Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Famous Martyrs of the First Century

"Here is a list of eye-witness martyrs as compiled from numerous sources outside the Bible, the most-famous of which is Foxes’ Christian Martyrs of the World:

Stephen was preaching the gospel in Jerusalem on the Passover after Christ’s crucifixion. He was cast out of the city and stoned to death. About 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom during this time (about 34 A.D.).

James, the son of Zebedee and the elder brother of John, was killed when Herod Agrippa arrived as governor of Judea. Many early disciples were martyred under Agrippa’s rule, including Timon and Parmenas (about 44 A.D.).

Philip, a disciple from Bethsaida, in Galilee, suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified (about 54 A.D.).

Matthew, the tax-collector from Nazareth who wrote a gospel in Hebrew, was preaching in Ethiopia when he suffered martyrdom by the sword (about 60 A.D.).

James, the Brother of Jesus, administered the early church in Jerusalem and was the author of a book in the Bible. At the age of 94 he was beat and stoned, and finally had his brains bashed out with a fuller's club.

Matthias was the apostle who filled the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.

Andrew, the brother of Peter, preached the gospel throughout Asia. On his arrival at Edessa, he was arrested and crucified on a cross, two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground (thus the term, St. Andrew's Cross).

Mark was converted to Christianity by Peter, and then transcribed Peter’s account of Jesus in his Gospel. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria in front of Serapis, their pagan idol.

Peter was condemned to death and crucified at Rome. Jerome holds that Peter was crucified upside down, at his own request, because he said he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord.

Paul suffered in the first persecution under Nero. Because of the converting impact he was having on people in the face of martyrdom, he was led to a private place outside the city where he gave his neck to the sword.

Jude, the brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa in about 72 A.D.

Bartholomew translated the Gospel of Matthew in India. He was cruelly beaten and crucified by idolaters there.

Thomas, called Didymus, preached in Parthia and India. He was thrust through with a spear by pagan priests.

Luke was the author of the Gospel under his name. He traveled with Paul through various countries and was supposedly hanged on an olive tree by idolatrous priests in Greece.

Barnabas, of Cyprus, was killed without many known facts about 73 A.D. Simon, surnamed Zelotes, preached in Africa and Britain, where he was crucified in about 74 A.D.

John, the "beloved disciple," was the brother of James. Although he suffered great persecution, including imprisonment where he wrote the book of Revelation, he was the only apostle who escaped a violent death."

from:
http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/voice-of-the-martyrs.htm

3 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

A useful historical lesson on the price that some of the New Testament leaders paid for following the resurrected Christ.

G.N. said...

Quick question- why would Bartholomew translate the Gospel of Matthew rather than simply write his own or preach out of his own understanding and experience? He was an eyewitness to the events just as much- that concept doesn't make much sense to me. Do you know?

Jeff said...

G.N.,

I don't know for sure, and in the small amount of research I've done on him, I saw nothing that would answer your question. My guess would be it might be easier to just translate what was already written, rather than re-write it from scratch.

I found some interesting additional info on him here (though this does not answer your question):

"Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Great Apostles. In all probability, it appears that Bartholomew and Nathaniel are one and the same person. He was a companion of the Apostle Philip and Philip's sister, the virgin Mariamna and, for some time, a companion of St. John the Theologian. Bartholomew preached the Gospel first throughout Asia and, after that, in India and finally in Armenia where he died a martyr's death. In Hierapolis, these holy apostles by prayer, caused the death of a large serpent which the heathens kept in their temple and worshipped. In this same city and, by prayer, they restored sight to Stachius who was blind for forty years. It was here that a mob rose up against them and they crucified Philip and Bartholomew (Bartholomew was crucified upside down). At this time, an earthquake occurred in which the evil judges and may people perished. Feeling that this was a punishment from God, many ran to remove the apostles from the crosses but Philip was already dead while Bartholomew was still alive. After this, Bartholomew went to India where he preached and translated the Gospel of St. Matthew into the Indian language. Following this, he entered Armenia where he cured the daughter of the king from insanity. But the envious brother of King Astyages seized God's apostle, crucified him on a cross, skinned him and finally beheaded him in Armenian Albanopolis [Derbend]. Christians honorably buried his body in a lead sarcophagus. Because many miracles occurred over his relics, the pagans took the sarcophagus and tossed it into the sea. But the water carried the sarcophagus to the Island of Lipara where Bishop Agathon, through a revelation in a dream, met and buried it in the church. St. Bartholomew, attired in a white garment, appeared in church to Venerable Joseph, the Hymnographer, blessed him with the Gospel that he may be able to sing spiritual hymns saying: "Let heavenly waters of wisdom flow from your tongue!" He also appeared to Emperor Anastasius (491-518 A.D.) and told him that he would protect the newly established town of Dara. Later, the relics of this great apostle were translated to Benevento and then to Rome."