One of the seventy disciples of Christ a man by the name of Addai was said to have brought the gospel to Edessa. Serapion bishop of Antioch about 200 consecrated an Edessene Christian named Palut to be Bishop of the capital. It is believed that Thomas is the one that delivered the gospel to India.
After the fall of Jerusalem in A.D 70 by general Titus. The Christian movement moved north and eventually west. The second home of the church was Antioch of Syria. By the end of the fourth century Antioch the third largest city in the empire had over a half a million citizens living in it and half of them were Christians.
The hardest places to evangelize was the country areas. Because the small town barbarians wanted to keep their speech and idol worship. We know as late as the sixth century Justinian was still rallying Christian forces for an assault on paganism in the interior of Asia Minor.France had a church that existed in Lyons in the middle of the second century. Bishop Irenaues wrote about it.By the end of the third century their was a church in Spain.We don’t how a church got in Britain but we know one was their because three bishops attended a church council at Arles in southern France in A.D 314.
The last stop leads us to Alexandria founded by Alexander the Great in 332 A.D. the second largest city in the Roman empire it had a sizable Jewish population. It was led by Philo a contemporary of Paul, Jews in Alexandria tried to interpret Judaism in terms of Greek philosophy.. John Mark was said to have founded their church.
Irenaeus bishop of Lyons wrote five books against the Gnostic heresies.Tertullian the father of Latin Theology. He wrote 31 books in Latin. He underlined the absurdity of persecuting Christians. He was the first person to use the Latin word trinitas.Pantaenus and his pupil Clement opened a Christian school in Alexandria in 185 A.D.
Ancient Stoicism= taught that men achieve happiness by suppression of desire for everything that man cannot get and keep. Before the external disorder of the world and bodily illness retreat within yourself and find God there.Christians also buried the poor, they would not allow anyone to go and not be buried. They purchased the Catacombs for just that reason.Emperor Julian (332-363) was the greatest persecutor of Christians. Because he wanted to restore paganism back to Rome.Martyr= witness
1. ONLY WORTHLESS PEOPLE CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY
2. THE FIRST CHRISTIAN KINGDOM• Edessa the capital of a tiny kingdom known as Osrhoene, who’s king was a man by the name of Abgar the Black (A.D 946) sent a letter to Jesus asking Him to come and heal him of his illness. The story said Jesus answered the kings letter by letting him know He would send one of His Apostles after His ascension.• The story above is a fascinating piece of legend, but it shows that the Apostles did not stop at the borders of the Roman Empire. They carried the gospel as far as they could in their day, and Osrhoene became the first Christian kingdom, and a important link with countries farther east.
3. THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH• The theme we confess faith in “the holy catholic church” gave us what we call today catholic Christianity. It was a spiritual vision that all Christians should be in one body.• The period between A.D 70-A.D 312 is called the Age of Catholic Christianity because this thought dominates Christian history between the death of the Apostles and the rise of Christian emperors.
4. THE TERMINOLOGY “CATHOLIC”• Ignatius the Bishop of Antioch in the early second century was the first to use the term “catholic”. He said, “wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church”. The catholic church which mean universal church was in contrast to local church bodies because it was universal, as well as orthodox in its teachings.• Christianity began as a tiny offshoot of Judaism. But just three centuries later by The Holy Spirit it was the official religion of the Roman Empire. By the reign of Constantine (312-337) the first Christian emperor, there were churches in every large town in the empire. Their were churches in Britain, Carthage, and Persia as well.
5. SPREAD OF THE FAITH• We must began with the Apostle Paul. He was used by Holy Spirit to open the door of the church to gentiles all over the known world at that time. Romans 1:16• The God-fearers was the name given to the interested spectators of the Judean religion. They were taught that to accept Judaism they would have to submit to circumcision which both Greeks and Romans thought was repulsive, but from their it was easy to get them to accept Jesus Christ.• Christians thought of themselves as a new group. They new the Old Testament very well, and had a catholic mindset. They saw themselves as a new Israel.
6. THE MOVE WEST• The Apostle Paul went west into Italy and Spain and preached the gospel. The next major city would be Ephesus. This seaport and the surrounding Asia Minor (modern Turkey) proved to be fertile ground for the gospel.• German scholar Adolf Harnack calculated that by A.D 250 no less than 30,000 Christians lived in Rome. Most of them were from the poorer classes because they majority spoke Greek, the language of slaves and poor men. Men and women of wealth used Latin.
7. NORTH AFRICA• The first Latin speaking churches in the world came from North Africa. Carthage dominated the area we know now a Tunisia and Algeria. Every town and area had it Bishops and tension as well. The tension was brought on by a class war. The Punic language brought by Phoenician settlers, and Berber language spoken by village dwellers could be found in Carthage.• Moving east we come to Cyrene, just west of Egypt. Cyrenians took part in spreading the gospel beyond Israel to the world. Mark 15:21, Romans 16:13, Acts 2:10; 6:9; 11:20
8. THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF THE GOSPEL• Most of the catholic believers in the early stages of the church were simple folks. Slaves, women, traders, and soldiers. Celsus a critic of Christianity claimed they only could convert these kind of people. But by the end of the second century some of the most notable of the day were becoming Christians.• These critics gave birth to the Christian Apologist, defenders of the faith. Men such as Aristides, Justin Martyr, Tatian, Arthenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, and Melitos Bishop of Sardis.
9. REASONS FOR GOSPEL SPREAD• The reason the gospel spread like wild fire:• 1. The Power of God was at work.• 2. Ordinary relationships and friendships• 3. Curiosity about a secretive sect charged with immorality.• 4. Witnessing of a martyrdom.• 5. Burning conviction, and unshakable faith even in the face of death.• 6. Christian gospel met a widely felt need in the heart of people.• 7. Christian love was the most powerful.
10. IRENAEUS BISHOP OF LYONS• Second century 202 A.D. born sometime between 115-125 A.D no one knows.• His writings were formative in early Christian doctrine.• His most famous book was Against Heresies, a book that attacked Gnosticism one of the most dangerous enemies of the Christian church.• He suffered martyrdom sometime at the end of the second century or the beginning of the third.
11. TERTULLIAN OF CARTHAGE• Born 160 A.D, Died 225 A.D• He was a prolific Christian Author. Known as the founder of Western Theology.• He was a Montanist=prophetic movement called for reliance on the spontaneity of The Holy Spirit. Parallels have been drawn between montanism and Pentecostalism, and charismatic movement.• Father of the modern day teaching of the Trinity.
12. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA• Born in 150 A.D• Died in 215 A.D• The Catechetical School of Alexandria founded Mark the Apostle. Clemens was the head of the school. First Biblical school of its kind.• Three major works survive still today.• He was a catholic church father
13. JUSTIN MARTYR• Born 100 A.D• Died 165 A.D• Foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos. The gospel John identifies the Logos, through which all things are made, as divine Godliness and further identifies Jesus as the incarnate Logos.• He died as a Christian martyr.
14. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO• Born November 13, 354 A.D• Died August 28, 430 A.D• From the Roman province of Africa, and considered one of the greatest thinkers of his time.• Augustine framed the concepts of original sin, and he developed the catholic church as a spiritual city of God.• Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace.