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From the Editor: Welcome to this Special Issue
Important information before you begin
A.D. 70 Titus Destroys Jerusalem
When the Roman general sacked the temple, the Jews were forced into a new era—and so were the Christians.
313 The Edict of Milan
The agreement shifted Christianity from being an illicit, persecuted sect to being a welcome—and soon dominant—religion of the Roman Empire.
325 The First Council of Nicea
At stake in the church's first general council was the simplest, yet most profound, question: Who is Jesus Christ?
367 Athanasius Defines the New Testament
His letter is the earliest authoritative statement to fix the New Testament as we know it today.
386 Augustine Converts to Christianity
A brilliant, profligate professor of rhetoric became the church's leading theologian for centuries to come.
405 Jerome Completes the Vulgate
This Latin translation stood as the preeminent Bible text for centuries—and set the standard for future translators.
461 The Council of Chalcedon
If Jesus was truly God, how could he be truly human as well? Leo the Great helped guide a critical council to a clear answer.
540 Benedict Writes His Monastic Rule
His flexible, compassionate guidelines for Christian community forever shaped monastic life—and influenced Western society.
988 Vladimir Adopts Christianity
The pagan prince of Kievan Rus' embraced a new faith, leading to the Christianization of the Ukrainian, Russian, and Byelorussian peoples.
1054 The East-West Schism
Long-standing differences between Western and Eastern Christians finally caused a definitive break, and Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox still remain separate.
1095 Pope Urban II Launches the First Crusade
Waves of pilgrims and soldiers embarked for the Holy Land, beginning an era of exploration, conquest, defeat, and folly.
1272 Thomas Aquinas Concludes His Word on Summa Theologiae
The massive treatise set forth a theological system so influential it has been declared eternally valid.
1378 The Great Papal Schism
When two popes, and later three popes, vied for supremacy, the medieval church entered a dramatic, forty-year crisis of authority.
1456 Gutenberg Produces the First Printed Bible
Using his revolutionary invention—printing from movable type—he made the Scriptures potentially accessible to every person.
The History of the Church: Recommended Resources
Important Events in Church History: Christian History Timeline
Important Events in Church History
A selective chronological listing
1517 Luther Posts the 95 Theses
An obscure monk invited debate on a pressing church issue—and touched off a history-shattering reform movement.
1521 The Diet of Worms
Was the wayward Luther free to dissent? A German council rendered a judgment.
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