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Christian History

Today in Christian History

May 10

May 10, 1310: In Paris, 54 Knights Templar are burned alive. The Catholic Church created the Templars to protect Holy Land pilgrims from bandits, but the Knights' quick rise in power and wealth made them unpopular. Philip the Fair of France against them trumped up charges of blasphemy and homosexuality to convince Pope Clement to disband the order and persecute its members (see issue 40: The Crusades).

May 10, 1886: Karl Barth, the most important theologian of the twentieth century and opponent of theological liberalism and political fascism (especially under Hitler), is born in Basel, Switzerland. When asked in 1962 (on his one visit to America) how he would summarize the essence of the millions of words he had published, he replied, "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so" (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

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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 ...

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