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motirattan

Apostolic Martyrdom

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One of the most convincing facts apologists use is that most of the disciples died for their faith. Do we have good historic grounds to accept it as I'd heard that many of these traditions are sometimes contradictory or legendary. Most people say 11 out of 12 died for their faith but I think we have only a little evidence for James, Peter and Paul and many even doubt whether they died for their faith or some other reason. I was reading Polycarp's

​​​letter and it seemed to say that they ran a good race of faith but can this be termed as martyrdom or simply normal death. We know early Christians were persecuted though but don't know with how much intensity. Can we trust the letters we have( of early Church fathers) to be their true letters rather than forgeries?

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Well, history is full of torture and horrifieying exicusions, I don't find it that hard to believe the accounts of the early church fathers. How John was boiled in oil and survived sounded off to me at first but they must've just thrown hot oil on him. Peter is said to have asked to be crucified upside down because he denied Christ three times so he felt that he shouldnt be crucified the same way Christ was, but would think he just wanted another form of exicusion and that's what he got, maybe.

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We could even look at today's world and see how much hate there is for Christianity. If you go preaching in the streets in America you're likely to be assaulted or have urine thrown at you. Muslims want to behead, electrocute, drownd, blow us up, set us on fire, and run us over.

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Forget Polycarp and early "church fathers." Read the Word.

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One of the most convincing facts apologists use is that most of the disciples died for their faith. Do we have good historic grounds to accept it as I'd heard that many of these traditions are sometimes contradictory or legendary. Most people say 11 out of 12 died for their faith but I think we have only a little evidence for James, Peter and Paul and many even doubt whether they died for their faith or some other reason. I was reading Polycarp's

​​​letter and it seemed to say that they ran a good race of faith but can this be termed as martyrdom or simply normal death. We know early Christians were persecuted though but don't know with how much intensity. Can we trust the letters we have( of early Church fathers) to be their true letters rather than forgeries?

 

A lot of our brethren's sacrifices are evidenced by various creeds. Without whose sacrifice today would leave us on knees bent before popes and listening to sermons in a foreign tongue.

 

Looking into the history of the Nicene Creed might prove fruitful, for example:

 

Among the Nicene Council were those who were tortured for the sake of their faith, lost their eyes, or had their hands or feet cut off, or had their teeth smashed or their nails pulled out or their ribs broken. One of them was the fighter St. Bephnotius, the confessor, one of the bishops of upper Egypt who was tortured much during the days of Diocletian. They plucked out his right eye, burnt the flesh of his left leg, bound him in chains and took him to cut marble in a stone quarry. He was called the martyr among priests. He was a holy old man, loved by God and the people. The Lord worked many wonders through his supplications and prayers.

 

Of course the most difficult part of history, at least for me, is finding credible sources. Perhaps people here can list some credible books or historians in which to research the great sacrifices of our brethren before us? That is, sacrifices they so selflessly laid down for us which cost them not only limb but life?

 

God bless,

William

 

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Of course the most difficult part of history, at least for me, is finding credible sources. Perhaps people here can list some credible books or historians in which to research the great sacrifices of our brethren before us? That is, sacrifices they so selflessly laid down for us which cost them not only limb but life?
If we are speaking about the apostles, then all of that information is going to come from the church fathers. How much is accurate? I doubt anyone can be sure.

 

Take Tertullian for example.

 

How happy is its church, on which apostle poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! Where Peter endures a passion like his Lord's! Where Paul wins his crown in a death like John's where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile! (Prescription Against Heretics, Chapt. 36)
John plunged in boiling oil unhurt. REALLY, unhurt?

 

I think it is very likely most died a martyr's dead (the sources agree upon that point) but over time those stories were embellished.

Edited by Origen
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