Is DuTillet Hebrew Matthew a Translation from Greek?

Is DuTillet Hebrew Matthew a Translation from Greek?
James Scott Trimm

Recently I have seen several persons dismiss the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew claiming that it is a “translation from Greek.” Whenever I see someone make this claim, it becomes immediately apparent that they are not familiar enough with the subject matter to be commenting.

In a recent blog I shared how the close relationship between the DuTillet Hebrew Matthew and the Old Syriac Aramaic Matthew is strong evidence that the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew is directly related to the original Hebrew of Matthew.

There is further evidence that the original Hebrew from which Du Tillet is an exemplar is directly connected to the original Aramaic of which the Old Syriac is an exemplar apart from the Greek text. 

Both Hebrew and Greek have a definite article (English “the”).  Yet there seems to be no real connection between where DuTillet uses the definite article and where it appears in the Greek:

Three Examples where the Hebrew has no definite articles but the Greek does have them:

Mt. 3:7 “many of the Pharisees and Sadducees”
Mt. 6:32  “the Gentiles”
Mt. 14: 15  “the villages”

Three examples where the Hebrew does have definite articles and the Greek lacks them:

Mt. 3:8 “the fruit worthy”
Mt. 4: 18 “the net”
Mt. 7:9 “the stone”

This would certainly imply that at some point in between the Hebrew and the Greek the text went through a language that either had a weak definite article or none at all. The likely candidate for such a language would be Aramaic (Syriac) which lacks a definite article.

In other words the evidence indicates that the Hebrew text of DuTillet is not a Hebrew translation of the Greek.  Instead it appears that the Aramaic text represented by the Old Syriac is a direct Aramaic translation of the Hebrew text represented by DuTillet, and that our Greek text is a representative of a Greek version which was translated from the Aramaic. 

If anyone who was actually educated about these texts wanted to dismiss the DuTillet Text as a translation, they would never claim it was translated from Greek, they would claim it was translated from Latin, which has no definite article. Of course this argument is also incorrect, as evidenced by the close relationship between the DuTillet text and the Old Syriac. But if anyone tries to dismiss the DuTillet Hebrew as a translation from Greek, they have demonstrated themselves to be ignorant of the nuances of the text about which they are claiming to know so much.

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