Any Christian case-maker will tell you that we should thank God for the hard lives and brutal deaths of the apostles. Why? Because they provide such a strong testimony for the truth of the gospels. As the reasoning goes, the apostles were in a unique position: They claimed to be first-hand witnesses of the resurrected Jesus, and they would have known if their claims were true or false.
Given their actions from the resurrection onward, they must have truly believed that they had personally witnessed the risen Jesus—and that he was the Messiah—or they never would have dedicated their lives to spreading the gospel at extreme personal risk and for no earthly gain. Therefore, the lives and martyrdoms of the apostles provide a powerful collective testimony to the truth of the gospel. Continue reading