Martyr

related topics
{god, call, give}
{theory, work, human}
{church, century, christian}
{law, state, case}
{group, member, jewish}
{black, white, people}
{war, force, army}
{son, year, death}
{woman, child, man}
{language, word, form}
{game, team, player}

A martyr (Greek: μάρτυς, mártys, "witness"; stem μάρτυρ-, mártyr-) is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce a belief or cause, usually religious.

Contents

Meaning

In its original meaning, the word martyr, meaning witness, was used in the secular sphere as well as in the New Testament of the Bible.[1] The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness, although it is known from ancient writers (e.g. Josephus) and from the New Testament that witnesses often died for their testimonies.

During the early Christian centuries, the term acquired the extended meaning of a believer who is called to witness for their religious belief, and on account of this witness, endures suffering and/or death. The term, in this later sense, entered the English language as a loanword. The death of a martyr or the value attributed to it is called martyrdom.

Judaism

Martyrdom in Judaism is one of the main examples of Kiddush Hashem, meaning "sanctification of God's name" through public dedication to Jewish practice. Religious martyrdom is considered one of the more significant contributions of Hellenistic 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. 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees recount numerous martyrdoms suffered by Jews resisting Hellenizing (adoption of Greek ideas or customs of a Hellenistic civilization) by their Seleucid overlords, being executed for such crimes as observing the Sabbath, circumcising their children or refusing to eat pork or meat sacrificed to foreign gods. With few exceptions, this assumption has lasted from the early Christian period to this day, accepted both by Jews and Christians. For example, W. H. C. Frend asserted that from early times “Judaism was itself a religion of martyrdom” and that it was this “Jewish psychology of martyrdom” that inspired Christian martyrdom.

Full article ▸

related documents
Golden age
Angra Mainyu
Avatar
Deuterocanonical books
Drow (Dungeons & Dragons)
Hesiod
Justin Martyr
Proteus
Four Quartets
Melqart
Rhea (mythology)
Britomartis
Apis (Egyptian mythology)
Tribulation
Cthulhu
Minotaur
Aegis
Legend
Castor and Pollux
Perun
Son of God
Ezra
Ennead
Hobbit
Mut
Titan (mythology)
Gullveig
Corinthian (comics)
Aeneid
Merlin