This year, there were several milestone anniversaries for evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholics and Jews.
Here's a look back at some of the historical and spiritually important events in 2017 that matter to these religious groups and why.
500th anniversary of the launch of the Protestant Reformation
On Oct. 31, Protestants, evangelicals, and Pentecostals around the world marked the day when an Augustinian monk and scholar by the name of Martin Luther is widely believed to have posted 95 theses outlining his objections to corrupt practices in the Catholic church to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
However, this event is not what exists in the collective mind of many people, as Eric Metaxas, author of Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God An Changed The World, explained to CP earlier this year.
Only in retrospect can anyone look back on this specific event as the key moment it was when what Luther thought he was doing was not audaciously pounding a list to the door in defiance but "effectively tacking something to a bulletin board," Metaxas said.
"It really was a very quiet, almost passive act," he explained, as if Luther was saying, "'I'm just going to put up this thing and we're going to have a debate.' It had nothing to do with grace. It had nothing to do with his future. It was just about an ugly practice that needed attention."
Arguably, the most important recovery from Luther's life was the doctrine of justification, that a person receives salvation by the grace of God through faith and not by any of his of her works, a truth that had gotten buried under mounds of traditions over the years.
The Christian Post went to Germany to cover the festivities in late October and early November. CP visited the Wartburg castle near Eisenach where Luther was sent after he was excommunicated and where he translated the Bible into German, as well as Erfurt, the city where Luther studied and entered the monastery.
100th anniversary of Mary Appearing at Fátima
Roman Catholics marked 2017 with the 100th anniversary of Fátima, a series of Marian apparitions that began in May 1917 in central Portugal.
Fátima is a small Portuguese city where Catholics say that the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children, two girls and one boy 100 years ago. The pope traveled there this year to commemorate these events.
The children described Mary as "a lady dressed all in white, more brilliant than the sun" and who reportedly told them that praying the rosary would end The Great War, also known as World War I.
The children said that Mary appeared to them six times that year and in one particular appearance told them that a miracle would happen on Oct. 13. They were scolded for making a claim but thousands of pilgrims nevertheless gathered on that day in anticipation of another apparition.
That day became known as the day of the "Miracle of the Sun," as many reported seeing visions in the sky while others reported miracles of healing.
"Before their dazzled eyes the sun trembled, the sun made unusual and brusque movements, defying all the laws of the cosmos, and according to the typical expression of the peasants, 'the sun danced,'" a newspaper reported at the time.
The phenomena eventually received the ecclesiastical backing of the Catholic Church, which declared in 1930 that the supernatural happenings at Fatima were "worthy of belief."
Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos, one of the three shepherd children and the last surviving visionary at Fátima, reportedly said that Mary told her that the "final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. "
She added Christ's mother said people should not be afraid "because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue."
And then she concluded, "However, Our Lady has already crushed its head."
50th anniversary of the Jews' Retaking of Jerusalem, 100th year of Balfour Declaration
The most famous city in the Bible that is also one of the most, if not the most, bitterly contested places in the modern world continues to make news as does the nation at the epicenter of geopolitical conflict.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and set in motion the process of moving the American embassy there. The city is very central to Judaism; the famous phrase "Next Year in Jerusalem" appears each year in both the Passover liturgy and at the end of the closing services of Yom Kippur.
Yet even earlier this year in June, the nation of Israel marked half a century since the retaking of Jerusalem during the Six Day War — nearly two decades after a massive return of Jewish people to their ancient homeland, which became a nation-state in 1948. The United States was the first country to recognize the new nation, with President Harry Truman recognizing them, despite strong objections from the State Department, on May 14, 1948.
In early November, Jews marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a letter dated Nov. 2, 1917, from the United Kingdom's foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour, which called for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.
The Declaration was written to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community and was published in the press on Nov. 9.
These relatively recent events have had significant implications for theology regarding the Jews. Among Christians, beliefs about modern Israel and the Jews as a people group vary and are changing. A recent Barna survey indicated that American millennial Christian support for the Jewish state has dropped significantly, a contrast from years past.
Meanwhile, those known as "new Christian Zionists" are putting forth more robust arguments, contending that the people of Israel and the land still matter. These scholars spurn wild apocalyptic end-time scenarios that some Christian Zionists are known for but nevertheless hold that the massive return of the Jews to their ancient homeland is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy, something few Christians in centuries prior could have envisioned.