Why isn't John the Baptist considered the first Christian martyr?


#1

I have been curious a few times why St. Stephen is considered the first martyr and not St. John the Baptist.
St. Stephen died after Jesus was crucified, and St. John the Baptist died before Jesus was crucified.
Is it that St. Stephen is more properly the first Christian martyr since St. John the Baptist may have been still considered Jewish in name as the term Christian was not around then?


#2

Dear P,

St. John the Baptist died before Jesus redeemed the world. He came at the end of the Old Law. St. Stephen was the first to die after Jesus redeemed the world and so is the first Christian martyr.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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