A Measure of the Biblical Understanding of the Early Christian Martyrs
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AbstractIn Chapter One, I introduce many of the early Christian martyrs and the situations in which they lived and died. I also show the reasons for the existence of the martyrdoms and the mutual attitudes of the Christians and the Pagans. In Chapter Two, I demonstrate that the majority of the martyrs, or those writing about them, did not properly understand and use passages from the Bible. In Chapter Three, I argue that the early martyrs and those writing about them, in contrast to their use and understanding of biblical passages, understood the character of the Devil as he existed in the biblical tradition. Cox 2 About the Thesis My initial reasons for writing this Thesis came from a question that my cousin asked me concerning suicide. After researching suicide for a time I found myself reading related early Christian martyr acts more and more often. I began to question their use of the biblical text. I switched my study from what it had been, classical attitudes toward suicide, and instead I chose to examine the early Christian treatment of the text of the Bible.