Creeds of the Christian Faith

I wrote a post a couple of months back about answering questions that kids/youth might ask about the Apostles Creed.  I mentioned both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed in the article, but did not include the text nor link to the full text of either one.  Someone hit my blog searching for the Nicene Creed, so I thought “Hey, you should link those things.” 

The Apostles Creed, and the longer Nicene Creed, are statements of belief.  They come from the early centuries of the Christian church, and represent the common ground that all believers in Christ share.  You can link here for the Apostles Creed,and read a couple of different incarnations of the creed, as well as view it in Latin and Greek.  Click here for the Nicene Creed.

I hope these links provide a valuable resource.  If anyone finds the information inaccurate, please let me know.  The post I wrote on May 1st entitled Tough Questions is about what it means in the Apostles Creed that Jesus “descended into hell.”  Go to Tough Questions to weigh in on that issue.

5 thoughts on “Creeds of the Christian Faith

  1. There is no inaccurate information that I see. But to expand it a bit, it should be noted that what is now called the Nicene Creed was not the original Nicene Creed. In fact it is sometimes called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. The creed agreed upon at the Council of Nicaea in 325 was revised at the Council of Constantinople in 381. So what is recited in the liturgy of the churches that use the Nicene Creed is not actually the Nicene Creed, but the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

    ……and of course those who are historically knowledgable know that what is recited is not the original revision (there’s an oxymoron for you) either, unless you are in an Eastern Orthodox Church. The line in the creed which states “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who procedes from the Father and the Son.” is not the original revision. It is up until the last 3 words in English. In Latin it is one word, Filioque, which simply means “and the Son.” It was inserted in the creed a couple of centuries later in the Western churches. This is one of the issues that caused the split between the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox churches in the East, along with whether or not the bishop of Rome (aka the Pope) had authority over the whole, universal (which is what the word catholic means by the way) church.

    Here is a link to the original Nicene Creed.

    http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/main/nicaea/creed_of_nicaea.shtml

    Here is the “original revision” at Constantinople in 381.

    http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/main/constantinople/creed_of_constantinople.shtml

    For the “New Revised Nicene Creed” see the link Clark has in the post.

  2. The Apostles’ Creed was not written by the apostles. The earliest form of it probably appeared in the 2nd century. It is usually called the Old Roman Symbol. It is slightly different from the Apostles’ Creed. It doesn’t have the “descended into hell” part that has created a lot of controversy over the centuries, nor does it have the line about “the communion of the saints” in it. It also just mentions “the holy church” instead of “the holy catholic church”.

    It is believed by many church historians that confession of this creed, or something similar to it, was required for baptism and hence entry into the church. Keep in mind that if the 2nd century date is correct then this creed predates Constantine and was used while the church was under persecution.

    One of the controversial issues regarding this creed by some is that it does not fully define the deity of Christ or the Trinity. Hence Arians as well as Nicaenians, Unitarians as well as Trinitarians can affirm its contents. This could probably be best explained because the earliest heresies about Christ were not those who denied that He was God, but those who denied that He was man. Remember that the apostle John said that the antichrist was he who denies that Jesus has come in the flesh (First John 4:1-3).

  3. Pingback: On the Subject of Theology « The Master’s Table

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