Christianity in the First Century

By Sean Finnegan

Why should you care about Church history?

1. avoid mistakes of the past
2. become inspired by heroism
3. get guidance and encouragement
4. trace doctrinal developments
5. enable you to do your own research
6. see your hidden presuppositions

Dating Systems

- BC = before Christ
- BCE = before common era
- AD = anno domini “the year of our Lord”
- CE = common era

For more on the life of Christ, see The Historical Jesus class on

Major Events in First Century Christianity

- John the Baptist
- Ministry of Jesus Christ
- Death, Resurrection, Ascension
- Organizing in Jerusalem
- Scattering to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch
- Philip at Samaria
- Peter at Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea
- Paul at Cyprus, Turkey, Greece
- Paul at Crete, Sicily, Rome

Greco-Roman World

- Greek language
- Greek gods (though the Romans gave them new names)
- Greek philosophies (Stoics, Epicureans, Cynics)
- Roman government (Latin as official language)
- Roman culture

The Fire of Rome (AD 64)

- Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (aka Nero)
- July 19, 64 a fire broke out in Rome at shops near chariot stadium
- roughly 2/3 of the city destroyed
- Nero blamed the Christians, torturing and executing many
- This is probably when Peter and Paul died in Rome
- Even though we were so viciously persecuted, we did not stop believing nor did we stop spreading the gospel in Rome and in the Roman Empire

LHIM Weekly Bible Teachings
LHIM Weekly Bible Teachings
Christianity in the First Century

2 Responses

  1. Sean, Happy New Year! Pem and I really enjoyed streaming session 1 of your class on Tuesday night. We are excited to continue with the series. It is a fascinating subject that we don't know much about. Loved the video of Masada. Didn't you run up that when everyone else was turned back? Looking forward to the next session. We trust all is well with you and your family. Blessings, Jeff and Pem uc
    • Sean Finnegan
      Jeff, thanks for the kind encouraging words! Yes, I did run up the snake path. It was a risky choice, but I was thankful to make it to the top and not get shot by an Israeli soldier. Thanks for watching!

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