HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

FOUNDATION OF SAND
WHY THE APOSTLES TESTIMONY TO CHRIST IS NO GOOD
 
The Christian Church says that the twelve apostles who allegedly lived to spread the message of the saving life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ were reliable for the New Testament documents show it and because they died as martyrs for their faith and people don’t suffer and die for lies. Belief in the resurrection is really belief in the testimony of the apostles more than in belief in the resurrection and curiously Jesus said that faith in men was bad and faith in himself and God was good! The Church’s argument is silly for a whole variety of reasons which we intend to explore. The apostles were sent out as witnesses to Jesus if they are not reliable or convincing then Jesus was a fake for having appointed witnesses who were unacceptable. He appointed false apostles and exposed himself as a failure.  Given that the average age a man lived to in those days was 30 to 35 it does not sound very likely that many of the apostles lived long enough to be martyred.  They travelled and had to face plague and war so it is reasonable to assume they did not live long.
 
WHY DID THE APOSTLES DIE?
 
We know that when Christians say that the apostles perished for their faith in Jesus they obviously believe that the apostles dying for Jesus indicates that they knew that Jesus existed and had met him. To say their deaths prove they believed that Jesus rose from the dead is indirectly to say they believed that there really had been a Jesus unless you accept the view that there was no indication that there ever was a Jesus until apparitions of him risen started to happen. There is every reason to believe that the existence of Jesus rests on visions meaning that even if the apostles did die for their faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead they still give us no reason or right to believe in a historical Jesus. We can prove that there is no reason to even consider the argument that Jesus rose for the apostles died for saying they saw him rise for the argument is based on lies and distortions.
 
If we cannot prove that the apostles must have died for their faith then there is no point in believing in Christianity. You need very strong evidence to be justified in agreeing with people that a man came back from the dead.
 
A early minister in Rome, Clement, author of the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, declared in 96AD or possibly before 70 AD that it was apostolic doctrine that Jesus was sent by God and Jesus commissioned the apostles to preach his gospel and his resurrection (chapter 42) meaning that any gospel or writing that is not from the pen of an apostle is dangerous and best ignored. It is clear that the apostolic witness for Clement was valuable but did not back up the four gospels which are anonymous and two of which are not of apostolic origin but condemned any attempt by a non-apostle to write any. Some will object that Clement later said there would be accredited bishops and deacons but the Church never claimed infallibility for bishops and deacons. They were necessary as helps to the apostles and to preserve their heritage but infallibility could only belong to the apostles and anything they directly wrote.
 
The apostles of Jesus were his official witnesses, the ones who said that they had the right from him to determine without error, thanks to the protection of the Holy Spirit, what should be believed about Christ a privilege that didn’t exist for anybody else. Perhaps one of the most superficially powerful arguments for the Christian story being true is that the apostles, all except John, were executed for their faith in Jesus and in his power to save and in his resurrection. The Christians cannot get it into their heads that maybe the apostles did say Jesus rose and were so contradictory that it was left to the gospellers to sort the mess out so it follows that we should forget about the apostles and see if the four gospellers were martyred for standing by what they wrote – after all when you say you believe in the apostles it is really the gospellers you believe in and no more. There is no evidence that any of the four gospellers was martyred or was really an apostle or knew the apostles well or was authorised by them. Christians present evidence that John the apostle wrote John and Matthew the apostle wrote Matthew but the evidence is weak and ambiguous and if they really wrote them they would not have been anonymous leaving it to people in the second century to guess who wrote them. Christians habitually present evidence for things that have nothing to do with what they want to prove at all and this is the secret of Christianity’s success apart from the fact that the Roman Empire realised that uniting the Empire in one religious cult was politically preferable and gave the Christian deception support to the exclusion of any other religious deception.
 
But anyway the Christian argument about the apostles being martyrs so Christianity is true for people don’t die for lies is weak and anti-intellectual. The argument for the martyrdom is the main evidence for the resurrection that has made converts to Christianity for years. Accordingly, it follows that when God inspires a Christian to believe in accordance with the Bible principle that faith is a revelation from God (as the apostles said), it inspires the Christian to believe because of an inexcusable error meaning God is a liar. A martyr has to have a choice between saying Jesus was a fraud and death and choose death to be a true martyr and there is no evidence that any apostle died like that.
 
The principal failure is that before you can say the apostles’ martyrdom proved their veracity when they testified to the risen Jesus, is that you have to prove that they had enough knowledge of themselves and of the mind to be sure that their visions were real. Had they had incoherent visions they would have worked out a story to be held in common that reconciled anything that could be reconciled and focused on that for the people don’t want to listen to gibberish. They would have met together and voted on what experiences were to be considered real and which ones were delusions or tricks from Satan. That way agreement could have been reached. They believed like the Catholic Church of today that the Spirit guided their voting. That was how they chose Matthias to replace Judas the as an apostle after Judas died. The proof that the apostles were careful or competent in assessing their experiences and knew how to is not there. The Bible says that David and Solomon were prophets of God and departed from the faith as did Jesus’ apostle Judas. All these threw everything away and invited terrible punishments for going against God and yet the Church expects us to be sure that the apostles died for their loyalty to Jesus. If prophets can go astray knowing how bad it will be for them why can’t apostles be martyred for lies? David and Solomon were given more importance in the Bible than the apostles which makes it worse.

The book of Acts infers that the leading apostles enjoyed suffering and risking their lives. They could have left Jerusalem and run the Church from afar when it got dangerous but they didn’t. They were masochists and they got a perverted sexual thrill out of their activities. For example, when Paul got beaten and jailed for casting a demon out it is clear that all he had to do was cast it out discreetly and not attract unwanted attention so he liked what he got.
 
The apostles also followed a domineering individual, Jesus, who taught with authority unlike the scribes and Pharisees (Mark 1:22) meaning that he gave them no reasons for heeding his moral and theological directions but just expected obedience. Even God has no right to do that so the apostles were fanatics who delighted in getting people to obey their idol. Such men are hardly acceptable as martyrs. They also followed a man who committed suicide by walking into the hands of the Jews, again Jesus. Also, it was always principally the cross and the teaching of Jesus that opposed corruptions in the Jewish religion that brought persecution on the early Church (Galatians 6:12). If anybody died there is no evidence that they died for facts but for interpretations, interpretations of the cross and of the alleged doctrine of Jesus. The Jewish Christians who Paul condemned for standing by traditional Judaism just to avoid persecution prove that there was no persecution for saying that Jesus rose from the dead. Nobody cared.

The reason the early Christians provoked the hostility of the Romans was because Christianity slandered every other religion as being of the Devil. Their aim was to replace all other religions which roused the wrath of Rome (page 47, A Concise History of the Catholic Church). The Romans never tolerated intolerant religion for peaceable religions meant less trouble and division in the Empire. If the apostles were martyred it was not for their faith in Jesus’ resurrection but for their intolerance in the sense that they believed that anybody who did not believe in the resurrection and the rest of the faith was a hindrance to God and would not be saved. The Christian reply: “But they must have been very sure of the resurrection when they were so sure that it was necessary to be intolerant about it”. But intolerant people are usually unsure of themselves which is why they are so vicious and good at lying to themselves and stubborn. The apostles’ belief and feeling was that intolerance was certainly right and this was what they were trying to support more than anything else. That is what all martyrs, Catholic, Mormon or Muslim, die for principally and that is why their deaths do not give evidence that their beliefs were true only that they thought they were true. There was no difference between them and the apostles. The Romans didn’t mind what the apostles believed as long as it was kept within the law. Intolerance is hardly a virtue that entitles them to be looked up to as martyrs.

Even if Paul had been martyred by blood he was not a good witness for there is absolutely no evidence that he was a true apostle. We have no psychiatric reports on his visions or proof that the apostles fully accepted him. He was not present when the tomb was found empty and he did not see visions with the rest. His vision is dubious for it happened when Jesus had returned to Heaven implying the visions were over and when Jesus said he would have only twelve apostles in imitation of Jacob who had twelve sons with which to set up the chosen people of Israel. Paul thought he was the thirteenth. It was only his word for it which the apostles would have been disgusted by for they followed the Law in saying that there had to be at least two witnesses. Even Acts fails to paper over the hostility between him and the others. Galatians hints that Peter and Paul had two separate Churches or rival religions. If the apostles expected a new apostle to come what did they elect Matthias to replace Judas for to maintain the number twelve?
 
If the apostles being martyred is such a great proof for the resurrection and for Jesus’ existence then the early Church must have been gullible for it believed before these men were sent off to the next world. Strange that the Jehovah’s Witnesses who were martyred under Hitler in World War 2 over a Bible interpretation that none of the other Churches agreed with and which was plainly wrong and which was something they were familiar with and which they claimed to see in their Bible which they read very frequently are still insulted as heretics and fanatics. It is thought by Christians that their testimony in blood is unworthy of consideration as is the faith they died for. And this even though most of the Witnesses were as normal as anybody else and the apostles who we know less about are heroes and revered martyrs! The apostles are allegedly martyred and it proves them right while the Jehovah’s had something more concrete than visions and who died in greater numbers are wrong in the eyes of the Church. But if the martyrdom of the Jehovah’s does not make them right then the martyrdom of the apostles means very little for it means a lot less then theirs. We again see the nasty and self-centred double standards that are rife in Christian apologetics.
 
To argue the apostles were telling the truth because they were martyred is to try and trick people because it is obvious that they might have been fooled themselves and we have no real evidence that they died for belief in a Jesus who physically not spiritually rose from the dead so even if they died for Christianity we don’t have any hard evidence for what Christianity this was. The gospels only say the body was missing and that Jesus was raised but they never actually state that the body was resurrected for they don’t know. Apostles dying for visions would mean nothing for visions are easy to explain and are commonplace. Jesus himself said that the resurrection would be the only proof for even fakes could do real miracles for presumably only God could have power over life and death.

How a religion that teaches that the wages of sin is death and says the world brings death on itself for it prefers to sin than to follow God despite the cost, can hold that martyrdom can be a sign of sanity and sincerity is a mystery. If we are so anti-God and pro-self it is more likely that when we appear to die as martyrs the real reason is to do God some injury. The apostles themselves taught what the Church teaches about how man hates God from conception so that tell us what to make of them!

MARTYRDOMS OF PETER AND PAUL – MERE LEGEND
 
The Catholic Church would have you believe that the apostle Peter died in Rome by being crucified upside down and that the apostle Paul was beheaded there. It makes out that they sealed their testimony for the truth of Christianity in their own blood.
 
Clement of Rome speaks of Peter being pestered until death but does not clearly say he was a martyr in the sense of one who dies merely for his faith.
 
Tertullian was the first ever to state that Peter was crucified but he gives us no reason to believe him or any evidence. He wrote too long after the event, about 140 years, to be worth paying attention to. The absurdity about John miraculously surviving a boiling in oil is in the same account in Against Marcion which further undermines what Tertullian wrote for it shows he was ignoring evidence and focusing on legend.
 
The Second Letter of Timothy has Paul saying in chapter 4 that his life is nearly over. He says it is already being poured away like a libation. You don’t really talk that way if you are in jail awaiting execution. You talk that way if you are dying of some sickness or old age. He went on to say that the first time he had to present his defence nobody came to witness in his favour. He said that because of his message he was rescued by God from the lion’s mouth for God inspired him what to say. So he escaped execution then. Then armed with this evidence he confidently says, “The Lord will save me from all evil attempts on me and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.” The letter shows that Paul was confident he would never undergo a blood martyrdom and was living in such a way that it couldn’t happen or too close to death for it to happen. The letter is suspected by most of having been written after Paul’s death. If so, Paul was never a blood martyr.
 
The argument that Rome was the only place to claim that it was the scene of Peter’s martyrdom proves nothing because Peter could have had an obscure martyrdom elsewhere and the Rome claim was late in origin. It was made up by the papacy which wanted to claim to be the leader of the Church and successor to Peter.
 
The story of Peter and Paul dying as blood martyrs is mere legend. Local gossip would be more reliable.
 
APOSTLE MARTYRDOM CLAIMS ARE LIES
 
Tertullian was one of many in the early Church who pleaded with people faced with possible death for their faith to make no effort to escape but to welcome this death. This movement needed the lie about the sainted apostles nearly all dying for the faith to encourage this so it invented the lie. It was noticed that if people died for the faith that more people were drawn to the faith and so martyrs were a great advertisement. Christians believe this evil man when he declared the apostles to be martyrs of blood.

The Epistle to the Hebrews may be from 70AD or shortly before the Temple was destroyed. It was written to Jewish Christians because the argumentation against priests and Temples and sacrifices in it and its extensive use of the Old Testament would not have been deployed for Gentile Christians who were unfamiliar with this ritualism. It would have been written to Jewish Christians in Palestine for that is where most of them were and the letter was known as the Epistle to the Hebrews from the first meaning it would have been sent to Jerusalem the HQ of the Jewish Christians for it was for all of them. It was written to Jewish Christians in Palestine but meant for Jewish Christians everywhere and there were some of them in Rome. Hebrews 12:3 tells them to think of Jesus who endured a lot of abuse from sinners so that they may feel stronger knowing Jesus went through worse than they did at the hands of hostile people. Verse 12:4 tells us something very interesting. It says that none of them have resisted this abuse until their blood was shed. This tells us that the account in Josephus about James dying at the hands of a lynch mob over religious differences in 64 AD and the Book of Acts saying about the other James dying in 42AD by the sword of Herod’s emissary are both lies. It also indicates that the stories in Acts about the murderous persecution of the Church and its claim that Paul was a murderer of Christians is fiction. Basically it means that some Christian inserted in Josephus the entire stuff about James the brother of Jesus being persecuted to death. That means that Josephus never mentioned Jesus at all for the other place where he says that Jesus was the Messiah and rose from the dead etc was something a man in his position could not write gives us no reason to think that any of it was really written by Josephus.
 
Luke 21 says Jesus told the apostles that some of them would be put to death. (Matthew 24 tells us that Jesus said what was in Luke 21 to the disciples.) But Jesus says the enemies of those who will not be, will be unable to contradict their wisdom and they will survive and not a hair of their heads will be harmed. Christians say he means they will be preserved for the resurrection but there is no need for that interpretation and it is too much for the context. Luke is saying that only a few of the apostles will be killed and he does not make it clear if they will be really martyrs or not which indicates that they will be lynched or something meaning that they do not mean to die. The impression given is that since the apostles defended themselves so well that they did not mean to get killed so the murdered ones died against their wills and not as demonstrations that what they said was true.

We know very little about the ultimate fate of the apostles. One reason for this is that “there are hardly any Christian writings dating between the years 100-150” (page 231, Asking them Questions). Only Peter, James and John are more than names to us of the apostles and everything else is legend (page 17, The Early Church, Henry Chadwick). So there are only three witnesses, Peter, James and John who are worth thinking about. We don’t know if the apostles stuck together and agreed with one another all the time in matters of faith and morals. Only Peter, James and John were the nearest to being witnesses that we can consider and yet they were far from acceptable to us. Even if they were honest we have no reason to take them seriously. Two seemingly reliable people lying about the resurrection say of Buddha would have more right to be believed. The evidence for the resurrection is too feeble.

A Church of Ireland booklet, St Peter and Rome, quotes a Professor Lipsius with approval when he said that the truth about the lives and deaths of the apostles was lost with all the fantastical and pious make-believe that was manufactured in the early centuries of the Church (page 29).

St Andrew was allegedly crucified on a cross in an X shape. This is a late and untrustworthy tradition (page 344, The History of the Church).

Acts 12:2 says that the apostle James the brother of John was slain by the sword or beheaded but we are not told why except that it pleased the Jews. Herod who was to blame didn’t even know it would please the Jews until it was done, we are told. We are not told that he died because he got the chance to recant his claims about Jesus and refused to so there is no reason to consider him a true martyr. James may not have seen the swordsman coming. Yet Christian lie that all the apostles but John were martyrs. Acts comes closer to presenting Stephen as a martyr which suggests that James was not one for it would be delighted to say that he was. We know that Jesus allegedly chastised James for being too anxious for religious power. He may have only said he saw the risen Lord to get power over the lives of others.
 
Jesus told the apostles that they would be thrown out of synagogues and executed but he did not add the crucial words “for your belief” (Matthew 24:9; John 16:2). Even if none of the disciples had been put to death this would have led people to say they were.

Did the gospels put in the story of Jesus predicting that the apostles would be martyred because they were martyred? Maybe or maybe not.

Some think that because James and John agreed to accept the cup Jesus agreed to drink from and to be baptised in the same baptism as him (Mark 10:35-40) that Jesus is saying they will be martyred like him. But Jesus was not a martyr but a suicide. And the story says that James and John were worldly and cocky so they knew that the baptism was suffering to get glory not death. Jesus would not have tricked them into saying they wanted to be martyred. The cup could be suffering but the baptism is the life of God. Then Jesus lectures them all on the need for humility and not looking for power.

The late first century Book of Revelation speaks of martyrs by blood and the apostles and never mentions the apostles having gone through the same. When the saints call for vengeance on those who killed them for their faith one would expect the apostles to be mentioned. Revelation shows anger against persecutors and with its loyalty to the apostles it would be inevitable for it to have raged against the killers of the apostles if the apostles had really been murdered.

A book by Dr William Steuart McBirnie, The Search for The Twelve Apostles, concluded that the story that John the apostle was boiled in oil and survived is dubious for it came from Tertullian who gave no hint that there was any evidence for it and that John died an old man safe and sound in Ephesus according to the best sources. He found so many ridiculous legends about Matthew that where Matthew died by martyrdom could not be worked out for sure. Heracleon and Clement of Alexandria say the only probable thing about Matthew, which was that he died naturally. McBirnie argued that since Bartholomew was supposedly martyred in Armenia and in India according to other accounts that India may have meant Armenia for the ancients might have been using the India loosely. This is wishful thinking for he was desperate to believe in martyred apostles but all he found was excessive legend and incoherence and deception in the stories so nobody knows the truth. As Henry Chadwick stated only Peter, James and John are more than names (page 17, The Early Church).
 
The apostles were made the special witnesses of Jesus. If they died for their faith in Jesus that would be their supreme witness, when this supreme testimony cannot be verified it makes us sure that the apostles were charlatans and unlikely to have died for their faith for God would not have let the evidence slip away. We don’t even know if they all remained true to the faith. Peter departed from the faith according to Galatians and Paul never says he reformed when he reprimanded him. Peter was accused by Paul of living like a Gentile and hypocritically imposed Jewish Law on the Gentiles. In essence, Peter had created a distorted religion, a new religion.
 
OTHER DISCIPLES WHO WERE SUPPOSEDLY MARTYRED
 
Stephen the first martyr never died for testifying to Jesus but for criticising the Jews for not keeping the law (Acts 7). Jesus may have been a part of his faith but there is no hint that he died for Jesus. He does not qualify as a Christian martyr.

Acts 12 says that James the apostle was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in Jerusalem in what is probably 42 AD. Many would have seen that this should please the Jews so we cannot say James chose death rather than renounce Christianity. We don’t know the reason so we cannot say he was a martyr. But when Luke did not tell us he was a martyr then he probably was not one.
 
There is another James who Paul calls an apostle (Galatians 1:19) but grammatically it could be that he is excepted according to Biblical Dictionary and Concordance, NAB page 95) but who was not one of the Twelve. It is baffling that he was not chosen to replace Judas. He was much better suited than the mysterious and obscure Matthias. It must have taken the apostles a long time to trust him.

Eusebius says that Hegesippus (who wrote about 170 AD) wrote that this James the brother of Jesus was martyred for the same reason as Jesus (The History of the Church, page 129). That is all he says. But at least it shows that James did not die for the resurrection or the miracles of Jesus. Hegesippus said that James was asked by the Jews who respected him to stop the people believing in Jesus. They thought years after James’ work in the Temple and listening to him that he did not believe himself. Evidently, they must have been right. The Jews looked on his religious teachings as having authority. But James let them think he was going to do as he said and instead testified to Jesus as the Christ. Then they threw him down and stoned him though he was dying from the fall and one of them killed him by hitting him over the head with a club as he prayed that God would pardon them. James clearly did not expect this to happen. We are not told that he had the chance to retract so we cannot be sure he really was a witness to Jesus by his death. And who would want to save their own lives by abjuring Jesus so as to live with such terrible injuries? Josephus said that James was tried for breaking the Law but Hegesippus says that James was lynched. Eusebius interestingly says that since nobody mentioned Josephus’ version before his time that some doubted if it were authentic (The History of the Church, page 61). Jesus was killed for claiming to be a Messiah. Did James do the same? We know he was not killed for changing Judaism for he would not have been in the Temple if he had been. We know he was not killed for miracles for none are mentioned and the Jews would have welcomed his.

But even if Hegesippus said James was a martyr in blood for Jesus this writer was one of those people who just go after what they want to hear (page 18, St Peter and Rome).

The doctrine that those who do not believe in Jesus will rot in Hell forever was in the Christian religion from the start. This was a more frightening doctrine then than now for in those days life was short indeed and evidence that God ways were too seemingly mean to bear was there every time you opened your eyes so there was great pressure put on people to join the faith and to stay in it and maybe even die for it. The martyrs were not true martyrs when they had so much unbearable pressure to prejudice their minds against any contrary evidence for Jesus and his revelations and to compel them to die for him. For their martyrdoms to stand as evidence for anything about Jesus we have to be sure they went to their deaths freely and without mental disorders and there is no reason to think they did. Strange that the Church argues that a person can go to everlasting punishing for sin for he or she chooses this fate by sinning and then says that the apostles would not suffer for a lie or die for it! Christian apologetics are all incoherence and outright lies. The Bible doctrine that man on his own can do nothing without sin and that only by the help of God can man do good and that most people deserve to rot in Hell forever and indeed will would have terrified people into believing in Jesus even if the only evidence for his existence was a few dubious ghost stories for they were so desperate for a saviour. It would be natural for people to believe upon hearing the dreadful gospel that their only hope was for somebody like Jesus to obey God’s law in their place so that they could escape their fiery fate for there was nobody else on offer and the first person who allegedly knew how to save would be the one who counts. No other fictitious god would have had the incredible and supremely effective psychological impetus and attraction that Jesus had so he is more likely to have been a fiction than them.

It is worth remembering that the testimonies about these great witnesses who spilled their blood in death for their faith come from the book of Acts and The History of the Church by dubious Eusebius. The Book of Acts seems to have a relatively small number in mind unlike Eusebius who inflated the persecutions as best he could. Now what did the latter know? And the first did not claim to be an eyewitness and neither did the second. And the Law of Moses has God saying that two independent eyewitnesses alone can entitle a story to be believed. God would not like the reliance of Christian apologists on flimsy testimony.

Pity the Christians always forget to bring our attention to Tertullian’s statement from 197 AD that Christians were never given the chance to speak in their defence when they were on trial for their freedom and lives (page 7, Documents of the Christian Church). They were put to death just for getting caught not for having the truth. They were not martyrs when they could not speak for Christ and bring their deaths on themselves as the alternative to abjuring him or any part of his doctrine.

The early Christians did not focus on the miracles of Jesus when trying to show that their religion was plausible or true. These miracles played only a small and infrequent part in such discussions (page 70, The Early Church). What they concentrated on was the alleged prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament which they said he fulfilled and secondarily the rapid spread of the faith (page 70, ibid). The Christians used excerpts of the prophecies in their missionary work and they tended to alter the wording to make it fit Jesus even better and at the time of Justin Martyr in the mid-second century this deception was so successful that he felt the need to argue that the Christian corruptions of the prophecies were authentic and that it was the Jews who were corrupting (page 102, ibid) thus accusing the scriptures Jesus himself accepted of inauthenticity. This tells us that the early Christians were converted not by the resurrection of Jesus but by his alleged fitting into the mould for the Messiah that was supposedly spelled out by God when he spoke through the Hebrew prophets. That means they principally died for an idea that was wrong. They believed in Jesus for the wrong reason. Their martyrdoms do not prove anything about the supernatural origin of the Christian faith or the existence of the Nazarene. 
 
Paul taught the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as the heart of the Christian gospel and the truths on which all the Christian doctrines depend. Paul taught in scripture in Galatians 1 that even if he and the apostles and angels from Heaven changed the gospel in any way they were to be treated as anathema or accursed (shunned) plainly admitting that he was more concerned about dogma than anything and even God wasn’t allowed to contradict him! For Paul the resurrection was not important but believing in it was! Is he and the other apostles who tolerated this nonsense really worth believing when they said Jesus rose?
 
CONCLUSION

We know too little about the apostles. We have no right to say they were honest men for men we know more about and trust have been found dishonest. We don’t know enough about the apostles and the martyrdom stories are unreliable and can be refuted. Accordingly, we cannot say their visions of Jesus raised from the dead really took place on the basis that they died for them.  
 
WORKS CONSULTED

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The History of Christianity, Lion, Herts 1982
The History of the Church, Eusebius, Penguin, London, 1989
The House of the Messiah, Ahmed Osman, Grafton, London, 1993
The Jesus Event and Our Response, Martin R Tripole SJ, Alba House, New York, 1980
The Jesus Hoax, Phyllis Graham, Leslie Frewin, London, 1974
The Jesus Inquest, Charles Foster, Monarch Books, Oxford, 2006
The Jesus Mysteries, Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, Thorsons, London, 1999
The MythMaker, St Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Hyam Maccoby, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, 1986
The Reconstruction of Belief, Charles Gore DD, John Murray, London, 1930
The Search for the Twelve Apostles, William Steuart McBirnie, Tyndale House, 1997
The Secret Gospel Morton Smith Aquarian Press, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985
The Truth of Christianity, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
Theodore Parker’s Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, London, 1876
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Kittel Gerhard and Friedrich Gerhard, Eerdman’s Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, MI, 1976
Those Incredible Christians, Hugh Schonfield, Hutchinson, London, 1968
Who Was Jesus? A Conspiracy in Jerusalem, by Kamal Salabi, I.B. Taurus and Co Ltd., London, 1992
Who Was Jesus? NT Wright, SPCK, London, 1993
Why I Believe Jesus Lived, C G Colly Caldwell, Guardian of Truth, Kentucky
 
The WWW

Who is GA Wells? Rev Dr Gregory S. Neal
www.errantskeptics.org/G_A_Wells.htm

The Silent Jesus
www.askwhy.co.uk/awcnotes/cn4/0325SilentJesus.html#Justin

Apollonius the Nazarene, The Historical Apollonius versus the Historical Jesus
www.apollonius.net/bernard1e.html

Why Did the Apostles Die? Dave Matson,
 www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/4Why97.html
 
The “Historical” Jesus by Acharya S
www.truthbeknown.com/historicaljc.htm

How Did the Apostles Die?
www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/4/4front97.html

History’s Troubling Silence About Jesus, Lee Salisbury
www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=102

Steven Carr discusses the Christian and apostolic martyrs
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs.htm
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs2.htm

Challenging the Verdict
A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsOne.htm
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsTwo.htm
http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/CTVExcerptsThree.htm#Twelve

The Martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, Peter Kirby
http://home.earthlink.net/~kirby/

The Martyrdoms: A Response, Peter Kirby
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/martyrs3.htm

BIBLE VERSION USED
 
The Amplified Bible
The King James Version