A Working Timeline for Christianity

6 BCE (or thereabouts): Jesus born in Palestine, then a part of the Roman Empire

30 CE: Jesus executed by the Romans

30-50: small groups of followers spread the message that Jesus rose from the dead, prominent among them, Paul

70-100: Gospels take shape to tell the story of Jesus' life, teachings, and death

100-300: Christianity separates from Judaism, is persecuted by the Romans

320s: Constantine, the Roman Emperor, converts to Christianity and favors its adherents

395: Christianity becomes the sole legal religion of the Roman Empire

400-1500: Christianity becomes dominant tradition in Europe. Ideal of one Christian world. Crusades, Inquisition, tools to enforce this ideal.

1500s: Protestant Reformation (England, Henry VIII; Germany, Martin Luther). Christianity fragments into many different types, but each government favors one

1500-1700: European colonialism and imperialism spreads Christianity to the New World

1700s: American colonies and revolution. America founded by religious zealots and deists on principles of separation of church and state