Missionary work of early missionaries like Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy, was different from the missionary work of missionaries in the Dark Ages, such as Patrick and Boniface. These differences arose because of the differences in political, religious, and cultural environments. It made the missionaries different by making them adapt to the customs and environment of the area. One main area of difference was the way the gospel was preached.
The early missionaries worked in different political, religious, and cultural environments compared to the missionaries of the Dark Ages. The early missionaries worked in an environment that was against Christianity. People were persecuted for even talking about it. This just made it that much harder to spread the news of the Gospel. Most of the people were Jews and some were Gentiles. Most of the Jews rejected Christianity but some did accept it. However, most of the Gentiles accepted Christianity. The culture of the people in the early ages was based on the synagogue. Life revolved around the synagogue.
These differences made it hard for the missionaries to spread the word. Paul, for example, came across many situations where his life was in danger. Paul traveled with Barnabas, Silias, and Timothy on at least one of his journeys. As they traveled from city to city, rejection was common. With most of the population Jewish, Paul had a hard time preaching the Gospel. Jews rejected Christianity because it was completely against their beliefs. Instead of wasting his time, Paul traveled on to other cities to preach the word. Since the life of the people revolved around the synagogue, Paul had to do much of his preaching there. This was very dangerous because sometimes the people he was preaching to would become unruly and violent.
Because of this, Paul began to preach the Gospel in a different way. He began writing letters, called Epistles, to many different church communities. Each of the letters addressed topics specific to the church he was writing to. These letters were read aloud during community prayers and the Eucharist. Copies were also sent around to neighboring communities. This helped spread the word of the Gospel even farther than his preaching did.
In his letters Paul used the word "church" and made the Christians feel that they were an assembly of people to celebrate their belief. This made them stronger. It led to these people spreading the word also.
These differences in the way the gospel was preached existed for a very simple reason: the people and the environment were different. Paul had to curve his message to fit certain groups. He also had to make sure the people understood him.
The missionaries of the Dark Ages had to work in a different environment than the early missionaries had to work in. The political situation of the Dark Ages was somewhat vague. There was not always a definite ruler. Sometimes they had to turn to the local bishop or church to help them. The religious environment was mostly Pagan, much different from the Jews that Paul had to deal with. The cultural environment in which they had to work was also pretty vague. People tended to hang around in groups and were influenced by outside sources.
The environment in which Patrick and Boniface had to work, effected their work dramatically. Pagans were a hard bunch to please. They didn't really want any outside sources trying to convert them. If you made them angry you could possibly end up dead. For those people who were not pagans, they sometimes looked up to the missionaries and accepted what they said as fact.
One major thing that the missionaries of the Dark Ages did differently was set up monasteries. These were places that monks and others would go to learn about Jesus and Christianity. They also learned other subjects in the process which made monasteries attractive. This drew in people and eventually converted them to Christianity. In these monasteries, word of the gospel was spread by reading and copying books. These books were preserved for others to read and learn about Christianity.
Another way they preached the Gospel was by using logic. Logic was a very resourceful tool for the missionaries. Boniface, for example, used logic in one incidence with the Pagans. He chopped down a tree that the Pagans had dedicated