Why does the New Testament go silent on most of the original 12 apostles?

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  • Why does the New Testament go silent on most of the original 12 apostles?

    Apart from a gospel account by Matthew and a letter from Jude, there is no detail of where they are or what’s going on, no interaction with any of them, not even one salutation or prayer request in decades!!
    I have highlighted the missing eight :

    “the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee (martyred - Acts 12:2), and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew (Nathanael); Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (thought by many to be Jude, a brother of Jesus);Simon the Canaanite (“zelotes” - the zealot), and Judas Iscariot (replaced by Matthias), who also betrayed him.” (Matt. 10:2-4, Acts 1:13)

    These people were with each other through thick and thin for over 3 years, they were united friends with a command to love, be in unity and communicate.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Watcher7 View Post
    Apart from a gospel account by Matthew and a letter from Jude, there is no detail of where they are or what’s going on, no interaction with any of them, not even one salutation or prayer request in decades!!
    I have highlighted the missing eight :

    “the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee (martyred - Acts 12:2), and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew (Nathanael); Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (thought by many to be Jude, a brother of Jesus);Simon the Canaanite (“zelotes” - the zealot), and Judas Iscariot (replaced by Matthias), who also betrayed him.” (Matt. 10:2-4, Acts 1:13)

    These people were with each other through thick and thin for over 3 years, they were united friends with a command to love, be in unity and communicate.
    Is there a question here? As to your title, are you aware of any authentic gospels from the others existing?

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by William View Post

      Is there a question here? As to your title, are you aware of any authentic gospels from the others existing?

      God bless,
      William
      Hello William,

      I'm slightly surprised that you ask if there is a question!

      These guys were with each other (and Jesus) through thick and thin for years in preparation for their ministry of the one faith, the building of The Church, then we hear absolutely nothing, not one word from most of them.
      If you think that is normal behaviour then ok, there is no question to answer.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Watcher7 View Post
        These people were with each other through thick and thin for over 3 years, they were united friends with a command to love, be in unity and communicate.
        They split up to spread the gospel. Historical sources suggest most were martyred, while John was exiled. While the Bible does not record all their martyrdoms, some occuring where there were no Christians to take the word of their deaths or record their teachings for their own gospels (and remember very few could read and write then), there are other historical records detailing their fates.

        It is possible that they wrote gospels that simply haven't survived. Many were martyred by pagans to kill the ideas they were spreading, and the killers would hardly have spared anything an apostle had written when they were trying to kill his teachings. Bible's Nest has a basic introduction to the fates of the apostles.

        Which of the apostles or disciples were martyred? Where did the apostles all end up and how did Jesus' apostles die? Who were these 12 men that witnessed Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, and went on to die themselves for that truth?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
          They split up to spread the gospel. Historical sources suggest most were martyred, while John was exiled. While the Bible does not record all their martyrdoms, some occuring where there were no Christians to take the word of their deaths or record their teachings for their own gospels (and remember very few could read and write then), there are other historical records detailing their fates.

          It is possible that they wrote gospels that simply haven't survived. Many were martyred by pagans to kill the ideas they were spreading, and the killers would hardly have spared anything an apostle had written when they were trying to kill his teachings. Bible's Nest has a basic introduction to the fates of the apostles.
          I'm not asking for "gospels"simply for a "hello", one line message sent via Peter or John perhaps, some communication.

          They must have been alive for years or Jesus got it wrong, they had ministryu to fulfil
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          • #6
            In the Bible God has given us all we need to know to live a holy life that pleases him. Apparently he didn't consider the fates of the apostles necessary for that purpose. It is likely that there was a lot of communication among the apostles that hasn't been preserved.
            Clyde Herrin's Blog
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
              In the Bible God has given us all we need to know to live a holy life that pleases him. Apparently he didn't consider the fates of the apostles necessary for that purpose. It is likely that there was a lot of communication among the apostles that hasn't been preserved.
              It is true that there is enough to be saved in the scriptures, though if that is the criteria the bible could be reduced considerably as certain thoughts and verses, even chapters are repeated.

              It would be nice to know that the apostles were practicing what they preach in not forgetting to communicate and greet with a holy kiss etc to promote love and unity among all churches.
              I'm sure they were, so I am sure there is good reason why the locations of certain churches are withheld from public letters.

              "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter"
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Watcher7 View Post
                It is true that there is enough to be saved in the scriptures, though if that is the criteria the bible could be reduced considerably as certain thoughts and verses, even chapters are repeated.
                The Bible is for more than showing us how to be saved. It is a revelation of all that God wants us to know about himself. It tells us all that we need to know, not what we want to know.
                Clyde Herrin's Blog
                Comment>

                • #9
                  Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                  The Bible is for more than showing us how to be saved. It is a revelation of all that God wants us to know about himself. It tells us all that we need to know, not what we want to know.
                  Being saved isn't ticking certain boxes, it's making one's home with God's family.
                  If a human family didn't communicate for decades we would call it "disfunctional".
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    We tend to take distances and communications for granted these days.
                    If we consider how hard it was to communicate back at those times, and also the fact that the apostles would have to move around a lot, it would have been very hard for them to successfully send any message to each other, except by word of their well being carried by rumor or their followers. Any message, through any messenger would reach the intended recipient only by journey, either on foot or on horseback or by pidgeon, but pidgeon mail only works when you know where the recipient is going to be, and judging by their persecution they didn't stick around long enough for any mail to arrive.

                    Up until the telegraph and telephone came about, keeping in touch with family was really hard and it wasn't uncommon for relatives to become completely estranged once they moved to a place where mail services weren't very efficient or distance made mailing costs and time into a dead-end for any frequent communication.

                    Also back then (Edit: at the time of the apostles), they reserved scripted mail for really important things, so certainly not for pleasantries or common news about their lives. If mail correspondance existed between the apostles it's likely that it was carried verbally tasking their own students or followers with the message. If it was so, then we'd have no written record of correspondence, despite it happening.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Julianne View Post
                      We tend to take distances and communications for granted these days.
                      If we consider how hard it was to communicate back at those times, .
                      OK let's. How hard was it?

                      We know that Jews from every nation under heaven were there at Pentecost, if you can send a person, you can send a message to be included in someone else's letter. Peter wrote from Babylon, there was also a council meeting at Antioch, Paul sent greetings from all at Rome etc.

                      The Phonecians had been trading for 1600 years and had an alphabet, Solomon joined with them 1000 BC.

                      1st C AD was the time of Pax Romana, people wanted to trade and governments could raise tax through it.

                      What have you found on the subject?



                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Watcher7 View Post
                        These people were with each other through thick and thin for over 3 years, they were united friends with a command to love, be in unity and communicate.
                        They all saw each other in Acts 15.

                        Another things is worth pointing out. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is rarely ever referred to from the Book of Acts to Revelation and look what some have done by elevating her in worship. Now if so little attention was given to her and the results are that awful one can imagine if focus was spent even just slightly more than they were on one of the 12.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Faber View Post
                          Another things is worth pointing out. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is rarely ever referred to from the Book of Acts to Revelation and look what some have done by elevating her in worship. Now if so little attention was given to her and the results are that awful one can imagine if focus was spent even just slightly more than they were on one of the 12.
                          That sounds similar to a complaint I've read from historians researching the time. The Apostles focused on preaching about Jesus and their work with the church rather than on themselves, which makes research extremely difficult. Because everything they said was focused on him, it can be difficult to tell from manuscripts which survive, which Apostle was preaching or being discussed by the authorities. The Apostles themselves would not have preserved any letters that were not focused on worship because that was not their focus.

                          The other obvious problem is that we're talking making manuscripts survive over 2,000 years. The Bible survived by being copied and recopied, by hand, and the work that it took to create books until the printing press was huge. Unless the letter was known to be important, written on materials that would survive, preserved carefully, and no accident ever befell it, such materials were likely to be lost.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Watcher7 View Post
                            We know that Jews from every nation under heaven were there at Pentecost, if you can send a person, you can send a message to be included in someone else's letter. Peter wrote from Babylon, there was also a council meeting at Antioch, Paul sent greetings from all at Rome etc.

                            The Phonecians had been trading for 1600 years and had an alphabet, Solomon joined with them 1000 BC.

                            1st C AD was the time of Pax Romana, people wanted to trade and governments could raise tax through it.

                            What have you found on the subject?
                            If I understand correctly you're interested in the actual speed of delivering a message.

                            Let's start with the quickest way to communicate at the time and the most likely to be used other than journey on foot. Inside the Roman Empire, there was a mailing system called the "Cursus publicus" (=public road) which was based on horsemen that delivered messages from outpost to outpost. However this system was more efficient when it came to mailing between important cities. The further from Rome you were, the harder it was to ever find an outpost nearby. So while historians like Procopios bragged about the efficiency of this mail service by claiming that a horseman can clear 2-5 outposts in a day, the distances between these outposts varied. Bad news tended to travel quicker than good news, but was it quick enough?
                            Ramsey, illustrates the speed of the Roman post over land with examples of the amount of time it would take a message to travel from Rome to Egypt about the accession of a new emperor (in a season other than summer, when the message would travel by sea from Rome to Alexandria). In the case of Pertinax, news of the accession, which took place on January 1, AD 193, took over sixty-three days to reach Egypt, being announced on March 6 in Alexandria.
                            Shortcutting through the sea wasn't always an option either, rather it depended on what the weather would allow. By using the sea routes, the time needed would be about half that, at 30 something days.

                            So if Paul sent a message from Rome to Alexandria through the mail it would take from 60 to 30 days based on the weather, the road condition and possible random events that would hinder the delivery. It would then take just as much for Paul to receive a reply. So we're talking about people trying to keep in touch using a communication that has a time lag of an average of 70 days (for the message to come and receive a reply)...and that was their best method of communication.
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                            • #15
                              My guess is that Paul gets a disproportionate amount of attention in Acts, because Acts was written by his travelling companion.

                              Peter, James and John seem to have been the three disciples closest to Jesus. There is some slight evidence that their personalities were not wholly dissimilar to his.
                              Comment>
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