PRAYER (traditional language) We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
PRAYER (contemporary language) We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Webmaster: Charles Wohlers
Last updated: 11 September 1999
APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST (21 SEP NT)
Whether the Apostle Matthew is also the Evangelist Matthew -- that is,
whether the Apostle Matthew wrote the Gospel that bears his name -- is
disputed. The Gospel itself does not say who wrote it, but the designation
"according to Matthew" is very old. In favor of his authorship it may
be noted that (1) while Mark and Luke give the fourth pair of Apostles
as "Matthew and Thomas," the Gospel of Matthew gives them as "Thomas and
Matthew"; and (2) while Luke 5:29 explicitly states, and Mark 2:15 suggests,
that Matthew gave a banquet for Jesus, Matthew 9:10 in describing the
same banquet does not indicate who the host was. Both of these variations
would be routine touches of modesty if Matthew was the author.
Perhaps the Gospel was written by some early Christian, not an apostle, whose name was Matthew, and about whom nothing else is known. Early Christian readers, hearing the Gospel ascribed to "Matthew," would naturally associate it with the Apostle of that name, and so the ascribing of the work to the Apostle Matthew becomes common at an early date, by a perfectly natural misunderstanding.
Papias of Hierapolis, writing in the late first or early second century, says that Matthew compiled the sayings (Logia) of Jesus in Hebrew. Now the material common to Matthew and Luke, but not to Mark, includes sayings of Jesus but almost no narrative. It has therefore been conjectured that there was once a document (usually called Q), now lost, that is basically a collection of speeches by Jesus, and that Matthew (the evangelist) and Luke, had access to it while Mark did not. It has been suggested that Matthew (the apostle) is the author of this document Q, which may well have been first written in Hebrew (or Aramaic).
The Scripture readings associated with the day bear the themes of Matthew as a Gospel-writer (hence readings that speak of the Scriptures), Matthew as an Apostle, and Matthew as a sinner called by God's grace.
by James Kiefer