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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 8450 martyrdom
8450 martyrdom

8450 martyrdom

The term “martyr” comes from the Greek word for “witness”, reminding believers that the supreme act of witness for the gospel is to give up one’s life for its sake.

Jesus Christ as martyr

Jesus Christ had to suffer and die Mk 8:31 In that Jesus Christ gives up his life, he may be thought of as a martyr. But the NT stresses that he is far more than this. Through his death alone come all the benefits of salvation, in which all believers can share. See also Isa 53:10

Jesus Christ’s life is given as a ransom for believers Mt 20:28 pp Mk 10:45 See also Lk 9:22; Jn 10:11; Ac 2:23

Other examples of martyrdom

Abel Ge 4:8; Mt 23:35 pp Lk 11:51; Heb 11:4; Heb 12:24; 1Jn 3:12

Zechariah 2Ch 24:20-21; Lk 11:51

John the Baptist Mt 14:10-12 pp Mk 6:27-29

Stephen Ac 7:58; Ac 22:20 Stephen is the first martyr of the Christian church.

James Ac 12:2

Peter Jn 21:18-19

Antipas Rev 2:13

Unnamed martyrs 1Ki 19:10; Ro 11:3; Ne 9:26; Mt 23:30-34; Lk 11:47-49; Ac 7:52; Ro 8:35-36; Heb 11:35,37; Jas 5:6; Rev 11:7; Rev 13:15; Rev 16:6; Rev 17:6

Noble qualities of martyrs

Courage Da 3:16-18

Prayerfulness Ac 7:59-60

Self-denial Rev 12:11 See also Mt 16:24 pp Mk 8:34; Lk 9:24

Serenity Ac 7:55-56

Steadfastness Rev 2:10 See also Heb 11:35
Ac 21:13 See also Da 3:16-18

Martyrdom must be recognised as a possibility for all believers

Lk 21:16 See also Mt 10:21 pp Mk 13:12; Mt 24:9; Jn 16:2; Jn 21:18-19

Reasons for martyrdom

Refusal to engage in false worship Da 3:6 See also Da 3:16-18; Da 6:7; Da 11:30-33; Rev 13:15

Courageous confrontation Ne 9:26 See also Mt 14:2-12 pp Mk 6:17-29; Ac 7:51-58; Rev 11:7-10

Public confession of Jesus Christ Mt 24:9 See also Mk 13:12-13; Lk 21:16-17

A holy life 1Jn 3:12

Methods of martyrdom

Beheading See also Mt 14:10; Mk 6:16; Lk 9:9; Rev 20:4

Burning Da 3:11; 1Co 13:3

Mutilation Heb 11:37

Stoning Ac 7:58; Heb 11:37

The sword Ac 12:2; Heb 11:37

Torture Heb 11:35

Retribution for instigators of martyrdom

Rev 6:9-10 See also Mt 23:35; Ac 12:1-2,23

Rewards of martyrdom

Rev 2:10 See also Mt 10:39; Rev 20:4

See also

7346death penalty
8253faithfulness, examples

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