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Bible Odyssey on Levi/Matthew the Tax Collector

In light of my forthcoming book and SBL presentation on the traditions about the Apostle Matthew as a tax collector and an evangelist, I want to mention a recent post on SBL’s website Bible Odyssey by Katelyn Schnoor and John Van Maaren on “Matthew (Disciple).” It notes that either “[t]he writer of the Gospel of Matthew might have been claiming that Matthew and Levi were the same historical person, or the author might have conflated two different persons (whether intentionally or by mistake).” I side with the latter view and offer my reasons for why this was intentionally done. It also has a helpful discussion of the names Levi and Matthew and an overview of the portrayal of tax collectors in Matthew’s Gospel.

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