Paul Middleton offers a tightly argued and stimulating essay on early Christians’ attitudes toward suffering (for their faith/Jesus) and martyrdom: “Christology, Martyrdom, and Vindication in the Gospel of Mark and the Apocalypse: Two New Testament Views,” in Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado, eds. Chris Keith & Dieter T. Roth (London: Bloombury T&T Clark, 2015), 219-37.
Middleton (one of my former PhD students) is now the “go-to guy” on early Christian martyrdom, with a number of valuable and informed studies of the subject, including these: Radical Martyrdom and Cosmic Conflict in Early Christianity (London: T&T Clark, 2006); Martyrdom: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T&T Clark, 2011); and “Early Christian Voluntary Martyrdom: A Statement for the Defence,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 64 (2013): 556-73.
In the first part of the essay in question, Middleton reviews some major issues about early Christian martyrdom, taking…
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