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Religion & Theology
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History of Christianity before Reformation (Essay Sample)

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History of Christianity before Reformation

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History of Christianity before Reformation
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History of Christianity before Reformation
Introduction
The history of Christianity entails the religion of Christianity, the church, and its followers, since the conception of this religion to the present. The religion emerged during the time of Jesus of Nazareth, whom his followers believed to be the Christ. Among the founders of Christianity, were the disciples of Jesus namely John, James, Mathew, and Peter. The religion spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the world, starting from throughout the entire Near East then to other places. In fact during the Middle Ages, Christianity was very common throughout Europe, and beginning from the Renaissance period it grew to be the largest religion in the world. Christianity is comprises of a number of denominations, the most common being Protestant Churches, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic (Diarmaid, 2010). This paper will be focusing on analyzing the history of Christianity before Reformation. To effectively address this issue, the paper will be organized as follows.
Apostolic Church
The Apostolic Church refers to a community of Christians under the leadership of the apostles, and to some extent the relatives of Jesus. The first members of this community were mainly of a Jewish origin. During His time, Jesus directed His teachings to be spread to all parts of the world, and this is evident from the Great Commission. Although circumcision was one of the conditions of becoming a Christian, the apostles later regarded this condition as not mandatory in order to accommodate other people into the Christian community (Chadwick, 2005). This among other doctrines that were introduced into the Early Church by the Apostles became a source of conflict with various religious from the Jewish community. This is one of the reasons why most of them were disqualified from synagogues. Besides, due to these conflicts, a number of Christian leaders were killed at this time. Some of the sources of beliefs of Christians during this time include hymns and creeds.
Post-Apostolic Church
Post-Apostolic Church describes a period after the apostles’ death up to the end of persecutions during the era of Constantine the Great. Although Christians encountered various persecutions at the early stages of Christianity, major persecutions took place during the Roman Empire. For a hundreds of years, the Christian community faced persecutions, particularly due to their denial to worship the Roman Emperor, a crime that was punishable by the death sentence (Paul, 2005).
Despite the persecutions, Christianity spread considerably during the post-apostolic era. However, it is not clear why this was the case although various historians have come up with a number of explanations. For instance, it is argued that this was as a result of the natural outcome of the truth of this religion. Other people argue that it is because by its nature, Christianity the lives of its believers in different ways (Hart, 2000). The other possible reason is the unification and discipline of Christians, which progressively formed a self-governing and growing state within the Roman Empire.
Christianity during late antiquity (313-476)
This period is marked by a series of events as outlined below.
Establishment of Roman orthodoxy
This is a period during which persecution of Christianity was brought to an end. Constantine the Great, was exposed to Christianity at a very young age by his mother, which was the main reason why he was against this persecution. He gave financial support to the church besides other privileges, such as placing Christians in higher office ranki...
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