Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How Did the Apostles Die?

Wala lang. A lesson on Christianity. And gruesomeness.

We all know that Jesus was crucified, and how that really, really hurt. Like, majorly. What most people don't know is that his apostles, with the exception of John, fared no better. I actually heard this as a sermon in church but was glad to get it in my e-mail as well.

Whoever said that the horror genre is the work of the devil should read up on the history of the church. Ah, another reason to wake up early on Sunday.


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 tremendous preaching to the lost.

John Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome . However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos . He wrote his prophetic
Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa 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. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James, Just 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 the Great , son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately 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 Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia . He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey . Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

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 sub-continent.

Jude, Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

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

Paul Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire . These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles disciples during their times for the sake of the Faith. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:

But he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22


Anonymous said...

I have heard about the death of the Apostles for years, and accepted the information as fact. However, I can't find any place that gives a source for this information. How do we know how and when they died? Is it just tradition? If so, how can we use that as proof for our faith?

Danie said...

Maybe it's not the point, but Mark and Luke weren't apostles, but travel companions of Barnabbas (John Mark - also Peter's nephew), and Luke was a companion of Paul, probably a Greek Physician.

@ anonymous: Fox's Book of Martyrs is a good start, but early Church writers, Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Clement etc are good sources to go by.

Anonymous said...

To Danie,
Have you even read the New Testament? Start there brother......really, do it.


Anonymous said...

The only mention in the Bible of any apostles actually being martyred for the faith is in Acts and the only one is James the son of Zebedee. The rest is tradition. Some mentioned above were not of the 12 apostles, but followers of Jesus just the same.

Jesse Sharp said...

to Danie,
I respect that you left a comment and beliefs but first,
Mark and Luke were in fact Apostles. Barnabbas wasn't an apostle but a disciple that was very well known for preaching and traveling with the apostle Paul/Saul. I do not mean to offend anyone in anyway.

Neil said...

Barnabas was in fact an Apostle. Acts 4:36, 14:14, 15:22 KJV.
There is no scriptural accounts of Luke or Mark being anything other than missionary traveling companions.

Defining what makes an apostle is helpful and differentiating between the original twelve and subsequent apostles is useful too. According to the scriptures, the original twelve needed to be eyewitnesses who could testify of his mortal ministry. With the betrayal of Judas, Matthias was chosen to fill that vacancy because he met the criteria.

As apostles were killed, the twelve met and called new members of their quorum to fill vacancies.

Neil said...

To anonymous, I think the point of this type of information has little to do with faith. These are great stories and create an interesting back story for people we have read about our whole lives.

In the end, the only part that we need to have any faith in, is that Christ atoned for our sins and then died and rose again so we could too.

The scriptures are essential for learning about the life of Christ and his doings, but the Holy Spirit it the real testifier. Lots of people read the Bible but only those who truly seek to know Christ will begin to experience some form of conversion