Saturday, 26 August 2017

Matthew and Levi

WHY MATTHEW IS (probably) LEVI

#matthew #levi

While some scholars argue that Matthew is NOT Levi others do. Why?

The gospel of Matthew calls the tax collector commanded by Jesus to follow me Matthew but the gospels of Mark and Luke call him Levi.

There's a simple explanation. Matthai or Maththai was easier for Greek speakers to pronounce than Levi. If you have a Greek New Testament you'll see in the textual notes at the bottom of page that while the only difference in various early manuscripts in how Matthew is written in Greek is whether it has a tth or thth in the middle word.

Whereas LEVI is written as Leui Leuei Leuin Leuis and Leuee in various manuscripts.

WHY? Hebrew and Aramaic had a sound scholars call Waw or Vau pronounced W or U or V.

KOINE GREEK didn't have that sound.

Mark and Luke were probably trying to show they knew some "proper" Hebrew whereas Matthew ...well if matthew comes from a phrase meaning gift of god/yahu perhaps Matthew was his name at work or he was known by both names but preferred Matthew? The actual form seems to have been Mattai but there was another similar name Mattathias. The Greek text renders it as Maththaion.
Latin changed it to Mattheus and

This could be pronounced by Greek and Aramaic speakers but Levi?

A Greek or Latin speakerwould normally use ou to represent w or v in other languages.

Spelling it as Leui is Luke trying to get closer to the actual Hebrew!

More on the Story of Matthew Levi son of Alphaeus next week.