Creeds of the Church
What follows is a list of creeds, and scripture verses which are part of the history of the Church. The information all comes from the Master Christian Library created by Ages Software but is no longer published in this format.
The first part will be made up of the Bible verses that may have influenced the subsequent human originated creeds
Part One: Biblical Foundation:
1. Deut. 6:4— Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
2. 1 Kings 18:39— And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”
3. Mat. 16:16— Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
4. Mat. 28: 19— Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
5. John 1:49— Nathaniel answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
6. John 6: 68-9— Simon Peter answered him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
7. Acts 8:36-7— And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
8. 1 Cor. 8:6— . yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
9. 1 Cor. 12:3– Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says: “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
10 1 Cor. 15: 3-7— For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
11 Phil. 2:6-11— who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 1 Tim. 3:16— Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
13 Hebrews 6:1-2— Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment
14 1 John 4:2— By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.
Part Two: The Creeds:
1. Rule of Faith– SECOND CENTURY, AS RECORDED BY IRENAEUS
“. . .this faith: in one God, the Father Almighty, who made the heaven and
the earth and the seas and all the things that are in them; and in one Christ
Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation; and in the
Holy Spirit, who made known through the prophets the plan of salvation,
and the coming, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the
resurrection from the dead, and the bodily ascension into heaven of the
beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and his future appearing from heaven in
the glory of the Father to sum up all things and to raise anew all flesh of
the whole human race. . .”
2. A Baptismal Confession– THIRD CENTURY, HIPPOLYTUS
“When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who
baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: ‘Do you believe in God,
the Father Almighty?’ And the person being baptized shall say: ‘I believe.’
Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize him once.
And then he shall say: ‘Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God,
who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified inder Pontius Pilate,
and was dead and buried, and rose again the third day, alive from the dead,
and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will
come to judge the living and the dead?’ And when he saya: ‘I believe,’ he is
baptized again. And again he shall say: ‘Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
in the holy church, and the resurrection of the body?’ The person being
baptized shall say: ‘I believe,’ and then he is baptized a third time.”
3. The Apostles Creed– THIRD CENTURY (?)
“The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the 2nd and 9th
centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians.
Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator.
“Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after
Christ’s ascension into heaven . . . each of the doctrines found in the creed
can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest
written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus
(c.215 A.D.). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of
Arles (d 542).
“The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for
baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome, and, thus, became known as
The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and
answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that
they believed each statement.” (Introduction author unknown)
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH VERSION
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 Ghost, 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 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 Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of
saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life
4. The Nicene Creed– 325 A.D. ENGLISH VERSION 1549 (WITH A FEW MINOR UPDATES)
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 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, 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 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 we believe in the Holy Spirit, 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 spoke by the prophets. And we
believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one
baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the
dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
5. The Definition of Chalcedon– 451 A.D.
Following, then, the holy fathers, we unite in teaching all men to confess
the one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This selfsame one is perfect
both in deity and in humanness; this selfsame one is also actually God and
actually man, with a rational soul [i.e., human soul] and a body. He is of
the same reality as God as far as his deity is concerned and of the same
reality as we ourselves as far as his humanness is concerned; thus like us in
all respects, sin only excepted. Before time began he was begotten of the
Father, in respect of his deity, and now in these “last days,” for us and
behalf of our salvation, this selfsame one was born of Mary the virgin,
who is God-bearer in respect of his humanness.
We also teach that we apprehend this one and only Christ-Son, Lord,
only-begotten — in two natures; and we do this without confusing the
two natures, without transmuting one nature into the other, without
dividing them into two separate categories, without con- trasting them
according to area or function. The distinctiveness of each nature is not
nullified by the union. Instead, the “properties” of each nature are
conserved and both natures concur in one “person” and in one reality
[hypostasis]. They are not divided or cut into two persons, but are
together the one and only and only-begotten Word [Logos] of God, the
Lord Jesus Christ. Thus have the prophets of old testified; thus the Lord
Jesus Christ himself taught us; thus the Symbol of Fathers [the Nicene
Creed] has handed down to us.
6. The Athanasian Creed– EARLY FIFTH CENTURY
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary
that he hold the catholic [apostolic/universal] faith, which except everyone
shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.
Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity
in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For
there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy
Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the
Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the
father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father
eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three
eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but
one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the
Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties
but one almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not
three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy
Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are
compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to
be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say,
there be three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the
Father alone, nod made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the
Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So
there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy
Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or
after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal
together and coequal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the trinity in Unity and the Unity in
Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of
salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.
But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the
Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we
believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and
He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and
He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God,
perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the
Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His
Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one
however not by conversion of the GodHead in the flesh, but by taking of
the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by
unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God
and Man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the
dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming
all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their
own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and
they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully
and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.