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But this emerged slowly and at different times for different locations.

Clement, a 1st-century bishop of Rome, refers to the leaders of the Corinthian church in his epistle to Corinthians as bishops and presbyters interchangeably.

This eventually led to their expulsion from the synagogues, according to one theory of the Council of Jamnia.

Acts records the martyrdom of the Christian leaders, Stephen and James of Zebedee.

While the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles is disputed by critics, the Acts of the Apostles is the major primary source of information for this period.

Acts gives a history of the Church from this commission in 1:3–11 to the spread of the religion among the Gentiles and the eastern Mediterranean by Paul and others.

As Christianity spread, especially in rural areas, the presbyters exercised more responsibilities and took distinctive shape as priests.

Lastly, deacons also performed certain duties, such as tending to the poor and sick.(2) The doctrine of a future life, improved by every additional circumstance which could give weight and efficacy to that important truth.(3) The miraculous powers ascribed to the primitive church. (5) The union and discipline of the Christian republic, which gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman empire." In the post-Apostolic church, bishops emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations, and a hierarchy of clergy gradually took on the form of episkopos (overseers, in-spectors; and the origin of the term bishop) and presbyters (elders; and the origin of the term priest), and then deacons (servants).Christianity expanded throughout the world and became the world's largest religion due to European colonialism.During its early history, Christianity grew from a 1st-century Jewish following to a religion that existed across the entire Greco-Roman world and beyond.However, the Great Commission is specifically directed at "all nations", and an early difficulty arose concerning the matter of Gentile (non-Jewish) converts as to whether they had to "become Jewish" (usually referring to circumcision and adherence to dietary law), as part of becoming Christian.

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