Jump directly to the Content

Christian History

Today in Christian History

March 19

March 19, 1229: Having negotiated a treaty with Muslims for Christian access to Jerusalem, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (a reluctant participant in the sixth crusade) enters the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and crowns himself king. But his peace treaty was denounced by members of both faiths, and the same day the Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem pronounced an interdict on the city. Frederick was later excommunicated for making peace instead of war (see issue 40: The Crusades).

March 19, 1684: Jean Astruc, the founder of modern Pentateuchal criticism, is born in France. In 1753 he published an anonymous treatise positing that Moses used two earlier documents—called "Yahweh" and "Elohim" to designate which name for God was used in each—when he wrote the Pentateuch. The theory, which was first met with ridicule, was later expanded by J.G. Eichhorn.

March 19, 1813: Missionary-explorer David Livingstone is born in Blantyre, Scotland. Though he made only one African convert (who later backslid), he became Britain's missionary hero of the day and always considered himself a missionary more than an explorer (see issue 56: David Livingstone).

March 19, 1860: William Jennings Bryan, the best-known fundamentalist in America from the Civil War to the Great Depression, is born in Salem, Illinois. A three-time presidential candidate, he was Wilson's secretary of state and the prosecuting attorney in the famous Scopes Trial in Tennessee (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and the Rise of Fundamentalism).

March 19, 1928: Roman Catholic theologian Hans Kung is born in Germany. Appointed a theological assistant (peritus) of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council, he was later denied permission to teach as a Catholic theologian when his views began to challenge many traditional doctrines (like papal infallibility).

Free Newsletters
More Newsletters

Read These Next

Free Newsletters
More Newsletters

January 20, 1541: A town meeting in Geneva ratifies John Calvin's plan to set up a church court that would meet weekly to judge offenders and maintain discipline (see issue 12: Calvin).

January 20, 1569: Miles Coverdale, publisher of the first printed English Bible and the man who completed William Tyndale's translation of the Old Testament, dies at 81 (see issue 43: How We Got Our Bible and issue 16: William Tyndale).

January 20, 1918: Following the Bolshevik Revolution, all church property in Russia ...

More from January 20
close