The Patristic Traditions about the Evangelist Matthew

Several theories have been offered to account for why the toll collector Levi was re-named Matthew in Matthew 9:9 (cf. Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27), but some commentators factor this verse in as evidence for the Matthean authorship of the first canonical Gospel or, at a minimum, for one of its major sources. After all, a toll collector may have at least needed functional literacy to perform certain tasks. However, none of the ancient Christian literati surmised that the Apostle was fluent in Greek, for they handed down the tradition that Matthew composed his Gospel in Aramaic before it was translated into Greek.

By Michael J. Kok
Vose Seminary
March 2020

The debate over the authorship of Matthew’s Gospel usually focuses on the replacement of Levi, the son of Alphaeus, with Matthew (Matt 9:9; contra Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27) and the addition of the descriptor “the toll collector” after Matthew’s name (Matt 10:3; contra Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13).[1] Regardless of how this name change is explained, this toll collector may have been trained in accounting and documenting records and may have been functionally bilingual or trilingual in order to converse with travellers moving between the territories of Philip and Antipas. Therefore, commentators often appeal to Matthew 9:9 and 10:3 as evidence that the Apostle Matthew was capable of composing either the Greek text of the first canonical Gospel or one of the literary sources incorporated into it.[2] B. Ward Powers enthusiastically endorses this line of reasoning in the following bold claim:

"To have this evidence about the apostle Matthew – his background, training, and employment in the Roman administration; his response to the call to follow Jesus; his appointment to the role and responsibility of apostle – and to believe that he would not write down what Jesus was doing and teaching requires a far bigger leap of faith than believing that he did. It would be psychologically impossible that such a man as Matthew, trained and experienced in writing records and reports – he was a Roman official and such work was requisite for him since it went with the job – would not have recorded things Jesus said. He had the ability, the means, the opportunity, the motivation, and he wouldn’t have done it? Impossible!"[3]


            This quote from Powers’s monograph on the Synoptic Problem may presume too much about the literary skills, and psychological motivations, of a relatively low-level functionary operating a toll booth on the outskirts of the Galilean village of Capernaum (Matt 9:1, 9; cf. Mark 2:1, 13–14). A survey of the ancient traditions about how the evangelist Matthew wrote his Gospel in Aramaic for a Jewish audience before it was translated into Greek suggests that the modern assumptions about the Apostle’s fluency in Greek or education in rhetorical composition may not have necessarily been shared by the Patristic intelligentsia.


The Identification of the Toll Collector as Matthew

Ancient and modern scholars have been perplexed by the fact that the name of the toll collector in Matthew 9:9 differs from its synoptic counterparts. Some Patristic interpreters guessed that the evangelists Mark and Luke called Matthew by his less popular name Levi out of deference for his apostolic status, while Matthew himself had the humility to confess that he was once employed in a disreputable profession under his better-known name (e.g., John Chrysostom, hom. in Mt. 30.1; Jerome, Matt. 1.9.9).[4] When Origen of Alexandria searched for a parallel for why Saul was surnamed Paul in the preface of his Commentary on Romans, he pointed out that the same individual appears under different names in Matthew 9:9 and Luke 5:27 (PG 14.836). Many commentators compare Matthew’s two names with other first-century Jews who had a Greek or Latin cognomen.[5] On the other hand, after scrutinizing the onomastic data compiled by Tal Ilan,[6] Richard Bauckham makes it clear why these examples may be irrelevant to this case:

"[I]f Matthew and Levi were the same person, we should be confronted with the virtually unparalleled phenomenon of a Palestinian Jew bearing two common Semitic personal names (Matthew: ninth most popular, 62 occurrences; Levi: seventeenth most popular, 25 occurrences). This is a quite different case from that of an individual having both a Semitic and a Greek or Latin name, as well as from that of an individual having a Semitic name and also a nickname or family name."[7]

      A minority view during the Patristic period was that Levi and Matthew were separate individuals. For example, the Valentinian theologian Heracleon differentiated Levi from Matthew (cf. Clement, str. 4.9). Curiously, Origen answered the philosopher Celsus’s criticism that Jesus assembled a motley crew of “toll collectors and sailors” by stressing that Matthew was the sole toll collector within the apostolic circle and that Levi was not numbered among the twelve apostles except for in select manuscripts of Mark’s Gospel (Cels. 1.62), though these observations contradict Origen’s argument in his commentary above. The Western reading attested in Codex Bezae that switched Thaddaeus with Lebbaeus, the Latinized form of Levi, in the list of the twelve apostles in Mark 3:18, influenced the textual transmission of Matthew 10:3.[8] Alternatively, the textual variant that has “James” instead of “Levi” as the son of Alphaeus in Mark 2:14 in a handful of manuscripts was plausibly motivated by a “desire for uniformity” by having a single “son of Alphaeus” (cf. Mark 3:18).[9] In both instances, certain copyists of Mark’s Gospel were unaware of the conflation of Levi with Matthew in Matthew 9:9 and 10:3, yet still turned the character in Mark 2:14 into an apostle. Perhaps they did so because Levi’s call narrative closely resembled the summons of the first four apostles to discipleship in Mark 1:16–20 and Alpheus was already remembered as the father of one of the apostles in Mark 3:18.[10] Even so, most readers of the New Testament throughout history have taken the identification of Levi with Matthew for granted.

             It is beyond the scope of this paper to determine why Matthew was substituted for Levi. This is not a solitary occurrence within Matthew’s Gospel: the evangelist inserted the mother of the sons of Zebedee into one pericope (Matt 20:20; cf. Mark 10:35) and swapped Salome for her in another (Matt 27:56; cf. Mark 16:1),[11] though this example differs slightly from Matthew 9:9 inasmuch as the woman is left unnamed.[12] Neither Matthew 9:9 nor 10:3 advances an explicit authorial claim. There is no indication that Matthew wrote anything (contra John 21:24; Gos. Thom. prol.) nor any utilization of the first-person voice to present Matthew’s perspective on the unfolding events (contra Acts 16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1–37; 28:1–16; Gos. Pet. 7.26–27; 14.59–60). This makes it doubtful that Matthew 9:9 was intended as either the evangelist’s self-reference or as a pseudonymous literary device supplementing the ascription of this Gospel to Matthew.[13] Moreover, Matthew hardly features more as a character in the narrative than in the other two Synoptic Gospels to be the key source of the Matthean traditions.[14] Nevertheless, it is conceivable that the two verses in Matthew 9:9 and 10:3 were the basis for why this Gospel was later ascribed to Matthew.[15]


The Original Language of Matthew’s Gospel

Unlike the modern deductions about Matthew’s level of literacy, Papias did not presuppose Matthew’s facility in Greek. Rather, he plainly states, “So Matthew composed the oracles in the Hebrew language and each person interpreted them as best he could” (in Eusebius, h.e. 3.39.16).[16] At first sight, this description seems like a poor match for the extant text entitled the Gospel according to Matthew, for it does not look like a translation of an Aramaic precursor.[17] Additionally, specialists on the Synoptic Problem generally hold that Matthew’s Gospel reproduced over 90 percent of Mark’s content, improved Mark’s grammar and style, and edited out Mark’s transliterated Aramaic terms. As a result, those who reject the academic consensus on Markan priority are often the most open to Papias’s claim.[18] Josef Kürzinger and Robert Gundry have tried to line up Papias’s testimony with the academic consensus. They contend that the conjunction oun (“therefore”) in Papias’s statement about Matthew (3.39.16) was connected to his prior statement about Mark (3.39.15), entailing that Matthew published his narrative of Jesus’s life in response to the perceived shortcomings of Mark’s account.[19] Yet our access to Papias is mediated through Eusebius, so it is uncertain whether Eusebius interrupted an interconnected statement about both evangelists or juxtaposed two separate excerpts from Papias together.[20]

       Kürzinger and Gundry re-read the Papian fragment through the lens of rhetorical categories. Hence, Mark listened to Peter’s chreiai or “anecdotes” about the Lord’s sayings and deeds (cf. Aelius Theon, Prog. 3.2-3), but failed to place them in a rhetorically effective arrangement (taxis), whereas Matthew “arranged” (sunetaxato) the “oracles” (logia) “in a Hebrew style.”[21] That is, they surmise that Matthew applied Jewish exegetical techniques and forms of argumentation to the material at his disposal to shape it into a cogent presentation about how Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures. Kürzinger and Gundry insist that dialektos would be preceded by an article if a language was intended (cf. Acts 1:19; 2:6, 8; 21:40; 22:2; 26:14);[22] Kürzinger enlists Irenaeus in support of his reading of Papias, despite the fact that Irenaeus used the article when affirming that Matthew wrote to the Hebrews in their dialektos (cf. haer. 3.1.1).[23] They render the verb hermeneuein as meaning “to mediate” or “to interpret” rather than “to translate.”[24] Hence, Kürzinger identifies the “each one” (hekastos) who “interpreted” according to their ability as the evangelists conveying oral Jesus traditions in a new literary medium;[25] Gundry takes the referent to be the expositors who expounded on Matthew’s text.[26]

        Kürzinger’s and Gundry’s proposals have varying degrees of persuasiveness, but most scholars have not been swayed by their contention that Papias’s words on Matthew have been misread through the centuries.[27] The most natural reading is that a language was meant by the combination of the noun dialektos, especially when modified with the name of an ethnic group (cf. 4 Macc 12:7; 16:15; Acts 21:40; 22:2; 26:14; Josephus, A.J. 5.12), and the verb hermeneuein; Papias could have chosen different terminology to highlight Matthew’s rhetorical style.[28] On the contrary, there are cases when dialektos is translated as a “language” even when it is not preceded by an article (e.g., Philo, Mos. I.2.26; Eusebius, h.e. 6.14.2; Epiphanius, Pan. 29.7.4).[29] Thus, some scholars who otherwise defend the traditional authorship of Matthew’s Gospel admit that Papias erred in his belief about the original language in which it was written.[30] Warren Carter underscores how Papias’s erroneous supposition “served to underline the antiquity of this gospel and link it to the apostles.”[31]

         Another option is that Papias was referring to a lost source. Logion could be translated as an “oracle” or divine utterance. A few scholars have likened Papias’s “oracles” to a testimonium source or collection of prophetic proof-texts from the Hebrew Bible that were translated and integrated into the Gospel of Matthew.[32] The diversity of text-forms evident in Matthew’s biblical citations and allusions, however, disproves the notion that the evangelist was reliant on one testimonium source. Based on Papias’s title Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord and his summary of Mark’s account of the “oracles of the Lord,” Papias’s usage of the term logion encompassed both teachings and short narrative episodes (cf. h.e. 3.39.1, 15), which subtly contrasts with an exclusive interest in the Lord’s logoi or “sayings” (3.39.14).[33] Some scholars equate Matthew’s “oracles” with the hypothetical sources Q or M supposedly underlying the double tradition shared by Matthew and Luke and the singly attested traditions in Matthew’s Gospel respectively.[34] The double tradition is mostly comprised of sayings, but there are a couple of narratives (e.g., Matt 4:1–11/Luke 4:1–13; Matt 8:5–13/Luke 7:1–10). There are sayings (Matt 13:36–43) and stories (e.g., Matt 1—2) in Matthew’s special material, too. The text of Matthew in its final form, on the other hand, may be a better point of contrast for Mark’s narrative, and Q would not have an advantage over it if Q originated in Greek as well.[35] This leads Dennis MacDonald to maintain that Papias’s supposition about the multiple translations of Matthew’s “oracles” was an explanation for the dissimilar Greek texts of Q and Matthew.[36] Ultimately, the identification of Matthew’s “oracles” with Q or M may depend on a given scholar’s acceptance or not of the Four Source theory as classically formulated.[37]

         The final option is that a non-extant Jewish Gospel stands behind Papias’s reference to Matthew’s “oracles” or, at least, the New Testament Gospel that bears the name “Matthew” was mixed up with a Jewish Gospel circulating in Papias’s milieu.[38] There are a number of Patristic and Medieval quotations that purportedly derive from a text that was commonly dubbed as the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Indeed, Papias commented on a story about the Lord’s encounter with a condemned woman that Eusebius located in this Gospel (cf. h.e. 3.39.17).[39] James R. Edwards has revived the older position that Matthew was the author of the Gospel according to the Hebrews and postulates that our Greek Gospel according to Matthew was named in honor of an apostolic figurehead who preserved the Jewish Jesus traditions.[40] Conversely, Papias may not have known the Gospel according to the Hebrews at all, instead learning about the woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord from his oral informants in Asia Minor, and Eusebius may have been the one who discovered that this tale was included in the version of the Gospel according to the Hebrews that circulated in his own day.[41]

          Papias’s notice that Matthew addressed a Palestinian Jewish audience in their own vernacular language (i.e., Aramaic) was repeated in subsequent Patristic literature (e.g., Irenaeus, haer. 3.1.1; Pantaenus, in Eusebius, h.e. 5.10.3; Clement, in h.e. 3.24.6; Origen, in h.e. 6.25.4; Epiphanius, Pan. 29.9.4; 30.3.7; Jerome, Vir. ill. 3). On the other hand, the oldest quotations from the Gospel according to the Hebrews were not attributed to a named author (e.g., Clement, str.; Origen, Jo. 2.12.87; Didymus, Comm. Ps. 184.9-10) and Eusebius regarded the text as “disputed” but not unorthodox (h.e. 3.25.5; cf.  3.27.4; 3.39.17; 4.22.8). What created confusion was that Irenaeus reported that Jewish Christ followers who were called Ebionites or “poor ones” had a special affinity for Matthew’s Gospel, just as Marcion was inclined toward Luke’s Gospel and Valentinus toward John’s Gospel (haer. 3.11.7), which is hard to reconcile with the Ebionites’s denial of the virginal conception of Jesus (1.26.2; 3.21.1; 5.1.3; contra Matt 1:23). Hence, Eusebius “corrected” Irenaeus by substituting the Gospel according to the Hebrews as the Ebionites’s preferred Gospel (h.e. 3.27.4). Epiphanius added to the confusion when he imagined that the Gospel that he managed to get a hold of, which skips over the virgin birth and commences at Jesus’s baptism (Pan. 30.3.7; 30.13.2–14.4), was the Gospel according to the Hebrews, though Epiphanius derided it as the Ebionites’ mutilation of Matthew’s Gospel. Both Eusebius and Epiphanius missed Irenaeus’s point that schismatics rejected the fourfold Gospel canon and selected one of the four Gospels, but their doctrines were refuted by the very Gospels that they privileged.[42]

          It was not until Epiphanius (Pan. 29.9.4; 30.3.7; 30.13.2; 30.14.3) and Jerome (Epist. 20.5; Vir. ill. 3; Tract. Ps. 135; Matt. 12.13; Is. 11.1-3; Pelag. 3.2) that the Gospel according to the Hebrews was associated with Matthew. Contrary to Epiphanius’s assertions, he may have not had access to the Gospel according to the Hebrews at all, and scholars generally label his source, which frequently harmonizes passages in the Synoptic Gospels, as the Gospel according to the Ebionites to distinguish it from the former text.[43] Further, the Gospel according to the Ebionites features a pun that only works in Greek (cf. Pan. 30.13.4–5), indicating that it was published in Greek at the outset.[44] As for Jerome, he boasted that he translated the Gospel according to the Hebrews (e.g., Vir. ill. 2), but several of his quotations were lifted from previous Greek texts penned by figures such as Ignatius (cf. Vir. ill. 16; Is. praef. 18) or Origen (cf. Mich. 7.6; Is. 40.9; Ezech. 16.13). Jerome may have anticipated that he would track down the Gospel according to the Hebrews in Pamphilus’ library in Caesarea (cf. Vir. ill. 3) and, after comparing it to the textual fragments that he received from Jewish Christ-followers living in Beroea known as the Nazarenes, would translate the entire work. Likewise, Jerome prematurely announced that he had finished his translations of the Old and New Testaments when he just started the task (Vir. ill. 135).[45] The majority position among the experts is that the fragments Jerome inherited from the Nazarenes do not derive from the Gospel according to the Hebrews but from a distinct work that scholars have designated as the Gospel according to the Nazarenes.[46] Other scholars suspect that the Nazarenes only supplied Jerome with their own translations and commentary on Matthew’s Gospel.[47] Whatever the case, Jerome slowly distanced himself from his earlier confident declarations that the Nazarenes had the original Matthean Gospel in their possession (cf. Pelag. 3.2).[48]

         The important take-away from this detour through the Patristic testimonies was that the oldest tradition was that the evangelist Matthew published a text in Aramaic and left it to more qualified translators to translate it into the form that we have today as the Greek Gospel according to Matthew. The reason for Papias’s error may simply be that he made the natural assumption that a Galilean Apostle would be writing primarily in Aramaic. Epiphanius and Jerome later confused the traditional account of the authorship of Matthew’s Gospel with the origins of the Gospel according to the Hebrews. There is no evidence that any of the Patristic authorities made any inferences about Matthew’s proficiency in Greek or level of education in rhetorical composition based on Matthew’s former occupation alone.


[1] For the range of theories accounting for the redactional changes in Matthew 9:9 and 10:3, see the helpful summaries compiled by Joachim Gnilka, Das Matthäusevangelium, HTKNT (Freiburg: Herder, 1986), 1.330-31; W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, The Gospel According to Matthew: Matthew VIIIXVIII, ICC (London and New York: T&T Clark, 2006), 2.98–99; cf. Rudolf Pesch, “Levi—Matthäus (Me 2.14/Mt 9.9; 10.3). Ein Beitrag zur Lösung eines alten Problems” ZNW 59 (1968): 40–56; Mark Kiley, “Why ‘Matthew’ in Matt 9:9–13” Biblica 65.3 (1984): 347–51; Michael J. Kok, “Re-naming the Toll Collector in Matthew 9:9: A Review of the Options” JGAR (forthcoming). John P. Meier even entertains the option that the evangelist wanted to replace Levi with any of the apostles and Matthew was chosen at random for this aim. See John P. Meier, The Vision of Matthew: Christ, Church, and Morality in the First Gospel (New York: Paulist, 1978), 24–25.

[2] For some examples, see Robert Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament in St. Matthew’s Gospel: With Special Reference to the Messianic Hope (Leiden: Brill, 1975), 183; David Hill, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), 1; R. T. France, Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989), 67–68; Leon Morris, The Gospel according to Matthew (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 14; Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 113 (Dallas: Word, 1993), lxxvi; D. A. Carson, Matthew: Chapters 1 through 12 (EBC; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 18–19; Grant R. Osbourne, Matthew, ECNT (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 34; B. Ward Powers, The Progressive Publication of Matthew: An Explanation of the Writing of the Synoptic Gospels (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), 28–29.

[3] Powers, Progressive Publication, 29 (emphasis original).

[4] See Manlio Simonetti, Matthew 113, ACCS New Testament 1a (Downers Grove: IVP, 2001), 177; Ulrich Luz, Matthew 820, trans. James E. Crouch; Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001), 32n.12; Ian Boxall, Matthew through the Centuries (Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell, 2019), 31, 172.   

[5] Mounce, Matthew, 83; France, Evangelist and Teacher, 69, 69n.54; Morris, Matthew, 219; Robert H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on his Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 166; Hagner, Matthew 113, 238; Carson, Matthew, 224; Ben Witherington III, Matthew (Macon: Smyth & Helywys, 2006), 197; Osbourne, Matthew, 334; Powers, Progressive Publication, 28–29. For an alternative approach, W. F. Albright and C. S. Mann speculate that an Aramaic source identified the toll collector as a Levite and that this was mistranslated as the personal name Levi in the Greek texts of Mark and Luke. See W. F. Albright and C. S. Mann, Matthew, AB (Doubleday: New York, 1971), CLXXVIII. For criticism of their theory, see France, Matthew, 70.

[6] Tal Ilan, Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity: Part I: Palestine 330 BCE – 200 CE, TSAJ 91 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002).

[7] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017), 108–9; cf. Meier, The Vision of Matthew, 24; Luz, Matthew 820, 32, 32n.14.

[8] See Barnabas Lindars, “Matthew, Levi, Lebbaeus and the Value of the Western Text” NTS 4 (1957-58): 220-22; Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 3rd ed., (London: New York, 1975), 26, 81; Brent Nongbri, “Matthew and Levi (and James),” Variant Readings (blog), May 21, 2018,

[9] Lindars, “Western Text,” 222; cf. F. C. Burkitt, “Levi Son of Alphaeus” JTS 28 (1927): 273–74; Metzger, Textual Commentary, 78; Brent Nongbri, “Matthew and Levi.” Benjamin Bacon (Studies in Matthew [New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930], 39–40) conjectures that the textual variant in Mark 2:14 predated the composition of Matthew’s Gospel, leading a pre-Matthean scribe who was transmitting a list of the Twelve that was originally independent of Mark 3:16–19 to preface the name James the son of Alphaeus with the title “the toll collector.” The author of Matthew’s Gospel, however, copied this list in Matthew 10:2–4 and wrongly took this scribal insertion in reference to Matthew since James was immediately preceded by Matthew in the list of names. Consequently, the evangelist wrote “Matthew” into the Markan story of the toll collector in Matthew 9:9. However, Bacon’s hypothesis depends on his suppositions that the source of Matthew 10:2–4 was not simply Mark 3:16–19 and that the author of Matthew’s Gospel did not just alter Mark’s order by moving Thomas before Matthew.

[10] For the debate over whether Mark 2:14 and 3:18 refer to the same individual or to two different individuals named Alphaeus, see Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, 87n.17.

[11] Pesch, “Levi-Matthäus,” 54–55.

[12] Gundry, Matthew, 166.

[13] The thesis that the first canonical Gospel was published under the name of a pseudonym is defended by George D. Kilpatrick, The Origins of the Gospel according to St. Matthew (Oxford: Clarendon, 1946), 138–39.

[14] For the theory that Matthew was either the founder of a putative Matthean community or the source of their traditions, see Pesch, “Levi-Matthäus,” 56; Gundry, Old Testament, 184; Hill, Matthew, 53–54, 173; Gnilka, Matthäusevangelium, 1.331; Davies and Allison, Matthew VIIIXVIII, 2.99; Hagner, Matthew 113, xlvi; John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 3-4; Witherington III, Matthew, 5, 29; Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 40; Bauckham, Eyewitnesses, 111. For objections against this view, see Meier, The Vision of Matthew, 25n.26; Luz, Matthew 820, 32.

[15] Luz, Matthew 820, 33.

[16] This English translation of the Greek text is taken from Michael W. Holmes, editor, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (rev. ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999), 568–69.

[17] W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison (A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Volume I: Introduction and Commentary on Matthew IVII, ICC [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988], 1.12) acknowledge the difficulties in determining whether a text was a translation in the ancient world and the Patristic tradition about Matthew even persuaded an accomplished textual critic like Origen.

[18] B. C. Butler, The Originality of St Matthew: A Critique of the Two-Document Hypothesis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951), 165–66; Albright and Mann, Matthew, XXXVI–XLVIII; Powers, Progressive Publication, 47–49.

[19] Josef Kürzinger, Papias von Hierapolis und die Evangelien die Neuen Testaments (Regensberg: Pustet, 1983), 10-11, 44–45; Gundry, Matthew, 614; idem, “The Apostolically Johannine Pre-Papian Tradition Concerning the Gospels of Mark and Matthew,” in The Old is Better: New Testament Essays in Support of Traditional Interpretations, WUNT 178 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 56; cf. Francis Watson, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013), 126.

[20] Matthew Black, “The Use of Rhetorical Terminology in Papias on Matthew and Mark” JSNT 37 (1989): 32; Bauckham, Eyewitnesses, 222.

[21] Kürzinger, Papias, 12–14, 21–22, 52–56; Gundry, Matthew, xxi–xxii, 618–20; idem, “Pre-Papian Tradition,” 63–64, 67–68.

[22] Kürzinger, Papias, 22; Gundry, Matthew, 619; “Pre-Papian Tradition,” xxi, 68; cf. Luz, Matthew 17, 80.

[23] Kürzinger, Papias, 24, 33–42; cf. Gundry, Matthew, xxii.

[24] Kürzinger, Papias, 15–16; Gundry, Matthew, 619; idem, “Pre-Papian Tradition,” 61–62, 67.

[25] Kürzinger, Papias, 18–19.

[26] Gundry, Matthew, 619; idem, “Pre-Papian Tradition,” 67.

[27] For instance, see Ulrich Körtner, Papias von Hierapolis: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des frühen Christentums, Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 133 (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1983), 203–206; Davies and Allison, Matthew IVII, 16; Black, “Rhetorical Terminology,” 33–34, 38; France, Evangelist and Teacher, 57; Hagner, Matthew 113, xlv; Morris, Matthew, 13–14; William R. Schoedel, “Papias” ANRW 2.27.1 (1993): 257, 263; Carson, Matthew, 13; Armin Baum, “Ein aramäischer Urmatthäus im kleinasiatischen Gottesdienst. Das Papiaszeugnis zur Entstehung des Matthäusevangeliums” ZNW 92 (2001): 257–272; Nolland, Matthew, 3; Enrico Norelli, Papia di Hierapolis: Esposizione degli Oraculi del signore: I Frammenti (Milan: Figlie di San Paolo, 2005), 328–29; David H. Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew, John the Elder, and the Papias Tradition: A Response to R. H. Gundry” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 63.1 (2007): 290; Monte Shanks, Papias and the New Testament (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2013), 196; Michael J. Kok, “Did Papias of Hierapolis Use the Gospel according to the Hebrews as a Source?” JECS 25.1 (2017): 32; Bauckham, Eyewitnesses, 223; Jeannine K. Brown and Kyle Roberts, Matthew (Two Horizons; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018), 15–16. 

[28] Baum, “Ein aramäischer Urmatthäus,” 263–64.

[29] Baum, “Ein aramäischer Urmatthäus,” 262.

[30] For instance, see France, Evangelist and Teacher, 64–66; Morris, Matthew, 14; Carson, Matthew, 13 Osborne, Matthew, 34; Brown and Roberts, Matthew, 16.

[31] Warren Carter, Matthew: Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004), 17.

[32] Harris J. Rendel, “The ‘Logia’ and the Gospels” Contemporary Review 72 (1897): 341–348; F. C. Grant, The Gospels: Their Origins and Growth (New York: Harper, 1957), 65, 144.

[33] For lexical discussion and debate about the term logion in Papias’s vocabulary (cf. Acts 7:38; Rom 3:2; Heb 5:12; 1 Pet 4:11; 1 Clem. 13:4; 19:1; 53:1; 62:3; 2 Clem. 13:3; Pol. Phil. 1.7; Irenaeus, haer. 1.8.1; Clement, str. 1.31.124), see Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Essays on the Work Entitled Supernatural Religion: Reprinted from the Contemporary Review (London: Macmillan, 1893), 170–77; Bacon, Studies in Matthew, 443-51; T. W. Manson, Studies in the Gospels and Epistles (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1962), 69–75; Kürzinger, Papias, 50–51; France, Evangelist and Teacher, 58-60; Körtner, Papias, 151–67; Gundry, Matthew, 617; Norelli, Papia, 59–80; Gundry, “Pre-Papian Tradition,” 64–67; Sim, “R. H. Gundry,” 287–291; James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), 3–5; Shanks, Papias, 125–29, 195; Bauckham, Eyewitnesses, 214.

[34] Friedrich Schleiermacher, “Über die Zeugnisse des Papias von unsern beiden ersten Evangelien,” TSK 5 (1832): 735–68; Manson, Gospels and Epistles, 77–87; Hill, Matthew, 24–27; Davies and Allison, Matthew I–IV, 1.17; Black, “Rhetorical Terminology,” 32–35; Hagner, Matthew 1–13; xlv–xlvi; Nolland, Matthew, 3; Carter, Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist, 16–17; Sim, “R. H. Gundry,” 291.

[35] For the general consensus of Q scholars, see Nigel Turner, “Q in Recent Thought” ExpTim 80 (1968-69): 324–28; John S. Kloppenborg, The Formation of Q: Trajectories in Ancient Wisdom (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1987), 51–64; Harry T. Fleddermann, Q: A Reconstruction and Commentary (Leuven: Peeters, 2005), 155–57; Sarah E. Rollens, Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014), 91–93. For a recent effort to argue that plural Aramaic and Greek sources underlie the double tradition, see Maurice Casey, An Aramaic Approach to Q: Sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). Casey’s efforts have been critiqued by Peter M. Head and P. J. Williams, “Q Review” TB 54.1 (2003): 131–44.

[36] Dennis MacDonald, Two Shipwrecked Gospels: The Logoi of Jesus and Papias’ss Exposition of Logia about the Lord (Atlanta: SBL, 2012), 15.

[37] See B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins (London: MacMillan, 1924).

[38] For the latter view, see France, Evangelist and Teacher, 64-66; Bauckham, Eyewitnesses, 224.

[39] Edwards (Hebrew Gospel, 2–10) identifies Matthew’s oracles in h.e. 3.39.16 with the Gospel according to the Hebrews in h.e. 3.39.17.

[40] Edwards, Hebrew Gospel, 256–58.

[41] Contra Edwards, Hebrew Gospel, 8 and Petri Luomanen, Recovering Jewish-Christian Sects and Gospels (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 123–26. See Körtner, Papias, 204–5; Bart D. Ehrman, “Jesus and the Adulteress” NTS 34 (1988): 24–44, 29; Philipp Vielhauer and Georg Strecker, “Jewish Christian Gospels,” in New Testament Apocrypha I: Gospels and Related Writings, ed. Wilhelm Schneemelcher, trans. R. McL. Wilson (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1991), 138; A. F. J. Klijn, Jewish-Christian Gospel Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 1992), 11, 119, 138; Hans Josef Klauck, Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction, trans. Brian McNeil (London: T&T Clark, 2003), 40; Jennifer Wright Knust, “Early Christian Re-writing and the History of the Pericope Adulterae,” JECS 14 (2006): 495n34; Norelli, Papia, 331–32, 335; MacDonald, Two Shipwrecked Gospels, 14, 19–22, 246–53; Jörg Frey, “Die Fragmente des Hebräerevangeliums,” in Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung. I. Band: Evangelien und Verwandtes. Teilband 1, ed. Christoph Markschies und Jens Schröter (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2012), 606; Kok, “Papias of Hierapolis,” 47–52; Andrew Gregory, The Gospel according to the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Ebionites (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 34, 78. Klijn (Gospel Tradition, 11, 119) and Frey (“Die Fragmente des Hebräerevangeliums,” 606) treat Eusebius’s attribution of this tale to the Gospel According to the Hebrews as spurious since Eusebius may have had no firsthand knowledge of the text. However, Didymus the Blind spotted a similar story “in certain Gospels” in his Commentary on Ecclesiastes (223.6–13) and one of those Gospels could have been the Gospel according to the Hebrews that he cited elsewhere in his Commentary on the Psalms (184.9–10).

[42] Luomanen, Jewish-Christian Sects, 21, 123; Frey, “Die Fragmente des Ebionäerevangeliums” in Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung. I. Band: Evangelien und Verwandtes. Teilband 1, ed. Christoph Markschies und Jens Schröter (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2012), 608–9; Kok, “Gospel according to the Hebrews,” 52–53; Gregory, Gospel according to the Hebrews, 181.

[43] Daniel A. Bertrand, “L’Évangile des Ebionites: une harmonie évangelique antérieur au DiatessaronNTS 26 (1980): 548–63; Vielhauer and Strecker, “Jewish Christian Gospels,” 166–71; Klijn, Gospel Tradition, 28-30; Klauck, Apocryphal Gospels, 51–54; Luomanen, Jewish-Christian Sects, 37–38; 83, 251–52; Frey, “Die Fragmente des Ebioniterevangeliums,” 607–22; Kok, “Gospel according to the Hebrews,” 43; Gregory, Gospel according to the Hebrews, 10, 171–261.

[44] Vielhauer and Strecker, “Jewish Christian Gospels,” 167; Klijn, Gospel Tradition, 67-68; Klauck, Apocryphal Gospels, 51; Jörg Frey, “Die Fragmente des Ebioniterevangeliums,” 612; Kok, “Gospel according to the Hebrews,” 39; Gregory, Gospel according to the Hebrews, 183, 222.

[45] Luomanen, Jewish-Christian Sects, 100–101; Kok, “Gospel according to the Hebrews,” 41; Gregory, Gospel according to the Hebrews, 47, 47n.28.

[46] Vielhauer and Strecker, “Jewish Christian Gospels,” 154–65; Klijn, Jewish Christian Gospel Tradition, 29-30, 31–32; Klauck, Apocryphal Gospels, 43–51; Frey, “Die Fragmente des Nazoräerevangeliums,” in Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung. I. Band: Evangelien und Verwandtes. Teilband 1, ed. Christoph Markschies und Jens Schröter (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2012), 623–54.

[47] Luomanen, Jewish-Christian Sects, 103–119; Kok, “Gospel According to the Hebrews,” 41–43; Gregory, Gospel according to the Hebrews, 14–17; 43–52.

[48] Frey, “Die Fragmente des Nazoräerevangeliums,” 626; Gregory, Gospel according to the Hebrews, 50, 50n.35.


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