Showing posts with label Early Christianity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Early Christianity. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ignatius of Antioch

We just learned about the Peshitta.

Another person early Christian history is Ignatius of Antioch.

Ignatius was one of the people known as the "Church Fathers" because he was a student of one of the disciples, and he helped spread the word of God and tell other people about Jesus.

He even wrote letters, kind of like some of the ones that Paul wrote that are in the Bible.
These letters are to other towns with groups of people starting churches, and he was writing to tell them to keep up the good work and help give them instructions.

Ignatius wrote letters to: The Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, Smyrnaeans, and to Polycarp the Bishop of Smyrna.

(from: wikipedia - ignatius of antioch)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Ananias of Damascus

Sunday, March 10, 2019


We just learned about the Gospel Harmony.

Another part of early Christianity was the Peshitta.

During the time when people were trying to put together the Bible so they could tell others about Christianity, some people worked to write it down in other languages so people in different countries could read it.

A lot of the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, so some people worked to translate it into the Syriac language.

The word peshitta means "simple" or "easy to understand", and it was a book put together so people could tell others in many eastern countries about Jesus.

With this Syriac version of the Bible, people were able to spread Christianity across other countries like Armenia, Georgia, and even China.

The famous Nestorian tablet from China was written from the translation in the Peshitta.

(from: wikipedia - peshitta)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Thaddeus

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Gospel Harmony

We just learned about the First Apology.

Another part of early Christianity is the Gospel Harmony.

We know that the four Gospel books of the New Testament in the Bible are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Long ago around 160 AD in Syria, a man named "Tatian" decided to try and put those four books together into one book, since they are all about Jesus' life.

He called this book the "Diatessaron" which means "made of four" or "mixed Gospel".

Because the word "harmony" can mean a mixture of music that sounds nice together, people call this type of writing a "Gospel Harmony".

Other people have made gospel harmonies through the years, but Tatian's Diatessaron was the first one we know about.

(from: wikipedia - diatessaron)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Saint Matthias

Sunday, February 24, 2019

First Apology

We just learned about the Decian Persecution.

Another part of early Christian history is the First Apology.

The word apology used in this way comes from Greek, where it means a speech in defense.

There was a man named Justin Martyr who was a Christian long ago, and when Christians were being treated badly by the Roman empire, he wrote a letter called the First Apology.

It was a letter trying to explain that Christians were not bad people, and that the Roman empire should not treat them badly.

People did not like Christians because they thought they did not want to be part of the Roman empire, and wanted to start their own kingdom.
Justin wrote that they wanted to be in God's kingdom, but that was after they were in heaven.

There were some people that said Christians were bad people and caused lots of crimes.
He wrote that those people should be put in jail for their crimes, but not because they called themselves Christians, just because they did bad things.

He also used the word Logos which means something like "Word" or "talking with reason" to talk about Jesus and tell people about the Word of God.
People used the word Logos to say that someone was speaking with good reason.
So if Jesus was with Logos then he had to be good.

(from: wikipedia - justin martyr)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Cleopas

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Decian Persecution

We just learned about the Antilegomena.

Another part of early Christian history is the Decian Persecution.

In the year 250 AD, there was a Roman emperor named Decius.
Persecution means being treated badly, usually because of something you believe in.

He did not believe in Jesus and did not want anyone to worship anyone else except for mythological Roman gods like Jupiter.
So he made it a law that everyone in the country had to make a sacrifice to the Roman gods.
If they would not do it, they would be killed.

There were even some people that the emperor liked very much that were killed.
Mercurius was a soldier in the Roman army who helped Decius win battles, but was a Christian and refused to make sacrifices to Roman idols.

Even though Decius liked Mercurius, he still had him killed.
Many Christians had to go into hiding during this time to survive, and many were killed because of this persecution.

(from: wikipedia - decian persecution)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: James son of Alpheus

Sunday, February 10, 2019


We just learned about the Muratorian Fragment.

Another part of the early Christians working on the Bible is called Antilegomena.

When people were trying to collect all of the writings about Jesus and what happened to him and after him, some people disagreed on which were real letters and which ones were fake.

There was a lot of disagreement because long ago it was very hard to figure out which letters were real, so if people disagreed on a writing it was called Antilegomena.

It is a Greek word ἀντιλεγόμενα that means "spoken against".

Remember we learned about people deciding which books were "canon" meaning measured or accepted.
If a book or letter was Antilegomena, then it was usually not accepted as "canon" and would not be put into a Bible.

(from: wikipedia - antilegomena)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Seventy Disciples

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Muratorian Fragment

We just learned about the Tetramorph.

Another part of Early Christianity is the Muratorian Fragment.

Back when people were trying to put collect all the letters and writing about Jesus, someone wrote down a list of the books that they thought should be all together.

This list of books is almost exactly the list of books that became the New Testament.
A few of the books that were added later probably were discovered after a while and then added, but people believe this list of books was put together as early as 140 AD.

That means the list of books in the New Testament in the Bible has been about the same for almost 2,000 years.

(from: wikipedia - muratorian fragment)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bridget of Sweden

Sunday, January 27, 2019


We just learned about Biblical Canon.

Another part of early Christianity is the Tetramorph.
This word comes from the Greek words "tetra" which means four, and "morph" which means shape.

When people started to put together the writings of the apostles, there were the writings we call the Gospel, that told about Jesus life.

The four books of the Gospel we know are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

In the Old Testament in the book of Ezekiel, he writes about a vision God gave him showing some creatures that had 4 different faces.
The face of a human, a lion, an ox and an eagle.

Some people believe that those four faces are for the four gospels, and so sometimes in art the four writers of the gospel are shown either sitting next to those animals, or sometimes even with animal heads on human bodies.
Matthew is shown as the human, Mark as the lion, Luke as the Ox, and John as the Eagle.

This way of showing the four writers of the gospel was called the Tetramorph, and it also became a way to talk about the four gospels.

(from: wikipedia - tetramorph)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Carmelite Nuns

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Biblican Canon

We just learned about the Quartodecimanism.

Another part of early Christianity is the work on Biblical Canon.

When Jesus was around, the set of books in the Old Testament was already collected and written and copied by many people.
It wasn't called the "Old" testament yet, because when it was being written there was not a "New" testament.

People were starting to collect and copy the things that the Apostles wrote about Jesus, and the letters that Paul wrote and put them into a book.

The early leaders of the Christian church had to all try and agree on what the right books were to be in the New Testament.
They use the word "Canon" to say that the letters or books are approved.
The word Canon comes from the Greek word κανών which means rule or measuring stick.

So once everyone could agree on the right writings and letters, those would become "Biblical Canon".

(from: wikipedia - development of the christian biblical canon)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Rose of Lima

Sunday, January 13, 2019


We just learned about the Against Heresies - Iranaeus.

Another part of early Christian history is Quartodecimanism.

In the early church there were special dates like Easter, but people would argue over what the real date for when Easter was.

In the book of John, it says that Jesus was crucified on the day before Passover.

On an old calendar called the Nisan, the 15th of Nisan is Passover, so the people who followed that calendar always celebrated Easter on the 14th of Nisan.

Other people believed that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday, so they had Easter on the Sunday after Nisan.

Quarta Decima means 14th in Latin, so they people who celebrated Easter on the 14th were called Quartodecimans, which means something like "fourteeners".

Some of the church leaders tried to make it illegal to celebrate Easter on the 14th, but in the end people just went their separate ways and for a long time people had Easter on different days.

Even today some different groups of Christians celebrate Easter on a different day than others.

(from: wikipedia - quartodecimanism)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Clare of Assisi

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Against Heresies - Irenaeus

We just learned about the Didache - The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

Another part of early Christian history is the book Against Heresies, by Irenaeus.

During the early time of Christianity when people disagreed about what they should believe, there was a group of people called the Gnostics.
They believed that Christ and Jesus were two separate beings.
Like Jesus was a physical body, and Christ was a spirit that lived in him.

The bishop of France named Irenaeus was very upset about this, and decided to write a book saying why they were wrong.

His book was written some time around 180 AD, and many church leaders used that letter to tell people that they believed Gnosticism was not true.

(from: wikipedia - on the detection and overthrow of the so-called gnosis)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Hildegard of Bingen

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Didache - The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

We just learned about the Sabbath Day in Christianity.

Another part of early Christian history is the Didache - The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

In the time that people were not sure what to believe or how to worship, there was a book people made with a lot of instructions, like some of the ten commandments, the Lord's prayer, and some rules about baptism or fasting.

It was called the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, and sometimes called Didache which is the Greek word for Teaching.
The writings were made some time around the late 100s in AD, and were lost for almost 2000 years.

(from: wikipedia - didache)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Scholastica

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sabbath Day in Christianity

We just learned about the Great Fire of Rome.

Another part of Christian history is the Sabbath Day.

In the old Jewish faith, people rested on the seventh day, called the shabbat, which is where we get the name Saturday.

After the Christians started to separate into their own religion, they started to move the day of worship to Sunday.
Part of the idea was that Sunday would be seen as the celebration of the resurrection and freedom from sin on the first day of every week.

Some Christians through the years have changed back to Saturday as the holy day, but others still worship on Sunday.

A fancy word for beliefs about which day is the sabbath is "Sabbatarianism".
First-day Sabbatarianism means that Sunday should be the day of worship.
Seventh-day Sabbatarianism means that Saturday should be the day of worship.
There is even Non-Sabbatarianism, which means that there should not be any special day for worship, you should pick whatever day you want to worship on.

(from: wikipedia - sabbath in christianity)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Great Fire of Rome

We just learned about the Ante Nicene Period.

Another part of early Christianity is the Great Fire of Rome.

In 62 AD there was a big fire that burned for 6 days, and burned down many parts of the city of Rome.
No one is sure how the fire started, but after it was done the Roman Emperor Nemo blamed the fire on the Christian people living in Rome.

After that a lot of Christians were treated very badly, and sometimes even killed.

(from: wikipedia - category:great fire of rome)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Desert Mothers

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Ante-Nicene Period

We just learned about the Christian Name.

Another part of early Christianity was the Ante-Nicene Period.

This was the time after the apostles, where there was a lot of mystery about what people believed.
A lot of people had different ideas about what Christianity should be like, and there were not a lot of very good church leaders for almost a hundred years.

For this time people started to call themselves Christians, but there was a lot of confusion about exactly what types of things people should believe.

People believed different things about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit, and also weren't sure about the God from the New Testament and the Old Testament.

One of the most famous ones who did write about 2,000 different papers about Christianity was named Origen.

Because of all the confusion, after the Ante-Nicene times people worked to get together to try and talk about how to help everyone agree on what the right way was for Christians to act.

(from: wikipedia - origen)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nuns

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Christian Name

We just learned about the Split of Christianity and Judaism.

Another part of Christian hisorty is the Christian Name.

The word Christian wasn't a word until Jesus came around. Christian comes from Christ, which comes from the Greek word χριστός (christos) which was the Greek translation of the Hebrew word מָשִׁיחַ‎ (māšîaḥ) which means the messiah, the savior and liberator of the people.

After Jesus came around and had some followers, people started calling them Christians, but it wasn't always used as a nice word.
This mostly started in a town called Antioch, where they called the Apostles Christians.
There were many people who didn't like the followers of Jesus, so calling someone a Christian meant they were trying to call them names, or say that they weren't good people.
Later on some very important Christians like Ignatius of Antioch took on the name with honor, and it became a good word to use.

People also sometimes called Christians Nazarenes, because Jesus was from the town of Nazareth.
Other times people would talk about the Christian belief as "The Way" because of Jesus talking about "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

(from: wikipedia - christians)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mount Athos

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Split of Christianity and Judaism

We just learned about the Apostolic Age.

Another part of early Christian history was the Split of Christianity and Judaism.

Remember that Jesus was one of the Hebrew people also known as Jewish people.
Some people even called him king of the Jews, and many of his followers were Jewish people.

After Jesus died, people didn't think of themselves and Christians.
They still believed in the things that happened long before, like the days of Abraham, Moses or King David.
Some of them followed the teachings of Jesus, and others did not, but they did not think of themselves as Christians yet, they were just Jewish people who disagreed about Jesus.
People even went to the same churches and sat next to each other for a very long time.

Around 70 AD there were some wars that happened in the area, and some of the people in charge of the churches changed, and Christianity started to split out as its own different religion separate from Judaism.

(from: wikipedia - split of christianity and judaism)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Bruno of Cologne

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Apostolic Age

We just started learning about Christianity After Jesus.

We know a little history from the Bible, with Paul and some other people writing around 21 letters and traveling all over.
Some people call this the Apostolic Age because it's the time when the Apostles were teaching people.

These letters (called epistles) were written to people and churches in towns that the apostles were traveling to, so that they could try and tell people about Jesus.

Paul alone traveled all around the countries on the Mediterranean sea, like Italy, Greece, Israel, Turkey and Syria.
Back in those days it was all part of the Roman empire, but it is now split up into different places.

In those days there was no internet, TV, radio or even newspaper so spreading news around was very difficult.
Many people had probably not even heard of Jesus when Paul came to visit, and he went to different towns where people had all sorts of beliefs in different things and he tried to tell people about Jesus.

The apostles traveled around until some time around 70 AD.

(from: wikipedia - apostolic age)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Benedict of Nursia

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Christianity after Jesus

We've learned about the list of Seventy Disciples.

Let's learn a little bit about Christianity after Jesus.

Jesus died on the cross, but then what?

The apostles went around and told people about Jesus, and then for thousands of years people talked to each other about Jesus!
Let's keep learning about what happened after Jesus and the Bible.

(from: wikipedia - apostolic age)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mar Saba