Church History – The First Christians


Some Guiding Questions


Some People and Events

32 – 66 Apostle Paul
  • Pharisee, studied under Gamaliel
  • Roman Citizen
  • Spoke and wrote in Koine Greek
  • Influenced by Greek Culture and Philosophy
69 – 155 Polycarp
  • Disciple of the Apostle John
  • Bishop of Smyrna
  • Martyred because he refused to burn incense to worship the emperor
98 – 117 Trajan
  • Emperor of Rome
  • Apex of Roman territorial power
  • Allowed ene of his Governors, Pliny, to begin persecuting Christians
  • Christians who refused to recant were executed for "obstinacy" if they were non-citizens
203 Saints Perpetua and Felicity
  • Perpetua was a married noblewoman in Carthage who converted to Christianity
  • Felicity was her slave
  • They were arrested with others; Perpetua was asked many times to recant, but she refused
  • Perpetua and Felicity were executed in the arena with others
  • Perpetua kept a diary
250 Desius
  • Roman Emperor
  • Empire was in chaos at the time, threatened on its borders
  • Desius concluded the Christians had angered the gods
  • Declared that everyone was required to sacrifice to the gods and received a certificate
256 Valerian
  • Roman Emperor
  • Issued edict that all Bishops be put to death
303 Diocletian
  • Roman Emperor
  • Effective in restoring order to the empire
  • Initiated brutal persecution of Christians

Competing Theology


Early Christian Art

Other Influences