Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Murderer and the Martyr

The firstborn son, alas! he scarcely grew
to man's estate, ere he his brother slew;
and that first crime of murder, done by Cain
before the altar! There was Abel slain!
Thus man, vain man, born of woman, began
his bloody ritual: – slew his fellow man.
Oh, why for other witness should we call,
to prove the wretchedness of Adam's fall?
No wicked deed e'er wrought by thing with life,
so wondrous wicked as this primal strife.
The crime initial of the race; – for then
began the illustrative acts of men;
and since, their record is one bloody line –
one breach continuous of the Law Divine.1

When we last left Cain, he was walking through the valley of decision. He and his little brother Abel had each brought an offering to God from the results of their labors, but Abel brought the best in righteousness while Cain brought the average in unrighteousness. God had welcomed Abel and his offering with favor, but seemed to snub Cain and his offering, humiliating him. Cain had fallen into sorrow and anger, so God spoke with him, correcting his reaction and warning that he was where two pathways diverged. One pathway, that of doing good with his passions, would lead to an uplifting result. Taking the other pathway ran the risk of being bitten by a voracious beast called sin, which he needed to master by taking dominion over it, dominion over himself. But the choice was Cain's to make. God swiftly wrapped up his speech, yielding space to answer (Genesis 4:3-7).

After that, we'd expect to read, “Cain said to the LORD” something or other. We expect a dialogue to continue. But we're disappointed. Cain still has nothing he wants to say to God, even when knowingly at the crisis point. Instead, the next words we read are: “And Cain said to Abel...” – that's where we pick up, with an abandonment of the divine conversation for a human one (Genesis 4:8).2 How long that switch takes could be immediate, or it could (as some pictured) involve Cain “biding his time” for days, weeks, months, before verse 8 picks up.3

And Cain said to Abel...” – everywhere else in the Bible, that phrase introduces what's said. But here, at least in our surviving Hebrew text, there's just a suspicious blank.4 Needless to say, lots of people have tried to fill in the blank! Some filled it in with Cain telling Abel about his conversation with God.5 Some filled it in with some kind of personal argument – maybe a quarrel over authority,6 or maybe a quarrel over land ownership.7 Some filled it in with a theology debate, Cain denying mercy and judgment in the world while Abel defends the ways of God and the hope of things to come.8 All the ancient translations have Cain inviting Abel to go out to the field together, and it could be that that's how the original text read and our Hebrew copies just got messed up along the way.9 Part of me, though, wonders if this gap in the text isn't a clever ploy on purpose.10 Cain's made his decision, but without getting to hear what he says, we're on the edge of our seat to watch what he does. His actions will speak so much louder than any words, revealing his heart if we read on with bated breath.

Whatever he says, what we find next is that “they were in the field” (Genesis 4:8). This is the wild country, an isolated flat expanse where animals roam. It's also the kind of place you'd take a flock out to pasture (Genesis 31:4), so it's likely Abel's workplace as a shepherd, somewhere familiar to him.11 But a field could become cultivated as farmland (Exodus 22:5), if it were seized and privatized. And where have we met the field before? From meeting the most cunning of all “beasts of the field,” the serpent (Genesis 3:1). Cain, now seed of the serpent, naturally goes out where the wild things are. There, Cain wants Abel unsupported and unsuspecting.12

The trouble is that God's word to Cain – the same word that summoned stars and makes Cain's crops grow – has fallen silent on Cain's petrifying heart.13 And so, in the field, “what he pondered, he also did.”14 “Cain rose up against his brother Abel” (Genesis 4:8). That expression, to 'rise up against' someone, might have the sense of a sneak attack, an abrupt outburst of hostility (Judges 20:5). No wonder ancient readers described Cain here as “full of treachery.”15 And when Cain attacked, “in the field, there was no one to separate them” (2 Samuel 14:6), no one on the earthly scene to intervene against Cain the brutal brawler's brawn.16 The result was that “Cain... slew him” (Genesis 4:8). It's the general word for 'killing' or 'slaying' – here it's plainly intentional, not accidental, as when “a man presumes against his neighbor to slay him by cunning” (Exodus 21:14).17 We hear this combo later from Moses, “a man rising up against his neighbor and slaying him” (Deuteronomy 22:26).

Before, in Genesis 3, we saw Adam and Eve commit a wrong against God; now, in Genesis 4, we're introduced to social sin, whereby both is God offended and are others also harmed.18 As the Bible unfolds, this verse shows us “the first cardinal transgression by man against man.”19 There's no deep mystery what these words mean in this verse. Out of nowhere, once Cain and Abel were together in the open field away from prying human eyes, Cain gave vent to his anger, his envy, his hate. He turned on Abel, striking perhaps with a stick or a stone or a tool carved of bone. He bludgeoned or stabbed at Abel. Maybe Abel raised his hands, maybe he tried to urge Cain to stop; or maybe Abel had little time to react, his head battered, his skull dented, his bones cracking. The event was no doubt fast once it started. Before that minute, Abel was walking around, breathing the air of God's green earth. After that fatal minute, Abel's lungs lapsed in their labors, his heart's thumping arrested, his brain's synapses wound down their electric pulsating, his eyes glazed over. All the while, the seething Cain stood over his very own flesh and blood and watched said blood drain into the soil and said flesh cut loose its spirit.20

This, this minute of his choice bearing poisoned fruit, is what we all know Cain for. In what he's done, Cain has not just killed Abel; Cain has killed the soul of Cain, extinguishing his inner life, plunging his soul into dark death.21 Cain's course shows us how “departure from the one true God inevitably leads to injustice, and indeed to bloodshed, in human society.”22 Violence has now entered the human world through Cain, “the first murderer.”23 What Cain has done is unspeakably serious: “homicide... involves the greatest injury to one's neighbor,”24 and so is “the most heinous violation of the social bond between human beings.”25 And by what he's done, Cain has “instructed humanity in the way to commit murder.”26 His horrifying work will echo.

Already in the earlier stretches of the Stone Age, archaeologists find human skulls with head wounds that might have been inflicted through intentional violence.27 In north Iraq, they've found a skeleton showing a knife wound that penetrated the rib and lung, leaving damage that led to death about two months later;28 in Russia, they found a burial of a man killed by a thrown spear.29 From the Middle Stone Age, we've found graveyards full of skulls with blunt-force trauma and arms with defensive wounds.30 By the time we reach a world in the Late Stone Age where farming is a regular human practice alongside mass graves testifying to beheadings, we can plainly see the fruits of prehistoric human society being remade in Cain's image.31

Recorded history has hardly been any better than prehistory. Settle anywhere you please along the riverbank of time, and you'll find the ground wetted by blood and tears. The millennia bring brawlings and beatings and battles, mass shootings and massacres, gangs and genocides, abortions and holocausts – a woeful litany of man's inhumanity to man. And our own area has hardly been exempt. The other night, I watched a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet, itself a tale of the aftermath of one brother's murder of another. I was there to see a good friend of mine, whose fourth-great-grandfather was hanged in Lebanon in 1880 for having drowned an old man in an insurance scheme.32 Six years later, in Reading, an argument over some misplaced money led a youth to fire four shots from his revolver into his big brother's body, then two more into himself; the victim lingered long enough to marry his fiancée before swiftly leaving her a widow.33

A week and 126 years ago, the president of a Lancaster bank was blown away by a tenant he was evicting, inches in front of a deeply traumatized constable.34 In Schuylkill County, 1903, a grown man in a rage turned his repeating rifle against two brothers, gunning both down; finally caught, all he could say was, “I am bewitched!”35 And in the 1930s, one of the families now tied to our own church nearly took Cain's dark road: while feasting and drinking after a hunt, two brothers fought over a cigarette, and the father intervened, striking and evicting one of the quarreling sons; that son, minutes later, returned to fire a 12-gauge shotgun into the family shack, injuring his father and two other brothers.36

This very past Wednesday, as a crowd gathered in a West Philadelphia park to mark an Islamic holiday, two groups of young men got into a shootout, ripping the event to pieces.37 Thursday night, in North Carolina, a two-hour window brought multiple shootings across the city of Durham, leaving a 16-year-old high school student dead; according to his mother, he and his little brother had both survived being shot just last Sunday.38 On Friday in Australia, a man carried out a mass stabbing at a shopping mall, killing six and wounding seven others, including a mama and her baby.39 That night in Pakistan, gunmen held up a bus, abducting and fatally shooting nine men from the 'wrong' province.40 Meanwhile, in the West Bank, an Israeli shepherd boy's sheep wandered home without him; his body turned up yesterday, by which time Israeli rioters had beat and burned and shot their way through several Palestinian villages.41 Cain has his fingers in so very many pies. Cain is active in every nation. Open the news, and you're seeing Cain-world in operation. Sometimes that world unfolds in the mirror, too. Talk about “one breach continuous of the Law Divine!”42

Faced with it, what does the Bible tell us? Listen: “We should not be like Cain, who was of the Evil One and murdered his brother. … Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:12, 15). Make no excuses for Cain. Watch out for Cain. Refuse room for Cain in your hands, in your head, in your heart. But realize that those who have walked the way of Cain have still a prospect for redemption, for forgiveness, for recovery, for victory over the sin that has mastered them.

Here, though, is another layer to the story we mustn't miss. We've spoken so much of Cain, Cain, Cain. What set this all in motion? What was the spark? Worship. Abel was a righteous man and a true worshipper of God. It was because Abel worshipped God truly and effectively that Cain envied and hated him. Cain was bitterly opposed to Abel's worship and its fruit. Cain couldn't stand the thought that Abel's worship pleased God. Cain himself was acting out of his own perverted worship, a corrupted religious sensibility that sought to win favor through bloodshed,43 as though offering Abel as a human sacrifice.44 Cain wasn't just any type of murderer; his attack on Abel, “the first religious war,” was an act of religious persecution.45 So Abel wasn't just any type of victim. He died precisely for his worship, for his religion, for his love of the LORD.

Blessed Abel is persecuted for righteousness' sake (Matthew 5:10). Abel “suffered evil for a good cause,” and so, “by dying patiently for the sake of righteousness, he made good use of that evil” that Cain did to him.46 During a violent persecution in the third century, one Christian leader pointed to Abel as “the first one to inaugurate and dedicate martyrdom,” since Abel “didn't resist or struggle against his brother... but, in humble and gentle patience, allowed himself to be killed” for the Lord.47

That's what martyrdom means: “It is essential to the nature of martyrdom,” said one great theologian, “that a man [or woman] stands steadfastly in truth and justice against the assaults of persecutors.”48 That's precisely what Abel did, what he was first to do; and that act certified “holy Abel,” in the eyes of some, as the very first member of the Church which “has been present on earth since the dawn of humanity,”49 which “began with Abel and extends to all who... will believe in Christ to the very end.”50 Even Martin Luther thought of Abel as “the first among all the saints..., the first to be freed from sin and from the misfortunes of this world, and throughout the entire later church, he shines like a brilliant star.”51

Israel, at her best, was a national Abel: “For your sake,” they lamented to God, “we are slain all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered” (Psalm 44:22). When seven Jewish brothers laid their lives on the line for God and his Law (2 Maccabees 7:1-40), their mother urged them to stay steadfast, reminding them how their late father “used to read to you about Abel, slain by Cain” (4 Maccabees 18:11). And Jesus himself recounted history as “all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel” on down (Matthew 23:35); and he warned that when he sent out “prophets and apostles,” some would be subjected to violence and even killed (Luke 11:49). Stephen was stoned to death by an angry mob (Acts 7:54-60). One James was executed by the sword (Acts 12:1-2), while James the Just, leader of the church in Jerusalem, was shoved off a platform, stoned, and finally clubbed over the head in the temple court.52 Paul, having survived whippings and stonings, was at last beheaded in Rome, while Peter was crucified there.53 The same emperor who ordered their deaths scapegoated Christians, having them ripped apart by dogs or else crucified and lit on fire.54 Many other apostles were ultimately killed in their mission: Andrew crucified in Greece, Thomas speared in India, and so on.55

As persecutions ran on, we hear of the martyrs' “nobility, endurance, and love of the Master” when, “clinging to the gracious gift of Christ, they despised the torments of the world.”56 Shepherds urged their Christian flocks, in such times, to “imitate... the just Abel, who initiated martyrdoms since he was the first to be killed for justice.”57 And martyrdom is by no means a thing of the past; more Christians have been killed for their faith in the past hundred years than in any before it. These aren't passive participants or simple victims. Looking backward and forward from the Middle Ages, wise Christians observed that “of all acts of virtue, martyrdom exhibits most completely the perfection of charity,” and so “of all human actions, martyrdom is the most perfect in kind, being the mark of the greatest love.”58 It's not for nothing that the earliest Christians said things like, “We love the martyrs as disciples and imitators of the Lord,” and hoped all Christians could be “partners and fellow disciples with them.”59 The Church therefore chose to celebrate those martyrs by name and day, embracing them with love as friends gone to heaven in daring triumph. And to the extent we're their fellow disciples, Abel represents us, standing in this text for every “Christian who cleaves to God” in the face of the world's dark disdain.60

God testifies of martyred Abel that “the voice of [his] blood is crying out to me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10), “crying out the wrongs which he has suffered at the hands of a wicked brother.”61 Jewish reflections on those words imagined Abel's spirit loudly complaining about Cain until Cain's legacy should crumble to dust.62 Even the New Testament testifies of Abel that “through his faith, though he died, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4) – still speaks, untold millennia after Cain and all his seed are dead and gone, because Abel's blood can't be satisfied until the works of Cain are gone, until “final justice” is rendered to Cain-world.63 Nor is Abel's alone. John says, “I saw under the altar” – where the sacrificial blood would run down – “the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice: 'O Sovereign Lord, holy and true! How long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'” (Revelation 6:9-10). “These souls of the saints cry out, not with hatred of enemies, but with the love of justice” and with a yearning for resurrection.64 As they wait, they receive reward in heaven (Revelation 6:11), which is why Luther says that after Abel dies, “he is in a better state than if he possessed a thousand worlds with all their goods.”65

And that's fitting, because Abel symbolizes more than just martyrdom. Early Christians explicitly said that “Abel who is likewise slain” was a foreshadowing of “the mystery of the Lord.”66 Abel the shepherd was a window onto the coming “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11), “the Great Shepherd of the Sheep” (Hebrews 13:20). Both were objects of hatred from their brethren: Abel by Cain, Jesus by all brothers Jew and Gentile. So Abel died to “symbolize the One,” Christ, “who was killed... by an evil brother according to the flesh,”67 “slain in witness to the blood that would one day be shed by the Mediator.”68 Not only was Abel “the first to show us martyrdom,” but in giving his life, he “inaugurated the Lord's Passion through the glory of his blood.”69  In Abel begins the cross!

We've heard how Abel's “blood cried out from earth to heaven, making accusation because [Cain] killed him.”70 Abel's blood wants to be avenged, wants to bring judgment, wants justice against Cain and all those down the halls of time who let Cain live on through them. But the New Testament introduces us now to “the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). The blood Christ sprinkled onto heaven's altar has more gracious aims than the blood of Abel spattered in earth's dust. Christ shed his blood “in order to sanctify the people through his own blood..., the blood of the eternal covenant” (Hebrews 13:12, 20). “Now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off,” as far east of Eden as you could be, “have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). The grace his blood speaks is “to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20). Though we were guilty as Cain, “the blood of Jesus... cleanses us from all sins” (1 John 1:7). “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God!” (Romans 5:9).

In those days, there were Jews who wrote that God had seated “Abel, whom Cain the wicked killed,” on a throne in heaven “to judge the entire creation, examining both righteous and sinners.”71 The thought was, every human would be judged first by a human son of Adam (one who had himself suffered violent injustice), and then, only later, would each person receive final judgment from God himself.72 To this end, they pictured the exalted Abel as “a wondrous man, bright as the sun, like unto a son of God.”73 You see where this is ending up! What they ascribed to Abel, the Gospels announce is true of the One to whom Abel pointed: “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (John 5:22-23). And so God “has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

Jesus Christ is the Man who, displayed in the martyrs from Abel on, judges all things. And to that end, Paul has promised that “if we endure” the challenges of this life, all the way up to martyrdom if it's asked of us, then “we will also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12). “Do you not know that we are to judge angels? … Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Thanks be to God: Cain-world is due to die away that day! How much better to suffer like Abel for a crown than to live like Cain for any of the goods of this passing world! So let us hurry, brothers and sisters, to put off Cain and to embrace Abel as ably as we can, for the sake of Christ who died, who lives, who judges, who reigns, who longs to raise us up with him! Amen.

1  “Essay on Man,” Daily Missouri Republican (3 April 1861): 1.

2  Johnson T. K. Lim, Grace in the Midst of Judgment: Grappling with Genesis 1-11 (De Gruyter, 2002), 155.

3  Didymus the Blind, Commentary on Genesis 4:8, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 132:122.

4  John Day, From Creation to Abraham: Further Studies in Genesis 1-11 (T&T Clark, 2021), 86-87.

5  Zvi Grumet, Genesis: From Creation to Covenant (Maggid Books, 2017), 62.

6  Martin Sicker, Reading Genesis Politically: An Introduction to Mosaic Political Philosophy (Praeger, 2002), 51-52.

7  Natan Levy, The Dawn of Agriculture and the Earliest States in Genesis 1-11 (Routledge, 2023), 94.

8  Targum Neofiti Genesis 4:8, in Aramaic Bible 1A:65-67.

9  Joseph E. Coleson, Genesis 1-11: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Beacon Hill Press, 2012), 56; John Day, From Creation to Abraham: Further Studies in Genesis 1-11 (T&T Clark, 2021), 87.

10  Kenneth A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11, Christian Standard Commentary (Holman Reference, 2023), 229.

11  Joseph E. Coleson, Genesis 1-11: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Beacon Hill Press, 2012), 157.

12  Tremper Longman III, Genesis, Story of God Bible Commentary (Zondervan Academic, 2016), 90.

13  Matthew R. Schlimm, From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis (Eisenbrauns, 2011), 139.

14  Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 3.23.4, in Ancient Christian Writers 64:107.

15  Aphrahat the Persian, Demonstrations 4.2, in Moran 'Eth'o 23:78.

16  Pamela Barmash, Homicide in the Biblical World (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 14.

17  Joseph E. Coleson, Genesis 1-11: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Beacon Hill Press, 2012), 157.

18  Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I-II, q.72, a.4, in Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae 25:39.

19  Martin Sicker, Reading Genesis Politically: An Introduction to Mosaic Political Philosophy (Praeger, 2002), 53.

20  John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 19.5, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 82:24.

21  James B. Prothro, “Patterns of Penance and the Sin of Cain: Approaching a Sacramental Biblical Theology,” Nova et Vetera 21/4 (Fall 2023): 1381-1383.

22  Iain W. Provan, Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters (Baylor University Press, 2014), 198.

23  Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 12.6, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 61:230.

24  Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae II-II, q.64, proemium, in Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae 38:19.

25  Pamela Barmash, Homicide in the Biblical World (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 16.

26  Cyril of Alexandria, Glaphyra on the Pentateuch 1.3.2, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 137:69.

27  Jörg Orschiedt, “Violence in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherer Communities,” in Garrett G. Fagan, et al., The Cambridge World History of Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1:60.

28  Jörg Orschiedt, “Violence in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherer Communities,” in Garrett G. Fagan, et al., The Cambridge World History of Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1:62-63.

29  Jörg Orschiedt, “Violence in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherer Communities,” in Garrett G. Fagan, et al., The Cambridge World History of Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1:64-65.

30  Jörg Orschiedt, “Violence in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherer Communities,” in Garrett G. Fagan, et al., The Cambridge World History of Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1:66.

31  William P. Brown, The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder (Oxford University Press, 2010), 106; Martin J. Smith, Rick J. Schulting, and Linda Fibiger, “Settled Lives, Unsettled Times: Neolithic Violence in Europe,” in Garrett G. Fagan, et al., The Cambridge World History of Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 1:80-82.

32  “Hurled into Eternity: Triple Execution,” Lebanon Daily News (13 May 1880): 1.

33  “Fratricide,” Reading Times (5 June 1886): 1; “One Brother Dead,” Reading Times (7 June 1886): 1. In the end, the jury accepted his defense based on a family predisposition to brain issues and an overdose of an anti-nausea medicine he was taking, so they found him not guilty by reason of insanity – see “Zabel Acquitted,” Reading Times (29 March 1887): 1, 4.

34  “Cold-Blooded Murder,” Lancaster Morning News (8 April 1898): 1; “Wireback Found Guilty,” Lancaster New Era (27 August 1898): 2.

35  “Slayed His Two Brothers and Resisted Officers Seven Hours,” Miners' Journal (3 November 1903): 1; “Killed His Brothers,” Lancaster Examiner (4 November 1903): 1.

36  “Denver Youth Admits He Shot Dad, Brothers,” Reading Times (1 December 1934): 11.  The young man in question ended up doing two months in prison for the assault, and went on to raise a large family.

37  “Local Muslim Leaders Condemn Violence After Shooting at Philadelphia Eid al-Fitr Event,” ABC News, 12 April 2024. <>.

38  “Durham Police Chief Reveals New Details about Recent Shootings, Which Left a Teen Dead,” ABC News, 12 April 2024. <>.

39  “Australia Stabbings Leave Seven Dead – As It Happened,” The Guardian, 13 April 2024. <>.

40  “Gunmen Kill 9 Men After Abduction in Southwest Pakistan, Say Police,” Reuters, 13 April 2024. <>.

41  “Settlers Riot in West Bank Towns After Teen's Murder; Palestinian Killed, Others Hurt,” Times of Israel, 13 April 2024. <>.

42  “Essay on Man,” Daily Missouri Republican (3 April 1861): 1.

43  Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis, JPS Torah Commentary (Jewish Publication Society, 1989), 34.

44  Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis 3.4.3, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 91:126; Leon R. Kass, The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis (Free Press, 2003), 141.

45  Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (Zondervan Academic, 2001), 98; cf. James McKeown, Genesis, Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary (Eerdmans, 2008), 41.

46  Augustine of Hippo, Unfinished Work in Answer to Julian 6.27.A29, in Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century I/25:684; cf. Patrick Henry Reardon, Creation and the Patriarchal Histories: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Genesis (Conciliar Press, 2008), 52.

47  Cyprian of Carthage, On the Good of Patience 10, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 36:272.

48  Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae II-II, q.124, a.1, in Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae 42:43.

49  Augustine of Hippo, Exposition of the Psalms 118.29.9, in Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century III/19:484.

50  Augustine of Hippo, Exposition of the Psalms 90.2.1, in Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century III/18:330.

51  Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis 4:2, in Luther's Works 1:245.

52  Hegesippus, Hypomnemata 5, fragment preserved in Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 2.23.15-18, in Jeremy Schott, tr., Eusebius of Caesarea: The History of the Church: A New Translation (University of California Press, 2019), 111-112.

53  Clement of Rome, 1 Clement 5.4-7, in Loeb Classical Library 24:43-45; Tertullian of Carthage, Prescription Against Heretics 36.3, in Writings from the Greco-Roman World 39:399.

54  Cornelius Tacitus, Annals 15.44, in J.C. Yardley, The Annals: The Reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero (Oxford University Press, 2008), 360.

55  Sean McDowell, The Fate of the Apostles: Examining the Martyrdom Accounts of the Closest Followers of Jesus (Ashgate, 2015), 165, 181, 263-264.

56  Evarestus of Smyrna, Martyrdom of Polycarp 2.2-3, in Loeb Classical Library 24:369.

57  Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 58.5, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 51:166.

58  Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae II-II, q.124, a.3, in Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae 42:49.

59  Evarestus of Smyrna, Martyrdom of Polycarp 17.3, in Loeb Classical Library 24:393.

60  Ambrose of Milan, Cain and Abel 1.2 §5, in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation 42:361.

61  Philo of Alexandria, That the Worse is Wont to Attack the Better 14 §48, in Loeb Classical Library 227:235.

62  1 Enoch 22:7, in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 1:25.

63  Ton Hilhorst, “Abel's Speaking in Hebrews 11:4 and 12:24,” in Gerard P. Luttikhuizen, ed., Eve's Children: The Biblical Stories Retold and Interpreted in Jewish and Christian Traditions (Brill, 2003), 123.

64  Bede, On Genesis 4:10, in Translated Texts for Historians 48:146.

65  Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis 4:2, in Luther's Works 1:246.

66  Melito of Sardis, On the Passover 59, in Popular Patristics Series 55:68.

67  Augustine of Hippo, Unfinished Work in Answer to Julian 6.27.A29, in Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century I/25:684.

68  Augustine of Hippo, Exposition of the Psalms 118.29.9, in Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century III/19:484.

69  Cyprian of Carthage, On the Lord's Prayer 24, in Popular Patristics Series 29:83.

70  Jubilees 4:3, in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 2:61.

71  Testament of Abraham A 13:2-3, in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 1:889-890.

72  Testament of Abraham A 13:3-7, in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 1:890.

73  Testament of Abraham A 12:5, in Old Testament Pseudepigrapha 1:889.

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