According to historians, Christianity started in the Eastern Mediterranean, and this stretched towards the Roman Empire and up to India and is recorded to spread on the Bible Timeline starting around 500 AD. The rapid growth of the Church to these areas was related to the growing belief in Christianity that was evident in the Jewish diaspora, the Holy Land and in several Jewish centers. The Jewish Christians were considered as the very first believers and followers of early Christianity.
Spread of the Church through the Apostles of Christ
The Apostles of Jesus traveled from Jerusalem to other parts of the world after the crucifixion of Christ. Their main purpose was to spread the teachings of Jesus when he was still alive. Some of them also founded the Apostolic Sees, and they led early Christians in their religious gatherings in private homes referred to as house churches. The entire community of Christians was called a “church”, originating from a Greek word that means congregation, gathering or assembly.
A large population of Early Christians were travelers or merchants, and they went to various places including Asia Minor,
Africa, Greece, and Arabia. By the year 100 AD, there were more than 40 communities of Early Christians established, and most of these were in Anatolia. This place was also regarded as Asia Minor, and it was where the Seven Churches of Asia was found. Afterward, Christianity spread in other places including Syria, Greece, Armenia, India and Rome. These places served as the foundations for the spread of Christianity.
In Caesarea, Peter, one of Jesus’ apostles, baptized Cornelius who was a centurion and a gentile. He soon converted to Christianity, with the help of Peter. Paul, another apostle of Jesus, also stayed in Caesarea for a while. It was also in that place where he was imprisoned.
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Antioch, one of the Roman Empire’s most significant cities, became another place in the world where several people converted into Christianity. It was also the site where an early church was formed, and Peter was its founder and first bishop. The Apostolic Constitutions and the Gospel of Matthew were believed to have been written in Antioch.
Based on the Book of Acts, Jerusalem became known as the site of the very first church of the Christians. Here, the apostles of Jesus taught and remained after the Pentecost. James became the leader in this first church, and several other kinsmen also had leadership positions after the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and until the rebuilding.
In 50 AD, Paul and Barnabas traveled to Jerusalem to meet with John, Peter and James, who were considered as the pillars of the church. Eventually, this meeting was referred to as the Council of Jerusalem. During this meeting, various subjects were discussed including the mission of Paul and Barnabas to the gentiles, as well as the freedom of converts from Mosaic law.
Peter decided to leave Jerusalem as Herod Agrippa I made attempts to kill him. At this point, James became the new principal authority of the early Church in Jerusalem.
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