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Book of Martyrs

Here are a few names of Christian martyrs. There are hundreds and even thousands of unnamed others who lost their lives at the same time as those listed here. Though their names are unknown to us, they are well known to God (2 Cor. 6:9).

Name Means of Death Year
Stephen Stoned 34
James the Great Beheaded 44
Philip Crucified and stoned 54
Matthew Beheaded 60
James the Less Stoned, beaten 63
Mark Dragged 64
Peter Crucified upside down 69
Paul Beheaded 69
Matthias Stoned 70
Andrew Crucified 70
Thaddaeus Arrows or javelin 70
Bartholomew Flayed, crucified 70
Thomas Speared 70
Simon the Zealot Sawn in half 74
Luke Hanged 93
Ignatius Torn by lions 107
Polycarp Stabbed 155
The Romans had threatened Polycarp with beasts and with fire, but nothing would make him turn against Christ. They lit the pyre, which sprang up quickly. But even the fire wouldn't touch him as it formed an arch around Polycarp's body. In the end, the Romans commanded an executioner to stab him. A great quantity of blood put out the remaining flames.
Justin Martyr Beheaded 165
Origen Tortured 254
Cyprian Beheaded 258
Theban Legion Put to the sword 286
This legion of 6,600 soldiers from Thebes declined the Roman emperor's order to help exterminate their fellow-Christians. Their statement when told they would be killed: "We have arms in our hands but do not resist, because we would rather die innocent than live by any sin."
Alban Beheaded 304
Sebastian Soldiers Frozen 320
Telemachus Gladiator's sword 404
Boniface Ambushed 755
Alphage Bludgeoned 1012
Bishop Gellert Stabbed 1046
William Swinderby Burned 1401
Jan Hus Burned 1415
Jerome of Prague Burned 1416
John Oldcastle Hanged/burned 1417
Catherine Saube Burned 1417
Henry Voes Burned 1523
Patrick Hamilton Burned 1527
George Wagner Burned 1527
John Frith Burned 1533
William Tyndale Burned 1536
Tyndale was condemned to death for translating the Bible into English. As he was secured to the stake, surrounded by brush and logs, he was heard to say, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes." Three years after his death, all printers and sellers of books were ordered by the king to provide for the "free and liberal use of the Bible in our own material and English tongue."
George Wishart Burned 1546
Lady Jane Grey Beheaded 1554
Hugh Latimer Burned 1555
Petrus Ramus Mutilated 1572
Nagasaki Martyrs Crucified 1597
Twenty-six Christian men, nineteen of them Japanese, were arrested. Following a month-long winter march, the men were crucified. It is said that when the column of prisoners saw their crosses, they each embraced theirs, and one of the condemned asked that his hands be nailed to the crossbar. For the rest, chains and iron straps kept the men suspended until a squad of executioners finished the work by pushing spears into their chests.
Mary Dyer Hanged 1660
James Guthrie Hanged 1661
Richard Cameron Beheaded 1680
John Paton Hanged 1684
John Williams Speared/eaten 1839
Theophane Venard Beheaded 1861
Robert Thomas Shot 1865
Thomas was on a mission to smuggle Bibles into Korea. He was caught and died offering a Bible to the soldier who killed him. The soldier wallpapered his house with the Bible, and his nephew was converted and became a pastor.
Namugongo Martyrs Burned 1886
Lizzie Atwater Hacked by swords 1900
James Chalmers Clubbed 1901
Chrysostomos Tortured/shot 1922
John & Betty Stam Beheaded 1934
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Hanged 1945
Bonhoeffer returned to Nazi Germany to preach, and continued to preach and write even after imprisoned. He was hanged at the direct order of Hitler.
Jim Elliot Speared 1956
Paul Carlson Shot 1964
Wang Zhiming Public execution 1973
Chet Bitterman Shot 1981
Yona Kanamuzeyi Shot 1994
Antonio Revas Shot 1998
Graham Staines Burned 1999
Staines was conducting an open-air evangelistic camp. His sons (ages 7 and 9) were with him. After Graham and the boys had retired for the night in their station wagon, a group of militant Hindus attacked them with clubs and set fire to the vehicle. Trapped inside his car by the mob, the missionary died holding his boys.


—Information taken from Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs, published by Bridge-Logos Alachua, FL 32615.