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The Gospel Of The Nazoreans

Alternate title: The Jewish Gospel

c. 100-150 C.E.

It would appear that the Gospel of the Nazoreans was a rather loose translation of canonical Matthew into Aramaic, with a few embellishments, clarifications, and minor additions from parallel traditions. Among the more notable differences: In the Lord's prayer, the unclear Greek term epiousios, typically translated "daily [bread]," is rendered mahar, which means "[bread] for tomorrow;" "Son of Joiada" in Mt 23:35 is changed to "Son of Baruch;" The man with the crippled hand in Mt 12:13 is identified as a stonemason; and to the parable of the Entrusted Money a slave is added who squanders the master's resources, and only he is severely admonished.

While nothing in the Gospel was particularly unorthodox, its similarity to Matthew made it superfluous in the gospel tradition, and the contents were eventually relegated to footnotes in a "Zion" edition of Matthew written c.500 C.E. Today, some of these notations, as well as quotations from Hegesippus (c.180 C.E.), Origen, Eusebius and Jerome are all that remain of the original text. However, it is probably a safe assumption that most of the major differences between Nazoreans and Matthew were addressed in their commentaries.

The Nazoreans (also spelled "Nazaræans") were a small community in Western Syria, where the gospel was most likely composed in the early second century. It is quite possible that canonical Matthew was written there as well.