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Creeds

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only 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 hades.

The third day he rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty.

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

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy Christian Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.

Background

This creed is called the Apostles' Creed not because it was produced by the apostles themselves but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine "in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity." It is dated no later than the fourth century.

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 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 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 quick and the dead;

whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, 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.

*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places.

Background

The Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian church in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies, which disturbed the church during the fourth century, concerned the doctrine of the trinity and of the person of Christ. Both the Greek (Eastern) and the Latin (Western) church held this creed in honor, though with one important difference: the Western church insisted on the inclusion of the phrase "and the Son" (known as the "filioque"). This creed goes back partially to the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) with additions by the Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381). It was accepted at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, but the "filioque" phrase was not added until 589.

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