Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Matthew

Matthew is an English name with a Hebrew origin, from the Hebrew Mattathyah (מַתִּתְיָהוּ) meaning “gift of Yahweh”. Matthew’s popularity as a given name is owing to the Christian New Testament wherein Matthew is one of the four evangelists and the author of the first gospel (probably written in the 50s or 60s A.D.). Matthew’s gospel focuses on presenting Jesus as Israel’s messiah. It recognizes the teachings of the Hebrew Bible and demonstrates that the teachings of Jesus are consistent with the Jewish message. As with the Old Testament, the gospel of Matthew is peppered with prophesies and presents Jesus as a modern-day Moses. Matthew also tells us that Jesus is descended from Abraham through David (with 42 generations separating them). We are introduced to Matthew as a tax-collector-turned-Jesus-follower (Matthew 9:9); later Jesus named Matthew as one of his chosen 12 disciples, giving all of them “authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (Matthew 10:1). Names of the four evangelists and 12 disciples have become some of the most widespread, enduring and commonly used names ever in the history of Western culture: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Andrew, James, Philip, Thomas, Simon, Thaddeus/Jude and sometimes Bartholomew (but not so much Judas Iscariot for obvious reasons). As a result, we also find several variations of these names rendered in different languages. In the case of Matthew we get Matthew (English), Matthias (Biblical Greek/Latin), Mathieu (French), Matthäus (German), Makaio (Hawaiian), Matteo (Italian), Mateo (Spanish) and Mathias (Scandinavian). Among English speakers, Matthew has enjoyed widespread usage since the 12th century. It was the Norman-French who introduced this name to the Anglo-Saxons after the Conquest of 1066. Still a Top 50 baby boy’s name in England, Matthew is most popular in Northern Ireland (where it’s ranked in third place). It’s a Top 20 favorit in the United States and Canada, but also ranks quite high in Scotland, Ireland and Australia.

All About the Baby Name – Matthew

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME MATTHEW

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME MATTHEW

Matthew has always been a favorite across the English-speaking world, and the United States is no exception. The name has remained on the most popular boy names chart in America for well over a century, and it has climbed considerably in popularity since the 1960's when it entered the top 50 names. Since the early 1970's, Matthew has consistently hovered around the Top 10 (ranked #12 in 2012). While Matthew has been commonly used as a given name for hundreds of years, there is nothing that feels "dated" about this name. It goes well with most sibling names, and it has built-in flexibility in terms of shortened versions that make is sound less formal: Matt, Matty.

Quick Facts

ON MATTHEW

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

15

PRONUNCIATION:

MATH-yoo

SIMPLE MEANING:

Gift of God

Characteristics

OF MATTHEW

Multi-talented

Intuitive

Oneness

Idealistic

Philanthropy

Independent

Perfection

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Matthew

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME MATTHEW

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Matthew

Popular Songs

ON MATTHEW

Matthew
a song by John Denver

St. Matthew
A song by The Monkees

Matthew & Son
a song by Cat Stevens

Matthew & Son (Cat Stevens)
This is a Cat Stevens song about a father and son working together.

Matthew (John Denver)
This is a beautiful song John Denver wrote about his uncle named Matthew.

St. Matthew (The Monkees)
A song about a girl who calls herself "St. Matthew" when she's on the run.

Famous People

NAMED MATTHEW

Matthew Broderick (actor)
Matthew McConaughey (actor)
Matthew Perry (actor)
Matthew Broderick (actor)
Matthew McConaughey (actor)
Matthew Perry (actor)
Matthew Broderick (actor)
Matthew McConaughey (actor)
Matthew Perry (actor)

Children of Famous People

NAMED MATTHEW

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Matthew

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME MATTHEW

St. Matthew is best known as one of Jesus' 12 Apostles and the author of the New Testament's first gospel. Matthew lived in the first century in Galilee and was a tax collector during the Roman occupation. Due to vast corruption, tax collectors of the time were often considered sinners. “As Jesus…saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9) Later, when questioned by the Pharisees, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus says “I came not to call on the righteous, but sinners” (9:14). As a disciple, Matthew followed Christ, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension. He remained in Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. For 15 years, he preached the Gospel in Hebrew to the Jewish community in Judea and his ministry spread to the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Persians, and Parthians. Saint Matthew is the patron saint of Bankers, Tax collectors and Accountants.

St. Matthew is best known as one of Jesus' 12 Apostles and the author of the New Testament's first gospel. Matthew lived in the first century in Galilee and was a tax collector during the Roman occupation. Due to vast corruption, tax collectors of the time were often considered sinners. “As Jesus…saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9) Later, when questioned by the Pharisees, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus says “I came not to call on the righteous, but sinners” (9:14). As a disciple, Matthew followed Christ, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension. He remained in Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. For 15 years, he preached the Gospel in Hebrew to the Jewish community in Judea and his ministry spread to the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Persians, and Parthians. Saint Matthew is the patron saint of Bankers, Tax collectors and Accountants.

St. Matthew is best known as one of Jesus' 12 Apostles and the author of the New Testament's first gospel. Matthew lived in the first century in Galilee and was a tax collector during the Roman occupation. Due to vast corruption, tax collectors of the time were often considered sinners. “As Jesus…saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.” (Matthew 9:9) Later, when questioned by the Pharisees, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus says “I came not to call on the righteous, but sinners” (9:14). As a disciple, Matthew followed Christ, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension. He remained in Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. For 15 years, he preached the Gospel in Hebrew to the Jewish community in Judea and his ministry spread to the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Persians, and Parthians. Saint Matthew is the patron saint of Bankers, Tax collectors and Accountants.