At my book launch party, it occurred to me that it would really help my readers if I supplied some sort of index for the book. I had avoided that during the writing and editing phase because it would have been overwhelming for me at that time. I spent so much effort on the glossary and bibliography that I didn’t have enough energy left for an index that would adequately cover the hundreds of topics in the book and the recurring pages that referred to those topics.
Now that some energy is trickling back into me, I’m ready to start the Index Project. I decided the way I’ll do it is to list each century along with many of its predominant themes and turning points. I also want to introduce topics that begin in one century but recur in later centuries. So, let’s see how much this helps. I plan to do this for the rest of the centuries when I’m able.
CHAPTER 0: BC Era
The dating of creation: Young Earth Creationists vs. Old Earth Creationists.
The origin of religion.
Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Persian, Eastern Asian, and European cultures that influenced Judaism, and therefore Christianity.
Real events that could have spawned Old Testament stories.
Old Testament stories and the years they would have occurred if they were true.
Evidence of the historical Israelites.
The founding of Jerusalem and the first Jewish Temple.
The capture and exile of the Jewish people to Assyria and Babylon.
The compilation of the Torah–the first five books of the Bible, and other Old Testament books.
The great scientific advances of the Greeks that were destined to fade from knowledge.
Alexander the Great and his legacy.
The Jewish revolt against the Seleucids and gaining their independence.
Palestine becoming part of the Roman Empire.
Caesar Augustus and his legacy.
The birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
CHAPTER 1: First Century AD
Jewish uprisings against the Romans.
The ministry, death, and reported resurrection of Jesus.
The missionary journeys and writings of Paul of Tarsus.
What is known about the fate of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
What is known about Jesus from non-biblical and non-Christian writings.
Jewish historian Josephus’s accounts of Jewish history.
Nero’s persecution of Christians in Rome.
The writing of the canonical epistles of Paul.
The writing of, and differences between the four canonical gospels.
The influence of contemporary religions on Christianity.
The reasons for the spread of Christianity.
Christian writings that were not included in the New Testament.
CHAPTER 2: Second Century
The canonization of the final part of the Jewish Bible (Old Testament).
Non-Christian writers and what they wrote about Christianity.
Non-canonical Christian writings.
Examples of Roman persecutions of Christians.
The Christian clergy gains organization, influence, and power.
The earliest surviving writings from books that became the New Testament.
Marcion creates the first Christian body of scripture.
The Montanists, Gnostics, Ebionites, and Alogi make their appearances.
Justin Martyr, Polycarp, Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Clement are introduced.
Vatican Hill becomes important to Christians.
Early accusations of forged Christian writings.
The four canonical gospels are finally named.
The Greek Bible is translated into Latin and Coptic.
CHAPTER 3: Third Century
I idea of martyrdom gains popularity with Christians.
The earliest known representation of Jesus on a cross.
Osroene becomes the first Christian kingdom.
Many more non-canonical Christian writings appear, many are accepted as holy scripture by different Christian sects.
Isolated and short-term Roman persecution of Christians.
Origen, Sextus Julius Africanus, Cyprian, and Gregory of Tours are influential Christians.
December 25 is chosen as the anniversary of Jesus’s birth.
Saint Peter is designated as the first bishop of Rome, and therefore the first pope.
Manichaeans, the Church of the East, and the Saint Thomas Christians are introduced.
First Christian desert hermits and monks originate in Egypt.
Bishops begin to formulate concepts of Jesus’s nature and substance compared to God.
The Roman cult of Sol Invictus competes with Christianity.
CHAPTER 4: Fourth Century
More non-canonical Christian writings appear, and some are believed to have credibility as eyewitness accounts.
Christians of various sects become more interested in the Virgin Mary.
Armenia becomes the first significant Christian state.
Diocletian conducts the most widespread and longest imperial persecution of Christians.
Constantine I became emperor and legalized Christianity throughout the empire.
The Donatists, Circumcellions, Arians, and Pelagians are introduced.
Eusebius of Caesarea, Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom, and Jerome are introduced.
Christendom splits over the issue of whether Jesus Christ was a created being.
Constantine begins to favor Christians over pagans and Jews in his decrees.
A new Roman capital is built and named Constantinople.
Christianity becomes well-established in Ethiopia.
Empress Helena travels to Palestine to commemorate the places associated with Jesus and establish sites for future Christian churches.
The first church council is held at Nicaea.
Barbarian tribes invade the Roman Empire.
Theodosius I decrees Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire and seeks to wipe out paganism.
The New Testament is finalized.
Christian bishops begin to assert their divine power over the temporal power of emperors.
Christianity comes to be demonstrated with violence and the cross becomes its symbol.
CHAPTER 5: Fifth Century
With the destruction of libraries, Europe becomes more illiterate.
Franks, Visigoths, Vandals, and Huns enter the Roman Empire.
Rome is sacked for the first time.
Roman legions withdraw from Britain and the islands become cut off from the rest of Christendom.
Using the argument that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, the current one attempts to make all churches subordinate to him.
The Christian Old Testament is established and becomes holy scripture.
Augustine defines many Christian doctrines that are familiar to us in the present time.
Saint Patrick becomes a missionary to Ireland.
Christendom further splits over the issues of whether Mary is the mother of God and how many natures Jesus has.
Nestorians associate with the Church of the East as it continues to spread across Asia.
Arianism was revived.
The western Roman Empire falls to the Goths.
CHAPTER 6: Sixth Century
The Benedictines establish the first European monastery.
The tribes of Avars and Lombards appear on the scene.
Justinian I builds the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Emperor Justinian I restores much of the western empire, but most of it is again lost after he dies.
Christians close the last of the pagan temples and academies of learning in the Roman Empire.
The Sassanid (Persian) center of learning is established by Nestorian Christians.
The BC/AD dating system is introduced.
Christians split over whether Jesus has one nature or two.
Irish missionaries begin to evangelize Britain and northern Europe.
The Sassanids and the Byzantines (eastern Roman Empire) destroy the only tribes that buffer them from the Arabs.
CHAPTER 7: Seventh Century
The religion of Islam arises, and its armies conquered much of the Roman and Sassanid empires.
The Jews are again driven from Palestine, this time by Christians.
The Nestorians begin to evangelize China.
In the dispute between the Celtic and Roman Catholic churches, the Catholics prevail.
The Bulgarians and the Paulicians are introduced.
Church councils continue to pass decrees against the Jews.
CHAPTER 8: Eighth Century
Apocryphal Christian writing are still being created with the apparent intent to deceive.
The Moors, who are Muslims from North Africa, conquer Spain and Portugal.
The Iconoclasm Controversy divides Christendom.
Jews continue to be expelled from the Byzantine and Sassanid empires.
The forged Donation of Constantine begins to be used by popes to gain power.
The Frankish Carolingian dynasty is established.
Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks and invades pagan Saxony.
Viking invasions cause chaos in northern Europe.
CHAPTER 9: Ninth Century
The pope crowns the Holy Roman Emperor, establishing an intimate connection between the two offices.
Relics and pilgrimage sites become big business in Christianity.
The Iconoclasm Controversy ends in favor of icon veneration.
Moors, Arabs, Vikings, and Magyars continue to invade Europe.
CHAPTER 10: Tenth Century
A new depiction of Jesus showed him dead on the cross instead of alive.
The Russian prince and the Norwegian king convert to Christianity and bring their subjects with them.
Bitter rivalries occur between popes and Holy Roman emperors.
Christians prepare for the Millennium Apocalypse.
CHAPTER 11: Eleventh Century
Iceland, Hungary, Sweden, and Newfoundland join the Christendom.
The Cathars of France become an enemy of the Church.
Nestorians convert great numbers of the Mongols to Christianity.
The first papal crusade targets the Moors in Spain.
In France, the Christian establishment begins to burn non-conformists Christians.
Buddha becomes recognized as a Christian saint.
The “Great Schism” occurs between the Latin and Greek churches.
Pope Gregory VII becomes one of the Church’s great reformers.
Europe’s first university is established in Bologna, Italy.
Jews in northern Europe are being forced into financial occupations that Christians viewed as sinful.
Anselm becomes the founder of Christian scholasticism.
The right to grant indulgences is extended to Western bishops.
The destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the harassment of Christian pilgrims initiates the first Latin crusade against the Seljuk Turks in the Holy Land .