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Morrish Bible Dictionary
The Greek word is μάρτυς, and is very frequently translated 'witness;' a martyr is one who meets with death because of the witness he bears. Stephen was a martyr, Acts 22:20; also Antipas, Revelation 2:13 . The 'two witnesses ' in Revelation 11 will also be martyrs, and Babylon the Great is charged with being drunken "with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Revelation 17:6 . The history of the church records the faithfulness of many of these. There can be no doubt that many of the O.T. saints also died as martyrs. Jezebel cut off the prophets of Jehovah. 1 Kings 18:13 . The Lord charged the Pharisees with being the children of them which killed the prophets, Matthew 23:31; and in the "cloud of witnesses" spoken of in Hebrews 11 , were some of whom it is said "others were tortured [lit. broken on the wheel], not accepting deliverance, " as many martyrs since then might have saved their lives by denying their faith. Christ Himself was the faithful and true witness, Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14; and He said to His persecutors, "Ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you . . . . ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth." John 8:37,40 . Thus the Lord Jesus was the true Martyr, though His death comprehended much more than dying as a martyr, namely, atonement.
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Morrish, George. Entry for 'Martyr'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/m/martyr.html. 1897.