Read the Introduction text
PROTO-GNOSTIC MATTHEW, PART I
[Catholic Matthew 1:1-17, Christ’s geneology; omitted. In Gnostic thought Christ is sent from above and his connection to any earthly family is irrelevant (cf. Jn. 7:40-44). In the gospels of Mark and John the geneology is omitted; and a contrary geneology is recorded in Luke.]
[Catholic Matthew 1:18-2:23, the Nativity; omitted. The Nativity has been omitted based on the following factors: Both Mark and John omit the Nativity and Luke contains a contradictory account. Moreover the Gnostic tradition of the Nativity more often reflects the Lukan account as opposed to Matthew (e.g. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.30.11-12; cf. the Mandean Ginza viz. John the Baptist, M. Meyer, The Gnostic Bible, pg. 550). And finally, the version in Matthew is contradicted by other passages internally which show that no miracle ever took place that was connected with Jesus’s mother, viz. CM. 12:46-50, 13:54-58. The passages cited indicate that the Nativity was never part of the original text of Matthew; it was added later.]
I. THE MINISTRY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. JOHN CONDEMNS THE SADDUCEES AND PHARISEES AND TESTIFIES OF JESUS, THAT HE WILL SEPARATE THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF (THE SPIRITUAL FROM THE MATERIAL). JESUS IS BAPTIZED BY JOHN. [CM. 3:1-17]
(A note on John the Baptist for context: in at least two historic sources John the Baptist is credited as being the god-father of Gnosticism. The Mandeans considered John to be the Christ of their sect. And in the Clementine Homilies Simon Magus is said to have learned his doctrine from John . Most noteworthy here is John’s doctrine of wrath. Simon had a similar doctrine that condemned false religion and predicted a final dissolution of the cosmos, presumably dissolved in fire, so that Simon’s elect can be redeemed, viz. the Great Announcement; Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 6:14; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.23.3.)
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord (Kuriou), make his paths straight” (Isaiah, 40:3). And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Note: in Gnostic thought Isaiah 40 can be seen as a cryptic reference to Sophia. Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.5.3.)
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, that you have Abraham for your father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Cf. John 8:39, 44; 1:17-18)
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Note: this passage can be compared to Simon’s teaching from the Great Announcement as reported by Hippolytus: “If, however, a tree continues alone, not producing fruit fully formed, it is utterly destroyed. For somewhere near, he [Simon] says, is the axe (which is laid) at the roots of the tree. Every tree, he says, which does not produce good fruit, is hewn down and cast into fire”; Refutation of All Heresies, 6:11. Cf. NHC: Gospel of Philip, 83)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.3.5. Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 6:11. Note: it is not assumed here that John’s words have any connection with the prophecy of Elijah in Malachi 4:1-6. )
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. (Note: John’s supposed subservience to Jesus is more than likely an invention of the proto-Gnostic writer and we should not assume that this was part of John’s original doctrine. In Catholic Matthew 3:1-17 it may be understood that Jesus’s ministry and teaching are connected symbolically with the dispensation of John the Baptist. In the bias of Proto-Gnostic Matthew (and Catholic Matthew) Jesus is assigned priority over John; but at the same time, Jesus’s ministry and wisdom begin with John.)
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
[Catholic Matthew 4:1-10, the Temptation; omitted. This passage runs contrary to Gnostic thought as Jesus here appeals three times to the Lawgiver of the books of Moses. In other parts of Matthew Jesus appeals to another, unknown God, e.g. CM. 5:43-48, 6:6, 11:27. These passages are contrary to the theology in CM. 4:1-10.]
II. JOHN THE BAPTIST IS IMPRISONED. JESUS GOES TO CAPERNAUM AND BEGINS PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. SIMON PETER, ANDREW, JAMES AND JOHN ARE CALLED. JESUS PERFORMS HEALINGS AND EXORCISMS. [CM. 4:12-5:2]
Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
“The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” (Isaiah, 9:1-2)
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
III. THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: THE BEATITUDES; ON JUSTICE, NEIGHBORS AND ENEMIES [CM. 5:3-4, 6-10, 20, 38-39, 25, 40-48]
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
[Catholic Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”; omitted. This phrase is part of the failed end time prophecy which I have discussed in the Introduction, e.g. CM. 10:23, 24:34. The rest of the passage, viz. CM. 5:3-10, is consistent with a spiritual teaching.]
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (The Sermon on the Mount continues with CM. 5:38 below.)
[Catholic Matthew 5:11-16, on persecution and being a light to the world; omitted. These themes are contrary to the teachings in CM. 6:1-6 where the disciples are told to perform their alms and prayers in secret, and that they have no reward if they perform them openly.]
[Catholic Matthew 5:17-19, not one stroke or dot of the Law has passed; omitted. This passage is an injunction from a Jewish Christian directed against St. Paul. Internally, the passage is absolutely contrary to what follows in CM. 5:38-48.]
[Catholic Matthew 5:21-37, on murder, grudges, adultery, divorce and oaths; omitted. This passage contains the ideas of a Jewish Christian reformer who seeks to establish a new ethic within the boundaries of the Law of Moses, and not contrary to it. What follows in CM. 5:38 onward is completely contrary to the Law and all the ideas preceding from CM. 5:17-37. Starting with verse 38 parts of the Law are being abolished. Also, I find it unlikely that the rhetoric about the “valley of Hinnom” (translated as “Hell” in the KJV ) would have come from a proto-Gnostic writer.]
Ye have heard that it hath been said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Ex. 21:24, Lv. 24:20, Dt. 19:21): But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Truly I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. (Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.25.4.)
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy” (Lev. 19:18, Dt. 23:3-6).
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? (Cf. Catholic Matthew 10:5-9, 15:22-26)
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
IV. SERMON ON THE MOUNT: ON THE GIVING OF ALMS, ON PRAYER TO THE SECRET FATHER, ON FASTING AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, THE SINGLE EYE LIGHTS THE BODY [CM. 6:1-13a, 14-34]
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Truly I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee. (Note: Clearly this contradicts the words in the Similitudes, viz. CM. 5:14-16.)
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret (krypto); and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee. 
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the hypocrites do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Note: this phrase in Catholic Matthew 6:13b “for thine is the kingdom, and power, and the glory. Amen” is not found in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts.)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Truly I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee. 
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body (somatos) is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
V. SERMON ON THE MOUNT: JUDGE NOT; THE HOLY AND THE PROFANE; SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND; THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT; THE NARROW GATE; THE GOOD AND EVIL FRUIT. [CM. 7:1-20, 24-29]
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
[Catholic Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord… depart from me ye that work lawlessness”; omitted. This passage is evidently a polemic against St. Paul and his teaching on the Law of Moses.]
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
VI. JESUS HEALS THE LEPER, AND THE CENTURION’S SERVANT; THE “OUTTER DARKNESS”; PETER’S MOTHER-IN-LAW IS HEALED; THE SON OF MAN HAS NOWHERE TO LAY HIS HEAD. “LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD” THE SEA IS STILLED; DEMONS ARE CAST INTO SWINE [CM. 8:1-9:1]
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean?
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. (Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.7.4.)
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Truly I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
When the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. (Isaiah, 53:4)
Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
VII. JESUS CLAIMS THE POWER TO FORGIVE SINS; IS ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY. MATTHEW IS CALLED. PHARISEES ACCUSE JESUS OF CAROUSING WITH PUBLICANS AND SINNERS. THE FOLLOWERS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST LIKEWISE ACCUSE JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES OF IMPIETY. JESUS SPEAKS OF THE BRIDAL CHAMBER; A WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD IS HEALED. A RULER’S DAUGHTER IS HEALED. TWO BLIND MEN ARE HEALED; JESUS IS BETRAYED. A DEMON IS CAST FROM A DUMB MAN; THE DUMB MAN SPEAKS. THE PHARISEES ACCUSE JESUS OF DOING THE DEVIL’S WORK. THE HARVEST; JESUS CALLS HIS TWELVE DISCIPLES [CM. 9:2-10:4]
And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. (Cf. Dt. 28:15ff., 28:21-22)
And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? (Note: if Jesus has the power to forgive sins, then why is it necessary for him to go to the cross as a “ransom” as stated in Catholic Matthew, 20:28?)
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.
But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. (Note: Matthew obviously did not write this.)
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (Ps. 40:6): for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2.20.1.)
But Jesus turned about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.
And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.
As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
[Catholic Matthew 10:5-33, Jesus’s instruction to his Apostles, viz. preach to Israelites only, the kingdom will arrive before all the cities are reached (CM. 10:5-6, 23, etc.); omitted. This entire passage clearly belongs to the earliest stratum of the Judean Gospel and is contradicted by other passages in Catholic Matthew, e.g. CM. 24:14, 28:19.]
VIII. JOHN THE BAPTIST’S FOLLOWERS QUESTION JESUS. BOTH JESUS AND JOHN ARE REJECTED BY MANY IN SPITE OF THEIR WORKS. “SOPHIA IS JUSTIFIED BY HER WORKS” [CM. 11:2-9, 11-13, 15-21]
Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. Truly I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
[Catholic Matthew 11:10, 14, John the Baptist is the fore-runner and messenger for Jesus, John is Elijah, Malachi 3:1, 4:4-6; omitted. The passages from Malachi 3:1, 4:4-6 may originate from a Catholic scribe who wanted to place John within a prophetic theological framework that made him subordinate to Jesus and also a follower of the Law of Moses. But it is an open question as to whether John followed Jesus or the Law–as this overall passage already suggests, implying that John rejected Jesus. Regarding John’s doctrine and the Law see CM. 21:23-26 and also Clementine Homilies, 2:23, where Simon Magus’s teaching is said to originate from John the Baptist.]
But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have played the flute unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.
But Sophia is justified by her works (sophia apo ton ergon autes).
Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
[Catholic Matthew 11:22-24, condemnation of the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum; omitted. The condemnation prophesied here belongs to the original Judean “end time” theme and is inconsistent with the repentant spirit of the proto-Gnostic Gospel, i.e. rejecting the literal end-time prophecy.]
IX. JESUS COMES TO SET MAN AT ODDS WITH THE DEMIURGE, FAMILY AND TRADITION. JESUS SPEAKS AGAINST THE AUTHORITY OF MOSES: “ONLY THE SON KNOWS THE FATHER”. [CM. 10:34-42, 11:25-30]
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.3.5.)
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Cf. Malachi, 4:4-6)
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Irenaeus, ibid.)
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, truly I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord (kurie) of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (Note: the Greek word for Lord in this passage is Kurie rather than Kurios; the latter being the word used in reference to a divine being; cf. Catholic Matthew 4:10 “for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God (Kurion ton Theon), and him only shalt thou serve”. Whereas Kurie is informal and is the equivalent of calling someone “sir”, e.g. Catholic Matthew 13:27 “So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir (Kurie), didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?“)
Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Catholic Matthew 11:27. Note: Irenaeus refers to this passage as the “crown” of Gnostic doctrine, viz. the Marcosians; Against Heresies, 1.20.3.)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
X. THE PHARISEES ACCUSE JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES OF VIOLATING THE SABBATH. JESUS HEALS BUT COMMANDS SILENCE. THE PHARISEES PLOT AGAINST JESUS AND BLASPHEME THE HOLY SPIRIT. THE SIGN OF JONAH IS GIVEN. JESUS REJECTS HIS FLESHLY MOTHER AND BROTHERS [CM. 12:1-40, 46-50]
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? (1 Sam. 21:6, Lev. 24:5-9, Ex. 29:32)
Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? (Numbers 28:9-10) But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
But if ye had known what this meaneth, “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice”, (Hosea 6:6, Ps. 40:6) ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord (Kurios) even of the sabbath day. (Note: Hosea 6:6 and Psalms 40:6 are key passages that contradict the Law of Moses.)
And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And the Pharisees asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do good on the sabbath days.
Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
“Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” (Isaiah, 42:1-4 LXX. Cf. Catholic Matthew 10:5-6, 15:22-26)
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this aion, neither in the one to come.
Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. For by your words ye shall be justified, and by your words ye shall be condemned.
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah (Jonah, 1:17): For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Note: the words expressed here can be taken to be symbolic of the death and rebirth of god as taught in the Mystery religions. See my essay at the conclusion of Proto-Gnostic Matthew part II for more details.)
[Catholic Matthew 12:41-45, the men of Ninevah and the queen of the south will rise to condemn this “generation”; omitted. Again, this is the expression of a failed prophecy and is an expression of condemnation that is inconsistent with the spirit of repentance and mercy.]
While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Note that there is no mention here of the miraculous role that Jesus’s mother supposedly played in his own conception and birth! This can only mean that the infancy narrative was never a part of these teachings. This passage here was a very important factor in my decision to remove the Nativity as found in Catholic Matthew 1:18-2:23.)
XI. THE PARABLE OF SOILS. JESUS CONCEALS THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM IN PARABLES. THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND TARES (A METAPHOR FOR PSYCHIC AND HYLIC SOULS) . THE PARABLES OF THE MUSTARD SEED, THE LEAVEN (SOPHIA), THE HIDDEN TREASURE, THE PEARL, THE NET, THE HOUSE-HOLDER. JESUS REJECTED IN NAZARETH. [CM. 13:1-58]
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he (auton) sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith,
“By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Isaiah, 6:9-10)
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For Truly I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and immediately with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, “Sir (Kurie), didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?”
He said unto them, “An enemy hath done this”. The servants said unto him, “Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” But he said, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Note: the reference to the “enemy” and the “tares” would be meaningful to cosmic dualists who held that there was a completely separate, evil principle in the universe that was outside of God’s control and existed in spite of God’s will and not because of it.)
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Psalms, 78:2/ 77:2 LXX)
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man ; The field is the kosmos; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil (diabolos); the harvest is the end of the Aion; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this Aion. (Note: the reference to the “devil” and “children of the wicked one” would be meaningful to cosmic dualists such as the Manicheans and Albigensians, who taught that there was an evil principle that existed separate from and was outside of God’s control.)
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; that which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the Aion: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea.
Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Read the Proto-Gnostic Matthew, part II text
1] The Mandean sect and John the Baptist, viz. the Right Ginza; M. Meyer, The Gnostic Bible, pg. 550. Simon Magus learned his doctrines, viz. “Helena”, from John the Baptist, Clementine Homilies, 2.23; J. Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, pg. 233.
There are at least three concepts in Catholic Matthew 3:1-17 that resonate with Gnostic thought:
i) John’s opposition to the Sadducees and Pharisees who symbolize the established, organized religious order; ii) the tree which does not bear good fruit cf. Jesus’ saying that an evil tree cannot produce good fruit, CM. 7:18-20; iii) the separation of the wheat from the chaff, which in Gnostic thought represents the separation of spiritual and material substance cf. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.3.5., NHC: Gospel of Mary, 7-8, Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:50.
The rhetoric about the “wrath to come” and the burning of branches need not be construed to be a reference to an end time Messianic prophecy but may refer to a cosmic dissolution as taught by Simon Magus or the Valentinians (e.g. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.7.1., 1.23.3.; Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 6:11, 14).
2] In orthodox tradition John the Baptist’s doctrine of judgment and the burning of branches is connected with the prophecy of Elijah in Malachi 4:1, 5; “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” … “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord”.
Whether or not there was an original connection between John and Elijah is a whole other matter. It is also, in my view, an unproven assertion that the words attributed to John in CM. 3:10-12 ever had any connection with Malachi; while it is obvious that these words do resonate with the words attributed to Jesus in CM. 7:18-20 and the teachings of Simon Magus, who is said to be the disciple of John. Again it must be noted that Simon Magus also had a doctrine that condemned false religion and predicted a final dissolution of the cosmos, presumably dissolved in fire, so that Simon’s elect can be redeemed (viz. the Great Announcement; Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 6:11, 14; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.23.3.).
3] The valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) was located on the South side of the ancient city of Jerusalem. In pre-Israelite times it was said to be a place where human sacrifices were carried out. In Roman times it was said to be a place where the residents of Jerusalem dumped their refuse, and where corpses that did not merit a proper burial were burned.
Among Jews and early Christians the valley of Hinnom became a metaphor for a place of punishment in the after-life. In the King James translation Gehenna was translated as “hell”, and “Gehenna tou puros” as “hell fire” (e.g. CM. 5:22).
4] The King James translation has “the Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward you openly”. However the oldest and most reliable Greek manuscripts have no word for “openly” or any reference to openness.
5] Catholic Matthew 13:37, “He that soweth the good seed (sperma) is the Son of man“. An insight on how Gnostics read this passage and how they conceptualized the “Son of man” may be seen in this passage from the Nag Hammadi text Eugnostos the Blessed, 81-82: “Then Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort, and revealed a great androgynous Light. His masculine name is designated Savior, Begetter of All things. His feminine name is designated Sophia, All-Begettress. Some call her Pistis (faith).”
By Jim West. Copyright © March 11; revised September 16, 2013. All Rights Reserved.