What are some facts about the life of Saint Matthew?


Quick Answer

St. Matthew is most often referred to as a tax collector in the Bible. Following his acceptance of Jesus Christ, he became an apostle and dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel.

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Full Answer

Matthew helped Herod Antipas to collect taxes in the territory of Galilee. His tax office was in Capernaum, a town on the Sea of Galilee's coast. Matthew was probably fluent in Aramaic and Greek as a result of the nature of his profession. At some point in Jesus Christ's early ministry, Jesus invited Matthew to become a disciple. Matthew accepted the invitation and abandoned his job.

Shortly after becoming a disciple, Matthew hosted a feast for Jesus at his home. However, the unpopular reputation of tax collectors led some religious leaders to criticize how Jesus chose his acquaintances. Following this account, the Bible ceases to mention Matthew as an individual. However, he probably witnessed Jesus' resurrection and ascension with the other apostles. Matthew was also among the 120 followers of Christ who received the holy spirit during the Pentecost festival following Jesus' ascension.

Matthew is credited with writing the first Gospel account, most likely before 70 A.D. Because his original book was most likely written in Hebrew, it is believed that Matthew preached in Judea for a long time. Several locations have been suggested for Matthew's later destinations, including Ethiopia and Persia. The manner of Matthew's death is also uncertain, although Catholic tradition states that he suffered martyrdom.

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