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."

  • In a court of justice ( Matthew 18:16 ; 26:65 ; Acts 6:13 ; 7:58 ; Hebrews 10:28 ; 1 Timothy 5:19 ).
  • As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has seen or known ( Luke 24:48 ; Acts 1:8 Acts 1:22 ; Romans 1:9 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:5 1 Thessalonians 2:10 ; 1 John 1:2 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Martyr". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Martyr

    A 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 )

    Source: A King James Dictionary. (Used with permission. Copyright © Philip P. Kapusta)

    Bibliography Information

    "Entry for 'Martyr'". A King James Dictionary.


    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.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'MARTYR'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.