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What Happened to the Apostles?

The apostles were promised they would be persecuted, and some would have to drink the cup of death (Matthew 10:25; 20:23; Mark 14:31, 36; John 13:37; 15:20, 17:1); history and tradition also tell us that the apostles gave their lives for Christ.

- James the son of Zebedee (James the Great) felt Herod's sword in 44 A.D., the first apostle to die (Acts 12).

- Matthew, after preaching in Parthia and in Ethiopia, was slain in A.D. 60 by a halberd at Nadabah, Ethiopia. James the Less, at 94 years, after being beaten and stoned by the Jews, "finally

- As to Peter, "Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his
feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was [he said] unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was."

Bartholomew, after preaching in India, was "cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters."

Thomas' ministry in Parthia and India was ended with a spear thrust.

Simon Zelotes evangelized in Mauritania, Africa, and Britain before his crucifixion in 74 A.D.

Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.

Andrew's service was in Asia; at Edessa he was baptized in suffering, being "crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground."

The beloved John, at the command of antichrist Domitian, was exiled "in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9). After being recalled from Patmos by Domitian's successor, Nerva, John died peacefully (cf. John 21:22-23).

"I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truthhad his brains dashed out with a fuller's club."
and soberness" (Acts 26:25).

Jude (Thaddeus), brother of James the Less, was crucified at Edessa, 72 A.D.

After Paul had been stoned, left for dead, beaten with rods, jailed for years, he still aspired to "fill up . . . that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ" in his flesh (Colossians 1:24). He is said to have been beheaded by Nero in Rome.

—Hugo McCord, The Beatitudes