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Christianity - Early History This note explains, through historical-critical approach, how christianity was developed over time after the creation of the church structure.

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Andre Maintenay

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OCTOBER 28TH, 2010
Early Structure of Christianity
Deacon: an organizer; you first become a deacon before becoming a priest (lowest status)
Priest: Worker of god; the only one allowed to say the prayer (medium status)
Bishop: Supervising bishop; senior priest (highest status)
Major Sees (Jurisdictions):
Alexandria (Egypt)
Antioch (Syria)
4TH Century Major turning point in Christian History
313 CE Roman emperor Constantine allows free practice of Christianity
o A quality of Romans was that they were “all business”; if something would work, they would go with it
o Hence the Emperor himself converted to Christianity
o Eventually converts to Christianity (for Political reasons)
381 CE Roman Emperor Theodosius makes Christianity state religion
o There were Christians all over the empire by this time due to the free practice of Religion
o Done to increase stability in the empire by unifying it
o Allows the church structure to flourish
Major Forms of Christianity
Roman empire is divided into half: the east side and the west side
o Each side has different cultures
o This influence Christians and their views on each side
Eastern empire survived while the western was overtaken by barbarians
The eastern empire came to be known as Byzantine Empire
The split of Roman empire led to two major forms of Christianity
o West Roman Catholicism
o East Eastern Orthodox
WEST Roman Catholicism
EAST Eastern Orthodox
Based in Rome
Acceptance of Filoque doctrine
Few icons
Focus on crucifixion; sin/redemption
Bishop of Rome considered the primary Bishop
Came to be known as the pope
Based in Constantinople
Rejection of Filoque doctrine
More icons
Focus on mysticism; Resurrection
Bishop of Rome not considered Primary but rather
all Bishops are equal Came to be known as the
patriarchs (not the same as the patriarchal linage of
Noah, etc.)
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