I listened to an interesting talk by Michael Rood with Nehemia Gordon recently where they discussed an interesting verse in George Howard’s (the late Professor of Religion at the University of Georgia) ‘Hebrew Gospel of Matthew’.
The verse in question is Matt 28:9 where the women, who have gone to the tomb of Yeshua after the crucifixion and burial, met Yeshua and he greets them.Most manuscripts have something like: “But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him.”.
Obviously, he didn’t use the actual English word we use today of ‘greetings’ and many translations have something like ‘All hail’ (according to Nehemia) which would be very Greek.
The CJB has ‘Shalom …’ which would certainly be more likely.But this Hebrew version of Howard’s is very different.
This version is based on the Shem Tov’s ‘Evan Bohan’ of the 14th century and which Howard and Gordon, et al, are convinced is not based on any Greek or Latin versions that pre-date it but some earlier Hebrew version(s). There are now at least 28 distinct Hebrew versions that have been discovered in recent years.
I argue in my book ‘The New Testament: The Hebrew Behind the Greek’ that this gospel was in fact originally written in Hebrew as well. See: https://www.amazon.com/New-Testament…/dp/B009XO0NQU/
Here in the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew we read:
‘As they were going Yeshua passed before them saying: May the Name deliver you. They came near to him, bowed down to him, and worshipped him.’ (this is Howard’s English translation).
Howard’s and Shem Tov’s Hebrew has השם (HaShem) which means ‘The Name’.
By around the 6th century Jewish scholars and Rabbi’s were no longer quoting and speaking the tetragrammaton (i.e. Yehovah) out of reverence for it and great fear of mis-using it and had replaced it typically with either Adonai or HaShem.
So, we can be fairly sure (as there is no evidence of this practice in the first century CE) that the original version has the tetragrammaton (that is Yehovah).
Thus it appears Yeshua’s first two words after his resurrection were ‘Yehovah Yosiah’ (that is, God saves or God will save or deliver you).
Think about it, the first man to be so faithful and obedient to the Almighty to the very point of giving his life comes back to life to proclaim ‘God does indeed save you’!
Follow Yeshua in trusting and being obedient to the Almighty (i.e. be one of his brothers or sisters – those who do the will of the Father – Mark 3:35) and you to will be resurrected!
Makes sense to me and it is such a powerful statement in such a context!!