How do we get from Jesus to the great big church – all the great big churches – we have today? Well, it’s a long and complicated story, involving emperors, crusaders, popes, castration and a lot of arguments. Here it all is in just ten minutes, so hold on tight. Watch Church History in Ten Minutes!
Christianity is centred around the life and resurrection of Jesus. Paul of Tarsus developed the teachings of Jesus, and this spread to many countries in North Africa and Europe. Read about the expansion of Christianity through several nations, and how we get to the Churches of today and the worship of Jesus Christ.
- Why do you think that people argue so much about religion, even (or especially) when they are part of the same faith? Why do you think there are so many denominations (churches)?
- What do you think are the five most important events in Church History? Why?
- Most of the Church’s arguments have been about Jesus: who is he? And what is his relationship with God? Why is this such a big issue for Christians?
- Why do you think that people like Wycliffe believed it was so important to translate the Bible?
- There has been a lot of blood spilled in the name of Christianity. Do you think religion should be used to justify violence? Was Constantine right to take power in the name of Christ? Were the Crusaders right?
- What do you think Jesus would make of it all?!
- Watch the film several times, and draw your own timeline of events. Find out more about each one e.g. what was decided at the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon? What is the Nicene Creed? What were Luther’s 95 Theses? Cranmer’s 39 Articles?
- Write a conversation between a Catholic Priest, an Orthodox Priest and a Protestant Minister in which they compare some of their beliefs – the things they have in common and the things which divide them.
- Science fiction fans! For a price you can download an audio drama called Doctor Who: The Council of Nicaea in which the fifth Doctor (played by Peter Davison) visits the first Church Council.
What do you think might have happened if Constantine had never converted to Christianity? Write an alternative timeline of events.
Keywords for this topic:
Jesus, church, churches, denomination, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Pope, Crusade, crusader, Apostles, Emperor, Nero, Constantine, persecution, Church Fathers, Origen, Nicea, Nicene Creed, Schism, Reformation, Trent, Vatican II, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Tyndale, Cranmer, Henry VIII;
Download Church History in Ten Minutes