Monday, April 01, 2013

Did the Apostles Die as Martyrs?

This video, from Stand to Reason, suggests that we have good reason to believe that, though it is an argument from silence. 

My view is that regardless of how they actually died, when you say something like this, from Acts 4: 9-10, 

If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

you are telling the people who had the power to get someone executed, namely Jesus, that you are sufficiently convinced of what you are saying that you are willing to die for it. This does, it seems to be, support the claim that the Apostles strongly believed in the Resurrection, and would undercut conspiracy theories. A skeptic needs a theory that explains, and does not deny, this sincere belief. 


Papalinton said...

Did the Apostles die as Martyrs?

No. Apologetical retrojecting at best, harmonizing at worst. Both lamentable.

If you are implying that Jesus's dying a martyr supports the notion of the Apostles' vicariously dying as martyrs by some element of magical equivalency, then you are truly in woo-land.

If you are attempting to downsize the intent of the myth of Apostles dying as martyrs, or to chuck the whole lot into a foxhole to protect it from being a sitting duck, a skeptic need do no more than read the OP and smile at the inanity of it all.

Papalinton said...

Talking of dying in the name of Jesus, this current affair report highlights some extremely disturbing news from Africa. Watch the report HERE

It would be reasonable to suggest that this would be illustrative of the state of Christianity in the time of Aquinas, 13thC, when superstition, witchcraft, sorcery, supernaturalism, and magic were the principle explanatory tools that guided social and cultural behaviour. Do we really want this form of Christian praxis to be repeated? Have we not learned anything from history? Why do these children need to suffer for the horrific Christian thoughts generated in their parents' minds and actualized in a christian setting?

What say you, christians? What say you Dr Reppert? I understand many American evangelists have travelled to countries in Africa to advise on homosexuality, abortion, unwed mothers, and a host of other apparent social ills.

This is happening, now, in churches across Africa, as we tuck comfortably into a warm bed.

Papalinton said...


No comment from the Christians about the state of martyrdom of children in Africa at the behest of Christian Theism?

This is really important and a response is warranted. Or is this another head in the sand moment?

The Christian contribution to looking after children is outlined in this VIDEO.

Victor Reppert said...

Why is this any different from bringing up the crimes of communists, and the persecution of religious believers in Communist countries.

You can't have it both ways. If these horrible actions by Christians counts against Christianity, then the crimes of atheistic communists counts against atheism.

These things were done by Christian theists, but not by Christianity. In the case of Christianity, we have Matthew
18:6, which says

"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

That's what Christ says about harming children, so Christians who harm children have to violate the teachings of its founder to do such things. I'm not even saying that the people who did these things are not real Christians. What I am saying is that they are violating the teachings of Jesus.