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Icon depicting Emperor Constantine (center) and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

The Nicene Creed (Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is the creed or profession of faith (Greek: Σύμβολον τῆς Πίστεως) that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene (pronounced /ˈnaɪsiːn/) because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in A.D. 325. The Nicene Creed has been normative to the Anglican, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic Eucharistic rite as well as Eastern and Oriental Orthodox liturgies.[1] The Creed is recited in the Roman Rite Mass directly after the homily on all Sundays and Solemnities (Tridentine Feasts of the First Class), and in the Byzantine Rite Liturgy following the Litany of Supplication on all occasions.

It is given high importance in the Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Oriental Orthodox churches, the Roman Catholic Church including the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Old Catholic Church, and most Protestant denominations.

For current English translations of the Nicene Creed, see English versions of the Nicene Creed in current use.

Contents

Nomenclature

There are several designations for the two forms of the Nicene creed, some with overlapping meanings:

  • Nicene Creed can refer to the original version adopted at the First Council of Nicaea (325), to the revised version adopted by the First Council of Constantinople (381), to the later Latin version that includes the phrase "Deum de Deo" and "Filioque", and to the Armenian version.
  • Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed can stand for the revised version of Constantinople (381) or the later Latin version[2] or various other versions.[3]
  • Icon/Symbol of the Faith is the usual designation for the revised version of Constantinople 381 in the Orthodox churches, where this is the only creed used in the liturgy.
  • Profession of Faith of the 318 Fathers refers specifically to the version of Nicea 325 (traditionally, 318 bishops took part at the First Council of Nicea).
  • Profession of Faith of the 150 Fathers refers specifically to the version of Constantinople 381 (traditionally, 150 bishops took part at the First Council of Constantinople)

In musical settings, particularly when singing in Latin, this Creed is usually referred to by its first word, Credo.

History

The purpose of a creed is to act as a yardstick of correct belief. The creeds of Christianity have been drawn up at times of conflict about doctrine: acceptance or rejection of a creed served to distinguish believers and deniers of a particular doctrine or set of doctrines. For that reason a creed was called in Greek a σύμβολον, a word that meant half of a broken object which, when placed together with the other half, verified the bearer's identity. The Greek word passed through Latin "symbolum" into English "symbol", which only later took on the meaning of an outward sign of something.[4] The Nicene Creed was adopted in the face of the Arian controversy. Arius, a Libyan preacher, had declared that although Jesus Christ was divine, God had actually created him, and "there was when he was not,"[5] also worded by others of the era "there was once when he was not" and "he was made out of nothing."[6] This made Jesus less than the Father and contradicted the doctrine of the Trinity. [7] Arius's teaching provoked a serious crisis.

The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus, applying to him the term "God". The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. The Athanasian Creed describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Apostles' Creed makes no explicit statements about the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but, in the view of many who use it, the doctrine is implicit in it.

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The original Nicene Creed of 325

The original Nicene Creed was first adopted in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. At that time, the text ended after the words "We believe in the Holy Spirit", after which an anathema was added.[8]

The Coptic Church has the tradition that the original creed was authored by Pope Athanasius I of Alexandria. F. J. A. Hort and Adolf Harnack argued that the Nicene creed was the local creed of Caesarea (an important center of Early Christianity) brought to the council by Eusebius of Caesarea. J.N.D. Kelly sees as its basis a baptismal creed of the Syro-Phoenician family, related to (but not dependent on) the creed cited by Cyril of Jerusalem and to the creed of Eusebius.

Soon after the Council of Nicaea, new formulae of faith were composed, most of them variations of the Nicene Symbol, to counter new phases of Arianism. The Catholic Encyclopedia identifies at least four before the Council of Sardica (341), where a new form was presented and inserted in the Acts of the Council, though it was not agreed on.

The Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

It is traditionally believed that the second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople in 381 added the section that follows the words "We believe in the Holy Spirit" (without the words "and the Son" relative to the procession of the Spirit);[9] hence the name "Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed", referring to the Creed as modified in the First Council of Constantinople. This is the received text of the Eastern Orthodox Church,[10] with the exception that in its liturgy it changes verbs from the plural by which the Fathers of the Council collectively professed their faith to the singular of the individual Christian's profession of faith. Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches use exactly the same form of the Creed, since the Catholic Church teaches that it is wrong to add "and the Son" to the Greek verb "ἐκπορευόμενον", but correct to add it to the Latin "qui procedit", which does not have precisely the same meaning.[11]

Doubt has been cast on this explanation of the origin of the familiar Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, commonly called the Nicene Creed. On the basis of evidence both internal and external to the text, it has been argued that this creed originated not as an editing by the First Council of Constantinople of the original Nicene Creed, but as an independent creed (probably an older baptismal creed) modified to make it more like the Nicene Creed of 325 and attributed to the Council of 381 only later.[12]

The third Ecumenical Council (Council of Ephesus of 431) reaffirmed the original 325 version[13] of the Nicene Creed and declared that "it is unlawful for any man to bring forward, or to write, or to compose a different (ἑτέραν) Faith as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicæa" (i.e. the 325 creed)[14] This statement has been interpreted as a prohibition against changing this creed or composing others, but not all accept this interpretation.[15] This question is connected with the controversy whether a creed proclaimed by an Ecumenical Council is definitive or whether additions can be made to it.

Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381

The following table juxtaposes the earlier (325 AD) and later (381 AD) forms of this Creed in the English translation given in Schaff's work, Creeds of Christendom, which indicates by [square brackets] the portions of the 325 text that were omitted or moved in 381, and uses italics to indicate what phrases, absent in the 325 text, were added in 381.[16]

First Council of Nicea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381)
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. We 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 Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Ghost. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son (Filioque)], who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.
In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
[But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]

Filioque controversy

In the late sixth century, the Latin-speaking churches of Western Europe added the words "and the Son" (Filioque) to the description of the procession of the Holy Spirit, in what Easterners have argued is a violation of Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Council, since the words were not included in the text by either the Council of Nicaea or that of Constantinople.[17] The Vatican has recently argued that while these words would indeed be heretical if associated with the Greek verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι of the text adopted by the Council of Constantinople,[18] they are not heretical when associated with the Latin verb procedere, which corresponds instead to the Greek verb προιέναι, with which some of the Greek Fathers also associated the same words.[19]

Views on the importance of this creed

The Nicene Creed has been regarded as a touchstone of true Christian faith, though not a complete expression of it. When the word "symbol" meant a "token for identification (by comparison with a counterpart)",[20] the Nicene Creed was given, in Greek and Latin, the name "symbol of faith", a name still used even in languages in which "symbol" no longer has that meaning.

In the Roman Rite Mass, the Latin text of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, with "Deum de Deo" (God from God) and "Filioque" (and from the Son), phrases absent in the original text, was previously the only form used for the "profession of faith". The Roman Missal now refers to it jointly with the Apostles' Creed as "the Symbol or Profession of Faith or Creed", describing the second as "the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles' Creed".[21][22] Use of the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, which contains only the Latin text of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is still permitted, with certain limitations on its public use. The liturgies of the ancient Churches of Eastern Christianity (Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Assyrian Church of the East) and the Eastern Catholic Churches), use the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, never the Western Apostles' Creed.

While not necessarily rejecting the Nicene Creed as erroneous, some evangelical and other Christians, on the basis of their sola scriptura view, consider it as in no way authoritative because it is not part of the Bible, and do not recite it in their services.

The Church of the New Jerusalem, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and similar groups, accept the Christian Scriptures in whole or in part, but reject post-Apostolic statements such as the Nicene Creed. They consider themselves Christians, an identification contested by others who consider acceptance of the Nicene Creed a key part of Christian orthodoxy.[23]

Ancient liturgical versions

All ancient liturgical versions, even the Greek, differ at least to some small extent from the text adopted by the First Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. The Creed was originally written in Greek, owing to the location of the two councils. But though the councils' texts have "Πιστεύομεν ... ὁμολογοῦμεν ... προσδοκοῦμεν" (we believe ... confess ... await), the Creed that the Churches of Byzantine tradition use in their liturgy has "Πιστεύω ... ὁμολογῶ ... προσδοκῶ" (I believe ... confess ... await), accentuating the personal nature of recitation of the Creed. The Latin text, as well as using the singular, has two additions: "Deum verum de Deo vero" (true God from true God) and "Filioque" (and from the Son). The Armenian text has many more additions.

Greek liturgical text

Πιστεύω εἰς ἕνα Θεόν, Πατέρα, Παντοκράτορα, ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων.
Καὶ εἰς ἕνα Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων·
φῶς ἐκ φωτός, Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ, γεννηθέντα οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί, δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο.
Τὸν δι' ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ σαρκωθέντα
ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένου καὶ ἐνανθρωπήσαντα.
Σταυρωθέντα τε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, καὶ παθόντα καὶ ταφέντα.
Καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ κατὰ τὰς Γραφάς.
Καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ καθεζόμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Πατρός.
Καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενον μετὰ δόξης κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς, οὗ τῆς βασιλείας οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.
Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, τὸ ζωοποιόν,
τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον,
τὸ σὺν Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον,
τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν.
Εἰς μίαν, Ἁγίαν, Καθολικὴν καὶ Ἀποστολικὴν Ἐκκλησίαν.
Ὁμολογῶ ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.
Προσδοκῶ ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν.
Καὶ ζωὴν τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος.
Ἀμήν.[24][25]

Latin liturgical version

Credo in unum Deum,
Patrem omnipoténtem,
Factórem cæli et terræ,
Visibílium ómnium et invisibílium.
Et in unum Dóminum Iesum Christum,
Fílium Dei Unigénitum,
Et ex Patre natum ante ómnia sæcula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine, Deum verum de Deo vero,
Génitum, non factum, consubstantiálem Patri:
Per quem ómnia facta sunt.
Qui propter nos hómines et propter nostram salútem
Descéndit de cælis.
Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto
Ex María Vírgine, et homo factus est.
Crucifíxus étiam pro nobis sub Póntio Piláto;
Passus, et sepúltus est,
Et resurréxit tértia die, secúndum Scriptúras,
Et ascéndit in cælum, sedet ad déxteram Patris.
Et íterum ventúrus est cum glória,
Iudicáre vivos et mórtuos,
Cuius regni non erit finis.
Et in Spíritum Sanctum, Dóminum et vivificántem:
Qui ex Patre Filióque procédit.
Qui cum Patre et Fílio simul adorátur et conglorificátur:
Qui locútus est per prophétas.
Et unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam.
Confíteor unum baptísma in remissiónem peccatorum.
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum,
Et vitam ventúri sæculi. Amen.[26]

The Latin text adds "Deum de Deo" and "Filioque" to the Greek. On the latter see The Filioque Controversy above. Inevitably also, the overtones of the terms used, such as "παντοκράτορα" (pantokratora) and "omnipotentem" differ ("pantokratora" meaning Ruler of all; "omnipotentem" meaning omnipotent, Almighty). The implications of this for the interpretation of "ἐκπορευόμενον" and "qui ... procedit" was the object of the study The Greek and the Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1996. Again, the terms "ὁμοούσιον" and "consubstantialem", translated as "of one being" or "consubstantial", have different overtones, being based respectively on Greek οὐσία (stable being, immutable reality, substance, essence, true nature),[1] and Latin substantia (that of which a thing consists, the being, essence, contents, material, substance). [2]

"Credo", which in classical Latin is used with the accusative case of the thing held to be true (and with the dative of the person to whom credence is given),[27] is here used three times with the preposition "in", a literal translation of the Greek "εἰς" (in unum Deum ..., in unum Dominum ..., in Spiritum Sanctum ...), and once in the classical preposition-less construction (unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam).

Other ancient liturgical versions

The version in the Church Slavonic language, used by several of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and of the Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches, is practically identical with the Greek liturgical version. The same can be said of the versions used by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria[28] and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church,[29] both of which, like the Armenian Apostolic Church, are part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Assyrian Church of the East, except that some of them are reported to use the plural ("We believe"), as in the original text in Greek, and not the singular ("I believe"), as in the Greek liturgical text.

English translations

For English translations of the Nicene Creed, which of necessity are not as ancient as the above-mentioned versions, see English versions of the Nicene Creed in current use.

References

  1. ^ Jeffrey, David L. A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1992. ISBN 0802836348
  2. ^ For instance, "Instead of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter time, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles' Creed, may be used" (Roman Missal, Order of Mass, 19).
  3. ^ Philip Schaff, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. III: article Constantinopolitan Creed lists eight creed-forms calling themselves Niceno-Constantinopolitan or Nicene.
  4. ^ Symbol. c.1434, "creed, summary, religious belief," from L.L. symbolum "creed, token, mark," from Gk. symbolon "token, watchword" (applied c.250 by Cyprian of Carthage to the Apostles' Creed, on the notion of the "mark" that distinguishes Christians from pagans), from syn- "together" + stem of ballein "to throw." The sense evolution is from "throwing things together" to "contrasting" to "comparing" to "token used in comparisons to determine if something is genuine." Hence, "outward sign" of something. The meaning "something which stands for something else" first recorded 1590 (in "Faerie Queene"). Symbolic is attested from 1680. (symbol. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. Accessed: 24 March 2008).
  5. ^ Noll, M., "Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity", Inter-Varsity Press, 1997, p52
  6. ^ "Arianism, ArianismAdvanced Information. Web: 29 Jan 2010 Arianism
  7. ^ Collins. M, The Story of Christianity, Dorling Kindersley, 1999, p60
  8. ^ cf. Philip Schaff's The Seven Ecumenical Councils - The Nicene Creed and Creeds of Christendom: § 8. The Nicene Creed
  9. ^ cf. Schaff's Seven Ecumenical Councils: Second Ecumenical: The Holy Creed Which the 150 Holy Fathers Set Forth...
  10. ^ Schaff's Creeds: Forma Recepta Ecclesiæ Orientalis. A.D. 381, Schaff's Creeds: Forma Recepta, Ecclesiæ Occidentalis
  11. ^ The Father as the Source of the Whole Trinity
  12. ^ Philip Schaff, The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. III: article Constantinopolitan Creed
  13. ^ It was the original 325 creed, not the one that is attributed to the second Ecumenical Council in 381, that was recited at the Council of Ephesus (The Third Ecumenical Council. The Council of Ephesus, p. 202).
  14. ^ Canon VII of the Council of Ephesus
  15. ^ Excursus on the Words πίστιν ἑτέραν
  16. ^ The following table presents in the same way the texts of the two Councils, as given in the original Greek language on the Web site Symbolum Nicaeno-Constantinopolitanum - Greek:
    First Council of Nicea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381)
    Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα, πάντων ὁρατῶν τε και ἀοράτων ποιητήν. Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα, ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων και ἀοράτων.
    Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, γεννηθέντα ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς μονογενῆ, τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς ουσίας τοῦ πατρός, θεὸν ἐκ θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ, γεννηθέντα, οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρί Και εἰς ἕνα κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων, φῶς ἐκ φωτός, θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ, γεννηθέντα οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρί·
    δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο, τά τε ἐν τῷ ούρανῳ καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο·
    τὸν δι' ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα καὶ σαρκωθέντα και ενανθρωπήσαντα, τὸν δι' ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ σαρκωθέντα ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου καὶ ἐνανθρωπήσαντα,
    παθόντα, καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τριτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς,

    σταυρωθέντα τε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, καὶ παθόντα καὶ ταφέντα, καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρα κατὰ τὰς γραφάς, καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς, καὶ καθεζόμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ πατρός

    καὶ ἐρχόμενον κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς. καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενον μετὰ δόξης κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς·
    οὗ τῆς βασιλείας οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.
    Καὶ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα. Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, (καὶ) τὸ ζωοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον, τὸ σὺν πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον, τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν. εἰς μίαν, ἁγίαν, καθολικὴν καὶ ἀποστολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν· ὁμολογοῦμεν ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν· προσδοκοῦμεν ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν, καὶ ζωὴν τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος. Ἀμήν.
    Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, ὁτι ἦν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν, καὶ πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐγένετο, ἢ ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας φάσκοντας εἶναι, [ἢ κτιστόν,] τρεπτὸν ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, [τούτους] ἀναθεματίζει ἡ καθολικὴ [καὶ ἀποστολικὴ] ἐκκλησία.
  17. ^ For a different view, see e.g. Excursus on the Words πίστιν ἑτέραν
  18. ^ The Roman Catholic Church does not permit the addition of these words to the Creed recited in Greek and so with the word ἐκπορευόμενον
  19. ^ Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: The Greek and the Latin Traditions regading the Procession of the Holy Spirit (scanned image of the English translation on L'Osservatore Romano of 20 September 1995); also text with Greek letters transliterated and text omitting two sentences at the start of the paragraph that it presents as beginning with "The Western tradition expresses first ..."
  20. ^ See etymology given in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000
  21. ^ Ordo Missae, 18-19
  22. ^ In Let Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass Paul Turner says that "the Apostles' Creed may be said on some occasions", citing the Ordo Missae, 19, which instead says: "Instead of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter time, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles' Creed, may be used" (emphasis added).
  23. ^ Are Mormons Christians? Are Mormons Christian? Are Mormons Christians?
  24. ^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: Liturgical Texts. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
  25. ^ Η ΘΕΙΑ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ. Church of Greece.
  26. ^ Missale Romanum
  27. ^ Lewis & Short
  28. ^ The Coptic Orthodox Church: Our Creed
  29. ^ Nicene Creed

See also

Bibliography

  • Ayres, Lewis (2006). Nicaea and Its Legacy. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198755058. 
  • A. E. Burn, The Council of Nicaea (1925)
  • G. Forell, Understanding the Nicene Creed (1965)
  • Kelly, J. (1982). Early Christian Creeds. City: Longman Publishing Group. ISBN 058249219X. 

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is a concise summary of the core beliefs of Christianity, primarily concerned with defining the nature of the three persons comprising the Trinity - God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It was originally adopted by the First Ecumenical Council in 325 in order to counter the many heresies of the time.
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Nicene Creed.
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1662 Book of Common Prayer version

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 his Father before all worlds,
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 Ghost 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 sitteth on the right hand of the Father.
And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead:
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
 
And I believe in the Holy Ghost,
The Lord and giver of life,
Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,
Who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one Catholick and Apostolick 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.

1975 ecumenical version (International Consultation on English Texts)

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God,
light from light
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father,
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation,
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the scriptures;
he ascended into Heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father:
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son.]*
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen.


*This phrase is called the Filioque clause (Latin for "and the son"). Orthodox Christians profess the creed without this clause.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

Named after the council of Nicea in 325, called by the emperor Constantine, to settle the question of the nature of Christ.

Noun

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Nicene Creed

  1. The orthodox creed setting out the Catholic church's position on the Holy Trinity.

See also


Simple English

holding the Nicene Creed.]]

The Nicene Creed, Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed or Icon/Symbol of the Faith, is the most widespread or ecumenical Christian statement of faith.

Since its original formulation it continues to be used in the Roman Catholic, Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite), Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian, Anglican, Lutheran, and most other Protestant Churches.

Contents

= Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381

= The following table displays side by side the earlier (325) and later (381) forms of this Creed in the English translation given in Schaff's Creeds of Christendom, which indicates by brackets the portions of the 325 text that were omitted or moved in 381, but uses no typographical mark to indicate what phrases, absent in the 325 text, were added in 381.

First Council of Nicea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381)
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. We 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 Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made;
who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Ghost. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
[But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable' — they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]

The following table presents in the same way the texts of the two Councils, as given in the original Greek language on the Web site Symbolum Nicaeno-Constantinopolitanum - Greek:

First Council of Nicea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381)
Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα, πάντων ὁρατῶν τε και ἀοράτων ποιητήν. Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα, ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων και ἀοράτων.
Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, γεννηθέντα ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς μονογενῆ, τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς ουσίας τοῦ πατρός, θεὸν εκ θεοῦ ἀληθινου, γεννηθέντα, οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῳ πατρί Και εἰς ἕνα κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων, φῶς ἐκ φωτός, θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ, γεννηθέντα οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρί•
δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο, τά τε ἐν τῳ ούρανῳ καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο•
τὸν δι' ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα καὶ σαρκωθέντα και ενανθρωπήσαντα, τὸν δι' ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ σαρκωθέντα ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου καὶ ἐνανθρωπήσαντα,
παθόντα, καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τριτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς,

σταυρωθέντα τε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, καὶ παθόντα καὶ ταφέντα, καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρα κατὰ τὰς γραφάς, καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς, καὶ καθεζόμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ πατρός

καὶ ἐρχόμενον κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς. καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενον μετὰ δόξης κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς•
οὗ τῆς βασιλείας οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.
Καὶ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα. Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, (καὶ) τὸ ζωοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον, τὸ σὺν πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον, τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν. εἰς μίαν, ἁγίαν, καθολικὴν καὶ ἀποστολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν• ὁμολογοῦμεν ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν• προσδοκοῦμεν ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν, καὶ ζωὴν τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος. Ἀμήν.
Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, ὁτι ἦν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν, καὶ πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ὅτι ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας φάσκοντας εἶναι, [ἢ κτιστόν,] τρεπτὸν ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, [τούτους] ἀναθεματίζει ἡ καθολικὴ [καὶ ἀποστολικὴ] ἐκκλησία.

Problems

There were certain problems with the Nicene creed. In 529, the so-called filioque clause was added to the creed. This clause is one of the main differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church has this clause, the Eastern Orthodox Church does not. The clause is about how godly the Father is, compared to the Son. Where the original Nicene Creed reads "We believe in the Holy Spirit ... who proceeds from the Father", the altered, Roman Catholic version reads "We believe in the Holy Spirit ... who proceeds from the Father and the Son". Roman Catholic Christians accept this change, but Eastern Orthodox Christians reject it. Many Eastern Catholic churches (Eastern in liturgy but in full communion with the pope) do not use the clause in their creed. The do think the doctrine it represents is true, though, as this is a dogma of the Roman Catholic faith. Many Protestant churches who take a position in this matter, usually accept the filioque.

After the schism of 1054, the Eastern and Western churches attempted to reunite at two separate medieval councils, and the filioque was an issue at each. Despite Greek concessions, neither the Second Council of Lyon (1274) nor the Council of Ferrera-Florence (1438 - 1535) achieved the desired union.[1]

The clause is most often referred to as "the filioque" or simply filioque.

Other pages

References

  1. Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt and company. 1994.

Bibliography

  • A E Burn, The Council of Nicaea (1925);
  • G Forell, Understanding the Nicene Creed (1965)
  • J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, (1982), ISBN 0-582-49219-X

Other websites


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