The early years of the religion of Christianity are truly an amazing span of time to scrutinize from a historical point of view. What’s fascinating about Christianity with regards to the period of time when the religion was just beginning to get off the ground is that if things had gone differently during those very early years back during times of antiquity, it is extremely likely that Christianity in the way people all over the world know it today might have never existed. For those who might not be aware of some of the smaller minutia of ancient history, an interesting fact to be aware of is that Christianity was a religion whose practitioners were persecuted for a significant period of time by those whose job it was to enforce the law as well as those who were members of the government of the time period whose job it was to make the law. In Ancient Roman times, Christianity was essentially an illegal religion.
It wasn’t until one of Rome’s rulers converted to Christianity himself that it became okay for common people to openly practice Christianity. Emperor Constantine I of Ancient Rome was the Caesar who made Christianity a legally valid option in terms of religions that could be practiced by Romans at the time. This early time period in terms of the first five hundred years that Christianity began and was allowed to exist was a time of tumultuous change with regards to new ideas, concepts, and methods of thought and philosophy that came into the minds of the first Christians. The doctrine of the trinity is the one that modern Christians are aware of today; however, it wasn’t always the only idea in terms of how Christians perceived their spirituality or how Christians interpreted their particular concept of God. A number of differing concepts with regards to the early years of Christianity battled amongst each other for the attentions of Christians that were alive in Ancient Rome during that time.
The concept of the trinity was the line of thought that turned out to be victorious amongst all of the early Christian philosophies that existed at the time, but some of the events with regards to ancient history that occurred before that happened are what is interesting to look at. Two of the concepts that also had a significant amount of support at the same time were Arianism and Modalism. Each one of these three concepts, Arianism, Modalism, and the idea of the trinity are systems of thought that are distinct and different from the others. Each individual religious philosophy with regards to how it relates to Christianity has a whole has strengths, weaknesses, and reasons for being a valid line of thinking in and of itself. Each and every one of these religious systems of thought contributed to Christianity’s concept of God, the development of that idea of God, and even the concept of God that a significant number of modern Christians have today. The idea of the trinity is a fascinating concept to explore in terms of how it went from a simple idea to having the position that it does within Christianity today.
n order to comprehend exactly why the idea of the trinity was eventually the concept that was accepted over all of the other modes of religious thinking that existed at the time, the historical context of the time period in which the idea of the trinity existed immediately prior to its acceptance as the religious philosophy with the greatest theological weight within Christianity is an era in ancient Roman history that needs to be explored. Christianity was a religion that made a giant, abrupt jump from being a religious philosophy that was illegal and not condoned by ancient Rome’s ruling class to being the religious choice of the Caesar himself. All of a sudden, Christianity became something that was okay to believe in just like the normal, ordinary, everyday pagan beliefs that ancient Romans had the time and overtly practiced were. Christianity was given an aura of legitimacy, and that was something that meant that practicing Christians and the leadership in charge of the religion of Christianity at the time would have to take steps to define what religious philosophies within the religion of Christianity and Christian theology were really going to be like.
Deciding which mode of religious philosophy would turn out to be the reigning theological system of thinking was one of the first steps early Christians had to take in order to congeal together some of the rudimentary ideas concerning God that they had in order to accomplish the purpose of bringing their view of the godhead into fruition in terms of it being a comprehensible theological concept that members of the general public would be able to easily digest. Arianism, Modalism, and the concept of the trinity weren’t the only three ideas in existence in ancient Rome at the time, but they were some of the religious philosophies that were the most popular. It was these three philosophies as well as several others that got the most attention from early Christians at the time.