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.Circumcision in particular was considered repulsive by Greeks and Hellenists seemed to indicate that circumcision and food laws did not apply to Gentiles, and this was agreed to at the apostolic Council of Jerusalem. The doctrines of the apostles brought the Early Church into conflict with some Jewish religious authorities.He then called the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils.
Edward Gibbon in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire discusses the topic in considerable detail in his famous Chapter Fifteen, summarizing the historical causes of the early success of Christianity as follows: "(1) The inflexible, and, if we may use the expression, the intolerant zeal of the Christians, derived, it is true, from the Jewish religion, but purified from the narrow and unsocial spirit which, instead of inviting, had deterred the Gentiles from embracing the law of Moses.
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.