The nature and purpose of the Scripture are global, as the Church aims to encompass as many areas as possible. Followers of the Gospel embark on missions to spread the beliefs among other civilizations. To attain this objective, the Scripture is to be understandable to the recipients. It appears possible to state that Christianity, being one of the world’s leading religions, has been successful in this regard. Its influence has been growing throughout humanity’s history, conquering major civilizations and becoming a crucial element of the cultural code of contemporary civilizations. Christianity remains a global phenomenon, as the structure and power of the Gospel allow it to cross boundaries and spread across cultures.
The development and expansion of Christianity have formed an area of intense interest for researchers across the globe. According to Winter (2008), one of the first major conquests of the Gospel dates back to its prevalence in the Roman Empire. Crossing the boundaries and establishing dominance in the world’s greatest empire of the time became a crucial point for Christianity, which determined its further development across centuries. Following the fall of the Romans, the Gospel soon won over Barbarians’ hearts, replacing pagan beliefs among them. Upon this foundation, the European civilization was born per the Christian principles, which translated into further development stages. Winter (2008) writes that starting from the 17th century, the European civilization started its active expansion, bringing the Gospel to newly formed colonies. As a result, new centers of the Christian civilization emerged, crossing continents and oceans, aside from boundaries.
The expansive potential of the Gospel is determined by its nature and translatability. Walls (1996) states that translation is associated with certain risks, as the one to execute this process must venture into the uncharted territory of the recipient’s language and culture. Nevertheless, the Lord chose the translation principle to spread his Word among civilizations. Walls (1996) writes that subsequent translations put the Gospel in a fresh context each time. As a result, the Word of God continuously develops its multifaceted nature, being attributed with new, positive meanings. Each civilization becomes able to perceive the Gospel within its own cultural framework, corresponding to the uncharted territory mentioned above. This range of influence extends beyond traditional, “white” cultures, and Tucker (1992) says that the history of Christianity should be adjusted toward historical accuracy in terms of cultural representation. Walls (1996) notes that Christianity has a strong liberating effect on people. Accordingly, such a freeing nature of the Gospel becomes an enabler of its expansion.
In conclusion, Christianity has ensured the position of one of the world’s leading religions in the last 2000 years. The process of its expansion is reflected in the historical development of the European civilization, starting from the Roman empire adopting the Lord’s Word. In the following centuries, nations ensured their own growth on the principles of the Scripture. Next, when the global expansion started, the Gospel was brought to new territories overseas, where new, non-white centers of Christianity were formed. As a result, the Scripture showed its uniting nature through a high level of translatability, as each culture managed to find pertinent points in it. The Gospel’s ability, combined with its universally relevant nature, facilitated the spread of Christianity across the globe, helping it cross boundaries, continents, and even oceans.
Tucker, R. (1992). Colorizing Church History. Christianity Today, 36(8), 20–23.
Walls, A. (1996). The missionary movement in Christian history: Studies in the transmission of faith. Orbis Books.
Winter, R. D. (2008). The Kingdom strikes back. Sonlight Curriculum.