Sean McDowell did his doctoral dissertation on the fate of the Apostles of Jesus. Legend has it that they all died as martyrs, except for the Apostle John, because they witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus and were willing to attest to it with their own deaths. But is that really true? That is the question Sean McDowell set out to answer with scholarly research and analysis.
It’s a common understanding. It’s been my understanding, more or less, going back many years, though we may not have hard historical evidence to support what happened to all the Apostles. Peter and Paul are pretty well known and attested. They died martyrs’ deaths, but what about the others?
Sean McDowell recently did a short video inspired by the results of his study that was the subject of his doctoral dissertation, A Historical Evaluation of the Evidence for the Death of the Apostles As Martyrs for Their Faith, and the book, The Fate of the Apostles. While his study reveals a high degree of uncertainty about the martyrdom of many of the apostles, we have a great of certainty about at least two of them, and of other eyewitnesses of the death of Jesus. From these facts, McDowell raises five key points.