1000 BCE            Jewish writings assembled, the Torah, the earliest part of the text that was subsequently known to Christians as the Old Testament

990 BCE              David, already king of Judah,  anointed king of Israel, brings into one realm the twelve tribes of the Israelites, makes Jerusalem his capital

960 BCE              Solomon, king of Israel, builds the first Temple in Jerusalem

722 BCE              The Assyrians overwhelm the north of Israel and the ten northern tribes probably dispersed or sold into slavery, Judah and Benjamin, together forming the kingdom of Judah, are the only two surviving tribes of Israel

586 BCE              Jerusalem is taken by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and the city, including Solomon’s Temple, is destroyed; Jews taken into captivity to Babylon .  Over time, the concept of a Messiah returning to liberate the Jews is evolved during Babylonian captivity.

580 BCE              During Babylonian captivity, the synagogue replaces the temple as a place of Jewish worship.

539 BCE              Babylon falls to the Persians. Later Persian ruler Cyrus allowed the Jews in Babylon to return to Jerusalem.  Judah was re-established as a theological state under Persian authority. Under the direction of Zerubabbel and later Ezra, the temple at Jerusalem is rebuilt and the walls of the city rebuilt by Nehemiah. During the Persian period and later, Judah was the state where Yahweh and only Yahweh was worshipped. Both the Persians and the Greeks respected this exclusivity.

334 BCE              The Roman Alexander the Great conquers Persia, founds Alexandria in Egypt, the best known of the many towns he establishes to spread Greek culture, a Jewish community strengthens in Alexandria.

312 BCE              The Selucid Empire, carved out of the remains of Alexander the Great’s Macedonian empire after his death, by  Seleucus I Nicator; at its greatest extent the empire stretched from Thrace in Europe to the border of India. Jerusalem remains under a Jewish theocracy under Syrian-based Seleucid rulers.

280 BCE              The Jewish community of Alexandria commission the Greek translation of the Septuagint, later called the Old Testament.

230-146 B.C.E.  Coming of Rome to the east Mediterranean.

166 BCE              When the Jews were prohibited from practicing Judaism and their Temple was desecrated as part of an effort to impose Greek-oriented culture and customs on the entire population, the Jews rose in revolt

164 BCE              First led by Mattathias of the priestly Hasmonean family and then by his son Judah the Maccabee, the Jews entered Jerusalem and purified the Temple (events commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah).  Under the Hasmonean dynasty, which lasted about 80 years, the kingdom regained boundaries not far short of Solomon’s realm, political consolidation under Jewish rule was attained and Jewish life flourished.

161 BCE              Near the beginning of the Hasmonean Period, Judah the Maccabee had made a treaty with Rome.

147 BCE              (147 BCE), the Seleucids restored autonomy to Judea, as the Land of Israel was now called

129 BCE              With the collapse of the Seleucid kingdom, Jewish independence was again achieved

67 BCE                The Hasmonean Aristoboulos declared himself High Priest-King thirty minutes before the death of his mother the queen. His brother, John Hyrcanus, revolted against him. By 67 BCE there was civil war in Judea. John Hyrcanus allied himself with Rome under General Pompey

63 BCE                John Hyrcanus and Pompey entered Jerusalem unopposed, but the Temple Mount, with its own fortifications resisted, it took three months to take the Temple.   Rome gained control of Judea.

59 BCE                Pompey sealed his alliance with Julius Caesar by marrying Caesar’s only child, Julia.

49 BCE                Julius Caesar defeats Pompey.  Julius Caesar appointed a governor to keep watch over the country of Judea, the son of an Idumean who had been forced to covert to Judaism, a man named Herod.

44 BCE                Julius Caesar deified by the Roman Senate; his assassination occurred in 44 BCE in the Senate House at Rome on March 15 (the Ides of March). After Caesar’s death, Cassius, Mark Antony, and Octavian all struggled for control of the Roman Empire. They all kept Herod in power.

49 BCE                Herod is king of Judea. Herod had complete authority, and he used it ruthlessly. He established an enormous secret police force, brutally killed anyone suspected of plotting

34 BCE                Antigonus II the Hasmonean was the last Hasmonean king of Judea led the Jews’ fierce struggle for independence against the Romans.

37 B.C.E.             Herod captures Jerusalem, has Antigonus II executed, and marries the Hasmonean princess and created Roman peace by slaughtering all dissidents.  Herod was ruler of Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and surrounding territories.

27 BCE -14 CE    Reign of Emperor Augustus

20 BCE                Herod enlarges Temple Mount and begins to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Project continues until 72 C.E..

4 BCE                   Death of Herod the Great, loyal client of the Roman emperor Augustus., Herod Archelaus, his son becomes ruler.

4 BCE                  Jesus of Nazareth is born.

6 CE                     Leading Jews and Samaritans asks Augustus to remove Herod Archelaus from the throne. He obliges and Archelaus is deposed and exiled.  He was succeeded by his brother, Herod Antipater ,known by the nickname Antipas. His territory, consisting of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, is organized into the Roman district Judaea.   First Roman census of Judea was taken.

14 CE                  Augustus deified by the Roman Senate.

26-30 CE             Ministry of John the Baptist

30 CE                  Death of Jesus

30 CE                  Jesus’ early followers from Galilee settle in Jerusalem. They are known as “the Twelve.”

33 CE                  Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit

33  CE                 Stephen – First Christian martyr

35-36 CE             Saul of Tarsus, a Jew, comes to believe in Jesus as the Messiah and subsequently becomes the apostle Paul.

37-100 CE           Life of Josephus, the Jewish historian who mentions Jesus

48 CE                   Council of Jerusalem, the leaders of the new Christian movement discuss the terms of whether Gentile Christians accepted alongside those in the Jewish tradition.

50 CE                   Paul leaves Antioch and begins Aegean Mission. His letters to these congregations are the earliest documents now contained in the New Testament.

50-52 CE             Paul’s first visit to Corinth; he writes his first letter to the Thessalonians.

52 CE                   Paul arrives in Ephesus; he writes a letter to the Galatians and his letter to the Corinthians.

54-55 CE             Paul’s imprisonment in Ephesus. He writes letters to the Philippians and to Philemon; he completes a second letter to the Corinthians.

55-56 CE             Paul writes a letter to the Christians in Rome in preparation for his future visit there.

51-52 CE             Paul’s First and Second Thessalonians written

52 CE                   Paul arrives in Ephesus; he writes a letter to the Galatians and his letter to the Corinthians.

54-55 CE             Paul’s imprisonment in Ephesus. He writes letters to the Philippians and to Philemon; he completes a second letter to the Corinthians.

55-56 CE             Paul writes a letter to the Christians in Rome in preparation for his future visit there.

53-57 CE             Paul’s third missionary journey

57 CE                  Paul’s Letter to the Romans written

59-62  CE           Paul imprisoned in Rome

60 CR                  Andrew martyred by crucifixion in Achaia (Greece).

60 CE                   First Gospel circulated, thought to be written by Mark

62  CE                 Martyrdom of James

66-67 CE             Paul’s Second Timothy written

68 CE                  Death of Paul during reign of Emperor Nero

60-68 CE             Death of Peter

64 CE                  Great Fire in Rome; Nero blames and executes Christians

66-70 CE             First Jewish Revolt against Rome. A feud between Jewish and Greek factions in the city of Caesarea leads to fighting that quickly spreads throughout the region.

68 CE                  The emperor Nero’s assassination launches a year of civil war in Rome.

70 CE                   Fall of Jerusalem under military leadership of Vespasian’s son, Titus. From 70         Centre of Christianity moves to Antioch, Alexandria and Rome.

77 CE                   Josephus publishes The War of the Jews

79-81 CE             Reign of the emperor Domitian (Vespasian’s elder son and the general who burned the Temple and quelled the Jewish Revolt).

81-96 CE             Reign of the emperor Domitian (Vespasian’s younger son and the object of the anti-Roman attack in the Book of Revelation).

85 CE                   “Curse against Heretics” (Birkath ha-minim) added to Jewish synagogue benedictions, with the intent of excluding Christians.

90-95                  John exiled on island of Patmos, writes Book of Revelation and Gospel of John

90-150 CE           Gospel of Thomas and other gnostic manuscripts written

94 CE                   Josephus publishes The Antiquities of the Jews

95 CE                   Book of Revelation written

96 CE                   Clement of Rome’s Letter to the Corinthians written

100-165 CE        Life of Justin Martyr, early Christian apologist. Justin defends Christianity as a “philosophy” worthy of the respect of the educated and as the only legitimate heir to the Israelite scriptures.

107-117 CE        Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, is martyred

112-113 CE        Pliny, the Roman governor of Pontus-Bithynia writes to the emperor Trajan seeking advice regarding the punishment of Christians. The emperor tells Pliny that persecuting people on unproven charges is “contrary to the spirit of our times.”

117-138 CE        Reign of emperor Hadrian

  1. 120 Didache written

132-135 CE        Second Jewish Revolt against Rome; By this time Christians have separated from Judaism.

150-215 CE        Life of Clement of Alexandria, early Christian teacher and theologian. Clement’s theology is known for its skillful blend of Christian proclamation with Greek philosophical precepts.

150-222 CE        Life of Tertullian, early Christian apologist

155 CE               Martyrdom of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna

161-80  CE          Widespread persecution of Christians under Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

178 CE                Celsus writes True Reason, argument against Christianity

180 CE                Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, asserts that the proper number of gospels is four.

185-254 CE        Life of Origen. One of the great early Christian scholars and teachers, his writings had a profound effect on the development of Christian theology, particularly in the provinces of the Greek East.

202                      Christians persecuted under Septimus Severus

203 CE                Martyrdom of Perpetua in Carthage

211                      Christians tolerated under Emperor Antoninus Caracalla

222                      Christians favored Emperor Alexander Severus

230                      Origen’s On First Principles

235                      Christians persecuted under Emperor Maximin the Thracian

238                      Christians tolerated under Emperor Gordian III

244                      Christians favored under Emperor Philip the Arabian

249-251 CE        First major persecution of Christians under emperor Decius

250 CE                Origen publishes Contra Celsum, in response to Celsus’ True Reason.

251                      Cyprian’s Unity of the Catholic Church

254                      Death of Origen

257-260 CE        Persecution resumes under emperor Valerian

260 CE                Persecution ends when Gallienus becomes emperor

260-340 CE        Life of Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, chronicler of early church and court historian to Constantine

301                      Armenia becomes the world’s first country to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion.

303                      Persecution begins under Diocletian; Diocletian orders burning of Christian books and churches

312 CE                Roman emperor Constantine receives a vision of a flaming cross with the words ‘In hoc signo vinces’ : ‘By this sign conquer’. Battle of Milvian Bridge; Constantine adopts Christ as his patron and defeats his rival Maxentius to become sole ruler of Italy, Africa, and the entire western half of the empire.

313 CE                Edict of Milan. Edict of Milan establishes official toleration of Christianity, including full restitution of all confiscated Christian property and full rights for Christian worship in both halves of the Roman empire.

324 CE               Constantine becomes ruler of the entire Roman empire. He moves the eastern capital from Nicomedia to Byzantine, henceforth known as Constantinople.

325 CE              Constantine calls the first ecumenical council at Nicaea., which attempts to resolve theological differences among church factions. It is agreed that Christ was both fully human and fully divine, thus denouncing what would be called the “Arian heresy” that Jesus was fully human.

336                      Death of Constantine

354                      Birth of Augustine

367                      A document is distributed by the bishop of Alexandria, formally establishing the contents of the New Testament

367                      Athanasius is the first to list all 27 New Testament books in his festal letter.

379                      Basil the Great dies

380                      Christianity made official religion of Roman Empire

381                      Council of Constantinople revises the Nicene creed to its current form

382                      Saint Jerome begins a translation of the Bible into Latin

386                      Augustine converts to Christianity

389                      Gregory of Nazianzus dies

395                      Gregory of Nyssa dies

397                      Synod at Carthage ratifies the 27 books of the New Testament as sacred scripture

407                      John Chrysostom dies

411                      Council of Carthage condemns Donatists

417                      Pope Innocent I condemns Pelagianism

420                      Death of Jerome

430                      Death of Augustine

431                      Council of Ephesus refutes Nestorianism, re nature of Jesus; Mary is declared Theotokos   ‘Mother of God’.

449                      At Ephesus, Pope Leo I delivers his ‘Tome’, defending orthodox Christian belief. Leo also asserts Papal supremacy.

451                      Council of Chalcedon affirms Christ as having two distinct natures united in one person (known as the ‘Hypostatic Union’).

563                      Columba establishes a monastery at Iona (Scotland)

589                      Insertion of the filioque  (Latin: ‘and the son’) into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed at a council in Toledo.

597                      Pope Gregory I, makes Augustine the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

664                      Synod of Whitby ratifies the authority of the Pope in England.

680-81                Ecumenical council at Constantinople rejects Monothelite heresy of one will in Christ.

731                      Bede writes his Ecclesiastical History.

787                      Second Council of Nicaea ends the controversy over the use of icons in worship.

800                      Charlemagne is crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III.

950                      Olga of Russia converts to Christianity

988                      Conversion of Prince Vladimir in Kiev. Growth of Christianity in Russia.

1054                    Great Schism between East and West; Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic churches separate

1093                   Anselm becomes Archbishop of Canterbury

1095                    Council of Clermont: Pope Urban II proclaims First Crusade to recover the Holy Land from Moslems.

1098                    Crusaders take Antioch from Turks

1099                   Crusaders recapture Jerusalem from Turks

1122                   Concordat of Worms

1141                   Peter Abelard condemned

1144                   Fall of Edessa (crusader state)

1182                    Massacre of Latin inhabitants of Constantinople.

1187                    Jerusalem recaptured by a Moslem army led by Saladin.

1189                    Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart of England.

1204                    Sack of Constantinople during the fourth crusade.

1215                   Fourth Lateran Council

1216/23              Papal approval of the Dominican and Franciscan mendicant (‘begging’) orders.

1266-73              Thomas Aquinas writes systematic Theology: Summa Theologiae.

1305                    Papacy moved to Avignon following a dispute with Philip IV of France.

1309                   “Babylonian Captivity” (until 1377)

1337                   Hundred Years’ War (until 1453)

1376                    John Wycliffe writes ‘Civil Dominion’, arguing for reform of the church.

1378                    Great Western Schism Following the return of the Papacy to Rome, rival claimants to papacy emerge. Dispute ends in 1417 with election of Martin V.

1380                    John Wycliffe translates the Bible into Middle English.

1409                    Council of Pisa

1413-14              Lollard rebellion

1415                   Council of Constance. Martyrdom of Jan Hus.

1420                   Crusade against Hussites

1431                   Joan of Arc martyred

1431-49              Council of Basel

1438-45              Council of Ferrara-Florence

1453                   Fall of Constantinople to Turks

1478                   Spanish Inquisition founded by Ferdinand and Isabella

1483                   Birth of Martin Luther

1492                   Expulsion of Jews from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella

1505                   Luther becomes a monk

1517                    Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Wittenburg, Germany; beginning the Protestant reformation.

1521                   Diet of Worms, Luther excommunicated

1525                    William Tyndale completes his translation of the Bible into English.

1530                   Augsburg Confession

1534                    Ignatius of Loyola founds the Jesuits.

1534                   Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy makes him supreme head of the English church.

1536                   Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion

1541                   Colloquy of Regensburg

1549                    Thomas Cranmer publishes the Book of Common Prayer  in England (later revised in 1662).

1555                    Peace of Augsburg ends religious wars in Germany.

1611                    Publication of the King James Version of the Bible.

1559                   Elizabeth I’s Act of Uniformity

1590                   Michelangelo completes the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

1609                   Baptist Church founded by John Smyth

1611                   King James (Authorized) Version of the Bible produced

1618-48              Protestant/Catholic conflict in Germany (Thirty Years War).

1729                   Beginnings of Methodism, led by John Wesley

1730-60              The ‘Great Awakening’ – A revival movement among Protestants in the USA.

1775                   American Wars of Independence begin

1783                   America wins independence from Britain

1793                   Louis XVI executed

1797                   Second Awakening begins

1798                   Pope Pius VI is prisoner of France

1799                   Schleiermacher writes Speeches

1801                   Cane Ridge Revival

1804                   Napoleon becomes emperor

1807                   Hegel writes Phenomenology of the Spirit

1808                   French occupy Rome

1810                   Mexico wins independence

1812-14              British-American War

1814                   Reorganization of the Jesuits

1816                   American Bible Society established

1822                   Schleiermacher writes Christian Faith

1826                   American Society for the Promotion of Temperance founded

1830                   Joseph Smith produces Book of Mormon

1834                    Spanish Inquisition officially abolished

1838                   Abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean

1841                   David Livingstone to Africa

1845                   Methodists and Baptists split over the issue of slavery

1846                   Pope Pius IX (until 1878)

1854                   Dogma of Immaculate Conception of Mary proclaimed by Roman Catholic Church

1859                   Darwin publishes Origin of the Species

1861-65              American Civil War

1861                    Presbyterians divide over the issue of slavery

1869                   First Vatican Council

1870                   Dogma of Papal Infallibility proclaimed at First Vatican Council

1872                   Moody begins preaching

1875                   Mary Baker Eddy writes Science and Health

1882                   Nietzsche declares “God is dead”

1895                   Five Fundamentals

1900                   Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams

1906                   Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, begins Pentecostal movement

1910                   World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh

1914                   Assemblies of God founded

1914-18              World War I

1917                   Russian Revolution

1919                   Prohibition passed into law

1925                   Scopes “Monkey” trial

1932                   Barth’s Church Dogmatics

1939                   Hitler invades Poland and sparks WWI

1945                   Nag Hammadi Library discovered in Egypt;

1947                   India wins independence from U.K.

1948                   World Council of Churches founded

1950                    Papal encyclical Humani generis, Dogma of the Assumption of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church.

1956                   First issue of Christianity Today

1960                   Birth control pill approved by FDA

1961                   First human in space; Papal encyclical Mater et Magistra

1962-65              Second Vatican Council, Major reforms in the Roman Catholic church are initiated.

Mutual anathemas of 1054 between Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches lifted.

1963                   MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech

1968                    Papal encyclical Humanae vitae

1969                   First man on the moon

1971                   Intel introduces the microprocessor

1973                   Roe vs. Wade

1987-88              Televangelist scandals

1989                    First woman ordained in an apostolic-succession church (the Protestant Episcopal church). Fall of the Berlin Wall.

1997                    Death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – founder of the ‘Missionaries of Charity’.

1999                    Signing of the Joint Declaration on Justification by the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches.

2005                    Death of Pope John Paul II, who is succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI.

2006                    World Methodist Council adopts the Lutheran/Catholic Joint Declaration on Justification.

2011                    Beatification of Pope John Paul II.

2013                    Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who is succeeded by Pope Francis