This is the complete Hebrew text of Matthew that "appeared in the body of a fourteenth century Jewish polemical treatise" by a Jewish apologist named Shem-Tob. Howard presents us with the Hebrew text and an English translation on facing pages followed by an analysis of the text. Several of the early church fathers, including Papias, Eusebius, Irenaeus, Origin, and Jerome state that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew and others later translated it. Greek and Latin speaking Christians, however, did not retain this Hebrew text and, as a result, little is know about it.
Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew is particularly of interest because:
1. It is the earliest complete Hebrew text of the Gospel known.
2. Though preserved in a fourteenth century treatise, the text appears to predate the fourteenth century.
3. It does not appear to be a translation of any known Greek or Latin text.