Sketches from Church History by S M Houghton Chapter 2

Some of us are going through Sketches from Church History by S M Houghton one small chapter at a time. (By the way, the book has pictures.) Aiding us in this study is the work book by Rebecca Frawley. Both are Banner of Truth books.
Now we are at
Chapter 2 The Martyrs

Some keywords/names to remember/key ideas from this chapter are:

  • Apostles (most if not all were martyred)
  • Apostolic Fathers (came just after the time of the apostles)
  • Hermas, an apostolic father, wrote ‘The Shepherd’, temed as The Pilgrim’s Progress of the early church
  • Ignatius of Antioch, an apostolic father, condemned to the lions in the amphitheatre at Rome by Emperor Trajan
  • Polycarp of Smyrna, another apostolic father, bishop of Smyrna was torched
  • Blandina, a slave girl in Southern France was martyred
  • Vivia Perpetua, a young mother in Carthage in North Africa was martyred
  • Cyprian of Carthage, a notable teacher of rhetoric was martyred at the hands of pro-consul Galerius
  • The Catacombs near Rome where early Christians hid and worshipped still have inscriptions, paintings and symbols from that period
  • One historian wrote: The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

To read more about Sketches from Church History


  1. From Wikepedia about Apostolic Fathers

    The Apostolic Fathers are a small collection of Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the 1st century and the first half of the 2nd century. These authors are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, but their writings were not included in the New Testament Biblical canon.

    The apostolic fathers include St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Polycarp of Smyrna.

    The Roman Catholic label “Apostolic Fathers” has been used since the 17th century to emphasize that these authors were thought of as being of the generation that had personal contact with the Twelve Apostles. Thus they provide a link between the Apostles who knew Jesus of Nazareth and the later generation of Christian apologists, defenders of orthodoxy, and developers of doctrine known as the Church Fathers.

  2. Reading about martyrs causes me both to tremble and rejoice! Blessed are those who die in the Lord…yet I wonder if I will have that courage should my time come.

    I enjoyed looking around your blog! It’s encouraging to find others seeking Jesus!


    Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds

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