Now Revealed — The True History of the Early Christian Church

 

By Ronald D. Kelly

 

Originally published, May, 1967, as a Master’s Thesis for Ambassador College.  Retypeset in 1999-2000 by several volunteers, including Ken Swiger, Horst Obermeit, and Carol Billigmeier.  Edited by Richard C. Nickels.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Chronology of Events in the Early Church

List of Roman Emperors

Introduction

Part One, The World Prepared

      Chapter 1, The Romans Build an Empire
      Chapter 2, Trade, Travel, and Communications

      Chapter 3, Moral Degeneracy in the Empire

      Chapter 4, Judea, the Springboard

Part Two, The Life and Teachings of Christ

      Chapter 5, Christ, the Prophesied Messiah

      Chapter 6, Christ, the Desire of Nations

      Chapter 7, The Message Christ Brought

Part Three, The Rise and Decline of Christianity

      Chapter 8, The Beginning of Church History

      Chapter 9, The Great Conspiracy

Appendix Glossary of Church History Terms

Bibliography

 

 

 

Giving & Sharing, Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849

 

 


 

 

Chronology of Events in the Early Church

Date

Biblical Events

Events in Palestine

Date

Events in Roman Empire

 

 

Herod made King

of Judah

40 B.C.

 

 

 

 

27 B.C.

Octavian (Augustus) becomes Emperor

 

 

Death of Herod

3 B.C.

 

4 B.C.

Birth of Christ

 

 

 

 

 

Judea made a

Roman province

6 A.D.

 

9 A.D.

Christ confounds teachers

at Jerusalem

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 A.D.

Death of Augustus — Tiberious becomes Emperor

 

 

Caiphus made Jewish High Priest

25 A.D.

 

 

 

Pontius Pilate made governor of Judaea

26 A.D.

 

27 A.D.

Christ baptized and begins

His ministry

 

 

 

31 A.D.

Christ crucified, April 25

 

 

 

31 A.D.

Church receives Holy Spirit,

June 18

 

 

 

33 A.D.

Simon Magus baptized

 

 

 

35 A.D.

Paul converted

 

 

 

 

 

Pilate sent to Rome

36

 

 

 

Herod Agrippa made

king of Judea and

Samaria

37


Gaius (Caligula) made Emperor at Rome

 

 

 

41

Claudius made Emperor

42

Matthew written

 

 

 

43

James is martyred

 

 

 

 

 

Agrippa dies

44

 

47

Paul’s First Journey

 

 

 

49

Council at Jerusalem

 

 

 

50

Paul’s Second Journey; gospel goes to Europe 19 years after Church founded

 

 

 

51

Paul writes I and II Thessalonians

Felix made Procurator

51

 

52

Paul writes Galatians

Herod Agrippa II made Tetrarch

52

Claudius banishes the Jews from Rome

53

Paul’s Third Journey

 

 

 

53-55

Paul’s stay at Ephesus

 

54

Nero becomes Emperor

55

Paul writes I Corinthians (spring) and II Corinthians (fall)

 

 

 

55-56

Paul writes Romans

 

 

 

56-58

Paul imprisoned at Caesarea

 

 

 

59

Paul appeals to Caesar and is sent to Rome

 

 

 

59-61

Writes “Prison Epistles,”

Philippians, Ephesians,

Colossians, Philemon

 

 

 

60-62

James (Christ’s brother)

writes his epistle

Festus made Procurator

60

 

62

James (Christ’s brother) is killed

Albinus made

Procurator

62

 

64

Paul writes Hebrews, visits Asia Minor, perhaps also Spain and Britain

Florus made Procurator

64

Conflagration at Rome — persecution

of Christians

65

Paul returns to Rome, writes

I Timothy, Titus, II Timothy

 

 

 

66

Paul’s death at Rome — probably beheaded

 

 

 

 

 

 

68

Galba becomes Emperor

 

 

 

69

Otho beecomes Emperor, followed by

Vitellius, then Vespasian

 

 

Destruction of

Jerusalem by Titus

70

 

75

Peter writes I Peter

 

 

 

77

Peter writes II Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

79

Titus becomes Emperor

80

Death of Peter

 

81

Domitian becomes Emperor, Christian

persecutions

85-87

John writes I, II, III John

 

 

 

80s (?)

Jude writes his epistle

 

 

 

95-96

John writes Revelation

 

96

Nerva becomes Emperor

 

 

 

98

Trajan becomes Emperor

100-101

Death of John

 

 

 


CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF ROMAN EMPERORS

From the Beginning of the Empire to the Division into East and West in 384 A.D.

 

                            Emperor                      Date


Augustus                               27 B.C.-14 A.D.

Tiberius                                         14-37 A.D.

Gaius (Caligula)                                     37-41

Claudius                                                41-54

Nero                                                     54-68

Galba                                                    68-69

Otho                                                           69

Vitellius                                                       69

Vespasian                                              69-79

Titus                                                      79-81

Domitian                                                81-96

Nerva                                                    96-98

Trajan                                                 98-117

Hadrian                                             117-138

Antonius Pius                                     138-161

Marcus Aurelius                                161-180

Commodus                                        180-192

Pertinex, etc.                                             193

Septimius Severus                              193-211

Caracalla and Geta                            211-212

Caracalla alone                                  212-217

Macrinus                                           217-218

Elgabalus                                           218-222

Alexander Severus                             222-235

Maximinus Thrax                               235-238

Gordianus I, II, etc.                                   238

Gordianus III                                     238-244

Philippus Arabs                                 244-249

Decius                                               249-251

Gallus and Volusianus                        251-253


Aemilianus                                                253

Valerian                                             253-260

Gallien                                               260-268

Claudius II, etc.                                 268-270

Aurelianus                                         270-275

Tacitus, etc.                                       275-276

Probus, etc., etc.                               276-284

Diocletian                                          284-305

Maximian                                          286-305

Galerius and Constantine Chlorus              293

Galerius and Constantius succeed

      as Augusti; Maximinus Daia and

      Severus become Caesars                    305

Constantius dies; Constantine becomes

      Caesar in West; Maxentius

      supplants Severus in Italy                     305

Licinius made Caesar, and later

      Augustus by Galerius                           307

Constantine assumes title of Augustus        307

Maximinus Daia becomes Augustus (?)      309

Death of Galerius                                      311

Macontius defeated by Constantine

      at Milvian Bridge and slain                   312

Edict of Mediolanum issued by

      Constantine and Licinius             313 (Jan.)

Maximinus Daia, defeated by Licinius,

      kills himself                                          313

Constantine sole emperor after defeat

      and death of Licinius                    323-337


 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

      In the world today, there are 961,112,000 professing Christians.[1]  “Christianity” is by far the LARGEST single religion on earth.  Islam, the second largest, is not half as big.

      But how many in the western world, which calls itself “Christian,” understand what REAL CHRISTIANITY is?  How many really KNOW the PLAIN TRUTH about the foundation of the Christian religion?

      Amazingly few have ever realized the TRUE BEGINNINGS OF CHRISTIANITY!

      What was the world like over 1900 years ago?  Just how did Christianity get started?  Why does the Church in the book of Acts seem so different from the denominations today?

      Was the message of Christ and the Apostles the same one that is taught in today’s churches?  This is the really important question.

      These queries can all be answered by understanding the TRUE BEGINNING of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and the entire scope of the first century of the Christian era.

      Amazing though it may seem, the world which calls itself “Christian” is divided into over four hundred DIFFERENT denominations, organizations, splits, schisms, and sects — each claiming to be the original Church founded by Jesus Christ.

      There is a way you can know for certain how to find the true followers of Christ. The answers are all revealed and recorded in the Bible and in secular history during the FOUNDATION YEARS of God’s Church.

      The purpose of this thesis is to make plain and to reveal the FACTS of Jesus Christ’s birth and life and to make plain how to understand early CHURCH HISTORY.

      Concerning the last years of the first century, church historians admit:

 

The remaining thirty years of the first century are involved in mysterious darkness, illuminated only by the writings of John.  This is the period of church history about which we know least and would like to know most.  This period is the favorite field for ecclesiastical fables and critical conjectures.[2]

 

      No longer do we need conjectures.  The history of the first century can now be revealed.

      You will see how the world was prepared in advance BY THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO RULES SUPREME IN THE HEAVENS.  You will understand the true gospel preached by Christ and His apostles, and you will see the true establishment of His Church.

      But, you will also see the world was prepared for a great false religious system.  A false system, which for more than 1,900 years has been masquerading under the title of “Christ­ianity.”  Understanding the background of God’s preparation and the rise of a great FALSE CONSPIRACY will provide the key to unlock the understanding of all Church history over the past 1,900 years.

      You will be able to understand the teachings of true Christianity, and the guidelines by which you can prove where God’s true Church has been throughout history and WHERE IT IS TODAY.

      Here, NOW REVEALED, is THE HISTORY OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH.


 



FOOTNOTES

 

Introduction

[1] Golenpaul, Dan (ed.), Information Please Almanac, p. 445.

[2] Schaff, History of the Christian Church, p. 196.