Gospel of the Nazaraeans

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The Gospel of the Nazaraeans
The Gospel of the Nazaraeans has been lost. Fragments survive in the form of quotations and allusions. It appears to have been an expanded and slightly rewritten version of the Gospel of Matthew. As many of these fragments are short, sometimes only a word or two, excerpts from Matthew (WEB translation) are given here, with the text from the gospel in bold The arrangement here follows that in Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, volume 1, pp. 160-162.

Parallel to Mt 2:13-15, 22-23[edit]

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my son."

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."[1]

Addition between Mt 3:12 and 3:13[edit]

"...but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."

See, the Lord's mother and his brothers were saying to him, "John the Baptist is baptizing for removing sins; let's go and get baptized by him too." He said to them: "How have I sinned, so that I need him to baptize me? Unless maybe what I've just said is [a sin of] ignorance."[2]

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

Variant to Mt 4:5-6[edit]

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you,' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.'"[3]

Variant to Mt 5:21-22[edit]

[Jesus said] "You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, 'You shall not murder;' and 'Whoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.' But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother[4] shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna."

Variant to Mt 6:9-13[edit]

[Jesus said] "Pray like this: 'Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us today our bread for tomorrow. Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.[5]

Variant to Mt 7:5[edit]

If you are in my bosom, and you do not do the will of my father in heaven, I will cast you away from my bosom.[6]

Variant to Mt 10:16[edit]

"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wiser than serpents, and harmless as doves."[7]

Variant to Mt 11:12[edit]

From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent plunder it.[8]

Variant to Mt 11:25[edit]

At that time, Jesus answered, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants."[9]

Addition to Mt 12:9-13[edit]

He departed there, and went into their synagogue. And behold there was a man with a withered hand. [He said,] I was a mason seeking a living with my hands. I beg you, Jesus, to give me back my health, so I don't have to beg for food in shame." They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” that they might accuse him. He said to them, “What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won’t he grab on to it, and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.” Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other.[10]

Variant to Mt 12:39-40[edit]

But he [Jesus] answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth.[11]

Variant to Mt 15:3-6[edit]

He [Jesus] answered them, "Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever may tell his father or his mother, "Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is corban," he shall not honor his father or mother.' You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition."

Variant to Mt 16:1-4[edit]

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them,"An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." So he left them and departed.[12]

Variant to Mt 16:15-17[edit]

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Son of John! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.[13]

Variant/Addition to Mt 18:21-22[edit]

"If your brother," he [Jesus] says, "sins verbally against you, and gives you satisfaction, receive him seven times in a day." His disciple Simon said to him, "Seven times in a day?" The Lord answered him, saying, "I say again to you, up till seventy times seven. For even in the prophets, even after the holy spirit anointed them, sinful speech turned up."[14]

Variant/Addition to Mt 19:14-24[edit]

The other of the rich men said to him "Master, what good thing shall I do and live?" He said to him "Man, perform the law and the prophets." He answered him "I have performed them." He said to him "Go, sell all that thou hast and divide it to the poor, and come, follow me." But the rich man began to scratch his head, and it pleased him not. And the Lord said to him "How can you say 'I have performed the law and the prophets'? seeing that it is written in the law 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' and look, many of your brothers, sons of Abraham, are clad with dung, dying for hunger, and your house is full of much goods, and there goes out therefrom nought at all unto them." And he turned and said to Simon his disciple, sitting by him, "Simon, son of John, it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the kingdom of the heavens."[15]

Variant to Mt 23:35[edit]

"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Joiada, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."[16]

Variant to Mt 25:14-30[edit]

"For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents,to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and squandered the substance with harlots and flute-women. He who had the two talents [went out and traded with them and] made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. [...] And he who had received the two talents came forward, bringing two talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the [four] talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into prison. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"[17]

Variant to Mt 26:73-74[edit]

After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you." Then he denied and swore and cursed himself, "I do not know the man."[18]

Addition to Mt 27:16[edit]

And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas, the son of their teacher, condemned for sedition and murder.[19]

Variant to Mt 27:51[edit]

And behold, a massive lintel of the temple broke and split apart. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.[20]

Addition to Mt 27:65-66[edit]

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” And he gave them armed men to sit right in front of the cave and guard it day and night. So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.[21]

Uncertain[edit]

I will select to myself these things: very very excellent are those whom my Father, who is in heaven, has given to me.[22]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jerome, On Famous Men 3; Jerome gives these as examples of the gospel using the Hebrew text rather than the Septuagint.
  2. Jerome, Against the Pelagians III 2. Trans. sbh.
  3. Marginal gloss at Matthew 4.5, minuscule 566. The words replaced are "into the holy city."
  4. "'Without a cause' doesn't occur in certain copies, nor in the Jewish Gospel." Marginal gloss at Matthew 5.22, minuscule 1424.
  5. Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 6:11.
  6. Marginal gloss at Matthew 7.5, minuscule 1424; this apparently replaced the passage about seeing the mote in one's brother's eye.
  7. Marginal gloss at Matthew 10.16, minuscule 1424.
  8. Marginal gloss at Matthew 11.12, minuscule 1424.
  9. Marginal gloss at Matthew 11.25, minuscule 1424. (Same meaning, different word.)
  10. Jerome, Commentary On Matthew II on 12.13. Trans. sbh.
  11. The words three days and three nights before "in the heart of the earth" were omitted. Marginal gloss at Matthew 12.40, minuscule 899.
  12. The following words were omitted: "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." This passage is also missing in some of the oldest manuscripts.
  13. Marginal gloss at Matthew 16.17, minuscules 566 and 1424.
  14. Jerome, Against the Pelagians 3.2; marginal gloss at Matthew 18.22, minuscules 566 and 899.
  15. Pseudo-Origen, Latin version of On Matthew 15.14.
  16. Jerome, Commentary on Matthew IV on 23.35.
  17. Eusebius, Theophany 4.12.
  18. Marginal gloss at Matthew 26.74, minuscules 4, 273, 566, 899, and 1424.
  19. Jerome, On Matthew 4, commentary on Matthew 27.16.
  20. On Matthew 4, commentary on Matthew 27.51.
  21. Marginal gloss at Matthew 27.65, minuscule 1424.
  22. Eusebius, Theophany 4.12 in the Syriac only