Did the Law and the Prophets Only Prophecy Until John?
James Scott Trimm
We have often said that the Hebrew and Aramaic Origin of the “New Testament” is very important because there are many passages that do not make sense until we look at them in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. A very good example of this is to be found in Matthew 11:13 where we read in the King James Version:
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
(Matt. 11:13 KJV)
Many have found this passage difficult to understand. Some Antinomians have quoted it to claim that the “law was until John”. However this does not even fit their theology, since John died before Yeshua’s death. Others have taken it to mean that all prophecy was fulfilled before John. This argument is made by Cambelites. However many prophecies of the last days have not yet been fulfilled. Finally many have taken it to mean that prophecy ended with Yochanan. However this argument also fails because there were prophets long after his death (see for example Acts 13:1).
The solution to this difficult verse may be found by looking at the Hebrew of Matthew and comparing the Shem Tob Hebrew version with the DuTillet/Munster Hebrew version. In this particular text, it appears the Shem Tob text may preserve the original reading. The Shem Tob Hebrew version of Mathew tells us that the Torah and the Prophets prophecied על “concerning” Yochanan which seems to have become misread as עד “until” Yochanan as we see it in the DuTillet and Munster Text. “Concerning” (על) Yochanan (as it reads in the Shem Tob Hebrew text) is easily misread as עד (until) (as it appears in the DuTillet and Munster Hebrew texts) (This is one of the few passages in which Shem Tob appears to preserve a more original reading than DuTillet). The reading “concerning John” seems to fit the text better because in verse 11:10 Matthew has just quoted Malachi 3:1 and applied the text to Yochanan. And earlier in Mt. 3:3 Matthew had quoted Is. 40:3 as pertaining to Yochanan.
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