Under the leadership of the apostles Peter and Paul, who both died around the year 64 CE, the early Christian community grew from Jerusalem to Rome, from a Palestinian Jewish sect to a more universal group that included Gentile non-Jewish people, all around the Mediterranean area. The travels of Paul as found in the Acts of the Apostles and his letters give a glimpse into what was happening back then. The followers of Jesus Christ began to differentiate themselves from the Rabbinic Judaism that was developing at the same time.
The early orthodox apostolic writings
The 2nd century apostolic writers had a loose connection to the original apostles. Some of these early 2nd century writings were occasionally considered part of the canonical biblical writings. This post-apostolic group lived after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE. These authors included Clement of Rome (40-101 CE) and his writings, as well as the so-called Second Letter of Clement, a 2nd century sermon, but not from Clement. There also was Ignatius of Antioch (50-117 CE) with his letters, and the 2nd century Pseudo-Barnabas letter. From the late 1st century, the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, has intrigued scholars. The 2nd century Shepherd of Hermas, has an apocalyptic document that included visions, commands, mandates, and parables or similitudes. Theophilus of Antioch (115-180 CE) and Melito of Sardis (+190 CE), an important bishop of Asia Minor, were writing apologists for Christianity. Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) and his pupil Origen (185-254 CE) played an important role in the developing Christian theology in Alexandria. Justin the martyr (100-165 CE) gave a great description of the Christian activities. Irenaeus (140-202 CE), a disciple of the martyr Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna, wrote against various early Christian heretics.