Timeline of Church History to 2000 A.D

I am in the midst of creating a Church History study course which I intend to use at my parish and release for free, and I wanted to update you all on my progress.

I think Church History is something we don’t study enough in Catholic parishes, so I wanted to create a 12-week program that anyone can use to study Church History.

For my program, I’ve broken up Church History into 12 sessions that cover an even number of years, either 100 or 200 years per session, and I’ve been working at creating timelines for each session. This allows for very easy use of the program. You can do it in twelve consecutive weeks like we plan to at my local parish, or you could do it once a month for twelve months, or anything you want really.

How the program works is, each session will start out with an overview of the events of each age of Church History. (That’s what the timeline is for.) Then it will focus in on any persecutions that the Church went through, any significant events like the invention of universities or the year a nation converted, important Catholic rulers like Constantine and Charlemagne, heroes of the faith like St. Athanasius and St. Joan of Arc, and important women like St. Matilda of Tuscany and Theodelinda. (I include a section on important women because I think women are often left out of Church History studies, even though they play such an indispensable role.)

The sessions are based around the handbook by Philip Hughes called “A Popular History of the Catholic Church” and leader guides will have page numbers for parts of the book where the author discusses the subjects of the study. Copies of that book can be purchased very cheaply on Amazon, and my parish opted to buy 10 copies just so that students at my parish can each use a book.

In addition to the book, there will be quotations on the handouts from people who witnessed the events in question or early historians who reported on what happened to the Christians of each age.

At the end of each handout is a list of resources that the student of Church History can explore for further information. I intend to make all resources easily google-able so that everything can be found online for free.

Attached is a sample handout for session 1 and a full-page (double-sided) copy of the complete timeline of Church History from 1 A.D. to 2000 A.D., at least the current edition. I would greatly appreciate feedback from readers and any insights as to things I should include on the timeline that are left out of the current edition.

God bless!

Excellent historical encapsulation. Thanks for posting dmar198. Nice work.

God bless.

Cathoholic

Will we be able to print these pages off the computer or will they be in book form ? God Bless. Memaw

The initial release will be on the internet so that you can print off the PDF files yourself. I would also like to publish it as a book either in workbook format or as hole-punched pages in a binder, but I’ve never done anything like that and I really don’t know how to start.

Thanks for sharing this.

I am part of a team that facilitates Scripture study in my parish using the Great Adventure series by Jeff Cavins. We’ve been through The Bible Timeline, Matthew and will start Acts in September. Your material will be useful regarding key events in early Church history.

Something to consider…

I have a fairly strong background in web site development (HTML and CSS), motion graphics and Flash animation. My plan was to create a complete web-based timeline from Genesis through to modern times from the perspective of the Catholic Church. The idea would be to have layers similar to your areas of focus - important individuals, key texts, world events, Church doctrines, etc. that could be accessed quickly. Those resources would be existing online materials that would be located and made quickly available by linking from the timeline.

It would be great to assemble a group of like-minded individuals to help conceive and assemble the project and find appropriate resources. People are more likely to get involved after a start has been made.

If you have any thoughts on the subject, let me know. Perhaps this thread could lead to the development of a useful tool for Catholic Scripture/history study.

I can help you with that. PM me with questions you may have, concerning materials you need converted or procedures for doing so.

That’s a neat timeline!

This might be a small thing (:o) but I’m a big believer in dressing things up as much as possible. Since your handout has lots of extra space on the second page, you could dress things up with some graphics (or at the very least, make the heading in a large, colorful font).

It can be difficult enough to get people excited about Church History. Making things more aesthetically appealing can help.

Have you seen the Epic Church History timeline? They do a good job in the visuals department.

Wonderful, please keep us informed on your progress. God Bless, Memaw

Thanks Dmar198.

Looks good.

Consider using the following resource. You will not regret it.
God bless your work.

CHRIST THE KING - LORD OF HISTORY,
by Anne Carroll, published by Tan Books, Phone # 1-800-437-5876

It is one of the most interesting book that I have ever read. It shows how God has worked through history in His Church and it has a lot of apologetically useful information as well. History is not just about one country advancing because of some new technological weapon that it uses to subdue its enemies. History is about people. In this book you really get to know some important people in Church history. Often she will give quotations from them at turning points in history that lets you see right into their character, good or bad. History is about how God’s divine providence prevails.

Yes and her late husband’s, (Warren H. Carroll) set of 6 books on the “History of Christendom” would be great too. God Bless, Memaw

I got this question enough times in my parish, that I felt it necessary to have a detailed answer. Here’s the answer I give for the 1st 400 years. Scripture + ECF’s + short apologetic

The Church has been Catholic from the 1st century. The English word Catholic is a transliteration of the Greek katholikos which is a compound word from kata, which means according to, and holos, which means whole. catholic.com/tracts/what-catholic-means

So one THEN can ask, where does kata holos appear in scripture and particularly kata holos ekklesia ?

Acts 9:31 the church throughout all ἐκκλησία,καθ’,ὅλης ,τῆς ,Judea and Galilee and Sama’ria…" = Kataholos Church.

Ignatius was Bishop of Antioch from ~69 a.d. to ~107 a.d. He was ordained by the apostles, and was a direct disciple of St John. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first called Christian Acts 11:26 . And Ignatius in his writings uses both “Christian” and “Catholic Church” in his writings.

[LIST]
*]St Ignatius, uses Christian (ch 2) and Catholic Church (ch 8) Epistle to the Smyrnæans of which schismatics won’t be going to heaven Epistle to the Philadelphians (ch 3) . As an aside, where would Ignatius learn to teach that warning and corresponding consequence for one’s soul, for commiting and remaining in the sin of schism / division from the Catholic Church? Paul condemned division / dissention from the Church Romans 16:17-20 , Galatians 5:19-21 and Jesus does NOT approve of division in His Church John 17:20-23, and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired all the division we see today in Christianity. There is no expiration date to that warning and condemnation
*]St Polycarp, Bp Smyrna, disciple of St John called the Church the “Catholic Church” The Martyrdom of Polycarp
*]Muratorian canon earlychristianwritings.co…uratoria n.html uses authority of “Catholic Church”
*]Irenaeus ~180 a.d. wrote “Against Heresies” called the Church the “Catholic Church” Adversus haereses [Bk 1 [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103110.htm”]Chapter 10 v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
*]etc
[/LIST]The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 267th successor to St Peter.

Jesus started one Church. The Catholic Church. He gave all His promises to His Church. Jesus does NOT approve of division John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired them to divide from the Catholic Church especially when considering the scandal of all the division we see today outside the Church. As you can see from the links above from Paul, which ultimately came from Jesus, division is condemned as are those who do it and remain in it. For 2000 years division from the Catholic Church has been condemned. There is no expiration date to that warning.*

v 3], and also Irenaeus who was taught by Polycarp, teaches all must agree with Rome [Bk 3, [URL=“http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm”]Chapter 3, v 2-3]
*]Cyprian~250 a.d. calls the Church the Catholic Church Epistle 54
*]The Nicene Creed, 325 a.d., it’s a matter of faith to believe in the “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church”
*]Augustine ~395 There are many other things that most justly keep me in her * bosom. . . . The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (ch 5 v6)
*]etc
[/LIST]The same Church Pope Francis is over today, 267th successor to St Peter.

Jesus started one Church. The Catholic Church. He gave all His promises to His Church. Jesus does NOT approve of division John 17:20-23 , and since the HS only teaches what comes from Jesus John 16:12-15 no one can say the HS inspired them to divide from the Catholic Church especially when considering the scandal of all the division we see today outside the Church. As you can see from the links above from Paul, which ultimately came from Jesus, division is condemned as are those who do it and remain in it. For 2000 years division from the Catholic Church has been condemned. There is no expiration date to that warning.*

The sooner we all realize this the better for our Church. our Country and the whole human race! God Bless, Memaw

That sounds like a really cool project. If I PM you my email, will you keep me posted?

I am semi-retired but working full time until August, at which time I will be able to devote larger chunks of time to building the site. I will certainly keep you posted.

I would suggest you look at the program Epic, by Ascension Press.

I’m a big fan of the person who put it together. I just wanted to make something free.

Agreed. I provided links rather than footnotes, so people outside these forums, could read from primary sources which they may have never done before. And because I wanted these great Fathers of the Church to do the talking not me.

Holy Moly, dmar198! We are hungry for something such as this…keep us updated. :thumbsup:

Update: I put together this list of Catholic Church History books because the one we are using went up in price on Amazon. Attached is a pdf with the same data in a more presentable format with pictures.

Catholic Church History Books

“The Compact History of the Catholic Church” by Dr. Alan Schreck - “Compact History of the Catholic Church sweeps through the centuries offering a clear-eyed view of the Church’s development and contributions to world history. God’s faithfulness and mercy are evident, too, as he continually renews the Church and raises it again and again from the pit of trouble to new heights of faith, charity and peace.”

“Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West and How We Can Do It Again” by Diane Moczar - “Professor Moczar tells the story of early Christianity’s faith, courage, and cunning chronicling the labors of missionaries and martyrs (with no small help from Providence) to spread the gospel and lay the foundation for the most magnificent culture human history has ever known. With her stirring narrative style, Dr. Moczar reveals a young Church ardently occupied with the great work of conversion: with saints and generals, priests and kings alike filled with zeal to make disciples of all nations.”

“History of the Catholic Church - From the Apostolic Age to the Third Millennium” by James Hitchcock - “The history of the Catholic Church is long, complicated, and fascinating, and in this book it is expertly and ably told by historian James Hitchcock. As in the parable of Christ about the weeds that were sown in a field of wheat, evil and good have grown together in the Church from the start, as Hitchcock honestly records. He brings before us the many characters-some noble, some notorious-who have left an indelible mark on the Church, while never losing sight of the saints, who have given living testimony to the salvific power of Christ in every age. This ambitious work is comprehensive in its scope and in incisive in its understanding, a valuable addition to any school or home library.”

“Church Ascending: How Saints and Sinners Brought About the Triumph of Christianity in the West” by Diane Moczar - “Celebrated author and veteran historian Diane Moczar takes you on a fast-paced and provocative ride through the development of Christian civilization from its emergence within the Roman Empire through its medieval springtime and summer. A master storyteller with an entertaining style, Dr. Moczar introduces you to the celebrated intellectuals and mystics, the magnificent artists and writers, and the greatest heroes and villains who forever changed Christianity and the West.”

“Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church: A 2,000-Year History” by H.W. Crocker III - “For 2,000 years, Catholicism—the largest religion in the world and in the United States—has shaped global history on a scale unequaled by any other institution. … Inside, you’ll discover the spectacular story of the Church from Biblical times and the early days of St. Peter—the first pope—to the twilight years of John Paul II. It is a sweeping drama of Roman legions, great crusades, epic battles, toppled empires, heroic saints, and enduring faith. And, there are stormy controversies: Dark Age skullduggery, the Inquistition, the Renaissance popes, the Reformation, the Church’s refusal to accept sexual liberation and contemporary allegations like those made in Hitler’s Pope and Papal Sin. A brawling, colorful history full of inspiring pageantry and spirited polemic, Triumph will exhilarate, amuse, and infuriate as it extols the glories of Catholic history and the gripping stories of its greatest men and women.”

“The Catholic Church, the First 2000 Years: A Popular Survey and Study Guide to Church History” by Martha Rasmussen - “This book is a popular overview and study guide to the history of the Catholic Church. Written for non-scholarly readers with little historical background, it includes descriptions of society in different historical eras in order to make the history of the Church more understandable. The book explains important doctrinal, spiritual, and historical questions and developments. It identifies many popular saints and includes interesting historical characters. Catholics seeking a deeper spiritual life and a closer relationship with God will find many helpful ideas to trust God’s love and care for them. The story of how the Church survived earlier trials will encourage people struggling with current challenges in the Church or discouraged by difficulties in their own lives.”

“Christ the King Lord of History” by Anne W. Carroll - “Here is a fast paced, highly readable and interesting Catholic world history. It clearly illustrates that Christ is the central figure in all of history. Unabashedly proud of our brilliant Catholic heritage, Dr Carroll examines all historical developments from the point of view of the Church and the enhancement or decline of the influence of the Church upon the historical scene. Whereas most secular histories written today give but a grudging acknowledgment to the role of the Catholic Church in forming Western and therefore modern civilization, this book makes the role of Christ and the contribution of His Church unquestionable. A great book for students, parents, history buffs and educators.”

Thank you for the great thread!

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