The Comprehensive Timeline of Early Church: A Deep Dive Into Christian Origins


In the reservoir of history, understanding the early church timeline serves as a pivotal link between the past and the present day faith. This invaluable knowledge engenders an enlightened comprehension and appreciation of the evolution of Christian faith.

The Roots: 33-37 AD (The Birth of the Church)

In 33 AD, the journey of the early church embarked following Jesus Christ’s resurrection and Ascension. The Pentecost, the day Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, marks the inception of the church. The followers, suffused with the Holy Spirit, began preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, drawing believers and thus, crafting the nascent Christian community.

The Spread of the Gospel: 37-67 AD (The Missionary Journeys of Paul)

The years 37-67 AD are significant in the early church timeline, characterized by the missionary journeys of Apostle Paul. Converted from being a persecutor of the Church to one of its most fervent apostles, Paul embarked on several missions across Asia Minor and Europe, spreading the Gospel and establishing churches.

The Writing Years: 50-95 AD (Compiling the New Testament)

Between 50 and 95 AD, the New Testament was gradually compiled. Letters written by Paul during his missions (also known as Epistles) were collected and the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation were authored. These writings would later formulate the New Testament, providing instructions to the newly established churches.

Facing Persecution: 64 AD (Nero’s Persecution)

In 64 AD, the early Christians faced the first organized persecution under the Roman Emperor Nero who blamed them for the Great Fire of Rome. The event served as a precursor to the subsequent centuries of tension between the Romans and Christians, showcasing unwavering faith and steadfastness during times of trial.

Empire’s Shift: 313 AD (Edict of Milan)

Fast forward to 313 AD. The Edict of Milan, issued under Constantine the Great and Licinius, launched a new era in the church history by establishing religious tolerance for Christianity within the Roman Empire. This laid a cornerstone for unprecedented growth and acceptance of Christian faith.

Crowning the Canon: 367 AD (Athanasius Defines the 27 Books of the New Testament)

In 367 AD, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, defined the 27 books that comprise the New Testament as we know it today, in his annual Easter letter. This unanimous acceptance formed the cannon, and ensured doctrinal consistency within the church.

Defining Doctrine: 325 – 451 AD (Ecumenical Councils)

From 325 to 451 AD, several Ecumenical Councils were held to clarify doctrinal disputes. These include Council of Nicaea (325 AD), Council of Constantinople (381 AD), Council of Ephesus (431 AD), and Council of Chalcedon (451 AD). They were instrumental in developing the early Christian doctrine and settling theological disputes among the church leaders.

The Great Schism: 1054 AD (East-West Schism)

Following centuries of disagreements and political tensions, the final split in the Church occurred in 1054 AD, termed the Great Schism. The division resulted in two distinct branches of the church– the Western Roman Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodoxy, each with their unique traditions and interpretations of Christian faith.


The Early Church Timeline is colossal in understanding the establishment, spread, and development of the Christian faith. By exploring its historic intricacies, its evolution in the face of trials, and the pivotal shifts offered by the ecumenical councils and the Schism, we can gain a comprehensive panorama of Christianity as we understand it today.

The early church’s formidable timeline provides a testament to its enduring faith, its battles, and victories, offering profound lessons and perspectives to its contemporary followers and scholars alike.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment