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Christian History

Today in Christian History

March 3

March 3, 1263: French cardinal, Hugh of St. Cher, dies. He reputedly compiled the first Bible concordance and was the first person to divide the Old and New Testaments into chapters.

March 3, 1547: At the Seventh Session of the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic church defines its theology of the sacraments. Arguing that seven sacraments are necessary for salvation—Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony—the council rejected the teaching of most Protestants that only two were required: Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

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December 9, 1608: English poet John Milton is born in London. Though most famous for his epic Paradise Lost, he also penned an exposition of Christian doctrine, a plan for Christian education, and various political writings.

December 9, 1840: Unable to go to China, David Livingstone sets sail from London as a missionary to southern Africa (see issue 56: David Livingstone).

December 9, 1843: The first Christmas cards—actually more like postcards—are created and sold for a shilling.

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