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“Matthew” as a Learning Disciple

Mark Kiley’s article “Why ‘Matthew’ in Matt 9:9-13” Biblica 65.3 (1984): 347-351 offers one of the more intriguing theories for why the name “Levi” was changed to “Matthew.” Kiley notices two changes that that passage makes to the Gospel of Mark as its source. First, there is the substitution of Matthew (Maththaios) for Levi. Second, when the evangelist defends Jesus’s practice of fellowship with tax collectors and sinners by inserting a quotation from Hosea 6:6 on the priority of mercy over sacrifice, Jesus prefaces the quote by instructing his listeners to “go and learn” (poreuthentes de methete). The act of learning should be what characterizes the life of a “disciple” (mathētēs). Kiley’s theory is that the assonance between the Greek words for Matthew and disciple are intentional and that Matthew typifies the ideal of “learning discipleship.” Do you think this article explains the two redactional additions in Matthew 9:9-13?

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