In what language was Matthew originally written?


I´ve had a recent visit from a Jehovah´s Witness, and we were discussing the validity of the New World Translation. I brought up the fact that the NWT translates ¨kyrios¨ as Lord when referring to Jesus, but as ¨Jehovah¨ when referring to God. This woman didn´t know that, and said she would look it up for the next meeting. I decided to do my own homework to anticipate any of her answers and looked up on the JW website to see what they had to say about the issue, and I found their answer. They claim that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, and that the name YHWH was actually included in that Gospel. I was under the impression that Matthew was originally written in Aramaic…

Help please!


Tradition associates this Gospel with the apostle Matthew, although intense debate has swirled around a statement from the early church father Papias (c.130) that survives only in Eusebiu (Ecclesiastical History 3.39.16) It is usually translated in part). “Matthew collected the oracles ( Logia ) in the Hebrew language (Hebraidi dialekto).” For generations most scholars interpreted Papias as claiming that Matthew had composed in Hebrew a Gospel that was for the most part a record of Jesus sayings or “oracles”. The present gospel of Matthew (written in Greek) was supposedly an expanded translation of this Hebrew text. Some have even associated Matthew the hypothetical document Q (see "The Synoptic Problem and “Q” on page 1685).

More recent investigation, however, has shown that this view is probably mistaken. *Logia *probably means a “Gospel”, while Hebraidi dialekto likely signifies "in a Jewish style,"Not “in the Hebrew Language.”

Mathew’s original readers were predominantly Jews who already believed in Jesus and confessed him as the Son of God
(14:33 16;16 27;54 )

There is debate over when it was written and where.

page 1557 in Archaeological Study Bible NIV 2005 at
Intro to Matthew
Hope this helps but you are barking at a wall. I had a JW friend and could not get anywhere.


The Gospel of Matthew was written in Greek, specifically the dialect known as the Koine, which was the lingua franca of the east. One strong piece of evidence for that is that all the quotes from scripture are from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures.


welcome MOIRAECUADORA it’s good to see new people here with good questions





The Matthew-in-Hebrew thing is a component in what I like to call “textual hopscotch”. So you will hear, “The Greek text is corrupted!” but when they get to other NT passages they think support their position, well those passages are authentic. Why do they get to decide which passages are authentic and which are corrupted? It’s like I tell my 5-yr old: “Because I said so!” Ultimately this is about authority and goes a long way toward showing the utter nonsense of Scripture Alone. The Trinity is not explicit in Scripture. There is enough there that it can be deduced, but it is one of those deductions that depends on the deducer. God is a Trinity because 2000 years of Christian teaching says He is. There will always be people who quibble that they can interpret Scripture differently, but what else is new?


I believe that the sources say that Matthew was originally written in “the Hebrew Tongue.” I believe that we read this to mean Aramaic, not Hebrew.


That makes perfect sense when reading Matthew 16:18 where the Aramaic Kepha would be used.

And I say to thee: That thou art Kepha (Peter); and upon this kepha (rock) I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


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