The Timeline

The Timeline

The timeline below is a brief presentation of the most important dates in the history of the Orthodox church

  • Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit(A.D. 29 is thought to be more accurate). Traditionally known as the Birthday of the Church.

    St. Stephen - First Christian Martyr.
  • Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) establishes a precedent for addressing Church disputes in Council. James presides as bishop.
  • Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in the heart of New Testament era. St. Peter had been the first bishop there. Other early bishops include James, Polycarp, and Clement.
  • Book of Revelation written, probably the last of the New Testament books.
  • St. Justin Martyr describes the liturgical worship of the Church, centered in the Eucharist. Liturgical worship is rooted in both the Old and New Testament.
  • The Council of Nicea settles the major heretical challenge to the Christian faith when the heretic Arius asserts Christ was created by the Father. St. Athanasius defends the eternality of the Son of God. The Arians continue their assault on true Christianity for years. Nicea is the first of Seven Ecumenical Councils.
  • Council of Chalcedon affirms the Apostolic doctrine of two natures in Christ.
  • In a synod in Toledo, Spain, the filioque, asserting that the Holy Spirit proceedes from the father and the Son is added to the Nicene Creed. This error is later adopted by Rome.
  • The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea, with the Seventh Council bringing the centuries-old use of icons back into the Church.
  • Conversion of Russia begins.
  • The Great Schism occurs. Two major issues include Rome's claim to universal papal supremacy and her addition of the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed. The Photian schism (880) further complicated the debate.
  • The Crusades began by the Roman Church. The Sack of Constantinople by Rome (1204) adds to the estrangement between East and West
  • St. Gregory Palamas defends the Orthodox practice of hesychast spirituality and the use of the Jesus prayer.
  • Turks overrun Constantinople; Byzantine Empire ends.
  • Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Roman Church in Wittenberg, starting the Protestant Reformation.
  • Church of England begins pulling away from Rome
  • First publishing of the Philokalia.
  • Missionaries arrive on Kodiak Island in Alaska; Orthodoxy introduced to North America.
  • Rome establishes the Immaculate Conception dogma.
  • Papal Infallibility becomes Roman dogma.
  • St. Nicholas establishes the Japanese Mission.
  • Orthodox Church of America receives autocephaly
  • One thousand years of Orthodoxy in Russia, as the Orthodox Church worldwide maintains the fullness of the Apostolic faith.