one who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the cause of Christ ( Acts 22:20 ; Revelation 2:13 ; 17:6 ). In this sense Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all other cases is translated "witness."
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the MARTYRS of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. ( Revelation 17:6 )
mar'-ter (martus, Aeolic martur):
One who gives heed, and so, a "witness," so translated in numerous passages, both as of one bearing testimony, and also as of one who is a spectator of anything (see WITNESS). In the King James Version rendered "martyr" in Acts 22:20, "thy martyr Stephen"; and Revelation 2:13, "Antipas my faithful martyr"; also 17:6, "the blood of the martyrs of Jesus," where alone the American Standard Revised Version retains "martyrs." These 3 passages are the beginning of the use of the word "martyr" for such witnesses as were faithful even unto death, its uniform modern use.
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