Historical Timeline: CHRISTIANITY


ca. 4 CE                       Birth of Jesus


ca. 27-30 CE               Public ministry of Jesus


ca. 30 CE                     Crucifixion of Jesus


ca. 35 CE                     Conversion of Paul


ca. 46-64 CE               Proclaiming himself “Apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul travels throughout the Greco-Roman world preaching in Jewish synagogues and at markets. He wins converts among both Jews and Gentiles and writes letters to the various communities; some he had founded and some founded by others.


51 CE                          Council of Jerusalem meets to address the tensions between Jewish followers of Jesus and Gentile followers over issues of circumcision and observing Mosaic law. Jewish followers claimed that all converts were still bound by the covenant and the law of Moses; Paul proclaimed the “old covenant” was no longer valid or necessary for those who had found Christ. Beginning of ultimate break between Judaism and Christianity.


64 CE                          Emperor Nero persecutes Christians in Rome; traditional date for     

                                    for the martyrdom of Peter and Paul.


70 CE                          Jewish rebellion against Roman occupation ends with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem; Jewish followers of Jesus dispersed.


75-110 CE                   Gospels written: Mark ca. 75-80; Matthew and Luke ca. 80-95;

            John ca. 95-110.


150 CE                        Earliest canon of Christian scriptures compiled by Marcion; does not include the texts that would form the Hebrew Bible.


175-300 CE                 Various waves of persecution of Christians by Roman Emperors.


300-700 CE                 Consolidation of Christian belief and practice; development of theology; struggle of orthodoxy against heresy.


                                    Emperor Constantine issues Edict of Milan granting toleration to Christianity (313 CE).


                                    Council of Nicaea; Arianism is condemned (325 CE).


                                    Roman Empire divided among Constantine’s heirs into Western (Roman) and Eastern (Byzantine) Empires (340 CE).


                                    Council of Constantinople affirms full divinity of Christ (381 CE).

                                    Council of Chalcedon proclaims Christ as one person with two natures—fully divine and fully human (451 CE).


                        Vandals sack Rome (455 CE).


Christian “Code of Civil Law” developed; defines Jewish life as a minority in Christian lands (ca 500-600 CE).


1054 CE                      Western (Roman Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Churches split.


1095-1500 CE             Pope Urban calls for First Crusade (1095) to liberate Holy Land (Jerusalem) from the Muslims (who conquered it in 638); violent persecution of Muslims and Jews by Crusaders en route to Jerusalem. Subsequent Crusades intensify centuries of anti-Jewish persecution in Christian lands.


                                    Jewish communities expelled from western and central European Christian lands (1190-1492).


1500-1700 CE             Martin Luther begins Protestant Reformation with his 95 Theses (1517); other reformers follow (Zwingli, Calvin).


                                    Council of Trent reforms Catholic Church in response to growing Protestant Reformation (1545).


                                    Catholics and Protestants battle it out across Europe in the Wars of Religion; conflict peaks during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).


1700-present               The Enlightenment (ca. 1700-1800) inaugurates a new age: Modernity


Great Awakening” period of religious revival in America; emphasis on personal experience and emotional fervor (1740)


French Revolution (1789)

                                    Book of Mormon (1830)

                                    Darwin publishes the Origin of Species (1859)

                                    Publication of conservative Christian The Fundamentals (1910-1915) marks beginning of Fundamentalist movement.