ca. 600 B.C.E. | Ezra the Scribe reconstructs the Hebrew scriptures destroyed by the Babylonians

ca. 250 B.C.E. | Formation of the Septuagint commences; according to legend, with the Hebrew Torah translated into Greek in Alexandria at the command of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–246 B.C.E.)

ca. 3 B.C.E. | Birth of Christ

ca. 30 C.E. | Crucifixion of Christ

ca. 50–60 | First Christian texts (some of the Pauline Epistles) written

ca. 65–70 | Gospel of St. Mark composed

ca. 80–90 | Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke, and Acts of the Apostles composed

ca. 85–95 | Gospel of St. John composed

late 1st century | Other letters composed (of James, of Peter, of John, to the Hebrews)

ca. 95 | Apocalypse / Revelation of John composed

ca. 100 | Council of Jamnia determines the canonical text of the Hebrew Bible, known as the "Masoretic" text

ca. 125 | Earliest surviving manuscript of a gospel written (St. John, known from fragments)

second century | Old Testament books start to be individually translated from Hebrew into Syriac

first half 2nd century | Christian writings—letters, gospels, and apocalypses—multiply; Pauline Epistles circulate as a collection

ca. 180 | Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, asserts the primacy of the four gospels (St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John); Tatian, a Syrian, produces the Diatessaron, a single narrative drawn from the gospels and additional material

early 3rd century | Origen of Alexandria compiles a comparative edition of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Greek, the Hexapla

late 3rd century | St. Anthony retreats into the eastern desert of Egypt, beginning a trend towards ascetic desert monasticism

303 | Emperor Diocletian orders the destruction of Christian books during the "Great Persecution"

312 | Constantine sees a vision of the Cross and triumphs at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge

313 | Edict of Milan: Emperor Constantine grants freedom of worship throughout the Western Empire

early 4th century | Armenia becomes the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion; Gregory the Illuminator ordained bishop of Armenia (ca. 314); Christianity introduced to Ethiopia from Egypt

324 | Constantine defeats Emperor Licinius and reunites the Empire's two halves

325 | Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council, condemns Arianism

330 | Constantinople (now Istanbul) founded by Constantine as a bridgehead between East and West

332 | Constantine commissions Bishop Eusebius to supply the churches he has founded in Rome with complete Bibles

ca. 337 | Georgia accepts Christianity as its state religion

mid–4th century | Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest surviving complete Christian Bible, is made in Caesarea

363 | Council of Laodicea lists 26 canonical books for reading in church (omitting Revelation)

ca. 372 | St. Martin of Tours introduces monasticism to Europe

381 | First Council of Constantinople declares that that city exerts an equal authority in the East to that of Rome in the West

ca. 382 | St. Jerome enters the service of Pope Damasus and is commissioned to produce a Latin edition of the Bible—the Vulgate

383 | Death of Ulfilas, "Apostle to the Goths," who translated the Bible into the Gothic language

392 | Emperor Theodosius bans pagan worship, and Christianity effectively becomes the state religion of the Roman Empire

393 | Council of Hippo and Council of Carthage (397) both name the 27 books of the New Testament we know today

ca. 400 | Roman Empire begins to contract

5th century | Syriac translations of Old Testament and New Testament books combined to form the Peshitta,the standard text for Syriac-speaking Churches

early 5th century | Greek alphabet adapted by the missionary St. Mesrob to produce those of Armenia and Georgia

431 | Council of Ephesus condemns the views of Nestorius on the nature of Christ; Bishop Palladius is sent from Rome to believers in southern Ireland

451 | Council of Chalcedon condemns Monophysitism (the belief that Christ has only divine nature) and establishes five patriarchates—Constantinople, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem

ca. 460–90 | St. Patrick's mission from the northern British Church to Ireland

548–65 | Emperor Justinian founds the monastery now known as St. Catherine's on Mt. Sinai

ca. 529 | St. Benedict founds the monastery of Montecassino in Italy

563 | St. Columba leaves Ireland on voluntary exile to evangelize the Picts and the English, and founds the monastery of Iona in western Scotland

580 | Death of Cassiodorus, founder of the monastery called the Vivarium in southern Italy

588 | Patriarch John IV of Constantinople declares himself Ecumenical Patriarch, a title still retained by the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church

597 | Death of St. Columba; Pope Gregory the Great sends a Roman mission led by St. Augustine to Britain to convert the Anglo-Saxons

599 | Pope Gregory the Great sends a legate bearing gifts to Sinai

604 | Death of Pope Gregory the Great

ca. 610 | The Prophet Muhammad begins preaching in Mecca

615–17 | Paul of Tella makes the Syrohexapla, a translation into Syriac of Origen's Hexapla

635 | Monastery of Lindisfarne is founded in northeast England

ca. 641 | Islamic conquest of eastern and southern Mediterranean complete

687 | Death of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

716 | Abbot Ceolfrith of Wearmouth–Jarrow sets off for Rome in retirement, taking one of three great complete bibles made by his community as a gift for the pope

720s–787 | Period of Iconoclasm in Byzantium

754/5 | Death of St. Boniface, "Apostle to the Germans," at Dokkum (now in The Netherlands)

735 | On his deathbed the scholar Bede, a monk at Wearmouth–Jarrow, translates St. John's Gospel into English

787 | Council of Nicaea reinstates the use of images in Byzantium

793 | Viking raids on Europe commence with the sacking of Lindisfarne

late 8th century | Theodulf of Orléans asserts the primacy of the word over images in his Libri carolini

800 | Emperor Charlemagne crowned in Rome, solemnizing the creation of a Carolingian Empire; Abbot Alcuin of Tours completes a single-volume edition of the Vulgate Bible, copied throughout the Carolingian Empire

814–43 | Resurgence of iconoclasm in Byzantium

869 | Byzantine Emperor Constantine sends St. Cyril as a missionary to the Slavs; Cyril invents the Glagolitic alphabet from which Cyrillic is descended

ca. 950–60 | Aldred glosses the Lindisfarne Gospels into Old English—the oldest surviving translation of the Gospels into English

ca. 962–1056 | Ottonian Empire succeeds the Carolingian in Europe

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