(1) The Apostle James
(2) The Apostle Peter(3) The Apostle Andrew
(4) The Apostle Thomas(5) The Apostle Philip
(6) The Apostle Matthew(7) The Apostle Nathanael (Bartholomew)
(8) The Apostle James the Lesser(9) The Apostle Simon the Zealot
(10) The Apostle Judas Thaddeus(11) The Apostle Matthias
(12) The Apostle John(13) The Apostle Paul
"At this point, you have only three options for explaining the Apostles’ belief: 1) Say that they died for a lie knowing that it was a lie, 2) that they were delusional or crazy, or 3) that was the truth, Christ did rise from the grave".
Here are your three options concerning the Apostles:
- You would have to conclude that they died for a lie and knew it (unsustainable do to lack of any reasonable motive).
- They were all delusional and crazy (but this would take more faith than any option since you would have to explain how they all had the same delusion and craziness—many being at different places and different times).
- What they said was true. Christ did rise from the grave and is who He said He was.
To conclude, I want you to listen to the words of Ignasius, a second century church Father who’s beliefs were sustained by the reasoning of my current argument concerning the Apostles’ deaths.
“Mindful of him, do ye by all means know that Jesus the Lord was truly born of Mary, being made of a woman; and was as truly crucified. For, says he, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of the Lord Jesus.”11 And He really suffered, and died, and rose again. For says [Paul], “If Christ should become passible, and should be the first to rise again from the dead.”12 And again, “In that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.”13 Otherwise, what advantage would there be in [becoming subject to] bonds, if Christ has not died? what advantage in patience? what advantage in [enduring] stripes? And why such facts as the following: Peter was crucified; Paul and James were slain with the sword; John was banished to Patmos; Stephen was stoned to death by the Jews who killed the Lord? But, [in truth,] none of these sufferings were in vain; for the Lord was really crucified by the ungodly.” (Ignasius: The Epistle of Ignatius to the Tarsians, III)