Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

They Went Praising The Lord

Upon his resurrection Jesus' closest disciples, Simon (Peter), Andrew (Peters brother), James and John (The sons of Zebedee) Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Judas (the other Judas), Simon the Zealot, but not Judas (THAT Judas) went from being disciples to Apostles. The word disciple comes from the latin word discipulus which means pupil. Apostle comes from the Greek word apostellein which means 'sent out' and 'messenger'. They went from being students to being teachers as they carried out Jesus' Great Commission.. Of course Paul and Barnabas became apostles too, but it's for theologeons to decide if they were apostles or Apostles. For me, I'm just happy to know they were there, spreading the Lords word. 

Along with being the first people to spread the Gospel of Jesus, they were also the first entries in Fox's Book of Martyrs. Every Apostle died an unnatural death, and every one of them went to their deaths praising the Lord. The first martyr for Christ was, of course, Steven who was stoned to death by the pharisees (Acts 7:54-60) followed not long after by James, brother of John (Acts 12:1-2). Tradition also states that the executioner had two people to execute that day as the Roman officer who was  guarding James was converted by James' faith, declared his new faith to the judge, and knelt down next to James to be executed too. 

Phillip was scouraged, imprisoned, then crucified at Heliopolis in Phrygia (Central Turkey), James, the brother of Jesus was thrown off of the temple in Jerusalem. Having survived the fall the scribes and pharisees began to beat and stone him, eventually beating him to death with a club. Bartholomew was either crucified or skinned alive then beheaded. Thomas was killed in India, run through with a spear as he knelt in prayer.

Andrew was crucified on an X shaped cross in Patras, Greece, hence the term St. Andrews Cross. It took days for him to die and he preached the Gospel for two days until he expired. Jude, brother of Christ was shot with arrows, while the apostle Judas (not THAT Judas) was beaten to death by a mob. Simon the Zealot is said to have been cut to pieces by a saw.

Peter was crucified upside down on an X shaped cross in Rome, and Paul was beheaded in Rome around the same time. The authors of the Gospels suffered no less a fate than their brothers, Matthew was beheaded, Mark was dragged by horses to his death, Luke was hung. Tradition says that John was not martyred but lived a long life and died a natural death, however there is documentation that says that he indeed was martyred:
After Domitian [81-96], Nerva reigned one year [96-98]. He re-called John from the island and allowed him to live in Ephesus. At that time he was the sole survivor of the twelve disciples, and after writing the Gospel that bears his name was honored with martyrdom. For Papias, the bishop of Hierapolis, who had seen him with his own eyes, claims in the second book of the Sayings of the Lord that he was killed by the Jews, thus clearly fulfilling, together with his brother, Christ’s prophecy concerning them and their own confession and agreement about this.
For when the Lord said to them, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?” and they eagerly assented and agreed, he said: “You will drink my cup and will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.” And this is to be expected, for it is impossible for God to lie. Moreover the encyclopedic Origen also affirms in his interpretation of the Gospel According to Matthew that John was martyred, indicating that he had learned this from the successors of the apostles. In addition, the well-informed Eusebius says in his Ecclesiastical History: “Thomas was allotted Parthia, while John received Asia, where he made his residence and died in Ephesus.”
— Georgius Hamartolus (George the Sinner, ninth c.), Chronicle cited in Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers : Greek Texts and English Translations, Updated ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999), 573.
All met horrible, brutal, painful deaths and not one man, not a single one, ever recanted the fact that they witnessed Jesus' ministry, execution, resurrection, and assention into heaven. Had it all been a lie someone would have cracked, at least one of them would have said "WAIT! Just fooling!" No one wants to die for a lie, but dying for the truth if it means rejoining their beloved rabbi, that is something else completely.


  1. Very moving. Makes me feel like such a lightweight. What an honor to have men as these to go before us and show us how real men live and die. Thank you, Doug. PS. St. Stephen is not spelled Steven Your brother, Stephen Zabielski

    1. Thank you for the correction Steve, I've got so many different spellings for the same name swirling in my head it's hard to keep them straight at times. I'm sure St. Stephen won't get as upset as St. Staeven does on email when his name is misspelled.