Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew

Raymond de Hoop rdehoop at
Sat Feb 3 23:41:13 EST 2001

Jason Hare <language_lover64801 at> wrote on 04-02-2001 01:34:

> Yet, most early church history recounts that Matthew wrote his gospel first
> in Hebrew (not Aramaic?) and that it was later translated into Greek.  What
> sense would it make for him to quote the LXX when writing in Hebrew?  But,
> perhaps this is all just speculation.  (And it really doesn't have anything
> to do with B-Hebrew... I probably shouldn't even send this.)

Jason, this is a problematic issue indeed. The question nowadays is whether
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 complicated
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).





Dr Raymond de Hoop          Tel.: ++31 50 553 0115
Boeiersingel 11
NL-9745 CA Groningen
The Netherlands                 E-mail: rdehoop at


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