A Timeline of Church History


 

 


 

· 33 Pentecost (A.D. 29 is thought to be more accurate).

· 49 Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) establishes precedent for address­ing Church disputes in Council. James presides as bishop.

· 69 Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in heart of New Testament era-St. Peter had been the first bishop there. Other early bishops include James, Polycarp, and Clement.

· 95 Book of Revelation written, prob­ably the last of the New Testament books.

· 150 St. Justin Martyr describes the liturgical worship of the Church, centered in the Eucharist. Liturgical worship is rooted in both the Old and New Testaments.

· 313 The Edict of Milan marks an end to the period of Roman persecution of Christianity.

· 325 The Council of Nicea settles the major heretical challenge to the Christian Faith posed when the heretic Arius asserts Christ was created by the Father. St. Athanasius defends the eternality of the Son of God. Nicea is the first of Seven Ecumenical (Church-wide) Councils.

· 451 Council of Chalcedon affirms apostolic doctrine of two natures in Christ.

· 589 A synod in Toledo, Spain, adds the filioque to the Nicene Creed (asserting that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son). This error is later adopted by Rome.

· 787 The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea; the Seventh Council restores the centuries-old use of icons to the Church.

· 988 Conversion of Rus' (Russia) begins.

· 1054 The Great Schism occurs. Two major issues include Rome's claim to a universal papal supremacy and her addition of the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed. The Photian Schism (880) further complicates the debate.

· 1066 Norman Conquest of Britain. Orthodox hierarchs are replaced with those loyal to Rome.

· 1095 The Crusades begun by the Roman Church. The Sack of Constantinople (1204) adds to the estrangement between East and West.

· 1333 St. Gregory Palamas defends the Orthodox practice of hesychast spirituality and the use of the Jesus prayer.

· 1453 Turks overrun Constantinople; Byzantine Empire ends.

· 1517 Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church in Wittenberg, starting the Protestant Reformation.

· 1529 Church of England begins pulling away from Rome.

· 1794 Missionaries arrive on Kodiak Island in Alaska; Orthodoxy introduced to North America.

· 1870 Papal Infallibility becomes Roman dogma.

· 1988 One thousand years of Orthodoxy in Russia, as Orthodox Church world-wide maintains fullness of the Apostolic Faith.