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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Persecution (2)

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PERSECUTION.—(1) Christ foresaw that persecution would be His inevitable lot and that of His true followers. Repeatedly He foretold the main incidents of His Passion (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 20:18-19; Matthew 26:2, Matthew 8:31; Matthew 9:31; Matthew 10:32-34). (2) Christ also forewarned His disciples that they too must suffer persecution (Matthew 24:9, Mark 4:17; Mark 10:30, Luke 11:49; Luke 21:12; Luke 21:16, John 16:2-4; John 16:33). (3) Persecution was the test of true discipleship. It was mentioned in the parable of the Sower as the cause of defection among superficial believers (Mark 4:17, Matthew 13:21). (4) It was the sure means of gaining a blessing, and as such is particularly referred to in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:10-12).

The methods of persecution adopted against Christ and His immediate followers were such as contempt and disparagement (John 8:48); ascription of Christ’s miracles to the power of the Evil One (Matthew 12:24); expulsion of those believing on Him from the synagogue (John 9:22; John 9:34); attempts to entrap Him in His words (Matthew 22:15, John 8:6); questioning His authority (Mark 11:28, Matthew 21:23); (after the failure of the former) illegal arrest and the heaping of every kind of insult upon the Prisoner, who was entitled to protection from the authorities until the authorized penalty was laid upon Him (Matthew 26:67 ff. and parallels). See also art. Name, p. 217b.

It was the fear of persecution that drove the disciples to forsake their Master at the hour of His arrest (Matthew 26:56 and parallels).

C. H. Prichard.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Persecution (2)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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