THE FIRST CENTURY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.