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The purpose of this timeline is to give a detailed account of Christianity from the beginning of the current era (AD) to the present. Question marks ('?') on dates indicate approximate dates.
A timeline is a display of a list of events in chronological order. It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labelled with dates paralleling it, and usually contemporaneous events; a Gantt chart is a form of timeline used in project management.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.
The year one is the first year in the Christian calendar (there is no year zero), which is the calendar presently used (in unison with the Gregorian calendar) almost everywhere in the world. Traditionally, this was held to be the year Jesus was born; however, most modern scholars argue for an earlier or later date, the most agreed upon being between 6 BC and 4 BC.
The terms anno Domini (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is often presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ".
Year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini (AD) system usually used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering and in ISO 8601:2004 as well as in all Buddhist and Hindu calendars.
The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:
Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.
Herod Archelaus was ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea, including the cities Caesarea and Jaffa, for a period of nine years. Archelaus was removed by Roman Emperor Augustus when Judaea province was formed under direct Roman rule, at the time of the Census of Quirinius. He was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan, and was the brother of Herod Antipas, and the half-brother of Herod II. Archelaus came to power after the death of his father Herod the Great in 4 BC, and ruled over one-half of the territorial dominion of his father.
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.
Samaria is a historical and biblical name used for the central region of the ancient Land of Israel, also was known as Palestine, bordered by Galilee to the north and Judaea to the south. For the beginning of the Common Era, Josephus set the Mediterranean Sea as its limit to the west, and the Jordan River as its limit to the east. Its territory largely corresponds to the biblical allotments of the tribe of Ephraim and the western half of Manasseh; after the death of Solomon and the splitting-up of his empire into the southern Kingdom of Judah and the northern Kingdom of Israel, this territory constituted the southern part of the Kingdom of Israel. The border between Samaria and Judea is set at the latitude of Ramallah.
Jesus begins his ministry after his baptism by John and during the rule of Pilate, preaching: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" ( Matthew 4:12–17 ). While the historicity of the gospel accounts is questioned to some extent by some critical scholars and non-Christians, the traditional view states the following chronology for his ministry: Temptation, Sermon on the Mount, Appointment of the Twelve, alleged Miracles, Temple Money Changers, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Passion, Crucifixion on Nisan 14th (John 19:14 , Mark 14:2 , Gospel of Peter) or Nisan 15th (Synoptic Gospels), entombment by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, professed Resurrection by God and claimed Resurrection appearances of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and other women (Mark 16:9 , John 20:10–18 ), Simon Peter (Luke 24:34 ), and others, ( 1Cor.15:3–9 ), Great Commission, Ascension, Second Coming Prophecy to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, and establishment of the Kingdom of God and the Messianic Age.
In the Christian gospels, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan, and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry. A chronology of Jesus typically has the date of the start of his ministry estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36.
The historicity of Jesus is the question of whether Jesus of Nazareth can be regarded as a historical figure. Nearly all New Testament scholars and Near East historians, applying the standard criteria of historical-critical investigation, find that the historicity of Jesus is effectively certain, although they differ about the beliefs and teachings of Jesus as well as the accuracy of the details of his life that have been described in the gospels.
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term for those methods of studying the Bible that embrace two distinctive perspectives: the concern to avoid dogma and bias by applying a non-sectarian, reason-based judgment, and the reconstruction of history according to contemporary understanding. Biblical criticism uses the grammar, structure, development, and relationship of language to identify such characteristics as the Bible's literary structure, its genre, its context, meaning, authorship, and origins.
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Shortly after the death and resurrection of Jesus (Nisan 14 or 15), the Jerusalem church is founded as the first Christian church with about 120 Jews and Jewish Proselytes (Acts 1:15), followed by Pentecost (Sivan 6), the Ananias and Sapphira incident, Pharisee Gamaliel's defense of the Apostles (5:34-39), the stoning of Saint Stephen (see also Persecution of Christians) and the subsequent dispersion of the Apostles (7:54-8:8, also Mark 16:20) which leads to the baptism of Simon Magus in Samaria (8:9-24), and also an Ethiopian eunuch (8:26-40). Paul's "Road to Damascus" conversion to "Apostle to the Gentiles" is first recorded in 9:13-16, cf. Gal 1:11-24. Peter baptizes the Roman Centurion Cornelius, who is traditionally considered the first Gentile convert to Christianity (10). The Antioch church is founded, it was there that the term Christian was first used (11:26).
Nisan on the Assyrian calendar is the first month, and on the Hebrew calendar is the first month of the ecclesiastical year and the seventh month of the civil year. The name of the month is of Assyrian-Babylonian origin; in the Torah it is called the month of the Aviv. Assyrians today refer to the month as the "month of happiness." It is a spring month of 30 days. Nisan usually falls in March–April on the Gregorian calendar. In the Book of Esther in the Tanakh it is referred to as Nisan. Karaite Jews interpret it as referring to the month in which barley was ripe.
The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles.
Sivan is the ninth month of the civil year and the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a spring month of 30 days. Sivan usually falls in May–June on the Gregorian calendar.
Caligula was Roman emperor from 37 to 41 AD. The son of the popular Roman general Germanicus and Augustus's granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Germanicus's uncle and adoptive father, Tiberius, succeeded Augustus as emperor of Rome in 14.
The Letter of James, the Epistle of James, or simply James, is one of the 21 epistles in the New Testament.
The anonymous Historia Compostelana is based on the relation of events by a writer in the immediate circle of Diego Gelmírez, second bishop (1100–1120) then first archbishop (1120–1140) of Compostela, one of the major figures of the Middle Ages in Galicia. The narrative of the Historia Compostelana spans the years 1100 – 1139, the years of Gelmírez' tenure, in three books. Its twofold central agenda is to extol the Archbishop's doings, while establishing the foundation and rights of Santiago de Compostela, including its founding legend, which provided apostolic connections with Saint James the Great. The bishopric had been transferred from Iria Flavia to Compostela as recently as 1095.
Constantine called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to unify Christology, also called the first great Christian council by Jerome, the first ecumenical, decreed the Original Nicene Creed, but rejected by Nontrinitarians such as Arius, Theonas, Secundus of Ptolemais, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Theognis of Nicaea who were excommunicated, also addressed Easter controversy and passed 20 Canon laws such as Canon VII which granted special recognition to Jerusalem.
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase καθόλου (katholou), meaning "on the whole", "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words κατά meaning "about" and ὅλος meaning "whole". The term Catholic was first used in the early 2nd century to indicate Christendom as a whole. In the context of Christian ecclesiology, it has a rich history and several usages.
An episcopal polity is a hierarchical form of church governance in which the chief local authorities are called bishops. It is the structure used by many of the major Christian Churches and denominations, such as the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, Anglican, and Lutheran churches or denominations, and other churches founded independently from these lineages.
The Christian Church, also called the holy catholic church, is a Protestant ecclesiological concept of a church invisible comprising all Christians. In this understanding, "Christian Church" or "catholic church" does not refer to a particular Christian denomination but to the "body" of all "believers", both defined in various ways. Other Christian traditions believe that these terms apply only to a specific concrete Christian institution, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, or the Assyrian Church of the East; or to a group of institutions, as in the branch theory taught by some Anglicans.
A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization, leadership and doctrine. The Catholic Church, the Eastern Catholic Church and Oriental Orthodoxy, meaning the large majority, all self-describe as churches, whereas many Protestant denominations self-describe as congregations or fellowships. Divisions between one group and another are defined by authority and doctrine; issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, ecclesiology, eschatology, and papal primacy may separate one denomination from another. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs, practices, and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity". These branches differ in many ways, especially through differences in practices and belief.
Papal primacy, also known as the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, is an ecclesiastical doctrine concerning the respect and authority that is due to the pope from other bishops and their episcopal sees.
Nicene Christianity is a set of Christian doctrinal traditions which reflect the Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and amended at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381.
The primacy of Peter, also known as Petrine primacy, is the position of preeminence that is attributed to Saint Peter among the Twelve Apostles.
Catholicity is a concept pertaining to beliefs and practices widely accepted across numerous Christian denominations, most notably those that describe themselves as Catholic in accordance with the Four Marks of the Church, as expressed in the Nicene Creed of the First Council of Constantinople in 381: "[I believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."
The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—"one, holy, catholic and apostolic"—of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." This ecumenical creed is today recited in the liturgy of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Church of the East, the Moravian Church, the Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Presbyterian Churches, the Anglican Communion and by members of many Reformed Churches.
In the history of Christianity, the first seven ecumenical councils include the following: the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Second Council of Constantinople in 553, the Third Council of Constantinople from 680–681 and finally, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.
Catholic theology is the understanding of Roman Catholic doctrine or teachings, and results from the studies of theologians. It is based on canonical scripture, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. This article serves as an introduction to various topics in Catholic theology, with links to where fuller coverage is found.
Christianity in the 2nd century was largely the time of the development of variant Christian teachings, and the Apostolic Fathers who are regarded as defenders of the developing proto-orthodoxy. Major figures who were later declared by the developing proto-orthodoxy to be heretics were Marcion, Valentinius, and Montanus.
Christianity in the 3rd century was largely the time of the Ante-Nicene Fathers who wrote after the Apostolic Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries but before the First Council of Nicaea in 325.
In the 5th century in Christianity, there were many developments which led to further fracturing of the State church of the Roman Empire. Emperor Theodosius II called two synods in Ephesus, one in 431 and one in 449, that addressed the teachings of Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius and similar teachings. Nestorius had taught that Christ's divine and human nature were distinct persons, and hence Mary was the mother of Christ but not the mother of God. The Council rejected Nestorius' view causing many churches, centered on the School of Edessa, to a Nestorian break with the imperial church. Persecuted within the Roman Empire, many Nestorians fled to Persia and joined the Sassanid Church thereby making it a center of Nestorianism. By the end of the 5th century, the global Christian population was estimated at 10-11 million. In 451 the Council of Chalcedon was held to clarify the issue further. The council ultimately stated that Christ's divine and human nature were separate but both part of a single entity, a viewpoint rejected by many churches who called themselves miaphysites. The resulting schism created a communion of churches, including the Armenian, Syrian, and Egyptian churches, that is today known as Oriental Orthodoxy. In spite of these schisms, however, the imperial church still came to represent the majority of Christians within the Roman Empire.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Christianity:
The canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation. The books of the canon of the New Testament were written before 120 AD.
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