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MATTHEW 59

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 (Hist, eccl.. Ill, xxiv, 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 borne 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 he the more probable, viz., that Matthew wrote his Gospel in .Aramaic.

Let us now recall the testimony of the other eccle- siastical writers on the Gospel of St. Matthew. St. Irenaeus (.'Vdv. Haer., Ill, i, 2) affirms that Matthew published among the Hebrews a Gospel which he wrote in their own language. Eusebius (Hist, eccl., V, X, 3) says that, in India, Pantaenus found the Gospel according to St. Matthew written in the Hebrew lan- guage, the Apostle Bartholomew having left it there. Again, in liis "Hist, eccl." (VI, xxv, 3, 4), Eusebius tells us that Origen, in his first book on the Gospel of St. Matthew, states that he has learned from tradition that the First Gospel was written by Matthew, who, having composed it in Hebrew, published it for the converts from Judaism. According to Eusebius (Hist, eccl.. Ill, xxiv, 6), Matthew preached first to the Hebrews and, when obliged to go to other countries, gave them his Gospel written in his native tongue. St. .Jerome has repeatedly declared that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew ("Ad Damasum", xx; "Ad Hedib.", iv), but says that it is not known with cer- tainty who translated it into Greek. St. Cyril of Jeru- salem, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Epiphanius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, etc., and all the com- mentators of the Middle Ages repeat that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew. Erasmus was the first to express doubts on this subject: "It does not seem probable to me that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, since no one testifies that he has seen any trace of such a volume." This is not accurate, as St. Jerome u.ses Matthew's Hebrew text several times to solve diffi- culties of interpretation, which proves that he had it at hand. Pantaenus also had it, as, according to St. Jerome (" De Viris 111.", xxxvi), he brought it back to Alexandria. However, the testimony of Pantaenus is only second-hand, and that of Jerome rernains rather ambiguous, since in neither case is it positively known that the writer did not mistake the Gospel according to the Hebrews (written of course in Hebrew) for the Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew. However, all eccle- siastical writers assert that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, and, by quoting the Greek Gospel and ascribing it to Matthew, thereby affirm it to be a trans- lation of the Hebrew Gospel.

B. Examination of the Greek Gospel of St. Mattheiv. — Our chief object is to ascertain whether the character- istics of the Greek Gospel indicate that it is a trans- lation from the Aramaic, or that it is an original document; but, that we may not have to revert to the peculiarities of the Gospel of Matthew, we shall here treat them in full.

(1) The Language of the Gospel. — St. Matthew used about 1475 words, 137 of which are fiiraf \ey6/j.fm (words used bv him alone of all the New Testament writers). Of these latter 76 are classical; 21 are found in the Septuagint; 15 (^arToXoyeTv, ^laariii, limvxlift", etc.) were introduced for the first time by Matthew, or


MATTHEW

at least he was the first writer in whom they were dis- covered; 8 words (itjteSptii', ■yaiil^eiv, etc.) were em- ployed for the first time by Matthew and Mark, and 15 others {exxuvea-eui, iniovaioi etc.) by .Matthew and another_ New Testament writer. It is probable that, at the time of the Evangelist, all these words were in current use. Matthew's Gospel contains many pecul- iar expressions which help to give decided colour to his style. Thus, he employs thirty-four times the expression /Sao-tXe/a t(jv ovpavdv; this is never found in Mark and Luke, who, in parallel passages, replace it by fiatriXela. toD SfoO, which also occurs four times in Matthew. We must likewise note the expressions: iraTTjp 6 ^TTOvpaviO^ , 6 iv to?s ovpavoii, trui'T^Xeta tou aiuros, (yvvalptiv \liyov, elwelv n Kari tlpo!, ixexP' 'r^s ffijfiipov^ TTOiTiaai ws, ioaTTip, ev iKelvip ry KatptJJ, iy^ipeadai atrb, etc. The .same terms often recur: rire (90 times), airb rire, Kal IdoO etc. He adopts the Greek form ' Ii7Po<r4Xu/ua for Jerusalem, and not'lrjpovudXrjp.^ which he uses but once. He has a pretlilection for the prepo- sition d-n-i, using it even when Mark and Luke use iK, and for the expression vibs Aavtd. Moreover, Mattliew is fond of repeating a phrase or a special construction several times within quite a short interval (cf. ii, 1, 13, and 19; iv, 12, IS, and v, 2; viii, 2-3 and 28; ix, 26 and 31; xiii, 44, 45, and 47, etc.). Quotations from the Old Testament are variously introduced, as: oi'TuJs, Kadoj^ yiypairrai, tVa, or A'ttcus, TrXrjpujOy t6 prid^v inrb Kvpiov 5i4 toC irpotp-qTov, etc. These peculiarities of language, especially the repetition of the same words and expressions, would indicate that the Greek Gospel was an original rather than a translation, and this is confirmed by the paronomasia^ (^aTToXo7£r>', iroXDXo7(a; KhxpovTai sal 64'OvTai. etc.), which ought not to have oeen found in the Aramaic, by the employ- ment of the genitive absolute, and, above all, by the linking of clauses through the use of M' . . . S4, a, construction that is peculiarly Greek. However, let us observe that these various characteristics prove merely that the writer was thoroughly conversant with his language, and that he translated his text rather freely. Besides, these same characteristics are noticeable in Christ's sayings, as well as in the narra- tives, and, as these utterances were made in Aramaic, they were consequently translated ; thus, the construc- tion fiiv . . . 54 (except in one instance) and all the examples of paronomasia occur in discourses of Christ. The fact that the genitive absolute is used mainly in the narrative portions, only denotes that the latter were more freely translated; besitles, Helirew pos- sesses an analogous grammatical construction. On the other hand, a fair number of Hebraismsarc noticed in Matthew's Gospel (ovk iylvusKiv aOriJi/, ofioKoyiiuei. iv ip.ol, d t^eariv, tI Ttfiiv Kal aol, etc.), which favour the belief that the original was Aramaic. Still, it remains to be proved that these Hebraisms are not colloquial Greek expressions.

(2) General Character of the Gospel. — Distinct unity of plan, an artificial arrangement of subject- matter, and a simple, easy .style — much purer than that of Mark — suggest an original rather than a trans- lation. When the First Gospel is compared with books translated from the Hebrew, such as those of the Septuagint, a marked difference is at once appar- ent. 'The original Helirew shines through every line of the latter, whereas, in the First (iospel Heljraisnis are comparatively rare, and are merely such as might he looked for in a book written by a Jew and repro- ducing Jewish teaching. However, these observations are not conclusive in favour of a Greek original. In the first place, the unity of style that prevails through- out the book, would rather prove that we have a trans- lation. It is certain that a good portion of the matter existed first in .4ramai( — at all events, the .sayings of Christ, and thus ahnost tliree-quarters of the Gospel. Consequently, these at least the (jreek writer has translated. And, since no difference in language and