I’m cranky today after reading Huff Post article about the reconstruction of the Roman machine that lifted wild animals into the Colosseum. It’s all about how the animals should be pitied. I get that, but what the piece is really about is pushing the debunking myth about “phantom” persecution of Christians. Sorry, but Christians were killed for their faith in ancient times. Peter wasn’t making it up. Neither are other non-canonical sources. And the persecution wasn’t focused on the Colosseum. And Christians really aren’t killed today, either. And radical Islam isn’t doing that thing that doesn’t happen, either. In fact, there is no radicalized Islam.

Here are some resources:

Early Christian Martyr Stories: An Evangelical Introduction with New Translations

  • Mark Noll’s blurb (look him up; he knows something about history and historical method) puts it well: “Reflections on Christian martyrdom often exaggerate or debunk. Bryan Litfin’s book on early Christian martyrs is different. It will satisfy not only academics looking for careful documentation, but also readers in general. . . .”

Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church

  •  The above was originally published by Oxford University Press in 1965. I presume you’ve heard of it.