Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror

42. The Apostle Matthias

Matthias stoned, beheaded, decapitated, A.D. 70

Matthias, The Holy Apostle Of Christ, Tied On A Cross Upon A Rock, Stoned, And Then Beheaded, A. D. 70

Matthias, according to the opinion of some, was of the royal house of David; and from his youth was well instructed in the law of God. at Bethlehem. He was one of the seventy disciples of Christ; but shortly after the Lord’s ascension, Judas Iscariot, having faithlessly departed from his apostleship, and taken his own life, the remaining eleven apostles, and one hundred and twenty men, through prayer to God, and by the lot, unanimously elected him in place of the aforementioned faithless Judas, an apostle and ambassador of Jesus Christ, to preach the Gospel, according to the command of the Lord, to all nations, and to baptize the believers. Acts 1:23-26.

Afterwards he and the other eleven apostles were scourged by the Jewish council, for the name of Jesus Christ, and commanded that they should preach no more in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 5:38-40. But they departed from the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

After the separation of the apostles, who went everywhere to preach, Matthias, according to the opinion of Jerome, penetrated far into Ethiopia, where no other apostle had been, into the very interior of the land, yea, to the uttermost ends, to the inlet of the creek or river Asphar and Hyssus; where the most ignorant and barbarous people were. Unto these people, sitting as they were, in the deepest darkness and ignorance, there arose, through the ministry of this apostle, the true light of the Gospel. But, after having there gained many souls to Christ, he returned, according to history, to Judea, Galilee, and Samaria; namely, as in consequence of the dispersion of the apostles, the Jews who dwelt in those parts, could not enjoy the benefits of the ministry of the holy Gospel, unto their conversion. Hieron. in Caial. Script. Eccl. Isidor. Naucler. Sabcll. and Antlion., in Hist. Matthias.

Concerning the end or martyrdom of Matthias, some write that he would not sacrifice to the false god Jupiter, and was therefore put to death by the heathen. Others, however, state that for the blasphemy which the Jews said he had committed against God, Moses, and the law, he was sentenced by their high priest, first to be hung on a cross and stoned, and afterwards beheaded with an ax. In short, when he would not deny Jesus, his Saviour, but steadfastly confessed Him, his sentence was this: “Thy blood be upon thy head, for thine own mouth hath spoken against thee.” Thereupon, having been tied on a cross, as some write, or conducted upon a rock, as others say, he was stoned, and finally, according to the sentence, beheaded. Joh. Gys., in Hist. Mart., fol. 13, col. 2, ex Anton., in part 1. Also, Ko)ist-toonecl, etc., in the life of Matthias. Also, P. J Tivisck in the Bybclsch Nojmbcvck, letter M. on the name Matthias, fol. 652, col. 1, 2.

Thieleman J. Van Braght (1625-1664) was an Anabaptist who is best known for writing a history of the Christian witness throughout the centuries entitled “The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660” (1660).

Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror