One of the disciples of Jesus, who was originally a tax collector. Also, the Gospel of Matthew, one of the four Gospels of Christ, describing the life of Jesus, consisting of 28 chapters.

Chapter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Previous Book: Malachi | Next book: Mark

King James Bible

Although Kool Keith jumped to a major label for 1999's Black Elvis/Lost in Space, it didn't mean he would stop releasing records on his own Funky Ass label. When Matthew came out in July of 2000, it came as a bit of a surprise. After all, Keith had abandoned his insane rhymes and futuristic production for an almost run-of-the-mill rap record. It may seem uninspired, but repeated listens reveal this back-to-the-basics album to be one of Keith's strongest yet.

"Matthew" is Kool Keith Thornton's middle name, and the album artwork contains his baby pictures. If you think this is a signal that Kool Keith is cleaning up his raps, you're dead wrong. A better name for this album would be "Fuck You", as each track plays like a massive indictment of the record industry and hip-hop culture in general. The amount of vitriol packed into Matthew's 50 minutes is amazing, and compunded by the fact that Keith is the kind of guy who names names. Keith waxes poetic about fake booking agents, label politics, Eminem, Korn, N-Sync, murder, big money, and a million other all-too-familar subjects. The final verdict comes at the end of the album. After accusing other rappers of doing nothing more than smoking weed and playing Playstation, he growls "I ain't no kid, I'm a grown-ass fuckin' man."

The bonus track, "Test Press", has been floating around for a few years. A true story about label problems encountered while recording Black Elvis, it powerfully packs all of Matthew's complaints into one tune.

Kool Keith

  1. F-U M.F.
  2. 27 Shots
  3. Errand Boy
  4. Operation Extortion
  5. Baddest M.C.
  6. Extravagant Traveler
  7. Recoupment
  8. I Don't Believe You
  9. Lived in the Projects
  10. Keith N Bumpy
  11. The Set Up
  12. Shoes N Suits
  13. Diamonds
  14. Sweet Unique Pete
  15. Do You Masturbate?
  16. Back Stage Passes
  17. Mad Man Departure / Test Press

A common name meaning "Gift of God" or "From God Given", depending on who you ask. It began its popularity with the Jews soon after the Exile.

Matthew was actually born with the name Levi and was the son of Alphaeus. His profession before his discipling of Christ was a publican (a fancy name for tax collector) in the city of Capernaum.

Levi changed his name to 'Matthew' after one occasion when Jesus came up from the side of the lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew(Levi) was seated, and said to him, "Follow me." The Gospels say that Matthew arose and did follow him, and became his disciple (Matthew 9:9), and he changed his name to that which we know him by today, possibly in grateful memory of his call.

The evening of same day on which Jesus called him he held a "great feast", a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his disciples, and probably many of old associates. Later, he was selected as one of the Jesus' twelve apostles.

His name doesn't occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the names of the apostles. The last notice of his name is in Acts 1:13. The time, place and manner of his death are unknown.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
Book: Matthew
Chapters: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 ·

Matthew, surnamed Levi, before his Conversion was a Publican,
or tax-gatherer under the Romans at Capernaum. He is generally
allowed to have written his Gospel before any other of the
evangelists. The contents of this Gospel, and the evidence of
ancient writers, show that it was written primarily for the use
of the Jewish nation. The fulfilment of Prophecy was regarded By
the Jews as strong evidence, therefore this is especially dwelt
upon By St. Matthew. Here are particularly selected such parts
of our Saviour's history and discourses as were best suited to
awaken the Jewish nation to a sense of their sins; to remove
their erroneous expectations of an earthly kingdom; to abate
their pride and self-conceit; to teach them the spiritual nature
and extent of the Gospel; and to prepare them for the admission
of the Gentiles into the Church.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

"gift of God"

All four New Testament lists of the 12 apostles (Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13) include the name Matthew. His call is described in the Gospel of Matthew: "Jesus... saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, 'Follow me.' And he rose and followed him" (Matthew 9:9). This same story appears in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, but the tax collector is called "Levi the son of Alphaeus" (Mark 2:14) or simply "Levi" (Luke 5:27). consequently, most scholars assume that Matthew and Levi were the same person and suggest that Jesus may have renamed Levi, just as he had given Simon the new name Peter. If so, Matthew may also have been a brother of James the son of Alphaeus, who was also one of the 12 apostles - though nowhere in the Scriptures are the two identified as brothers.

As a tax collector, Matthew could have been one of the local inhabitants who bid for the office, agreeing to pay Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, a certain sum in advance; any money collected over that amount went into his own pocket. His tax office would have been located at the border to collect tolls on goods being brought from one district to another. Understandably, tax collectors were widely despised, not only because they at least indirectly served the oppressors of the Jews, the Romans, but also because they made a profit by adding their own charges to the established levies. They were classified as unclean individuals with whom pious Jews could not associate. When Jesus ate at Matthew's home in a company of "tax collectors and sinners," he scandalized the Pharisees. Yet to Jesus, this action was a symbol that his kingdom included all people no matter how the world viewed them, "for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:10, 13).

By a tradition recorded in the second century, the apostle Matthew was the author of the Gospel that now bears his name. About the actual writer of the first Gospel, whether Matthew or not, we know very little. He was probably a Jewish Christian with some rabbinic training who evidently lived in Antioch of Syria. His narrative emphasizes Jesus as one who taught with such authority that his listeners were astounded. Although Jesus was increasingly in conflict with the Pharisees over his interpretation of the Law, he nevertheless affirmed that he had come not "to abolish the law and the prophets... but to fulfil them" (Matthew 5:17). This emphasis seems well tailored for Matthew's presumed audience, a group of Jewish Christians who were involved in tense debate with members of the local synagogue and who needed an affirmation of their new identity as a people of God separate from the Jews and with a mission to all nations.

Other than his calling, there are no independent stories about Matthew in the New Testament. According to tradition, he later preached as far afield as Ethiopia, Persia, and Macedonia and died a martyr.

Matthew is a band that definitely does not receive the credit that it is due, but they are slowly shifting from the agressive Chicago underground scene to the national one. Their first full-length album, Everybody Down, was catapulted into local stardom by the radio-friendly single of the same name.

To write a full but succinct biography of the band, the beggining must be told, and the band "began" when Brian McSweeney and friend Matt Sumpter united their musical talent in their native Huntington, West Virginia. The friendship survived past their teens, as good friendships should, and both McSweeney and Sumpter found themselves in Chicago looking for a bandmate. They found him in James Scott.

In mid-1998, vocalist/guitarist Brian McSweeney, bassist James Scott, and drummer Matt Sumpter were wandering around Chicago clubs as the pre-Matthew band Lackluster. Brian then decided, as many singer/songwriters do, to go off to "pursue other projects". After a year of writing and pondering, Brian decided to go back to Chicago and meet up with his former Lackluster band mates and get it together. Thus, in 1999 (with the addition of guitarist Jason Stipe), Matthew left the womb of creation and re-entered the Chicago club scene.

The band then drove around the mid-west, touring like a true sans-album, dedicated group. They achieved moderate success but still had to conquer the world of record labels(and airwaves). Finally, amidst the rain and wind of a Chicago April, Matthew signed their album to the well known Rykodisc(The Flaming Lips, They Might be Giants, etc...). As soon as the album hit the streets of Chicago the city embraced the band's first single, "Everybody Down", and welcomed its radio network.

Now, almost a year after their first album, the band tours and stands strong even though bassist James Scott has unfortunately left the band, in search of... something, and was replaced by Tennessee native Adrian Walther.

"Everybody Down" 2002/Rykodisc

1. Everybody Down (McSweeney/Scott/Sumpter) - 3:36
2. Open Wide (McSweeney/Sumpter) - 3:45
3. In Your Car (McSweeney/Sipe) - 3:57
4. This Time (McSweeney/Sipe/Sumpter) - 5:08
5. Never (McSweeney/Sumpter) - 4:26
6. In the Wonder (McSweeney/Sipe) - 4:22
7. Streams (McSweeney/Sumpter) - 3:22
8. The Darkest Night (Matthew) - 4:16
9. Where Did You Go (McSweeney/Sipe) - 5:30
10. Breathing (Matthew) - 4:31
11. You Thought (McSweeney) - 3:53
12. Overboard (McSweeney) - 6:53

She sits reclining in disbelief with fortune wheel distractions and the boy's picture on two of four walls. It's been ten episodes since the funeral. She hears him say "Mommie" at least once an hour in her mind. Sometimes twice. At seventeen he learned the truth. About cars.

An honest woman with credit card debt twice her family's annual income. A husband who travels often and loves. His work.

She worked for me at one time. Not too hard.

The boy came to work with her some days when school was out of session. He would sit there at the empty desk and do nothing for hours. It hurt me to watch them both. She, doing nothing, and teaching him the same trick. It's an old tried and true but helpless trick. Most who learn it will never find the salvation of pure nothing. They only find the blankness of wiped time.

One afternoon I was on my way to the driving range. I asked her if Matthew would like to come along. He feigned disinterest but I knew anything would be better than this imprinting of lonely waste. I talked both of them into it and he and I drove to the range. I had to make all the talk. He was thirteen and not so much shy as he was bored to death and afraid of what might have to come along one day to cure it.

He wasn't very good at the eye-hand coordination required for golf. I tried to give him some tips but he waved them off and said it was a silly game.

Back at the office, his mom was eager to hear how it went. Her son, out with the boss, man and boy. We made up stories of fun.

Last Sunday I open the obituaries and see his picture. He is almost exactly the same age as my daughter and he will be laid to rest on Monday. My mind spins and I realize I can not only not attend this funeral but I can not even call his mother. Not now. Not for a while.

We lose a pet and we grieve for a few days. Then we go get another. We lose a child and the world falls in like empty heavy tepid lava on our heads and fills our mouths and ears and noses with worms our eyes can see up close. Moving in slowly at first, but the entropy is relentless. "What would have happened if…"s and "I should have known…."s course through the mother's brain like overburdened coolant in an engine running hot on guilt and remorse.

I try to escape it, but when I wake up Monday morning and turn on the radio, the first thing I hear on the local news is the mention of his death. Because he was not only the quarterback of his high school football team, but he was also on the basketball team.

And the golf team.

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