The question I'm asking is: Why were the disciples willing to risk their lives and eventually die if the resurrection truly didn't happen? I don't really know too much about the disciples or resurrection in terms of information from other sources then the Bible. I'd appreciate an honest answer, thanks.
This may seem silly but to be honest I am not sure how I should answer him.
Well, there's two answers, both are damning to the resurrection and Christian belief generally.
(1) They didn't.
(2) Even if they did, so what?
Regarding (1), we know that many of the martyr tales from the period are made up, date from much later than the events they purport to describe, and even the ones we know weren't made up in toto abound with myths and legends. So these accounts are hardly trustworthy guides to truth. But also, even when they did martyr themselves, there's no instance– not a single one– from history that we know of where a person examined the evidence of the truth claims of the resurrection and were driven to martyrdom on the basis that they had and found the claims confirmed.
And (2), there are have been millions of unfortunately and woefully mistaken people who have given their lives for something they believed strongly in but that was known (or later found) to be false. If that Christian martyrs went to their death happily confirms the truth of the resurrection then that Marshall Applewhite and the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide for their belief confirms the truth of their claim that there was a spaceship behind the comet Hale-Bopp. And it doesn't, so, neither does the other.
You're the best Nelson, to be honest I had a feeling you would be the first to answer.
Number 2, is what I kept thinking about last night. It reminds me a little about an argument I had with a gentleman a while ago. He claimed that the Christians that were thrown to the lions in Rome were all martyrs. I tried to explain to him the difference between a victim and a martyr. There may have been a hundred martyrs but there were a thousands of victims.He argued that anyone dying with a religious view was considered a martyr. Unfortunately I could not agree with this.
My understanding, a martyr is a person who chooses to die defending his beliefs while ignoring any other option for retreat.
It's my pleasure to offer some help if I can. I hope it.... well, helped! :)
And I agree with you that a victim is not necessarily a martyr. In the case of the Christians being thrown to the lions, if they were thrown to the lions after recanting they're probably victims and not martyrs (because they recanted), but can't an argument be made that even after they recanted and were thrown to the lions anyway, that that was done because of their religious beliefs, thereby making them martyrs in some sense that we can understand? If they were thrown to the lions after refusing to recant they're certainly martyrs. (And victims, owing to the real and awful sense in which a person thrown to the lions is a victim regardless). In order to be a martyr you have to be killed specifically for your religious belief at least, but certainly you're a martyr if you're killed for your religious belief when the opportunity to recant was offered and refused. That seems to be the view I would take.
Thank you!! I appreciate your insight on this subject, or well any subject for that matter. <3
As usual, Nelson's answer precludes the need for mine. :D
I almost wonder what isn't rewritten and glorified in History. I had a professor that always mumbled, History was written by the winners, then exaggerated by their fans.
Thank you for your reply, its much appreciated.
There's absolutely zero evidence the Disciples ever existed and lots of evidence to suggest they are as mythical as Jesus. Therefore it is a moot point whether or not they believed anything. Outside of the Bible, there is no evidence for their existence ......... and don't get me started on Paul ......
The asker assumes that the disciples were aware that the resurection was false. Clearly, if we take their existence and execution for their beliefs as historically true, then they died truly believing that the resurection occured. Or they were killed for other reasons and history (ie the Bible) has played around with the back story so "12 troublemakers executed" becomes "12 beleiving men martyred"
It is like terrorists who blow themselves up. They truly believe they are about to go to paradise.
Of course if the disciples DID know the resurection was false then we're dealing with people who have serious mental health issues in being willing to die for a lie they will see no benefit from.