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Old 04-21-2001, 01:53 PM   #1
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Post Death of the apostles

This is my first serious look at this forum, so this topic may have been discussed before.

When apologist defend atheist's charge that the apostles or the writers of the Gospels more accurately created a hero figure in Jesus and thus there is no reason to see them as reliable.

The apologist then asks "would someone die a horrible a death if they did not really believe what they saw, so their reliability is grounded in their stubborn belief and willingness to die for this belief."

Of course, they refer to the deaths of Paul, Peter, and some other apostles when discussing this. My question is: what is the source for the information about these deaths? Are they in the New Testament or stories that circulated in the Christian community in which the Catholic church adopted as true?
Old 04-21-2001, 02:44 PM   #2
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Ecclesiastical History II, Chapter 25

The Persecution under Nero in which Paul and Peter were
honored at Rome with Martyrdom in Behalf of Religion

When the government of Nero was now firmly established,
he began to plunge into unholy pursuits, and armed himself
even against the religion of the God of the universe. To
describe the greatness of his depravity does not lie within
the plan of the present work. As there are many indeed that
have recorded his history in most accurate narratives,

1. every one may at his pleasure learn from them the
coarseness of the man's extraordinary madness, under the
influence of which, after he had accomplished the
destruction of so many myriads without any reason, he ran
into such bloodguiltiness that he did not spare even his
nearest relatives and dearest friends, but destroyed his
mother and his brothers and his wife,

2. with very many others of his own family as he would
private and public enemies, with various kinds of deaths.
But with All these things this particular in the catalogue
of his crimes was still wanting, that he was the first of
the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine
religion. The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of
this. He writes as follows:

3. "Examine your records. There you will find that Nero
was the first that persecuted this doctrine,

4. particularly then when after subduing All the east, he
exercised his cruelty against All at Rome.

5. We glory in having such a man the leader in our
punishment. For whoever knows him can understand that
nothing was condemned by Nero unless it was something of
great excellence." Thus publicly announcing himself as the
first among God's chief enemies, he was led on to the
slaughter of the apostles. It is, therefore, recorded that
Paul was beheaded in Rome itself,

6. and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero.

7. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the
fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of
that place even to the present day. It is confirmed
likewise by Caius,

8. a member of the Church,

9. who arose

10. under Zephyrinus,

11. bishop of Rome. He, in a published disputation with

12. the leader of the Phrygian heresy,

13. speaks as follows concerning the places where the sacred
corpses of the aforesaid apostles are laid: "But

14. I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you
will go to the Vatican

15. or to the Ostian way,

16. you will find the trophies of those who laid the
foundations of this church."

17. And that they both suffered martyrdom at the same time
is stated by Dionysius, bishop of Corinth,

18. in his epistle to the Romans,

19. in the following words: "You have thus by such an
admonition bound together the planting of Peter and of Paul
at Rome and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise
taught us in our Corinth.

20. And they taught together in like manner in Italy, and
suffered martyrdom at the same time."

21. I have quoted these things in order that the truth of
the history might be still more confirmed.


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