In 1990 Christian History Magazine published the following list of the 25 most significant events in Christian History, and lists 75 more as a final article.
The title of each event will link you to an article on the Christian History website that describes the event and why it is significant.
- 70 Titus Destroys Jerusalem
When the Roman general sacked the temple, the Jews were forced into a new era—and so were the Christians.
- 313 The Edict of Milan
David F. WrightThe agreement shifted Christianity from being an illicit, persecuted sect to being a welcome—and soon dominant—religion of the Roman Empire.
- 325 The First Council of Nicea
Bruce L. Shelley At stake in the church’s first general council was the simplest, yet most profound, question: Who is Jesus Christ?
- 367 Athanasius Defines the New Testament
Carsten Peter Thiede His letter is the earliest authoritative statement to fix the New Testament as we know it today
- 386 Augustine Converts to Christianity
A brilliant, profligate professor of rhetoric became the church’s leading theologian for centuries to come.
- 405 Jerome Completes the Vulgate
This Latin translation stood as the preeminent Bible text for centuries—and set the standard for future translators.
- 461 The Council of Chalcedon
Tony Lane If Jesus was truly God, how could he be truly human as well? Leo the Great helped guide a critical council to a clear answer.
- 540 Benedict Writes His Monastic Rule
Bennett D. Hill His flexible, compassionate guidelines for Christian community forever shaped monastic life—and influenced Western society.
- 988 Vladimir Adopts Christianity
The pagan prince of Kievan Rus’ embraced a new faith, leading to the Christianization of the Ukrainian, Russian, and Byelorussian peoples.
- 1054 The East-West Schism
George T. Dennis Long-standing differences between Western and Eastern Christians finally caused a definitive break, and Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox still remain separate.
- 1095 Pope Urban II Launches the First Crusade
Waves of pilgrims and soldiers embarked for the Holy Land, beginning an era of exploration, conquest, defeat, and folly.
- 1272 Thomas Aquinas Concludes His Work on Summa Theologiae
The massive treatise set forth a theological system so influential it has been declared eternally valid.
- 1378 The Great Papal Schism
Dr. Francis Oakley When two popes, and later three popes, vied for supremacy, the medieval church entered a dramatic, forty-year crisis of authority.
- 1456 Gutenberg Produces the First Printed Bible
Using his revolutionary invention—printing from movable type—he made the Scriptures potentially accessible to every person.
- 1517 Luther Posts the 95 Theses
Eric W. Gritsch An obscure monk invited debate on a pressing church issue—and touched off a history-shattering reform movement.
- 1521 The Diet of Worms
Eric W. GritschWas the wayward Luther free to dissent? A German council rendered a judgment.
- 1525 The Anabaptist Movement Begins
Hated by Protestants and Catholics alike, these “radical reformers” wanted to not merely reform the church but restore it.
- 1534 The Act of Supremacy
Breaking from Rome, the English Parliament declared King Henry VIII “the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England.”
- 1536 John Calvin Publishes Institutes of the Christian Religion
Either adored or abhorred, the reformer and his teachings live on in his monumental work.
- 1545 The Council of Trent Begins
Responding to the Reformation, the council charted the Catholic church’s course for the next 400 years.
- 1611 Publication of the King James Bible
A team of scholars produced an English Bible translation unsurpassed in linguistic beauty and longevity.
- 1738 John & Charles Wesley Experience Conversions
Roger J. Green They were ordained ministers and missionaries. Then their hearts were “strangely warmed,” and their changed lives gave rise to a worldwide movement.
- 1740 The Great Awakening Peaks
Mark A. Noll A mighty wave of revival washed across North America, forever altering the religious landscape.
- 1962 The Second Vatican Council
Joseph A. KomonchakIn an epochal council, the Catholic Church undertook its most searching self-examination ever and renewed itself for a modern world.
- 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. Leads the March on Washington
ON AUGUST 28, 1963, more than 200,000 blacks and whites from all over the United States gathered for a gigantic civil-rights demonstration in the nation’s capital.
- 70 Titus Destroys Jerusalem
Seventy-Five Other Important Events in Church History
the Editors A brief listing of significant dates that also earn a place in the “Christian History 100”
You can also download a pdf of this issue here.