History of Christianity Part I

History of Christianity 1

When Constantinople became a second Roman seat of government in the 4th century, a second center was formed there, which often got into disputes with Rome over questions of faith and procedure until a final break (” schism “) occurred in 1054. From then on there was the Latin Church, headed by the Pope, and the Eastern Church, presided over by the Patriarch. The Orthodox Church developed from the Eastern Church. a. is widespread in Russia, the rest of the Slavic region and in Greece.

With the discovery and conquest of foreign continents, e.g. B. America (around 1500), the Christian faith became more and more widespread. In the 16th century it came to Reformation, the separation of the Protestant Church from the Catholic Church. Almost all Christian denominations (the Catholic Church does not belong to this body) are represented in the World Ecumenical Council (seat: Geneva), which advises on questions of faith and the reunification of the Christian churches.

According to photionary.com, the basic statements of the Christian faith are in Apostolic Creed formulated. Visible signs of belonging to the Christian faith are the sacrament of Baptism and the celebration of Last Supper (Eucharist).

Christian antiquity: Christianity recognized itself from the beginning to Jesus Christ as the normative authority for theory and practice; therefore it had to separate from Judaism and proclaim “freedom from the law” without rejecting the Jewish religion and its scriptures; Rather, these were understood as the prehistory of Jesus in the sense of a promise made in Jesus Christ was fulfilled. Christianity thus held the Jewish books holy as “Scripture”, but interpreted them Christologically. In addition, many writings were written in the Christian communities over the course of almost a hundred years, some deliberately in order to retain the Jesus tradition (e.g. the Synoptic Gospels), others as occasional writings (e.g. the Pauline letters). At the beginning of the 3rd century they were assigned to those of the Old Testament as writings of the New Covenant (Testament) (Bible). The acceptance of the Old and the gradual establishment of the New Testament, however, do not actually make Christianity a “religion of the scriptures”; Scripture only has a serving function, because without it the commitment to a historical person cannot be sustained over a long period of time.

Christianity: key data

Number of Christians worldwide *)
approx. 2.26 billion
thereof in:
Europe, including Russia (around 580 million)
Latin America (approx. 545 million)
North America (approx. 272 ​​million)
Africa (approx. 494 million)
Asia (approx. 342 million)
Australia and Oceania (around 28 million)
Main branches
Catholic Church
protestant churches
Orthodox Church
oriental orthodox churches
Anglican Church Fellowship
independent churches
Main festivals (all Christian)
Good Friday
Ascension of Christ
important festivals (selection)
Corpus Christi (Catholic Church)
Assumption of Mary (Catholic Church)
All Saints’ Day (Catholic Church)
Reformation Festival (Protestant churches)
Day of Repentance and Prayer (Protestant churches)
Dormition of Mary, the Mother of God (August 15; Orthodox Church)
Exaltation of the Cross (14th September; Orthodox Church)
Day of St. Gregory the Illuminator (third Saturday before Easter; Armenian Church)
Saint Patrick’s Day (Catholic Church and Church of England)
holy places (all Christian)
important pilgrimage sites, spiritual centers and places of remembrance (selection)
Rome (Catholic Church)
Santiago de Compostela (Catholic Church)
Wittenberg (Protestant churches)
Athos (Orthodox Church)
Patmos (St. John’s Monastery) (Orthodox Church)
Sinai (Catherine’s Monastery) (Orthodox Church)
*) As of 2010

Securing the confession of Christ and formulating it under new conditions of understanding was the central theological task for young Christianity. Here it was confronted with two great cultural traditions, Judaism and the Hellenistic culture of the Roman Empire. In accordance with the historical thinking of Judaism, the Jewish Christians described the role of Jesus in salvation history: For them he was the (eschatological) Messiah (= Christ) or Son of Man; Perhaps you have already referred to him as “Son of God”, but by that did not mean a second nature, but his historical closeness to God. With the mediation of Christianity in the Hellenistic world, a completely new understanding found its way into Christianity; history was not of great importance here, more important was the (static) being that man has in the cosmos as its most distinguished part. Hellenistic man has always longed for an abolition of the narrow boundaries that are imposed on his being, for “deification”. Jesus tooFunction is described by “Gentile Christians” on this level: He is the one who belongs to both worlds, the world of spirit, knowledge, immortality, God, and at the same time he belongs to us, is human. As a God-man he can mediate between finitude and infinity: The doctrine of two natures arose as a result of the appropriation of Jesus in the Hellenistic area. In the course of the first centuries after Christianity, Jewish Christianity receded more and more into the Church; only in the Syrian region (center: Antioch; Antiochian school) a similar way of thinking could last longer. Hellenistic thinking and thus the two-nature christology, which shaped the discussion in the east of the Roman Empire until the end of antiquity, became more decisive (center: Alexandria; Alexandrian school).

History of Christianity 1