Matthew the Apostle

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Saint Matthew the Apostle
Grandes Heures Anne de Bretagne Saint Matthieu.jpg
Matthew the Evangelist, miniature from the Grandes Heures of Anne of Brittany, Queen consort of France (1477–1514).
Apostle, Evangelist, and Martyr
Born1st century AD
Capernaum [1]
Died1st century AD
near Hierapolis or Ethiopia, relics in Salerno, Italy
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Catholic Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Oriental Orthodoxy
Church of the East
Anglican Communion
Lutheranism
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Major shrine relics in Salerno, Italy
Feast 21 September (Western Christianity)
22 October (Coptic Orthodox)
16 November (Eastern Christianity)
Attributes Angel
Patronage Accountants; Salerno, Italy; bankers; tax collectors; perfumers; civil servants [2]
Major works Gospel of Matthew

Matthew the Apostle, [lower-alpha 1] also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi, was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. According to Christian tradition, he was also one of the four Evangelists and thus is also known as Matthew the Evangelist.

Contents

The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Ascension of Jesus. Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries.

In the New Testament

Matthew in a painted miniature from a volume of Armenian Gospels dated 1609, held by the Bodleian Library Bodleian Library MS. Arm. d.13. Armenian Gospels-0039-0.jpg
Matthew in a painted miniature from a volume of Armenian Gospels dated 1609, held by the Bodleian Library

Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican (KJV) or tax collector (NIV) who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus. [3] He is also listed among the twelve, but without identification of his background, in Mark 3:18 , Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13 . In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus' calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve.

Early life

According to the Gospels, Matthew was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alphaeus. [4] As a tax collector, he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek. [5] [6] [7] [8] His fellow Jews would have despised him for what was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force. [9]

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 to repentance." [10]

Ministry

The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Ascension of Jesus. Afterwards, the disciples withdrew to an upper room (Acts 1:10–14) [11] (traditionally the Cenacle) in Jerusalem. [4] 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". [12]

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 in agreement as to which these other countries are. [4] The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr, [13] [14] although this was rejected by Heracleon, a Gnostic Christian viewed as a heretic, as early as the second century. [6]

Matthew's Gospel

Saint Matthew and the Angel (1661) by Rembrandt Rembrandt - Evangelist Matthew and the Angel - WGA19119.jpg
Saint Matthew and the Angel (1661) by Rembrandt

The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription "according to Matthew" was added some time in the second century. [15] [16] The tradition that the author was the disciple Matthew begins with the early Christian bishop Papias of Hierapolis (c. AD 60–163), [17] [18] who is cited by the Church historian Eusebius (AD 260–340), as follows: "Matthew collected the oracles ( logia : sayings of or about Jesus) in the Hebrew language (Hebraïdi dialektōi), and each one interpreted (hērmēneusen – perhaps "translated") them as best he could." [19] [20]

On the surface, this has been taken to imply that Matthew's Gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew's Greek "reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation". [21] [15] Scholars have put forward several theories to explain Papias: perhaps Matthew wrote two gospels, one, now lost, in Hebrew, the other our Greek version; or perhaps the logia was a collection of sayings rather than the gospel; or by dialektōi Papias may have meant that Matthew wrote in the Jewish style rather than in the Hebrew language. [19] The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not in Aramaic or Hebrew. [22]

Non-canonical or Apocryphal Gospels

Saint Matthew (1713-1715) by Camillo Rusconi, Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome Matthaeus San Giovanni in Laterano 2006-09-07.jpg
Saint Matthew (1713–1715) by Camillo Rusconi, Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome

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 (36 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. [23] 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.

Origen said the first Gospel was written by Matthew. [24] This Gospel was composed in Hebrew near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians and translated into Greek, but the Greek copy was lost. The Hebrew original was kept at the Library of Caesarea. The Nazarene Community transcribed a copy for Jerome [25] which he used in his work. [26] Matthew's Gospel was called the Gospel according to the Hebrews [27] or sometimes the Gospel of the Apostles [28] and it was once believed that it was the original to the Greek Matthew found in the Bible. [29] However, this has been challenged by modern biblical scholars such as Bart Ehrman and James R. Edwards. [30] [31] [32]

Jerome relates that Matthew was supposed by the Nazarenes to have composed their Gospel of the Hebrews [33] though Irenaeus and Epiphanius of Salamis consider this simply a revised version of the canonical Gospel. This Gospel has been partially preserved in the writings of the Church Fathers, said to have been written by Matthew. [31] 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. [32]

Veneration

Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran [34] 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 tomb is located in the crypt of Salerno Cathedral in southern Italy.

Like the other evangelists, Matthew is often depicted in Christian art with one of the four living creatures of Revelation 4:7. The one that accompanies him is in the form of a winged man. The three paintings of Matthew by Caravaggio in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where he is depicted as called by Christ from his profession as tax gatherer, are among the landmarks of Western art.

In Islam

The Quran speaks of Jesus' disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as "helpers to the work of God". [35] Muslim exegesis and Qur'an commentary, however, name them and include Matthew amongst the disciples. [36] Muslim exegesis preserves the tradition that Matthew and Andrew were the two disciples who went to Ethiopia (not the African country, but a region called 'Ethiopia' south of the Caspian Sea) to preach the message of God.

See also

Notes

  1. Biblical Hebrew: מַתִּתְיָהוּ, romanized: Mattityahu, shortened to מַתִּיMatti (whence Arabic: مَتَّى, romanized: Mattā), meaning "Gift of YHWH";
    Aramaic: ܡܰܬ݁ܰܝ, romanized: Mattai; Koinē Greek: Μαθθαῖος, Maththaîos or Ματθαῖος, Matthaîos; Coptic: ⲙⲁⲧⲑⲉⲟⲥ, romanized: Mattheos; Latin: Matthaeus

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<i>Gospel of the Hebrews</i> syncretic Jewish–Christian gospel; lost except for brief quotations by the early Church Fathers and in apocryphal writings; contains traditions of Jesus pre-existence, incarnation, baptism, and probable temptation, along with some of his sayings

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References

  1. Wikisource-logo.svg   Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Matthew"  . Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
  2. "Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Washington, D.C". Stmatthewscathedral.org. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  3. Matthew 9:9 Mark 2:15–17 Luke 5:29
  4. 1 2 3 Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Matthew"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. Werner G. Marx, Money Matters in Matthew, Bibliotheca Sacra 136:542 (April–June 1979):148- 57
  6. 1 2 James Orr, ed. (1915). "The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Matthew". Studylight.org. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  7. Catherine Hezser (2001), Jewish Literacy in Roman Palestine, Mohr Siebeck, p. 172, ISBN   978-3161475467 , retrieved 10 September 2014, Even if they were pious and able to read the Hebrew Bible and/or literate in Greek poetry and prose, the writing they had to do in every day life ... 24 For the evidence of tax receipts amongst the Judaean Desert papyri see section II.
    • The Cambridge history of Judaism: 2 p192 ed. William David Davies, Louis Finkelstein "We are now touching upon that milieu in which Greek language and civilization were readily accepted in order to ... A great number of tax receipts on ostraca mainly from the 2nd century BCE show how Jews, Egyptians and Greeks.. "
  8. Encyclopædia Britannica. "Encyclopædia Britannica: Saint Matthew the Evangelist". Britannica.com. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  9. "Saint Matthew". 21 September 2016.
  10. (Mark 2:17 , Luke 5:32 )
  11. Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, 2001 pp. 130–133, 201
  12. Wilhelm Schneemelcher New Testament Apocrypha: Writings Relating to the Apostles revised edition translated R. McL. Wilson – 2003 Page 17 "in the Babylonian Talmud five disciples of Jesus are mentioned by name: 'Matthai, Nagai, Nezer, Buni, Thoda' (Sanhedrin 43a)."
  13. Nathaniel Lardner; Andrew Kippis (1838), "Eusebius, Church History 3.24.6", The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, Volume 5, W. Ball, p. 299, retrieved 22 February 2010
  14. Darrell L. Bock – Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods – Page 164 2002 "The early church tradition is consistent in claiming that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew for the Jews (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.1.1)."
  15. 1 2 Harrington 1991, p. 8.
  16. Nolland 2005, p. 16.
  17. canon
  18. http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0070-0130,_Papia_Hierapolitanus,_Fragmenta_[Schaff],_EN.pdf
  19. 1 2 Turner 2008, p. 15–16.
  20. Eusebius, "History of the Church" 3.39.14–17, c. 325 CE, Greek text 16: "ταῦτα μὲν οὖν ἱστόρηται τῷ Παπίᾳ περὶ τοῦ Μάρκου· περὶ δὲ τοῦ Ματθαῖου ταῦτ’ εἴρηται· Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο, ἡρμήνευσεν δ’ αὐτὰ ὡς ἧν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος. Various English translations published, standard reference translation by Philip Schaff at CCEL: "[C]oncerning Matthew he [Papias] writes as follows: 'So then(963) Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able.'(964)" Online version includes footnotes 963 and 964 by Schaff.
    Irenaeus of Lyons (died c. 202 CE) makes a similar comment, possibly also drawing on Papias, in his Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 1, "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect" (see Dwight Jeffrey Bingham (1998), Irenaeus' Use of Matthew's Gospel in Adversus Haereses, Peeters, p. 64 ff).
  21. Hagner 1986, p. 281.
  22. Ehrman 1999, p. 43.
  23. Vielhauer NTA1
  24. Edwards, James R. (2009). The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 18. ISBN   978-0802862341.
  25. Edward Williams B. Nicholson, ed. (1979). The Gospel according to the Hebrews, its fragments tr. and annotated, with a critical analysis of the evidence relating to it, by E. B. Nicholson. [With] Corrections and suppl. notes. p. 82.
  26. Saint Jerome (2000). Thomas P. Halton (ed.). On Illustrious Men (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 100). CUA Press. p. 10. ISBN   978-0813201009.
  27. Arland J. Hultgren; Steven A. Haggmark (1996). The Earliest Christian Heretics: Readings from Their Opponents. Fortress Press. p. 122. ISBN   978-0800629632.
  28. Edward Williams B. Nicholson, ed. (1979). The Gospel according to the Hebrews, its fragments tr. and annotated, with a critical analysis of the evidence relating to it, by E. B. Nicholson. [With] Corrections and suppl. notes. p. 26.
    • John Bovee Dods (1858). Gibson Smith (ed.). The Gospel of Jesus. G. Smith. p. iv. Gospel of the Apostles.
  29. Harrison, Everett Falconer (1964). Introduction to the New Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 152. ISBN   9780802847867.
  30. Edwards, James R. The Hebrew Gospel & the Development of the Synoptic Tradition , Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2009. ISBN   978-0802862341, pp 245–258
  31. 1 2 Watson E. Mills, Richard F. Wilson and Roger Aubrey Bullard, Mercer Commentary on the New Testament , Mercer University Press, ISBN   978-0865548640, 2003, p.942
  32. 1 2 Saint Epiphanius (Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus) (1987). Frank Williams (ed.). The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book I (sects 1–46). BRILL. p. 129. ISBN   9789004079267. What they call a Gospel according to Matthew, though it is not entirely complete, but is corrupt and mutilated — and they call this thing 'Hebrew'!
  33. Saint Jerome; Saint Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus (1999). On Illustrious Men (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 100). ISBN   9780813201009.
  34. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Lesser Festivals, Commemorations, and Occasions, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 57. Augsburg Fortress.
  35. Quran   3:49–53
  36. Noegel, Scott B.; Wheeler, Brandon M. (2003). Historical Dictionary of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press (Roman & Littlefield). p. 86. ISBN   978-0810843059. Muslim exegesis identifies the disciples of Jesus as Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, John, James, Bartholomew, and Simon

Bibliography

Commentaries

General works

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