(flourished 1st century AD, Palestine; Western feast day September 21, Eastern feast day November 16) One of the Twelve Apostles, traditional author of the first Gospel. According to the Gospels, he was a tax collector known as Levi when Jesus called him to be a disciple. Other information about him is scarce. The Gospel of Matthew is directed at a Jewish-Christian audience in a Jewish environment and may have been written originally in Hebrew, but it is now doubted that the apostle Matthew was its author. Tradition holds that Matthew conducted his ministry in Judaea, after which he served as a missionary to Ethiopia and Persia. Legend differs as to whether he died a martyr's death.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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