Was the taxman named Matthew or Levi?

Matthew 9:9 and Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27

  1. Matthew (Matthew 9:9) - "And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He *said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose, and followed Him."
  2. Levi (Mark 2:14) - "And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office, and He *said to him, "Follow Me!" And he rose and followed Him."
  3. Levi (Luke 5:27) - "And after that He went out, and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi, sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me."

The answer is very simple. Both are true because Matthew and Levi are the same person. Matthew is the Greek name and Levi was the Hebrew name. As a tax collector, Matthew worked for Greek-speaking Romans. He gathered taxes from Hebrew-speaking Jews. We see, as an example, Peter also being called Simon (Matt. 16:16).


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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.