The Old Syriac Aramaic version of the Gospel of Matthew

according to two ancient manuscripts, the Curetonian, and the Sinaiticus (4th century CE).
Dr. F. C. Burkitt's translation, as published in 1904 by Cambridge University Press.

This text is based on Dr. Burkitt's edition of the Curetonian manuscript, with those parts that are missing in the Curetonian having been filled in from the Sinaiticus manuscript. This is a very literal, word-for-word translation of the Aramaic text. (See more notes after Ch. 28.)



Chapter 1

1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham begat Isaac. Isaac begat Jacob. Jacob begat Judah and his brethren.
3 Judah begat Perez and Zerah of Tamar. Perez begat Hezron. Hezron begat Aram.
4 Aram begat Amminadab. Amminadab begat Nahshon. Nahshon begat Shala.
5 Shala begat Boaz of Rahab. Boaz begat Ober of Ruth. Ober begat Jesse.
6 Jesse begat David, the king. David begat Solomon of the wife of Uria.
7 Solomon begat Rehoboam. Rehoboam begat Abia. Abia begat Asa.
8 Asa begat Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat begat Jehoram. Jehoram begat Ahazia. Ahazia begat Joash. Joash begat Amozia. Amozia begat Uzia.
9 Uzia begat Jotham. Jotham begat Ahaz. Ahaz begat Hezekia.
10 Hezekia begat Manasse. Manasse begat Anion. Amon begat Josia.
11 Josia begat Jechonia and his brethren in the captivity of Babylon.
12 Now after the captivity of Babylon, Jechonia begat Shealtiel. Shealtiel begat Zorobabel.
13 Zorobabel begat Abior. Abior begat Eliacim. Eliacim begat Azor.
14 Azor begat Sadoc. Sadoc begat Achim Achin begat Elior.
15 Elior begat Eleazar. Eleazar begat Matthan. Matthan begat Jacob.
16 Jacob begat Joseph, him to whom was betrothed Mary the Virgin, she who bare Jesus the Messiah.

17 All the generations therefore from Abraham even unto David are fourteen generations; and from David even unto the captivity of Babylon fourteen generations; and from the captivity of Babylon unto the Messiah fourteen generations.

18 Now the birth of the Messiah was thus: When Mary his mother was betrothed to Joseph, *before ever* they drew near one to the other, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
19 Now Joseph, because he was an upright man, was not willing that he should expose Mary, and had meditated that quietly he should divorce her.
20 Now, when he meditated these things, there appeared to him, to Joseph, an angel of the LORD in a vision of the night, and said to him: "Joseph son of David, fear not to take Mary, thy betrothed, for that which is being born from her is conceived from the Holy Spirit.
21 Now she will bear thee a son, and his name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save alive the world from its sins."
22 Now this that came to pass happened that that might be fulfilled which was said by the LORD through the mouth of Isaiah the prophet, who had said: "Lo, the virgin shall conceive and shall bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, which is interpreted 'Our God with us.'"

24 Now when Joseph arose from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him,
25 and he took Mary, and purely was dwelling with her until she bare the son; and she called his name Jesus.

Chapter 2

2:1 And when Jesus was born in Beth Lehem of Judah in the days of Herod the king, lo, Magians came from the east to Jerusalem.
2 And they say: "Where is the king of the Jews that hath been born? For we ourselves have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him."

3 Now when Herod the king heard he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him,
4 and he gathered together all the chief priests and scribes of the people and said to them: "Where is the Messiah born?"
5 They say to him: "In Beth Lehem of Judah, for thus it is written in the prophet:
6 'Thou also, Beth Lehem of Judah, art not less than the kingdom of Judah; for from thee shall go forth the king that shall tend my people Israel.'"
7 Then Herod secretly called those Magians, and was enquiring of them that he might know at what time the star appeared to them.
8 And he sent them to Beth Lehem, and said to them: "Go enquire about this same lad eagerly, and what time ye have found him, come and shew me, that I may go myself also and worship him."
9 Now they, when they received command from the king, went away, and there appeared to them that star which they had seen in the east going before them, until it came and stood over where the lad was.
10 Now they, when they saw the star, rejoiced with a great joy, and entered the house,
11 and saw the lad with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him, and opened their treasures and offered him an offering, gold and myrrh and frankincense.
12 And it appeared to them in a vision that they should not return unto Herod, and they by another road went away to their own country.
13 And after their visit, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said to him: "Arise, take up the lad and his mother and flee to Egypt, and there be until I say to thee, because Herod is about to seek for the lad, so that he may destroy him."

14 Now Joseph arose and took up the lad and his mother by night and went away to Egypt, and he was there until Herod the king died, that that might be fulfilled which was said by the LORD through the prophet, who had said "From Egypt I have called my son."

16 Then Herod, when he saw that those Magians had mocked at him, was furious exceedingly, and sent and killed all the lads that were in Beth Lehem and in all its borders, from two years old and under, according to the time that these Magians said to him.
17 Then was accomplished the word which Jeremiah the prophet said:
18 "A voice was heard in Ramtha, wailing and weeping and much groaning, the voice of Rachel who weepeth over her sons and will not be comforted, because they are not!
19 "Now when Herod the king was dead there appeared to Joseph in Egypt the angel of the LORD in a dream, and said to him:
20 "Arise, take the lad and his mother and go to the land of Israel, because those have died who were seeking the lad's life to snatch away."
21 Now he arose and took the lad and his mother, and came to the land of Israel.
22 Now when Joseph heard that Archelaus was king in Judaea in the room of Herod his father, he feared to go thither, and it appeared to him in a vision that he should go to the country of Galilee;
23 and he came thither and was dwelling in a certain city called Nazareth, and the word was fulfilled that was spoken by the prophet, that he should be called a Nazarene.

Chapter 3

3:1 And in those days came John the Baptist, and was preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying,
2 "Repent, because the kingdom of heaven hath drawn nigh."
3 For this is he of whom it is written in Isaiah the prophet, who had said: "A voice that calleth in the wilderness, 'Make ready a way for the Lord, and direct the paths of our God!'"
4 Now, John was clad with clothing of camels' wool, and was girt with a thong upon his loins, and his meat was locusts and honey of the waste.
5 Then were coming unto him the men of Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the other side round about the river Jordan, and he was baptizing them in the river Jordan, each one confessing their sins.
6 Now when he saw publicans and Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them: "Offspring of vipers, who is it hath shewed you to flee from the wrath that is coming?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance;
9 and do not say in yourselves 'For a father we have Abraham,' for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up sons to Abraham.
10 And lo, the axe hath arrived at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruits is hewn down and goeth unto the fire.
11 Now I, lo, I baptize you with water to repentance, but the one which cometh after me is stronger than I, and I am not worthy to take up his shoes; he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,
12 who holdeth a fan in his hand and cleanseth his threshing-floor, and the wheat he storeth into his barns, and the chaff he burneth with fire unquenchable."
13 Then came Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan to John, that he might baptize him.
14 And John forbad him and said to him: "I am fit that thou shouldest baptize me, and thou unto me hast come?"
15 Jesus saith to him: "Suffer it at present, because thus it behoves us to fulfil all uprightness." Then he suffered him to be baptized. And Jesus had been baptized;
16 and when he was baptized, in the same hour that Jesus came up from the water, lo, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God that came down as a dove and rested upon him.
17 And a voice was heard from heaven, saying to him: "Thou art my son and my beloved in whom I have been pleased."

Chapter 4

4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by Satan,
2 and after forty days that he was fasting he hungered.
3 And he that tempteth drew near unto him, and said to him: "If thou be the son of God, say that these stones become bread."
4 Jesus answered and said to him: It is written "Not by bread alone liveth man, but by every utterance that goeth forth from the mouth of the LORD."'
5 Then the Accuser took him and brought him to the Holy City, and made him stand upon the corner of the Temple, and said to him:
6 "If thou be the son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written 'To his angels he shall command concerning thee, that on their arms they should bear thee up, that thou shouldest never dash with thy foot against a stone."'
7 Again, Jesus said to him: "It is written 'Thou shalt not tempt thy Lord and thy God.'"
8 Again the Accuser took him to the hill, which is exceeding high, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,
9 and said to him: "These all will I give to thee, if so be that thou wilt fall down and worship before me."
10 Then Jesus said to him: "Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written 'Thy Lord thy God thou shalt worship, and him alone shalt thou serve.'"
11 Then the Accuser left him for a time, and lo, angels drew near and were serving Jesus.

12 Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he went away to Galilee,
13 and left Nazareth, and came and dwelt in Kapharnahum, which is by the sea side in the border of Zebulun and of Naphtali,
14 that that might be fulfilled which was said through Isaiah the prophet, who had said:
15 "The land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the river Jordan, Galilee of the peoples;
16 the people that was sitting in darkness have seen a great light, and those that were sitting in the shadows of death, a great light hath risen upon them."

17 From then Jesus began to preach and to say: "The kingdom of heaven hath drawn nigh."
18 And when our Lord was walking by the side of the lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Kepha, and Andrew, his brother, casting their nets into the sea, because they were fishers.
19 Jesus saith to them: "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men."
20 And they in the same hour left their nets and went after him.

21 And when he removed thence, he saw two other brothers, James, and John, his brother, sons of Zebedee, while they were sitting in the boat with Zebedee, their father, and mending their nets. And Jesus called them;
22 and they in the same hour left their nets and went after him.
23 And he was going about in all Galilee and was teaching in the synagogues and was preaching the gospel of the kin dour and was healing all torments and all infirmities in the people.
24 And the tale of him was heard in all Syria; and they brought to him all those that were ill, and those that were infirm with stubborn infirmities, and with hateful torments, and many that were struck with palsies and lunatics, and he -- on each one of them he was laying his hand and healing them all.
25 And there went after him great multitudes from Galilee, and from the Ten Cities, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.

Chapter 5

5:1 Now when he saw the multitudes, he went up and sat in the hill, and his disciples drew near unto him,
2 and he opened his mouth and was teaching them and saying:
3 "HAPPY is it for the poor in their spirit, that theirs is the  kingdom of heaven!
5 "HAPPY is it for the lowly, that they shall inherit the earth!
4 "HAPPY is it for the mourners, that they shall be comforted!
6 "HAPPY is it for them that hunger and thirst after righteousness, that they shall be satisfied!
7 "HAPPY is it for the compassionate, that upon them shall be compassion!
8 "HAPPY is it for them that are pure in their heart, that they shall see God!
9 "HAPPY is it for the peace-makers, that they shall be called sons of God!
10 "HAPPY is it for them that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, that theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11 "HAPPY is it for you what time men persecute you, and reproach you, and say concerning you everything evil in a lie for my name's sake.
12 "But ye, rejoice ye and exult in that day that your reward is great in heaven, for so were your fathers persecuting the prophets that were before you.

13 "Ye are the salt of the earth; but if salt lose its savour and become foolish, wherewith shall it be salted? For nothing is it of use but that they should throw it away, and men will trample upon it.
14 Ye are the light of the world; and the city that is built on the hill cannot be concealed.
15 And no one lighteth a lamp and setteth it under the modius, but he setteth it on the lamp-stand, and it shineth for all those who are in the house.
16 So let your light shine before men that they may see your fair deeds, and glorify your Father in heaven.

17 "Suppose not that I have come that I might remit the law and the prophets; I have not come that I might remit them, but to fulfil them.
18 For amen, I say to you, Until heaven and earth shall pass away, one Jod-letter, or one corner shall not pass away from the law till everything come to pass.
19 Every one that shall remit therefore one of these little commandments, and shall teach so to men, shall he called less in the kingdom of heaven; but every one that shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say to you, Except your righteousness shall abound more than the scribes and the Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time 'Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be condemned in judgement.'
22 But I say to you, Whosoever shall be wroth with his brother without cause shall be condemned to judgement; and he that shall say to his brother 'Raca' shall be condemned to the synagogue; and whosoever shall say to his brother 'Fool' shall be condemned to the Gehenna of fire.

23 "Whensoever therefore thou offerest thy offering before the altar, and there thou shalt recollect that thy brother hath aught against thee of enmity,
24 leave thy offering there before the altar, and go first be reconciled with thy brother, and then come and offer thy offering.

25 "Be agreed with thine adversary quickly while yet with him thou art in the way; lest thine adversary deliver thee up to the judge, and the judge deliver thee up to the officer, and thou fall into prison,
26 and amen, I say to thee, Thou wilt not go forth from thence till thou give the last mite.

27 "Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.'
28 But I say to you, Whosoever seeth a woman, and longeth for her hath committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 But, if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and throw it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that thy one member should perish, and not all thy body go to Gehenna.
30 And, if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and throw it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not all thy body go to Gehenna.
31 It hath been said, 'He that dismisseth his wife shall give her a letter of divorce.'
32 But I say to you, He that dismisseth his wife, concerning whom there hath not been alleged adultery, he causeth her to commit adultery; and he that taketh up a divorced woman doth indeed commit adultery.

33 "Again ye have heard that it hath been said to them of old time: 'Thou shalt not swear an oath of falsehood, but shalt give to the LORD thy oath.'
34 But I say to you, Ye, your own selves, shall not swear: -- not by the heavens, because they are the throne of God;
35 nor by the earth, because it is the footstool that is under his feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King;
36 nor yet by thy head shalt thou swear, because thou canst not make in it one single lock black or white.
37 But your word shall be Yea, yea, and Nay, nay; now whatsoever is more than these is from the Evil One.

38 "Ye have heard that it hath been said 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I say to you, Ye shall not stand up against the Evil One, but he that smiteth thee on thy cheek, offer him the other;
40 and he that willeth to go to law with thee and take away thy coat, let him take away thy cloak also;
41 and he that saith to thee that thou shouldest go with him a mile, go with him two others.
42 And he that asketh thee -- give to him, and he that would borrow from thee -- forbid him not.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said to them of old time 'Love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy.'
44 But I say to you, Be loving to your enemies, and pray for those that persecute you,
45 so that ye may become the sons of your Father in heaven, he that maketh his sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sendeth down his rain on the upright and on the wicked.
46 For if ye be loving to them that are loving to you, what is your reward? For so even the toll-gatherers do.
47 And if ye greet your brethren only, what is your kindness? Nay, do not the pagans do so?

48 "Become therefore perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Chapter 6

6:1 Beware that ye do not your gift before men, so that ye may be seen by them, else ye have no reward with your Father in heaven.
2 Whensoever therefore thou doest alms, do not blow a trumpet before thee, as the respecters of persons do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by men; amen, I say to you that they have received their reward.
3 But thou, what time thou doest alms, let not thy left-hand know what thy right-hand doeth,
4 that thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father that seeth in secret will repay thee.
5 And what time thou prayest, be not as those respecters of persons, that love to stand in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets to pray, that they may be seen by men: I say to you that they have received their reward.
6 But thou, whensoever thou prayest, enter thou into the inner chamber, and shut the door in thy face, and pray to thy Father in secret, and thy Father that seeth in secret will repay thee.

7 "And whensoever ye pray, do not be babbling as the respecters of persons, for they hope that by much speaking they are heard.
8 Be not therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is required for you before ever ye ask it.
9 But thus be praying:

Our Father in heaven, thy name be hallowed.
10 Thy kingdom come. And thy wishes be done in earth as in heaven.
11 And our continual bread of the day give us.
12 And forgive us our debts, so that we also may forgive our debtors.
13 And bring us not into temptation, But deliver us from the Evil One. Because thine is the kingdom and the glory, For ever and ever, Amen.

I4 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Father also in heaven will forgive you;
15 but if ye yourselves forgive not men their trespasses, neither will the Father forgive you your trespasses.

16 "And whensoever ye fast, do not be as the respecters of persons, that make gloomy their faces, that they may be seen by men that they are indeed fisting -- and amen, I say to you that they have received their reward.
17 But thou, whensoever thou dost fast, wash thy face and anoint thy head,
18 that thou be not seen by men that thou art indeed fasting, but by thy Father that knoweth in secret, and the Father that seeth in secret shall repay thee.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasure in the earth, where the moth falleth and corrupteth, and where thieves break through and thieve.
20 But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where no moth corrupteth, nor thieves break through and thieve.
21 For where your treasure shall be, your heart shall be there also.
22 For the lamp of the body is the eye: if thine eye be single, thy whole body also will he light;
23 but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body also is dark. If therefore the light in thee is dark, thy darkness -- how great it will be!

24 "No man can serve two lords; else the one he will hate and the other he will love, or the one he will endure and the other he will despise: ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say to you, Be not anxious for your life what ye shall eat, nor for your bodies wherewith ye shall be clothed; for the life is more than the food, and the body than the clothing.
26 Look at the birds of the heaven -- that they sow not nor reap nor store up, and your Father in heaven nourisheth them; are ye not therefore more than they?
27 But which of you can add unto his stature one cubit, that about clothing ye are anxious?
28 See the lilies of the plain -- how they grow, that they spin not nor toil;
29 and amen, I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was covered like them.
30 But if the grass of the field that today is, and tomorrow is plucked up and falleth into the furnace, God doth clothe, how much more, therefore, over you will he be careful, O, lacking in faith?
31 Be not therefore anxious and say 'What shall we eat and what shall we drink, and wherewith shall we be covered?'
32 For all these things the peoples of the earth seek after, for your Father doth know that for you also these things are required.
33 But ye, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 Be not therefore anxious for tomorrow, because tomorrow for its own is anxious. Sufficient for the day is its evil.

Chapter 7

7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgement ye judge, ye are judged, and with the measure that ye mete it is meted to you.
3 Now, what is the mote that in thy brother's eye thou dost see, and the beam that is in thine eye thou dost not examine?
4 Or how canst thou say to thy brother, 'Let me put forth the mote from thine eye,' for lo, in thine own eye a beam is set?
5 Thou respecter of persons! put forth first the beam from thine eye, and then it will be approved for thee to put forth the mote from thy brother's eye.

6 "Give not a holy thing to dogs, neither cast pearls before swine, that they may not trample on them with their feet, and return and rend you.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; and seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
8 For whosoever asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and he that knocketh -- it is opened to him.
9 For which of you whose son shall ask for bread, will he hand him a stone?
10 Or if for a fish he shall ask, will he hand him a serpent?
11 If therefore ye that are evil, know how to give good gifts to your sons, how much rather your Father in heaven knoweth how to give good things to those that ask him.
12 Everything therefore that ye would that men should do to you, be ye doing to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
13 Enter by the straight gate, because wide is the gate, and roomy the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go therein.
14 How strait the gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto life, and few are they which find it!

15 "Keep yourselves from prophets of falsehood, which come unto you in lambs' clothing, and within they are ravening wolves.
16 From their fruits therefore ye shall recognise them; for they do not pluck from thorns grapes, nor figs from briers.
17 Every good tree bringeth forth good fruits, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruits.
18 The good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, neither can the evil tree bring forth good fruits;
19 every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruits is hewn down and falleth into the fire.
20 From their fruits therefore ye shall recognise them.

21 "Not every one therefore that shall say unto me, 'My Lord, my Lord,' entereth into the kingdom of heaven; but he which doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
22 For many will say to me in that day, 'Our Lord, our Lord, in thy name have we not eaten and drunken, and in thy name prophesied, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many mighty works?'
23 Then I shall say to them, Never have I known you; go ye away from me, doers of wickedness.

24 "Every one that heareth these my words and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man, that built his house on the rock, and the rain came down, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and were dashed against that same house and it fell not, because its foundations on the rock were laid.
26 And every one that heareth these my words and doeth them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, that built his house upon the sand,
27 and the rain came down, and the rivers came, and the winds blew, and were dashed against that same house, and it fell, and its fall was great."

28 And when Jesus finished these his words, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching, for as one authorised he was teaching them, and not as their scribes and the Pharisees.

Transcribed for the WWW by Yuri Kuchinsky.

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