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BRIEF HISTORY
OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH




 

THE FIRST CENTURY

The early Church was always identified with small Christian communities. The Christian community, living a very specific way of life was the Catholic Church in the locality. And the New Testament enumerates where these communities were: from Antioch, to Greece to Rome.

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. convinced the Jewish  Christians that they should divorce themselves from their Jewish customs in favor of their newfound religion.

The end of the first century saw the gradual formation of Christian writings. But it would take some more time before the Christian communities would agree what would make up the New Testament.

Bishop Melito of Sardis had previously stated that Christ was born "in the fullness of time," i.e. at the reign of Augustus and Tiberius. At no other time could the Gospel have spread so fast as this time when Roman-made roads connected the vast Roman Empire, making travel easy, fast and safe. Many of the Christian communities were found in business crossroads and ports, thus making travel for both apostles and other Christians convenient.

Though the Roman empire was made up of many nationalities, two languages prevailed -- Greek and Latin. Greek was as popular as English is today. It became the first language of the Church, even in Rome. The first Bible was in Greek, the Septuagint. Latin was less widespread at first.

In the midst of the many religions and philosophies of that era, Christianity was the most attractive to all because it satisfied the deepest longings of man. But, as expected, the new Christian religion went against the other existing religions, especially the divination of the state.

Add to this the fact that Christianity refused to be considered as just another religion; she claimed to be the only true religion. The stage was now open for all attempts to destroy her. . .thus, the coming persecution and the era of martyrdom.

 

 

 

 

 

(07-29-03)

 

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The Winnowing Fan hopes ..." to do what little it could to solve the evils that beset the church."

                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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