Timeline Of Early Church Fathers – This church history timeline is reproduced by permission of Conciliar Press, © Copyright 1988 Conciliar Press; Second edition 1989). The links and some additions have been added by Saint Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Christian Church.
The following timeline and accompanying text provided below are intended to give the reader a general and simplified overview of the development of the Christian Church.
Timeline Of Early Church Fathers
For a more detailed description of the history of the church, the reader is encouraged to read The Byzantine Legacy in the Orthodox Church by Fr. John Meyendorff and Rome-Constantinople-Moscow Historical and theological studies also by Fr. John Meindorf. The first chapter in the last reference begins with the following paragraph:
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All historians today agree that the schism, which eventually became a permanent form of separation between Eastern and Western Christians, did not occur suddenly. even be dated.
The churches of Rome and Constantinople were often separated for long periods already between the fourth and ninth centuries. Those early conflicts were sometimes caused by heresies, held in the capital of the Eastern empire (Arianism, 335-381; Monotheletism, 533-680; Iconoclasm, 723-787; 815-842) and rightly rejected by Rome. Sometimes Rome and Constantinople differed in their attitude in the field of ecclesiastical oikonomia (the “Neo-Nicene” position, inherited from the Cappadocian fathers, 381-ca. 400; the attitude towards the Henotikon, also known as the “Acacian schism ”, 482-518), and communication was broken on those grounds.
Whatever the issue and who is to blame, it is clear that, during the debate on a specific theological or disciplinary problem, there was a developing difference in the respective authority of the “apostolic see” of Rome on the one hand, and on the other, the idea of a conciliar consensus prevails in the East.
49 – Council in Jerusalem (Acts 15) sets a precedent for addressing Church ships in Council. James presided as bishop.
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69 – Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in the heart of the New Testament era – St. Peter had been the first bishop there. Other early bishops include James, Polycarp, and Clement.
150 – St. Justin Martyr describes the liturgical worship of the Church, centered in the Eucharist. Liturgical worship is rooted in both the Old and New Testaments.
325 – The Nicene Creed is established. The Council of Nicaea settles the great heretical challenge to the Christian faith when the heretic Arius claims that Christ was created by the Father. Saint Athanasius defends the eternity of the Son of God. The Arians continue their attack on true Christianity for years. Nicea is the first of Seven Ecumenical (ecclesiastical) Councils.
787 – The era of Ecumenical Councils ends in Nicaea, with the Seventh Council bringing back the age-old use of icons in the Church.
The Early Church, Timeline Chart
1054 – The Great Schism occurs. Two major problems involve Rome’s claim to a universal papal supremacy and her addition of the
1095 – The Crusades began by the Roman Church. The Sack of Constantinople by Rome (1204) contributes to the estrangement between East and West.
1333 – Saint Gregory Palamas defends the Orthodox practice of hesychast spirituality and the use of the Jesus Prayer.
1517 – Martin Luther nails his 95 theses to the door of the Roman Church in Wittenberg, which begins the Protestant Reformation.
The Separation Of Christianity From Judaism
1988 – One thousand years of Orthodoxy in Kiev, as the Orthodox Church worldwide preserves the fullness of the Apostolic Faith.
Scholars estimate that there are more than 2,600 groups today that claim to be the Church, or at least the direct descendants of the Church described in the New Testament. repeat: 2600!
But for the first thousand years of its history the church was essentially one. Five historic patriarchal centers – Jerusalem; Antioch, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople – formed a coherent whole and were in full communion with each other. There were occasional heretics or schismatic groups that went their own way, of course; but the church was united until the 11th century. Then, in events culminating in AD 1054, the Roman Patriarch withdrew from the other four, pursuing his long-developing claim to universal headship of the Church.
Today, nearly a thousand years later, the other four patriarchates remain intact, in full communion, and maintain that orthodox apostolic faith of the inspired record of the New Testament. The Orthodox Church and its history are described here, from Pentecost to the present day. It is between 30 and 33, but based on various factors (Easter Friday, 14 or 15 Nisan, under Pontius Pilate, an eclipse), many scholars agree on April 3 AD 33, but still others agree on April 7 (Nisan 14) AD 30 [Rainer Riesner, Paul’s Early Period: Chronology, Mission Strategy, Theology].
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• Gerd Lüdemann (Atheist NT professor in Göttingen): “… the elements in the tradition must be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion of Jesus … no later than three years … the formation of the appearance traditions mentioned in I Cor. 15.3-8 falls in the time between 30 and 33 CE. [The Resurrection of Jesus, trans. by Bowden (Fortress, 1994), 171-72.]
• James Dunn (Professor in Durham): “Despite uncertainties about the extent of tradition that Paul received (126), there is no reason to doubt that this information was communicated to Paul as part of his introductory catechesis (16.3) ( 127). He should be informed of precedents to make sense of what happened to him. When he says: ‘I handed over to you as a first interest (en protois) whatever I received (parelabon)’ (15.3 ), he certainly does not mean that the tradition became important to him only at a later date. More likely, he indicates the importance of the tradition to himself from the beginning; that is why he took care to pass it on to the Corinthians when they first believed (15.1-2) (128). This tradition, we can fully trust, was formulated as a tradition within months after the death of Jesus. [Jezus Remembered (Eerdmans, 2003) 854-55.]
• The Oxford Companion to the Bible: “The earliest record of these appearances is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, a tradition that Paul ‘received’ after his apostolic call, certainly no later than his visit to Jerusalem in 35 CE, when he saw Cephas (Peter) and James (Gal. 1:18-19), who, like him, were recipients of revelation. [Eds. Metzer & Coogan (Oxford, 1993), 647. ]
• Peter May: “The death of Christ is generally thought to have occurred in AD 30 (or 33).4 Paul wrote his letter to the congregation in Corinth around AD 55, about 25 years later. He had this delivered faith when he visited Corinth in AD 51. Few dates could be more certain, for while there he was brought before the Roman proconsul Gallio (Acts 18:12-17). Gallio, who afterwards conspired against Nero, was the brother of the philosopher Seneca. Proconsulship was a one-year post and a Roman stone inscription found early in the 20th century at nearby Delphi records his period of office as AD 51-52. This date is firmly established that it has become one of the lynchpins for working out the dates of the rest of the chronology of the New Testament. [“The resurrection of Jesus and the witness of Paul,” (2008) online a contemplation. org]
The Jesus Passages In Josephus
Claudius 25, “because the Jews were constantly making disturbances at the instigation of a certain Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.” 9th year of Claudius’ reign
Papias, 125 AD (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0125.htm) “Mark, after becoming Peter’s interpreter, wrote exactly what he remembered. However, it was not in exact order that he told the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he did not hear the Lord, nor accompany Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who gave his instructions according to the necessity [of his listeners], but without the intention to give a regular account of the sayings of the Lord. Therefore Mark made no mistake in writing down some things as he remembered them. For one thing he took special care, not to leave out anything that he had heard and nothing to put fictitiously in the statements. … Matthew put the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could.” Fragment IV
Irenaeus, 180 AD also handed down to us in writing what was preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, wrote in a book the Gospel that was preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who was also leaning on his chest, himself published a gospel during his residence in Ephesus in Asia. Against heresies 3.1.1
Tertullian, 200AD (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03124.htm) “Of the apostles therefore John and Matthew first give us faith; while of apostolic men Luke and Mark afterwards renew it.” Against Marcion 4.2.1
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Early date (pre-70) – Ealier Mark & Luke dating, Matt 5:23-24 & 23:16-22 do not make sense with a destroyed temple
Acts was composed around 62 AD, therefore Luke and Mark must be earlier than 62. Paul arrived in Rome around 60 AD, released in 62 AD,