The Judaikon

Some thirty-six or more Greek manuscripts of Matthew dating from the ninth to thirteenth centuries (including Λ, 273, 566, 899, 1424, ε175 and e4) contain subscriptions preserving readings of a Jewish version of Matthew called “the Judaikon” which is described as a standard version on Zion, the Holy Mount, in Jerusalem.  There was until the fourth century a Nazarene Synagogue (commonly and wrongly called the “Church of the Apostles”) on Mt. Zion which had been build from the stones of the Temple following its destruction (see ).  None of the manuscripts contain all of the notes but each of them contain some of them.


(  Mt. 4:5 )

Then the devil took him into the holy city; and set him on the pinnacle of the Temple.

The Judaikon has not “into the holy city” but “in Jerusalem”.

το Ιουδαικον ουκ εχει εις την αγιαν πολιν αλλα εν Ιερουσαλημ

This reading agrees with that of Luke 4:9 against canonical Matthew 4:5.


( Mt. 5:22 )

but I say to you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

The word [for] “without cause” is not written in some copies, nor in the Judaikon.

το εικη εν τισιν αντιγραφοις ου κεται ουδε εα τω ιουδαικω

The phrase “without cause” does appear in the Western Text Type and their revisions (Codex D; Old Latin & Latin Vulgate; Old Syriac and Peshitta) the phrase also appears in the Byzantine Text Type (Majority Text,  Textus Receptus and Peshitta).

However the phrase “without cause” is lacking in almost all (if not all) witnesses of the Alexandrian Text Type witnesses.

While the phrase “without cause” is lacking in Hebrew Matthew (DuTillet, Munster and Shem Tob), it does appear in the Aramaic Matthew (Old Syriac and Peshitta).

Interestingly the Talmud says that hatred “without cause” was the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple:

But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity?  Because therein prevailed hatred without cause.  That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered as of even gravity with the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together .  

(bYoma 9b)


( Mt. 7:21-23 )

21: Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The Judaikon has here, “If you are in my bosom and do not the will of my Father which is in heaven, out of my bosom will I cast you away.”

το ιουυδαικον εαταυθα ουτως εχει  εαν ητε εν τω κολπω μου και το θελημα του πατρος μου του εν ουρανοις μη πιητε εκ του κολπου μου απορριψω υμας >>

This is quite probably the writing being referred to by Clement in the early Second Century in his Second Letter to the Corinthians where he says:

Also let us not fear men, but rather God.  Wherefore, if

we should do such wicked things, the Lord has said,

“Though you should be joined to me, even in my very bosom

and not keep my commandments, I would cast you off,

and say to you, ‘Depart from me; I know not who you are,

you workers of iniquity.’”

(2Clement 4:5 (2:15 in some editions))


( Mt. 10:16 )

Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, be you therefore wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.

The Judaikon has “[wise] more than serpents”

το ιουδαικον υπερ οφεις>>


( Mt. 11:12 )

And from the days of Yochanan the immerser until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and men of violence take it by force.

The Judaikon has “is ravished/plundered”

το ιουδαικον  διαρπαςεται>>  εχει

This agrees with the DuTillet Hebrew Matthew which has here “the Kingdom of Heaven is constricted and the forceful plunder (גוזלין) it.”


( Mt. 11:25 )

At that time Yeshua answered and said, “I confess (λογουμαι) to you, O Father…

The Judaikon has “I give thanks/praise to you”

το ιουδαικον ευχαριστω σοι>>

NOTES:   Du Tillet & Munster have “thank you” (אודך) Shem Tob “praise” (שתבח); Old Syriac and Peshitta have “thank” (מודא).


( Mt. 12:40 )

For Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The Judaikon has not “three [days and three nights]” there [in the heart of the earth].

το ιουδαικον ουκ εχει  τρεις η [μερας και τρεις νυκτας] >>


( Mt. 15:5 )

…that which you might have been profited by me is a gift (δωρον).

The Judaikon “corban [an offering] is what you should obtain from us.”

το ιουδαικον  κορβαν ο υμεις ωφεληθησεσθε εξ ημων>>

NOTES: “corban” (korban = קרבן) agrees with Greek Mark 7:11 as well as the Aramaic of the Old Syriac and Peshitta Versions.


( Mt. 16:2-3 )

2: He answered and said unto them, *When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

3: And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?*

What is marked with an asterisk is not found in other manuscripts, also it is not found in the Judaikon.

Τα σεσημειωμεαα δια τοθ αστερισκοθ εν ετεροισς εν ετεροις ουκ εμφερται ουτε εν τω Ιουδαικω

This text is also absent from the Aramaic of the Old Syriac.

A number of Greek codices omit these words as well, including: א, B, X, Γ, f(13), 157 and 579.  f(13) is an important witness to the Western Text Type, while א and B are primary witnesses to the Alexandrian Text Type.


( Mt. 16:17 )

And Yeshua answered and said to him, “Blessed are you Shimon bar Yonah…

The Judaikon has “son of Yochanan”.

[Βαριωνα] το ιουδαικον  υιε Ιωαννου>>


( Mt. 18:22 )

Yeshua said to him, “I say not to you, ‘Until seven times’ but ‘until seventy times seven’”.

The Judaikon has, immediately after the “seven times seven”, “for in the prophets,

after they were anointed with the Ruach HaKodesh, there was found in them a word of sin.

το Ιουδαικον εξης εχει μετα το εβδομηκοντακις επτα  και γαρ εν υοις προφηταις μετα το χρισθηναι  αυτους εν πνευματι αγιω ευρισκετο ]-ετω ευρισκεται]  εν αυτοις λογος αμαρτιας

This passage agrees with a reading of the Goodnews according to the Hebrews recorded in Jerome:

In the Gospel according to the Hebrews, which is written in the Chaldee and Syrian language, but in Hebrew letters, and is used by the Nazarenes to this day (I mean the Gospel according the Apostles, or, as is generally maintained, the Gospel according to Matthew, a copy of which is in the library at Caesarea,) We find: …

“If your brother sin against you in word,

and make amends to you,

receive him seven times in a day.”

Simon, His disciple, said to Him,

“Seven times in a day?”  The Lord

answered and said to him, “I say

unto you until seventy times seven.”

Even the prophets, after they were

anointed with the Holy Spirit,

were guilty of a word of sin.”

(Jerome; Against Pelagius 3, 2)

This single agreement has caused some scholars to assume that the Judaikon is identical with this book, however one cannot draw that conclusion from a single common reading.


( Mt. 26:74 )

Then began he to curse and to swear, “I know not the man,” and right away the rooster crowed.

The Judaikon “and he denied and swore and cursed.”

το iουδαικον  και ηρνησατο και ωμοσεν και κατηρασατο>>

The Shem Tob Hebrew version of Matthew has “then he began to deny (לכפור) and to swear that at no time had he known him…”  The Judaikon reading seems to be a conflation of the traditional reading and the one found in Shem Tob.


( Mt. 27:65 )

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard, go make it sure as you can.”

The Judaikon has “And he delivered to them armed men, that they might sit over against the cave and keep it day and night.”

το iουδαικον  και παρεδωκεν αυτοις ανδρας ενοπλους ινα καθεζωνται κατ εναντιον του σπηλαιου και τηρωσιν αυτον ημερας και νυκτασ>>

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