Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume III/Lives of Illustrious Men/Jerome/Matthew, surnamed Levi

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chapter III.

Matthew,[1] also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew[2] for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Cæsarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes[3] of Berœa,[4] a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist, whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Saviour quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the translators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew. Wherefore these two forms exist “Out of Egypt have I called my son,” and “for he shall be called a Nazarene.”


  1. Died after 62.
  2. Gospelin Hebrew. Jerome seems to regard the Gospel according to the Hebrews mentioned by him above as the original Hebrew Text of Matthew. cf. Lightfoot, Ignatius v. 2. p. 295.
  3. Nazarenes=Nasaraei. See Smith and Wace s.v.
  4. Berœa some mss. read Veria and so Herding. The modern Aleppo.