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Revision as of 09:07, July 27, 2006
The Church Fathers wrote of an early version of Matthew called the Gospel of the Hebrews which Jerome says most people refer to as the Authentic Gospel of Matthew . (Jerome’s Commentary on Matthew ch. 2). This is a lost gospel that has been at least partially preserved in the works of some of the Church Fathers.
One account of the life and teachings of Jesus perhaps dating from this time was written by a person named Matthew. According to the Church Fathers, he was the same person as the apostle Matthew, and his account was written in Aramaic (EH3.39.14-16).
Although probably circulated among Jewish followers of Jesus, this Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew was little known among the churches founded by Paul of Tarsus, for even among Paul’s literate followers few were fluent in Aramaic written in Hebrew script.
According to the Church Fathers, the Authentic Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of the Hebrews was authoritative and apostolic in nature. Papias quoted by Irenaeus tells us that the Apostle Matthew wrote it in “Hebrew letters.