Q: #41. How did the 12 disciples die?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Of course, we know from the Bible that James (Son of Zebedee) was killed by the sword (Acts 12:2). And, Judas committed suicide after betraying Jesus (Mt 27:3-5)(Acts 1:18). However, the rest we can only know from historical writings and tradition.
There are differing accounts on some of these, but according to most, Peter, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, James (Son of Alphaeus), Simon, and Thaddeus (Judas) were all crucified.
Apparently, Peter was crucified (prophesied by Jesus in Jn 21:18-19) upside down, and Andrew was crucified on an X-shaped cross, because both felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus.
Matthew was killed by a sword or some kind of weapon, and Thomas was killed by a spear. (Interesting to me in light of the fact that Thomas wouldn't believe in Jesus' resurrection until he had put his hand in Jesus' side where a spear had been used: Jn 20:25.)
John was the only disciple of the 12 to die of natural causes.