Matthew the Evangelist

Matthew the Apostle
Frans Hals
Personal details
Died near Hierapolis or Ethiopia

Matthew the Apostle (Hebrew: מַתִּתְיָהוּMattityahu or מתי Mattay, "Gift of YHVH"; Greek: Ματθαῖος Matthaios; also known as Saint Matthew) was, according to the Bible, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus and according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists.

Identity


Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Ascension.

Early life

Matthew was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alpheus.[7] During the Roman occupation (which began in 63 BC with the conquest of Pompey), Matthew collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. His tax office was located in Capernaum. Jews who became rich in such a fashion were despised and considered outcasts. However, as a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek.[1][8][9][10][11]

It was in this setting, near what is today Almagor, that Jesus called Matthew to be one of the Twelve Disciples. After his call, Matthew invited Jesus home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. This prompted Jesus to answer, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17)

Ministry

New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension. Afterwards, the disciples withdrew to an upper room (Acts 1:10-14)[12] (traditionally the Cenacle) in Jerusalem.[7] The disciples remained in and about Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

In the Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) "Mattai" is one of five disciples of "Jeshu."[13]

Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are.[7] The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr,[14][15] although this was rejected by Heracleon as early as the second century.[10] The tradition placing the composition of Matthew's Gospel "fifteen" years after the ascension is very late Nicephorus Callisti (14th Century) and the Paschal Chronicle (17th Century).

Matthew's Gospel

Main article: Gospel of Matthew

Although the first of the Synoptic Gospels is technically anonymous,[16] traditionally the Gospel of Matthew was held to be written by the apostle.[17] As a government official in Capernaum, in "Galilee of the Gentiles", a tax-collector would probably have been literate in both Greek and Aramaic.[18] Greek was the language used in the market-place.[19] Some early church fathers recorded that Matthew originally wrote in "Hebrew", but still regarded the Greek text as canonical.[20]

Many scholars today, such as Raymond E. Brown, believe that "canonical Matt[hew] was originally written in Greek by a non-eyewitness whose name is unknown to us and who depended on sources like Mark and Q",[21] a theory known as Markan priority. However some scholars, notably Craig Blomberg, disagree variously on these points.[22][23][24] The more traditional interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels posits a Matthean priority, most notably in the Augustinian hypothesis after one of the earliest and most notable proponents Augustine of Hippo. This position once held with veritable consensus in the Medieval church has since waned, but still has several proponents.


Non-canonical or Apocryphal Gospels

In the 3rd century Jewish-Christian Gospels attributed to Matthew were used by Jewish-Christian groups such as the Nazarenes and Ebionites. Fragments of these gospels survive in quotations by Jerome, Epiphanius and others. Most academic study follows the distinction of Gospel of the Nazarenes (26 fragments), Gospel of the Ebionites (7 fragments), and Gospel of the Hebrews (7 fragments) found in Schneemelcher's New Testament Apocrypha. Critical commentators generally regard these texts as having been composed in Greek and related to Greek Matthew.[25] A minority of commentators consider them to be fragments of a lost Aramaic or Hebrew language original.

The Infancy Gospel of Matthew is a 7th-century compilation of three other texts: the Protevangelium of James, the Flight into Egypt and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

[37] [38]

Jerome relates that Matthew was supposed by the Nazarenes to have composed their Gospel of the Hebrews[39] though Irenaeus and Epiphanius of Salamis consider this simply a revised version canonical Gospel. This Gospel has been partially preserved in the writings of the Church Fathers, said to have been written by Matthew.[37] Epiphanius does not make his own the claim about a Gospel of the Hebrews written by Matthew, a claim that he merely attributes to the heretical Ebionites.[38]

In Islam

The Quran speaks of Jesus's disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as "helpers to the work of God".[40] Muslim exegesis and Qur'an commentary, however, names them and includes Matthew amongst the disciples.[41] Muslim exegesis preserves the tradition that Matthew, with Andrew, were the two disciples who went to Ethiopia to preach the message of God.

Commemoration

Saint Matthew the Apostle
Ják, Hungary (13th century).
Apostle, Evangelist, Martyr
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Churches
Eastern Catholic Churches
Anglican Communion
Lutheran Church
Aglipayan Church
some other Protestant Churches
Canonized pre-congregation, Russia by St. John
Major shrine Salerno, Italy
Feast 21 September (Western Christianity)
16 November (Eastern Christianity)
Attributes Angel
Patronage Accountants; Salerno, Italy; bankers; tax collectors; perfumers; civil servants[42]

Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran[43] and Anglican churches. (See St. Matthew's Church.) His feast day is celebrated on 21 September in the West and 16 November in the East. (For those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 16 November currently falls on 29 November of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is also commemorated by the Orthodox, together with the other Apostles, on 30 June (13 July), the Synaxis of the Holy Apostles. His relics are preserved in the Salerno Cathedral in Italy.

Like the other Rome, where he is depicted as called by Christ from his profession as gatherer, are among the landmarks of Western art.

See also

References

External links

  • Golden Legend
  • synaxarion
  • Benedict XVI, "Matthew", General audience, 30 August 2006


Calling of Matthew
Life of Jesus: Ministry Events
Preceded by
Hometown Rejection of Jesus,
"Physician, heal thyself"
   New Testament   
Events

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.