Nicene Creed (Roman Catholic Theology)

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

This page is devoted to the theological, as opposed the historical, significance and interpretation. Note that the Nicene Creed is not the same as the Apostles' Creed.

History[edit]

The Creed was originally created at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The version created there ended after the words "We believe in the Holy Spirit". The remainder was added at the First Council of Constantinople, in 381. In 431 the Council of Ephesus reaffirmed this version and decreed 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."

The purpose of a creed is to act as a yardstick of correct belief. A creed is an epitome, not a full definition, of what is required for orthodoxy. It was hoped that by memorizing this summary of the faith, lay people without extensive theological training would still be able to recognize deviations from orthodox doctrines based on the Bible as interpreted in Christian Tradition.

Text[edit]

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day 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.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son he is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the Prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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