Most Christians are familiar with the 12 disciples that Jesus called to join him during his time on earth. But have you ever wondered what happened to them after Jesus’ death? This blog post will shed some light on the fate of the 12 disciples by discussing how each one died. Discovering this hidden history gives us a glimpse into just how deeply devoted each man was to furthering God’s Kingdom. This is something for us all to be inspired by today!
According to various accounts, most of Jesus’ 12 disciples met with martyrdom or violent deaths. All that is except for one, who is said to have died of natural causes. Here are some of the traditional accounts of how the disciples died:
It is believed Peter was martyred in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero. There are several different accounts of how he died. But the most widely accepted tradition is that he was crucified upside down. The reason for this unusual form of execution is said to be that Peter did not want to die in the same manner as Jesus. Because Peter felt unworthy to die in the upright position, he was crucified upside down. According to some accounts, Peter’s crucifixion took place on Vatican Hill, where St. Peter’s Basilica now stands. The site of his burial is also believed to be in Rome, at the site of St. Peter’s tomb in the necropolis beneath the basilica.
James is believed to have been martyred by King Herod Agrippa I around the year 44 AD. The book of Acts in the New Testament describes how Herod had James arrested and executed by sword. Herod did this to please the Jewish religious leaders who were opposed to the growth of the early Christian church.
According to tradition, John the Apostle died of natural causes. This sets him apart from the other apostles who are said to have died as martyrs. Later Christian traditions suggest that John lived to an old age and died of natural causes in Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey. Some sources claim that he was buried there, while others suggest that his remains were later moved to Constantinople, now Istanbul.
According to tradition, Andrew preached the gospel in various parts of modern-day Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans. He was eventually crucified by the Romans in the city of Patras, in Greece. It is said that he was tied to a cross in an X-shaped configuration, which is now known as the Saint Andrew’s Cross, and left to die.
Other accounts suggest that Andrew was able to continue preaching and teaching even while he was on the cross. His message had a profound impact on those who witnessed his martyrdom.
Philip preached the gospel in various parts of modern-day Turkey, Greece, and Syria. He was eventually martyred in the city of Hierapolis, in modern-day Turkey. Some sources claim that he was crucified upside down or stoned to death.
Bartholomew preached the gospel in various parts of modern-day Turkey, India, and Armenia, and was eventually martyred for his faith. The accounts of his martyrdom vary, but many suggest that he was either beheaded or flayed alive.
Thomas preached the gospel in various parts of modern-day Turkey, Iran, and India, and was eventually martyred for his faith. The Acts of Thomas records that he was arrested and brought before the king of India, who demanded that he worship the Hindu gods of his kingdom. Thomas refused and as a result, the king had Thomas tortured and stabbed by a spear.
According to tradition, Matthew preached the gospel in various parts of modern-day Turkey, Iran, and Ethiopia, and was eventually martyred for his faith. The accounts of his martyrdom vary, but many suggest that he was either stabbed to death or beheaded.
One popular tradition holds that Matthew was preaching in Ethiopia when he was confronted by a group of hostile locals. He attempted to flee but was caught and killed with a spear. Another account says he was put to death for questioning the morals of the king.
James (son of Alphaeus)
Some early Christian traditions and writings suggest that James was martyred for his faith. However, the details of his martyrdom are uncertain. One tradition suggests that he was beaten to death with a club. Another tradition suggests that he was thrown from the roof of the temple in Jerusalem and then stoned to death.
Thaddaeus preached the gospel in various parts of modern-day Turkey and Persia, and was eventually martyred for his faith. The accounts of his martyrdom suggest that he was clubbed to death and his head was then shattered with a broad ax.
Simon the Zealot
There are various traditions and legends surrounding Simon the Zealot’s death. One tradition holds that he preached in Egypt and Persia and was martyred by crucifixion in either Mesopotamia or Persia. Another tradition suggests that he was sawn in half in Persia, while yet another suggests that he was beheaded. And, there is still one more possibility claimed by Eastern tradition – that Simon died of old age. Was he a martyr? Maybe. Maybe not. But, in all likelihood, he was.
Despite the violent end of their lives, the disciples remained steadfast in their faith until the very end. Their unwavering devotion to Christ and their message of love, forgiveness, and salvation has continued to inspire and influence people for centuries.