The Fate of the Apostles: Examining the Martyrdom Accounts of the Closest Followers of Jesus

Front Cover
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Nov 28, 2015 - Religion - 310 pages
Sean McDowell offers a comprehensive, historical analysis of the fate of the twelve disciples of Jesus along with the apostles Paul and James. McDowell assesses the evidence for each apostle’s martyrdom as well as determining its significance to the reliability of their testimony. The willingness of the apostles to die for their faith is a popular argument in resurrection studies and McDowell offers insightful scholarly analysis of this argument to break new ground within the spheres of New Testament studies, Church History and apologetics.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

If you want to know anything about the New Testament or what Christians read about then this is a good book to read. I would consider getting this book after reading some fundamental basics on the bible because it goes straight into the 12 apostles that had a close relationship with Jesus. Dr. McDowell begins with a quick introduction into how Jesus was able to use his sacrifice to show what the apostles needed to do. While knowledge is beneficial, one who has next to no knowledge of the New Testament will not feel lost. Facts are stated, but is expanded upon and also expanded footnotes for further exploration (if you so choose). The additional footnotes are useful if a topic strikes a chord because some have a long explanation why it was listed (whether it was biblical or not). The information listed is fair because it was compelling enough to withstand time and show possibilities of their influence in certain places (especially outside of Jerusalem).
While fundamental basics would help create a clearer picture of the text, I want to emphasize that it’s not necessary. If needed, other texts related (like the Bible) would help fill in the blanks of certain scripture and non-common people listed. Reading the book is not long and can be quite engaging (this is especially true with the apostles that came after Peter and Paul). This is not a book that is autobiographical, but more of a survey of parts that links to a story that happens to be true. There are no surprises and each topic is organized by how much information is gathered. If an apostle has a bit of information about their life after the resurrection, then it will be listed here and even to the one that has fewer bits of information. The ones with fewer information are written with the same significance like the well-known apostles. The organization comes from scripture and Dr. McDowell references it each time.
This a good book for those who are curious about the people Jesus chose and their importance in the overall message, but also a good book for those that want to supplement their collection about the resurrection. It fills in the blanks apostles that might have been mixed due to a number of reasons such as duplicate names and histories that mistake one for the other. McDowell attempts to explain these differences by what is known with what was written about. We may know there were a number of apostles, but how many were they and why some (and why some aren’t) included in the list. The chapters included weren’t accidental and serve greater purpose of reaching the masses. There is an emphasis to bring together the stories of the apostles into something that links them which is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the reason why there were brought together. While some apostles are easy to follow than others… the importance of reading about them is that they were spreading the truth to as many people as possible.


The Centrality of the Resurrection
The Twelve apostles
persecution in the early Church
The Martyrdom of peter
The Martyrdom of paul
The Martyrdom of James the Brother of Jesus
The Martyrdom of John son of Zebedee
Martyrdom of James son of Zebedee
Martyrdom of philip
Martyrdom of Bartholomew
Martyrdom of Matthew
The Martyrdom of James son of alphaeus
The Martyrdom of Thaddeus
The Fate of the Apostles vi 17 Martyrdom of simon the Zealot

The Martyrdom of Thomas
The Martyrdom of andrew

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Sean McDowell is an assistant professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University. He has two Masters Degrees in Theology and Philosophy from Talbot Theological Seminary and earned his Ph.D. in Apologetics and Worldview Studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an internationally recognized speaker, best-selling author, and was 'Educator of the Year' for his hometown, San Juan Capistrano, in 2008.

Bibliographic information