Matthias in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
ma-thi'-as (Matthias, or Maththias; Mattithyah, "given of
Yah"): Matthias was the one upon whom the lot fell when he,
along with Joseph Barsabbas, was put forward to fill up the
place in the apostleship left vacant by Judas Iscariot (Acts
1:15-26). This election was held at Jerusalem, and the
meeting was presided over by Peter. The conditions demanded
of the candidates were that they should "have companied with
us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out
among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day
that he was received up from us," and that the one chosen
should "become a witness with us of his resurrection" (Acts
1:21,22). The mode of procedure was by lot, and with prayer
was the election made (compare Acts 1:24).
Hilgenfeld identifies Matthias with Nathanael (compare
NATHANAEL). He was traditionally the author of the "Gospel
of Matthias," a heretical work referred to by Origen (Hom.
on Lk, i), by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25, 6)
and by Hieronymus (Proem in Matth.). No trace of it is left.
The Gnostic Basilides (circa 133 AD) and his son Isidor
claimed to ground their doctrine in the "Gospel of
Basilides" on the teaching Matthias received directly from
the Saviour (Hippol., vii.20) (compare Hennecke,
Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 167). Various parts of the
apocryphal "Contendings of the Apostles" deal with the
imprisonment and blinding of Matthias by the Ethiopian
cannibals, and his rescue by Andrew (compare Budge,
Contendings of the Apostles, II, 163, 164, 267-88; see also
ANDREW). According to the Martyrdom of Matthias (Budge, II,
289-94) he was sent to Damascus, and died at Phalaeon, a
city of Judea. Other sources mention Jerusalem as the place
of Matthias' ministry and burial.
C. M. Kerr