By the Numbers

  • 29% of the world population​
  • 2.2 billion followers globally ​
  • Largest sect: Roman Catholicism (1.2 billion)​
  • 20,000+ sects​
  • Began c. 30 AD​
  • Primary Text: The Holy Bible


  • c. 1 AD Annunciation​
  • c. 1 AD Birth of Christ​
  • c. 30 AD Death and Resurrection of Christ​

The Annunciation (c. 1 AD)​

Through the angel Gabriel, God announces to Mary that she will carry and bare His son, Jesus Christ.​

God sent the angel Gabriel to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, where a virgin dwelt, betrothed to a man of David’s lineage; his name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name was Mary. (The angel) said, Hail, thou who art full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women … Mary, do not be afraid; thou hast found favour in the sight of God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call him Jesus. He shall be great, and men will know him for the Son of the most High; the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob eternally; his kingdom shall never have an end.​ (Luke 1:26-33)

As foretold at the Annunciation, Christ is born of Mary.​

ph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.​ (Luke 2:1-20)

Death and Resurrection of Christ (c. 30 AD)​

Celebrated as the Holy Triduum​

  • Holy Thursday, the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday, the Passion of the Lord
  • Holy Saturday / Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord

Holy Thursday​

Jesus shares a last supper with His disciples, institutes the Eucharist in bread and wine, washes the disciples’ feet, and predicts the betrayal of Judas.​

Good Friday

Jesus is crucified. He suffers, dies, and is buried. Prior to dying on the cross, Jesus bequeaths his mother to John, He prays psalm 22 (a Jewish prayer he would have learned as a child) out loud.​

Establishing the Early Church

  • 44-63 Paul’s missionary work / early conversion​
  • 325 First Council of Nicaea ​
  • 380 Christianity becomes the official religion of Rome​
  • 382 Council of Rome finalizes New Testament​

Paul: Mission and Conversion

  • Commonly known as the Apostle
  • Detailed in Acts of the Apostles and Letters.​
  • Paul established Christian communities in major cities including Corinth, Ephesus, and Galatia.​
  • Jews and pagans converted in large numbers in rural areas.​

Nicaea: A Question of Christ

  • Called by Emperor Constantine I, the first Roman emperor to adhere to Christianity. Formally converted on his deathbed in 337.​
  • Affirmed that Christ is consubstantial (of the same substance) with God the Father.​
  • Resulted in the Nicene Creed.​

Up to the Reformation

  • 396-430 Life of Augustine of Hippo, theologian ​
  • 400 First Latin translation of the Bible
  • 1054 Schism between Roman Rite and Eastern Orthodoxy​
  • 1095-1291 The Crusades ​
  • 1380-1382 First English translation of the Bible

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