The Development of the Canon of the New Testament

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Places in Early Christianity

Alexandria, Egypt
Antioch, Syria
Edessa, Syria
Lyons, Gaul
Pepuza, Phrygia
Rome, Italy
Map of the Spread of Christianity

Rome, Italy

Rome was one of the earliest centers in Christianity. It is possible that the gospel was brought there when certain Jews, resident at Rome, returned from Jerusalem as Jewish-Christian believers following the preaching of Peter at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:10). However that may be, at any rate by the time that Paul was brought as a prisoner to Rome to be tried before Caesar, a considerable number of Christian believers were there, and Acts reports that a group of them came from the city about 40 miles to meet him a the Forum of Appius and at Three Taverns, two way-stations on the Appian Way (Acts 28:15).

By the 7th decade the number of believers in the metropolis had attracted the attention of the Emperor Nero, and Tacitus (Annals 15:44) refers to them as a 'huge multitude' who had suffered persecution. By the middle of the 2nd century the Christian Church was firmly established in Rome, and outposts had been planted still farther to the west in Gaul as well as across the Mediterranean in North Africa.

Important writers from Rome were:

Marcion ~140 - 150 CE
Valentinus gnostic ~140 - 150 CE
Justin Martyr apologist ~150 - 160 CE
Hippolytus bishop, the first antipope ~200 - 235 CE

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