Why I Believe the Bible #12 (The Hardships of Its Authors)

Wayne —  October 20, 2010 — 3 Comments

BIble

It’s been way too long since I did an installment in this series, and we’re not even half way through yet.  I am passionate about the Bible because I am passionate about the God that it tells me about.  Since it has been so long, it makes some since to have a look back at what we’ve covered thus far:

With that brief recap, it’s time to move on to reason #12 that I believe the Bible is true and that is the hardships that found its authors and their unwillingness to renounce anything that they had written.

Church history tells us that 11 of the 12 disciples dies a martyr’s death because they refused to renounce the story they were spreading of Jesus Christ. James, Bartholomew, Andrew, Phillip and Simon were crucified.  Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy of dying the same way as his Lord.  James and Mathias were stoned to death.  Matthew, James and Thomas died by the sword.  Even Paul was beheaded for his believe in Christ.  John was the only disciple to escape martyrdom, and it wasn’t for lack of trying.  Church tradition tells us the he was boiled in hot oil before being exiled to Patmos.  Many of these disciples penned much of the New Testament, but rather than denounce what they had preached and avoid persecution, they chose to die for what they believed.  In and of itself the martyrdom of these men does not prove the Bible to be true.  However, while it is possible that one man may choose to die for a lie, it is hard to believe that so many would die and none would recount their story if it were not true.

In addition to the disciples, vast quantities of early Christ followers also died for their belief in Christ.  Tens of thousands of early Christians were martyred.  Catacombs were discovered under the ancient city of Rome with over 7,000,000 graves.  These catacombs were known to be the hiding place for early Christians in an anti-Christian empire.  Romans frequently used Christians in their Lion’s dens, and King Nero would impale Christians on wooden stakes and light them on fire to bring light to his parties.

The fact that so many would be willing to die for something they knew to be untrue is unfathomable and lends further credence to the reliability of the Bible!

Return to the Why I Believe The Bible index page.

m4s0n501

3 responses to Why I Believe the Bible #12 (The Hardships of Its Authors)

  1. You speak of "church history," but have you ever actually examined the sources of the traditions for the martyrdom of the apostles? Most of these stories cannot be dated anywhere near the original events and are often first found in apocryphal works like the Acts of Peter or the Acts of Paul. Christians routinely reject the Gospel of Peter or the Gospel of Thomas on the grounds that they were written too late to contain reliable information about Jesus, but they seem happy accept such works when they confirm the things they would like to believe.
    My recent post Why I am Agnostic About HJ 12- The Banned Mormon Cartoon

    • Vinny,

      Thanks you for your comment. I apologize that it took me so long to get to it. I think it is important that you realize that this article is one part of a 25 part series on why I believe the Bible. This is merely one thing which further support my believe that the Bible is true. If the only evidence were \”church tradition\” I would agree with your assessment. The critical point is that this support does not stand alone in terms of proof. Accordingly, I would not agree that we are \”happy to accept such works when they confirm the things they would like to believe.\” I think all such assertions must be tested. I wrote articles early in this series about the Canon which clearly preclude books like the Acts of Peter or the Acts of Paul from being considered part of the Bible. In the same way, if I endeavored to write out my own Gospel today, I wouldn\’t expect anyone to believe it to be true. On the other hand, if I tell my kids that their mother and I got married in a particular church and they later tell their kids the same thing. When my grandkids tell their kids that church is where their grandparents got married, I wouldn\’t expect the receiver of that information to accept it as absolute truth, but I do believe it would be normal and acceptable for that person to utilize that information in forming an opinion. If their is a clear agenda, I think that might give pause for concern. Most of the apocryphal writing have a clear agenda. I am not certain what the agenda would be in terms of the deaths of the early apostles.

      In short, I would say that these statements based on church tradition are as suspect as any tradition would be. That does not mean that they are untrue, but I would not assert that they are 100% reliable either. I am comfortable with the possibility of error in this particular area because there is so much other proof of the reliability of the Bible. If someone were to disprove this particular portion of the proof, it would not undercut the other lines of support and therefore would not threaten my belief in the Bible. I hope this helps to clarify my position as I think the concerns you raise are not without merit. My faith in God is not a leap of faith but a considered and tested faith.

      God Bless You!

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