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Reviews of the Original Gospel of Matthew by Standford Rives

 

George Card, Amazon Review of OGM Vol. 3 (April 24, 2013)

I must say that Mr. Rives did a lot of research into this book. His wide knowledge of the different ancient sources is quite impressive. The text variations serve to illuminate many passages with greater clarity.

The only recomendation I would give to make it more easy to read, is that if the color codes that Mr. Rives were separate from the Book, for esier reference.


The color codes do help to understand where a text comes from but one must turn to the codes pages often in order to understand the root of such text.


I find overall that Mr Rives has done an astounding Job in his research. I would heartly recomend it to any serious student of the Bible. This is perhaps the best or one of the best reconstructions of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew that I have encountered.

 

J. Standford, Amazon Review of OGM Vol. 1 (March 2012)

Whenever the original language of the Gospel of Matthew comes into discussion, I am usually met with considerable resistance. Just today, some said to me very matter-of-factly "The NT was not written in Hebrew." No if's, and's or but's. Many people seem to be very certain that Greek was the original language.

So I was delighted to see that from the very beginning--as I would have expected--Standford Rives established the fact that the Gospel of Matthew was indeed originally written in the Hebrew language and only later translated into the Greek. One of the compelling evidences he shows is the fact that the Gospel According to the Hebrews by Matthew (GATHM) was mentioned by Eusebius in 325 A.D. as being an accepted book of the NT among "some" at that time who gave as much authority to the book as they gave to John's Revelation.

But, it gets even better. In Volume I, Mr. Rives shows the variants from the earliest Matthew so that the reader is assisted in finding the true meaning behind the words. Speaking personally, I found clarity in passages that had long puzzled me, and I also noticed that some translation errors that have given fodder for naysayers have been corrected, thus neutralizing the arguments of those detractors who would claim Yahshua (Jesus) was wrong about certain points, when in fact the true record shows that not to be the case at all. One such example is found in Mat 23:35, which has typically shown Zek'aryah (Zachariah) to be the son of Berek'yah (Berachiah). The fact is, Jerome in his Commentary on Matthew says that the Hebrew gospel used by the Nazarenes correctly states that Zek'aryah was the son of Yehoyad'a (Jehoida). This, of course, is confirmed in 2 Chron 24:20, 21. This is important because the son of Berek'yah was killed long after Yahshua in 69 A.D. By reconstructing the original Gospel of Matthew, a number of incongruities are resolved, thus silencing those who would use them to attack the validity of Moshiach (Messiah).

Mr. Rives deftly addresses common arguments such as that "God" would not allow such an important manuscript to become lost for a time by reminding his readers that in fact, the manuscript for the Book of Deuteronomy had been lost for over 300 years before it was rediscovered (see 2KI 22:8ff).

True to the meticulous style of the author, OGM is well documented throughout. I highly recommend this book for serious students of the Scriptures.


J. Standford, Review (March 2012)

Meaty. That's the best word I can think of to describe the second volume of The Original Gospel of Matthew. Vol. II picks up where Vol. I left off by expanding footnotes into full-blown articles that supply answers to questions the reader may have had in Vol. I--and even went beyond by supplying the answers to questions almost before I could form them in my own mind. So full of detail and exciting new insights was this volume that I found myself forced to take reading breaks in order to digest all the information contained therein.

If anyone has ever questioned whether `almah' in Isaiah 7:14 should be translated "virgin" or "young maiden," he will certainly find a wealth of information here. The discussion of the legitimacy of the virgin birth is both compelling and exciting. A correct understanding of this is of utmost importance if we take the Apostle John's words to heart:

1Jn 4:2 "By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses that Yahshua Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Yahshua Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the anti-messiah which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world."

Standford Rives painted a beautiful picture in intricate detail that left me finally feeling both comfortable and convinced regarding the truth in this important matter.

Another interesting topic (among the many) that is touched on fairly extensively is the issue of the apostleship of the man called Saul of Tarsus or as most know him, Paul the Apostle. Mr. Rives skillfully wields his scalpel while dividing truth from error on this very controversial topic.

While the reader could very easily benefit from this volume as a standalone volume, I would highly recommend reading Volume I first because it sets the background for what follows in Volumes II and III.


J. Standford, Review on Amazon (March 2013)

Volume III is the culmination of research uncovered and presented in Volumes I and II. It is the final reconstruction of the Gospel of Matthew, color coded as to variant source.

What I appreciated about this volume was being able to see how different variants, and some additional text from other sources that is not included in our present translations, could amplify the meaning of certain passages so that certain truths that were somewhat obscure to me before became much clearer as to their true meaning. One piece of wisdom I wish I'd had the benefit of years ago with regard to giving to the poor (especially those who tend to sit outside of supermarkets rather aggressively asking for handouts) was this: "Let your gifts to the poor stay in your hand long enough for you to learn to whom to give."

A thoroughly enjoyable volume, I recommend it to all.


J. Standford, Review (March 2012) - on Amazon

Volume III is the culmination of research uncovered and presented in Volumes I and II. It is the final reconstruction of the Gospel of Matthew, color coded as to variant source.

What I appreciated about this volume was being able to see how different variants, and some additional text from other sources that is not included in our present translations, could amplify the meaning of certain passages so that certain truths that were somewhat obscure to me before became much clearer as to their true meaning. One piece of wisdom I wish I'd had the benefit of years ago with regard to giving to the poor (especially those who tend to sit outside of supermarkets rather aggressively asking for handouts) was this: "Let your gifts to the poor stay in your hand long enough for you to learn to whom to give."

A thoroughly enjoyable volume, I recommend it to all.


Writer's Digest 20th Annual Self-Published Book Awards

Entry: Original Gospel of Matthew
Author: Standford Rives
Judge No. 23
Structure & Organization: 1
Grammar: 2
Production Quality and Cover Design: 2
What Did You Like Best About This Book:
These three volumes are obviously works of great scholarship and passion. The author deserves recognition for the years of study and effort he has invested in compiling the volumes. For scholars, they contain a wealth of information that will illuminate the Gospel of Matthew; for laymen, they may represent an eye-opening realization of the various versions and their historical context. Bravo to the author for his devotion, extensive research and scholarly presentation.
How Can The Author Improve the Book?
The greatest difficulty is that the vast complexity of this book will limit its appeal. While the author's dilemma in presenting the material is necessarily mind-boggling, the solution of using different colored font (some with the extra feature of strikeouts or underling) makes it extraordinarily difficult to read. It has great merit for scholars and anyone interested enough to endure the challenge, but it does severely limit his readership. It is a difficult book to judge in this contest and the judges have no desire to dampen Mr. Rive's monumental effort, as it is quite impressive and a gift to the world.

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May the Lord God bless you.
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