Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 25, “Beyond the Borders of the Empire” Loc. 4511-4625.
Christianity did spread beyond the borders of the Roman empire. “Among the Germanic ‘barbarians’ of the north, Christianity gained a foothold long before the barbarians themselves broke into the Roman Empire. But the most impressive expansion was toward the east, and there are Christians in the twenty-first century who trace their origins to those early churches beyond the Eastern borders of the empire (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4518). The Old and New Testaments spread in Syriac versions. The city of Edessa became Christian before 216 (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4537). Armenia had a Christian ruler in 303 (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4556). Ethiopia had a Christian presence from an early time, as did Mesopotamia and Persia (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4566) Many of the Eastern Christians were politically opposed to Rome and likewise sought ways to disagree doctrinally (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4575). In Arabia the version of Christianity was quite muddled by the time of Muhammad (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4584). Christianity in India dates back to a very early time and was “firmly implanted . . . by the beginning of the fifth century” (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4594). Ireland and the Germanic lands north of Constantinople were also places where Christianity of one sort or another flourished (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 4612).