Below are listed 120+ summaries of various Christian events, situations,
people, and other items from Church History that you might not have
thought to ask about. To view the page, click on the title.
|Feel free to use these in any
non-monetary way. As a courtesy, I do request that you contact me if you
copy or print these articles; this is only for purposes of keeping track of
their use. Contact Mark at
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page, click here.
Just for Fun:
Try these double extreme trivia Bible tests (some of the questions and answers are
Test One: test click
here & answers click
Test Two: test click
here & answers click
Test Three: test click
here & answers click
Odds and Ends:
- Was Fish
Jesus' Favorite food?: So why is a fish used as a symbol of
Christianity? Find out here.
Dating of Easter:
Why does Easter keep changing dates?
Chapters and Verses: When were the chapters and verses added to the
Discover the different methods Christians use when partaking of Communion.
- Why are there so
many denominations?: This one word might
Christians use words which they sometimes have trouble defining. Learn
the definitions of six of these words.
Doesn't the Pope Live in Jerusalem?: Find out here.
Deuterocanonicals: Why Catholics and Orthodox have more books in
their OT than Protestants: Find out here.
Easter Sunrise Service:
So, who did originate the idea of the Easter Sunrise Service?
Origins of the Nativity Scene:
Learn when this Christmas standard first appeared.
Christian Spiritual Classics:
A list of Christian Spiritual Classics from throughout the history of
- A History
of Jerusalem: Read a short history of this most extraordinary
This word is not in the NT, but the idea is. Find out how the word
- Who Were
the Samaritans?: All Christians have heard the story of the Good
Samaritan, but why did the Jews hate them so much? Find out here.
The Old Testament Story: Many Christians do not understand the total story of the
OT. Read this and you will.
- Outline of
the Old Testament: The OT is not one long story but instead is
different types of literature linked together to tell one long story.
- Outline of
the New Testament: Learn more about the divisions and background
of the NT.
- An Important
Tunnel: This tunnel is mentioned in the OT and is still there
today. Find out what it is and how it was discovered.
- Why Is
LORD Capitalized in the OT? Have you even wondered about this?
Find out the reason.
on Sunday or Saturday?: Find out why some most Christians worship on
Sunday, and why some worship on Saturday.
in NT: How can Christians say they believe in the Bible and yet do
not have slaves, spoken of and even promoted in the NT? Find out here.
- Concordance: One of
the more useful tools is studying the Bible is a concordance. Discover
how the idea of a concordance developed.
First Complete NT: Sinaiticus is the first complete copy of the NT which we have. You will not
believe where it was discovered (maybe you could guess.)
- Stations of the Cross: Sacred
Space: This summary describes one method of exhibiting sacred
space within a church.
This lay office is found in only some
churches; most people are unaware of its existence. Learn more about it.
Stories: Two funny stories about baptism that I always tell my
- Leap Year:
So, you think you know the leap year rule? Go here and find out.
- The Earliest Scripture: The Old Testament has been around a long
time. But what is the earliest piece of the Old Testament which
exists? Find out here.
- "Everyone has a God-shaped hole": Trace the history of this idea.
- Church Leadership Models: Learn about the different ways to run a
- Why are the
Letters A.D. Used?: Find out the source of the letters A.D., used
when counting years.
Wednesday: Learn about the meaning and origin of Ash Wednesday.
Why is Lent 46 days long and why is it called "Lent"?
The central city of the Church of England/Episcopalians is not in London.
Found out why it is in Canterbury.
Early Church Period:
The Real Nativity Story:
Many Christians base their understanding of the Jesus' birth on songs and
the Nativity. This summary explains in detail based on the Bible.
So why was Herod so mean that he would
kill babies? Find out.
Why Pilate?: Why was Pilate in charge instead of one of Herod's
sons? Learn why here.
- Why Did the Magi
Care?: Find out one theory as to why the Magi would go to all the
trouble to find the new King.
Jesus' first 41 days:
Find out the details.
- Life of
Jesus: Find out all that the Four Gospels tell us about Jesus.
Temple and Synagogues: Jesus went to the Temple and attended
synagogues. But why did the Jews have two places where they could
worship God? Find out here.
House: Site of Last Supper?: Go here to read a theory--with
verses as proof--which states that Jesus ate the Last Supper at Mark's
Why did Judas do it?: So why did Judas betray Jesus. This is
James: Half- or Step-Brother
of Jesus?: Discover the two different perspectives on James'
relationship to Jesus which are held by two different (large) groups within
The First Year of Christianity:
Christianity grew to include 10,000 believers in its first year. Find
out how we know this here.
Extra-Biblical References to
Jesus: Three references to Jesus exist outside the Bible.
Read them here.
Mary and Panthera: After Jesus
and Mary were gone, some spread the rumor that Mary had slept with Panthera
and Jesus was the result. But who was Panthera?
Priscilla and Aquilla:
More details are uncovered about two of
Physical evidence of one of Paul's co-workers was recently discovered.
happened to the Apostles?: Find out what we know about the
Apostles' travels once on their own.
- Thomas, The
Apostle Who Should Have Been Voted "Most Likely to Travel the Furtherest":
Believe or not, Thomas probably traveled further than any other Apostle.
A Physical Description of Paul:
Yep, you read it right.
and Paul: Find out how Peter and Paul (probably) died.
- Peter's House: After Peter died, what do you think the early
Christians did with his house?
The belief of those who did not accept the incarnation, and spoken of in II
Another Letter to the
Corinthians: A letter
exists which was written to the Christians in Corinth about forty years after I and
II Corinthians was written (and not by Paul).
- One of the
Earliest Heresies, Docetism (a form of Gnosticism): One of the earliest problems people had with
Christianity was the question of what Jesus was made of.
- P52: The
Earliest Piece of the New Testament: Read about the earliest scrap
of the New Testament which has been discovered. And find out which
verses it is also.
Apostolic Fathers: After the Apostles died, the next generation of
Christians also produced some authors. Read about the 8 known works
- An Early
Christian Essay: Chapters from this early book (around AD 125) were most
likely read as sermons. Hear what Christians would have heard at
church less than 100 years after Jesus.
- The Early
Popes: This summary traces the lineage of the first seven popes.
- Unread for
1000 Years: Irenaeus, an early Christian leader, wrote a treatise
on basic Christian beliefs in the late Second Century. It was lost and
only rediscovered in 1904.
- A Living
Link to the Apostles: Learn about one of the Apostle John's
followers, and early church leader not mentioned in the NT.
- Another Letter to the Philippians: A letter exists which was
written to the Christians in Philippi about 100 years after Philippians was
Defense of Christianity: Theophilus wrote "Against Autolycus,"
which was an early defense of Christianity. Read
selected quotes here.
- Gospel of Judas: Understand this "Gospel" more fully, including
why it should not have be in the New Testament.
- Early Heresies: Many people could not accept the truth of Christ.
Learn about different (and false) versions of Christ which circulated in
this time period.
I will define the NT if you don't: Oddly enough, it took a false teacher to
prompt the young Christianity to establish its Scripture, the New Testament.
Who was he?
- An Early
Worship Service Guide: Tertullian, an early church leader, wrote
some instructions on how to conduct a worship service around the year 197.
A story of a young Christian girl who was martyred by the Romans. Find
out what the Romans did once they discovered she was pregnant.
- The First
House Church: The first Christians gathered and worshipped in
house churches. Find out the date of the first house church which has
During the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire, 40 Christians
were placed on a frozen lake. But something wonderful did happen.
- Edict of Milan: With one signing of a document, the persecutions
of Christians ended. Find out how.
- The First Council (of Nicea): So, what was so important about the
first Council of Christians in 325?
Nicene Creed: Read the first official creed of Christianity.
- A tricky
question: The early church leaders had to deal with the question
of what to do with priests who bowed to the Roman persecutions.
- Canonization: The church took 300 years to decide which books
should be included in the NT. See how the process developed over time
as the church weeded out the Apocrypha.
Patrum (click a number at end of this description):
During the 300s and 400s, a large
number of Christians moved to the Egyptian desert. They left behind a rich
source of their wise sayings. I have included three
Pachomius began the practice of monks
of living in communities. He ran into trouble because he was so
strict; how did he solve the problem?
- So You Think
You Are Dedicated, the Stylites: These early Christians came up with a unique
way to serve God. Read and see if you would have joined them.
- John Chrysostom: The Golden-Mouth: Learn how he developed
Standing Up to an Emperor:
In the late 300s,
a bishop stood up to an emperor and denied him Communion; find out why and what
Patrick: So, everyone knows about St. Patrick's Day, but really,
who was St. Patrick?
Benedict of Nursia: In the 500s, Benedict wrote a guidebook for monks, part
of which is quoted here and is applicable to a Christian life today.
Gregory the Great: Learn why
Pope Gregory I was considered to be "the Great."
The emperor Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III on
Christmas Day, 800, but he may not have been happy about it.
- A Medieval
Response to Mediocrity:
In the 900s, a small monastery in France led a revitalization of spiritual
awareness in the Catholic Church.
- St. Bernard:
Learn about the dog breed and the man behind it; and he never saw a St.
Catholic and Orthodox: In
the year 1054, Christianity split for the first time into the Catholic and
Orthodox branches. Find out how it occurred.
Learn about this series of conflicts which continues to haunt Christianity.
- Francis in the Crusades: Francis of Assisi proved fearless in the
Crusades. Learn how here.
The Little Flowers of
St. Francis: Read how St. Francis found and defined joy.
Proving God Philosophically:
Anselm gave it his best shot. See what you think.
- Hildegard of Bingen: Hildegard wrote a Christian classic entitled
"Divine Works." This summary provides some quotes.
Bernard of Clairvaux:
Bernard wrote a Christian classic entitled
"On Loving God." This summary provides a quote.
Mechthild of Magdeburg:
Mechthild wrote a Christian classic entitled "On the Flowing Light of the
Godhead." This summary provides some quotes.
The Cloud of Unknowing:
This Christian Spiritual Classic is anonymous and was written probably in
the 1300s. This summary provides some quotes.
2 then 3 Popes:
In the 1300s and early 1400s, the Catholic Church experienced two then three
Popes before returning back to one Pope.
- Love of
the Holy: The English translation of the Orthodox spiritual
classic called "Philokalia." This summary contains some quotes.
and Beyond in Europe:
Reformation: Maybe you are
confused about this whole Reformation idea. This summary might clear
Pre-Protestant Group: This group of Protestants actually predates the
Reformation and are not technically Protestants. Learn how and when
Handbook of Erasmus: Erasmus, "who laid the egg which Luther
hatched" wrote a spiritual classic. Read an excerpt here.
Martin Luther and Halloween:
October 31 is recognized as Halloween. It is also when Luther
(unintentionally ) initiated a movement that changed Christianity.
Luther's Hymn: In 1527, a plague came to Wittenberg. Luther
and his wife stayed to help those stricken. In the midst of the
horror, he wrote this hymn.
Colloquy of Marburg: In
1529, the followers of Luther and Zwingli attempted to bring them together.
The two men agreed on all but one issue. Find out what that was.
Luther's Last Words: After
he died, a piece of paper was found in Luther's pockets with words which
reflected his life's focus. Find out what they were.
Talk: In his last days, Luther's words, even his idle comments,
were written down by his fervent followers. Read some of them here.
VIII and Episcopalians: Discover how Henry began the Church of
England and the origin of the title "Defender of the Faith" that the monarch of England still holds.
- The First
Pre-Baptists: Find out about the origins of the people known as
Anabaptists, and the unique form of execution used on them.
Loyola's Spiritual Exercises:
This Christian Spiritual Classic was written by Ignatius Loyola and
constructed a plan for a greater spiritual awareness of God.
- A mistake
in the Bible, or Bob was tired: Robert Stephanus, the guy who
divided the NT into verses, made a mistake when he got to II John & III
John. See where here.
This summary helps to explain the
meaning behind Calvinism.
Some Comments by Calvin: His
"The Institutes" is mainly theological, but I like this quote so much that I
have memorized part of the first chapter.
- Francis Xavier: This man traveled as a missionary more than any
other during the 1500s.
of the KJV: Understand
the story behind the Version: How and why did the King James Version
come into being?
One of the Translators:
Learn the fascinating story of one of the King James Version translators.
- Francis de Sales: He wrote a spiritual classic called
"Introduction to the Devout Life." This summary provides some quotes.
He wrote a spiritual classic called "The Practice of the Presence of
God." This summary provides some quotes.
The First Home Bible
Studies: 1675 Style: Philip Jacob Spener actually set the standard
for Home Bible Studies in his 1675 book "Pious Desires." This summary
contains his high points.
What is "Methodist" about Methodists?:
Why are Methodists called Methodists? Find out the origin of the name
American Church History:
Columbus wanted to discover a new passage to India, plus to spread the message
of Jesus. Read it in his own words.
In South America, most of the countries speak Spanish except for Brazil,
which speaks Portuguese. Discover the Church History connection.
American Land and Denominations:
Why are there so many denominations?
This helps to explain.
This image is beloved by multitudes of Mexicans, and you may have seen it.
See a picture and learn the history behind the image.
Pilgrims and Puritans: So what
is the difference between the two?
Half-Way Covenant: Discover how the colonial churches attempted to
reach the non-churched colonists.
The First American Christian Martyr: You would never guess where
it took place.
Jonathon Edwards: Edwards helped begin and define the movement
known as Evangelicalism.
Most Famous Sermon in America: Jonathan Edwards preached the
epitome of an evangelical sermon in "Sinners in the hands of an angry God."
Learn about it and read an except here.
Whitefield: The First American Celebrity: The great revivalist
George Whitefield is considered the first American Celebrity plus he played
a small role in the American Revolution. Find out how.
Sunday Schools Started: Learn how Sunday schools started and their
Calvin and Democracy: See how Calvin played a vital role in the
development of democracy.
- Church and
State: Discover the origin of the phrase "wall of separation between
church and state."
Origins: The ten oldest colleges in America all have Christian
origins. Learn about them here.
From where did the Amish come and why are
they so different? Learn here.
Liele: As an African-American preacher in the 1700s, Liele
accomplished seven firsts.
Charles Wesley and 1793: Charles, the brother of Methodism founder
John Wesley, was convinced that he knew the year Jesus would return. Read
about it in his letter.
of AME: The late 1700s and
early 1800s witnessed the birth of the largest African-American denomination.
- Charles Finney:
Some of the practices of churches today can be traced to Finney and what were
called his New Measures.
Behind the Name: Episcopalians:
From where did the name "Episcopalians" come?
Father of Modern Missions: Read about the man who initiated modern
Protestant Mission work and to where he went.
William Miller: Jesus will come back in 1844: Learn about the
large crowds that followed Miller, and the Christian denomination which
Utopian Groups: Discover the numerous utopian groups which formed
in the 1800s and the only two which still remain (one numbers around 5 and
the other numbers around 16,000,000).
Denominations Splitting: In the mid-1800s, Methodists, Baptists, and
Presbyterians all split. Learn why.
How to Pray without Ceasing:
This Russian Orthodox Spiritual Classic, "The Way of the Pilgrim," tells one
method of praying without ceasing. See if you want to try it.
Shortest Christian Classic: This Christian Spiritual Classic is actually a
poem. This summary provides some lines.
100th Birthday to Pentecostals: In 2006, Pentecostals and
Charismatics celebrated their 100th birthday; find out how it all began.
- Jesus for
Workers: The Methodists decided to call attention to the plight of
workers in 1908 by adopting this Social Creed.
Fundamentalism: Discover from where the word "fundamentalism"
Jesus and Planes: What connection does Jesus have with planes?
Thomas Merton: Merton wrote a Christian spiritual classic entitled
"The Seven Storey Mountain." This summary provides some quotes.
Billy Graham and 1949:
So how did Billy Graham go from a regionally-known to a nationally-known
- I know what you are thinking:
One book helped me understand why different Christian groups do what they
do. I have summarized the main points here.
Watchman Nee: Nee wrote a Christian
Spiritual Classic called "The Normal Christian Life" while in prison.
This summary provides some quotes.
A W Tozer: He wrote a Christian Spiritual
Classic called "The Pursuit of God." This summary provides some
- Behind the
Name: United Methodist:
From where did the name "United Methodist" come?
Teresa: She needs no introduction. This summary includes
Salvation Army: Find out more about this group which rings the
bells at Christmas.
Your God is Too Small: A very recent Christian classic which
describes different incorrect understandings of God which hamper both
Christians and non-Christians.
Origin of Contemporary Christian Music: Find out how CCM got its
start. It wasn't that long ago and it wasn't far, far away.
Christians Reunite after 118 Years: Learn about the denominations
which reunited after 118 years.
Many Names of Churches: If you think about it, deciding on the
name for a church can be daunting. See a multitude of names of
churches which actually exist here.
Megachurches: Learn about the top 10 largest megachurches in
Presidential Faiths: Discover the faiths of the United States