Timeline of Christian History
|c.2100 BC||Calling of Abraham – the Father of the Jewish nation.|
|c.2000 BC||Birth of Jacob, later to be called Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel are named after Jacob’s sons.|
|c.1900 BC||Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt. Israelites eventually become captives in the land.|
|c.1446 or 1290 BC||The Exodus begins. Led by Moses, the Israelites leave Egypt and eventually settle in Canaan.|
|c.1010 BC||David becomes king of Israel, making Jerusalem his capital.|
|c.970 BC||David’s son Solomon becomes king. He later builds a temple in Jerusalem to honour God.|
|c.930 BC||Following Solomon’s death, the Kingdom is divided into two sections: Northern (Israel) and Southern (Judah).|
|753 BC||Traditional date for the founding of Rome.|
|722 BC||Fall of the kingdom of Israel to the Assyrians.|
|612 BC||Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, falls to the Babylonians.|
|586 BC||Babylonians take Jerusalem and destroy Solomon’s temple. Jewish nation is taken into captivity in Babylon (the exile).|
|c.538 BC||Return of some of the exiles. Start of reconstruction of the temple.|
|c.512 BC||Completion of the temple.|
|c.330 BC||Conquest by Alexander the Great. Rise of Hellenism (Greek culture).|
|c.250 BC||Work begins to translate the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. This is known as the Septuagint or LXX.|
|63 BC||Roman rule of Israel begins.|
|c.4 BC||Birth of Jesus Christ, in Bethlehem.|
|c.30 AD||Death of Jesus Christ.|
|c.30||Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).
Sometimes known as the Birthday of the Church.
|c.33||Stephen – First Christian martyr (Acts 7).|
|c.48||Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15).
Gentile Christians accepted alongside those in the Jewish tradition.
|c.60||First Gospel published (often thought to be that written by Mark).|
|62||Martyrdom of James, “The Lord’s Brother”.|
|c.67-68||Apostles Peter and Paul* martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Nero.|
|70||Jewish rebellion against the Roman empire ends. Destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.|
|From 70||Centre of Christianity moves to Antioch, Alexandria and Rome.|
|c.90||Book of Revelation and Gospel of Saint John written.|
|161-80||Widespread persecution of Christians under Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
(Severe persecutions also occurred under the emperors Decius (249-251) and Diocletian (284-305)).
|301||Armenia becomes the world’s first country to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion.|
|312||Roman emperor Constantine receives a vision of a flaming cross with the words
‘In hoc signo vinces’ : ‘By this sign conquer’.
Defeats rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
|313||Edict of Milan issued by Constantine – Christianity becomes a legal religion within the Roman empire.|
|325||Constantine calls the first ecumenical council at Nicea.
Arian heresy which declared Christ was a created being is refuted. Nicene Creed is drawn up, declaring Christ to be “…Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father…”
|367||Saint Athanasius is the first to list all 27 New Testament books in his festal letter.|
|381||Ecumenical Council at Constantinople revises the Nicene creed to its current form.|
|c.382||Saint Jerome begins a translation of the Bible into Latin.|
|397||Synod at Carthage ratifies the 27 books of the New Testament as sacred scripture.|
|431||Ecumenical council held at Ephesus refutes Nestorianism.
(The doctrine that Christ was two persons (one human, the other divine) in one body). Mary is declared Theotokos i.e. ‘God-bearer’ or more commonly, ‘Mother of God’.
|449||At Ephesus, Pope Leo I delivers his ‘Tome’, defending orthodox Christian belief. Leo also asserts Papal supremacy.|
|451||Ecumenical council at Chalcedon affirms Christ as having two distinct natures united in one person (known as the ‘Hypostatic Union’).|
|553||Ecumenical council at Constantinople affirms teaching of previous councils.|
|563||Columba establishes a monastery at Iona.|
|589||Insertion of the filioque (Latin: ‘and the son’) into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed at a council in Toledo.|
|597||Following a mission authorised by Pope Gregory I, St. Augustine becomes the first Archbishop of Canterbury.|
|664||Synod of Whitby ratifies the authority of the Pope in England.|
|680-81||Ecumenical council at Constantinople rejects Monothelite heresy of one will in Christ.|
|731||Bede writes his Ecclesiastical History.|
|787||Ecumenical council at Nicea ends the controversy over the use of icons in worship.|
|800||Charlemagne is crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III.|
|988||Conversion of Prince Vladimir in Kiev. Growth of Christianity in Russia.|
|1054||Great Schism – Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic churches separate.|
|1095||Pope Urban II authorises the first Crusade to recover the Holy Land from Moslems.|
|1099||Crusaders conquer Jerusalem.|
|1187||Jerusalem recaptured by a Moslem army led by Saladin.|
|1189||Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart of England.|
|1204||Sack of Constantinople during the fourth crusade.|
|1216/23||Papal approval of the Dominican and Franciscan mendicant (‘begging’) orders.|
|1266-73||Thomas Aquinas writes his great work of systematic Theology: Summa Theologiae.|
|1305||Papacy moved to Avignon following a dispute with Philip IV of France.|
|c.1341||Defence of Orthodox spirituality by Gregory Palamas. Rise of Hesychasm.|
|c.1376||John Wycliffe writes ‘Civil Dominion’, arguing for reform of the church.|
|1378||Following the return of the Papacy to Rome, rival claimants (Antipopes) emerge. Dispute ends in 1417 with election of Martin V.|
|c.1380||John Wycliffe translates the Bible into Middle English.|
|1453||Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks.|
|1517||Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Wittenburg, Germany; beginning the Protestant reformation.|
|1521||Diet of Worms – Luther’s final breach with the Catholic church.|
|1525||William Tyndale completes his translation of the Bible into English.|
|1534||Ignatius of Loyola founds the Jesuits.|
|1534||Act of Supremacy passed – Henry VIII becomes supreme head of the English church.|
|1536||John Calvin publishes his Institutes of the Christian Religion.|
|1545-63||Council of Trent – Roman Catholic counter reformation.|
|1549||Thomas Cranmer publishes the Book of Common Prayer in England (later revised in 1662).|
|1555||Peace of Augsburg ends religious wars in Germany.|
|1611||Publication of the King James Version of the Bible.|
|1618-48||Protestant/Catholic conflict in Germany (Thirty Years War).|
|1730-60||The ‘Great Awakening’ – A revival movement among Protestants in the USA.|
|1738||John and Charles Wesley converted. They lead an Evangelical revival in England and form the Methodist church.|
|1854||Dogma of the Immaculate conception of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic church.|
|1870-1||First Vatican council. Dogma of Papal infallibility proclaimed.|
|1906||Azusa street revival in Los Angeles. Beginnings of the Pentecostal movement.|
|1910||World mission conference held in Edinburgh.|
|1918||Billy Graham born. Later becomes one of the most prominent evangelists in Christian history.|
|1948||Formation of the World Council of Churches.|
|1950||Dogma of the Assumption of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church.|
|1962-5||Second Vatican council. Major reforms in the Roman Catholic church are initiated.
Mutual anathemas of 1054 between Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches lifted.
|1997||Death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – founder of the ‘Missionaries of Charity’.|
|1999||Signing of the Joint Declaration on Justification by the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches.|
|2005||Death of Pope John Paul II, who is succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI.|
|2006||World Methodist Council adopts the Lutheran/Catholic Joint Declaration on Justification.|
|2011||Beatification of Pope John Paul II.|