One of the silliest arguments I have heard in favour of the bible and the divinity of Jesus goes something like this: “The disciples died as martyrs. If Jesus wasn’t who he said he was, if he wasn’t the son of God, why would they have been so fervent when it came to spreading the gospel? They gave up their lives to preach the gospel”.
You have to scratch your head when this argument is used, because really it is quite absurd. All you have to do is look at religion in general to see that, that sort of behavior is typical of zealous believers. We see Muslims doing suicide bombing because of their fanatical faith in Allah. We see examples of suicide cults where people have even burnt themselves to death for their faith. We see self-mutilation and other forms of self-abuse all because these people are adamant in their faith in their God.
All this shows us is that humans can be a deluded and gullible lot who will give their lives because of the strength of their faith, whether their faith is founded or not. Why should we believe that Jesus’s disciples were any different?
The bible in fact portrays the disciples as a weak and wishy washy lot. They continually needed to have Jesus explain things to them and he often would berate them for their lack of faith. One denied him, another doubted him and another even betrayed him. This does not sound like the acts of people who were rubbing shoulders with the son of God and witnessed all the miracles they supposedly witnessed. It is damning evidence when a man like Thomas doesn’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead. If Jesus really was all he was cracked up to be Thomas wouldn’t have been doubting him. He would have said “Great, you’re back. Now what do we do?”
Now I know that if I personally had been rubbing shoulders with the son of God for a number of years and seeing those miracles I’d been seeing. If I was hanging out with Jesus HIMSELF, there’s no way I’d be that weak in my faith. I know this because early on in my Christian walk I believed I saw answers to prayers, amazing answers to prayers which took place all in a period of a couple of years. These things kept me strong in the faith for up to 15 years even when I saw no other “miracles” or major answers to prayer in my life. I would have died for my faith just like the disciples. But the disciples got more than what I got. They got to rub shoulders with the son of God! They witnessed bona-fide miracles every day! But yet still they were weak.
No, something definitely does not add up here and even if they did make up for their lack of faith later on in life, that does not provide proof that Jesus was who he said he was. There is certainly no reason to take them any more seriously than those Muslims that rammed aircraft into the Twin Towers.