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Re: P45 and SHEM-TOB's Hebrew Matthew

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  • William L. Petersen
    ... (Repurk s those sources are the medieval Matt traditions surround [both chronologically and geographically] Shem-Tob.) Before one claims primitive
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 7, 1997
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      In response to Alan Repurk's questions/points:


      >I would suppose that all of those sources will eventually be compared.

      (Repurk's "those sources" are the medieval Matt traditions surround [both
      chronologically and geographically] Shem-Tob.) Before one claims
      "primitive" status for a text, or *begins* by comparing it with ancient
      sources such as P45, it might be wise to check what was circulating in your
      vacinity (viz., Europe, circa 1400....).

      >A footnote in the article apparently addresses that Howard has evidence that
      >the S-T is not from the Vg, apparently published in JBL.

      Check Howard's evidence, and then start looking for agreements with the
      Vetus Latina and Vulgate, and see what you decide... Remember, a text need
      not be directly "translated" from a version to be influenced by it (there
      are indirect influences).

      >I do have one question. Considering the purpose of the S-T, as a polemic, would
      >we guess that great effort would have been made to translate a text from
      >numerous sources or would it all have been derived from one source ?

      I haven't a clue. Most works from this period (c. 1400) are mish-mashes of
      stuff from here and there: bits of Bede's commentary, bits of Vetus Latina,
      bits of Bezaean readings, bits of the Vulgate, etc., etc. All we can do,
      without a clear archetype, is to note the agreements--and, at last count (to
      my knowledge), Shem-Tob has, numerically, more agreements with the Liege
      Harmony than with any other single source yet adduced (see the examples in
      my review). Therefore, before looking to the third or fourth centuries for
      its "source," I would look at the Liege Harmony (1280 C.E.) and its
      antecedents (the "Old Latin" Diatessaron, hypothesized by Th. Zahn over a
      century ago, whose existence was demonstrated textually by D. Plooij and
      others).

      --Petersen, Penn State Univ.
    • george howard
      Re William Petersen s comment on Shedinger and me. It is true that Shem-Tob s Hebrew Matthew has parallels with a number of medieval readings. It is also true
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 10, 1997
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        Re William Petersen's comment on Shedinger and me. It is true that
        Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew has parallels with a number of medieval
        readings. It is also true that he has unique parallels with such out of
        the way documents as Codex Sinaiticus and the Old Syriac (SyS and SyC).
        He perhaps has more parallels with the Old Syriac than any other textual
        tradition (though I have not counted them). I suppose we can go two ways
        (maybe more). 1. We can say that Shem-Tob was an eclectic scholar who
        prepared a special text of Matthew in his polemic against the church,
        choosing readings from a great many sources. 2. He preserves an ancient
        text whose readings crop up in a multiplicity of ancient and medieval
        documents. Given the fact that Shem-Tob believed the Gospel of Matthew
        was a damnable document, I find it hard to believe that he prepared a
        new text of the gospel in which he selected readings from a great many
        sources, some coming from great antiquity and apparently not available
        to anyone else in the world but him, enhanced the text with puns, word
        connections, and alliteration, added a symbol for the Divine Name 19
        times, inserted a number of subtle theological motifs that go back to
        early Jewish Christianity, and then told his readers that the only
        reason he was inserting the Hebrew Matthew into his treatise, the Even
        Bohan, was so they could learn to refute it and crush the Christians.
        Number 1 is fraught with a great many problems. Number 2 is much more
        reasonable.
      • Alan Repurk
        ... Does anyone have a satisfactory explanation for the inclusion of the tetragrammaton in the S-T, besides the obvious conclusion that he copied it from a
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 10, 1997
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          george howard wrote:

          > connections, and alliteration, added a symbol for the Divine Name 19
          > times, inserted a number of subtle theological motifs that go back to
          > early Jewish Christianity, and then told his readers that the only
          > reason he was inserting the Hebrew Matthew into his treatise, the Even
          > Bohan, was so they could learn to refute it and crush the Christians.


          Does anyone have a satisfactory explanation for the inclusion of the
          tetragrammaton in the S-T, besides the obvious conclusion that he
          copied it from a Hebrew original ? It would seem to defeat the purpose
          of the S-T as a document which was intended to represent the Christian
          tradition for polemic reasons to add the Divine Name. Would not the
          superstition of this devout Jewish translator impose certain restrictions
          on him with regard to this name ?

          In looking at some of the old posts I happened to file away I found
          some quotations from a book by James Scott Trimm entitled
          "The Good News According to Matthew from an old Hebrew Manuscript",
          a translation and analysis of the 15th Century DuTillet manuscript.
          I have not checked these for accuracy and have not read the book, so
          I hope the original poster did his homework .....

          Sincerely,
          -lars

          -------------------------------------------------------------------------


          Irenaeus (150-170 CE)"Matthew issued a written gospel among the Hebrews
          in their own dialect..." (Against Heresies 3:1)

          Origen (210 CE) "The first is written according to Matthew, the same that
          was once a tax collector, but afterwards an emissary of Yeshua the
          Messiah, who having published it for the Jewish believers, wrote it in
          the Hebrew." (Eusebius E.H. 4:25)

          Pantaenus... penetrated as ar as India, where it is reported that he
          found the gospel according to Matthew, which had been delivered before
          his arrival to some who had the knowledge of Messiah, to whom
          Bartholomew, one of the emissaries, as it is said, had preached, and left
          them that writing of Matthew in Hebrew letters." (Euseb. E. H. 5:10)

          Epiphanius (370 CE) "They (the Nazarenes) have the gospel according to
          Matthew quite complete, in Hebrew, for this gospel is certainly still
          preserved among them as it was first written, in Hegrew letters."
          (Panarion 29:9:4)

          Jerome (382 CE) "Matthew, who is also Levi, and from a tax collector came
          to be an emissary, first of all the evangelists composed a gospel of
          Messiah in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters, for the benefit
          of those of the circumcision who had believed; who translated it into
          Greek is not sufficiently ascertained. Furthermore, the Hebrew itself is
          preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr
          Pamphilus so diligently collected. I also was allowed by the Nazarenes
          who use this volume in the Syrian city of Boroea to copy it. In which is
          to be remarked that, wherever the evangelist...makes use of the
          testimonies of the old Scripture, he does not follow the authority of the
          seventy translators, but that of the Hebrew."
          (Jerome; Of Illustrious Men 3)

          End note to a 5th century Aramaic Matthew (the Peshitta): "Completion of
          the Holy Gospel as published by Matthew; and which he published in
          Hebrew, in the land of the Palestinians."
        • Ulrich Schmid
          ... Maybe counting agreements can not solve all of the problems, but it surely is a strong indicator when it comes to questions of textual relationships. So,
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 10, 1997
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            On Mon, 10 Mar 1997, George Howard wrote:

            >It is true that Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew has parallels with a number of
            >medieval
            >readings. It is also true that he has unique parallels with such out of
            >the way documents as Codex Sinaiticus and the Old Syriac (SyS and SyC).
            >He perhaps has more parallels with the Old Syriac than any other textual
            >tradition (though I have not counted them).

            Maybe counting agreements can not solve all of the problems, but it surely is a
            strong indicator when it comes to questions of textual relationships. So, why
            not counting them? Maybe, because counting agreements also involves counting
            _disagreements_?
            I am somehow puzzled by the fact that the Latin traditions (Old Latin and
            Vulgate MSS, Harmonies) are not mentioned as possible candidates for testing
            agreements/disagreements in relation to Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew (as Bill
            Petersen already pointed out).

            >I suppose we can go two ways (maybe more). 1. We can say that Shem-Tob was an
            >eclectic scholar who prepared a special text of Matthew in his polemic against
            >the church, choosing readings from a great many sources.

            Again, a closer look at the Latin tradition presumably would have prevented this
            type of carricature. Virtually every single Vulgate MS displays at least some
            Old Latin readings. When dealing only with the Latin harmony tradition(s) - not
            to mention the other vernacular harmonies - we find therein a considerable
            degree of "mixed" textual situation, i.e. generally "vulgatized" harmonies
            nevertheless display sometimes unique agreements with various parts of textual
            transmission. It would simply be hazardous to label each and every
            scribe/producer of textually "mixed" MSS an "eclectic scholar..., choosing
            readings from a great many sources".

            >2. He preserves an ancient
            >text whose readings crop up in a multiplicity of ancient and medieval
            >documents.

            As Bill Petersen already pointed out: Each and every copy of the Gospel of
            Matthew in each and every language preserves a lot of ancient readings, and,
            therefore, a somehow ancient text. In the case of Shem Tob or any other medieval
            source it is essential to establish a reasonably _distinct_ text which may or
            may not be "ancient", depending on the level of agreement (and disagreement) of
            this distinct text with other witnesses. As long as only parts of the textual
            tradition (predominantly old ones as, e.g., the Old Syriac or P 45) are sought
            through, and as long as agreements and disagreements are not counted, I simply
            remain unconviced of the distinct "ancient text" preseved in Shem-Tob's Hebrew
            Matthew. It may well be another amalgam of medieval (Latin or vernacular) Gospel
            traditions.

            snip

            >Number 1 is fraught with a great many problems. Number 2 is much more
            >reasonable.

            In my own judgment the alternative is simply mistaken.

            Ulrich Schmid, Muenster
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... My thanks to this list for pointing out both Shedinger s and Petersen s articles. My biggest problem with Shedinger s article is his use of P45 s readings
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 18, 1997
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              At 05:18 3/7/97 -0500, William L. Petersen wrote:
              >The article mentioned is by R.F. Shedinger; it has some errors in fact as
              >well as in its presuppositions. Additionally, it (inexplicably?) fails to
              >address points I raised in my review (in JBL 108 [1989], pp. 722-726) of the
              >first edition of Howard's book (which was titled *The Gospel of Matthew
              >according to a Primitive Hebrew Text* [1988]; the second, revised edition
              >is more modestly titled, *Hebrew Gospel of Matthew* [1995]). The remarks in
              >my review are self-explanatory, and supported by textual evidence; I am
              >preparing a critique of Shedinger's article for publication.

              My thanks to this list for pointing out both Shedinger's and Petersen's
              articles. My biggest problem with Shedinger's article is his use of
              P45's readings in Luke and Mark. For example, Lk11:13 is understood
              to be from Greek Q, not a Hebrew Matthew. So how does a Hebrew Matthew
              fit in?

              Petersen, p. 723, criticized Howard's first edition for presenting 21
              variants explanable on the presumption that Greek Mt is based on a
              Hebrew text. (Howard's second edition, which I have, handles this
              point better.) Petersen pointed out that requires the following assump-
              tions: (a) Greek Matthew depends on a Hebrew Matthew and (b) Shem-Tob's
              Hebrew Matthew is faithful to original Hebrew text of Mt. In my view,
              Shedinger's article requires the additional assumptions: that (c) Luke
              [and Mark!] too depends on Hebrew Matthew and (d) P45 is more faithful
              to Lk's Greek text.

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations,
              scarlson@... : and songs chant the words.
              http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35
            • Michael Collins
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 19, 1997
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                You do know the work of Bill Farmer (William R.) et al.? They posit
                Matthean priority in a form that includes Mark and Q and M material.
                They would love more grist for their mill! But it just won't work for a
                large number of reasons. Cheers! -- John Hurd

                >
                > At 05:18 3/7/97 -0500, William L. Petersen wrote:
                > >The article mentioned is by R.F. Shedinger; it has some errors in fact as
                > >well as in its presuppositions. Additionally, it (inexplicably?) fails to
                > >address points I raised in my review (in JBL 108 [1989], pp. 722-726) of the
                > >first edition of Howard's book (which was titled *The Gospel of Matthew
                > >according to a Primitive Hebrew Text* [1988]; the second, revised edition
                > >is more modestly titled, *Hebrew Gospel of Matthew* [1995]). The remarks in
                > >my review are self-explanatory, and supported by textual evidence; I am
                > >preparing a critique of Shedinger's article for publication.
                >
                > My thanks to this list for pointing out both Shedinger's and Petersen's
                > articles. My biggest problem with Shedinger's article is his use of
                > P45's readings in Luke and Mark. For example, Lk11:13 is understood
                > to be from Greek Q, not a Hebrew Matthew. So how does a Hebrew Matthew
                > fit in?
                >
                > Petersen, p. 723, criticized Howard's first edition for presenting 21
                > variants explanable on the presumption that Greek Mt is based on a
                > Hebrew text. (Howard's second edition, which I have, handles this
                > point better.) Petersen pointed out that requires the following assump-
                > tions: (a) Greek Matthew depends on a Hebrew Matthew and (b) Shem-Tob's
                > Hebrew Matthew is faithful to original Hebrew text of Mt. In my view,
                > Shedinger's article requires the additional assumptions: that (c) Luke
                > [and Mark!] too depends on Hebrew Matthew and (d) P45 is more faithful
                > to Lk's Greek text.
                >
                > Stephen Carlson
                > --
                > Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations,
                > scarlson@... : and songs chant the words.
                > http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35
                >
                >
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