Growth of the Early Church

Growth of the Early Church

  • Submitted By: joemccann
  • Date Submitted: 09/29/2008 10:42 AM
  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 873
  • Page: 4
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Outline your knowledge and understanding of the expansion of the Christian Church during the first two centuries.

There are three main inter-related factors that contributed to the growth and expansion of the church, and ultimately its success. These factors can be summarized under three main headings. These are an inter-dependent combination of political, social and economic factors.

The first of the reasons that the Christianity spread was a political factor. Rome was a dominant force in the world at this time and had excellent roads and shipping, which made it ‘easy’ of missionaries to travel and spread the word of the gospel. This travel and preaching was ‘easy’ because there was never a continuous policy against the Christians and no imperial edicts were ever decreed. There fore the missionaries cold travel relatively safely in times of little persecution.

Another political factor would be the ‘Pax Romana’ (the peace of Rome). This existed between 27 BC and AD 180, it was along period of ‘relative’ peace experienced between the states of the Empire. This allowed the interior states to remain relatively unscathed by warfare and gave the Empire the outwardly appearance of peace. This proved advantageous for missionaries as they were almost guaranteed security while traveling. This safety can be seen form the supposed result of the Day of Pentecost, when the Roman Citizens were converted in Jerusalem and supposedly brought the faith back to Rome within a few weeks of the Jesus’ resurrection.

Christianity’s attitude towards society and its social impact also lead to the expansion and success of the church. The church was particularly well known for its acts of charity, indeed Chadwick said “The practical application of charity was probably the most potent single cause of success”. The church offered this charity to everyone, including pagans. By the third century the Church was looking after one thousand five hundred widows in need....

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