Do you know who the key players were in the first 300 years of Christianity?
Most American Evangelical Christians today have no idea who was who in the early church. If you've only heard of Martin Luther or Augustine, maybe it's time to learn about the earlier church. The pre-Nicene church.
We owe a debt of gratitude to these earliest Christians. They kept the faith, stared death in the face and laughed, and pressed forward in the upward call of God, in Christ Jesus.
Quick Read: Who Is Who in the Early Church?
This handy reference guide is a super-quick read at 43 pages, intended to be a short introduction to the essential people in the earliest years of Christianity. David Bercot brings the early Christians to
David Bercot is a former Jehovah’s Witness and an attorney. After converting to Christianity, he wanted to know exactly what the early Christians thought about different issues, so he read the entire Ante-Nicene Fathers set - twice. Bercot's premise is that the closer we can get to the apostolic faith handed down by the people who were actually there for the birth of the Church, we can learn the true faith established by Jesus and carried out by the Apostles and their disciples.
He has compiled a handy quick-reference guide of exactly who is who in the early Christian church by dividing them into four main categories:
- The apologists and other writers
- The church leaders
- Famous martyrs
- The Heretics
The benefits of learning the history of Christianity
Besides enriching your own personal faith, learning the history of Christianity will help you in your faith conversations with skeptics, the ill-informed, and various cults. Heresy arises from ignorance to facts, and Christians can be led astray into all kinds of crazy beliefs from ignorance of Christian church history.
Not convinced? Check out 7 Ways Christian History Benefits You by Matt Smethurst.
Wrapping Things Up
Learning about these brave men and women who risked ridicule and death will enrich your faith. You will be better informed about early Christian church life, faith, and practice. Knowing Christian church history has helped me be bold and fearless for the Gospel. I know it will help you, too.
When you're ready to start digging in, read What are good and trusted resources for studying historical early Christian writings?
I recommend the following resources:
I highly recommend Bercot's reference work A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. This is an
Want to learn more Christian church history? Join our Christian Women Apologists Historical Theology Group!