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“Matia”: Matthew

Ossuary 80/502: “Matia” – “Matthew”

The third inscription, written in Hebrew, reads: “Matia.” This is the original form of the English “Matthew”, and it leads us to more questions than answers.

We know that Jesus was the son of Joseph, and also that Jesus had four brothers, James, Judah, Simon and Joseph: no Matthew. Furthermore, Matthew, one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles, is no relation to Jesus (his father is “Alphaeus”, and his brother is also one of the Twelve).

It is not known whether the writer of the Gospel of Matthew was one of Jesus’ Disciples or a member of his family.

What is known, however, from the genealogy provided in Luke (3:23), is that unlike Joseph, Mary the mother of Jesus had many “Matthews” in her family. Unlike, say, a “Daniel” or a “Jonah”, the appearance of a “Matthew” in this family’s tomb is consistent with the information provided in the Gospels.

As in all cases in the research for The Jesus Family Tomb, regarding New Testament historical and textual issues, where scholars disagree we’ve made choices to go with one accepted theory or another.

Many scholars believe that the genealogy of Joseph, who is considered to be the earthly father of Jesus, appears in Luke (3:23-28). Others believe that since this genealogy contradicts Joseph’s genealogy in Matthew (1:2–16), the genealogy in Luke must be the family tree of Mary, mother of Jesus. We concur with the latter, more widely accepted view.


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