The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

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The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

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Post by boatsnguitars »

Christian clergy and apologists claim that "All the Apostles died instead of recanting their belief in the Resurrection."

Josh McDowell ("More Than A Carpenter, Evidence Demands a Verdict") says,
Even though they were crucified, stoned, stabbed, dragged, skinned and burned, every last apostle of Jesus proclaimed his resurrection until his dying breath, refusing to recant under pressure from the authorities. Therefore, their testimony is trustworthy and the resurrection is true.
Josh McDowell.

This is a demonstrable lie.

Sean McDowell, son of Josh McDowell, says:
If you have followed popular–level arguments for the resurrection (or ever heard a sermon on the apostles), you’ve likely heard this argument. Growing up I heard it regularly and found it quite convincing. After all, why would the apostles of Jesus have died for their faith if it weren’t true?

Yet the question was always in the back of my mind — how do we really know they died as martyrs?
(Note, he was told that lie by his father.)

The claim that all of Jesus' disciples were killed for their unwavering belief in the resurrection is a popular and often-repeated narrative. However, this claim is not entirely accurate and is based on a limited understanding of the available historical evidence.

Firstly, it is important to note that the historical record of the disciples' deaths is sparse and often unreliable. Many of the accounts of the disciples' deaths were written years or even centuries after the events they describe, and some of them contain obvious embellishments and inaccuracies.

Furthermore, there is significant debate among historians about the veracity of these accounts. Some historians argue that the disciples' deaths are well-documented and reliable, while others argue that the available evidence is too thin and contradictory to draw any definitive conclusions.

Even assuming that the accounts of the disciples' deaths are accurate, it is not clear that they were all killed specifically because of their belief in the resurrection. Many of the disciples lived and died in relative obscurity, and there is little or no historical record of how or why they died.

For example, we know almost nothing about the deaths of most of the disciples, including James the Less, Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot. The accounts of the deaths of Peter and Paul are somewhat more reliable, but they provide no evidence that these disciples were specifically targeted for their belief in the resurrection.

Moreover, it is worth noting that many religious figures throughout history have been persecuted and even killed for their beliefs. The fact that the disciples were killed for their beliefs does not necessarily make those beliefs true, nor does it provide any evidence for the resurrection itself.

In conclusion, while it is certainly possible that some or all of the disciples were killed for their beliefs, it is far from clear that this is the case. Furthermore, even if the accounts of the disciples' deaths are accurate, they do not provide any evidence for the resurrection itself. Therefore, the claim that the disciples were all killed for their belief in the resurrection is a problematic and oversimplified narrative that should be approached with caution.

1. To what extent do the deaths of the apostles prove the veracity of the resurrection story?
2. Can we trust the accounts of the apostles' deaths as historically accurate, or are they subject to bias and myth-making?
3. Is it possible for someone to be so convinced of a belief that they are willing to die for it, even if the belief is not true?
4. How do we reconcile the apostles' willingness to die for their belief in the resurrection with similar accounts of martyrs in other religions?
5. Do contemporary Christians have a responsibility to question the historical accuracy of their religious texts and teachings, or is faith sufficient?
6. If the clergy is lying so easily about this, what are we to believe about their other claims?
“And do you think that unto such as you
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew
God gave a secret, and denied it me?
Well, well—what matters it? Believe that, too!”
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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #111

Post by The Tanager »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 9:01 amHowever I don't think it is doing your case any good to make this about taking personal miff as some supposed accusations of mine.
I’m not making this about taking personal miff, I’m simply responding to why that specific part of what you said wasn’t accurate.

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #112

Post by TRANSPONDER »

The Tanager wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 4:23 pm
TRANSPONDER wrote: Tue Sep 19, 2023 9:01 amHowever I don't think it is doing your case any good to make this about taking personal miff as some supposed accusations of mine.
I’m not making this about taking personal miff, I’m simply responding to why that specific part of what you said wasn’t accurate.
whether or not, your post does not address or acknowledge that I responded to your response, really showing and not disagreeing that the two arguments are different (in what was allegedly thrown at the disciples) but the argument was the same one (they put up with it rather than admit it was a lie - so it wasn't) and based on Paul's saying he persecuted them while the martyrdom stories are weaker evidence.

Steelmanning, as I said. But I responded as I did before. Persecution for political reasons is as valid as for claiming a resurrection. I recall I added some other points. Shouldn't you address those rather than pointing a finger at me for pointing a finger at you (perhaps wrongly).

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #113

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TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 3:49 pmSteelmanning, as I said. But I responded as I did before. Persecution for political reasons is as valid as for claiming a resurrection. I recall I added some other points. Shouldn't you address those rather than pointing a finger at me for pointing a finger at you (perhaps wrongly).
It's not about me and you, but about clarifying what my claim actually is. As to addressing the other points, I felt like I'd already addressed all the points you made. Which ones do you feel were new that I didn't previously address?

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #114

Post by TRANSPONDER »

The Tanager wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 10:24 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Wed Sep 20, 2023 3:49 pmSteelmanning, as I said. But I responded as I did before. Persecution for political reasons is as valid as for claiming a resurrection. I recall I added some other points. Shouldn't you address those rather than pointing a finger at me for pointing a finger at you (perhaps wrongly).
It's not about me and you, but about clarifying what my claim actually is. As to addressing the other points, I felt like I'd already addressed all the points you made. Which ones do you feel were new that I didn't previously address?
I know what your claim actually is, but mine was showing that the claim was essentially that same, as i pointed out, and that your argument that the reason the disciples were persecuted (which is more credible than the martyrdoms) was because they would not deny they saw the gospel resurrection - not that they believed in a sort of resurrection, which I think they did. But it was not the one in the gospels, which are not credible because of contradictions. That's the case, beyond the one I set out that the 'persecutions' might be political as much as about a miracle claim. Indeed, even the threat to return on clouds with a marching band might be seen as a seditious movement.

The point is that persecutions do not show the resurrection - claim to be true, and there are reasons to doubt that the disciples' resurrection visions were anything like the gospel ones.

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #115

Post by The Tanager »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Sep 22, 2023 10:11 amI know what your claim actually is, but mine was showing that the claim was essentially that same, as i pointed out,
White similar, they aren’t essentially the same as to where if one fails the other does.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Sep 22, 2023 10:11 amand that your argument that the reason the disciples were persecuted (which is more credible than the martyrdoms) was because they would not deny they saw the gospel resurrection - not that they believed in a sort of resurrection, which I think they did. But it was not the one in the gospels, which are not credible because of contradictions. That's the case, beyond the one I set out that the 'persecutions' might be political as much as about a miracle claim. Indeed, even the threat to return on clouds with a marching band might be seen as a seditious movement.
I responded to each of those points (except the very last, which I didn’t see from you in a prior post). I saw no good reason to think two different kinds of resurrection are talked about. I don’t think the differences in the accounts (even if they are true contradictions) make the accounts non-credible on every claim made, and while the claims could be politically threatening to the Jewish leaders, it’s because of the content of the claim. The imagery of the clouds, to me, has greater echoes of God’s glory in Exodus, 2 Chronicles, etc. of having God’s power and glory on their side.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Sep 22, 2023 10:11 amThe point is that persecutions do not show the resurrection - claim to be true, and there are reasons to doubt that the disciples' resurrection visions were anything like the gospel ones.
I never said the persecutions prove the resurrection true. They are part of the case for the resurrection being true and strong marks against the theory that the apostles’ made the resurrection up.

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #116

Post by TRANSPONDER »

The Tanager wrote: Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:58 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Sep 22, 2023 10:11 amI know what your claim actually is, but mine was showing that the claim was essentially that same, as i pointed out,
White similar, they aren’t essentially the same as to where if one fails the other does.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Sep 22, 2023 10:11 amand that your argument that the reason the disciples were persecuted (which is more credible than the martyrdoms) was because they would not deny they saw the gospel resurrection - not that they believed in a sort of resurrection, which I think they did. But it was not the one in the gospels, which are not credible because of contradictions. That's the case, beyond the one I set out that the 'persecutions' might be political as much as about a miracle claim. Indeed, even the threat to return on clouds with a marching band might be seen as a seditious movement.
I responded to each of those points (except the very last, which I didn’t see from you in a prior post). I saw no good reason to think two different kinds of resurrection are talked about. I don’t think the differences in the accounts (even if they are true contradictions) make the accounts non-credible on every claim made, and while the claims could be politically threatening to the Jewish leaders, it’s because of the content of the claim. The imagery of the clouds, to me, has greater echoes of God’s glory in Exodus, 2 Chronicles, etc. of having God’s power and glory on their side.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Sep 22, 2023 10:11 amThe point is that persecutions do not show the resurrection - claim to be true, and there are reasons to doubt that the disciples' resurrection visions were anything like the gospel ones.
I never said the persecutions prove the resurrection true. They are part of the case for the resurrection being true and strong marks against the theory that the apostles’ made the resurrection up.
The argument is the same - the disciples defied threats of either martyrdom of persecution rather than deny the resurrection. Martyrdom fails straight out of the box as the Martyrdoms look like early church propaganda stories. The persecution variant or related argument has more legs, because we know of persecutions. They were political.

You do well the question about two kinds of resurrection, as it is a bit of a chain of reasoning. The problem was that the contradictions is (or ought to be) reason to see them as separately invented. That is why Mark didn't have anything after the empty tomb. So, supposing there was no resurrection, what about Paul in the One Corinthian? The suspicion comes with seeing how different it is. It looks like a different event. And apparently Peter is the first to see Jesus as it says 'then to the twelve' (Luke adapted his gospel so this happens). Moreover, Paul equates those with a belated vision of his own. It doesn't look to me like seeing Jesus risen walking about, but a vision in his head. Why not to Peter, and then the twelve and all the 500 at once? This is an alternative to the gospels and explains the problems, which saying they are the same event has to ignore.

Thus for all we know, Jesus' body was left in the tomb (I'm easy about his getting a proper burial even after crucifixion) or the disciples took it Matth 28.15. back to Galilee. Thus, if the body didn't rise, what did? The spirit. That would explain everything.

I see no point in pettifogging about what the persecution cane is supposed to prove. It is obvious what it is when presented as a goalpost -shift from 'The disciples would not die for a lie'. to 'The disciples would not be persecuted for a lie'. I think they believed a resurrection, bui NOT the one described in the gospels (or, in the case of Mark. not).

I know that the Pharisee resurrection is of the body, but the Bible (NT) does not preclude spirits shuttling aout in the meantime. John was suggested to be Elijah, returned. I don't expect you to accept this, but you should understand why I reckon it explains everything and how the two kinds of resurrection have a case for them.

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #117

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TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Sep 23, 2023 9:34 amYou do well the question about two kinds of resurrection, as it is a bit of a chain of reasoning. The problem was that the contradictions is (or ought to be) reason to see them as separately invented. That is why Mark didn't have anything after the empty tomb. So, supposing there was no resurrection, what about Paul in the One Corinthian? The suspicion comes with seeing how different it is. It looks like a different event. And apparently Peter is the first to see Jesus as it says 'then to the twelve' (Luke adapted his gospel so this happens). Moreover, Paul equates those with a belated vision of his own. It doesn't look to me like seeing Jesus risen walking about, but a vision in his head. Why not to Peter, and then the twelve and all the 500 at once? This is an alternative to the gospels and explains the problems, which saying they are the same event has to ignore.
I don’t see how the tradition Paul passes on contradicts the gospel traditions. There are differences. Differences aren’t automatically contradictions. The tradition isn’t going to start with women. The gospels don’t claim to give exhaustive lists. I think Paul equates his vision as just as good as theirs, not vice versa. A good bit of the letters to the Corinthians involve Paul defending his apostleship to his audience.

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #118

Post by boatsnguitars »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Sep 25, 2023 11:19 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Sep 23, 2023 9:34 amYou do well the question about two kinds of resurrection, as it is a bit of a chain of reasoning. The problem was that the contradictions is (or ought to be) reason to see them as separately invented. That is why Mark didn't have anything after the empty tomb. So, supposing there was no resurrection, what about Paul in the One Corinthian? The suspicion comes with seeing how different it is. It looks like a different event. And apparently Peter is the first to see Jesus as it says 'then to the twelve' (Luke adapted his gospel so this happens). Moreover, Paul equates those with a belated vision of his own. It doesn't look to me like seeing Jesus risen walking about, but a vision in his head. Why not to Peter, and then the twelve and all the 500 at once? This is an alternative to the gospels and explains the problems, which saying they are the same event has to ignore.
I don’t see how the tradition Paul passes on contradicts the gospel traditions. There are differences. Differences aren’t automatically contradictions. The tradition isn’t going to start with women. The gospels don’t claim to give exhaustive lists. I think Paul equates his vision as just as good as theirs, not vice versa. A good bit of the letters to the Corinthians involve Paul defending his apostleship to his audience.
With all this uncertainty, in accuracy, known propaganda, contrary to known science - why are we elevating the claims of these people in the first place? The default is to not believe their claims - even they admit it's a wild claim. Even they admit people didn't believe even after they saw the alleged miracles. There is no value in discussing contradictions between accounts because we don't assume the accounts are legitimate in the first place.

After all, none of the Apostles were willing to die for their belief in a risen savior. Or, at least, there is no evidence they did or would have. So, the people who claimed to have witnessed this event aren't credible (because their initial claim is preposterous), they didn't suffer in any unique way to support their belief (many people have been willing to be subjected to torture. But we don't even know that the apostles willingly died - they may have been found guilty and executed - all the while rejecting Jesus and saying it was all a big joke.
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God gave a secret, and denied it me?
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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #119

Post by TRANSPONDER »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Sep 25, 2023 11:19 am
TRANSPONDER wrote: Sat Sep 23, 2023 9:34 amYou do well the question about two kinds of resurrection, as it is a bit of a chain of reasoning. The problem was that the contradictions is (or ought to be) reason to see them as separately invented. That is why Mark didn't have anything after the empty tomb. So, supposing there was no resurrection, what about Paul in the One Corinthian? The suspicion comes with seeing how different it is. It looks like a different event. And apparently Peter is the first to see Jesus as it says 'then to the twelve' (Luke adapted his gospel so this happens). Moreover, Paul equates those with a belated vision of his own. It doesn't look to me like seeing Jesus risen walking about, but a vision in his head. Why not to Peter, and then the twelve and all the 500 at once? This is an alternative to the gospels and explains the problems, which saying they are the same event has to ignore.
I don’t see how the tradition Paul passes on contradicts the gospel traditions. There are differences. Differences aren’t automatically contradictions. The tradition isn’t going to start with women. The gospels don’t claim to give exhaustive lists. I think Paul equates his vision as just as good as theirs, not vice versa. A good bit of the letters to the Corinthians involve Paul defending his apostleship to his audience.
Sorry. This just dismissive excuses. The whole reason I got into debates was because Contradictions were dismissed by the believers and they seemed to get away with it, or Bible critics didn't take it further. The thing was, they explained simple problems (see the two angels) but so many big ones got ignored.

Now, with Paul, swallowing your explanation that the women finding the tomb empty and hearing the angelic explanation that Jesus had risen (or not, as in John) and had met Jesus (or not as in Luke) was not evidence as they were women, we start with Peter having a view of a risen Jesus. Then the 12..or the 11 as Luke says,though apparently Thomas wasn't there as John claims, so it was 10) hang on, let's post it.

! Cor 15 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Cephas (Peter) first THEN to the 12. Well, clearly that is not what happens, as Jesus walks in on them all that evening. Now I saw one online apologetic that noted that Jesus did appear first to Simon, but ignores (as happens all the time) that nobody but Luke mentions this and Luke doesn't even describe it. The 12 just say that Jesus has risen and appeared to Simon when Cleophas gets back. I suggest that there are MANY reasons to think that Luke knew Paul's letters and amended his gospel to wangle this sighting in. He also alters the angelic message so the disciples are NOT told to go to Galilee. That would explain why Luke cannot relate what happened as he doesn't know and he has the Cleophas excursion to get us out of the way so he doesn't have to describe it.

This appearance to Simon is the first contradiction. Appearing to the 'twelve' more or less fits, but the appearance to 500 at once is clearly NOT what went down on resurrection night, apart from James being the last to 'see' Jesus, though I always thought he was one of the 12 (James the Less).

It is a clue that what cannot be a solid body appearance to the 500 (though Acts tries to suggest it could be) is more visionary, and Paul's belated vision surely is. Thus the serious discrepancies between the gospel account and between those and Paul, plus the clear suggestion that this was all in the head, anyway, makes a case that I Cor is NOT any good support for the gospel resurrection.

You may deny that or try to excuse it with the 'witness error' excuse, but I'll need better than excuses and denial to make me think they describe the same events, and I trust that idea will occur to others as they debate the matter.

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Re: The "Apostles Died For the Rez" Lie.

Post #120

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TRANSPONDER wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:06 amSorry. This just dismissive excuses. The whole reason I got into debates was because Contradictions were dismissed by the believers and they seemed to get away with it, or Bible critics didn't take it further. The thing was, they explained simple problems (see the two angels) but so many big ones got ignored.
That’s simply not true. You summarized your thoughts quickly and so did I. You didn’t restate the reasons you think contradictions exist or why those contradictions are reasons to see them all as inventions. You didn’t restate your reasoning about why Mark ends at 16:8. You didn’t restate your reasoning about why you think 1 Corinthians contradicts the gospel appearance accounts. You didn’t restate your reasoning about Paul’s view of resurrection being spiritual rather than bodily. You’ve shared those reasonings before (here, I think, and definitely elsewhere). I’ve responded to all of those points here and elsewhere. Neither of us is using dismissive excuses.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:06 amNow, with Paul, swallowing your explanation that the women finding the tomb empty and hearing the angelic explanation that Jesus had risen (or not, as in John) and had met Jesus (or not as in Luke) was not evidence as they were women, we start with Peter having a view of a risen Jesus. Then the 12..or the 11 as Luke says,though apparently Thomas wasn't there as John claims, so it was 10) hang on, let's post it.
The Twelve is a title for the group, not just a description of number. Just like the Big Ten.
TRANSPONDER wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:06 amCephas (Peter) first THEN to the 12. Well, clearly that is not what happens, as Jesus walks in on them all that evening. Now I saw one online apologetic that noted that Jesus did appear first to Simon, but ignores (as happens all the time) that nobody but Luke mentions this and Luke doesn't even describe it. The 12 just say that Jesus has risen and appeared to Simon when Cleophas gets back. I suggest that there are MANY reasons to think that Luke knew Paul's letters and amended his gospel to wangle this sighting in. He also alters the angelic message so the disciples are NOT told to go to Galilee. That would explain why Luke cannot relate what happened as he doesn't know and he has the Cleophas excursion to get us out of the way so he doesn't have to describe it.
No, it’s not ignored by Christian philosophers and theologians. Writings back then weren’t as concerned as you in having exact chronological details of every known appearance and all of that. To hold them to that standard is not rational. If Luke felt the need to make sure Peter’s vision comes first to fit Paul’s letters, why not give more detail? He’s the only one with the Road to Emmaus and that has great detail, so why not more detail on the Peter one?
TRANSPONDER wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:06 amThis appearance to Simon is the first contradiction. Appearing to the 'twelve' more or less fits, but the appearance to 500 at once is clearly NOT what went down on resurrection night, apart from James being the last to 'see' Jesus, though I always thought he was one of the 12 (James the Less).

It is a clue that what cannot be a solid body appearance to the 500 (though Acts tries to suggest it could be) is more visionary, and Paul's belated vision surely is. Thus the serious discrepancies between the gospel account and between those and Paul, plus the clear suggestion that this was all in the head, anyway, makes a case that I Cor is NOT any good support for the gospel resurrection.

You may deny that or try to excuse it with the 'witness error' excuse, but I'll need better than excuses and denial to make me think they describe the same events, and I trust that idea will occur to others as they debate the matter.
1 Cor 15 doesn’t say the 500 all at once happened on resurrection night. James could be Jesus’ actual brother who became a prominent leader in the Jerusalem church and the apostles could be a different designation than the 12 or these could be additional appearances to the same 12 (and possibly others).

How is any of this a clue to how it couldn’t be a solid body appearance to the 500, but more visionary? How is it a clear suggestion it is all in the head?

And why do you think Paul doesn’t claim to have seen Jesus’s body physically? In 1 Cor 9:1 he uses the normal word for physical seeing Jesus. The tradition in 1 Cor 15 talks of Jesus being buried, raised, and appeared, stating these are the same as the other appearances. Paul says his audience can still question many of the 500. If Paul saw those as merely personal visions (a shared vision for 500?) would be telling his critics that the resurrection is psychological, but Paul’s case in 1 Cor 15 is about the physical nature of resurrection that we will eventually share in.

Paul and the early Christians knew and distinguished between appearances and visions, with the church believing appearances eventually stopped. Paul connects his apostleship as to one who has seen Jesus, not just had a vision of it, because those who hadn’t seen Jesus couldn’t be called an apostle. Paul doesn’t speak of his Damascus road experience when boasting of his visions in 2 Cor 12. The Jerusalem pillars accept Paul as an apostle in Galatians 2.

Paul speaks of Jesus having a physical body in Colossians 2, where all the fulness of deity lives in bodily form, where we are buried with him in baptism and raised with him. Luke in Acts describes Jesus’ resurrection as physical and that this Jesus appeared to Paul in ways that physically impacted those around him as well.

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