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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Isaiah, Martyrdom of

A Jewish narrative elaborating the sins of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:16 ). The original was probably written in Hebrew or Aramaic and then translated into Greek in the pre-Christian era or perhaps in the first or early second century A.D. The narrative concerns Isaiah who makes predictions concerning the evil deeds of Manasseh. An evil priest offers Isaiah freedom if he will retract his prophecies of judgment. Empowered by God's Spirit, Isaiah resists and suffers martyrdom by being sawn in two. Hebrews 11:37 is a likely allusion to such a tradition of the faithfulness and martyrdom of Isaiah. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and the Talmud are similarly aware of such a tradition. The familiarity of Origin (about A.D. 225) and IV Baruch (about A.D. 200) with details of the tradition suggests their dependence on the Martydom of Isaiah. See Pseudepigrapha .

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Isaiah, Martyrdom of'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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