One of the areas of Church history that has always fascinated me is the study of New Testament era chronology. Protestants act as if the Bible was written like a modern novel. Starting with Matthew on. However, the writing of the New Testament was not that cut and dry. As one puts together a timeline of Church history, including in that works written that are not included in the New Testament, one must reach a conclusion that the early Church was indeed Catholic. By the time the Gospel of John was written for example, the Church was already 50 years old (which forces a Catholic view of John 6). But more importantly, the Christians that lived at the time all have very Catholic views. Not a Baptist among them.
I have concocted a timeline here deliberately within a 100 year period between the Resurrection of Christ to Justin Martyr (roughly 130 AD.) Think of it from World War 2 on. There are people still alive to remember the events.
I do not claim this timeline to be exact, but its pretty close:
c. 30-33 - The death and resurrection of Jesus
c. 35 - The conversion of Paul
40s or 50s - James
c. 45-49 - Paul’s first missionary journey
Sometime between 48 and 58 - Paul writes Galatians **
c. 50-53 - Paul’s second missionary journey
50s - Paul writes Titus
50s or 60s - Mark** written (based on oral tradition set down by Peter).
50s or 60s - **Matthew written
51 - Paul writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians **
c. 53-57 - Paul’s third missionary journey
Spring of 55 - Paul writes 1 Corinthians
56 - Paul writes 2 Corinthians
c. 57 - Paul writes Romans
c. 60 - Paul writes Colossians, probably while in prison in Rome
c. 60 - Paul writes Philemon, probably while in prison in Rome
c. 60 - Paul writes Ephesians, probably while in prison in Rome
c. 61 - Paul writes Philippians, while in prison in Rome
Early 60s - **Luke **written
c. 60-70 - ***The Didache *is written.
c. 62 - Paul is free
c. 62-64 - Luke writes Acts
c. 62-64 - Paul writes 1 Timothy **
July 18-19, 64 - The Great Fire of Rome. Emperor Nero blamed the Christians, and a great persecution ensued.
Mid 60s - 1 Peter written
c. 64-68 - Paul writes 2 Timothy from prison
c. 67-68 - 2 Peter
c. 68 - Hebrews is written
June 9, 68 - The death of Nero. Sometime between the Great Fire of Rome and the death of Nero, both Peter and Paul were martyred.
c. 69 - Jude
70 - The Seige of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple
c. 70-80- The Epistle of Barnabus is written.
c. 85 - John written
Late First Century - 1, 2, and 3 John
95- The Epistle of Clement is written…
c. 95-96 - John writes Revelation
c. 60-120- The writings of Papias (only fragments remain).
c. 105- The Epistles of Ignatius are written as he heads for Rome for execution.
c. 105-125- The Epistle of Polycarp is written.
c. 125-130- The Letter to Diognetus is written.
c. 125-130- The Epistle of Aristides is written.
c. 130- The Martyrdom of Polycarp is written.
c. 130-150- The Shepherd of Hermas is written.
c.100-165- The writings of Justin Martyr, much of it written in the 130s.
So tell us Protestants, why is it within a 100 year period, does the Church look so Catholic?