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Matthew - transcribed from Vat. Ebr. 100, fol. 3r
Mark - transcribed from Vat. Ebr. 100, fol. 47v
Luke - transcribed from Vat. Ebr. 100, fol. 74r-74v
John - transcribed from Vat. Ebr. 100, fol. 117v
The Hebrew Gospels from Sepharad (Spain) are the most interesting and amazing versions of the Gospels that we know of. They are full of insights into the original meaning of Yeshua’s life and teaching.
Previously, the most highly attested Hebrew version of Matthew was the Shem Tov version. It contains many Hebraisms, puns, and word plays, as well as Hebrew keywords linking different sections together. It solves several contradictions in the Greek tradition of Matthew, and has been studied much in the past few decades.
The problem with the Shem Tov version is that it was copied by people who denied Yeshua, rejected him as Messiah, and deleted every instance in which the original author himself specifically identified Yeshua as ‘the Messiah.’ In the Greek version of Matthew, the author identifies Yeshua as the Messiah in four passages only: Mat.1:1; 1:17; 1:18; 11:2, whereas the Shem Tov Matthew never once refers to Yeshua as the Messiah from the author’s own perspective.
The fact that Yeshua was ‘called’ the Messiah (by others), and that e.g. Peter acknowledged him as such was retained in the text. But because every instance where the author Matthew himself called Yeshua the Messiah was deleted, the Shem Tov version of Matthew is an anti-Messianic (or at best neutral) book. It gives the impression that not even the author of the Gospel of Matthew would acknowledge that Yeshua was indeed the Messiah. So, can one trust the Shem Tov version to always be accurate?
It also contains unsolvable contradictions, e.g. according to the Shem Tov version, the day before Yeshua's crucifixion was "the first day of the feast of unleavened bread," and the day after the crucifixion was "the morning after the day of the Passover." Thus the chronology of the Shem Tov Matthew is clearly wrong and this makes it impossible to show that Yeshua was in the grave for three days and three nights.
The Vat. Ebr. 100 manuscript used for this translation however, is in a totally different class, as it clearly equates Yeshua with the Messiah, and openly declares him the Son of El, and solves many questions and seeming contradictions! Although it seems to be a translation from Catalan back into Hebrew, the manuscript is full of linguistic proofs showing that there is no way it could possibly be a derivative of the Greek, nor of Jerome’s Latin version, as some have claimed.
Thus the Catalan version it probably derived from, had to come from an authentic Hebrew manuscript. There are many instances in which the Greek gospels (which were later translated into Latin) could easily be a translation from a Hebrew manuscript similar to Vat. Ebr. 100, but impossible that this manuscript could originate from the Greek or Latin. We are planning to publish these linguistic evidences, and numerous other interesting discoveries in a separate series of articles, rather than having them all mixed up and scattered throughout the footnotes.
Translations and transcriptions of all four gospels are in various stages of progress, see individual pages for details, links and downloads.
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