The movement of the followers of Jesus began as a Jewish sect that met and taught at the Jerusalem Temple after their leader's execution by the Romans.  There is no debate as to whether a non-Jewish religious sect would have been allowed to enter and teach there.  This part of our journey takes us through the period in which the movement of the followers of Jesus became a new religion called Christianity.  The first four centuries of Christian history is known as the "Early Church."  Much like the history of the Bible, this period of history is not very well known by most Christians.  By the end of the fourth century most of the foundational doctrines of what would become the orthodox Christianity of the Roman Catholic Church would be formulated.  However, many of those doctrines would not have been known or understood by the earlier followers of Jesus.

This period begins with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Roman army in AD 70.  By that time many of the apostles were already dead, and the core group of followers had moved from Jerusalem to Pella.  The central location of the leadership of the movement was no longer Jerusalem, and new forms of the Jesus Movement were sprouting in Alexandria, Antioch, Athens, Babylon, Istanbul and Rome.  Debates over the question "Who was Jesus?" were fought by groups who had very different answers to the question.  

The Early Church faced the challenge of numerous persecutions which were launched by powerful Roman emperors.  One must keep in mind that these churches were not buildings with crosses located on main streets.  They were groups of people who met in homes and other out-of-the-way locations.  This is a fascinating period in the history of Christianity.

The Jesus Movements

Early Christianity and the Church

Christian History

Major Types of Christianity

Jordan Cave May be Oldest Church

Early Christian Writings

For additional links on this subject click on

Christian History

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BHC Recommended Books.




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