The Old Syriac Aramaic version of the Gospel of Matthew
English translation by Dr. F. C. Burkitt (Cambridge University Press, 1904)

Chapters 22 to 28


Chapter 22

22:1 Again Jesus answered, and said to them in parables:
2 "The kingdom of heaven hath become like to a man, a king, that made a wedding for his son;
3 and he sent his slaves that they should call those bidden to the wedding, and they wished not to come.

4 "Again he sent other slaves and said: Say to those that were bidden, 'Lo, my supper is ready, and my fatted oxen are killed, and everything is ready; come ye to the wedding.'
5 But they disdained the invitation, and one went to the field, and one went to merchandise,
6 but the rest, that were left behind, took hold of his slaves, and insulted them, and killed them.
7 And that king was wroth, and sent his army, and it destroyed those murderers, and their city it burned with fire.

8 "Then said he to his slaves: 'The wedding is ready, and those that were bidden were not worthy of it;
9 henceforth, go forth to between the highways, and, whomsoever ye find, call to the wedding feast.'
10 And those slaves went forth to between the highways, and gathered all that they found, the bad and the good; and the wedding feast was filled with guests.
11 And the king entered that he might see the guests, and he saw there a man not clad in clothing for the wedding.
12 He saith to him: 'My comrade, how hast thou come hither, who hast no garments for the wedding?' And he was silent.
13 Then said the king to his servants: 'Take hold of him by his hands and by his feet, and put him forth into the outer darkness; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.' For many are the called and few the chosen."

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might catch him with a word.
16 And they sent unto him their disciples, with the slaves of Herod, and they say to him: "Teacher, we know that thou art true, and the way of God in verity thou teachest, and thou carest not for any one, for thou hast no respect of persons for any one.
17 Say to us what seemeth to thee -- is it lawful to give head-money to Caesar, or not?"
18 Now Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Ye, respecters of persons, why tempt ye me?
19 Shew me the coin of the head-money." And they, themselves, brought near to him a denar.
20 Jesus saith to them: "This image and the inscription -- of whom is it?"
21 They say to him, "Caesar's." Then saith he to them: "Give what is Caesar's to Caesar, and God's to God."
22 And when they heard, they wondered, and left him, and went away.

23 On that day, there drew near before him Sadducees, and they say to him that there is no resurrection. And they asked him, and say to him:
24 "Teacher, Moses said to us that, if so be that a man shall die not having sons, his wife shall become his brother's, and he shall raise up seed to his brother.
25 Now, there were by us seven brothers: the first of them took a wife and died, and left no sons, and his wife became his brother's;
26 the other also did likewise, and the third also -- unto the seven of them,
27 and lastly, after all of them, that woman died.
28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose of them shall the woman be? For lo, wife of the seven of them she became."
29 Jesus answered and said to them: "Much do ye err, and ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.
30 For in the coming to life of the dead, neither do men take women, nor do women become wives of men, but they are as the angels of heaven.
31 Now, concerning the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that God said,
32 'I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob'? And lo, the God not of the dead, but of the living."
33 And, when those multitudes heard, they were wondering at his teaching.
34 But the Pharisees, when they saw that he had silenced the Sadducees, were gathered together unto him.
35 And one of them, a scribe, had asked him, tempting him and saying to him:
36 "Teacher, which commandment is great and first in the Law?"
37 Jesus saith to him "'Thou shalt love the LORD thy God from all thy heart, and from all thy soul, and from all thy power;'
38 this is the great and first commandment.
39 And one after it, that is like to it, is, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.'
40 On these two commandments hangeth the Law, and the prophets also."
41 And, while the Pharisees were gathered together, he was asking them,
42 and saying: "What say ye about the Messiah; whose son is he?" They say to him: "David's son."
43 He saith to them: "How therefore doth David in the Holy Spirit call him 'my Lord'?
44 For he said, 'The LORD said to my Lord: Sit down on my right hand, until I set thine enemies under thy feet.'
45 If therefore David call him 'my Lord,' how is he his son?"
46 And no one could give him an answer, neither did any one dare from that hour to ask him again.

Chapter 23

23:1 Then said Jesus to the multitudes, and to his disciples:
2 "On the throne of Moses the scribes and the Pharisees have sat down;
3 everything that they say to you be hearing and doing, but like their deeds do ye not, for they say and do not.
4 And they bind heavy burdens, and lay them on the shoulders of men, and they themselves with one of their fingers do not touch them.
5 For everything that they do is that they may seem something to men, and they widen the thongs of their frontlets, and lengthen the fringe of their cloaks,
6 and love the chief entertainments *and* suppers, and the first seats in the synagogues,
7 and greeting in the streets, and they wish that men should be calling them 'Rabbi, Rabbi.'
8 But ye, yourselves, call not ye men Rabbi; for one is your Rabbi, the Messiah, and ye yourselves are brothers.
9 And 'Father' call not men for yourselves on earth, for one is your Father in heaven.
10 And be not called 'Teachers', because your Teacher is the Messiah.
11 And he that would among you be great shall be to you a servant;
12 for every man that shall uplift himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be uplifted.

13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye shut the kingdom of God before men! For ye enter not yourselves, neither those that come to enter suffer ye.

14 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye eat up the houses of widows, in the pretext that ye are lengthening your prayers! Therefore, ye shall receive more judgement.

15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye go about sea and land that ye may make one proselyte and, what time he hath become one, ye make him a son of Gehenna double as much as yourselves!

16 "Woe to you, blind guides, that ye say: 'He that sweareth by the Temple, it hurteth not; and he that sweareth by the gold in the Temple sinneth!'
17 Foolish, blinded ones! Which is greater -- the gold, or the Temple that itself halloweth the gold?
18 And 'He that sweareth [by the altar, it hurteth not; and he that sweareth] by the offering on the altar sinneth.'
19 Blinded ones! Which is greater -- the offering, or the altar that itself halloweth the offering?
20 He that sweareth therefore by the altar sweareth by it, and by all that is upon it,
21 and he that sweareth by the Temple sweareth by it, and by Him that dwelleth therein,
22 and he that sweareth by the heavens sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him that sitteth thereon.

23 "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left the weighty matters of the Law, judgement and mercy and faith! Now, these ye have done, but these have ye not left?
24 Blind guides, in that ye strain clear of gnats, and swallow camels!

25 "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, and inside [Curetonian MS breaks here] they are full of extortion and all uncleanness!
26 Blinded Pharisees! Cleanse first the inside of the cup, and the outside also is clean.

27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye are like to graves, that on the outside look white, and inside they are full of the bones of the dead and all uncleanness!
28 So ye also on the outside appear to men as righteous, and inside are full of wickedness and turbulence.

29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, respecters of persons, that ye build the graves of the prophets, and adorn the tombs of the righteous,
30 and say, 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets!'
31 Hence, ye confess that ye are the sons of them that killed the prophets
32 -- and ye also will fill up the measure of your fathers!
33 Serpents, offspring of vipers! How will ye flee from the judgement of Gehenna?
34 Therefore, lo, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; some of them ye will kill and crucify, and some of them ye will scourge in your synagogues, and will persecute them from city to city,
35 that there may come upon you all the blood of the righteous, that hath been shed on the earth, from the blood of Habel, the righteous, even unto the blood of Zacharia, son of Barachia, him that ye killed between the Temple and the altar.
36 Amen, I say to you, that all these things will come on this generation.
37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets, and stonest them that have been sent unto thee, how many times have I wished to gather thy sons, as the hen that gathereth her young, that are under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Lo, your house is left [omission];
39 for I say to you, Ye shall not see me from now, until ye say 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the LORD.'"

Chapter 24

24:1 And when Jesus went forth from the Temple, to go away, and his disciples drew near, they shew him the building of the Temple.
2 But he answered, and said to them: "See ye all these stones? Amen, I say to you, There will not be left here a stone on a stone that will not be thrown down."

3 And, when he sat on the Mount of Olives, his disciples drew near and say to him: "Say to us when they shall be, [and what] is the sign of thy coming, and of the conclusion of the world?"

4 Jesus answered and said to them: "See that no one lead you astray.
5 For many will come in my name, and will say 'I am the Messiah' and many will they lead astray.
6 But ye are about to hear of [wars] and rumour of wars, but [see] lest [ye be afraid; these things are about to be,] but not yet is the conclusion.
7 For people will rise against people, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various countries;
8 but all these things are the beginning of travail.
9 And then, they will deliver you up to distress, and they will kill you, and every man will be hating you for my name's sake.
10 Then many will be offended, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another,
11 and many prophets of falsehood will arise, and will lead astray many;
12 and, because of the multitude of wickedness, the love of many will be chilled.
13 But he that shall endure unto the last, he shall live.
14 And *this gospel* of the kingdom will be preached in all the world, for a witness to all the peoples, and then will come the conclusion.

15 "Now, what time ye have seen the sign of abomination [of desolation] that was said by Daniel the prophet -- he that readeth, let him understand
16 -- then they [that are in Judaea] let them flee to the hill-country,
17 and he that is on the roof, let him not go down to take aught from his house,
18 and he which is in the field, let him not turn round behind to take his cloak.

19 "Now woe to them with child, and to them that are giving suck in those days!
20 But be praying that your flight may not be in the winter nor on the sabbath.
21 For there will be then great distress, the like of which hath not been from the first habitation of the world until to-day, neither shall be.
22 And if it had not [been that] those days were short no [flesh] would live, but because of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.
23 Then, if any one shall say to you, 'Lo, here is the Messiah' -- 'Lo, there he is' -- do not believe.
24 For there will arise lying Messiahs, and lying prophets, and they will give great signs and wonders, so that, if possible, even the chosen ones they will lead astray.
25 Lo, I beforehand have said to you,
26 that if they shall say to you, 'Lo, he is in the desert', do not go forth, or 'Lo, he is in the inner chamber', do not believe;
27 for as the lightning lighteneth from the east, and is seen unto the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
28 Where the body is, there will be gathered the vultures.

29 "Now, immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the light of the moon will not shine, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will tremble,
30 and then will be seen the signal of the Son of Man in heaven, and ye will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and glory.
31 And he will send his angels with a great trumpet, and will gather his chosen from the four winds, from across the heaven unto the other side.
32 Now, from the fig-tree learn a parable, that what time its branches have become tender, and its leaves are put forth, ye know that the summer is near;
33 so ye also, what time ye have seen all these things, ye know that it hath drawn nigh to the door.
34 Amen, I say to you that this generation will not pass away until all these things be.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, and my words will not pass away.

36 "Now, of the day and of that hour, no one knoweth, not even the angels of heaven, but the Father only.
37 For as it was in the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38 For just as before the Flood they were eating and drinking, and betrothing and being betrothed until Noah entered the ark,
39 and they knew not until the Flood came and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
40 Then, two men will be in the hill, one will be taken and one will be left;
41 and two women will be grinding at the mill, one to be taken and one left.

42 "Be watchful, for that ye know not at which hour cometh your Lord.
43 [And] this know, that, if the master of the house were to know at which watch the thief would be coming, he would be watching, and would not suffer that his house should be broken through.
44 Therefore, ye also be ready, for that in an hour that ye expect not will come the Son of Man.
45 [Who then] is that [slave,] faithful and [wise], which his lord hath set up over his fellow-servants, that he may give them the ration of food in its time?
46 Happy is it for that slave, whom, if his lord come, he shall find doing so.
47 Amen, I say to you that he will give him authority over all that he hath.
48 But, if the evil slave say in his heart 'My lord delayeth to come,'
49 and he begin to beat his fellow-servants, and be eating and drinking with the drunkards,
50 the lord of that slave will come in a day that he doth not expect, and in an hour that he doth not know,
51 and will divide him, and set his portion with the respecters of persons, and there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth!

Chapter 25

25:1 "Then will the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins that took their torches, and went forth to meet the bridegroom and the bride.
2 Now, five of them were foolish, and five wise;
3 and the foolish ones took their torches, and took with them no oil,
4 but the wise took oil in the vessels with their torches.
5 Now, when the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept,
6 but in the middle of the night there was a cry: 'Lo, the bridegroom cometh; go forth to meet him!'
7 Then arose all those virgins, and trimmed their torches.
8 The foolish ones say to the wise ones: 'Give us of your oil, for lo, our torches are going out!'
9 The wise ones say to them: 'Nay, lest it suffice not for us and for you; but go unto them that sell, and buy for yourselves.'
10 And, while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready entered with him to the wedding-feast, and the door was shut.
11 Now, at the last, came those virgins and say: 'Our Lord, open to us!'
12 But he answered and said: 'Amen, I say to you, I know you not.'
13 Watch therefore, for that ye know not the day nor the hour.
14 For as a man that set off on a journey, and called his slaves, and delivered to them his property,
15 there was one to whom he gave five [talents], and one with two, and one with one ...
16 ... [MS is illegible here] ...
17 ... and similarly [also] he with the two [talents] ... [traded] with the two ...
18 But he that received one went [and digged] in the earth, and hid the silver of his master.
19 Now, after a long time, came [the lord] of those slaves, and took of them a reckoning.
20 And he drew near which received five [talents], and offered five others and said: 'My lord, five [talents] thou gavest me, lo, ...
21-24 ... [MS is illegible here] ...
25 ... lo, accept thine own.'
26 His lord answered and said to him: 'Evil slave [and lazy], thou knewest me that I reap [where I have not sown] and gather [where I have not] scattered.
27 But ...
28-31 ... [MS is illegible here] ...
32 ... and there will be gathered before him all the peoples, and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd that separateth the sheep from the goats,
33 and he will make [the sheep] stand on his right, and the goats on his left.
34 Then will the King say to those on his right: 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit [the kingdom that] was [for you prepared] ...
35 ... I was a stranger, and ye gathered me,
36 I was a naked man, and ye clothed me, [I was an infirm man, and ye visited me, I was in prison, and ye came] unto me.'
37 [Then will the righteous say] to him: 'Oh, our Lord! when saw we thee [that] thou [wast hungry, and gave thee to eat, or] wast thirsty, and gave thee to drink?
38 And when did we see thee that thou wast a stranger and gathered thee, or wast a naked man and clothed thee?
39 Or when did we see thee infirm or in prison and came unto thee?'
40 And he answered and said to them: 'Amen, I say to you, [What] ye have done to one of these my brothers, my little ones, to me it is ye have done it.'
41 Then will he say to those on his left: 'Go away from me, ye cursed, to the fire eternal which is prepared for the Accuser and for his angels.
42 For I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me not to drink,
43 and I was a naked man, and ye did not [clothe me], I was an infirm man, and I was in prison, and ye did not [visit] me.'
44 Then will they also answer and will say: 'Our Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or infirm, or in prison, and did not serve thee?'
45 Then will he answer and will say to them: 'Amen, I say to you, That which to one of these little ones ye did not, to me also ye did it not.'
46 And these will go to torment eternal, and the righteous to life eternal."

Chapter 26

26:1 And it came to pass, when he finished [these] his words, [he said] to his disciples:
2 "Ye know that [after] two days [it is] the Passover, and the Son [of Man] is delivered up [to be crucified]."
3 Then were gathered together the chief [priests and the scribes], and the elders [of the people] to the court of the chief priest,
4 and they were thinking that with guile [they should take hold of] Jesus and kill him,
5 [but they were] saying, "And not [on the Feast, that] there be [not an uproar] among the people."
6 And when Jesus was in Beth Ania, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 there drew near a certain woman; and she had a vase of oil of perfume, the price of which is dear, and she poured it on the head of Jesus as he sat at meat.
8 Now, his disciples saw, and said: "Wherefore is this waste?
9 For this could have been sold for much and given [to the poor]."
10 Now, Jesus knew and said to them: "Why weary *they* the woman? A deed fair and good hath she done unto me.
11 For there are the poor -- at all times [they are] by you; [but I,] not at all times am I by you.
12 Now this -- that she hath cast this oil on my body -- as if for my burial she hath done it.
13 Amen, I say to you, Wheresoever this my gospel shall be preached in all the world, it will be spoken, even that which this [woman] hath done, for her memory."

14 Then went one of the Twelve, called Judas Scariot, unto the chief priests, and said to them:
15 "What are ye willing to give, and I will deliver him up to you?" And they settled for him thirty pieces of silver;
16 and from then he was seeking for himself an opportunity that he should deliver him up.
17 Now, on the first day of the Unleavened Bread, the disciples of Jesus came near, and they say to him: "Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee that thou mayest eat the Passover?"
18 He saith to them: "Go to the city unto such an one, and say to him: "Our Rabbi saith, 'My time is near; at thy house I do the Passover with my disciples.'"
19 And his disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and made ready the Passover.
20 And, when it was evening, he was sitting at meat by his Twelve;
21 and, while they were eating, he said to them: "Amen, I say to you, One of you will betray me."
22 And it grieved them exceedingly, and they began to say each one of them: "Can it be I, my Lord?"
23 He saith to them: "He which putteth forth his hand with me in the bowl, he will betray me.
24 And the Son of Man goeth as is written of him, but woe to that man by whose hand I am betrayed; it were profitable for him if he had not been born!"
25 And Judas the betrayer answered and said: "Can it be I Rabbi?" He saith to him: "Thou hast said it."
26 And, while they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed God over it, and brake and gave to his disciples, and said: "Take, eat; this is my body."
27 And he took a cup, and gave thanks over it, and gave to them, and said: "Take, drink of it, all of you;
28 this is my blood, the new covenant, that is shed for many to forgiveness of sins.'
29 For I say to you that I shall not drink from now of the fruit of the vine, until the day that I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father."
30 And, when they had glorified God, they went to the Mount of Olives.
31 Then said Jesus to them: "All of you will be offended in me in this night, for it is written, 'I will smite the shepherd and the lambs of his flock will be scattered.'
32 And what time I have arisen, I go before you to Galilee."

33 Simon Kepha answered and said: "If all of them shall be offended in thee, I for ever will not be offended in thee."
34 Jesus saith to him: "Amen, I say to thee, In this night, before ever the cock crow, three times thou wilt deny me."
35 Simon Kepha saith to him: "If it shall be for me to die with thee, I will not deny thee." And the disciples, all of them, also so said.
36 Then came Jesus with them to the place called Gysmani. He saith to his disciples: "Sit here, while I go and pray."
37 And he took Simon, and the two sons of Zebedee, and he had begun to be gloomy and to be anxious.
38 Then saith he to them: "Lo, it doth grieve my soul even unto death; remain here and watch with me."
39 And he removed from them a little, and fell on his face and was praying, and he was saying: "My Father,  that if it can be that this cup should pass from me -- nevertheless, not my will, mine, be done, but thine!"
40 And he came unto his disciples, and found them sleeping, and he said to Simon: "So not even one hour have ye been able to watch with me?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is infirm."
42 Again, for the second time, he went to pray, and saith, "My Father, if this cup cannot pass but if I drink it, thy will be done!"
43 And he came again, and found them sleeping, because their eyes with sleep were heavy;
44 and he left them, and went to pray for the third time, and again thus he said.
45 Then, came he unto his disciples, and said to them: "Sleep then, and take your ease; for lo, the hour is nigh, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of the sinners.
46 Arise, let us go hence; he that betrayeth me hath arrived."

47 While yet he was speaking, lo, Judas, one of the Twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
48 Now Judas the betrayer gave them a sign and said, "That one which I kiss, him take hold of."
49 And he drew near unto Jesus, and kissed him, and said to him: "Hail, Rabbi!"
50 But Jesus said to him: "For what *hast thou* come, my comrade?" Then they drew near, and laid hands upon him, and took hold of Jesus.
51 And lo, one of the disciples of Jesus put forth his hand, and drew a sword, and smote the chief priest's lad, and took off his ear.
52 Then Jesus said to him: "Put back the sword into its place, for all they that take up the sword by the sword
will perish.
53 Or dost thou suppose that I cannot beseech my Father, and he would give me more than twelve legions of angels?
54 But how would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it ought to be?"
55 In that hour, said Jesus to the multitudes: "As against a robber have ye come forth against me, with swords and with staves to take hold of me! Daily in the Temple I was sitting and teaching, and ye did not take hold of me.
56 Now, all these things that have come to pass are that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled."

57 Then his disciples, all of them, left him and fled. And those others took hold of him, and carried him along unto Caiapha, the chief priest, where were gathered the Scribes and the elders of the people.
58 Now, Simon was going after him from afar, even unto the court of the chief priest, and he entered into the midst, and was sitting with the attendants, that he might see the last.
59 And all the synagogue were seeking [against him, even] Jesus, witnesses, so that they might put him to death, and found them not.
60 And there came many witnesses of falsehood, and they did not find how to ... [illegible]. At the last, came two others, witnesses of falsehood,
61 and they say: "This man said 'I am able to pull down this Temple, and in three days to build it.'"
62 And the chief priest arose and said to him: "Givest thou no answer? What are these bearing witness against thee?"
63 Now Jesus was silent. The chief priest answered and said to him: "I adjure thee by the Living God, that thou say to us if thou art the Messiah, the Son of God!"
64 He saith to him: "Thou hast said it. I say to you, From now ye will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
65 Then the chief priest rent his things, and said: "He hath blasphemed; why yet is there required for us witnesses? Lo, ye have heard from his mouth the blasphemy.
66 What will ye?" They answered [all of them] and said "He is guilty of death."
67 Then [they drew near] to [him], and spat in his face, and were buffeting him, [and mocking at him], but others were slapping his cheeks,
68 and saying: "Prophesy to us, Messiah, who is it hath smitten thee?"

69 Now, Simon was sitting outside in the court, and a certain maid drew near and saith to him: "And thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean."
70 But he denied in the sight of all, and said: "I know not what thou sayest, neither am I acquainted."
71 And, when he went forth to the door of the court, another saw him, and she saith to them: "This one was with Jesus the Nazarene."
72 And again he denied and sware, "I know him not, this man."
73 And, after a little, those standing by drew near, and they said to Simon: "Truly thou art of them, for thy speech also is like.
74 "Then he began to asseverate and to swear, "I know him not, this man"; and in the same hour the cock crew.
75 And Simon remembered the word of Jesus, that he had said to him, "Before ever the cock crow, three times thou wilt deny me"; and when he went forth outside he wept bitterly.

Chapter 27

27:1 And when day dawned, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus, that they should put him to death;
2 and they bound him, and carried him along, and delivered him up to Pilate the governor.
3 Then, when Judas the betrayer saw that he was condemned, he changed his mind, and returned those thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and to the elders,
4 and said: "I have sinned, that I betrayed the blood of the righteous!" They say to him: "What is it to us? Thou wilt know."
5 But he threw the silver into the Temple, and departed, and he went and hanged himself, and was strangled.
6 Now, the chief priests took up the silver, and say: "It is not lawful to put it into the offertory, because it is the price of blood."
7 And they took counsel, and bought of it the Potter's Field, the field of the tombs of the strangers.
8 Therefore, that hath been called Field of Blood unto this day.
9 Then was fulfilled that which was said by the prophet, who had said, "I took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the dear one, that I held more dear than the sons of Israel,
10 and I gave them for the Potter's Field, as the LORD commanded me."

11 Now, Jesus stood before the governor, and he asked him and said to him: "Art thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus saith to him: "Thou hast said it."
12 And, while the chief priests and the Pharisees were accusing him, he was not giving any answer to them.
13 Then said Pilate to him: "Hearest thou not how many witnesses are bearing witness against thee?"
14 But he gave no answer to him, and exceedingly was the governor wondering.
15 Now, at every Feast, the governor was wont that he should be releasing to the people one prisoner, whichever they were wishing for;
16 and there had been imprisoned by them one well-known man, whose name was Jesus Bar Abba; he was lying in prison because of evil deeds that he had done, and he had committed murder.
17 And while all the Jews were gathered together, Pilate saith to them: "Whom will ye that I release to you -- Jesus Bar Abba, or Jesus, called the Messiah?"
18 For he knew that it was because of envy they delivered him up to him.
19 And while he was sitting at the tribunal, his wife sendeth word to him, and saith to him: "Have thou naught to do with that righteous one! For much have I suffered this day in my dream because of him."

20 Now, the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people that they should ask for Bar Abba, and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said to them: "Whom wish ye that I should release to you?" They say to him: "Bar Abba."
22 Pilate saith to them: "And what shall I do to Jesus, called the Messiah?" They say, all of them: "Let him be crucified."
23 He saith to them: "Why? For what evil hath been done by him?" Then the more were they crying out and saying: "Let him be crucified."
24 Now, when Pilate saw that nothing it gained him, but how much [more] the uproar indeed increased, he took water, and washed his hands in the sight of all the multitude, and saith: "I am innocent of this blood; ye know it."
25 And all the people answered and they said: "The blood of this one be on us and on our sons!"
26 Then he released to them Bar Abba, and scourged with a whip Jesus, and delivered him up to them that he should be crucified.
27 Then the soldiers of the governor brought in Jesus to the Praetorium, and they gathered against him a multitude,
28 and they clothed him in garments of scarlet and of purple,
29 and plaited a crown of thorns, and set it on his head, and made him hold a reed in his right hand, and they knelt on their knees before him, and were mocking at him and saying: "Hail to thee, king of the Jews!"
30 And they spat in his face, and took up the reed, and were smiting him upon his head.
31 And, when they had mocked at him, they stripped him of those garments that he was clothed with, and clothed him in his garments, and led him away, and went to crucify him.
32 Now, while going forth, they found a man, a Cyrenian, whose name was Simon, and they compelled him that he should take up his cross.
33 And they came to the place called Gagultha;
34 and they gave him to drink wine mixed with myrrh, and he tasted it, and would not drink it.
35 And when they crucified him, they divided his clothes, and drew lots for them;
36 and they were sitting and keeping watch there.
37 And, while they were sitting, they wrote the trespass, and set it over his head: "Jesus, the King of the Jews."

38 Then were crucified with him two evil-doers, one on his right and one on his left.
39 And those that were passing by were blaspheming against him, and wagging their heads,
40 and saying: "Puller down of the Temple, and builder of it in three days, if thou art the Son of God, save thyself alive, and come down from the cross!"
41 And the chief priests also, like the Scribes and the Pharisees, were mocking at him, and were reproaching him and saying,
42 "He that saveth others alive, himself could he not save alive? If he is the King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, and we shall believe in him.
43 He hath trusted in God -- let him deliver him now, if he is pleased with him; for he said, 'I am the son of God.'"
44 And those evil-doers, also, that were crucified with him, like the rest were reproaching him.
45 And from the sixth hour, there was darkness on all the land unto the ninth hour,
46 and at the ninth hour, Jesus exclaimed with a mighty voice and said: "Eli, Eli, wherefore hast thou left me?"

47 And those folk that were standing there, when they heard it, say, "This man for Elijah hath called!"
48 And in the same hour, one of them ran and took a sponge, and dipped it in vinegar, and stuck it on a reed, and handed it for him to drink.
49 But others say: "Let be; we shall see if Elijah cometh and saveth him alive."
50 Now Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and his spirit went up.
51 And, in the same hour, was rent the veil of the Sanctuary from the very top, and the earth quaked, and the stones were rent,
52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the righteous which were asleep arose,
53 and went forth from the tombs, after his resurrection, and came to the Holy City, and appeared to many.
54 Now, the centurion, and they that were keeping watch with him upon Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that came to pass, feared exceedingly, and say: "Truly this is the Son of God!"
55 And there were there many women, and from afar they were seeing -- which were coming after Jesus from Galilee and were serving him
56 -- Mary Magdalene, and Mary, daughter of James and mother of Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
57 And when it was evening, there drew near a certain rich man from Ramtha, and his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus
58 -- this man drew near to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus; and Pilate commanded that it should be given to him.
59 And when Joseph took the body, he wrapped it in a new linen cloth,
60 and laid it in a new tomb of his, a hewn one, that had been hewn for him in the rock, and he laid one great stone against the door of the tomb, and went away.

61 And there were there Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, and they were sitting opposite the tomb.
62 Now, the next day after the Friday, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together unto Pilate,
63 and they say to him: "Our Lord, we have remembered that that deceiver was saying when he was alive, 'After three days I arise';
64 but command them to take heed to the grave until three days are past, that his disciples may not come in the night and steal him away, and say to the people that he hath risen from among the dead, and the last error be worse than the first."

65 Pilate saith to them: "Ye have a guard; go, take heed to the grave as ye know how."
66 They went and took heed to his grave, and they sealed that stone with the guard.

Chapter 28

28:1 Now, in the evening, on the sabbath that was dawning into the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, that they might see the grave.
2 And lo, there was a great earthquake, because the angel of the LORD came down from heaven, and he rolled away the stone and sat upon it;
3 and his appearance was like to lightning, and his clothing as the snow,
4 and for fear of him trembled those that were keeping watch as the dead.
5 The angel answered and said to the women: "Ye women, do not ye fear; for I know that Jesus, him that was crucified, are ye seeking.
6 He is not here; he hath risen as he said to you: come, see the place that he was laid in!
7 Go quickly, and say to his disciples that he hath risen, and lo, he goeth before you to Galilee, there ...

[END NOTES BY BURKITT: The leaf of MS Sinaiticus which contained Mt 28:7 -- Mk 1:12 is missing.
At the end of Mt 28:18, after 'All authority hath been given to me in heaven and in earth,' the Syriac Peshitta adds (from John 20:21) 'and as my Father hath sent me I also send you.' As no Greek MS has this addition, it was probably taken over by the Peshitta from the Old Syriac version.]


Transcribed for the WWW by Yuri Kuchinsky.

Go to Yuri's Aramaic Gospels Page.


by Yuri Kuchinsky

As already mentioned at the beginning, this text was published by Dr. Burkitt as an edition of the Old Syriac Curetonian manuscript. Those parts that are missing in the Curetonian have been filled in from the Sinaiticus manuscript. Only very few passages of the four gospels are missing in both manuscripts.

1. Burkitt's text begins following the Curetonian MS of Matthew until Mt 8:22.
2. Then, the Sinaiticus MS is used for Mt 8:23-10:32.
3. Then, the Curetonian MS continues all the way until Mt 23:25.
4. For the rest, the Sinaiticus MS is used again until it, itself, breaks at Mt 28:7, missing only about 14 verses of the last chapter of Matthew.

Dr. Burkitt's translation is a very literal, word-for-word scholarly translation from the Aramaic. He tried to convey even the smallest grammatical and vocabulary nuances of the Aramaic text. This is the reason why he's using archaic English in his translation. This was not some sort of a literary affectation on his part, but an effort to convey the real differences in the Aramaic between, for example, "ye have", and "thou hast".


Burkitt's English translation contains some words that are italicised (generally one or two words per page). These italicised words were added up by Burkitt in order to make his translation smoother. While the Aramaic text doesn't actually contain them, still, they seem to be strongly implied by the general meaning of the sentence. These italicised English words are all rendered accurately in this electronic edition.

Some lines of the Sinaiticus MS had suffered damage, and are completely illegible -- these passages are all marked in the present text.

But also, sometimes the damage is confined just to a few words or phrases and, in such cases, Burkitt adds to his Aramaic text, as well as to his translation, some words in square brackets, where he tried to supply the missing words on a conjectural basis. All such additions have also been transcribed accurately in this electronic text.

In a few places, Burkitt tried to amend the Aramaic text where he felt that its grammar is in doubt, or where some textual corruption may have crept in. I use the asterisks (*) to denote these words or phrases.

Very often, the Aramaic text is shorter than the Greek. According to the standard rules of textual criticism, these passages may be considered a priori as more original. (I've marked some such notable omissions in the text.) And yet, also, the Aramaic text often expands. These Aramaic expansion may also be more original, although they will need to be studied on a case-by-case basis.


This electronic edition follows the standard Chapter division within Matthew. And yet, the Aramaic manuscripts, themselves, don't have any Chapter divisions. Instead, they have paragraph divisions, which may or may not be in synch with the standard paragraph divisions of the Greek text.

Burkitt marked all the paragraph divisions that are found in the Aramaic text. As I was transcribing his translation, I've marked the Aramaic paragraph divisions by always starting there with a new paragraph. Some of these differences in paragraph division between the Aramaic and the Greek texts are quite interesting in themselves, because they seem to tell us about the editorial strategies of the final editors of these texts. In some cases, these differences tend to affect the general meaning of the passage that was being divided; thus, they call for some further study.

This electronic edition of Burkitt's work omits all margin notes, and all footnotes (where many textual variants of all sorts are listed, and especially the Sinaiticus MS variants, where available). Still, the result should be helpful to the scholars and amateurs alike -- to all those who are interested to read the Gospel of Matthew as it survives for us in its ancient Semitic-language rendition. There are massive differences there all over the place from the standard canonical Greek text. Unfortunately, these ancient Aramaic gospels still remain almost completely unknown even to the professional New Testament scholars today.

Go to Yuri's Aramaic Gospels Page.