The Apostles of Jesus Christ: Andrew, Bartholomew, James son of Alphaeus, James son of Zebedee, John son of Zebedee, Jude (aka Thaddeus), Matthew, Simon Peter, Philip, Simon the Zealot, Thomas, Matthias, Paul of Tarsus
The Authors of the Gospels of Jesus Christ: John, Luke, Matthew, John Mark
With Matthias, who had been elected to replace Judas after the latter's death (Acts 1:12-26), Jesus' original disciples sparked a schism within Judaism on a Day of Pentecost some time during the rule of Pontius Pilate as Prefect over Samaria, Judea, and Idumea (26-36 AD). They proclaimed that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah, that He had risen from the dead, and that His death was a substitutionary punishment for the sins of humanity, allowing those recognizing and accepting the sacrifice to enter eternal relationship with God. Originally, Messianic prophecy had been interpreted as a promise of deliverance for Jews only, but Peter led the church to accept its promise to the Gentiles as well (Acts 11:1-18). Paul of Tarsus, then known as Saul, originally fought against this movement. After an encounter with Jesus (Acts 9:1-19) he joined its ranks as the thirteenth Apostle of Christ; he identifies himself as such in eight of his letters (ex: 1 Tim. 1:1).
Given its nature, this prize concerns only one of the vast array of interrelated doctrines under the umbrella of Christianity: the formal philosophy professing that God values all humans and values them equally - or, as worded in the Declaration of Independence, "all Men are created equal." Paul expressed this ethic explicitly in his letter to the Galatians: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). Jesus illustrated this principle in various ways:
Instruction to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27)
Christianity champions due process, which must be present to ensure liberty and which cannot exist without duly empowered officials, whose authority must be heeded according to Paul's entreaties (Rom. 13:1, Eph. 6:5). What is to be done when authority conflicts with liberty? One such example is when officials exercise powers not delegated to them, as the Sanhedrin did when it forbade Peter's evangelism (Acts 5:21-26); Peter simply disobeyed the illegal edict.
Political reform is not addressed in the New Testament, so later generations of Christians would apply deductive reasoning to determine the biblical framework for getting rid of bad laws, bad politicians, and bad governments. If due process is king, then would-be political reformers must follow whatever rules exist for changing laws and ousting officials. But what about entire governments? The authors of the Declaration of Independence determined rightly that if due process cannot exist without human authority, human authority cannot exist without due process, and any governing body (such as King George III) that completely abolishes due process no longer has authority and is therefore subject to impeachment by force.
The list of awardees is probably much shorter than it should be. For simplicity I chose to list the chief leaders of the original church and the men who preserved the words of Christ. Why isn't Jesus named as a recipient? Prizes are earned for overcoming challenges. The second person of the Trinity is not challenged by anything - certainly not by ethical issues - and He is the one who gives prizes to us, not vice versa.
Liberty represents these four basic rights: to life and physical safety, to property, to choice and expression of personal
beliefs, and to choice and pursuit of personal interests. The State exists to protect individual rights, and society exists
to provide opportunity for individuals to voluntarily associate with others to engage in commerce, to share ideas, and to
pursue common peaceable interests. Any person, whether acting as a private party or as an agent of the State, is guilty of
violating these rights when that person commits assault against person and property, theft of property, fraudulent trade,
coercion to prevent peaceable speech and pursuit of peaceable interest, or coercion to adopt and express undesired beliefs
and to pursue undesired interests. Liberty is advanced with the broadening of support for individual rights within a society,
with legislation that brings a body of laws into greater compliance with individual rights, and with the overthrow of
tyrannical governments that have violated the rights of the people and that have abolished all means of seeking redress of
grievances against the crimes of the State. -- A Statement of Individual Rights, finalized version July 9, 2003