- Mass Market Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (December 14, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0842358390
- ISBN-13: 978-0842358392
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Search for the Twelve Apostles Mass Market Paperback – December 14, 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
Following 44 pages of general background on the early Christian era and available historic sources McBirnie provides a chapter each for 19 men in 250 pages. That is followed by an appendix listing New Testament references for each character, five-page bibliography and a seven-page index.
I did not find the author is be as negative regarding relics, etc., as some other reviewer do.
I enjoyed this book and recommend it an entertaining read as well as Christian study reference.
Two things about this book stand out.1)It's well written.2)There is no bias whatsoever in this book.A prior reviewer complained of Catholic "bashing".I read nothing of the sort.The Catholic church itself was a valuable source of information regarding the location and movements of relics throughout history.
The author has done an excellent job covering many of the legends of the Apostles' deaths and burials.He covers the movement of related relics(bodies and parts).Mr. McBirnie travelled to many of the sites that were rumored to be burial sites.He saw first-hand some of the final resting places.Some of the legends will probably never be proven,others such as Thomas' mission to India are well-known.Whether he agrees with some of the stories or not,he covers them.The subjects are more than the Apostles.Included are; Paul,Lazarus,John Mark and James the Lord's brother to name a few.I appreciate that the author devoted a chapter to a particular individual.
This is a worthy addition to any library.It's available and cheap.The standard other books on the subject will be judged by.
I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because of it's age.There have been more archaelogical discoveries since this edition was printed.
He has written several works of popular Christian history/archaeology, such as The Search For The Tomb Of Jesus Revised Edition and The The search for the early church: New Testament principles for today's church, as well as the present volume, which was written in 1973 (it has been revised since then).
McBirnie begins by stating in his Introduction, "What follows in this book is that which can be known from an exhaustive and critical study of the Biblical, historical and traditional records of the Apostles. The author has tried to reduce the legendary to the probable or likely, justifying it with the known historical facts concerning the state of the world in the first century and the documents of subsequent church history, local history, and relevant secular writings.... Here for the first time in any one volume the preponderance of information concerning the histories of the Apostles is now assembled."
One of the first things that startles the reader is that there is some uncertainty about a few of the apostles' names and even identities. About "Jude Thaddaeus," McBirnie writes, "The correct identification of this Judas is extremely complicated, not only because of the three names which are used for him in the Scriptural record but also because of the enigmatic reference to him as the 'son of James.' We could tell considerably more about him if we were certain exactly who this James was."
In addition to covering the biblical material about all of the apostles in turn, he examines the apocryphal writings, the writings of the Church Fathers, and various legends about the apostles (Protestant readers may be disaffected by the degree to which McBirnie, a very Conservative Protestant, seems to credit some of these legends; such as that Thomas traveled to India).
This book remains a very interesting and thorough treatment of its subject.