Problem: Was the tax collector named Matthew or Levi?
Solution: While all three synoptic gospels describe Jesus calling a tax collector to come and follow him, they seem to disagree on the name, offering both Matthew and Levi. Is this a contradiction? Let’s take a look.
Matthew: Matthew 9:9, “And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’ And he rose, and followed Him.”
Levi: Mark 2:14, “And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’ And he rose and followed Him.”
Levi: Luke 5:27, “And after that He went out, and noticed a tax-gatherer named Levi, sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’“
The answer is very simple. Both are true because Matthew and Levi are two names for the same person. Matthew is the Greek name and Levi was the Hebrew name. As a tax collector, Matthew worked for Greek-speaking Romans. He gathered taxes from Hebrew-speaking Jews. We see, as an example, Peter also being called Simon (Matt. 16:16).