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Matthias

Meaning: gift of God

This is the name of a male follower of Jesus Christ mentioned only in Acts 1:23 and 26.

Matthias was one of the men who accompanied the original apostles “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us” (Acts 1:21 NASB), and he was an eye-witness of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:22).

Judas Iscariot, one of “the twelve,” fell by betraying Jesus, and Matthias was his replacement, first chosen by the others as one of the two best men for the job—and then chosen as the replacement apostle through prayer and by casting of lots (Acts 1:21-26). Unlike the other apostles, Matthias was not clearly and specifcally named an apostle by Christ, himself. He was chosen after Christ’s ascension and prior to the Holy Spirit’s coming upon the early Church at Pentecost.

Matthias is not included in the lists of apostles provided in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14).

The other man considered at this time for apostleship was “Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus)” (Acts 1:23 NASB).

Scripture tells us nothing else about Matthias. There are various contradictory traditions about his ministry and death, and a false “Gospel of Matthias” was written. According to Greek early church historian Eusebius of Caesarea Palestinae, it was written by heretics. It was dismissed by the early church fathers, considered Apocrypha, and is not part of Holy Scripture.