Sins of the “Martyrs?”


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It was used for a person who speaks from personal observation. The martyr , when used in a non-legal context, may also signify a proclamation that the speaker believes to be truthful. The term was used by Aristotle for observations, but also for ethical judgments and expressions of moral conviction that can not be empirically observed.

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There are several examples where Plato uses the term to signify "witness to truth", including in Laws. The Greek word martyr signifies a " witness " who testifies to a fact he has knowledge about from personal observation. It is in this sense that the term first appears in the Book of Acts , in reference to the Apostles as "witnesses" of all that they had observed in the public life of Christ. In Acts , Peter , in his address to the Apostles and disciples regarding the election of a successor to Judas , employs the term with this meaning: "Wherefore, of these men who have accompanied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us, one of these must be made witness with us of his resurrection".

The Apostles , from the beginning, faced grave dangers until eventually almost all suffered death for their convictions.

Martyrs Trophimus and Eucarpus of Nicomedia

Thus, within the lifetime of the Apostles, the term martyrs came to be used in the sense of a witness who at any time might be called upon to deny what he testified to, under penalty of death. From this stage the transition was easy to the ordinary meaning of the term, as used ever since in Christian literature : a martyr, or witness of Christ, is a person who suffers death rather than denies his faith.

John , at the end of the first century, employs the word with this meaning. Yet the term martyr was still sometimes applied during the third century to persons still living, as, for instance, by Cyprian who gave the title of martyrs to a number of bishops, priests, and laymen condemned to penal servitude in the mines.

Religious martyrdom is considered one of the more significant contributions of Second Temple Judaism to western civilization. It is believed that the concept of voluntary death for God developed out of the conflict between King Antiochus Epiphanes IV and the Jewish people. With few exceptions, this assumption has lasted from the early Christian period to this day, accepted both by Jews and Christians.

According to Daniel Boyarin, there are "two major theses with regard to the origins of Christian martyrology, which [can be referred to] as the Frend thesis and the Bowersock thesis". Boyarin characterizes W.

Frend's view of martyrdom as having originated in "Judaism" and Christian martyrdom as a continuation of that practice. Frend argues that the Christian concept of martyrdom can only be understood as springing from Jewish roots.

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Frend writes, "In the first two centuries C. In contrast to Frend's hypothesis, Boyarin describes G. Bowersock's view of Christian martyrology as being completely unrelated to the Jewish practice, being instead "a practice that grew up in an entirely Roman cultural environment and then was borrowed by Jews". Bowersock argues that the Christian tradition of martyrdom came from the urban culture of the Roman Empire, especially in Asia Minor:.

Martyrdom was It ran its course in the great urban spaces of the agora and the amphitheater, the principal settings for public discourse and for public spectacle. It depended upon the urban rituals of the imperial cult and the interrogation protocols of local and provincial magistrates.

Martyrs Trophimus and Eucarpus of Nicomedia - Orthodox Church in America

Boyarin points out that, despite their apparent opposition to each other, both of these arguments are based on the assumption that Judaism and Christianity were already two separate and distinct religions. He challenges that assumption and argues that "making of martyrdom was at least in part, part and parcel of the process of the making of Judaism and Christianity as distinct entities".

Tertullian , one of the 2nd century Church Fathers wrote that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church ", implying that the martyrs' willing sacrifice of their lives leads to the conversion of others.

Some felt they should not, while others said they could. In the end, it was agreed to allow them in after a period of penance. This issue caused the Donatist and Novatianist schisms. The "eschatological ideology" [ citation needed ] of martyrdom was based on an irony found in the Pauline epistles : "to live outside of Christ is to die, and to die in Christ is to live. These homilies were part of the hagiographical tradition of saints and martyrs.

This experience, and the associated martyrs and apologists , would have significant historical and theological consequences for the developing faith.


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Among other things, persecution sparked the devotion of the saints , facilitated the rapid growth and spread of Christianity, prompted defenses and explanations of Christianity the "apologies" and, in its aftermath, raised fundamental questions about the nature of the church. Stephen was the first martyr in Christian tradition.

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He was crucified, however, not technically martyred. The doctrines of Christ's apostles brought the Early Church into conflict with the Sanhedrin. Carson and Douglas J. Moo write that Stephen was stoned to death after he was "falsely accused of speaking against the temple and the law". In many Christian traditions, Saint Antipas is widely believed to be the martyred Antipas written about in Revelation Churches were destroyed, icons were burned, and five-pointed stars were set up everywhere.

While throwing churches, crosses and domes down to the ground, they furnished the entire Russian land with thousands of bronze busts, prepared for the glorification of new idols.


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The Russian people found themselves in a world turned upside down, and decided that so it must be. In such a manner our grandparents and our parents lived out their lives. So we continue to live too, thinking that everything is as it should be, that the turning of rivers, Chernobyl, the death of Russian soldiers in Afghanistan and Chechnya, narcotics, the boring exchange of one set of political idols for another, the placement of material wealth above divine ideals are all natural events.

We justify our atheism by the fact that for seventy years we have not been taught anything religious, anything related to the church. But let us not engage in self-justification, since it has long been time for us to ask God forgiveness for our godless life, it has long been time to thank God for our still being alive, for being able to repent of our sins, for being able to change.

The mortal sin of regicide hangs over our people, and, consequently, in some measure or other, hangs over each one of us. We believe that the bright soul of the Tsar will bow down before the throne of God and will pray for the salvation of Russia and for us sinners. Everything is possible for God!

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Sins of the “Martyrs?” Sins of the “Martyrs?”
Sins of the “Martyrs?” Sins of the “Martyrs?”
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