Origins of the Faith

The Origins in the Belief and Faith in Jesus of Nazareth
(Yeshua Natzaret)
(Preliminary draft of an essay relating to the writings pertaining to the origins of the faith and belief in Jesus the Christ / Yeshua Ha Moshiach)


For far too long, Christian's have come to believe they are a new religion which started in the early 1st century. News alert! Christianity is NOT a new religion! What most understand as Christianity was started in the 3rd & 4th Centuries.

 

It is a continuation of an the already existing religion of ancient Judaism. Nothing in what is called the "New Testament" is "new"; it is all a continuation of the "Old Testament". All of the qualifications, teachings, actions, persons of Jesus' heritage, all are in the Old Testament. The New was not even written until decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Jewish historian Josephus stated that the language of Judea at the time of Christ / Messiah and for at least another one hundred years was Hebrew. Contrary to popular belief and teachings of the mainstream Christian church, at least three of the original Gospels were written in Hebrew as well as some of Acts and some of the Epistles.


These claims are supported by archeological discoveries including the Dead Sea Scrolls, coinage from the time of the Bar Kokhba period. The Hebrew was not the more formal version of the Tanak (Old Testament) but was more of a common version, the written version of the spoken Hebrew people used daily.

James Trimm, editor of "The Hebraic-Roots Version", 'The Scriptures'" puts forth:
"When we turn to the New Testament we find that there are reasons for suspecting a Hebrew or Aramaic original for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, John and for the apocalypse.


Hugh J. Schonfield: "An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew's Gospel" 1927; p. vii
"The material of our Four Gospels is all Palestinian and the language in which it was originally written is Aramaic, then the principle language of the land....


C.C.Torrey; "Our Translated Gospels" 1936 p. ix

The pioneer in this study of Aramaic and Greek relationships was Charles Cutler Torrey (1863- 1956),... His work however fell short of completeness; as a pioneering effort, in the nature of the case, some of his work has to be revised and supplemented. His main contention of translation, however is undeniably correct. The translation into Greek from Aramaic must have been made from a written record, including the Fourth Gospel. The language was Eastern Aramaic, as the material itself revealed, most strikingly through a comparison of parallel passages. ...

One group [of scholars], which originated in the nineteenth century and persists to the present day [1979], contends that the Gospels were written Greek...

Another group of scholars, among them C. C. Torrey ... comes out flatly with the proposition that the Four Gospels... including Acts up to 15:35 are translated directly from Aramaic and from a written Aramaic text ... My own researches have led me to consider Torrey's position valid and convincing that the Gospels as a whole were translated from Aramaic into Greek.


Frank Zimmerman; "The Aramaic Origin of the Four Gospels"; KATV; 1979
Thus it was that the writer turned seriously to tackle the question of the original language of the Fourth Gospel' and quickly convincing himself that the theory of an original Aramaic document was no chimera, but a fact which was capable of the fullest verification...

Charles Fox Burney; "The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel"; 1922 p. 3
... this [Old Syriac] Gospel of St. Matthew appears at least to be built upon the original Aramaic text which was the work of the Apostle himself.


William Cureton; "Remains of a Very Ancient Recension of the Four Gospels in Syriac"; 1858; p. vi
... the Book of Revelation was written in a Semitic language, and that the Greek translation... is a remarkably close rendering of the original.


C. C. Torrey; "Documents of the Primitive Church" 1941 p. 160
We come to the conclusion, therefore that the Apocalypse as a whole is a translation from Hebrew or Aramaic...

R. B. Y. Scott; "The Original Language of the Apocalypse" 1928; p. 6
In regard to Luke, it remains to be said, that of all the Four Gospels it is the one which gives by far the plainest and most constant evidence of being a translation.


C. C. Torrey; "Our Translated Gospels" p. lix
There is a great deal of support for their conclusions from the early "Church Fathers".


Papias (150-170 C.E.)
Matthew composed the words in the Hebrew dialect, and each translated as he was able.


Ireneus (179 C.E.)
Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect.

Origen (c.210 C. E. )
The first [Gospel] 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 Hebrew.


Eusebius (c. 315 C. E.)
Matthew also, having first proclaimed the Gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going also to the other nations, committed it to writing in his native tongue, and thus supplied the want of his presence to them by his writings.


Pantaenus... penetrated as far as India, where it was reported that he found teh Gospel according to Matthew, which had been delivered before his arrival to some who had teh knowledge of Messiah, to whom Bartholomew, one of the emissaries, as it is said, had proclaimed, and left them the writing of Matthew in Hebrew letters.

Origen (c.210 C. E. )
The first [Gospel] 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 Hebrew.


Eusebius (c. 315 C. E.)
Matthew also, having first proclaimed the Gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going also to the other nations, committed it to writing in his native tongue, and thus supplied the want of his presence to them by his writings.


Pantaenus... penetrated as far as India, where it was reported that he found teh Gospel according to Matthew, which had been delivered before his arrival to some who had teh knowledge of Messiah, to whom Bartholomew, one of the emissaries, as it is said, had proclaimed, and left them the writing of Matthew in Hebrew letters.

Clement of Alexandria (150-212 C.E.)
In the work called Hypotyposes, to sum up the matter briefly he [Clement of Alexandria] has given us abridged accounts of all the canonical Scriptures,... the Epistle to the Hebrews he asserts was written by Paul, to the Hebrews, in the Hebrew tongue; but that it was carefully translated by Luke, and published among the Greeks.


Eusebius (315 C.E.)
For as Paul had addressed the Hebrews in the language of his country; some say that the evangelist Luke, others that Clement translated the epistle.


Jerome (382)
He [Paul] being a Hebrew wrote in Hebrew, that is, his own tongue and most fluently while things which were eloquently written in Hebrew were more eloquently turned into Greek. 

Ref: The Hebraic-Roots Version "The Scriptures"; Introduction.Institute for Scripture Research, James Scott Trimm 2004-2005

Again, referring to the research by James Trimm, the ancient Jewish rabbis hinted of the original Hebrew as they sought to destroy all copies of the Gospels, but had trouble with how to destroy the Hebrew version as they contained the Name of God YHWH, whereas the Greek used the term "God" and "Lord". The question of what happened to these originals comes to mind. Why, with all the attention and continuation of the Gospels and their preservation, have these particular Hebrew originals vanished and the "Church" became exclusively Greek [language] centric? All future translations will always go back to the Greek as their basis for their foundation, when in reality Hebrew is (and always was) the origin and foundation of the Gospels and the majority of the entire Bible itself. Granted some parts were written in Aramaic and later in the New Testament some epistles in Greek, but the core of ALL Scripture was in Hebrew. There was the reference earlier to a collection in Caesarea in an ancient library. That would be a find worthy of another "Indiana Jones" film!


However, today we do still have copies of the Hebrew Matthew, i.e. "Shem Tov's Hebrew Matthew", plus copies found in Russia and Eastern Europe.
to be continued........