History of early Christianity  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The history of early Christianity spans from the death of Jesus Christ (c.26-36) to the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

The first part of the period, during the lifetimes of the Twelve Apostles, is traditionally believed to have been initiated by the Great Commission of Jesus (though some scholars dispute its historicity), and is called the Apostolic Age. The earliest followers of Jesus composed an apocalyptic, Second Temple, Jewish sect, which historians refer to as Jewish Christianity. The Apostles and others following the Great Commission's decree to spread the gospel of Jesus to "all nations," had great success spreading the religion to gentiles. Early Christianity gradually grew apart from Judaism during the first two centuries and established itself as a predominantly gentile religion.

In the Ante-Nicene Period (literally before the First Council of Nicaea in 325), following the Apostolic Age, both incredible diversity and unifying characteristics lacking in the apostolic period emerged simultaneously. Part of the unifying trend was an increasingly harsh rejection of Judaism and Jewish practices. By the beginning of the Nicene period, the Christian faith had spread throughout Western Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, and to North Africa and the East, see Early centers of Christianity.

The First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the promotion of Christianity by Emperor Constantine I in the Roman Empire are commonly used to mark the end of early Christianity, beginning the era of the first seven Ecumenical Councils.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "History of early Christianity" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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