Christian History Timeline
4 B.C. Birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem of Judea.
29? Beginning of Jesus` public ministry, about age of 30. He preaches, does miracles and being the Son of God, as portrayed with His birth also explained God`s Kingdom with His teachings by using
33? Jesus crucified, resurrected, appears to more than 500 disciples at one time (I Cor. 15:6). Jesus gives his followers the Great Commission: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations. . .” (Matt. 28:19). After 40 days ascends into heaven (Act. 1:3, 9).
- Pentecost: the Holy Spirit descends on the disciples in Jerusalem. Some 3,000 people become Christians. They spread the Gospel (the good news about redemption through Jesus) throughout the Roman Empire (Acts. 2:8).
- Stephen, the first Christian martyr, is stoned to death in Jerusalem. Believers scatter through Judea, Samaria.
- Conversion of Paul, formerly Saul, the persecutor of Christians. Paul goes on three missionary journeys starting in AD 48 to preach to Jews and Gentiles. He writes 13 letters (Epistles) to the new churches.
- Conversion of Roman centurion, Cornelius. Peter and other Christians evangelize Gentiles. Converts among Roman soldiers return to Italy and preach.
Followers of Christ first called Christians at Antioch.
- Christians are persecuted under King Herod Agrippa. James is executed, being the first Bishop of Jerusalem, Jewish mob stone him to death. Peter is imprisoned. Famine strikes Judea; Christians in Antioch send relief.
45-100. The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and the other New Testament books are written.
49-50. Council of Jerusalem agrees with Paul that Gentile converts are not required to follow Jewish law. Paul`s work with Gentiles recognized.
- Jews expelled from Rome. Jewish believers Priscilla and Aquilla flee. They meet Paul in Corinth during his second missionary journey.
- Great fire in Rome blamed on Christians. Emperor Nero tortures and kills thousands of Christians.
67-68? Peter and Paul taken to Rome. Paul evangelizes while under house arrest. Both executed under Nero.
66-70. Jewish revolt against Romans. Emperor Titus destroys the Temple of Jerusalem. Jews and Christians flee to all parts of the empire, including Alexandria, Carthage, and Rome. Antioch becomes the centre for Christianity.
71-81. Colosseum in Rome built. Christians thrown to beasts.
- Roman persecution of Christians under Domitian. Jews oust followers of Jesus from Synagogues.
85-150. Writings of Apostolic Fathers (early Church leaders) Barnabus, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp.
- Rise of Gnostic heresies within the church. Some Gnostics deny Jesus` humanity (Docetism), saying that he merely appeared to have a body. Gnostics claim to have secret knowledge beyond divine revelation and faith.
Christianity spreads to Egypt (Mark), Sudan (Ethiopian eunich), Armenia (Thaddaeus, Bartholomew), France, Italy, Germany, Britain, Iraq, Iran, India (Thomas), Greece, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and other Balkan countries (Titus), Asia Minor (Turkey of today), Albania, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia (Africa).
- 100. Death of John, the only one of Jesus` 12 disciples to die a natural death. All the others were martyred.
- 107. Martyrdom of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who wrote letters of encouragement to the early churches.
- 125. Gnosticism spreads.
132-135. Second Jewish rebellion, Jerusalem destroyed. Most of the population dies or flees.
- 144. Marcion is excommunicated for heresy. He taught that there was no connection between the Old and New Testament, between the God of the Jews and the God of the Christians. He rejected the Old Testament. The heresy persists in some areas for several centuries.
- 155. Justin Martyr, theologian, writes his first Apology, a rebuttal to Greek philosophers.
Polycarp, Bishop of Symyrna and disciple of the apostle John, is burned at the stake at age 86+. Polycarp refers to Old and New Testament books as “Scriptures.”
- 156. Montanus of Phrygia preaches a form of religious extremism called Montanism.
- 180. Irenaeus of Lyons, student of Polycarp and great theologian, writes Against Heresies. He lists 20 New Testament books as Canonical (officially accepted and recognized as authoritative.
- Roman persecution under Septimius Severus.
- Easter controversy concerning the day to celebrate Christ`s resurrection. Western Christians prefer Sunday; Eastern Christians prefer to link with the Jewish Passover regardless of the day of the week.
- Christianity sweeps the empire. Terullian writes “There is no nation indeed which is not Christian”.
The Apostles Creed and the Didache (an important document describing Christian beliefs, practices, and church government) are written during this century.
By 200 A.D., the church recognizes 23 New Testament books as canonical, but it is unlikely these are collected yet into one volume.
Christianity expands to Morocco, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Austria. Widespread conversion to Christianity in North Africa.
- The Scriptures now are translated into seven languages, including Syriac and Coptic (Egyptian).
Christians in Egypt viciously persecuted thousands martyred.
- Clement of Alexandria, theologian, dies.
- 220. Origen, theologian and student of Clement, founds a school in Caesarea. He writes many works, including commentaries on most of the New Testament books. Origen writes “The gospel of Jesus Christ has been preached in all creation under heaven.”
235-270. Roman persecution under several emperors. Christianity grows rapidly.
Carthege becomes a major centre for Christianity in Africa.
- 242. Manichaesim originates in Persia (Iran today). This dualistic heresy denies the humanity of Christ, and reappears in different forms over the centuries.
- First church buildings erected as rectangular shaped basilicas. Previously Christians met in homes.
During this century, monasticism begins in Egypt: eremitical (individual hermits) and cenobitic (religious groups or orders).
- Mass conversion of Armenia under Gregory the illuminator; King Tiridates makes Christianity the state religion.
- 292. Diocletian divides Roman Empire into East and West. Regions are different culturally and politically. Rome`s influence wanes.
- Some Christians refuse military service and are executed. Galerius begins to doubt that Christians in the army will obey orders. He persuades Diocletian to expel Christians from the legions.
The phrase “catholic” is used to mean all churches that agree with the whole apostolic teaching, as opposed to the heretical groups that follow a “Secret revelation” or knowledge based on one teaching.
Christianity expands to Switzerland, Sahara, Belgium, Edessa, Qatar, Bahrain (Assyrian Church), Hungary, and Luxembourg.
303-04. Violent persecution of Christians under Diocletian. Scriptures burned; thousands killed.
311-411. Donatist schism in North Africa. Christians who stayed faithful during Diocletian`s persecution oppose leniency toward those who lapsed.
- Constantine (emperor of the western provinces) sees a vision of the cross of Jesus that he credits for giving him victory in battle.
Constantine I, legalizes Christianity. His mother, Helena, a devout Christian, goes to the Holy Land to locate key places in Jesus` life, and builds many churches.
- Edict of Milan (Toleration). Constantine and Licinius (emperor of the eastern provinces) agree to end the persecution of Christians, but it continues in the East.
- Arius claims that Jesus Christ is a created being and not God by nature. His beliefs are called Arianism.
- Eusebius writes Church History.
- The First Ecumenical Synod. Council of Nicea is convened in response to numerous heresies. It condemns Arianism and produces an early version of the Nicene Creed – a clear definition of the Trinity.
- Constantine establishes the capital of the empire at Byzantium and renames it Constantinople.
- Constantine baptized a few days before death.
- Severe persecution of Christians in Persia (Iran).
- Death of Pachomius, father of monasticism in the East and founder of the monastery at Tabennis, Egypt.
- Eastern Church is mostly Arian, Arianism spreads to the Goths.
- Emperor Julian the Apostate attempts unsuccessfully to restore paganism in the Roman Empire.
- Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, opposes Arian teachings.
367+. Canon of the New Testament slowly collected and confirmed. Books recognized as authoritive by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in the East, and the Council of Carthege in the West.
- 376. Goth and barbarian! invasions of the Roman Empire begin.
- The Second Ecumenical Synod. Council of Constantinople I finalizes the Nicene Creed and condemns heresies about Jesus.
- Theodosius makes Christianity the official religion.
- John Chrysostom, great orator, becomes Bishop of Constantinople.
Christianity expands to Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
395 – 430. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (N. Africa), authors numerous theological works including City of God and arguments against Donatists, Pelagians, and Manichaeans. His writings dominate Christian theology in the West for centuries.
- In Bethlehem, Jerome finishes translating the Old and New Testament into Latin after 22 years of work. The Vulgate, as it is known, is the Bible used for the next 1,000 years.
- Arian Visigoths capture Rome, but do not sack it as they themselves are Christian.
- Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, teaches that there are two distinct Persons in Jesus Christ (Mary is mother of Jesus divinely given by God), so Jesus is human but also divine, the link between us and God.
- The Third Ecumenical Synod. Council of Ephesus condemns Nestorianism and Pelaginism (which claims man can attain salvation by works). The council defines Mary, Jesus` mother, as Theotokos, “bearer of God” to show that Jesus has one nature that is fully human and fully divine.
- Patrick evangelizes Ireland. Over the next 30 years most of the country has been converted.
- Leo the Great becomes pope. He persuades Attila the Hun to spare a weakened Rome.
- The Fourth Ecumenical Synod. Council of Chalcedon focuses on the divine and human natures of Christ. It confirms Pope Leo`s Tome and condemns Appolinarianism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism (also known as Eutychianism, which denies the humanity of Christ). Copts of Egypt and Ethiopia divide, the majority form monophysite or “One Nature” churches.
Early Christians commemorate this location on the Mt. of Olives, as the place where Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
- Fall of the Western Roman Empire. Emperor ousted. This marks the beginning of the Middle Ages.
- Clovis, king of the Franks, converts to Christianity.
- By the end of this century, the scriptures have been translated into 13 languages.
Christian spreads to Western North. Africa, the Isle of Man, San Marino, Liechtenstein, the Caucasus, Ireland, and tribes in Central Asia.
- Syrian Orthodox church establishes a monophysite monastery in Ethiopia.
- Irish monasteries flourish as centres of learning, spiritual life, and training for missionaries to other parts of the known world.
Nestorians gains converts throughout Asia and continue to influence religious life for many centuries.
The monastery of St. George of Kaziba in the Judean Wilderness was built in 480.
- Christianity spreads throughout the Middle East, including the Arabian Peninsula (Saudia Arabia), Yemen, and Oman today.
- Monk Benedict of Nursia, founder of Monte Cassino Abbey in Italy, writes the Rule, a guide for monastic life. Benedict is considered the father of monasticism in the West.
545? Death of Dionysius Exiguus, a monk, who was the first to date history of the life of Christ, leading to the B.C. and A.D. designations. His calculations were off by at least four years.
- The Fifth Ecumenical Synod. Council of Constantinople, convened by Emperor Justinian, condemns the “Three Chapters,” (the writings of several theologians including Theodore of Mopsuestia) for alleged heresies.
- Third council of Toledo. Visigoths king renounces Arianism, accepts church teachings.
- High ranking Roman official, Gregory, resigns his post and donates his wealth to church relief efforts for the poor in
- He is elected pope/Bishop of Rome in 590. Known as Gregory the Great (or GregoryI), he institutes reforms and sends missionaries (including Augustine of Canterbury) to re-evengelize England, after Anglo-Saxon pagans force Christian Britons to Wales. He also promotes liturgical music and the growth of monasticism. He is the first of the medieval popes/Bishop of Rome.
- Death of Columba, evangelist of what was to become Scotland and founder of an important monastery at Iona, Dal Riada
St. Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet, being sent by Gregory the Great/Bishop of Rome as a missionary to the jutes in Kent, King Aethelberht (pagan) and Queen Bertha (Christian) and this is the reason why he was able to come.
Christianity spreads to North Yemen, Ceylon, Malabar, Nuia (Sudan), Channel Islands, and Andorra.
- Plainsong “Gregorian” chants begins to develop.
610? Muhammad declares himself to be Prophet of God, after claiming to receive divine revelations. He founds the religion of Islam. In 622 he is persecuted and flees (hegira) from his home in Mecca to the oasis of Medina. There he founds a Muslim community. In 630 he launches a military campaign and defeats his opponents in Mecca. His teachings and deeds are called the Qur`an (Koran). By Muhammad`s death in 632, Islam has spread to much of Arabia by the use of the sword which is why it spread so quickly.
- Islam sweeps through Palestine and Syria. Muslims (those who follow Islam) conquer Jerusalem. By 640 Islam invades Egypt and North Africa, almost eradicating Christianity (which had numbered more than one million believers). Three hundred years later very few Christians remain in the region.
- Synod of Whitby aligns the English church with Rome for the next nine centuries! The Celtic church was originally sent from Rome, there crime was to keep to original Liturgy as it was then.
676 -709. Earliest Old English (Anglo-Saxon) translations and paraphrases of portions of the Bible are made by Caedmon and Aldhelm.
680 -692. Eastern and western churches drift further apart due to differences in church practices and expression of theology. On clergy celibacy: the Eastern Church allows priests to be married, provided that they are married before ordination, this includes the English Church which changed after the French-Norman Conquest.
- The Sixth Ecumenical Synod. The Third Synod of Constantinople.
688 – 691. The Dome of the Rock, gold domed shrine of Islam, is built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Caliph Abd al-Malik. Its ornate interior and location were designed to impress travellers. Some of the beautiful columns in the shrine are adorned with crosses, indicating that they were removed from Christian churches.
- The Quinisext Synod.
Christianity spreads to China, Andorra, Netherlands, Indonesia, Niger, Mongolia, Christianity declines in Northern Africa.
- Muslim Moors invade Spain and Portugal, their first foothold in Europe. They are driven out in the 1200s.
- Boniface, an English missionary, known as the “Apostle to the Germans,” evangelizes southern and central German cities and establishes Benedictine monasticism.
The use of icons was debated throughout the East for 100 years. in 787 the Second Council of Nicea decided in favour of those who venerated icons.
- Controversy over the use of icons in the East. Emperor Leo condemns the veneration of sacred images and relics (supports iconoclasm, image-breaking). In 731, Pope/Bishop of Rome Gregory III condemns iconoclasm and supports the veneration of icons.
- Charles Martel defeats the Muslims in France, stopping the Muslim advance in Europe for 100 years.
- A council of 300 Byzantine bishops endorse iconoclasm. The council is condemned by the Lateran synod of 769.
- Pepin, son of Charles Martel, unites and rules the Franks. At the request of Pope/Bishop of Rome Stephen II (III), Pepin invades Italy to defend it against Lombards invaders. Pepin gives conquer land to the church (called the Donation of Pepin) which establishes the Papal States.
768 – 814. Charlemagne, son of Pepin, expands his empire through military conquest to almost what is now France, Germany, and Italy. He forces the German Saxons to convert which they still remember.
- The Seventh Ecumenical Synod, this is the last of the Synods which are the foundation of the Orthodox Church. Council of Nicea II condemns Iconoclasm (the belief that venerating sacred images is idolatry) and Adoptionism (belief that Jesus was not Son of God by nature). This is the last council that is recognized as binding by both the Eastern and Western Churches.
Christianity spreads to Iceland, Pakistan, and East Germany.
- Charlemagne crowned Roman Emperor by Pope/Bishop of Rome Leo III. His administration reforms the law and church organization. He also encourages all monasteries to teach reading and writing. Through the influence of the English scholar Alcuin, schools are founded and scriptoria set up to copy the Bible and Latin classics. This commitment to culture is known as the Carolingian renaissance. The Western church`s prominence begins to increase.
- Egberht, king of the West Saxons/Wessex, is the first named king of England which is in name only, this comes in fact during the reign of his great-grandson King Athelstan, first true King of England.
- Charlemange dies.
- Sweden is evangelized by Anskar, “Apostle of the North.”
- Christians in Egypt are persecuted and forced to wear 5-pound/2.2kg crosses around their necks.
- Charlemenge` s empire is split between his three grandsons.
- Nestorians are persecuted in China.
- Muslims invade Italy and attack Rome.
- Photian Schism: communion between Eastern and Western church broken when Patriarch Photius of Constantinople (Orthodox Catholic Church) rejects the Roman Pope`s claim of primacy among the bishops of the East as well as the West. (The Bishop of Rome/Patriarch of Rome, is the first of five Patriarch`s and is equal with them, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria).
- Slavs are converted by Greek missionary brothers Cyril and Methodius, who translate the Scriptures and other works into Slavonic.
- King Alfred the Great of Wessex, translates portions of the Psalms, Exodus, and Acts into Old English (Anglo-Saxon).
879 – 880. The Synod of Constantinople.
Christianity spreads to Tibet, Burma, Denmark, Czech, Slovac, Sweden, and Norway.
- Muslims advance and gain control of Sicily.
- William, Duke of Aquitane, founds the Benadictine Abbey of Cluny, France, which becomes the centre for reform under Abbot Odo (926).
950 – 999. Conversion of royalty across the empire, including Olga of Kiev (Ukriane today), Miesko of Poland, and Stephen of Hungary.
- Otto I, the Great founder of the Holy Roman Empire, is crowned by Pope/Bishop of Rome John XII. This empire continues to 1806.
- Conversion of Vladimir of Kiev, grandson of Olga, to Eastern (Orthodox) Christianity. According to tradition, Vladimir considered other religions, but chose orthodoxy because of the splendour of the worship at the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople convinced that “God dwells there among men.” Vladimir orders the population of Kiev to choose Christianity. He wipes out paganism, builds churches, and establishes schools. At his death, he donates all of his passions to the poor.
The iconostasis of an Orthodox church separates the nave (the central area of the church) and the altar.
- In Egypt, Caliph El Hakin persecutes Copts, destroying thousands of churches and forcing people to convert to Islam.
- Leif Ericson converts to Christianity while in Norway. The next year he brings the Gospel to his father`s colony in Greenland.
Christianity spreads to Hungary, Kiev (Ukriane today), Greenland, Bohemia, and Poland.
- Greek Catholicism (Melkite) introduced to Nubia.
- Nestorians convert northern Mongolians. Their beliefs spread to Persia (Iran today), India, and China.
- Great Schism between the church in the West and the East. Roman Cardinal Humbart, envoy of Pope/Bishop of Rome Leo XI, excommunicates? Patriarch Michael Cerularius in the Church of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople. But the Bishop of Rome has not the power to do this as he is an equal with the Patriarch, what he has done is to declare war on what he declares as heretics who he will put to the sword and creates a new church called the Roman Catholic Church and in so doing has been trying ever since to destroy the mother church of the Catholic Apostolic Orthodox Church, very similar to what they achieved with the Celtic Church which was threatening them because of their power and used the synod of Whitby to achieve this.
Despite this, there is some cooperation between the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman Catholic) church against the Seljuk Turks.
- French-Norman invasion of England, the Duke of Normandy`s liege lord is the King of France, so did the King of France order his subject to invade England? also Normandy was given to the Northmen so to protect the estuary of the River Seine which would then protect Paris, they renege on this and with help from the newly established Roman Catholic Church whose Bishop/Pope gave the duke a Papal Banner so to enhance his legitimate claim? to the throne of England if successful, so the English on defeat had an illegal government forced upon them, plus the new church of the Roman Catholics again was forced upon them, and this was the time when the Great Schism happened in England, but lasted until the Reformation with the establishment of the Church of England and the English Civil War when parliament became the government of England, similar to the Witan before the Frenh-Norman Conquest, which was a pivotal event for England, the rest of the United Kingdom and Europe, the French-Normans with the Roman Catholic Church after the Conquest built castles so to control the people including the Royal Deer Forests with their own laws so to disrupt the country with this the harrowing of the north which was desolate for several generations and new churches/cathedrals their aim was to control the world both here and now and in the after life with their elitist attitude forming what we have even today the `them and us attitude` we only have to look at Parliament to see the disunity and disharmony which is encouraged so the people do not see what is actually going on in their name! a far cry from the vision of King Alfred the Great, the English honour their freedom of thought and action within the context of our Christian Faith and will move mountains to achieve this as seen with our history after the French-Norman Conquest.
- Seljuk Turks (converts to Islam) from Central Asia conquer Persia (Iran today) and move west toward the Byzantine capital, Constantinople (Turkey today).
- Gregory VII (Hildebrand) becomes pope. He works to revive and reform the church. He prohibits simony (the buying or selling of church offices), sexual immorality in the clergy, and lay investiture (the custom of emperors and local rulers choosing local church leaders).
- Pope/Bishop of Rome Urban II calls for volunteers for a crusade to repel the Turks: specifically to help Eastern Christians in Constantinople, to liberate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and to reopen the Holy Land to Christian pilgrims.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Considered by many scholars to be the location of Jesus` tomb.
1097 – 99. The First Crusade. More than 70,000 people inspired by both noble and lesser motives, join the ranks and head for the Holy Land. In their zeal they slaughter Jews in Germany and pillage villages en route. They capture Jerusalem in 1099 and brutally massacre their opponents. They set up the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem under Godfrey of Bouillon, and build castles and churches.
- Bernard founds a monastery at Clairvaux, which became the influential centre of Europe.
- Peter Abelard, philosopher and theologian.
- Concordat of Worms focuses on the controversy over lay investiture. (Worms is a city in Germany).
- Lateran Council ratifies the Concordat of Worms.
- The Knights Templar, an order of monastic soldiers sworn to protect Holy Land pilgrims, is recognized.
- Disputed election of Popes/Bishop of Rome Innocent II and Anacletus II. Innocent becomes Pope/Bishop of Rome.
- Second Lateran Council focuses on pseudo-popes (popes elected by unauthorized councils).
- Second Crusade is preached by Bernard of Clairvaux in response to the Muslim conquest of Eddesa, the crusader capital (Turkey today). The crusade, led by Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad III of Germany, fails.
- Syrian Orthodox church reaches zenith.
College of Cardinals is established by pope.
- Thomas Becket becomes archbishop of Canterbury. A close friend of Henry II and chancellor of England, Becket resigns his chancellorship after conflicts with Henry over the power of the church and the throne.
- Becket is murdered by knights of Henry II.
- French merchant and reformer Peter Valdes gives his wealth to the poor and becomes an itinerant preacher, the beginning of the Waldensians. His beliefs are accepted by the church, but his practice of appointing ministers and preaching without permission draws criticism and eventually excommunication.
- Third Lateran Council denounces the Waldersians and Abigensians. (Abigensians were heretics that believed that Jesus was an angel with a phantom body, and therefore did not die or rise again.)
- Muslim general Saladin defeats Crusaders at the Horns of Hattin (Galilee) and captures Jerusalem.
The Horns of Hattin (flat mountain centre)
1189 – 92. The Third Crusade, led by Richard I (the Lion-Heart) of England, Phillip II of France, and Barbarossa the Holy Roman Emperor, captures Cyprus, Acre, and Jaffa. Richard negotiates access to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrims.
Christianity spreads to Finland.
- Pope/Bishop of Rome Innocent III claims the right of the pope to oversee the moral conduct of heads of state and to choose rulers, including the emperor. The height of Papal authority.
- Innocent III launches Fourth Crusade to defeat Egypt, but was organized by the Duige of Venice, who had a grudge against Constantinople, caused by the fact Venetian merchants were allowed to pay less tax, causing resentment so coming to violence against the Venetians, he wanted revenge, having the ships hired from the Arabs to send the Crusaders to Egypt were sent instead to Constantinople, so after a stand off the city was taken and ransacked by the Crusaders which Constantinople never fully recovered and helped towards their defeat by the Turks several centuries later, they imposed the Roman Catholic Church and had an orgy within the church of St. Sophia (Hague Sophia) allowing a prostitute to sit on the Patriarch`s seat, there followed 70 years of enforced Latin church attendance until they gave up as the people would not submit to this, there church of Orthodoxy goes back to the very roots of Christianity, and the Duige died there and his grave can now be seen within the church of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia), this obviously caused a deep rift between the two churches and it showed the Roman Catholic Church in its true colours, using the Christian Faith for its own purposes and the rift continues to this day.
- Church declares a crusade against Albigensians, also known as the Yellow Crusade which went to southern France to eliminate these heretics in their thousands.
- Francis of Assisi gives away his wealth and starts group of travelling preachers (Franciscans).
- Mongol Genghis Khan, whose mother is a Nestorian, rises to power. Conquers China, Iran and Iraq.
- Children`s Crusade disaster. Thousands of children die at sea or are sold into slavery.
- Fourth Lateran Council condemns Waldensians and Albigensians; affirms doctrine of transubstantiation.
- Dominican order forms, dedicated to spiritual reform.
- Fifth Crusade to defeat Egypt fails. Francis of Assisi crosses enemy lines to preach to the sultan.
- Crusaders recover Jerusalem by negotiation.
- The Papal Inquisition is established.
- Muslims recover Jerusalem by force.
- Thomas Aquinas, the most influential medieaval theologian, writes Summa Theologiae.
- Mongol leader, Kublai Khan, asks the Pope/Bishop of Rome to send one hundred Christian teachers to baptize and teach his people. The Pope/Bishop of Rome sends seven. In 1295 the Mongols begin to convert to Islam.
- Byzantine Empire rebuilt. Second council of Lyons decrees unification of the Eastern and Western Church, but unification is rejected by the Orthodox Church, as it was the Church from Rome which split from Orthodoxy in 1054.
- Pope/Bishop of Rome claims supremacy over secular rulers!
- Franciscans active in Mongol Empire.
- The “Babylonian Captivity”: for the next 70 years, the papacy resides in Avignon, France. The new pope favours French policies; convenes the Council of Vienne where the Knights Templar`s were convicted of heresy and so were abolished, the main contributor to this was the King of France, King Phillip IV, jealous of their wealth and prestige so brought about their abolishment, but even with well laid plans he obtained very little of their wealth, as they were forewarned, the Templar`s introduced the first banking due to their great wealth coming from the Holy Land and introduced the first cheques, some came to England and Scotland who allowed them to settle, as they would not follow what had happened on the Continent, now there is in London the Templar`s church which lies within the Inner and Middle Temple where the barristers have their offices and within the church lies the graves of Knights Templars, there is another church in Scotland called the Roslin Chapel south of Edinburgh which again built by the Templars.
1312 – 24. Marsillius of Padua writes “Defensor Pacis,” stating that the church should be ruled by general councils. He is condemned as heretical.
- The Mediaeval German mystic, Meister Eckhart, was born in 1260 and died about 1327. He became a friar of the Dominican Order and enjoyed a brilliant career both as a scholar and as an administrator. He was also a magnificent preacher, perhaps one of the best there has ever been in Christianity, but unfortunately his own mystical sensibility prompted him to introduce into his sermons material that went far beyond official Church doctrine, and at the end of his life he fell foul of the Church authorities, lost his post, so to speak, and had to recant whatever he had said wrong, while protesting that he had been misunderstood. He is thought to have died on the way to Avignon to argue his case before the Pope.
- Palamite Synod.
- Palamite Synod.
1348- 51. The Bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, kills 33% of the people in Europe (about 40 million). People blame the disease (which is transmitted by fleas living on rats) on the Avignon papacy, the Jews, or personal immorality.
- Palamite Synod.
- John Wycliffe, English priest and diplomat, proposes that papal taxation and civil power should be limited. He challenges some church doctrine, including transubstantiation. He believes Scripture should be available to the people in their own language, as was before the Conquest. People inspired by Wycliffe (derisively called “Lollards,” meaning mumblers), translate the entire Bible into English (1382) from Latin, and call it the Wycliffe Bible,
- Julian of Norwich, English mystic.
- Catherine of Sienna, mystic sees a vision calling the new Pope/Bishop of Rome, Gregory XI, to return the papacy to Rome, which he does in 1377.
- Great Papal Schism: two or three popes at one time. The College of Cardinals elects an Italian pope, Urban VI, but later denies the validity of the decision and elects Clement Vii instead. Urban remains in Rome. Clement goes to Avignon, France. The schism continues to 1417.
- In England, it becomes illegal to translate or read the Bible in English without permission of a bishop, what need to remember is that the Latin Bible was the language of the people at that time.
- Jan Hus of Bohemia (Czech o Slovakia) writes De Ecclesia, which supports ideas popularized by Wycliffe.
1414 – 18. Council of Constance rejects Wycliffe`s teachings and burns Jan Hus at the stake as a heretic. It affirms that general councils are superior to popes (concilliarism), a decision later overturned. Pope Martin V is elected; the Great Papal Schism ends.
- Thomas A Kempis, a German writes the Imitation of Christ, a devotional.
- Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl during the Hundred Years War, sees visions and hears voices telling her to save France. She leads a successful military expedition to Orleans. Later she is taken prisoner, tried for witchcraft, and is burned. In 1456, the verdict is reversed.
- Council of Florence affirms the primacy of the Pope/Bishop of Rome over the general councils. It declares reunion between the Roman and Orthodox churches, but is not accepted by the Orthodox. It could hardly do otherwise as it was the Roman Catholic Church which broke from Orthodoxy, not the other way round.
- 1450. Beginning of the Renaissance. The Popes/Bishops of Rome of the Renaissance (1447 – 1452) are notable more for their intrigues and quest for power than for their pastoral care or desire for reform.
- Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople and make the Church of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) a mosque. Scholars flee to the West with Greek literary and scientific manuscripts, including manuscripts of the Bible. These manuscripts help to revive classical learning during the Renaissance.
Plans to build a new St. Peter`s Basilica in Rome begin, including efforts to raise funds for construction.
- Johann Gutenberg prints the Latin Vulgate (common language at the time of the Roman Empire), the first book printed using moveable metal type. The invention of printing makes the Bible accessible to more people who previously could not afford handmade copies, which cost a year`s wage.
- The Spanish Inquisition begins at the initiation of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella of Spain, and is approved by the Pope/Bishop of Rome. It is established to investigate and punish heretics. Its cruel methods (torture, death by burning), secret trials, and favouritism towards the Spanish monarchy continue despite protests from Rome. The Franciscan and Dominican friars who serve as judges often misuse their power. Thousands of Jews are deported. Later the Inquisition is used against Protestants. It is finally suppressed in 1820. Catholics today condemn the methods used.
- The last of the Muslim Moors, are removed from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella.
Columbus discovers America (already discovered by an Irish monk, St. Bredan the Voyager and the Vikings later).
Peak of papal corruption: Rodrigo Borgia buys cardinals` votes and becomes Pope Alexander VI.
- Pope Alexander VI avoids war by dividing newly discovered lands in the Americas and Africa between Spain and Portugal. Vast colonizing of the New World by explorers for the next 150 years. Settlers wishing to exploit the land and the people conflict with missionaries (Dominicans, Franciscans and Jesuits) who spread the Gospel and advocate for the Indians.
1497- 8. Dominican friar Savonaroia preaches reform. He encourages the people of Florence, Italy, to burn luxury items and return to a humbler Christian life. He sells church property and gives the proceeds to the poor. Despite his initial popularity with the common people, he is caught in a political conflict with Alexander VI and is excommunicated. His popularity wanes and later his is executed for heresy.
Christianity reaches Senegal, Guinea Bissau. Mauritania, Haiti, Dominica Republic, Kenya and Equatorial Guinea.
- Decline of Christianity in China, Persia, Nubia (So. Egypt and Ethiopia), and areas influenced by Islam.
Moscow claims to be the centre of Christianity after the fall of Constantinople.
1503 – 12. Pope Julius II commissions Michelangelo to finish painting the Sistine Chapel. In 1506, the foundation stone of St. Peter`s Basillica is laid.
1512 – 17. Council of Lateran V is held to address a variety of concerns, including church reform.
- Erasmus, priest and Greek scholar, publishes a Greek translation of the New Testament. Later editions of his Greek text form the basis of the `Textus, Receptus` and are used by Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and the King James Bible (Authorized Version) translators.
- Martin Luther posts his 95 thesis on the door of the church in Wittenburg. They call for an end to abuses involved in methods of selling indulgences. The Protestant Reformation begins.
Martin Luther, becomes convinced that faith alone justifies the Christian, without works (Eph. 2:8-9) – a doctrine supported by Augustine`s writings.
- Swiss Ulrich Zwingli spreads reform.
- Luther translates the New Testament into German.
- William Tyndale makes an English translation of the New Testament from Greek without permission and smuggles copies into England. He is burned at the stake on the orders of King Henry VIII.
- The Anabaptist movement, predecessor to Brethren and Mennonite churches, teaches believers` baptism only, democratic decision making, and separation of church and state.
- The term Protestantism becomes associated with Lutheranism, Zwinglianism, and Calvanism. Protestant characteristics: acceptance of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth, the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and the priesthood of all believers.
- Augsburg Confession adopted by Lutherans.
- Act of Supremacy makes British monarch Henry VIII head of the English church, breaking away from Roman Catholic control. The new “Church of England” (Anglican Church) sets forth a doctrinal statement: The 39 Articles.
- The Munster Rebellion. Anabaptists take over Munster and are slaughtered. Later, under the leadership of Menro Simons, the group adopts pacifism.
- The Matthew`s Bible is the first English Bible published with the king`s permission. On the last page of the Old Testament, the translator prints Tyndale`s initials in 2 1/2 inch letters to honour him. Many Bibles in common languages begin to appear.
- John Calvin`s Institutes of the Christian Religion explains Protestant beliefs, including predestination.
- Ignatius Loyola`s Society of Jesus (Jesuits) approved. They vow to evangelize the heathen.
1445 – 63. Council of Trent (Catholic Counter-Reformation) condemns indulgence sellers, immorality of clergy, nepotism (appointing family members to church offices), and Protestantism.
Jesuit Francis Xavier begins missionary efforts in the Indies and Japan: 100.000 converts attributed to him.
- Queen Mary Tudor restores Roman Catholicism to England, bans Protestant translations of the Bible, and persecutes Protestants. Many Protestants flee to Geneva, Switzerland, where they print the Geneva Bible (1560).
- Queen Elizabeth I becomes queen of England and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She aims for a compromise between Catholics and Protestants. In 1570, she is excommunicated by the pope, and in turn persecutes Catholics.
- John Knox`s church begins in Scotland.
- Heidelberg Catechism is formed. It is the most widely held Protestant doctrinal statement for centuries.
- Bishop Bible, Church of England translation.
- Formula of Concord defines Lutheran beliefs.
1582 – 1609. Catholic scholar Gregory Martin translates the Rheims-Douay Bible from the Vulgate (Latin) while in exile in France.
- Synod of Constantinople.
- Synod of Constantinople.
- Synod of Constantinople.
- Council of Brest-Litovsk. Most Orthodox in Kiev, Czecho Slovakia, Hungary, and Polish Galatia (Uniat Churches) join communion with Roman Catholic Church.
- Edict of Nantes grants freedom of worship to French Protestants (Huguenots) after 30 years of persecution. In 1685, the Edict is revoked by Louis XIV.
Christianity spreads throughout Thailand, Cambodia, Macao, South Korea, South America and Africa through Catholic missionary efforts (through monastic orders), conquest, and colonization. Few Protestant efforts during the next 200 years.
- Jesuit missionary and scholar, Matteo Ricci, starts evangelizing China by befriending intellectuals in the emperor`s court in Peking (Beijing). Ricci is one of the first missionaries to adopt the dress and customs of the land he seeks to evangelize. His methods are criticized by other Catholics as too lenient toward the idolatrous Confucian custom of ancestor worship.
- Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius`s studies of the Epistle to the Romans lead him to doubt Calvin`s doctrine of predestination. He sets forth doctrines that emphasize man`s ability to choose Christ and Christ`s death for all people (Arminianism).
- Gunpowder Plot fails. Catholic fanatics attempt to kill England`s King James I and blow up the houses of Parliament in order to seize the government.
- The first Baptist church is founded in Amsterdam by John Smyth, who baptizes himself (by pouring).
- King James Version Bible (KJV), also known as the Authorized Version (AV), is published. King James I of England commissions 54 scholars to undertake a New Bible translation, which takes six years to complete. The scholars use the Bishops Bible and Tyndales` Bible as well as available Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. After slow initial acceptance, this becomes the most popular Bible for the next 300 years, although it never received official royal authorization.
- Dutch Reformed Synod of Dort denounces Arminianism and responds to Arminius`s five criticisms of Calvinism with five points of Calvinism. They are (using the mnemonic tulip): the total depravity of mankind (mankind`s inability to choose Christ), unconditional election, limited atonement, the irresistibility of grace, and the final perseverance of the saints (an elect person cannot “lose” his salvation).
- Creation of the Congregation `de Propaganda Fide` for Roman Catholic missionary efforts.
1620 – 30s. separatists reject the Church of England and sail to America on the `Mayflower`. Later Puritans, who wish to cleanse the church, arrive and start colonies.
- Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril Loukaris (Lucar), befriends Protestants and presents the earliest known copy of the Bible in Greek (Codex Alexandrinus, fifth century AD) to Charles I of England.
1630 Catholicism wiped out in Japan, thousands of martyrs.
Coptic and Syrian Orthodox churches decline.
- The Sisters of Charity founded by Vincent de Paul.
- Death of Galileo, scientist, who agreed with Copernicus`s theory that the earth moved around the sun. He was censured by the church and kept from teaching his views because his proofs were inadequate. The case was closed in his favour in 1992.
- The Synod of Lasi.
Power struggles between Charles I and the Parliament lead to civil war in England. Puritan member of Parliament, Oliver Cromwell, defeats the king`s troops. Later as Lord Protector, he seeks tolerance for many Protestant groups
- Westminster Confession accepted as the statement of Presbyterianism in Scotland and England.
- Beginnings of the Quaker movement (the Society of Friends) under preacher George Fox.
- End of the Thirty Years` War. Catholics and Protestants given equal rights in most of the Holy Roman Empire.
- In America, Iroquois Indians destroy Huron Indians and their Jesuit mission.
- Conversion of Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and theologian.
- Waldensian`s break from Roman Catholicism and embrace Protestantism. Catholics launch persecutions.
- John Milton writes `Paradise lost`.
- The Synod of Jerusalem.
- The British Test Acts bans Catholics from holding public office unless they deny certain doctrines.
- John Bunyan`s `Pilgrim`s Progress` published.
- Edict of Nantes revoked Huguenots flee France.
- The Glorious Revolution, when King James II was deposed and King William of Orange was invited over from the Netherlands to become king, he insisted on becoming king although it was his wife Mary who had the succession, they both became a Constitutional Monarch, (the same was offered to king Charles I by Cromwell but he refused this offer,) William later fought the forces of the now deposed Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland, King William`s victory cemented the Protestant/Anglican Faith here in England and also in Scotland and Wales, but in Ireland this was a bone of contention then and even today, where the returning Scots especially to Northern Ireland the homeland of their ancient forefathers have brought over their type of Protestant Faith in the form of Presbyterianism, hence the ongoing conflict between the Irish Roman Catholics, a civil war between brothers and sisters. The Roman Catholic Church wishes to over turn the Protestant/Anglican Faith even today so to subject their faith on the United Kingdom, they are vieing with Political Correctness and Islam who wish to do the same.
- English Parliament issues Toleration Act (tolerating all Protestant groups, but not Roman Catholics, all part of the new reign of King William of Orange and Queen Mary when they were asked to become king and queen of England when King James II was deposed, he wanted England to revert back to being Roman Catholic, Parliament acted upon this threat).
- Chinese emperor officially allows Christianity. Ricci`s initial 2,000 converts multiply to 300,000.
- First missionary societies formed by Protestants.
Christianity spreads to Bermuda, Uruguay, Taiwan, Barbados, St. Kitts-Nevis, Laos, Montserrat, Antigua, Virgin Islands, Grenada, Anguilla, Belize, Gambia, Polynesia, Chad, Micronesia, Gabon, Bahamas, Benin.
- Slave trafficking from Africa increases.
- Pope/Bishop of Rome Clement XI condemns “Chinese Rites,” the mixture of Confucianism and ancestor worship with Christianity in China. Presecution against Christians begins; thousands are killed.
- Death of Phillipp Jakob Spener, the “father of Pietism.” Pietism emphasizes feelings, a personal religious experience, and living a life of intense devotion.
- First Presbyterian church in America. It is governed by a board of elders (presbyters).
1707 Isaac Watts writes mare than 600 hymns in his life.
- Peter the Great appoints the Holy Synod to head the Russian Orthodox Church, putting the church under the state`s control until 1917.
- Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinendorf welcomes fleeing Hussites from Moravia (Moravian Brethren) to live on his lands. The Pietistic colony that forms, “Hernhut,” Sends out missionaries to Africa, India, and the Americas.
- Greek Catholic (Melkite) church established in what is now Lebanon. Primarily located in Ethiopia and parts of Egypt, the Melkite church had accepted the Council of Chalcedon in 451, rejecting monophysitism.
- Jonathan Edwards, one of America`s greatest preachers and theologians, preaches in Northampton.
- Conversion of John and Charles Wesley. Their emphasis on living a holy life by doing specific spiritual disciplines each week is derided as “Methodist.” Eventually the descriptive is accepted with pride, and Methodism spreads rapidly in the Church of England.
Charles Wesley pens more than 6,000 hymns, including “And Can It Be” and “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”
Freemasonry condemned by Pope/Bishop of Rome Clement XII (and later popes/bishops of Rome). The pope/bishop of Rome forbids Catholics to join.
- George Whitefield, Anglican preacher, gives open-air evangelistic messages.
John Wesley travels throughout Britain on horseback, reportedly giving 40,000 sermons during his life and travelling on horseback they reckon 250,000 miles approximately (10 times around the earth).
- The Great Awakening in New England, led by Whitefield. Revival spreads throughout colonial America.
1741 – 2. George Frederic Handel writes the Messiah.
- Powerful Jesuit order suppressed, in 1773, it is dissolved by the pope/bishop of Rome. In 1814, Jesuits are re-established.
- John Newton, former slave trader converts, writes “Amazing Grace.”
- Serra founds the first of nine missions in California.
- John Wesley sends Francis Asbury to preach in America. The American Methodist Church becomes a separate organization in 1784.
- First independent Black Baptist church is established in America.
- “Sunday school “ is developed in England by Robert Raikes out of concern for urban poor.
- Immanuel Kant`s Critique of Pure Reason. Reason cannot deny the existence of God, the soul, or eternity.
- “Conference of Methodists” forms a group within the Church of England.
The Russian Orthodox send missionaries to Alaska.
- Korean Christianity expands, then is exterminated.
- The French Revolution results in a new government and a new religion hostile to Christianity, “Thousands of Catholics and some Protestant clergy are executed. Ten years later the French invade Rome, and take Pope/bishop of Rome Pius VI prisoner to France.
- Second Great Awakening: revival sweeps New England for 30 years.
William Carey often called the father of modern Protestant missions.
- William and Dorothy Carey of England sail for India. Carey writes a significant work on the Great Commission and offers strategies for fulfilling it at a time when many Protestants believe that “when God pleases to convert the heathen, he`ll do it without consulting you or me.”
The Baptist missionary Society and other missionary societies formed during this century.
- Many American churches, including the Baptists, begin to divide over the issue of slave holding.
- Methodists separate from the Church of England to form a distinct church.
Christianity spreads to Nepal, Seychelles, Falkland Islands, Turks and Caico Islands, Pitcairn Island, Sierra Leone, Norfolk Island, and Tonga.
- French leader Napoleon Bonaparte reconciles with new pope/Bishop of Rome temporarily (Concordat of 1801) and makes himself emperor in 1804. France reinvades Rome and takes Pius VII to France as a prisoner.
- William Wilberforce, member of Parliament and devout Christian, leads Parliament to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire. He and other Christians also address social problems including exploitative child labour, illiteracy, prison reform, education, and reinstating civil rights for Jews and Roman Catholics.
- Thomas and Alexander Campbell`s Restoration Movement gives rise to the Disciples of Christ and some Church of Christ groups.
- Adoniram and Ann Judson arrive in Bermuda
- The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is founded by Richard Allen, a free Black, in Philadelphia. In 1821, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church forms.
- Synod of Constantinople.
- Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (re-established by Pope/Bishop of Rome Pius VII) Spurs Roman Catholic missionary efforts in Ethiopia, Mongolia, North Africa (Charles Lavigerie, founder of the White Fathers) and Hawaii (Fr. Damien, works with lepers 16 years and dies of leprosy).
- John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethren creates for first dispensational system (dividing history into spiritual eras or dispensations), which influences Cyrus Scofield`s teaching of the 1900s.
- Friedrich Schleirmacher, the Father of Liberal Protestant Theology,” teaches that God is within human reality, not above it.
Joseph Smith, Jr, founds the Church of the Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), which denies the Trinity.
- Oxford Movement calls the Church of England to return to “high church” practices and doctrines.
- Charles Finney leads revival in New York.
- George Muller opens faith orphanage in England.
- David Livingstone, missionary, goes to Africa.
- Soren Kierkegaard`s `Philosophical Fragments.`
The YMCA and YWCA (Young Men`s/Women Christian Association) form in London during the Industrial Revolution to introduce Christianity to new large population in urban areas.
Adventist Movement begins with William Miller.
- Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon draws such crowds that a church is built for him in England.
Immaculate Conception dogma is pronounced by Pope/Bishop of Rome Pius IX. It states that Mary, Jesus` mother, was free from original sin, a belief debated since the Middle Ages.