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ABOUT SHEM TOV

The Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew is the work of a fourteenth century Jew, Shem Tov, ben Yitschaq, ben Shaprut, who was born in Tudela in Castile. He later settled in Tarazona in Aragon where he practiced medicine as a physician.

Shem Tov should not be confused with Ba'al Shem Tov, the Rabbinical miracle worker who founded Hasidism in the 18th Century.

In 1380, Shem Tov completed a work known as Even Bochan, which means "Test Stone", and which he revised several times. This work included a Hebrew version of the Gospel of Matthew which until recently was viewed as a translation from the Greek or Latin into Hebrew.

Even Bochan was written during the Spanish Inquisition refuting Catholicism and Shem Tov's approach was to go through the New Testament section by section searching for weaknesses that could be used against the Catholics.

It is obvious that the Hebrew Matthew text contained within Even Bochan is not the original Hebrew text but that Shem Tov copied from an original and changed the text to suit his beliefs.

There is sufficient of the original Hebrew text, however, to show that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew and that it was translated into Greek by translators who were not fully conversant with the Tanakh which is referred to as the Old Testament.

 

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