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Early Church

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Bronwyn Moran

on 29 July 2014

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Transcript of Early Church

The Early Church
Timeline for the Early Church...
30 AD : Pentecost - the birthday of the Church
After Jesus rose from the dead, he remained on earth for 40 days. At this time, Luke records that Jesus rose into the sky and disappeared. This day/event is known as the Ascension and always occurs 40 days after Easter on the Church Calender.
Ten days after The Ascension, it was the feast of Pentecost, which was also known as the Harvest Festival. People had come from many different places to celebrate the festival in Jerusalem. Jesus' disciples were together when they heard the sound of a strong wind and something like tongues of fire seemed to spread out and touch everyone. They were transformed with the power from God (known as being filled with the Holy Spirit) and were able to speak other languages.
Scripture Reference: Acts 2: 1-41
30 AD : The Ascension
34 AD : Stephen is Stoned
Saint Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy, at his trial he made a long speech fiercely denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgement on him and was stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus (later renamed Paul), a Pharisee who would later convert to Christianity and become an apostle.
Scripture Reference: Acts 6:1 - 8:2
37 AD : The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus
Paul was originally known as Saul. He was born in Tarsus to a wealthy family. He was present at the stoning of Saint Stephen and saw himself as an enemy to Christianity (he was a Jew who persecuted Christians). One day, while he was traveling to Damascus, he experienced blinding vision. After this experience, he became a Christian - he was converted. From that time, he is referred to in the Scriptures as 'Paul', not 'Saul'.
42 AD : Foundation of the Community of Antioch
In the Bible, according to Acts 11:19-26, the Christian community at Antioch began when Christians who were scattered from Jerusalem because of persecution fled to Antioch. They were joined by Christians from Cyprus and Cyrene who migrated to Antioch. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first referred to as Christians.

It was from Antioch that St. Paul started on his three missionary journeys.
45 AD : Paul and Barnabas are missioned
Barnabas, born Joseph, was an early Christian, one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36 Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts. They traveled together making more converts (c 45-47), and participated in the Council of Jerusalem (c 50). Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues.
49 AD : Council at Jerusalem
The Council of Jerusalem is generally dated to around the year 49 AD, roughly twenty years after the crucifixion of Jesus. Acts 15 and Galatians 2 both suggest that the meeting was called to debate whether or not male Gentiles who were converting to become followers of Jesus were required to become circumcised (presumably in accord with Genesis 17:14, a law from God which, according to Genesis 17:13-19, God said would be everlasting). However, circumcision was considered repulsive during this period.

At the time, most followers of Jesus were Jewish by birth and even converts would have considered the early Christians as a part of Judaism. It was believed that unless males were circumcised, they could not be God's People. The meeting was called to decide whether circumcision for gentile converts was requisite for community membership.

St James the Just was the leader of the Jerusalem Church
50 AD: Paul's Second Journey
Paul traveled with Silas. They spent a considerable amount of time in Athens and Corinth, two major centers of Greek culture and learning. Paul preached to everyone. His message was always centered on the belief that Jesus has come for all and that there was always a place in the Christian Community for everyone who believed. Paul may have started his letters to the Churches about this time. He continued to write until close to his death.
53 AD : Paul's Third Journey
Paul revisited many of the Christian communities he had founded or written to. One of these groups was at Ephesus - here Paul preached against the worship of false gods. This upset many local traders, especially silversmiths as Paul's preaching was putting them out of business. Paul and his friends had to face a riot.
57 AD : Paul is Arrested in Jerusalem
58 - 60 AD: Paul is imprisoned at Caesarea (He appeals to Caesar).
60 - 62 AD: Paul journeys to Rome
64 AD : Peter is Crucified in Rome
Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, was an early Christian leader, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the very first Bishop. His brother Andrew was also an apostle. Peter is regarded as the Catholic Church's first pope. He is credited with establishing the church in Antioch and presiding for seven years as the leader of that city's Christian community.

According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. Originally a fisherman, he was assigned a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the New Testament, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus' inner circle, walked on water, denied knowing Jesus, and preached on the day of Pentecost.

Peter is said to have been crucified under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus Christ. His mortal bones and remains are contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
66 AD: Paul is re-arrested and tried
Paul caused a stir when he appeared at the Temple, and he escaped being killed by the crowd by voluntarily being taken into Roman custody. When a plot to kill Paul on his way to an appearance before the Jews was discovered, he was transported by night to Caesarea. He was held as a prisoner there for two years, until a new governor reopened his case in 59
67 AD: Paul is beheaded in Rome during
Nero's reign. His death was less painful that Peter's, who was not a Roman citizen.
70 AD: The writing of the Gospel's begin...
Who is Saint Paul?
Paul's Conversion
The men with Saul heard the sound but did not see the vision of the risen Christ that Saul did. Saul was blinded. They led him by the hand into Damascus to a man named Judas, on Straight Street. For three days Saul was blind and did not eat or drink anything.

Meanwhile, Jesus appeared in a vision to a disciple in Damascus named Ananias and told him to go to Saul. Ananias was afraid because he knew Saul's reputation as a merciless persecutor of the church.

Jesus repeated his command, explaining that Saul was his chosen instrument to deliver the gospel to the Gentiles, their kings, and the people of Israel. So Ananias found Saul at Judas' house, praying for help. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, telling him Jesus had sent him to restore his sight and that Saul might be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Something like scales fell from Saul's eyes and he could see again. He arose and was baptized into the Christian faith. Saul ate, regained his strength, and stayed with the Damascus disciples three days.
Who is Saint Peter?
In the time immediately after the Ascension, Peter stood as the unquestionable head of the Apostles, his position made evident in the Acts. He appointed the replacement of Judas Iscariot; he spoke first to the crowds that had assembled after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; he was the first Apostle to perform miracles in the name of the Lord.
Peter was instrumental in bringing the Gospel to the Gentiles. He baptized the Roman pagan Cornelius, and at the Council of Jerusalem he gave his support to preaching to Gentiles, thereby permitting the new Church to become universal.
It is certain that Peter died in Rome and that his martyrdom came during the reign of Emperor Nero, probably in 64.
According to rich tradition, Peter was crucified on the Vatican Hill upside down because he declared himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord. He was then buried on Vatican Hill, and excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica have unearthed his probable tomb, and his relics are now enshrined under the high altar of St. Peter’s.
Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, and founder, with St. Paul, of the see of Rome.
Peter was a native of Bethsaida, near Lake Tiberias, the son of John, and worked, like his brother St. Andrew, as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth.
His brother Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus, and Christ called Peter to become a disciple.
Jesus also gave Simon a new name: Cephas, or the rock.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus, Peter acknowledged him as "... the Messiah, the son of the living God”. Christ responded by saying: "... you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.... He added: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.
Peter was always listed as the first of the Apostles in all of the New Testament accounts and was a member of the inner circle of Jesus, with James and John.
He is recorded more than any other disciple, and was at Jesus’ side at the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and the Agony of the Garden of Gethsemane. He helped organize the Last Supper and played a major role in the events of the Passion.
When Jesus was arrested, he cut off the right ear of a slave of the high priest Malchus and then denied Christ three times as Jesus has predicted. Peter then “went out and began to weep bitterly”.
After the Resurrection, Peter went to the tomb with the “other disciple” after being told of the event by the women. The first appearance of the Risen Christ was before Peter, ahead of the other disciples.
In the time immediately after the Ascension, Peter stood as the unquestionable head of the Apostles, his position made evident in the Acts. He appointed the replacement of Judas Iscariot; he spoke first to the crowds that had assembled after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; he was the first Apostle to perform miracles in the name of the Lord.
Peter in the Scripture...
Peter's role in establishing the Church...
St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, was converted from Judaism on the road to Damascus. He remained some days in Damascus after his Baptism, and then went to Arabia, possibly for a year or two to prepare himself for his future missionary activity.
He returned to Damascus, preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. For this he incurred the hatred of the Jews and had to flee from the city.
He then went to Jerusalem to see Peter and pay his homage to the head of the Church.
In the beginning....
Paul and Barnabus made the first missionary journey, visiting the island of Cypress, then Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia, all in Asia Minor, and establishing churches at Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe.
After the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem, Paul, accompanied by Silas and later also by Timothy and Luke, made his second missionary journey, first revisiting the churches previously established by him in Asia Minor, and then passing through Galatia.
On his third missionary journey, Paul visited nearly the same regions as on the second trip, but made Ephesus where he remained nearly three years, the center of his missionary activity. He laid plans also for another missionary journey, intending to leave Jerusalem for Rome and Spain. Persecutions by the Jews hindered him from accomplishing his purpose. After two years of imprisonment at Caesarea he finally reached Rome, where he was kept another two years in chains.
His 3 Journeys....
Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee in Jerusalem after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, swore to wipe out the new Christian church, called The Way. He got letters from the high priest, authorizing him to arrest any followers of Jesus in the city of Damascus.

On the Damascus Road, Saul and his companions were struck down by a blinding light, brighter than the noonday sun. Saul heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9:4)

When Saul asked who was speaking to him, the voice replied, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." (Acts 9:5-6)
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