentiles only in the Messianic era.
Shem Tob ben Shaprut of Tudela Castle – Spain
1385 – 14th Century
Wrote a polemical work against Christianity entitled Eben Bohan (The Touchstone)
Matthew is a separate chapter of Eben Bohan
A cursive manuscript of Eben Bohan can be found at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America – New York (212)678-8081
Jean du Tillet – Catholic Bishop of Brieux France
From a manuscript found at Rome among the Jews in 1553
Used by Jehovah’s witnesses
James Trimm translated du Tillet
1537 confiscated from the Jews
Some think Munster and du Tillet to be from the same source
Munster filled in missing portions and made no notes as to which parts he added.
Shem Tob and du Tillet are different texts. They do not always agree.
Munster disagrees with Shem Tob. They do not always agree
Jerome speaks of a Hebrew Matthew among the Nazarenes in Jordan who fled Jerusalem. Jerome quotes that text and Professor George Howard who translated Shem Tob says that Jeromes quotes do not match Shem Tob.
Epiphanius qoutes Ebionite Hebrew Matthew. His quotes do not match Shem Tob.
The tetragwmamaton does not appear in Shem Tob or in du Tillet.
In Shem Tob it is written as Heh or Heh and two Yodths signifying Ha Shem or The Name.
In du Tillet it is written as three Yodths.
SCRIPTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SHEM TOB
AND THE GREEK MAJORITY TEXTS AS REPRESENTED IN THE ENGLISH KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE
Never identifies Yeshua / Jesus as Messiah.
Mat 1:1 “the generation of Jesus Christ”
Shem Tob “the generations of Jesus ( )”
Never identifies Jesus as Messiah.
Mat 1:18 “now the birth of Jesus Christ”
Shem Tob “birth of Jesus ( )”
The fact that Yeshua / Jesus “shall save His people” omitted
Mat 1:21 “thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins”
Shem Tob “he shall save my people from their sins”
Non-Biblical – Rabbinical reference
Mat 4:9 “all these things will I give if thou wilt fall down and worship me”
Shem Tob “if you bare your head to me”
Jewish sages given equal status with Yeshua / Jesus
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
“Preaching with great power not as the rest of the sages.”
Reference to the coming kingdom removed
Mat 6:10 “Thy kingdom come”
Shem Tob “may your kingdom be blessed”
Forgiveness of sin by Yeshua / Jesus removed
Mat 9:2 “thy sins be forgiven thee”
Shem Tob “It is by the faith of God that your sins have been forgiven”
The gospel set aside
Mat 11:5 “the poor have the gospel preached to them”
Shem Tob “the poor are aquited”
Elevation of John the Baptist over Yeshua / Jesus
Mat 11:11 – 11:13 “For all the prophets and the law spoke concerning John” as opposed “prophesied until John”.
Mat 21:32 “Because John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him.”
In Shem Tob – addressed to the disciples instead of the chief priests and elders.
Quoting Professor George Howard, translator of Shem Tob:
In summary, this series of readings asserts that none is greater than John, the prophets and the law spoke concerning John, John (Elijah) is to save all the world, and Jesus’ own disciples are disgraced for not having believed John. In traditional Christianity such a description is usually applied to Jesus. Its application to John the Baptist in Shem Tobs Hebrew, elevates the Baptist to a salvific (salvation) role.
The temple greater than Yeshua / Jesus
Mat 12:6 “But I say unto you, in this place is one greater than the temple”
Shem Tob “the temple is greater than this”
Mat 13:11 “it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given”
Shem Tob “to know the kingdom of heaven”
Man sows seed instead of the son of man:
Mat 13:37 “He that soweth the good seed is the son of man”
Shem tob “the one who sows good seed is man”
Possible Talmudic influence – Toldoth Yeshu?
Mat 13:55 “Is this not the carpenters son? Is not his mother called Mary?”
“Is this not the son of the smith and Mary?”
Note: James is left out as brother of Jesus in the Shem Tob – Possible elevation of James
Mat 14:6 In Shem Tob Herods daughter danced – not Herodias’ daughter – Qumran scrolls condemn niece marraige – Jewish leaders of the time practiced it.
Possible Talmudic Influence: Doctrine of the Pharisees unquestioned
Mat 16:12 Told to beware the doctrine of the Pharisees…”
Sehm Tob “beware of the behavior of the Pharisees…”
Salvation by Elijah rather than Yeshua / Jesus
Mat 17:11 “Elijah shall truly shall first come and restore all things”
Shem Tob “Elijah will come and save all the world”
Salvation by way of “The Son of man” deleted
Mat 18:11 “The Son of man is come to save that which was lost”
Shem Tob “the son of man has stopped saving the enemy”
Possible Talmudic Implications:
Mat 18:18 “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whotsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”
Shem Tob applies this scripture to being bound or loosed from oaths taken – Day of Atonement – Col Nidre Prayer – implications ????
Shem Tob “every oath which you shall bind on earth is bound in heaven and every oath which you shall loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Worldly material wealth rather than heavenly treasure
Mat 19:22 “Went away sorrowful for he had great possessions”
Shem Tob “went away angry because he did not have much property”
“When the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory”
“when man sits upon the throne of his glory”
“When they heard the Jesus passed by”
“the prophet Jesus from Nazareth is coming”
The preaching of the gospel as a witness concerning Yeshua / Jesus “is the Anti-Christ and this is the abomination which desolates.
Mat 24:14-16 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.”
Shem Tob “And this gospel, that is, evungili, will be preached un all the earth for a witness concerning me to all the nations and then the end will come. This is the Anti-Christ and this is the abomination which desolates. Then those who are in Judaea let them flee to the mountains.”
“Son of man” replaced by “the bridegroom.”
Mat 25:13 …day not the hour wherein the Son of man cometh”
Shem Tob “…day nor hour when the bridegroom comes.”
Possible Talmudic implications
Mat 26:2 “…the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified”
Shem Tob “delivered into the hand of the Jews for the gallows”
Mat 27:23 “Let him be crucified”
Shem Tob “let them hang him”
Mat 27:31 “led him away to crucify him”
Shem Tob “gave orders to hang him”
“The Cross” is in parenthesis as if it needed to be connected with the word gallows.
Mat 27:32 “him they compelled to bear his cross”
Shem Tob “compelled him to carry the gallows, that is “The Cross”
Mat 27:40-42 “Come down from the cross”
Shem Tob v.40 “come down from the gallows” – v.42 “come down from the tree”
Mat 28:5 “ye seek Jesus who was crucified”
“Shem Tob “Jesus who was hung”
Not the King of the Jews but the King of Israel
Mat 27:37 “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Shem Tob “This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of Israel”
Mat 27:46 “with a loud voice”
Shem Tob “in the holy langauge” (Hebrew ?)
Mat 27:57 “a rich man of Arimathea”
Shem Tob “A rich man from Karnasiah came . His name was Joseph…”
Mat 27:59 “when Joseph had taken the body he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth”
Shem Tob “wrapped it in a very fine silk garment”
Mat 28:9 – Shem Tob has Jesus substituting YHWH with “Ha Shem” Traditional Jewish greeting rather than Greek/Roman greeting as is found in majority manuscripts
“Jesus met them saying All Hail”
“saying May the Name deliver you”
Shem Tob has 12 disciples going to Galilee after Judas was dead
Mat 28:16 “Then the eleven disciples went away unto Galilee”
“when his twelve disciples came to Galilee”
I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world left out
Mat 28:20 – Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” Amen
Shem Tob – and teach them to carry out all the things which I have commanded you forever.
Quoting Professor George Howard, translator of Shem Tob:
In regard to theology, Shem-tob’s Hebrew Matthew is heretical according to the standard of traditional Christianity. It never identifies Jesus with the Messiah. (See Reference Note 1.) John the Baptist is given an exalted role (even takes on mesianic traits), — Shem-Tob’s text envisions the salvation of the Gentiles only in the Messianic era.
1. In his book the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, professor Geroge Howard, after reviewing all references to Christ/Messiah in Matthew, makes it clear that the author himself (of Shem Tob Matthew) “never identifies Jesus with the Christ/Messiah” In Matthew 16:16 Peter was speaking and not Matthew, the author of the book.
The Christ. With the possible exception of 16:16 (to be discussed below), the author of Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew never identifies Jesus with the Christ. This is to be contrasted with the Greek text, where the Christ identification is clearly made.
The word Christ occurs 18 times in the Greek text of Matthew: 1:1, 16, 17, 18; 2:4; 16:16, 20, 21 (B-); 22:42; 23:10; 24:5, 23, 24; 26:63, 68; 27:17, 22. In five instances, the Hebrew has no correspondent to the word Christ at all. Compare the Following.
Greek 1:1 – The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ
Shem Tob Hebrew – 1:1 These are the Generations of Jesus
Greek 1:17 – the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations
Shem Tob Matthew – the Babylonian exile unto Jesus were fourteen generations
Greek 1:18 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way
Shem Tob Matthew – The birth of Jesus was in this way
Greek 11:2 – Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ
Shem Tob Matthew – John, when he was in captivity, heard of the work of Jesus
Greek 16:21 – From then began Jesus Christ to show his disciples
Shem Tob Matthew – Henceforth Jesus began to reveal to his disciples
These passages are particularly important, since only here does the author of the Greek text make a clear identification of Jesus with the Christ. In all other instances, the identification is either unclear or made by someone other than the author. Matthew 16:16 is a special case and will be discussed below. Since the Hebrew text lacks the word “Christ/Messiah” in these passages, its author never identifies Jesus with the Christ/ Messiah.
The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, George Howard, p.216-217…