Martyred by the Romans: Antipas of Pergamum

Certified USDA "Antipas"

Certified USDA "Antipas"

“Roasted alive in a copper ox.”

Now, how is that for a form of judicial execution? Makes crucifixion sound downright humane. At least the Nazis gassed their victims before baking them. The Romans were hardcore.

Yes, poor Antipas was baked to death inside of a hollow, copper steer, according to the Martyrs Mirror.

Since I usually skipped the first three boring chapters of the book as a kid in order to get to the freaky stuff, I completely missed the John of Patmos shoutout to Antipas in Revelation 2:13. John doesn’t mention the ox part, though, perhaps in good taste.

As for ol’ Patmos John, the Martyrs Mirror takes an obviously pre-textual scholarship view that he was the same guy who wrote the fourth gospel. Not being a textual scholar, I’ll take the experts’ word that the gospel writer and the crazy old man on the island were not the same dude.

If the Apostle John and the Revelation writer were one and the same, then this guy was clearly from Krypton. The Martyrs Mirror tells of him getting dipped in boiling oil in Rome and surviving, being forced to drink poison (and surviving) in Ephesus and taking a two-year unscheduled survival vacation on a Mediterranean desert island. It places his death at 99 C.E. after 51 years of preaching. If he was a contemporary of Jesus, that would have made him at least an octogenarian in an era when age 30 was old.


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