Bible Question:

Could you help me to identify Matthew? I find different identifications among the three Gospels: Mt 10:3 = “Matthew the tax collector” Mk 3:18 and Luke 6:15 = “Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus” Mk 2:14 = “He saw Levi, son of Alphaeus”

Bible Answer:

The New Testament refers to Matthew, the apostle, in eight places (Matthew 9:9-10; Mark 10:3; 2:14; 3:18; Luke 5:27; 6:15 and Acts 1:13). The following table gives us different descriptions of Matthew,

Matt 9:9He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office
Mark 2:14He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office
Luke 5:27He went out, and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi, sitting in the tax office

Who was Matthew? He was a tax-collector and a son of Alphaeus. Matthew had two names – his second name was Levi. It was not unusual in those days to have two names.

Matthew had a brother whose name was James, and he was also an apostle (Matthew 10:3). Usually, James is referred to as a son of Alphaeus because there were two apostles named James (Matthew 10:2-3). History says that both Matthew and James were tax-collectors, as well as their father.


Matthew’s name means “gift of Yahweh.” He was a Jewish tax collector whom Jesus loved and cherished. He had the joy of serving Jesus and enjoyed the privilege of being used by Him.