Verse by VerseTeaching
First Samuel
Second Samuel
First Kings
Second Kings
Second Chronicles
Song of Songs
Minor Prophets
First Corinthians
Second Corinthians
First Thessalonians
Second Thessalonians
First Timothy
Second Timothy
First Peter
Second Peter
First John
Second John
Third John
Topical Teaching:
Titanic Faith
Framework Bible School
Bible School 2004
Bible School 2012-2019
30 Questions
Mystery of the Church
Defending the Faith
Church History
The Nephilim
Wake Up, Church!
Basics for Living
Basic Doctrine
Eschatology Overview - Gen-Rev
End Times Basics
Eternal Rewards
Political Platform of Lord
Refuting Reform Doctrine
kosmos vs Kingdom 
(κόσμος vs Βασίλειο)
Understanding the Times
Brace for Impact: Prepare Soul

A Bible Teaching Ministry of Galyn Wiemers

Online Bible School, Bible Teaching
Previous Lesson Textbook - Framework for Christian Faith .pdf Next Lesson

Lesson 26 of 50 - Church History (part four of eight)

Online Audio or Video


Written Notes

Review Points


Supplementary Material


2004 mp3 Audio

2005 mp3 Audio:
Church History 600-1000 AD

Real Player Video:
Church History 600-1000 AD

Chapter Tests:
Sect F, Ch


Essay Tests:
Sect F, Ch

Church History 400-600,
Augustine, Pelagius, Jerome,
Barbarians, Leo, Gregory
audio .mp3 - Church History 400-600,
Augustine, Pelagius, Jerome,
Barbarians, Leo and Gregory

Church History 416-622 (2017)  



Church History (part four):

451-452         Attila the Hun

  • Barbarians led by Attila the Hun invade Italy
  • Leo the Great, bishop of Rome, negotiates with Attila for the removal of the Barbarians from Italy

455     Vandals Capture Rome

    • Barbarians called the Vandals pillage Rome

481-511         Clovis, King of the Franks

  • United the Frankish tribes among the Germanic people.
  • In 486 Clovis defeated the last Roman official in northern Gaul giving the Franks control of the area.
  • In 493 he married Princess Clotilde who was a Christian
  • In 496 Clovis converted to his wife’s Christian faith which was Roman Catholicism and not Arianism as many of the other barbaric tribes had become.
  • Clovis’ conversion made him an ally of the Roman church and the Roman Catholic faith.  With his military strength and political influence Clovis defended the Roman church and the Catholic faith in his domain

553     Council of Constantinople II

  • Sixth Council
  • Monophysites Controversy

590-604         Pope Gregory the Great

  • Founded a monastery before he became pope
  • Tried to refuse his appointment to pope by writing a letter
  • Considered the first of the medieval popes
  • Due to the invading barbarians the western front of the Roman empire was abandoned and moved completely to Constantinople.  This left the bishop of the Roman church to defend the city against the barbarians
  • The bishop of the Roman church had the resources and the influence to be the only reliable leadership in the western part of the empire
  • Many people had given their land and property to the Roman church in exchange for the forgiveness of sins so the pope used the income from these lands to:
    1. Build a military
    2. Provide for the poor
    3. Pay ransom for people captured by the barbarians
    4. Pay for treaties to preserve Rome from barbarian destruction
  • Pope Gregory sent missionaries to England
  • The Roman church began to evangelize the pagan Germanic tribes
  • Gregory simplified the doctrines of the church so that the new converts from these barbaric lands could understand it and so Christianity could penetrate their culture.
  • Gregory made several changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy
  • (He did not institute the “Gregorian Calendar”.  This was done in 1582 by Gregory XIII)
  • The greatness and influence that Gregory had can be balanced by the definition he preferred to use when he referred to his position as pope.  He called his position “the Servant of the Servants of God.”

521-597         Columba

  • Born in Ireland in a culture in turmoil.  He was tall, strong, brilliant but also restless and combative.  He was a great speaker and humorous
  • Until the age of 42 he worked in the church as a priest and started a monastery
  • In 561 Columba copied without permission Jerome’s Latin translation of Psalms and the gospels.  When ordered by the priest and the local king to surrender the manuscript he had made Columba refused.  This led to a tribal war between Columba’s supporters and the king.  3,000 men were killed.  In guilt and sorrow Columba left Ireland and became in his words “an exile for Christ” on an isle half a mile from the coast of Scotland called Iona.
  • On the isle of Iona living quarters were set up along with a library, guests houses, a church and needed industrial shops.  From there Columba and his friends began to evangelize the land of Scotland.  At first Columba’s goal was to replace the 3,000 souls that had died in the battle in 561

570-632         Muhammad, founder of Islam

  • Born in 570 in Mecca
  • 610, begins to have revelations
  • 613, begins to preach his revelations in Mecca
  • 622, flees Mecca for Yathrib, later called Medina.  Here the Jews reject his new faith and Muhammad turned his religion away from the Jews.  At prayer one day Allah revealed to Muhammad not to face Jerusalem when they prayed but instead to turn 180 degrees and face Mecca.  This made a clear break with the Jewish people and religion.
  • Muhammad began to raid Mecca’s caravans. 
  • 627, Mecca responded with a failed attack on Medina
  • 629, Muhammad attacks the Byzantine Empire, but fails
  • 630, Muhammad defeated Mecca and entered the city
  • 631, Muhammad rules most of the Arabian peninsula
  • 632, Muhammad dies

622-750         Muslim Expansion

  • Muslim’s conquer the Middle East in three waves of military expansion:
  • 622-632 under Muhammad they take the Arabian Peninsula
  • 632-661 they take part of north Africa and the Sasanian (Iranian) Empire (the old Babylonian Empire).  Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria are taken from the Christians.  The building of the Dome of the Rock on the temple mound in Jerusalem begins.
  • 661-750 Muslims take the rest of north Africa, cross the Strait of Gilbraltar to take Gaul (Spain) in 711.  The Muslim Empire extends from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in north Africa to the borders of modern Pakistan.

Muslim  Expansion

664     Synod of Whitby

  • Determines that the English church will come under the authority of Rome
  • Celtic Christianity in Britain, Iona and Ireland had developed its own style of Christianity that include the observance of Easter in accord with the apostle John and Polycarp in Asia (Nissan 14) contrary to the Roman Catholic church and the decision of the Nicene Council of 325.     

680     Council of Constantinople III

  • Doctrine of the two wills of Christ

731     Bede

  • Celtic
  • Completes his careful and important work Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

 732    Battle of Tours

  • The Muslims crossed into France in 720
  • In 732, Charles Martel stops Muslim invaders threatening Europe.  The Muslims western expansion is finally stopped here

726     Iconoclastic Controversy

  • An icononclast is one who destroys sacred religious images.  It comes from two Greek words “eikon” which means “image, likeness” and “-klastes” which means “breaker” from the Greek word “klan”, “to break”.
  • The destroying of Christian art and images by Christians trying to prevent idol worship occurred in the East.  There was no conflict with images in the West.
  • Arts have always viewed with different opinions by Christians.  Some opinions:
  • Only “Christian” art         
  • No art at all
  • Avoid visual representations
  • Example: Painting Mary
  • To capture the idea of flesh being given God’s splendor Mary (flesh) was crowned in Gold (promised redemption) sitting under gilded arches being approached by a shining winged creature.
  • To show the unfavorable way this portion of Christianity occurred in history one would paint Mary as ordinary in ordinary surroundings.

680     A new controversy broke out:  The use of icons or images.

  • It was a debate over what was sacred or holy and deserved worship.
  • The clergy were set apart and so holy.  Also, church buildings, martyrs and heros of faith such as hermits and monks were set apart.
  • Martyrs were set apart and so holy or “saints.”
  • The holiness of a saint was evaluated on the miracles that took place at their tomb, relics, or icon (image)

700’s    By the 700’s every city had at least one famous saint that was worshipped and
became the protector of that city.

  • The government and church encouraged this.
  • Icons began to multiply
  • Christians then limited their devotion to one location such as:
  • St. Demetrius of Thessalonica
  • The miraculous Christ-icon of Edessa, Syria
  • Miracle working icon of Mary in Constantinople
  • Most Christians placed faith in the icon and made no spiritual connection, thus idolatry.
  • Christ’s image began to replace the image of the emperor on coins (685-711)

726     Emperor Leo III (717-741) attacked the use of icons

  • In Eastern Asia Minor bishops preached against icons.
  • 726 - Leo held off the Muslim attack on Constantinople and then declared his oppositioin to icons
  • A mob murdered the messenger sent to replace the icon of Christ at the imperial gates
  • Whole sections of the empire rebelled againsts Leo
  • 730 – Leo issued an edict to destroy public icons
  • The Bishop of Rome condemned those who destroyed the images.  The destroyers were called iconoclast.
  • The Roman Bishop got military support from the Franks
  • Leo wanted the cross, the book, and the elements of Lord’s supper to be holy along with clergy and dedicated buildings.
  • Leo’s son argued the only true icon’s were the bread and wine because they were the same substance as Christ.

751     Western Asia embraces Islam (Ephesus, Colosse, etc.)

754     Iconoclastic Synod of Constantinople

  • During this council a three fold anathema was pronounced on the advocates of    image-worship.
  • The clergy submitted, but the monks who manufactured the pictures denounced the emperor and were subjected to imprisonment, flagellation, mutilation and death.
  • This Council was later rejected by the church as being an official church council

780     Emperor Leo IV and Irene

  • Leo the IV, emperor in the East at Constantinople, kept the laws against icon worship but his beautiful wife from Athens, Irene, tolerated and then favored icon worship.
  • Leo IV died in 780 and his wife Irene became regent for their ten-year old son Constantine.
  • Irene raised the persecuted monks to the highest dignities
  • She removed the iconoclastic imperial guard with one agreeing to her views.
  • Irene convened the eighth church council.  It consisted of eight sessions from September 24-October 23 in 787.
  • The Nicene Council nullified the decrees of the iconoclastic Synod of Constantinople in 754 (which later was rejected as a true church council)
  • Acceptable images were: the cross, pictures of Christ, pictures of the Virgin Mary, pictures of angels, pictures of saints, the gospel books, relics of saints.
  • They could be drawn in color or composed of Mosaic materials.
  • They could be in churches, houses in streets, on walls, tables vessels and vestments.
  • Homage may be paid to them by kissing, bowing burning incense, saying prayers, burning candles.
  • The honor paid to the image was a representation of the honor paid to the true reality in heaven.
  • The scriptures used for defense were Ex.25:17-22; Ezek. 41:1,15,19; Hebrews 9:1-5.
  • Also alleged testimonies of now dead church fathers, mostly falsified and alleged miracles performed by images was used to defend the practice.
  • Large numbers of former iconoclast repented and prayed together, “We all have sinned, we all have erred, we all beg forgiveness.”  And they worshipped the images.
  • To prevent her son from being capable of reigning and to maintain her power in the East Irene had her son’s eyes plucked out one night as he slept.  She ruled for five more years and then was overthrown and exiled.  She spent the rest of her life working for a living.

787     Nicean Council II

  • The eighth church council
  • Sanctioned Image worship
  • During this council an image was brought in and kissed by all the delegates.  At the conclusion of the council the delegates said together:

“Thus we believe: This is the doctrine of the apostles.  Anathema upon all who co not adhere to it, who do not salute the images, who call them idols, and who charge Christianity with idolatry.”

  • The Second Council of Nicea is far below the first both morally and doctrinally.
  • It determined the character of worship in the Eastern Church for all time and so is still significant.
  • It’s decision is binding on the Roman church which had sent two papal delegates and is defended in its writings.
  • The protestants disregard this council because:
  • It violates the second commandment
  • It violates the practice of apostolic Christianity
  • The superstitions that accompanies it.
  • The miracle-workings done by the Madonnas in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • The positive affects of this council is that it has saved Christian art.  If the iconoclast would have been successful in their extreme methods there would be no Christian painting, sculpture, ect.  It would have affected music and other expressions of the Christian faith.

800  Charlemagne Crowned Emperor

  • The divided kingdom consisted of an Emperor in the East and a ruling pope in the West.
  • The Popes claimed power in 590 and continually increased their claim.
  • Arian Christians called Lombards attacked Rome several times.  The pope needed military support and called on the Franks to be his ally.  This union would shape Christianity in the middle ages.
  • The Franks had invaded Gaul from their homeland along the Rhine River.  The Gaul’s had adopted Roman culture after Julius Caesar’s invasion.  This Roman culture now went to the Franks upon their invasion of Gaul.
  • Clovis (466-510) united the territory from the Rhine down into France.  This helped bring stability to the area.
  • Clovis accepted Christianity (496) due to:
  • His wife
  • Supernatural aid in battle
  • Clovis’ sons were weak and just partied in the palace when they came to power so the kingdom was run by the mayor’s of the palace.
  • Pepin was the first mayor (687-714)
  • It was handed to an illegitimate son of his called Charles Martel (689-741)
  • Charles Martel as the warrior saved the West for Christianity and the pope knew it.
  • Muslims had taken Spain and were threatening Europe but were defeated at the battle of Tours in 732.
  • Martel supported Boniface’s work in evangelizing the tribes beyond the Rhine
  • Martle’s two sons reigned after him.  One joined a monastery leaving Pepin the Great to rule as king.
  • Pope Zacharias needed help against the Arian Lombards  in 754 and 756.
  • Pepin donated land in central Italy to the pope.   This was known as the Donation of Pepin.  It remained the pope’s until 1870.

755     “Donation of Constantine”

  • About this time a book appeared called the Donation of Constantine.  Which tells the story of Constantine’s conversion and how the grateful Constantine made a huge land grant and special rights to the Bishop of Rome.
  • It was a forgery but it was not proven until several centuries later.  The popes did and still use it to defend their claim on land, power and position.
  • In the book Constantine was healed of leprosy and baptized by the bishop Sylvester. In return Rome was to have precedence over all the other churches and this bishop was to be the supreme bishop.  Constantine left the imperial palace, imperial clothing, and imperial rank to the pope.  Constantine then moved East so as not to interfere with the Pope and his gift.

742-814         Charlemagne

  • The next ruler in the west, or king of the Franks, was Pepin the Great’s son Charlemagne (742-814).
  • Charlemagne began to reign in his father’s place in 768.
  • Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by the Pope in 800.
  • Charlemagne continued the policy of being the protector of the papcy
  • Charlemagne would influence everything in Western Europe.
  • Charlemagne was 7 feet tall.  He had a large strong body, a bright face and long white hair.

838     Muslims settle in southern Italy and defeat the Byzantine Army
846     Muslims sack Rome and damage the Vatican

869     Constantinople Council IV

  • The Ninth Church Council
  • It brought about the final schism between the East and West
  • The Eastern Church held a second Council of Constantinople IV in 879 to reverse the decisions and decrees of this first Council of Constantinople IV in 869
  • Between 800 – 1054 the Western church experienced an inner renewal that gave it strength to deal with its existence in the shadow of the Holy Roman Empire
  • The Eastern Church became conscious of this and other differences between the East and West.


Reasons for the Renewed Supremacy
of the Western Roman Church Over the Eastern Church in Constantinople

Donation of Constantine – a forgery credited to Constantine tells the story of Constantine being healed of leprosy and baptized by the Bishop of Rome.  In return Constantine gave the Bishop central Italy, the palace, clothing and the imperial symbol.  Constantine then moved East.

A collection of false decrees by earlier roman bishops.  These asserted the roan Bishop (Papa) was supreme over all bishops.  Also, it claimed that the church was free from secular control. 

Doctrine of Mass.  A controversy regarding the nature of Christ’s presence in communion upset the Western church.   Any claim that the Lord’s super was a sacrifice by the priest was additional power to the pope, the priesthood and their hierarchy.  They alone had power to perform this miracle.  (In 1215 at the Council of Trent the church officially accepts this view.)  In 831 Paschasius Radbertus began to teach that by a miracle the substance of the bread and wine were changed into the body and blood of Christ.  The book: “Of the Body and Blood of the Lord.”

Monastic Reform carried out by the Cluniac monasteries.


880     Muslims Loose Italy

900     Christians begin to reclaim Spain from Muslims

909     Abbey of Cluny Founded

  • Monastic reforms by the founders of the abbey of Cluny called Cluniac Reforms.
  • These monasteries contributed to the supremacy of the papacy.
  • By the 900 the monasteries had become wealthy and corrupt.
  • The earlier ideas of service had been replaced with:
  • ideal of individual salvation
  • an easy life of wealth in the monastery
  • In Eastern France at Cluny in 909 a monastery was founded that was free from secular or episcopal control.  It was self-governed and under the pope’s protection.
  • Two leaders (Abbots) did their work so well in this monastery that many others reorganized along the same line.  The leaders were:                                            
  • Berno (910-926)
  • Odo (927-944)
  • These Abbots would appoint the leaders in new monasteries and oversee them.
  • This organized all the monasteries under the Abbot of Cluny who worked with the pope.
  • The Cluniac leaders called for reform:
  • The condemned simony (buying and selling of church offices for money)
  • They condemned nepotism (the practice of showing favoritism to relatives in appointments to church positions.)
  • Celibacy – the clergy could no longer keep concubines nor could they marry.  Their attention was not to be to family but to the church.
  • Ascetic life was restored.
  • Good schools were formed.  These schools made Latin the common language          of the middle ages.
  • The Cluniac monasteries resulted in:
  • Missionary Efforts
  • Crusades against Muslims in the Holy Land
  • This order of monasteries came to an end in 1790.

800’s  Vikings Invade Europe

  • The splendid Frankish Empire of Charlemagne began to dissolve quickly at his death because the empire was dependent on his personal genius and energy.

800’s Decline of Holy Roman Empire

  • Teutonic Principle – Emperors land divided between sons.  Charlemagne’s son began this and had to divide the empire into three sections.  They warred until it was divided into Germany and France with a 100 mile section between them in 843.
  • Vikings from Sweeden, Denmark, and Norway invaded any town or monastery along the coast or on the shores of rivers.  This led to the rapid decline of the fallen Holy Roman Empire.  Vikings settled in England and eventually merged with Anglo-Saxons.  The Christina culture of England was set back.

800’s Feudalism

  • Decline of city life and trade forced people back to the farm.  Public power went into private hands of land owners.  There were three groups:
  • Protectors, the land owners known as knights
  • Producers, the economic foundation known as serfs
  • Prayers, the priestly class
  • Feudalism was a system of political organization based on land possession and served as a system of justice and order during the period of the decline of central government
  • A large amount of land in Western Europe was held by the church.  Pious or repentant men seeking to atone for a life of sin lift lands to the church
  • The church (abbots and bishops) would give land to knights in exchange for protection
  • The church became secular and concerned about land
  • The people faced a choice: 
  • Be loyal to the temporal lord on who’s land he lived and worked
  • Be loyal to the spiritual  lord, the pope
  • This became a breeding ground for bad doctrine
  • The idea of the Holy Roman Empire survived even though it fell
  • In Germany division of the people into smaller groups was great due to the interest and topography:
  • In the north the rivers flowed north and the land was a plain.
  • In the south the rivers flowed south and the land was mountainous
  • Tribal divisions and feudalism led to decentralized authority
  • The need for unity came when the northern Vikings invaded and the tribal dukes unified


KEY POINTS (back to the top)

OTHER SITES (back to the top)

BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: (back to the top)

QUESTIONS (back to the top)



  © 2005 Generation Word