RELIGIONS: FACTS & INSIGHTS 

(This Page is Under Construction - New Information Added Regularly)


538 BCE / Babylon / Judaism Persian King Cyrus the Great issued edit: “All the kingdoms of the earth gave to me, the Lord, God of heaven, and He commanded me to build Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judea.” First group of Jewish captives living in Persian Empire allowed to travel to Judea. When they arrived they begin construction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  For more info click here.


458 BCE / Babylon / Judaism Persian King Artaxerxes sends Ezra (Jewish priest, scribe, and expert in the words of the commandments of Yahweh and of His statutes) to Judea from Babylon. Ezra was commanded to establish magistrates and judges to judge all the people and teach the laws of the God of the Judeans and the laws of the Persian king -- “Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be death, or banishment, or confiscation of goods, or imprisonment.” (Ezra 7:1-26) Ezra carries Torah scroll Jerusalem Temple.


250 BCE / Judea / JudaismGroup of scrolls called Nevi'im (Prophets) canonized.


200 BCE / Alexandria / Judaism  Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus asks seventy-two Jewish scholars to translate the Torah from Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria. The translation was complete in 132 BCE and is called the Septuagint. SOURCE


6 BCE / Judea / Christianity Birth of Yeshua (Jesus).


27 CE / Judea / ChristianityYeshua crucified by Roman army.


70 CE / Judea / Judaism & ChristianityDestruction of Second Temple by Roman armies -- End of Temple Judaism and end of Jerusalem as the home of the apostles and center of Christianity. 


90 CE / Judea / JudaismFinal group of scrolls called Ketuvim (Writings) canonized.


140 CE / Rome / Christianity  Marcion moved to Rome from Sinope, Pontus, Asia Minor. Created first New Testament and taught that the Jewish God was a vengeful God; the God of the New Testament alone was worthy to be called God; denied that Christ was born of a woman;only Paul correctly understood Jesus' teachings; rejected the 12 apostles as Judaizers who taught a modified Judaism and much more. Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Everett Ferguson, Editor; p. 568.


220 CE / Galilee / Rabbinic Judaism  The Mishnah (Oral Law) closed and put in final form by Rabbi Judah the Prince. At least 13 versions of the Mishnah existed when Judah ha-Nasi began redacting them.  It is the core document of Rabbinic Judaism, forming the foundation for virtually all rabbinic literature that would follow it, from the 3rd century to our day.  It is radical in that it is the first Jewish work to attribute conflicting legal opinions to named individuals who belong to the same group.  It not only tolerates legal disputes, it relishes them.  Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism (Biblical Archaeological Society); pp. 315-317.


325 CE / Nicea / Roman Christianity  Council of Nicea. Before this council, every offense against Christianity of whatever stripe affected only local churches.  More than 250 bishops attended, most the Eastern Empire. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great became involved in the discussions. Nicean Creed created. Marks beginning of Roman Catholic Church. When Jesus Became God by Richard E. Rubenstein; pp. 83-92.


1776 / America / Religions  The types and numbers of religious congregations in America at its founding: Congregational (668), Presbyterian (588), Baptists (497), Episcopal (495), Quakers (310), German Reformed (159), Lutheran (150), Dutch Reformed (120), Methodists (65), Roman Catholic (56), Moravian (31), Separatistand Independent (31), Dunker (24), Mennonite (16),  Sandemanian (6) and Jewish (5). SOURCE


1850 / America / Religions  The types and numbers of religious congregations in America before the Civil War: Methodists (13,302), Baptists (9,563), Presbyterian (4,858), Congregational (1,725), Episcopal (1,459), Lutheran (1,231),  Roman Catholic (1,222), Quakers (726), German Reformed (341), Dutch Reformed (335), Jewish (36). Numbers are not available for Moravian, Separatist and Independent, Dunker, Mennonite, Huguenot and Sandemanian. Religious Life in the United States; Dr. Terry Matthews.  Lecture 12


1970 / Global / Christianity  Christianity has 18,630 denominations/paradenominations, 1,449,600 congregations/churches, and 1,130,000,000 affiliated membersWorld Christian Trends AD 30–AD 2200 by David B. Barrett & Todd M. Johnson; p. 33.


2000 / Global / Christianity  Christianity has 33,820 denominations/paradenominations,  3,447,900 congregations/churches, and 1,888,000.000 affiliated members. World Christian Trends AD 30–AD 2200 by David B. Barrett & Todd M. Johnson; p. 33.​