Overview of Bible Study



Bible Store


Expansion of Christianity

Peter and Paul both died at the hands of executioners, but the task they began was continued by others. By the end of the first century, the Christian church had expanded widely across the Mediterranean world.

The first expansion of Christianity was from Jerusalem to Caesarea and Joppa. From there, the message moved on to Samaria and Syria. Next came the first of Paul's journeys, into Asia Minor and Greece. Through Paul, the Gospel reached Rome.

The second century saw a reduction in Christianity among Jews, particularly in Jerusalem, as the Christian movement faced great persecution. James, the brother of John, was martyred in about AD 44.

But it didn't end there. In its second century, Christianity crossed the Mediterranean from Italy into the Roman province of North Africa, and into Egypt. Simultaneously, previous Christian gains were consolidated as Christianity spread from its urban strongholds, which had become increasingly dangerous, into the surrounding countryside.

Christianity was not confined to the boundaries of the Roman Empire. Tradition has it that the Apostle Thomas conducted missionary journeys into India, founding the Christian church there.

By the third century, there were Christians in Arabia, and the conversion of King Tiridates helped to bring the faith to Armenia.

The third century saw a movement of Christianity into North Africa, which produced such Christian leaders as Cyprian, Tertullian, and Augustine. Carthage remained a strong center for Christianity for centuries, until it was eradicated from the area by Islamic invaders in the early 700's.

The third century also saw growth and consolidation of the church in Jerusalem, Antioch, and Corinth as missionaries took the faith to new areas within the empire.

The church at Rome, closely associated with the apostles Paul and Peter in New Testament times, was growing to become a focal point for Christianity by the third century, moving also into northern Italy. Gaul, which is now France, received the faith through Greek colonists. Early Gallic centers of Christianity included Vienne and Lyons. By the third century, too, there was a lot of Christian activity in Spain, particularly in the southern part of the country.

Ulfilas was a Christian evangelist to the Goths. Not only did he preach to the barbarians, but he also provided them with a Bible in their own language.

Christianity had spread to the limits of the known world.

Early Christian communities










Overview of Bible Study