Fall 2013

Did the Apostles Really Die as Martyrs for their Faith?

By Sean McDowell

“Even though they were crucified, stoned, stabbed, dragged, skinned and burned, every last apostle of Jesus proclaimed his resurrection until his dying breath, refusing to recant under pressure from the authorities. Therefore, their testimony is trustworthy and the resurrection is true.”

If you have followed popular–level arguments for the resurrection (or ever heard a sermon on the apostles), you’ve likely heard this argument. Growing up I heard it regularly and found it quite convincing. After all, why would the apostles of Jesus have died for their faith if it weren’t true?

Yet the question was always in the back of my mind — how do we really know they died as martyrs? For the past couple years I have been researching this question as part of my doctoral dissertation. And what I have found is fascinating!

While we can have more confidence in the martyrdoms of apostles such as Peter, Paul and James the brother of John (and probably Thomas and Andrew), there is much less evidence for many of the others (such as Matthias and James, son of Alphaeus). This evidence is late and filled with legendary accretion. This may come as a disappointment to some, but for the sake of the resurrection argument, it is not critical that we demonstrate that all of them died as martyrs. What is critical is their willingness to suffer for their faith and the lack of a contrary story that any of them recanted.

Historian Michael Licona captures the key point in his book The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach: “After Jesus’ death, the disciples endured persecution, and a number of them experienced martyrdom. The strength of their conviction indicates that they were not just claiming Jesus had appeared to them after rising from the dead. They really believed it. They willingly endangered themselves by publicly proclaiming the risen Christ.”

Here are the key facts:

First, the apostles were eyewitnesses of the risen Jesus. When a replacement was chosen for Judas, one necessary criterion was that the person had seen the risen Lord (Acts 1:21–22). Paul and James the brother of Jesus were also eyewitnesses (1 Cor. 15:3–8). Their convictions were not based on secondhand testimony, but from the belief that they had seen the resurrected Christ with their own eyes. This makes the disciples’ willingness to die different from Muslim martyrs, who certainly sincerely believe in Islam, but base their belief on secondhand testimony.

Second, early Christians were persecuted for their faith. John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded (Matt. 14:1–11). Jesus was crucified. Stephen was stoned to death after his witness before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6–8). And Herod Agrippa killed James the brother of John (Acts 12:12), which led to the departure of the rest of the Twelve from Jerusalem. The first statewide persecution of Christians was under Nero (AD 64), as reported by Tacitus (Annals 15.44:2–5) and Suetonius (Nero 16.2). Although persecution was sporadic and local, from this point forward Christians could be arrested and killed for proclaiming the name of Jesus. And many of them were.

Third, the apostles were willing to suffer for their faith. This is certainly true of Paul, who recounts the suffering he endured, which included being whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, near starvation and in danger from various people and places (2 Cor. 6:4–9). Speaking for the apostles, after being threatened by the religious leaders, Peter and John say, “For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). The apostles are then thrown in prison, beaten for their faith, but they continued to preach and teach the gospel (Acts 5:17–42).

While the evidence of martyrdom is far better for some of the apostles than others, the evidence for Peter is particularly strong. The earliest evidence is found in John 21:18–19, which was written about 30 years after Peter’s death. Bart Ehrman, in his book Peter, Paul, & Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend, agrees that Peter is being told he will die as a martyr. Other evidence for Peter’s martyrdom can be found in early church fathers such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Dionysius of Corinth, Irenaeus, Tertullian and more. The early, consistent and unanimous testimony is that Peter died as a martyr.

This does not prove that the resurrection is true. But it shows the depth of the apostles’ convictions. They were not liars. They truly believed Jesus rose from the grave and they were willing to give their lives for it.


Sean McDowell (’98, M.A. ’03) is a popular author and speaker, and the newest faculty member in Biola’s M.A. program in Christian apologetics. Find him online at seanmcdowell.org.

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  • Jason from Massachusetts April 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    I am a father of three and a believer, and I'm seeking out apologetics information so I'm prepared to answer their questions. And they will ask. This article is very helpful. Thank you.

  • Diane June 12, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    I'm researching this topic to give evidence to my oldest son, who has adopted atheism, that some of the apostles were indeed martyred.

    I need solid evidence not just legends. Are there any writings outside of the church that supports this?

  • Bobby Brooks July 17, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    The apostles martyrdom is one of the most powerful evidences for what they witnessed. It has certainly impacted my belief in Jesus Christ. I will research what you have provided here, but will need to examine each source, rather than rely on legends.I wonder if anyone has developed a "toolbox" of sources and evidences to support the price paid by the apostles for what the believed? Thank you for the article.

  • Jason August 30, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Do you have any evidence aside from the bible? Unless you are a christian the bible is horrible evidence.

  • Jeff November 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Eusebius - Historia Ecclesiastica ( a chronological account of the development of Early Christianity)

    Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

    Mark died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

    Luke was hanged in Greece as a result of his preaching.

    John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He was later freed and returned Ephesus in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

    Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. He told his tormentors that he was unworthy to die the same way Jesus Christ had died.

    James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

    James, a leader of the church, was beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

    Bartholomew, also known as Nathanal, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed to our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia when he was believed to have been flayed to death by a whip. He may have also been crucified.

    Andrew was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: "I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it." He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

    Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the subcontinent.

    Jude, the brother of Jesus, was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

    Matthias, Matthias was chosen by the Apostles to replace Judas Iscariot, after the death of Judas in the Field of Blood. Information concerning the life and death of Matthias is vague and contradictory. One tradition maintains that Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem by the Jews, and then beheaded.

    Barnabas, one of the group of seventy disciples. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica.

    Phillip was crucified, according to the plaque in the church of the Holy Apostles.

  • JACOB THOMAS December 7, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    OUR LORD & JESUS CHRIST'S RESURRECTION'S ONE STRONG HISTORICAL EVIDENCE IS THE SUFFERING DEATH & THE MARTYRDOM OF HIS APOSTLES. BIBLE TEACHES THAT APOSTLE JAMES WAS BEHEADED BY HEROD. HISTORY SAYS PETER WAS CRUCIFIED UP-SIDE-DOWN TESTIFYING THE HOPEFUL RETURN OF JESUS WHO HAD RESURRECTED AND ASCENDED TO HEAVEN IN HIS SIGHT. JOHN THE APOSTLE WAS PUT ALIVE IN THE BOILING OIL AND AS NOTHING HAPPENED TO HIM, HE WAS SENT EXILE TO PATMOS, THE DEADLY ISLAND. LATER HE WAS SAVED FROM THERE ALSO AND HE DIED A NORMAL DEATH. ALL OTHER APOSTLES INCLUDING PAUL ENJOYED THE SUFFERING & MATRYDOM BECAUSE OF JESUS RESURRECTION AND IN THE HOPE OF HIS RETURN. EVEN THOUGH THESE ALL ARE HISTORICAL FACTS THE STRONGEST EVIDENCE MENTIONING IN THE BIBLE. BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD. EVEN WE ARE LIVING BECAUSE JESUS RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD AND ALSO WAITING FOR HIS RETURN. JESUS PROMISED THAT HE WILL COME BACK FOR ME. PRAISE THE LORD

  • Mike December 23, 2014 at 5:28 AM

    Jason, why would the Bible be considered horrible evidence? Historians accept documents based on much less scholarship than the Bible as truth; why do you single out and discount consistent, eyewitness accounts just because they're included in the Bible?

  • Babs March 3, 2015 at 1:31 AM

    Maybe because all the "eyewitnesses" were dead when the "eyewitness accounts" were documented

  • Brad Hetler April 15, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    I take it there are no unbiased historical sources?

  • ENB May 15, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    There were more ancient records found, similar to the Bible, yet translated directly to English. It is another Testament of Jesus Christ, it is called the Book of Mormon (because like the book of John, or Mark, or Matthew, Mormon was the name of the man who wrote it ( well he abridged a lot of ancient records who were witnesses of Christ.)

  • John July 28, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    This topic has interested me for some time. I have a couple things I have really been struggling with. One is the ONLY apolstle whose death is actually recorded in the bible is James. Peter's death is alluded to but not actually recorded. This a little problematic as we Christians are relying for part of our doctrine on sources other than the Bible, which can be fraught with lies, inaccuracies, etc, even if we think it supports what we believe. Second, the death of James is a good example that the suffering and martyrdom of the apostles may not have gone quite according to the typical "recant or die" script we normally assume happened. In Acts 12, all the Bible says is that King Herod arrested some christians then had James put to death. There was nowhere documented that James had an opportunity to recant, or that by doing so his life would have been spared. We as christians need to be careful using as "evidence" assumptions and non-biblical accounts of the early christian church.

  • RedPop4 October 19, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    There's also "The Jewish War" by Flavius Josephus. Josephus was a Roman citizen and not a Christian, He, nevertheless, was an eyewitness to the Jewish rebellion that culminated in the destruction of the Temple and the Diaspora of the Jews from Jerusalem. He objectively discusses the Christians, as well.

  • Kristen November 20, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    In response to what "John" said, how can we as Christians then know how the apostles were persecuted and killed if the Bible itself doesn't say and other accounts may not be credible? Is there even any evidence that the witnesses to Christ's resurrection were killed for that profession? Please answer me I'm a Christian but I'm plagued with so many questions and doubts...

  • David December 4, 2015 at 3:06 AM

    Kristen , I am an atheist. I was a Christian. I have done the research. Unfortunately christians either knowingly or unknowingly misrepresent the reliability of various sources.

    Here are a couple answers to your questions , if you would like further clarity you can email me at dbarnard1803@gmail.com and I will provide all the sources from where I draw my conclusions.

    1. Matthew mark luke and John never write matthew mark luke and John
    2. The Gospels were written by highly educated people many years after Jesus in a language non of Jesus followers could understand. The writer were probably christians whoever knew evidence suggests that they may have been in the employ of the Roman Empire to redact a story to quell the Jewish uprising in Judea by presenting them with the messiah they wanted who was a pasifist.
    3. Eusebius was written 300 years after Jesus . It's completely unreliable as a source of what happened to the disciples.
    4. No well know contempories of Jesus wrote about Jesus despite his well known fame from healing the sick and various miracles ( the only explanation here is that there was no fame aand there were no miracles).

  • David December 4, 2015 at 3:11 AM

    Kristen , I am an atheist. I was a Christian. I have done the research. Unfortunately christians either knowingly or unknowingly misrepresent the reliability of various sources.

    Here are a couple answers to your questions , if you would like further clarity you can email me at dbarnard1803@gmail.com and I will provide all the sources from where I draw my conclusions.

    1. Matthew mark luke and John never wrote matthew mark luke and John
    2. The Gospels were written by highly educated people many years after Jesus in a language none of Jesus followers could understand. The writers were probably christians and new evidence suggests that they may have been in the employ of the Roman Empire to redact a story to quell the Jewish uprising in Judea by presenting them with the messiah they wanted who was a pasifist.
    3. Eusebius was written 300 years after Jesus . It's completely unreliable as a source of what happened to the disciples.
    4. No well known contempories of Jesus wrote about Jesus despite his well known fame from healing the sick and various other miracles ( the only explanation here is that there was no fame and there were no miracles).

  • wiiliam December 8, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    Neither one of you has truly found Christ or been reborn. The bible is the living word of God and speaks for its self. Obey,submit,believe,put in practice Luke 10:27 and God will change your life. Your testimony will be the truth of Jesus Christ existence. May God take out your hearts of stone and replace it with one of flesh. Faith is the beginning to a new life and eternity with Christ.

  • Diteboho Sentoeli December 26, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    JESUS CHRIST IS GOD we are HIS Church surely as our fore brethren died as matyrs, we will also do the same because we believe only in HIM and ready to die for HIM in HIM.

  • Rob March 3, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Wiiliam, did you really just post THAT comment? Kristen is asking for help with finding the answer to a question that is troubling her and you tell her that her heart is made of stone. What outcome were you hoping for? I have never met you, but let me assure you that you are not qualified to judge her or to determine if she has been reborn.

    In this case the Bible does not speak for itself. The Bible only speaks about the death of one of these eyewitnesses, vaguely eludes to the future death of another, and does not speak on whether anyone did or did not recant their faith. You're comment was not helpful nor did it show the love of Christ.

    Also, while David's comment was annoying, mostly wrong, and also not helpful, we cannot judge his heart either. Please be careful and consider the effects of your comments and why you're posting them before you submit them.

  • Amy March 4, 2016 at 4:44 AM

    I agree with Rob. The bible calls us to lI've Him with ALL of our minds. I believe that is what Kristen is trying to do. I could never imagine God looking down on her saying "Oh you and your heart of stone." It seems more in His character to be glad that Kristen is using her God given brain to search for answers. Blind faith is not the only way. I was once in the same place as Kristen is. I found many answers... the book Case for Christ was very helpful but in the end, what really became "proof" to me was God showing up in a real and undeniable way in my life. Everyone comes to faith in different ways. Don't discount someone else's journey.

  • Tom March 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Now, I'm kinda curious about outside the Bible sources on disciples' martyrdom. It seems to me that from the article contemporary sources are Clement of Rome, who knew Peter, and Ignatius, who knew John. The others mentioned seem a little late in time to be of any sort of good witness, even born well after the fact. But, did Clement of Rome and Ignatius see firsthand or did they receive word from someone else? What did they report (if it's long, I think most of us would appreciate a summary instead)?
    As for throwing in early church fathers, I think it is important to note the dates they lived. Like someone references Eusebius claims on the disciples' deaths, but they seem to edit out that Eusebius was born way after their deaths. I don't know if leaving out Eusibius' time frame was intentional or just accidentally overlooked.

    Below is a digression and reference to a previous post:
    As for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John claims that they weren't written by them. True, they were anonymous, but it is also reported that early church fathers attest to them. But, I never heard or seen which early church fathers they are referencing that attest to the authenticity of the gospels.
    Then people say the disciples were illiterate and couldn't have written the gospels. But, it looks like the disciples, for the most part, didn't write these gospels. Matthew and Luke weren't disciples; they were a tax collector and a physician, respectively. Matthew and Luke may have been educated men who understood Aramaic and Greek. As for Mark, they say John Mark wrote for Peter; therefore, Peter didn't need to know Greek or how to write. But I wonder what was John Mark's educational background. So, educated men may have wrote Matthew, Mark, Luke.
    John is said to have been written around 90 A.D. It seems to me that is plenty of time for John to learn how to read and write Greek if we consider Jesus died around 30 - 33 A.D. But, John looks weird to me.
    John seems like a weird gospel to me if it was written by John because of the way John and Revelation are written (if John wrote Revelation). The gospel John seems to be written in the third person while Revelation seems to be written in the first person. At first I wondered if Greek didn't have a literary construct for the first person. But, Revelation seems to deny this if it too was written in Greek. (I'm not a scholar; so, I got this from English translated Bibles).

  • Tom March 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Lastly, I too always wondered if so many heard of Jesus healing and miracles why wasn't there a contemporary, outside the Bible, to write about Him? (Josephus was born after Jesus' death). Even a centurion sent his servant from afar to ask Jesus for help because he heard of Him. So if this centurion heard of Him, could not have others? Why is it not reported aside from the Bible? Surely, not everyone was illiterate. Surely, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. couldn't have wiped out every little bit of writing.
    Lots of questions. Answers would be nice. A faith based on facts and reality would be nice. Some can have blind faith. But to me blind faith seems a bit gullible (no disrespect) like that saying "If you believe that, I got a bridge I'd like to sell to you." However, if the Bible is true, Jesus does laud those who have not seen, yet believe.
    One last thing, all, please be honest with your statements saying what is known to the best of your knowledge. Some atheists and Christians purposefully skew the data and even plain out lie to support what they want to believe. If an atheist does it, I feel less surprised but more forgiving of them. But, when a Christian does it, then it's just downright appalling; even Paul or Peter has implied not to adopt the idea of "Come let us do evil so that good may come of it."

  • Jennifer March 27, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    I can and will look up information that you request about outside information. But Jesus performing miracles and raising from the dead, or the missing body have been reported by quite a few highly acclaimed historians that were alive during this time. I will have to look into the names, bit last year I got curoius and looked into it and there is evidence documented in many cuktures, even as far as China, where leaders, theologians, and scientists were curious and made mention of this Jesus person and the reported miracles, death and resurrection. It has been said, by sources I trust, though I do not know how to verify, that there is more first hand evidence thay Jesus existed than there is George Washington. So something to keep in mind and look into. Happy resurrection Day!!!

  • Tom March 30, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    Jennifer, be careful at what you look for. If you're a christian, you may want to start with looking at authors like Josh McDowell (Sean McDowell's father), Lee Strobel, Norman Geisler, Frank Turek, Lee Strobel, William Lane Craig. Others I have heard of are Gary Habermas, N.T. Wright, Bruce Metzger. Their books will reference other authors and thinkers as well. After all that, then and only then, you may want to look into the Bill Nye v Ken Ham debate and examine some of the scientific arguments Bill Nye makes against the Bible. Then, you have the lack of archaeology for Joseph, Moses, David, and Solomon. However,Tim Mahoney's video "Pattern of Evidence" does present some interesting things implying the existence of Joseph and Moses. Also, some claim Imhotep was Joseph. David and Solomon are lacking in spite of their claimed power and prestige; however, that time is known as a dark period - but, still nothing or a supposed forgery or two. Then, Kenneth Humphrey has a lot of material going over contradictions in the Bible. Bart Ehrman is a self-proclaimed agnostic with some interesting things to say too....So this claim of disciples dying for their faith is just one of a myriad things many argue against. Good luck in your research on finding names and outside information. Remember, this goes for anyone, you best know what you believe, why you believe it, and what they say about it or else you'll be an atheist before you know it. The church's do need apologetics more than they realize in this time.

  • Doug Ribot April 9, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Many unusual synchronicities in my life began when I first believed. Unbelievers also claim synchronicities however I found a pattern to them that showed me God loves me and was breaking me of being egocentric. He also showed me a pattern in the Bible there almost 2,000 years but never written about. Don't believe me but look at it for yourself

    THE BACKWARD WALK
    Forward Key Events

    1) The Garden of Eden — Adam and Eve were judged by the tree “of knowledge of good and evil”. Cherubims and a flaming sword (time?) which turned every way kept mankind from going back to eat of the tree of life.
    2) The Flood of Noah’s Ark — It rained 40 days. After a 40 day period a dove and raven were sent up from the ark. The rainbow shows that we will not be judged by water again.
    3) The Law and Israel — Israel was freed from Egypt and given the Law through Mose “Christ is the end of the law”

    The N.T. story of Jesus’ life mirrors, follows chronologically reversed, the above summarized OT events.

    Backward Key Events

    How They Relate To Forward Key Events
    3) The Law
    In the NT Jesus and his parents kept Torah law Before he was 2 they fled to Egypt to avoid death of their 1st born (Kept the law — then fled to Egypt)
    In the OT Israel fled from Egypt after the death of Egypt’s first born. Before 2 (may be before 1) years they were given the law at Sinai. (Fled Egypt — then given the law)
    “The Last Supper” was about Passover. The death of the 1st born is what the Passover supper is named for. The angel of death passed over the houses of Israel but killed the first born of the Egyptians. This story begins near the first Passover and ends near the last supper Passover.
    Continued --

  • Doug Ribot April 9, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    -- continued --
    2) The Flood
    In the OT It rained 40 days. A dove and raven were sent up from Noah’s Ark after another 40 day period. (Rain 40 days — Dove and Raven go up)
    In the NT Jesus was baptized by John. The spirit of God descended on Jesus like a dove. He went into the wilderness 40 days.
    The dove = the spirit God.
    The raven = the spirit of Elijah.
    The word translated “Raven” occurs 10 times in the Old Testament. I relate 3 of them to John through Elijah. Elijah was fed by ravens (1 Kings 17:6). Elijah was to turn the heart of the fathers to the children and visa versa (Malachi 4:6). The eye that mocks at his father and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out (Proverbs 30:17). Jesus said that If you care to believe it John is the Elijah to come (Matthew 11:14). Hence John’s baptism has something to do with a raven.

    [note 1 (scripture references outside the strict chronology of Moses to Adam):
    Matthew 4:4, 7 & 10 is paralleled in reverse by Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16 & 6:13

    Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Deuteronomy 8:3 Man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD …

    Matthew 4:7 You shall not tempt the LORD thy God.
    Deuteronomy 6:16 You shall not tempt the LORD thy God,

    Matthew 4:10 Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
    Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

    Note: The backward walk goes from before the giving the law of Moses in Exodus to the beginning of Genesis (Romans 5:14 “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses,” … ) and, I believe, into Revelations. The above further evidence is outside the thread of the Gospel in reverse from Exodus to Genesis. It’s in reverse but in Deuteronomy. I don’t know why yet but I wonder about it]

    1) The Garden of Eden
    Jesus went backward before the flood to the garden of Eden.

    [note 2 (this scripture reference is outside the strict chronology of Moses to Adam):
    It says in Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed to love the LORD your God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that you may live.
    We can be alive without a circumcised heart. In order to “live” one must eat of the tree of life which is in the garden of Eden.]

    to be continued

  • Doug Ribot April 9, 2016 at 5:12 PM

    continued --
    Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

    The angel of death that passed over the Israeli homes on the Jewish holiday of Passover is, I believe, the Cherubim and sword guarding Eden. I suspect the flaming sword going every way is also symbolic of time as you would have to go back in time to find Eden since it does not physically exist today to my knowledge. Einstein showed the faster something goes the slower time gets. It doesn’t matter what direction you go – “every way”. Jesus takes us to the Eden of God.

    The Last Supper
    The last supper of Jesus was the Passover supper. The angel of death passed over when it saw the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. (119 ministries disagrees but I don’t see how it could be otherwise)
    On Passover Jesus and his disciples revisit the original scene in Eden in reverse. Jesus is the 2nd/last Adam The disciples – the bride of Christ. Judas “One of you is a devil” (Jesus said of Judas)
    In the OT Eve gave to Adam to eat to forget our creator.
    In the NT Jesus gave to his disciples eat in remembrance of him.

    Temptation
    OT – Where were Adam and Eve before they ate? In a garden (Eden) being tempted.
    NT – Where were Christ and the disciples after they ate? In a garden (Gethsemane) during their time of temptation.
    note – Gethsemane was on or near the Mount of Olives. The olive tree to many is symbolic of the tree of life, “I’ll live” or O’ live” may be carryover to English “olive”.

    The Bride
    OT Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed before they ate of the tree.
    NT Messiah was crucified naked and despised the shame of being hung on a tree.
    Jesus went back before Eve was formed.
    OT Adam was put into a deep sleep. His side was opened. A helps meet was made for him from his side.
    NT Christ was put into a deep sleep, death. His side was opened. Water and blood came out. The bride of Christ is the witness on earth with the spirit, water and blood.

    The Alpha and Omega
    The Beginning Meets The End
    One must be born again. In Christ, our creator takes us to heavenly places but there was a battle in heaven. He takes us back to the beginning and where are we? At the end of the scripture. “Revelations” is the description of that battle. In the beginning of Genesis and at the end of Revelation we have a new creation. This is where the beginning meets the end.

    Copyright © Douglas Ribot 1986-2016 all rights reserved backwardwalk.com

    May not be copied without written permission from author (me) and must include all copyright info above and link backwardwalk.com

  • Tom April 13, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    You can't copyright the Bible, Doug. Besides, if you want to spread the Word, why care about a copyright infringement? Lastly, at least address proof of the disciples being martyred, like their supposed grave sites or attestation from early church fathers are truthful or something historical about the disciples like Sean McDowell uses in the article.
    If you don't know the history, archaeology, and science along with the Bible, fine. There are resources to learn from. But, using the Bible the way you have is only good for confirmation bias - that's not what Paul meant on fact checking. Take care, brother.

  • Tom April 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Maybe , in the 4th century, Eusebius (apparently, an early church father) did record what was said to have happened to the disciples in his "Historia Ecclesiastica.". But, there are accusations circulating that Eusebius promoted lying to further promote Christianity and church advancement. If that is true, then how deep do these lies run within the church, the Bible, and Christianity? Or, were the lies contained? That might put the accounts of the disciples being martyred for their faith even more into question unless sources instead of Eusebius are used.

    The main questions are: was Eusebius a liar who promoted lies for Christianity? Or, has modern slander and libel propagated unfairly against a dead man? Or, are the quotes of Eusebius' lies actually just quotes accidentally taken out of context thus vindicating an early church father?

    This is why Christians should not lie for the faith because it only complicates things and in actuality leads to more Atheism than Christians once a lie is uncovered. Hopefully, Eusebius can be vindicated and his account of the disciples in "Historia Ecclesiastica" shown as trustworthy as possible.

  • Stephen May 5, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    The Lord Jesus Christ reigns!

  • Rob Tentoy May 9, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. Ask lawyers about that.
    Back in 1912, Lawrence Beesley wrote and published a book about the sinking of the Titanic. He was a survivor of that disaster and so he was right there when it sank. The Titanic sank in April. His book was published in June. Beesley was both a scientist and a journalist meaning he (presumably) had training to be good at watching and recording events.
    And yet, he said in his book that the Titanic went down intact. It didn't break apart. He was wrong.
    And actually, there were other survivors that said it did break apart. Both sides had supporters and they argued about it for 70 years. The 1976 Clive Cussler novel "Raise the Titanic" sided with Beesley and had the entire ship raised from the bottom completely intact. Not until Ballard found the wreck in 1985 did we discover for certain it had, in fact, broken apart.
    Somebody saying something happened, even if they wrote it down, is effectively anecdotal evidence until something tangible that forensics can add to the testimony.
    We don't have any of that in regards to these stories.

  • Rob Tentoy May 9, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    "After all, why would the apostles of Jesus have died for their faith if it weren’t true?"

    One of the worst apologetics arguments. Replace "apostles of Jesus" with "followers of Mohammed/Allah" and you've just rendered your own faith false.

  • Tom May 10, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    I really liked your example of eyewitnesses to the Titanic and their different views of how the Titanic sank. However, their accounts differed on how it sank, but they all agree beyond any doubt that it sure sank.

    "After all, why would the apostles of Jesus have died for their faith if it weren’t true?"

    Actually, to be fair, they take the argument a little further. As Sean McDowell's article says, they all profess to seeing Jesus' resurrection. If the resurrection were not true and/or they made it up, then they allowed themselves to suffer and be killed knowing it was all lie. "Who dies for a lie like that?" they ask. Whereas, many of Muhammed's followers died believing it was the truth; or, the early ones like Muhammed might have died somewhat comfortably knowing it was a lie (my worthless two cents on this last bit).

    Anyways, "anecdotal evidence" I like that term, thanks for using that. Although, maybe just maybe, on some accounts eyewitness accounts are enough - the Titanic sank, we didn't need see the actual boat to trust eyewitness accounts of it. And, I don't think too many people back home thought they were all liars until the Titanic was surveyed at the bottom.

    But, my problem with the discples' deaths and Jesus' resurrection is the nature of the eyewitness accounts. Unbiased? Trustworthy? Verifiable from outside sources? Person of authority/reputation (would be nice)? Contemporary? Etc.
    Like Philo, He lived during Jesus' time and rumored to have visited Peter in Rome, yet Philo writes nothing of any of these things. That's why mythicists like to use him.

  • Tom May 11, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    Bart Ehrman, Kenneth Humphry, Matt Dillahunty, Sam Harris are some guys who go over the credibility of the Bible. I haven't noticed much on the credibility of the disciples' deaths, though. If you're a hard core Christian who knows little about the Bible and apologetics involved, I recommend you don't watch these guys because you're mental self-defense mechanisms will kick in to protect yourself - you may even find the evil kind of hatred in your heart to protect your world as you know it. For those very new to Christianity, just don't watch these guys, seriously.

    I just wanted to reiterate that the credibility of the disciples deaths' are questionable. As Rob says, tangible evidence would be nice and may even be all that is needed. But, with lack of that, then the eyewitnesses need to be extremely good. Unfortunately, some of the early church fathers integrity are questionable. And, Roman or other historians seemed to not take note of these disciples' deaths - like Paul appearing before high officials yet not one document such an interesting meeting.

  • ofstedahl July 17, 2016 at 10:59 AM

    If what you say is true - that people willing to die for their beliefs is evidence of the truth of those beliefs, then we might all want to take a look at Islam - more Muslims have died as martyrs for their faith n the last 20 years than died during the 1st hundred years of Christianity.

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