The development of Christianity and throughto the foundation of the Councils of Nicaea began with the birth ofChrist sometime between 6 and 4 BC and continued after Christ’s crucifixionaround 30 AD. When Christ was born the rumors spread of the child that would bethe new King of all, a King that would lead his people to prosperity. DuringChrist’s first years of life three fabled Wiseman, or Magi depending on how youlearned about them, began their journey to meet with this new King.
As thethree were traveling they stopped through Judea on their way to meet the newKing. Herod the Great, the Roman Client King of Judea, would greet them and askwhere they were headed. The three Wiseman would tell him about the one trueking that had been born. Herod would have at the time become very curious as towhom this new King was or would be and fearing for his throne Herod would askthe three Wiseman where he was so that he may greet this new royalty. The threeWiseman luckily lived up to their fabled titles and led Herod astray.
Shortlyafter leaving Herod would realize that he had been bamboozled. Herod, with fearand anger, ordered the execution of all boys ages two or younger withinBethlehem and in that entire Region.(Matthew 2:16)( The Bible) The biblewould claim that an angel of the Lord had appeared and warned Joseph tellinghim to get up and leave Egypt until told to return. Joseph then got up andduring the night took Christ and his mother and fled from Egypt. (Matthew 2:13) Christwouldn’t reappear until far later in life.
Jesus was about 30 years old when hefirst began preaching after being baptized by John the Baptist around 28 AD.Jesus, the true king, began preaching to man and his words sank into hisfollowers. Belief and faith were the corner stones of Christianity as it werebeing birthed.
The death of many Christians due to decreed heresy would invokea strong impression amongst the Romans. The people who believed in Christianitywould go through death, torture and beatings and refuse to renounce theirbeliefs. This scared and impressed those in power and inspired those who witnessed.These Christians were willing to die for their beliefs, this must be real, manyof them must’ve thought that anyone willing to die for their beliefs and refuseto renounce after going through what they had gone through mustn’t be lying.These repeated actions incited converts and the wide spread of Christianity.
(Edgar)Sometimelater, Jesus continued preaching and eventually would convert a very importantfollower known as Paul who was a member of the Pharisee Sect of Judaism. Paulof Tarsus, who was charged with preaching to non-Jews, slowly began convertingothers as he traveled to Damascus. Along the way Paul would set up churches andmissionaries to further spread the word of Jesus’ divinity. Paul was not one oftwelve apostles of Jesus Christ but was a very important one. (Edgar ) Paulwould travel and spread the word of Christ.
The twelve apostles, Saint Peter,James, John, Andrew, Bartholomew, James, Judas, Jude, Matthew, Phillip, Simon,and Thomas were sent to spread the word of Christianity and help set up thefoundation of Christianity. After Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection laterin life, Christ would send eleven of the twelve original apostles, all but Judaswho by then had died, to spread the word and teachings to all nations. The riseof Christianity continued for a very long time and sometime around 150 ADdefenders of Christianity known as Apologists began refuting and addressing theopposition most Christians were meeting within localized populations. Duringthis time people like Clement of Alexandria would begin showing just howcompatible Christianity was with classical culture and philosophy. (Edgar)As thiscontinued, Christians began to get more organized as they defended the preceptsof their religion.
Because of these apologists, the more wealthy and upperclass began joining and converting to their religion. Eventually they wouldbegin establishing a Hierarchy within their foundation. With more organizationwould come more push back from those in power, the persecution of Christianscontinued here and there as they grew and eventually during the time ofDiocletian, Christianity was considered reason for execution and imprisonment.The real victory for the Christian belief however, was with the assistance andlater Baptism of Constantine I, Roman Emperor and later Christian Saint. Thereal turning point for Constantine was when he had a vision the night beforehis battle with Maxentius at Milvian Bridge. The voice in his vision told himto fight under the symbol of Christ and victory would be his, Constantine didas he was told, he won, and he converted without ceremony on the spot. Itwasn’t until his death that he would let it is known to all that he wasChristian and makes it official.
Years before this happened but in the wake ofhis victory, Constantine issued religious tolerance and in 313 AD Constantinewould promote the Edict of Milan, which would end up reversing the criminalityof Christianity that had been forced upon Christians during the reign ofDiocletian. (Edgar) Church officials were granted exemption from taxation, churcheswere granted right of sanctuary, and Constantine also began backing theconstruction of new churches. Overall, Constantine had been completely andutterly converted by one vision. As he began backing the church, a new problembegan to show itself to Constantine. Within the church’s leadership was a majordisagreement of the legitimacy of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Constantine’sresponse and solution was for the bishops of the church to all meet at Nicaeain the year 325. (Edgar) SaintsAmbrose, Jerome, and Augustine are another later and very important topic. All three saints were very important figuresin the church and were called “doctors” of the church.
Saint Ambrose and Saint Jeromewere born around 340 AD, while Saint Augustine was born on the 13thof November, 354 AD. (James) SaintAmbrose was also known as Ambrose of Milan and later the Bishop of Milan, afterhe was ordained by popular demand in Milan in 374 AD. (James) He had previously studied law, literature, andrhetoric in Rome. Ambrose was given a seat on the Council and became acouncilor prefect of Liguria and Emilia. Perhaps the most interesting of histitles is ‘The Honey Tongued Doctor’; this distinction being given to himbecause of his very innate speaking ability. (James) SaintAmbrose studied the scriptures and preached every Sunday. He was also governorof Liguria and Emilia until becoming bishop. The people of Milan had beenasking Ambrose to become a bishop for some time but he had never accepted until374 AD, when in the course of a week he became baptized and accepted theirrequest.
Saint Ambrose is also known as the patron saint of beggars, learning,and Milan. Ambrose was widely known as generous and kind to the poor who gavehim immense backing and made him popular. He died April 4th, 397 AD. (James) SaintJerome was a difficult, well-educated free spirited of a man in his youth.
Jerome often sinned and spent a lot of his times in the catacombs in Rome.Jerome was eventually scared straight and he began to reform his ways,eventually getting baptized and travelling. (Louis) Jerome lived as a hermit for a while and spentmuch of his time learning and educating himself. He was known as greattranslator and the church would continually ask him to become a priest.Eventually Jerome would become ordained and would continue pursuing his ownpractice of the faith.
Jerome would be given the task of translating the bibleinto Latin and eventually would succeed and it would become the standard Latintranslation of the scriptures. Saint Jerome is the patron saint of educatorsand translators. Many holy people would assist him throughout his life such as SaintPaula. Saint Jerome died in 420 AD. (Louis)SaintAugustine of Hippo the child of Saint Monica was a well-educated man inrhetoric and when he became a teenager he became very interested in philosophy.Augustine had a very pleasurable and simple existence early on in life.
Hebecame a teacher of rhetoric and was invited to Milan to become a professor. (Eugene) As different religious ideals presentedthemselves in his travel to Milan, he began to consider what religion was rightfor him. He believed no man could live up to what Christianity wanted anddecided not to become Christian and instead seek pleasure. Even though he was asinful man early on he would correspond with his mother and Saint Ambrose ofMilan. (Eugene) SaintAugustine would eventually become Christian, applying his rhetoric skills toChristian literature. Augustine was revered and seen as a defender of truth andin an article from newadvent.org, “Buthe was above all the defender of truth and the shepherd of souls.
His doctrinal activities,the influence of which was destined to last as long as the Church itself, were manifold” (Eugene) SaintAugustine is the patron saint of vices and brewers. Augustine was also wellknown for writing “De Genesicontra Manichæos,” “De Magistro,” and, “De VeraReligione.”He died on August 30th 430AD. (Eugene)Toconclude, this; what is basically a short story, follows the progression ofJesus Christ from birth to death and then the establishment of respect for the Christiancommunity through Constantine into the development of Nicaea. This is thedevelopment of Christianity with the emphasis on the doctors of the churchSaint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, and Saint Augustine. The story of Jesus was a veryeventful and death ridden story. The ideas and philosophies set about by theprefects of this religion to me was an inspirational bit to research andrecollect my thought upon.
Constantine as a character was probably one of themost interesting for me personally. The idea that Constantine could make suchdrastic changes in favor of Christianity when in most of history Christianswere seen so negatively really impressed me. I’m not sure at all if the visionsthat Constantine had were true but I very much hope they were and am glad forthe good that Constantine ended up doing for the Christian populace. This paperfollows the development of Christianityand through to the foundation of the Councils of Nicaea in addition to thelives and great achievements that the Doctors of the church were able toproduce. Works CitedRobertEdgar, Neil Hackett, George Jewsbury, Barbara Malony, Matthew Gordon”Civilization Past and Present” Book. Volume 1, Twelfth Edition 2008 Portalié, Eugène. “Life of St.Augustine of Hippo.
” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol.2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 5 Dec.
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2017 htm>.Loughlin, James. “St. Ambrose.” The CatholicEncyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert AppletonCompany, 1907. 5 Dec.2017 org/cathen/01383c.htm>.The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.
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1. New York: Robert AppletonCompany, 1907. 5 Dec.2017 org/cathen/01383c.htm>.The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.
org/cathen/01383c.htm>.The Bible. Authorized King James Version, Oxford UP, 1998.