Brief Timeline of Christian History

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.
Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was recently notified of this Timeline of Christianity from There seem to be some interesting facts here. Furthermore, I have often been asked by students questions related to church history. So, I am sharing it here with you.

My only criticism of this timeline – understanding it is only an infographic and hence, brief – is that it leaves out the history of the Eastern Orthodox churches in its timeline. There was no mention of the when the Eastern and Western churches split. Interestingly enough, it found space to include the founding  of the Baptist church. Like so many church histories, it betrayed a Western bias. Nevertheless, with that in mind, it is still helpful. The original infographic can be seen here.

What I am interested to hear from readers is: what fact(s) surprised you from this infographic? 

A Timeline of Christianity

11 thoughts on “Brief Timeline of Christian History

  1. Orthodox Christianity is NOT Nestorian or Coptic. Those are Christian-based traditions that did not accept the teachings of various councils about the nature of God or the two natures of Christ. The Orthodox Church is the community descended from the Apostles and the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria.


    1. Thanks Strider for your clarification. I think we were using Eastern Orthodoxy in general terms versus the specific definition you are talking about. But you are right that those churches – Nestorian and Coptic – are different than the Eastern Orthodox churches due to splits early on in church history.
      Which makes my point that most Western Christians don’t know that side of church history even more pointed. Most probably do not know the difference.
      Thanks for pointing it out.


  2. I wonder if western Christians even know what Eastern Orthodoxy is. I just recently learned about the Church of the East (Nestorian – generally Syriac Church) and the Oriental Orthodox (monophysites like the Coptic Orthodox).


    1. Thanks for the comment. Yeah, many western Christians have not been exposed to eastern Christianity. Hard to blame them though when so many church history books or articles consistently fail to mention the eastern churches.


      1. It’s sad to me because a lot of honest Biblical scholars like N.T. Wright, due to their unfamiliarity with Eastern Orthodox teachings (and Catholicism as a whole [Roman rite, Byzantine rite, Chaldean rite, etc.) end up making a lot of false charges about ecumenism between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.


      2. Mostly about the dormition vs the assumption. It was in this book:

        Page 23 where he makes this statement. I think a lot of people are a little bit confused on a lot of Catholic and Orthodox teaching due to unfamiliarity.

        Not to take anything away from Wright’s overall scholarship.


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