Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week bring the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, and everything in between.
Here are just a few things that happened this week, Oct. 1–7, in Church history. They include the capture of Jerusalem, the arrest of a popular televangelist, and the execution of an influential Bible translator.
Saladin Captures Jerusalem – Oct. 2, 1187
This week marks the anniversary of when Muslim warrior and ruler An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub, commonly called Saladin, took the city of Jerusalem from its Christian crusader owners.
Roughly eighty years after the First Crusade, the Kurdish-born Sultan Saladin made war on the crusader state known as the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
"The siege began to the north and the west of the walled city on Sept. 20: Saladin's army included some 200,000 fighters, who faced a defending force of some 160 Christians," noted Haaretz in a 2012 article.
"Over the course of six days, the tiny Christian force held off the Muslims, causing them significant casualties, until Saladin's army began an assault from the Mount of Olives, to the east."
While known for destroying Christian control of the Holy Land, Europe maintained a mostly positive portrayal of Saladin as a worthy adversary, in part because of his allowing the defeated Christians to leave Jerusalem following the conquest.
Jim Bakker Arrested – Oct. 4, 1988
This week marks the anniversary of when televangelist and head of Praise the Lord Ministries Jim Bakker was arrested on various fraud charges.
In the 1980s, Bakker and his first wife, Tammy Faye, created a major televangelist empire that included not only his television ministry but also a popular Christian theme park called Heritage USA.
"Although the evidence was not particularly strong, Jim Bakker was convicted in 1989 and sentenced to 45 years in prison," noted History.com.
"The sentence was later reduced to eight years, and he was released in 1994. Tammy Faye divorced Bakker while he was in prison; she died in 2007."
Following his prison sentence, Bakker released a book titled I Was Wrong, which documented his experiences and eventual recognition of his errors.
William Tyndale Executed – Oct. 6, 1536
This week marks the anniversary of when one of the most influential English Bible translators was executed for his work.
William Tyndale was an Englishman who translated much of the Bible into his native tongue in the 1500s, which was a time when the British government prohibited vernacular scriptures.
"Tyndale's work was denounced by authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and Tyndale himself was accused of heresy. He went into hiding and began work on a translation of the Old Testament directly from Hebrew into English," noted the BBC.
"On 6 October 1536, Tyndale was tried and convicted of heresy and treason and put to death by being strangled and burned at the stake."
According to David Teems, author of the 2012 book Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God an English Voice, Tyndale heavily influenced the later King James Version of the Bible, crediting him with creating the English phrases "I am the way, the truth, and the life," "Seek, and ye shall find," "With God all things are possible," and "Fight the good fight."
"Tyndale emancipated the English language," Teems told The Christian Post in a 2012 interview. "He taught us how to shape our words."
Reportedly, Tyndale's last words were "Lord, open the king of England's eyes." Given that later on English became Protestant and adopted an English translation based off of his work, Tyndale's may have been eventually answered.