The following list is based on extensive surveys with scholars belonging to several groups: a professional society of church historians; the Christian History Institute; and the editorial advisory board of Christian History magazine. It should be remembered, however, that such lists are never exhaustive and they reflect the particular interests of those who write them—in this case, church historians from North America and Western Europe. And many dates, especially from the early centuries of the church, are approximate.

We hope the list provides an enlightening overview of the fascinating history of the church and sparks further discussion and study.

—The Editors of Christian History

The Age of Jesus and the Apostles

30: Crucifixion of Jesus; Pentecost

35: Stephen martyred; Paul converted

46: Paul begins missionary journeys

48: Council of Jerusalem

57: Paul’s Letter to the Romans

64: Fire of Rome; Nero launches persecutions

65: Peter and Paul executed

The Age of Early Christianity

70: Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus

110: Ignatius of Antioch martyred

150: Justin Martyr dedicates his First Apology

155: Polycarp martyred

172: Montanist movement begins

180: Irenaeus writes Against Heresies

196: Tertullian begins writing

215: Origen begins writing

230: Earliest known public churches built

248: Cyprian elected bishop of Carthage

250: Decius orders empire-wide persecution

270: Anthony takes up life of solitude

303: “Great Persecution” begins under Diocletian

The Age of the Christian Empire

312: Conversion of Constantine

312: Donatist Schism begins

313: “Edict of Milan”

323: Eusebius completes Ecclesiastical History

325: First Council of Nicea

341: Ulphilas, translator of Gothic Bible, becomes bishop

358: Basil the Great founds monastic community

367: Athanasius’s ...

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