Did the Apostles die as Martyrs?

Copied from the Christian website Amazing Bible Timeline

(Gary:  My comments will be interspersed in red)

When and how did the Twelve Apostles die?

Summary:  The Bible only mentions the deaths of two apostles, James who was put to death by Herod Agrippa I in 44 AD and Judas Iscariot who committed suicide shortly after the death of Christ.    The details of the deaths of three of the apostles (John, the Beloved, Bartholomew and Simon the Canaanite) are not known at all, either by tradition or early historians. The deaths of the other seven apostles are known by tradition or the writings of early Christian historians.  According to traditions and the Bible, eight of the Apostles died as Martyrs.  At least two of the Apostles, Peter and Andrew were crucified.

Simon Called Peter by Christ  died 33-34 years after the death of Christ.  According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary there is “satisfactory evidence that he and Paul were the founders of the church at Rome, and died in that city. The time and manner of the apostle’s martyrdom are less certain. (What about the purpose of his execution?  That fact that he was executed does not mean he necessarily died refusing to recant his eyewitness testimony of seeing a walking/talking dead man.) According to the early writers (who??), he died at or about the same time with Paul, and in the Neronian persecution, A.D. 67,68. All agree that he was crucified (Who is “all”?  Catholic historians?). Origen says that Peter felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master, and was therefore, at his own request, crucified with his head downward.”  (This statement does not say why Peter was crucified or how Origen knew these details.)
James the son of Zebedee:  He was put to death by Herod Agrippa I  shortly before the day of the Passover, in the year 44 or about 11 years after the death of Christ.  From Acts 12: 1-2.  This is the logical fallacy of “Begging the Question”.  Christians are using the source in dispute (the Bible) as the source of establishing facts.  But let’s assume this story is true, it still doesn’t tell us WHY James was killed.  He could have been executed simply for being a member of a new religious sect.
John: No death date given by early writers.  Death date is by conjecture only and is variously assigned as being between 89 AD to 120 AD  So for all we know, John, the alleged author of the Gospel of John, which most scholars believe was written in the 90’s or early second century, could have died long before this gospel was written.  We have no way of knowing.
Andrew:  No accurate death date given. A variety of traditions say he preached in Scythia, in Greece, in Asia Minor and Thrace.  He is reported to have been crucified at Patrae in Achaia.  (Conjecture, conjecture, conjecture)
Philip:  Again, the Bible does not say when he died nor do we have accurate information.  According to tradition he preached in Phrygia, and died at Hierapolis. Update: FoxNews July 27, 2011 Tomb of the Apostle Phillip is found in Hierapolis.  (Conjecture)
Bartholomew: There is no information concerning his death, not even by tradition
Matthew: He must have lived many years as an apostle, since he was the author of the Gospel of Matthew (unproven assumption) which was written at least twenty years after the death of Christ (only a handful of fundamentalist Christian NT scholars believe that the Gospel of Matthew was written within 20 years of Jesus’ death.  The majority of scholars would not date it any earlier than the early 70’s). There is reason to believe that he stayed for fifteen years at Jerusalem, after which he went as missionary to the Persians, Parthians and Medes. There is a legend that he died a martyr in Ethiopia.  (How about sharing your “reason” for believing this conjecture?)
Thomas: The earlier traditions, as believed in the fourth century (The FOURTH century??  You are establishing historical fact based on the statements of people living over 200 years after Jesus death??), say he preached in Parthia or Persia, and was finally buried at Edessa. The later traditions carry him farther east.   His martyrdom whether in Persia or India, is said to have been by a lance, and is commemorated by the Latin Church on December 21 the Greek Church on October 6, and by the Indians on July 1. (blatant conjecture)
James Alpheus : We know he lived at least five years after the death of Christ because of mentions in the Bible (Begging the Question).  According to tradition, James son of Alpheus was thrown down from the temple by the scribes and Pharisees; he was then stoned, and his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club. (Tradition is baseless conjecture.  Kind of like the tradition that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was sinless and a perpetual virgin.)
Simon the Canaanite – No information either in the Bible or by tradition.
Jude (Thaddeus): according to tradition Jude taught in Armenia, Syria and Persia where he was martyred.  Tradition tells us he was buried in Kara Kalisa in what is now Iran. (No evidence, only conjecture)
Judas Iscariot: Shortly after the death of Christ Judas killed himself. According to the Bible he hanged himself, (Matthew 27:5) at Aceldama, on the southern slope of the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, and in the act he fell down a precipice and was dashed into pieces.  (Begging the Question)
Begging the Question:  a logical fallacy

The fallacy of begging the question occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it. In other words, you assume without proof the stand/position, or a significant part of the stand, that is in question. Begging the question is also called arguing in a circle.

1. Erica: “How do you know that the bible is divinely inspired?” Pedro: “Because is says right in the third chapter of II Timothy that ‘all scripture is given by divine inspiration of God.'”

For our current discussion:

Gary:  How do you know that the Apostles were martyred?
Christian:  The Bible says so.
Gary:  How do you know that the Bible is accurate and true?
Christian:  Because God says it is accurate and true.
Gary:  How do you know that God says that the Bible is accurate and true?
Christian:  Because the Bible says so.


4 thoughts on “Did the Apostles die as Martyrs?

  1. Gary this blog is another good example of why you can't (and shouldn't) be taken seriously. What historical sources have you studied on the tradition of the Church? Have you read the Church Fathers? Have your read Eusebius?

    Btw, in virtue of referencing the Bible doesn't make an assertion “begging the question.” I don't think you have grasped that elementary informal fallacy.


  2. You are delusional, my friend. Sadly, you have been brainwashed to accept as unquestioned fact the superstitious gibberish of ancient, middle-eastern goat herders.

    I can only bring the light of truth to you, my friend. I cannot make you step into it. That is your choice.

    Keep reading. I hope that one day you will allow your brain to question.


  3. Gary opines, “I can only bring the light of truth to you, my friend. I cannot make you step into it. That is your choice. “

    Do you see yourself as a prophet?


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