Just the facts on religion.

Christian History

The following articles provide an overview of some of the most important events and periods in Christian history.

  • Context of Christianity

    > "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son." - Paul, Galatians 4:4, c. 53 CE > "Through the instrumentality of the Romans, the world is at peace... full article →
  • The Birth of Jesus

    The birth of Jesus, also called the "nativity of Christ," is a topic of both religious significance and scholarly interest. According to the Christian scriptures, the event was miraculous and fulfilled prophecies about the Messiah. Modern scholars date his birth to about 6-4 BCE. full article →
  • The Baptism of Jesus Christ

    Jesus reenters the Gospel narratives at about the age of 30 (circa 26 CE). The four gospels agree that Jesus' first act was to be baptized by John the Baptist, a charismatic and ascetic figure who called people to repentance and baptized those who responded... full article →
  • Persecution in the Early Church

    In its first three centuries, the Christian church endured persecution at the hands of Roman authorities. This experience, and its resulting martyrs and apologists, would have significant historical and theological consequences for the developing faith... full article →
  • The Conversion of Constantine

    A major turning point in western history occurred when the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 312 CE. Whether Constantine's conversion was sincere or politically motivated (or a combination of the two), historians can only speculate... full article →
  • Council of Nicea

    The Council of Nicea was a historic gathering of Christian bishops in modern Iznik, Turkey, in 325 CE. Convened by the newly-converted Emperor Constantine, it condemned Arianism as a heresy and produced the Nicene Creed. full article →
  • Canonization of the New Testament

    In the popular novel The Da Vinci Code, Sir Leigh Teabing and Robert Langdon teach Sophie that the New Testament was created in 325 CE by the pagan Emperor Constantine... full article →
  • Seven Ecumenical Councils

      - Council of Nicea (325 AD) - Council of Constantinople (381) - Council of Ephesus (431) - Council of Chalcedon (451) - Second Council of Constantinople (553) - Third Council of Constantinople (681) - Second Council of Nicea (787)
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  • History of the Papacy

    The Roman Catholic church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, who is called the Pope. This institution, called the "papacy," is traced back to the Apostle Peter but took centuries to develop. full article →
  • The Great Schism

    One of the most significant events in the history of Christianity is the "Great Schism" between Eastern and Western Christendom, which occurred in 1054 CE... full article →
  • The Crusades

    The Crusades were military expeditions of Christian Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Muslim Turks... full article →
  • The Protestant Reformation

    In the 1400s, some western Christians began to publicly challenge aspects of the church. They spoke against the abuse of authority and corruption in Christian leadership... full article →
  • Salem Witch Trials

    What were the Salem Witch Trials and why are they so famous? Also known as "the Salem Witchcraft Trials," these legal proceedings in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, resulted in 20 people, mostly women, being hanged for witchcraft... full article →
  • Age of Reason and Revival

    In the 17th century, Christians of many ideologies embarked on the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, to the promise of religious freedom and economic prosperity in the New World... full article →