Historical creeds

135 credo

A creed (Credo, from lat. "I believe") is a summary formulation of beliefs. It wants to enumerate important truths, clarify teachings, separate truth from error. It is usually kept in a way that it can easily be memorized. A number of passages in the Bible have the character of creeds. So Jesus uses the schema based on 5. Moses 6,4-9, as a creed. Paul makes simple, credo-like statements in 1. Corinthians 8,6; 12,3 and 15,3-4. Also 1. Timothy 3,16 gives a creed in a highly streamlined form.

With the spread of the primitive Church, the need for a formal profession of faith arose, which showed the faithful the most important doctrines of their religion. The Apostles' Creed is so called, not because the first apostles wrote it, but because it correctly summarizes the teaching of the apostles. The Church Fathers Tertullian, Augustine and others had slightly different versions of the Apostles' Creed; as a standard form finally the text of Pirminus (750) was adopted.

As the church grew, so did the heresies, and the early Christians needed to clarify where the limits of their faith lay. In the early 4. The dispute over the divinity of Christ began, even before the definition of the New Testament canon. To clarify this question came at the request of Emperor Constantine in the year 325 bishops from all parts of the Roman Empire in Nicaea together. Their consensus they wrote down in the so-called creed of Nicaea. 381 met in Constantinople another synod on which the Nicene Confession slightly revised by a few points has been extended. This version is called NicƤnikonstantinopolitanisches or short NicƤnisches creed.

In the following century, church leaders met in the city of Chalcedon to discuss, among other things, the divine and human nature of Christ. They found a formula that, in their opinion, was consistent with the gospel, apostolic doctrine, and Scripture. It is called Christological Definition of Chalcedony or Chalcedonensic Formula.

Unfortunately, creeds can also be formulaic, complex, abstract and sometimes equated with the "Holy Scripture". Properly used, however, they provide a concise teaching foundation, guard the right biblical doctrine and create a focus for ecclesial and congregational life. The following three creeds are widely recognized among Christians as Biblical and as a formulation of true Christian orthodoxy of orthodoxy).


The Nicene Creed (381 AD)

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all that is visible and invisible. And to a Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all time, light of light, true God of the true God, begotten, not created, of a being with the Father, through whom all things became, those around us humans and for the sake of our salvation came down from the heavens, and took flesh from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and Man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and was suffered and buried, and risen on the third day after the scriptures, and to heaven, and to heaven sitting right hand of the Father and will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
And to the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver, who proceeds from the Father, who is worshiped and glorified together with the Father and the Son, who has spoken through the prophets
Has; to a sacred and catholic [all-inclusive] and apostolic church. We confess a baptism for the remission of sins; we are waiting for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the future world. Amen.
(Quoted from JND Kelly, Old Christian Confessions, Gƶttingen 1993)


The Apostles' Creed (around 700 n. Chr.)

I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. And to Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord, received by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, died and buried, descended into the kingdom of death, resurrected on the third day from the dead, ascended to heaven, he sits at the right hand of God, the Father; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the sacred Christian Church, communion of saints, forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the dead and eternal life. Amen.


Definition of the unity of God and man nature in the person of Christ
(Council of Chalcedon, 451 n. Chr.)

So, following the holy fathers, we all unanimously teach to confess our Lord Jesus Christ as one and the same Son; it is perfect in the Deity, and the same is perfect in humanity, the very true God and true man of the rational soul and body, with the Father being (homooĆŗsion) of the Deity and being the same with us as humanity, in all respects similar to us the sin. Before the times of the Father born to the deity, but at the end of times, as the same, born of our salvation and for our salvation out of Mary, the Virgin and Mother of God (theotokos), he is, as one and the same, Christ, Son, Native, unmolested in two natures, unaltered, undivided, undivided recognized. At the same time, the diversity of natures is not abolished for the sake of unification; rather, the peculiarity of each of the two natures is preserved and connects to a person and hypostasis. [We confess him] not as divided and divided into two persons, but as one and the same Son, Native, God, Logos, Lord, Jesus Christ, as the prophets foretold about him [...] and he, Jesus Christ, and taught us the bearer symbol [Creed of Nicaea] has come down to us. (Quoted from Religion in History and the Present, ed. By Betz / Browning / Janowski / JĆ¼ngel, TĆ¼bingen 1999)


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