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8 Timelines online that give us a solid grasp of Church History

Christianity is a historical religion. These 8 timelines make its growth, power and people over 2,000 years easy to understand.  Church History: 8 Big Timelines  of Faith, Truth & Love
Here are 8 timelines accessible online that can be helpful in deepening our understanding of Church history.

Here is a brief look at the most accessible timelines of Church history. The topic is so vast and interesting that it is easy to get lost in one of its subsets that you will see here. One way to get a handle on it is to break it up into SMALLER PIECES. Last time we did this by looking at church history through the lenses of missionary activity, church organization, doctrine and “effect on human life.”

Others have grappled with the subject by creating timelines that identify major events, people, and subjects in a chronological presentation that provides a sense of direction and gives reference points and contexts to its subject.

Here are 8 timelines accessible online that can be helpful in deepening our understanding of Church history.

1. Orthodox timeline of church history

The first timeline of church history is a nice, neat one-page outline of important dates and events from an EASTERN ORTHODOX VIEWPOINT, with Roman Catholic and Protestant sidebars. Visually attractive, it presents a clear overview giving a definitive diagram of the relationship between the 3 largest groups of Christian churches. There is also a succinct explanation of each item in an attachment “Chronology of Church history.”

2. Timeline from Christian History Institue

Here we have an exhaustive list of notable events in the timeline of Church history neatly grouped into 8 categories:

  • Leaders & Writings

  • Orders & Denominations

  • Councils, Creeds & Controversies

  • Missions

  • Church & State

  • Bible

  • Arts

  • World Events

This timeline is presented in LIST FORMAT with clear single-line explanations of each entry. The source of the information was Christian History Magazine and while the scope is large, the fragmentation of the information makes it difficult to see long-term trends.

Also, the last date is 1989, so recent people and events are not included. A noble effort.

3. Timeline: Important Dates in A.D.

Christian History shows 113 dates in these categories:

0 – 29 c. Jesus 30 c. – 100 Apostolic Age 100 – 590 Post Apostolic Age 590 – early 1300s The Medieval Church Early 1300s – 1517 The Renaissance 1517 – 1648 The Reformation 1648 – 1789 The Enlightenment 1789 -1970 The Modern Church The Postmodern Church

The categories here were carefully chosen and represent careful attention to the MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS, i.e., the Enlightenment, the modern church, and the postmodern church, with 27 items in the Post-Modern Church alone. Good as all of this is, the short explanations would be more beneficial if they explained each item more fully or provided a link where more is available.

4. Master Timeline

Church history master timeline lives up to its title and is the most complete of those analyzed here. It is beautifully presented in color with events and people carefully plotted under the date when they occurred or lived. The timeline of church history is divided into major time periods:

0-1049 AD 1049 – 1517 1517 – 2001

It is the longest and MOST COMPREHENSIVE of those presented here. 44 pages with succinct one-line identifiers of each person or event.

Within the time period entries are grouped under these topics:

Major events Persecutions Famous Christians Heresy & heretics Church ages Missions Nations (European and America)

This one is my favorite!

5. Timelines by Age

This 2013 Timeline of Church History’s Most Important Events presents church history’s most notable events, starting with the time of Jesus Christ in the First Century, and continuing through Protestant and Catholic history up until near the end of the last century (1989). The detailed chronological event list is presented in these 8 categories:


I like the selectivity of this timeline as well as the THOUGHTFUL NAMES given to the 8 categories.

6. Ten most important dates

The Church has been around for over 2000 years and has had its difficulties. There have been periods of growth and decline, but within those ups and downs, I’ve pulled out the 10 most pivotal dates, or turning points, in the timeline of Church History, from 70 AD to 2018.

It was challenging to identify the TOP TEN DATES, but I think a persuasive case can be made for each.

7. A Timeline begun with Abraham

Christianity in view presents A THOUGHTFUL SURVEY of the Christian faith, beginning with Abraham, which includes a detailed timeline of Church history from 4 B.C. to 2013. The timeline is easy to follow and backed up by deeper resources easily accessible on this site.

Very well-designed and produced by an English Christian whose favorite books are the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have bookmarked this fascinating page.

8. Timeline of Church History: Fascinating highlights over 2000 Years A Secular Timeline

The WIKIPEDIA TIMELINE of Christianity is a secular detailed record of 860 happenings presented by time period:

1 Apostolic Age 2 Ante-Nicene period 3 First Seven Ecumenical Councils 4 Middle Ages 5 Renaissance 6 Reformation 7 17th century 8 18th century 9 19th century 10 20th century 11 21st century

This is a great resource for general information that gives readers a chance to contribute. I use Wikipedia every day.

Closing thoughts on timelines

A timeline of Church history is an aid to our grasp of the scope and power the church of Jesus Christ has held for 2000 years. It is a good starting point for Believers and seekers beginning studies of Christianity and its institutions.

But important as this is, the Church is the custodian of our faith, doctrine, and worship, not its source.
That source is Jesus, and without Him we are hopeless and lost.
The good news is that He loves us and seeks us as a good shepherd who rescues those who have fallen into sin and are in mortal danger.

The best takeaway anyone can have from this blog is to be sure of the salvation and eternal life Jesus gives us. Thereby, we become “living stones” in the building of His church, washed from all our sins, and enjoy the abundant life Jesus has come to give us.

Here is that message in song. Let’s all answer “Yes” and sing it together:

Have You Any Room for Jesus?

Have you any room for Jesus, He who bore your load of sin? As He knocks and asks admission, Sinners, will you let Him in? Refrain Room for Jesus, King of Glory! Hasten now His Word obey; Swing the heart’s door widely open, Bid Him enter while you may. Room for pleasure, room for business, But for Christ the Crucified, Not a place that He can enter, In the heart for which He died? Refrain Have you any room for Jesus, As in grace He calls again? O today is time accepted, Tomorrow you may call in vain. Refrain Room and time now give to Jesus, Soon will pass God’s day of grace; Soon thy heart left cold and silent, And thy Savior’s pleading cease. Refrain

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