Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
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10-02-2015, 01:18 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 07:35 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Calling on people who know more about history than me!

I frequently hear arguments that the New Testament must be true because several of the founding Christians were killed for their beliefs, and why would they have died for a lie? Now, I know the Bible tells about some of these deaths, but are there any sources outside of the Bible that tell about the deaths of the apostles? If so, do we know when they were written (i.e. are they contemporary)?

I'm wondering, because if there aren't any sources outside of the Bible, this obviously becomes using the Bible to prove the Bible.
I've been looking into this for a couple of years and the only credible evidence for the existence of any of the apostles comes from Josephus. Scholars generally accept that Josephus' reference to John the Baptist is authentic. Both Josephus and the New Testament agree that John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod Antipas. The difference is in the details: whereas the New Testament says John was arrested for publicly condemning the marriage of Herod to his deceased brother's wife, Josephus says it was because John was allegedly the leader of a rebellious group. Also Josephus places the execution of John in 36 C.E. and the traditional year of the crucifixion was 33 C.E.

Other than that I can find nothing to confirm the existence of any other character in the story: Paul, Peter, etc. Anyone whose existence can be confirmed simply is not mentioned in the New Testament, the obvious exceptions being Pilate, the two Herods and others, such as the Emperor Augustus, who play no significant part in the story.

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10-02-2015, 01:33 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
I can't help much with the subject, knowing very little about it myself. But it comes to mind that since we can't even firmly establish the names of the 12 apostles, firmly establishing anything else about them seems unlikely.

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10-02-2015, 01:44 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 01:18 PM)f stop Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 07:35 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Calling on people who know more about history than me!

I frequently hear arguments that the New Testament must be true because several of the founding Christians were killed for their beliefs, and why would they have died for a lie? Now, I know the Bible tells about some of these deaths, but are there any sources outside of the Bible that tell about the deaths of the apostles? If so, do we know when they were written (i.e. are they contemporary)?

I'm wondering, because if there aren't any sources outside of the Bible, this obviously becomes using the Bible to prove the Bible.
I've been looking into this for a couple of years and the only credible evidence for the existence of any of the apostles comes from Josephus. Scholars generally accept that Josephus' reference to John the Baptist is authentic. Both Josephus and the New Testament agree that John the Baptist was imprisoned and executed by Herod Antipas. The difference is in the details: whereas the New Testament says John was arrested for publicly condemning the marriage of Herod to his deceased brother's wife, Josephus says it was because John was allegedly the leader of a rebellious group. Also Josephus places the execution of John in 36 C.E. and the traditional year of the crucifixion was 33 C.E.

Other than that I can find nothing to confirm the existence of any other character in the story: Paul, Peter, etc. Anyone whose existence can be confirmed simply is not mentioned in the New Testament, the obvious exceptions being Pilate, the two Herods and others, such as the Emperor Augustus, who play no significant part in the story.
Paul is often counted as an apostle of sorts, and it is generally accepted that he was a real historical figure (I actually can't think of anyone who has claimed that he wasn't). But he wasn't an eyewitness, so he's not relevant to the argument (although some try to sneak him in).

I'm just thinking out loud.
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10-02-2015, 01:52 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 07:35 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Calling on people who know more about history than me!

I frequently hear arguments that the New Testament must be true because several of the founding Christians were killed for their beliefs, and why would they have died for a lie? Now, I know the Bible tells about some of these deaths, but are there any sources outside of the Bible that tell about the deaths of the apostles? If so, do we know when they were written (i.e. are they contemporary)?

I'm wondering, because if there aren't any sources outside of the Bible, this obviously becomes using the Bible to prove the Bible.

I know the Romans tried to keep them at bay. Yes some were killed. It has been suggested that Paul (Saul of Tarsus) actually used the Roman mail system (they had an organized post office of sorts) to send messages -- his letters Wink

A smallish fact I always felt terribly ironic.

Once Constantine converted then they started killing non-believers -- I believe the same could be said they died for their (lack of) belief as well.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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10-02-2015, 02:17 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
I read the book Paul and Jesus by James Tabor, he stated in that book that Paul had very different beliefs than James and Peter, so they wouldn't have even died for the same Christianity, heck, James and Peter, if I remember correctly, believed Jesus was a man that preached basic Judaism with an emphasis on love, but not for the gentiles.

What they believed about Jesus wouldn't even be considered Christianity.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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10-02-2015, 02:38 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 02:17 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I read the book Paul and Jesus by James Tabor, he stated in that book that Paul had very different beliefs than James and Peter, so they wouldn't have even died for the same Christianity, heck, James and Peter, if I remember correctly, believed Jesus was a man that preached basic Judaism with an emphasis on love, but not for the gentiles.

What they believed about Jesus wouldn't even be considered Christianity.

Didn't Paul get his panties in a twist because he thought he was going to meet with Peter or maybe James....and wasn't included??

I remember reading the fit he pitched sounded like a spoiled, 14 year old, fan club president of some small town, being denied access to a pop star.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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10-02-2015, 02:45 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 02:38 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(10-02-2015 02:17 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I read the book Paul and Jesus by James Tabor, he stated in that book that Paul had very different beliefs than James and Peter, so they wouldn't have even died for the same Christianity, heck, James and Peter, if I remember correctly, believed Jesus was a man that preached basic Judaism with an emphasis on love, but not for the gentiles.

What they believed about Jesus wouldn't even be considered Christianity.

Didn't Paul get his panties in a twist because he thought he was going to meet with Peter or maybe James....and wasn't included??

I remember reading the fit he pitched sounded like a spoiled, 14 year old, fan club president of some small town, being denied access to a pop star.

Yes, that was amusing and remarkable, he was acting like a little brat because Peter sat at a table with gentiles.
I was thinking while reading that -this spoiled little prim a-donna was the creator of modern Christianity. No

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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10-02-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
There's a book I haven't read yet by a professor from Notre Dame, (Candida Moss) about the creation of the myth of Christian persecution. It may have references to the apostles in it.
http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Persecution-C...ersecution

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10-02-2015, 03:25 PM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 03:08 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There's a book I haven't read yet by a professor from Notre Dame, (Candida Moss) about the creation of the myth of Christian persecution. It may have references to the apostles in it.
http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Persecution-C...ersecution

I downloaded the kindle version for $1.99.

It'll be a little while before I get to it, tho. Gotta finish the erotica I'm currently reading.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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11-02-2015, 06:42 AM
RE: Extra-biblical accounts of apostles
(10-02-2015 03:25 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  I downloaded the kindle version for $1.99.

It'll be a little while before I get to it, tho. Gotta finish the erotica I'm currently reading.

Well, yeah. Priorities, and all.

Delve deeper into the myths surrounding myths that were based on myths, or read smut?
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