Are you looking to become a disciple? Better read this first, so you know what you are signing up for!

The following is taken from John Foxe’s, Book of Martyrs.

  1. James the Brother of John – Beheaded.
  1. Simons – Crucified.
  1. Thomas – “Doubting” Thomas preached to some of the hardest people groups in history including the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Carmenians, and others. He was died in martyrdom in India.
  1. Philip – Preached to barbarian nations and was stoned and crucified.
  1. Bartholomew – Preached in India and translated the Gospel of Matthew into their language and then was beaten, crucified, and beheaded.
  1. Matthew – Wrote his gospel to the Jews in the Hebrew language and after converted major people groups in Ethiopia and Egypt. Hircanius, the king of this region, resented this movement and had him killed.
  1. Simon Peter – Crucified upside down.

Peter lived during the first of the ten great persecutions that were stirred up by Nero around 64 A.D. Nero’s rage against Christians was so fierce that people at this time would often enter cities where men and women’s dead bodies were cast out naked without respect into the open streets. Many Disciples in those days thought that Nero was the Antichrist because of his harsh cruelty. Peter was condemned to death during this persecution. Some say that Peter tried to leave the city and many disciples encouraged him to do so. But as the story goes he came to the city gates about to leave when Peter saw Jesus walking toward the city to meet him. Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus said, “I am coming again to be crucified.” Seeing that his own death and suffering was eminent, he turned around, returned to the city where Jerome tells us he was crucified upside down at his own request, saying he was not worthy to be crucified the same way his Lord was.

  1. John of Patmos – Boiled alive and exiled.

The second great Christian persecution began during the reign of Domitian. Domitian exiled John to the island of Patmos. At the age of 100, John may have had a lot of wounds on his body, because before he was exiled, they tried to kill him. His persecutors tried to boil him alive, and he lived through it, so they exiled him. While on Patmos he wrote books of the Bible, as a boiled old man – one being the book of Revelation.

  1. Andrew brother of Peter – Andrew, Peter’s brother, was crucified. Here is how his story is told by Saint Benard:

When Andrew, through his diligent preaching had brought many to faith in Christ, Egeas the governor asked permission of the Roman senate to force all Christians to sacrifice to and honor the Roman idols. Andrew believed he should resist Egeas and went to tell him this. Furious at Andrew, Egeas demanded to know if he was the man who had recently overthrown the temples of the gods and persuaded men to become Christians, a ‘superstitious’ sect that had recently been declared illegal by the Romans. Andrew replied boldy that, ‘The rulers of Rome didn’t understand the truth. The son of God who came into the world for man’s sake taught that the Roman gods were devils and enemies of mankind teaching men to offend God, and causing God to turn away from them. By serving the devil, men fall into all kinds of wickedness.’ Andrew said, ‘And after they die, nothing but their evil deeds are remembered.’ He ordered Andrew not to preach or he would face a speedy crucifixion. Whereupon Andrew replied, “‘I would not have preached the honor and glory of the cross if I feared the death of the cross.’ He was condemned to be crucified for teaching a new sect and diminishing the religion of the Roman gods. Andrew, going toward the place of execution, and seeing the cross waiting for him, never changed his expression; neither did he fail in his speech. His body nor his reason failed him as often happens to men who are about to die. He said on the way to the cross, ‘Oh cross, most welcome and longed for, with a willing mind, joyfully and desirously I come to you being the disciple of him which did hang on you because I have always been your lover and yearn to embrace you. You boys want to crucify me? There’s a good spot, go for it. I belong to Jesus.”

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