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

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

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