Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew

Jonathan D. safren yonsaf at
Sun Feb 4 01:46:25 EST 2001

Pardon my ignorance - and here I am ignorant - isn't Matthew a Jewish name?
Mattai - a hypocoristicon of Matityahu - "Gift of YHWH"?
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Israel

----- Original Message -----
From: "Raymond de Hoop" <rdehoop at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Sunday, February 04, 2001 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew

> Jason Hare <language_lover64801 at> wrote on 04-02-2001 01:34:
> > Yet, most early church history recounts that Matthew wrote his gospel
> > in Hebrew (not Aramaic?) and that it was later translated into Greek.
> > sense would it make for him to quote the LXX when writing in Hebrew?
> > perhaps this is all just speculation.  (And it really doesn't have
> > to do with B-Hebrew... I probably shouldn't even send this.)
> >
> Jason, this is a problematic issue indeed. The question nowadays is
> Matthew is a Jew or that he was a gentile. In case he was a Jew, he knew
> probably three languages, which would include his reading of the Hebrew
> scriptures as preference. However, in case he was a gentile, or strongly
> related to a community consisting of gentiles, the matter is more
> complicated and a writing in Greek and reading and quoting of LXX is more
> likely. However, the quotations are sometimes more MT, sometimes more LXX.
> So for me this matter is still not decided, but there is a strong tendency
> nowadays to argue that he was not a Jew.
> Yet I think you were right to point out that the matter is more
> than a simple "he read Greek", which I also followed at first.
> (check the entry "Matthew, Gospel of" in ABD, vol. IV, pp.622-641).
> Regards
> Raymond
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