A Groundbreaking Attempt to Reconstruct the Conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua

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"The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction" is an attempt to follow the stages of Gospel transmission backward to reach the earliest form of the stories about Jesus that originated in the conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua.

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Revised: 26-October-2016

Under the direction of David Bivin, Jerusalem Perspective has launched an attempt to reconstruct the account of Jesus’ life which, according to church tradition, was written in Hebrew by Jesus’ disciple Matthew.

Although this ancient eyewitness account is no longer extant, we believe that significant portions of this source have been preserved in the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. If this theory is correct, then the first three canonical Gospels are the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of that conjectured Hebrew biography, which we refer to as the Hebrew Life of Yeshua.

An attempt also has been made to reconstruct the first Greek translation of the Hebrew Life of Yeshua, a more immediate ancestor of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Reconstructing the Hebrew Life of Yeshua is possible because the traditions preserved in the Synoptic Gospels show signs of literary development that occurred as these traditions passed through various stages before reaching their present form.

These stages include:

  1. Translation from a written Hebrew biography to Greek;
  2. A stage in which the highly literal and, consequently, unidiomatic Greek translation passed into improved Greek versions;
  3. The stages of development that took place as the traditions passed from the earliest Synoptic Gospel to the second Gospel, and from the second to the third. “The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction” is an attempt to follow those stages backward to reach the earliest form of the Gospel traditions that originated in the Hebrew Life of Yeshua.

A commentary accompanying each section of the reconstruction discusses the new insights that are gained from reconstructing Jesus’ words in their original language and in their original contexts.


LOY Introductory Materials

Life Of YeshuaIt is essential to read “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction’” before studying the reconstructions and accompanying commentary.


Since we suppose that the Hebrew Life of Yeshua ordered its stories differently from the order they are presented in the Synoptic Gospels, we have provided a Map (or outline) of the conjectured Hebrew biography. Click here to view the Map of the Conjectured Hebrew Life of Yeshua.



A Scripture Key to “The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction” is also available for easy reference.

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The featured image at the top of this page represents Jerusalem as it appeared in the Byzantine period. The image is part of the Madaba Mosaic Map from the Church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Comments 18

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  12. Following the timeline, how do we justify the scripture where Jesus says he would be in the earth three days and three nights, if he died on Friday? Can the Jewish calendar be traced back to the year when we believe Jesus died to determine what day Passover actually fell?

    1. Brian Becker

      Rhonda, i’m sorry no one replied to this comment. sooner. Jesus’ reference to Jonah is recorded in Matthew & Luke. In Matthew, Jesus’ reference to Jonah was regarding 3 days/nights but in Luke he was referring to the repentance of Ninevah. In “How Long Was Jesus In The Tomb” David wrote, “It appears that the reference to Jonah in Matthew’s source, and the desire to emphasize Jesus’ resurrection, caused Matthew, or a later copyist of his Gospel, to revise verse 12:40.[21] At this point in Jesus’ biography (Matt. 12:40; Luke 11:30), Luke has preserved the earliest version of Jesus’ words.”

    2. Jesus should died on Wednesday evening (considered to be one day), then Friday Night on sometime (consider to be one night of Saturday) He was resurrected, and thus He was in the belly of Earth on Wednesday day1, Thursday day2, Friday day3, Wednesday night1, Thursday night2, and Friday night3, exactly as written in the Bible “He rose on ONE of the SABBATHS”.

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  15. Goyo Marquez

    I notice the absence of Mat 21:21-22, Mark 11:22-24, Luke 17:6, Is there a reason for this? Are there any other scriptures not included in the map?

    1. David N. Bivin

      The account of the withered fig tree (Matt 21:20-22; Mark 11:20-26) does not appear to have a Hebrew undertext, and therefore no attempt will be made to reconstruct it; however, it’s text will be discussed in the commentary on the “Epileptic Boy Healed (Mt 17:14-21; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 9:37-43a; 17:5-6)” (see this pericope’s placement in the map above). On the other hand, the Matthean and Lukan versions of the “Epileptic Boy Healed” pericope are very Hebraic, and thus, an attempt will be made to reconstruct this story.

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