These 12 Men Shaped Christianity—But Were They Real?
Historical evidence of the Apostles is scarce, and some of it contradicts core Christian beliefs.
In the Bible, Jesus Christ names 12 apostles to spread his gospel, and the early Christian church owes its rapid rise to their missionary zeal. Yet, for most of the Twelve, there's scant evidence of their existence outside of the New Testament.
In Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve, author Tom Bissell sets off to discover whether the Twelve Apostles were actual historical figures or merely characters in a fictional story. On the way, he walked for 500 miles along the Camino de Santiago pilgrim route in northern Spain, visited the place where Judas Iscariot reportedly hanged himself, and hunted in vain for a mysterious monastery in Kyrgyzstan where the bones of the Apostle Matthew are believed to be buried. It’s a journey full of false starts, dead ends, and unsolved riddles that leaves him as perplexed as when he began. (Discover why the Virgin Mary is the world's most powerful woman.)
Speaking from Vancouver, Bissell explains why one of the inspirations for his