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When and how did the Twelve Apostles die?

Summary:  The Bible only mentions the deaths of two apostles, James who was put to death by Herod Agrippa I in 44 AD and Judas Iscariot who committed suicide shortly after the death of Christ.    The details of the deaths of three of the apostles (John, the Beloved, Bartholomew and Simon the Canaanite) are not known at all, either by tradition or early historians. The deaths of the other seven apostles are known by tradition or the writings of early Christian historians.  According to traditions and the Bible, eight of the Apostles died as Martyrs.  At least two of the Apostles, Peter and Andrew were crucified.

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Simon Called Peter by Christ died 33-34 years after the death of Christ.  According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, there is "satisfactory evidence that he and Paul were the founders of the church at Rome and died in that city. The time and manner of the apostle’s martyrdom are less certain. According to the early writers, he died at or about the same time with Paul, and in the Neronian persecution, A.D. 67,68. All agree that he was crucified. Origen says that Peter felt himself to be unworthy to be put to death in the same manner as his Master, and was, therefore, at his request, crucified with his head downward."

When and how did the Twelve Apostles die
'Caravaggio's depiction of the crucifixion of Apostle Peter.

James the son of Zebedee:  He was put to death by Herod Agrippa I  shortly before the day of the Passover, in the year 44 or about 11 years after the death of Christ.  From Acts 12: 1-2.

John: No death date given by early writers.  Death date is by conjecture only and is variously assigned as being between 89 AD to 120 AD

Andrew:  No accurate death date given. A variety of traditions says he preached in Scythia, in Greece, in Asia Minor and Thrace.  He is reported to have been crucified at Patrae in Achaia.

Phillip:  Again, the Bible does not say when he died nor do we have accurate information.  According to tradition, he preached in Phrygia and died at Hierapolis. Update: FoxNews July 27, 2011, Tomb of the Apostle Phillip is found in Hierapolis.

Bartholomew: There is no information concerning his death, not even by tradition

Matthew: He must have lived many years as an apostle since he was the author of the Gospel of Matthew, which was written at least twenty years after the death of Christ. There is a reason to believe that he stayed for fifteen years at Jerusalem, after which he went as a missionary to the Persians, Parthians and Medes. There is a legend that he died a martyr in Ethiopia.

Thomas: The earlier traditions, as believed in the fourth century, say he preached in Parthia or Persia and was finally buried at Edessa. The later traditions carry him farther east.   His martyrdom whether in Persia or India, is said to have been by a lance. And is commemorated by the Latin Church on December 21 the Greek Church on October 6, and by the Native  Americans on July 1.

James Alpheus: We know he lived at least five years after the death of Christ because of mentions in the Bible.  According to tradition, James son of Alpheus was thrown down from the temple by the scribes and Pharisees; he was then stoned, and his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.

Simon the Canaanite – No information either in the Bible or by tradition.

Jude (Thaddeus): according to tradition Jude taught in Armenia, Syria and Persia where he was martyred.  Tradition tells us he was buried in Kara Kalisa in what is now Iran.

Judas Iscariot: Shortly after the death of Christ Judas killed himself. According to the Bible he hanged himself, (Matthew 27:5) at Aceldama, on the southern slope of the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, and in the act he fell down a precipice and was dashed into pieces.

 

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265 thoughts on “When and how did the Twelve Apostles die?

  1. Look how evil man is. To kill just from hatred.

  2. Mat. 16:28
    So who is still among us?

    1. Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

      Verily I say unto you….. This is a strong asseveration, Christ puts his “Amen” to it; declaring it to be a certain truth, which may firmly be believed:

      there be some standing here; meaning either his disciples, or some of the audience; for it is clear from Mark 8:34 that the people were called unto him with his disciples, when he said these words:

      which shall not taste of death: that is, shall not die; a phrase frequently used by the Jewish doctors: they say (y),

      “All the children of the world, , “taste the taste of death”.”

      That is, die:

      till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom; which is not to be understood of his personal coming in his kingdom in the last day, when he will judge quick and dead; for it cannot be thought, that any then present should live to that time, but all tasted of death long before, as they have done; for the story of John’s being alive, and to live till then, is fabulous, and grounded on a mistake which John himself has rectified at the close of his Gospel: nor of the glorious transfiguration of Christ, the account of which immediately follows; when he was seen by Peter, James, and John, persons now present; for that, at most, was but an emblem and a pledge of his future glory: rather, of the appearance of his kingdom, in greater glory and power, upon his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven; when the Spirit was poured down in an extraordinary manner, and the Gospel was preached all over the world; was confirmed by signs and wonders, and made effectual to the conversion and salvation of many souls; which many then present lived to see, and were concerned in: though it seems chiefly to have regard to his coming, to show his regal power and authority in the destruction of the Jews; when those his enemies that would not he should reign over them, were ordered to be brought and slain before him; and this the Apostle John, for one, lived to be a witness of.

      (y) Zohar in Gen. fol. 27. 4. & 37. 1. & in Exod. fol. 19. 2. & in Num. fol. 50. 4. & 51. 2. 4. Vid. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 7. 3, 4. Midrash Kohelet, fol, 83. 2.

  3. There is a lot in the Bible that man sometimes does not comprehend and in time it is refreshing to him for understanding. Believing that God loves all of us that he sent his son to us that we should believe and that his sacrifice is the atonement for man and thru grace we are saved. Now that we are under grace what than? I think there is a growing process somewhere and we are all babes in Christ. We have to be nourished and we have to grow with his understanding and to Love thy neighbor. Most of the apostles as you remember ran away and Judas that betrayed Jesus was prophsyed in the Bible. Now from what the Bible says, I will go along with the Bible teaching… Judas is not there for no reason at all, it is a learning process for us as well as to fulfill the proprsy of the Bible. I am sure Judas had a conscious of great guilt and gave up the ghost. One has to remember that the Bible is a teaching aid of the good and bad of man and thru Jesus’s death and resurrection we receive his grace and we as man don’t deserve his grace. Paul was one of the great apostles that came out of these Biblical events. The 12 disciples of the all sort of went there own way but believed more when Jesus had risen. The Bible is very life challenging and food for thought no doubt, just like doubting Thomas but if you make it simple it makes it more enlightening….. its a good thing we are to bear fruit to him and do the great commission and let him do the saving and converting of the heart of man. Man’s wisdom is not Gods’ wisdom and God is the answer and the final authority of all things.

  4. I have a Question.I know somebody that found Jesus knows about him..
    But he’s still. Idk what the term is but he’s not doing drugs and not realty doing bad sin. But he’s just not all on fire or Jesus freak so idk?

    1. Can a quiet but determined faith be as acceptable to God as an extroverted faith? Is that the question?

  5. The eternal fate of Judas is the entire province of the our Lord Jesus Christ .

  6. Bartholomew a.k.a Nathanael died in 70 A.D.

  7. For me most importantly, is my relationship with the Lord is fully intact due to the darkest hour that we are going through, and to try my very best to learn from the past and to be on the positive side all the time…..shalom…….

  8. It is quite amazing that the disciples who lived, worked with and followed Christ, died such gruesome deaths. Only John lived longer and died of natural causes.

  9. Wonderful information! Do you want to partner with us in Church planting and social service in India? Write us in our email ID.

  10. That’s Awesome, I want one

  11. Good and enlightening information.

  12. The history of the apostles is a very rich one and i really appreciate your efforts .God bless you for this great work.

  13. thanks, nice articles of the missionary challenges of the 12 apostle of Jesus christ and also their full names. really benefited from it once again thanks.

  14. may the souls of the apostles rest in pefect peace,amen.

  15. who actual wraught the book of Revelation if in actual sense John’s death is not recorded what evidence is there that he is the writer ?

    1. Luke 22:3 and John 13:27 both state that Satan took possession of Judas. If it was actual Satanic possession then who actually was responsible? Maybe I’m reading it wrong or maybe misinterpreting passages. Anyone who can clarify it for me?

      1. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[c] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. john 17:12 only mention of this prayer before he went to the garden.

  16. more about john plis..the one who wrote the book of revelations

    1. Here is an excellent article on that including both opinions: that John the Apostle, wrote it or that another John wrote it.

  17. hope tp know more

  18. how did apostle john die?

    1. It is traditionally believed that John was the youngest of the apostles and survived them. He is said to have lived to an old age, dying at Ephesus sometime after AD 98

      1. please i would like to know the actual year did the last apostle (John) died…. bcos everybody is giving a different date and its confusing.

        1. The actual date is not known.

  19. please i am living in spain where according to historyor tradition here in spain says that James the Lord’s brother dies in spain, how true is that? remain blessed.

    1. According to Josephus and other historians, he was martyred in Jerusalem and buried near the temple. However there is a legend that James the Greater evangelized Spain but according to the catholic.org site this is not based on historical fact. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=59

      1. If one repents of their sin and then chooses to end their life, they will still go to Heaven. Where in the Bible does it say that one cannot commit suicide? The argument of respecting your body as it is a temple of the Lord is referring to drugs, piercings, tattoos, alcohol, obesity…etc. not suicide. The argument of thou shall not murder is also not a legitimate argument as God has already forgiven us of all our sins when Jesus Christ died on the cross. Thus if Judas repented of his betrayal of Christ and chose to kill himself, he may still have gone to Heaven as all sins are forgiven. AND it is written that all sins are equal in the sight of the Lord, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Thus cheating on a math quiz is the equivalent of killing thy neighbor. Not that I am in favor of suicide, but it shares in equal weight of sin as anything else. And if one has Jesus Christ as their Rock and Foundation, is there anything life could throw at us that could make us want to end our life?
        JUDAS MAY HAVE GONE TO HEAVEN. EVEN CAIN AND KING AHAB COULD HAVE REPENTED AND GONE TO HEAVEN.
        God Bless and thank you.

        1. hi

          I don’t really understand why I sin. I mostly regret after I sin. can someone please help me..
          thanks a lot.

          1. yes satan always want us to seen so he tries by all mean to make us do the negative

          2. Hie John Anyenmor

            I sincerely hope that you have been properly answered already considering that its been so long since you queried why you [we] sin

            1. We are descendants of sinners and sin [the spiritual force] reigns in our bodies naturally -Psalm 51, Romans 6&7
            2. You have not yet been renewed by the transformed by the renewing of your mind -Romans 12 v 2
            This transformation is a function inherent in the word of God so we MUST always read it and meditate on it -Joshua 1v 7& 8 , 2nd Timothy 2 v15
            3. You [we] MUST abide in the will of God as expressed in His word so that we are truly good soil for His word. His word is the seed -Luke 8 v11 and those who have it in their souls CANNOT sin – 1st John 3v 5 to 9
            4. I have made the premise that you have already confessed the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth as your Lord and Savior -Romans 10 v 9 &10 plus believing in your heart that He indeed was born of a virgin, lived and preached God’s salvation through faith in His name, died and was buried in a tomb and that He rose from the dead.

            If you understand this and make God’s word the standard for your life then a life free from sin is yours in Jesus mighty name. Yes temptations will still come but you will be knowing to say “It is written …” like the Lord Jesus did when tempted after His 40 day fasting

          3. We are born rebellious. But understand what sin is. Often Christians suffer beneath the illusion that they have sinned when in fact they have done no such thing. The very best thing to do is to walk and talk with Jesus constantly–pray without ceasing. Then we know where we stand with his righteousness. Jesus bless you abundantly! Remain in the hope of your eternal life!

        2. Yes, I certainly agree! It is not about how we die but whether we accepted Jesus in life. The ONLY requirement is our belief in Jesus and His grace. Only God fully knows the depths of despair any human has the potential to experience – more so His beloved children. Some actually longs to be free from emotional pain to BE WITH THE LORD.

  20. How did peter die

    1. Please see the section above titled Simon Surnamed Peter

  21. Jesus christ was always there for them, he is the way truth and life who ever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

  22. I just want to say i am very pleased with this cite. It helped me learn more about the apostles and how they died.

  23. I GREET YOU IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME.I AM AN ITINERANT EVANGELIST,A CHURCH PLANTER AND MISSIONARY.PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANT I WANT YOU TO SEND THE COMPLETE VIDEO OF THE MARTYR OF THE DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES TO ME.I WILL BE GLAD TO KNOW THE AMOUNT OR IF YOU CAN LINK ME UP TO THE WEBSITE TO DOWNLOAD IT.I WANT TO HUMBLE REQUEST THAT PLEASE YOU STILL HELP ME WITH RELEVANT CHRISTIAN FILMS GOOD FOR EVANGELISM AND FILM CRUSADE FOR RURAL OUTREACHE.THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE KINGDOM.THANKS YOURS REVEREND DAVID

    1. Psalms 111:9 title Reverend only belongs to God.

  24. I hve learn alot from this site thanks alot

    1. I have learned just how ignorant humanity can be. Thank you for your site. Speaking of “maps”. The real irony is reading the responses and “expertise” of all of these people who believe they know the Bible, the history, the linkages are ALL OVER THE MAP with their interpretations. Life is funny. No?

      1. Different beliefs from different sects of Christianity, I believe.

  25. thanks for preserving this informatoon.

    1. Good to read your information about how the saints died. I really appreciate this and wish you the very best in future research.

  26. I love this website,the comments are very good.My is; how did christ came out from virgin mary’s womb? we all knew that a virgin can never be a virgin after giving birth..thanks

    1. Luke 1:26-35 and Matthew 1:18 should answer your question Daniel. Also Job 33:4 tells us that one of the works of the Holy Spirit, (Spirit of God), is to create.

  27. Careful study of God’s Word tells us that, no one goes to either heaven or hell when they die. They go to their graves to await the resurrection day. Please refer to these texts for a better understanding: John 5:28,29. Acts 2:29,34. Job 17:13. Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10. Psalms 115:17 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17.
    This is an important topic that we shouldn’t be confused about. The Bible makes it very clear indeed, that the dead know nothing. And the dead do not praise the Lord. 🙂

    1. The saints who have visited me would differ with your understanding, as do I. Bless you.

  28. Instead of mentioning the son of perdition among the 12 why didn’t you include Mathias who is actually sitting on one of the 12 judgement seats?

    1. The reason we talk of Judas and not Mathias is because the question was about the original 12 apostles. Mathias was chosen to replace Judas, one of the original 12.

      1. In a home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use, now i would like to tell you that God created us to be used for his purpose and there is no way how you can reject to be used by God. And for judas that was his purpose even though he was appointed to do it in a negative way so that Scriptures may come true,

      2. There were 12 disciples and two apostles ( men commissioned with the task of expanding the preaching work after Jesus’ departure). An apostle is an authority. There is a big difference between a disciple/student and a master , Sister.

    2. I think Mathias was chosen by the apostles but Jesus Christ chose Paul. So Paul replaced Judas.

      1. Mathias was chosen by lot.

      2. Paul was chosen by Christ…but not as an apostle. He did become an apostle of Christ, but that was much later. Mathias was chosen by the apostles to replace Judas shortly after the death of Judas. This maintained the number of 12 apostles and indicated that it was to continue. Paul became an apostle later on, and describes himself as such, but when that happened we do not know, and who he replaced (because of death), we do not know, but the apostles, and all disciples of Christ were being persecuted and killed.

  29. Thank you very much for the above information. Reading it has increased my Christain life, and my faith in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  30. I find it weird that Peter’s death is unknown. I honestly think he was crucified.

    1. he was crucified upside down

    2. Jesus told him he would be crucified.

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