As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9

Did Matthew the Tax Collector author the Gospel?

If not, did someone author the Gospel under Matthew the Tax Collector's name?

Or was the author an entirely different man named Matthew?


The gospel now known as Matthew's Gospel was originally anonymous. According to Eusebius, writing in the fourth century, Papias attributed a gospel to Matthew early in the second century, but some scholars are uncertain whether the gospel of which Papias spoke was the same gospel as is now widely attributed to Matthew.

As Matthew was a disciple of Jesus, we can at least determine whether our gospel was written by an apostle by establishing whether it shows signs of having been written by an eyewitness to the events portrayed. The late second century Church Fathers not only decided that Matthew's Gospel was really written by Matthew himself, but that it was written in the Hebrew language, which would help establish apostolic authorship.

Modern scholars say that the gospel was definitely written in the Greek language, and that it could not have been written by an eyewitness to the events portrayed. Whenever quoting or alluding to the Old Testament, the gospel uses the Septuagint (LXX) and not the Hebrew text. When a Greek version is laid in parallel with Mark's Gospel and Luke's Gospel, it soon becomes apparent that both Matthew and Luke were substantially based on Mark, with Matthew copying some ninety per cent of Mark, often using exactly the same words in the Greek language. Uta Ranke-Heinemann says in Putting Away Childish Things, page 218, it is incomprehensible that an eyewitness (the Apostle Matthew) would choose to depend so radically on a non-eyewitness (the author of Mark). She adds that the real author of Matthew is unknown.

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    How do we know Mark didn't copy from Matthew? Dec 28 '14 at 20:39
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    @GregoryMagarshak There are many linguistic clues to the direction of copying, too many to list here. One, pointed out by John Dominic Crossan, is the direction of flow of 'Markan intercalations'. The device does not move from either Matthew or Luke into Mark but vice versa. Of Mark’s 9, Matthew retains Mark’s pattern 5 times, Luke 4 times. "It is probably fair to say that both Matthew and Luke consider it a rather strange phenomenon and often eliminate it quite ruthlessly." Matthean priority was the view of the early Church Fathers, but no serious scholar of modern times supports this view. Dec 28 '14 at 21:38
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    I've read both Mark and Matthew. I feel free to question biblical Scholars today just as I feel free to question Church dogmas of yesterday. Both have seen revision and political compromise. So I'd say that Mark could be a "summary" of Matthew that omits all the fantastical stuff (virgin birth, multiple saints resurrecting) and seems to describe Jesus as having realized his mission right after receiving baptism. Or equally, Matthew could be considered further along in mythological development, but the consequence of the latter view is, as you said, Matthew isn't an eyewitness. That is major! Dec 28 '14 at 21:45
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    @GregoryMagarshak Scholars knew Matt was based on Mark (and 'Q') over 100 years ago, but it took the introduction of the internet for it to become public knowledge. Dec 29 '14 at 2:55
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    @GregoryMagarshak Because this is what most scholars believe: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/… Dec 29 '14 at 20:54

The book of Matthew is most assuredly authored by Levi the tax collector, who when he became one of Jesus disciples no longer was called Levi, but was referred to by Jesus by his middle name which was Matthew.

Matthew - A.D. 55 Humanly speaking, the Bible was written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. Isaiah was a prophet, Ezra was a priest, Matthew was a tax-collector, John was a fisherman, Paul was a tentmaker, Moses was a shepherd, Luke was a physician. gotquestions.org/Bible-authors.html#ixzz3NI4OkOCE Recommended Resources: The Quest Study Bible and Logos Bible Software.

The gospel according to Matthew was written by Matthew the tax collector. The gospel according to Mark was written by John-Mark. The gospel according to Luke was written by Luke the Physician. The gospel according to John was written by John the disciple that Jesus loved. o The Acts of the Apostles was written by Luke the Physician. blueletterbible.org/faq/authors.cfm

The human authors involved include approximately 40 writers of diverse backgrounds and locations over the course of 1,500 years. Isaiah was a prophet, Ezra was a priest, Matthew was a tax collector, John was a fisherman, Moses was a shepherd, and Luke was a physician. compellingtruth.org/Bible-authors.html#ixzz3NI9TBkBt –

It is not unusual for people to have their name changed when the begin the service of God. God changed Abram's name to Abraham, and his wife's name from Sarai to Sarah. And He changed Jacob's name to Israel.

Genesis 17:5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:15 Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

Genesis 32:28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."

When God planned to use someone in the Old testament for his purposes their names got changed sometimes by God himself and at other times by others such examples are:

Daniel 1:6 and 7 NKJV Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.


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