St. Matthew

  • Amarens Roman - Faculty of Medicine
  • Tammo Severin - Faculty of Behavioral and social sciences
  • Peter Vermazeren - Faculty of Law

The Saint Matthew Cycle The Contarelli Chapel Caravaggio The Counter Reformation
Clasical depiction of St. Matthew

Matthew was born in Palestine and also known as Levi. He lived in Capernaum where he was a publican, a collector of taxes. As a Jew he demanded tax money from his own people for the Roman occupiers. Publicans were not highly regarded in the Gospel, they were usually perceived as sinners in that time. Partly because most of them held a part of the money they collected for themselves.[1]

Despite of this, Jesus chose him and said to him: "Come, follow me" when he saw him sitting at his table next to the tollbooth. And Matthew followed Him and became one of the twelve Apostles. According to old tales he wrote the first Gospel in the year 65 after Christ. In the Gospel, St Matthew wants to convince that Jesus Christ is the Messiah that is promised in the Old Testament. Moreover he wanted to convince his people by the coming of Jesus the Old Testament has not become irrelevant, but has gain his meaning and purpose.

About his later life are only theories, but nothing definite is known. There is a theory that he went to Ethiopia to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, but other traditions mention Persia.


  1. "Mijn Wereldbijbel. Het evangelie volgens Mattheus" p. 3-47

Extra background material

  1. "Sint Mattheus"
  2. "Saint Matthew"