Nadia May's poignant narration of the classic Book of Martyrs engages the hearts of modern Christians. This compelling and heart-wrenching story details the courage and faith of men and women who found victory by following Christ "even unto death." For many generations of Western Christians, this book was the only devotional and evangelical text available, other than the Bible. It inspired evangelism, fueled church growth, and cemented the determination of many to make real-life sacrifices for their faith.
Beginning with the story of Stephen from the book of Acts, considered the first Christian martyr, the drama builds to the passion of the early Church's persecution under the Roman Empire. The hardy and radical faith of those first believers spawned medieval missionary movements that spread the gospel across Europe and into England, Scotland, and Ireland. As the story continues, it places a significant emphasis on the sufferings of the early Protestants during the Reformation. As a vicar in the Church of England, author John Foxe strongly identified with the Protestant sects throughout Europe, and his loyalty to their cause comes through in his descriptions of many early clashes between Catholic and Protestant believers. Listeners are given an opportunity to experience the storytelling that incited several wars between Catholic and Protestant forces. The political and personal passion of the Reformation continues with the stories of the French Protestants during and after the French Revolution. In addition to bearing witness to martyrs who would otherwise remain anonymous, this book gives listeners a fascinating historical perspective on the sufferings of John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim's Progress), John Wesley, and the Quakers. Appended chapters describe the privation and struggles of early American missionaries like Adoniram Judson.
American Christians are shocked and inspired by these tales of fellow believers throughout history who have paid the ultimate price for their faith. Foxe's Book of Martyrs has jump-started church growth and personal faithfulness for centuries. William Byron Forbush's edition of this classic retains this power and the historical feel of the language while making the text accessible to modern listeners.