Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, May 17

352
Liberius was elected 36th pope of the Early Church. During this time the dispute between Arius and Athanasius was at its height, and after vacillating earlier, Liberius vindicated himself as a champion of Nicene orthodoxy.
1291
Scottish medieval Franciscan philosopher John Duns Scotus, 25, was ordained. He believed in "divine will" rather than "divine intellect," and founded a scholastic system called Scotism. In the Catholic Church he is known as "the Subtle Doctor."
1575
Death of Archbishop Matthew Parker at Lambeth, London. He had been largely responsible for the religious “settlement” that made the Church of England distinct from Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, and non-Lutheran forms of Protestantism.
1834
Execution of Chinese Christian Peter Liu Wenyuan who had spent over thirty years in exile as a slave for his faith.
1844
Birth of Julius Wellhausen, the German biblical scholar who, in his 1878 "History of Israel," first advanced the JEDP Hypothesis, claiming that the Pentateuch (i.e., the first five O.T. books) was a compilation of four earlier, literary sources.
1881
The Revised Version (EV or ERV) of the New Testament was first published in England. The Old Testament was completed in 1885. In 1905 the American Standard Version (ASV) - based on the textual foundation of the ERV - was published in the U.S.
1947
The Conservative Baptist Association of America (CBAA) was formally established at Atlantic City, NJ, as a breakaway movement from within the American Baptist Convention.
1972
The Hutu Father Michael Kayoya of Berundi, a small nation in eastern Africa, is executed. He is one of thousands executed in genoicidal murder. About one half of all Catholic catechists in Berundi will be killed.
1992
Pope John Paul II beatifies Josephine Margaret Fortunata (ca. 1869–1947), who as a Sudanese slave had been nicknamed Bakhita, “the lucky one.” Sold again and again, she had experienced great cruelty until an Italian consul ransomed her. In Italy she had converted to Christianity and had joined the Canossian Sisters with whom she remained the rest of her life, gaining renown for her humility and holiness.
2007
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) signs an Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate but retains its independent hierarchy, the only change being that when it elects a new First Hierarch, his election must be confirmed by the Patriarch of Moscow. In turn, ROCOR agrees to recognize the Patriarch of Moscow as the head of the entire Russian Orthodox Church.

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© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"