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Hist Theo 1-15th Cen

Historical theology from 1st to 15th Centuries

1st The Church begins on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2 [NB]
1st The Jerusalem Council settles the Judaizer debate, emphasizing the fact that Gentile Christians are not obligated to keep the Mosaic Law. [NB]
1st fire ravages Rome. Emperor Nero blames Christians and unleashes persecution.
1st Titus destroys Jerusalem and its temple. Separation deepens between Christianity and Judaism.
1st Clement of Rome writes his First Epistle to the Corinthians, urging them to avoid schism and underscoring justification by faith. [NB]
1st The Apostle John, the last living Apostle, dies in Ephesus after having been exiled to Patmos. [NB]
2nd Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, writes seven letters to various churches before being killed as a martyr in the Coliseum in Rome. [NB]
2nd Papias dies; he was a disciple of the Apostle John and a Premillennialist. His writings, now lost, are partially recorded by Irenaeus and Eusebius of Caesarea. [NB]
2nd The Epistle of Barnabas written by “Barnabas” (not the biblical Barnabas) in Alexandria, Egypt. It is characterized by an allegorical hermeneutic. Other important second-century writings include The Didache and The Shepherd of Hermas. [NB]
2nd Justin Martyr writes his First Apology, advancing Christian efforts to address competing philosophies.
2nd Polycarp, an eighty-six-year-old bishop, inspires Christians to stand firm under opposition.
2nd Tatian dies. His most famous work, the Diatessaron, is the earliest known harmony of the four New Testament Gospels. [NB]
2nd Irenaeus becomes bishop of Lyons and combats developing heresies within the Church.
2nd Colorful and cantankerous Tertullian begins writings that earn him the reputation of being the "Father of Latin Theology."
3rd The gifted North African Origen begins writing. He headed a noted catechetical school in Alexandria. [A school he inherited from Clement of Alexandria.]
3rd Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, publishes his influential work Unity of the Church. He was martyred in 258.
3rd Antony gives away his possessions and begins life as a hermit, a key event in the development of Christian monasticism. [He was one of the first ascetics to go out into the wilderness (in Egypt). His biography, written by Athanasius, helped to make monast
4th The tenth wave of anti-Christian persecution begins under Diocletian. Many Christians gave their lives as martyrs. [NB]
4th Constantine is converted after seeing a vision of the cross. He becomes a defender and advocate of the oppressed Christians.
4th The Council of Nicea addresses debates perplexing the Church and defines the doctrine of who Jesus really was. [--namely, that He is of the same substance as the Father]
4th Athanasius' Easter Letter recognizes the New Testament Canon, listing the same books we have now. [Athanasias defended the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity throughout his entire lifetime, enduring multiple exiles for the stand he took.]
4th Basil dies. He, along with Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, defended Nicene orthodoxy in Asia Minor at a time when such was unpopular. Together, these three are known as the Cappadocian Fathers. [NB]
4th Emperor Theodosius I (“the Great”) declares Nicene Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire. The next year he would convene the first Council of Constantinople, which dealt a final blow to Arianism. [NB]
4th In Milan, Bishop Ambrose defies the Empress, helping establish the precedent of Church confrontation of the state when necessary to protect Christian teaching and oppose the state. [Ambrose was a major influence on Augustine through his preaching.]
4th Augustine of Hippo is converted. His writings became bedrock for the Middle Ages. The Confessions and City of God are still read by many.
4th John Chrysostom, the "golden tongued" preacher is made bishop of Constantinople and leads from there amidst continuing controversies.
5th Jerome completes the Latin "Vulgate" version of the Bible that becomes the standard for the next one thousand years.
5th Patrick goes as a missionary to Ireland—taken there as a teenager as a slave. He returns and leads multitudes of Irish people to the Christian faith.
5th Leo I (“the Great”) becomes bishop of Rome. Leo did much to consolidate Rome’s political and theological authority. His Tome was instrumental in resolving the Christological debate at Chalcedon. [NB]
5th The Council of Chalcedon confirms orthodox teaching that Jesus was truly God and truly man and existed in one person. [Nestorianism and Eutychianism are both denounced as heresies.]
5th This is the date that most historians ascribe to the fall of Rome (the western half of the Roman Empire), due to the invasion of barbarian tribes. [NB]
6th Benedict of Nursia establishes his monastic order. His “rule” becomes the most influential for centuries of monasticism in the West.
6th Emperor Justinian I (“the Great”) convenes the Second Council of Constantinople in order to resolve the monophysite/dyophisite controversy. [NB]
6th Columba goes as a missionary to Scotland. He establishes the legendary monastic mission center at Iona. [Columba had been trained in Ireland; he left there to become a missionary to the “Picts”—the natives of Scotland.]
6th Gregory becomes Pope Gregory I, known as "the Great." His leadership significantly advances the development of the papacy and has enormous influence on Europe.
6th Augustine of Canterbury brings Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons of England. [NB]
7th Muhammad dies in Arabia after founding a new, heretical religion: Islam. [NB]
8th Boniface, the "Apostle of Germany," sets out as a missionary to bring the gospel to pagan lands. [He was influential in extending Christianity throughout the Frankish kingdom to other Germanic tribes.]
8th The "Venerable" Bede completes his careful and influential Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. [For his work, he became known as “The Father of English History.” Much of what we know about Augustine of Canterbury and other missionaries comes fro
8th At the Battle of Tours, Charles Martel turns back the Muslim invasion of Europe.
8th A stone stele dating back to 781 indicates the presence of a strong Christian contingency in China during the Tang dynasty. [NB]
8th Irene, the widow of Emperor Leo IV, organized the Second Council of Nicea which authorized the use of religious icons in both the Western and Eastern Church. [NB]
8th Charlemagne crowned emperor by the pope [Leo III] on Christmas. He advances the church, education, and culture.
11th The East-West Schism. Brewing for centuries, rupture finally comes to a head with the fissure that has lasted to this day.
11th Anselm becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. A devoted monk and outstanding theologian, his Cur Deus Homo? (Why Did God Become Man?), explored the atonement. [He articulated the “satisfaction theory” of the atonement, which is somewhat similar to the “penal s
11th Pope Urban II launches the First Crusade. The crowd wildly shouts "God wills it!" There would be several crusades over the next centuries with many tragic results.
12th Bernard founds the monastery at Clairvaux. He and the monastery become a major center of spiritual and political influence. [Bernard was a major supporter of the Second Crusade and of the Knights Templar.]
12th Universities of Paris and Oxford are founded and become incubators for renaissance and reformation and precursors for modern educational patterns.
12th Peter Waldo founds the Waldensians, a reform movement emphasizing poverty, preaching and the Bible. He and his followers are eventually condemned as heretics and the Waldensians suffer great persecution for centuries.
13th Francis of Assisi renounces wealth and goes on to lead a band of poor friars preaching the simple life.
13th The Fourth Lateran Council deals with heresy, reaffirms Roman Catholic doctrines and strengthens the authority of the popes. [According to Norm Geisler, it was at this Council that Roman Catholic doctrine became officially apostate. Of course, the seeds o
13th Thomas Aquinas completes work on Summa Theoligica, the theological masterpiece of the Middle Ages.
14th Dante completes The Divine Comedy, the greatest work of Christian literature to emerge from the Middle Ages. [This epic poem gives a first-hand account of Dante’s imaginative journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven.]
14th Catherine of Siena goes to Rome to help heal the "Great Papal Schism" which had resulted in multiple popes. Partly through her influence, the papacy moves back to Rome from Avignon. [The “Babylonian Captivity” ended at this time when Gregory XI moved the
14th John Wycliffe is exiled from Oxford but oversees a translation of the Bible into English. He is later hailed as the "Morning star of the Reformation."
15th John Hus, who teaches Wycliffe's ideas in Bohemia, is condemned and burned at the stake by the Council of Constance. [The Council of Constance also put an end to the “Papal Schism” that had begun in 1378.]
15th The fall of Constantinople to the Muslim Turks marks the end of the Middle Ages. [NB]
15th Johann Gutenberg produces the first printed Bible, and his press becomes a means for dissemination new ideas, catalyzing changes in politics and theology.
15th The Spanish Inquisition is established under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to oppose "heresy."
15th Savonarola, the fiery Dominican reformer of Florence, in Italy, is executed.
Created by: sjahng
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