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  • Early Christianity is the period of Christianity preceding the First Council of Nicaea in 325. It is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period. The first Christians, as described in the first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, were all Jewish, either by birth, or conversion for which the biblical term proselyte is used, and referred to by historians as the Jewish Christians. The early Gospel message was spread orally; probably in Aramaic. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians record that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included Peter, James, and John. Paul of Tarsus, after his conversion to Christianity, claimed the title of "Apostle to the Gentiles". Paul's influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than any other New Testament writer. By the end of the 1st century, Christianity began to be recognized internally and externally as a separate religion from Second Temple Judaism which itself was refined and developed further in the centuries after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple.

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