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

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Seven Ecumenical Councils

We just learned about the Christianity in Armenia, with the country of Armenia being the first to become Christian.

Another part of early Christianity was the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

We learned before about the First Council of Nicea where people met to decide about the right ways to believe in God and Jesus, and what was true from history.

For a long time, people kept having arguments about what was true and what wasn't.
Any time there was a big argument, they would meet together at what they called an "Ecumenical Council" which just means a church meeting.

For over 400 years people met together to try and solve arguments, and these big meetings were called the Seven Ecumenical Councils:

- The First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, talked about what Jesus was really like.

- The First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD talked about the Holy Spirit.

- The Council of Ephesus in 431 AD talked about sin and about Jesus' mother Mary.

- The Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD talked about different leaders of the church, and about Jesus.

- Second Council of Constantinople in 553 AD talked about what Jesus was like.

- Third Council of Constantinople in 680 AD talked about what Jesus body and mind was like.

- Second Council of Nicaea in 787 AD talked about whether people should make paintings or pictures of saints and Jesus.

That's a whole lot of meetings with a lot of church leaders!

People worked hard for hundreds of years to try and make sure they were teaching people the truth about God, based on all of the writings in the Bible and other historians from thousands of years.

Even today all the leaders of the churches meet together to try and make sure they are spreading the word of God the way that they believe is right.

(from: wikipedia - first seven ecumenical councils)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Aristobulus - Bishop of Britain

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Christianity in Armenia

We just learned about the First Council of Nicea where people met to talk about what the truth was about Jesus.

Another part of early Christianity was Christianity in Armenia.

In the year 301 there was a religious person named Gregory the Illuminator who grew up learning about Christianity.
When he was older he talked to the King of Armenia named Tiridates III about Christianity, and the King decided to become Christian too.

Gregory baptised Tiridates III, and then the King decided to make Christianity the official religion in the country of Armenia.

(from: wikipedia - gregory the illuminator)

(from: wikipedia - tiridates iii of armenia)

(from: wikipedia - tiridates iii of armenia)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Stachys - Bishop of Byzantium

Sunday, July 14, 2019

First Council of Nicea

We just learned about the story called The Golden Legend.

Another part of early Christianity was the First Council of Nicea.

As Christianity was spreading all over the world, some people were arguing over what the meanings were of different parts of the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.

One of the biggest things people fought about was whether God the father was really Jesus' father or whether Jesus was as powerful as God the father.

A few hundred church leaders were all invited to come together and figure out what the right answer was, to a place called Nicea.

After they talked, they wrote up the Nice Creed, a way for people to remember what the real truth was.
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost.

(from: wikipedia - first council of nicea)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Urban - Bishop of Macedonia

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Golden Legend

We just learned about the Holy Tunic.

Another part of early Christianity is The Golden Legend.

One of the things about early history, is that many people would tell stories, and it was very hard to tell what was true and what was not.
After Saint Helen was said to have found the Holy Cross, there was a story that was told about the history of the cross.
It said that a seed from the apple that Adam and Eve ate from in the garden of Eden was planted in the ground and buried with Adam.
Then a tree grew from that seed, and the wood from that tree was used to make the Holy Cross.

Most people think this was just a story, and it is not a part of the Bible.
It's a good example of how hard it can be sometimes for Christians to make sure they are keeping the right history and teaching people the truth about Jesus.

(from: wikipedia - golden legend)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Amplias - Bishop of Odyssus

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Holy Tunic

We just learned about the Holy Nails that people believe are the nails used to crucify Jesus.

Another discovery that some people believe Saint Helen made was the Holy Tunic.

This is the robe that Jesus wore when he was crucified.

The Bible says that soldiers took it off of him and kept it.
When Saint Helen went on her pilgrimage, stories say that she found it and gave it to a church in the city of Trier in Germany.

The church there has a robe that they say is the real thing, and they bring it out once every 15 to 50 years, but not very much!

Other churches in France, Georgia and Russia also say that they have the robe, so there is no telling which one is the real one, or even if any of them are.

One of the problems with looking at these things from history is that they are over 2000 years old, so things could have been lost or switched a thousand years ago and no one knows for sure.

(from: wikipedia - seamless robe of jesus)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Andronicus - Bishop of Pannonia

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Holy Nails

We just learned about the True Cross that Saint Helen discovered.

Another part of early Christianity is the Holy Nails.

The legends of Saint Helen's discoveries after the true cross say that she also found the nails that were used on Jesus' body when he was crucified.

Some stories say that she had the nails put into the armor of her son Constantine so that he would be protected in battle.
There are other people that say that wasn't true, but it's hard to say for sure since that was over a thousand years ago!
Many churches also have special displays with nails or parts of nails that they say were the actual Holy Nails.

(from: wikipedia - holy nail)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Epnetus - Bishop of Carthage

Sunday, June 16, 2019

True Cross

We just learned about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Helena said she found the true cross.

The True Cross is said to be the actual wooden cross that Jesus was crucified on.

In her travels, Saint Helen went to Jerusalem and looked for it.
She had buildings torn down and had people dig around to try and find the cross, and they found three different crosses that they thought might be the right one.

The legends of Saint Helen say that she had a woman who was very sick come to see the crosses.
She touched the first two crosses and nothing happened, and then she touched the third one and was healed.

Today there are many churches that say they have a piece of the True Cross.

(from: wikipedia - helena (empress))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Crescens - Bishop of Carchedon in Gaul

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

We just learned about Saint Catherine's Monastery, the church built where Moses saw the burning bush.

Another ancient church is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built in 335 AD in Jerusalem.

This is another church that was founded by Saint Helen while she traveled to find important places from the life of Jesus.

Inside this church is the tomb that Jesus was buried in, and also the rock where the cross was standing when he was crucified.

(from: wikipedia - church of the holy sepulchre)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Silvanus - Bishop of Thessalonica

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Saint Catherine's Monastery

We just learned about the Church of the Pater Noster where Jesus taught the Lord's Prayer to his apostles.

Another famous church that Saint Helen helped to set up is Saint Catherine's Monastery.

This is on Mount Sinai, and is believed to be the place where Moses saw the burning bush that was God speaking to him.

There is even an actual live bush growing there, that people say is still the same bush that was on fire when God spoke to Moses.

This church is also a monastery where monks live and study the Bible.
It has a library in it that has been around longer than any other library in the world, going all the way back to around the year 550 AD.

(from: wikipedia - saint catherine's monastery)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past:Silas - Bishop of Corinth

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Church of the Pater Noster

We just learned about the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

Another part of early Christian history is the Church of the Pater Noster in Jerusalem.

In the Bible there was a place called the Mount of Olives, where Jesus appeared to the disciples and then ascended into heaven.

When the emperor Constantine sent his mother Helena out to find some of the important places in Christianity, she came to this place and made a church where the Mount of Olives was.

It's called Church of the Pater Noster because "pater" means father and "noster" means our.
In a cave below the Mount of Olives is where people believe Jesus taught his disciples the Lord's Prayer, which starts with the words "Our Father".

(from: wikipedia - church of the pater noster)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Luke the Evangelist

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Church of the Nativity

We just learned about Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine.

Another part of early Christianity is the Church of the Nativity.

After the emperor Constantine became a Christian, he sent his mother Helena out on a trip called a pilgrimage to go and find some of the holy places from the history of the Bible.

She went to Bethlehem and found the place where Jesus was born.
After she found it, she set up a church there, and it has been there for over 1,600 years, since 327 AD.

In the church there is a spot on the ground where people believe Mary was when Jesus was born.
There is a 14 pointed star on the ground, with a circle hole in the middle.
The points on the star are for the history of Jesus' family from Abraham to David, David to when the Hebrews were captured in Babylon, and then from that time to Jesus.
Where the hole is in the middle is a stone that you can touch, that people believe is the actual stone from when Jesus was born.

(from: wikipedia - church of the nativity)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mark the Evangelist

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Saint Helena

We just learned about the emperor Constantine the Great who became the first Christian Emperor.

Another person from early Christianity is Saint Helena.

Helena was the mother of Constantine.
She became a Christian, and her son Constantine told her she could go into where all the Roman treasure was kept and try to find old Christian things that were taken away when Christianity was illegal.

He also gave her the job to go out and build some churches that are still around today over a thousand years later.

(from: wikipedia - helena (empress))

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Barnabas

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Constantine the Great

We just learned about the Battle of Milvan Bridge where Emperor Constantine saw a vision of God.

The Emperor Constantine was the first emperor to become a Christian.
He tried to bring all of Rome together and be the only emperor, and also changed the laws so people could worship however they wanted.

During his time he also had many battles, and used the Chi-Rho symbol on his army, and he believed it was God helping lead him into battle.

Because he helped Christianity and was the first Christian emperor, he later on was called Constantine the Great.

Under Constantine's rule, the Roman empire went all the way up to England, Spain, France, all the way over to Greece, Turkey and Israel, and even covered the northern part of Africa, like Egypt.

(from: wikipedia - constantine the great)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nicolaus

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Battle of the Milvan Bridge

We just learned about the Edict of Milan written in 313 AD by the emperor Constantine that it legal to be a Christian.

In the year 312 AD there was a big battle called the Battle of the Milvan Bridge in Ponte Milvio, Rome.

At that time Constantine was in a war with another emperor Maxentius.
Some time before the battle Constantine had a vision telling him to use the Chi-Ro symbol for his army, and he would win the battle with that as his sign.

We learned before that the chi-rho is the greek letters that look like X and P, and were for the Greek word for Christ, that started with those two letters.

Constantine put that symbol on the shields of his army, and beat Maxentius.

It was after he won that battle that he went back and wrote the Edict of Milan to make Christians free.

(from: wikipedia - battle of the milvan bridge)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Parmenas

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Edict of Milan

We just learned about the Edict of Serdica.

Another part of early Christian history is the Edict of Milan, written in 313 AD.

When the Emperor Galerius said that it was ok to be a Christian, there were still a lot of old churches and things that had been taken from Christians.

The Emperors Constantine and Licinius decided that everyone should be free to worship whoever they want, and they ordered that all of the things that were taken from the Christians had to be returned.

So this mean that churches or anything like crosses, sculptures or anything that was seen as Christian had to be given back to the Christians so they could have freedom to worship.

(from: wikipedia - edict of milan)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Timon

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Edict of Serdica

We just learned about the The Great Persecution.

Another part of early Christianity was the Edict of Serdica.

Remember that in 303 AD the Emperor named Diocletian started the Great Persecution, where Christians were killed and churches were burned down.
Later on a new Emperor took over named Galerius, and in the year 311 AD he decided that they should stop the Great Persecution.

He wrote a letter that was called the Edict of Serdica, which said that they tried to stop Christians from worshipping Jesus and tried to force them to worship Roman gods but it wasn't working.
So they decided to just let Christians worship Jesus, and not try and force them to worship Roman gods anymore.

This was the first time ever in history that rulers of any country made a law saying that it was ok to be a Christian.

(from: wikipedia - edict of serdica)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nicanor

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Great Persecution

We just learned about the Antipope.

Another part of early Christianity was the Great Persecution.

In Rome in the year 303 AD the Christians were already not treated very well, but the Roman emperors named Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius really did not like Christians.

They thought that Christianity should go away, and everyone should be forced to Roman gods like Jupiter.
Everyone was forced to make a sacrifice to the Roman gods, or they would be killed.

The Roman emperors ordered that Christian churches were burned to the ground, and any books or writings about Christianity were burned.
In some cities, they would bring large groups of people together and make them give a sacrifice to a Roman god or they would be killed.

This was a very tough time to be a Christian, but people still managed to save many of the old Christian writings that we know of today that helped make up the Bible!

(from: wikipedia - 20,000 martyrs of nicomedia)

(from: wikipedia - diocltianic persecution)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Prochorus

Sunday, March 31, 2019


We just learned about the Pope.

Another part of early Christian history is the Antipope.

This might sound like a bad person who is fighting against the Pope, but really it's just another person who wants to be Pope.

Sometimes when there is a new pope being chosen there are two people who want the job.
After one person gets chosen as the pope, sometimes the other person does not agree, and tries to say that they are the pope instead.

So the person that was chosen becomes the pope, and the other one who disagrees is called the antipope.

(from: wikipedia - antipope)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Philip the Evangelist

Sunday, March 24, 2019


We just learned about the Ignatius of Antioch.

Another part of early Christianity is the Pope.

After Jesus died, the apostles went around and tried to help tell people about Jesus.
When groups of people would get together and worship Jesus, that place became a church.
The leaders of big areas that had one or more churches was called a bishop.
This bishop was in charge of trying to make sure people were taught the right things, and if anyone needed help they could come to the bishop to ask for help.

The first bishop was Peter, one of Jesus' apostles.
He became the bishop of Rome.
Because Rome was the city in charge of everything, the bishop in Rome was the bishop in charge of all the other bishops.
They called this bishop of Rome the "Pope" which comes from the greek πάππας (pappas) meaning "father".

There have been over 250 popes since St. Peter.
These days the Pope lives in the country known as the Vatican, and is the leader of the Catholic church.

(from: wikipedia - pope)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Saint Stephen

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