Lay it to Heart

Foxe's Book of Martyrs

My tendency is to read a historical book and believe what is written. After all, it is non-fiction, right? Well I have been fooled in the past and it just may happen that I will get fooled again in the future. Take a closer look at Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Is everything accurate? Certainly we would like to know what happened in the past. I definitely believe that millions have given their lives for Jesus as martyrs. Not all the accounts in Foxes Book of Martyrs are correct. The book should not be treated as an authority. While Foxe must have loved the Lord, he certainly could be, and was, tricked.

Peter is not the Foundation of the Church

In the very first sentence Foxe makes a shameful error in stating that the Apostle Peter was the rock that Jesus was to build the church on. He says, "Christ our Savior, in the Gospel of St. Matthew, hearing the confession of Simon Peter, who, first of all other, openly acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, and perceiving the secret hand of His Father therein, called him (alluding to his name) a rock, upon which rock He would build His Church so strong that the gates of hell should not prevail against it." In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The Greek word used here for Peter was "petros" meaning stone. Jesus said he would build his church on the "rock" using the Greek word "petra" referring to himself with the as the rock. John 1:42 says, "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." Here again Peter is not the rock or foundation of the church. The church is built on Jesus. Foxe's theology is lacking.

The Death of Peter

The account of the Peter's death is a not completely true. Peter was going to Jerusalem. What happened? The book says Jesus appeared to Peter. This is not in the Bible. Except for what happened to Paul, Jesus never appeared to anybody else that we know of after He went to heaven. At this point I have my doubts. Next the book says Jesus said that He needed to go to Jerusalem to be crucified again. At this point, I know the account is wrong. Foxe should have known better, too. I am blessed to have a Bible that will let me divide the truth from the fiction. Romans 6:10 says, "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God." Hebrews 10:12 says, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;" John 19:30 says, "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." Jesus said it was finished. He died once and only once. Any story that says He was to die again is wrong. Not every thing in Foxe's book is accurate. Meaning well does not mean that you are right. This error let's me know that the Book isn't all right and the story about Peter being crucified upside down does not come from a reliable source.

St. Matthew

Using "Saint" in front of the name is incorrect. The word saint does not appear in the original scriptures for when referring the apostles or writers of books. Moreover, the context of "Saint" is incorrect. The Catholic Church has tried to present "saints" to the world and separate certain Christians from others. It follows the incorrect teaching that people can't know they are saved and that people go through purgatory but special works or miracles will make a difference. Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" There is not a purgatory. To absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). All believers are saints, not just Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc. The word "saint" is not in the original text and should not be used in the book titles today. It should not be used to refer to the some believers but not others.

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