In response to a question about what we know about the deaths of the apostles yesterday (short answer: almost nothing!) I talked about the hints about Peter’s death in the NT, and the later legend about it in the apocryphal Acts of Peter.  Today I can talk about what we know about the legends about the martyrdom of Paul, from the equally apocryphal Acts of Paul.  Here is what I say about it in my book Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene.



The Martyrdom of Paul

We do not have any contemporary accounts of Paul’s death, although traditions from several decades afterwards indicate that he was martyred.   The earliest reference comes in the letter from the church of Rome to the church of Corinth known as 1 Clement, written around 95 CE, some thirty years after Paul’s death.  This anonymous author refers to the “pillars” of the Christian faith who were persecuted for their faith, “even to death.”  He refers especially to the apostles Peter and Paul.  About Paul, he states:

Because of jealousy and strife Paul pointed the way to the prize for endurance.  Seven times he bore chains; he was sent into exile and stoned; he served as a herald in both the East and the West; and he received the noble reputation for his faith.  He taught righteousness to the whole world, and came to the limits of the West, bearing his witness before the rulers.  And so he was set free from this world and transported up to the holy place, having become the greatest example of endurance.

It appears that …

To see the rest of this post you need to belong to the blog.  Thousands of others have preceded you to this place of glory.  Why not join them?   It’s less than 50 cents a week, and every penny goes to charity.  You’ll be glad you did, we’ll be glad you did, and the world will be glad you did.  All will be glad!