Apostles' Creed

The Apostles’ Creed is not a production of the Apostles themselves, but it contains a brief summary of their teachings, as the words are almost all directly from their Epistles. In its present form it is of no later date than the 4th century. More than any other creed of Christendom, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith.

The Nicene Creed

This Creed was especially written in response to the heresy of Arianism, which arose during the 4th century. Its teachings destroyed the doctrine of the Trinity and of the Deity of Christ, saying that the Father alone was the eternal God, while the Son was a created being. Therefore, there is one God, the Father, who created a Son (a familiar teaching in our day by the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Both the Eastern and the Western Church confess this Creed, but with one important difference. The West insisted on the inclusion of the phrase “and the Son” (Latin filioque) in discussing the procession of the Holy Spirit; but the East rejects this phrase. The inclusion of this phrase is important as it protects the consubstantiality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son; without it the heresy of subordinationism creeps into the doctrine of the Trinity. In its present form this Creed is the creed of the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), but the addition of the articles on the Holy Spirit from the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) form this majestic creed.

Athanasian Creed

Although St. Athanasius (293-373 A.D.) did not write this Creed, as it does not date back further than the 6th century, it is named after that champion of orthodoxy against Arianism. It originated in the Western Church and is not recognized by the Eastern Church today. Apart from the opening and closing sentences, this “symbol” (another name for a creed) consists of two parts: the doctrine of the Trinity (3-28) and the doctrine of Christ’s Incarnation and two natures (29-43).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ancient Ecumenical Creeds

We believe the ancient creeds, shared by all Christian churches worthy the name:

Apostles' Creed

Nicene Creed

Athanasian Creed

Definition of Chalcedon

Apostles' Creed

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the virgin Mary;

Suffered under Pontius Pilate;
    was crucified, dead, and buried;
    He descended into hell;

The third day He rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
    and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit.

I believe a holy catholic* Church,
    the communion of saints;

The forgiveness of sins;

The resurrection of the body;

And the life everlasting.

AMEN.

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The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy catholic* and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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The Athanasian Creed

  1. “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic* faith;
  2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
  3. And the catholic* faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
  4. Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.
  5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
  6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
  7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
  8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
  9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
  10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
  11. And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal.
  12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
  13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty;
  14. And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty.
  15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
  16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
  17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
  18. And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
  19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord;
  20. So we are forbidden by the catholic* religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.
  21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
  22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
  23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
  24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirit’s.
  25. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another; none is greater, or less than another.
  26. But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.
  27. So that in all things, as said before, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
  28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
  29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
  31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world.
  32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
  33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
  34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
  35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.
  36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
  37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.
  38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
  39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;
  40. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
  41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
  42. And shall give account of their own works.
  43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting. And they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
  44. This is the catholic* faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.”

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Definition of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.

*Catholic here refers to the 'universal' church and not to the Roman Catholic Church.

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