Apostles Creed

From Academic Kids

The Apostles Creed (in Latin, Symbolum (Credo) Apostolicum), is an early statement of Christian belief, probably from the first or second century. The theological specifics of the creed appear to be a refutation of Gnosticism, an early heresy. The Apostles' Creed is widely used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western tradition, including Lutheran churches, member churches of the Anglican Communion, Western Orthodox churches, and Roman (Latin-rite) Catholic churches.

Although many Lutheran sources label the Apostles' Creed as "ecumenical", its use appears to be restricted to churches whose rituals are derived of the Latin rite. The Apostles' Creed holds a special place in Roman Catholic tradition as the "ancient Baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome".


Text of the Creed

Source: Template:Web reference

Credo in Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae,
et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos.
Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam.

Ecumenical Translation into English (ICET/ELLC)

The following translation is believed to be prevalent in those denominations which have adopted modern English liturgical translations. It was authored by a consulation of Catholic and Protestant ecclesial communities. See first source for details.

Sources: Template:Web reference; Template:Web reference

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.* **
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Variations in Liturgical Use

Translation of infenos

*The word infenos is translated in some denominational contexts as dead, as in "He descended to the dead." See The Harrowing of Hell for a more detailed discussion of this part of the creed.

Methodist Profession

** In most Methodist denominations, including The United Methodist Church, the reference to the descent into hell is omitted.

Roman Catholic Rite of Baptism

An iterrogative form of the Apostles' Creed is used in the Rite of Baptism (for both children and adults). The minister of baptism asks the following questions (ICEL, 1974):

Do you reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
Do you reject Satan, father of sin and price of darkness?
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, an is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

To each, the catechumen, or, in the case of an infant, the parents and sponsor(s) (godparent(s)) in his or her place, answers "I do."

Roman Catholic Profession of Faith at Mass

Although the canonical creed is in the first person singular, the rubrics of the Roman Missal require that when it is recited in the context of the Sacred Liturgy that it is expressed in the first person plural. The Apostles' Creed is specified for use in Masses with children or for other pastoral reasons approved by the relevant prelate (ICEL, 1974); in other circumstances, the Niceno-Constantinoplian Creed with the injceted fillioque is used.

Origin of the Creed

Many hypotheses exist concerning the date and nature of the origin of the Apostles' Creed. There is no Catholic dogmatic teaching on its origin. One legend proposes that the creed was originally formulated in twelve articles, each written by an Apostle after the Pentecost under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Some historians place the origin of the Apostles' Creed as late as fifth century Gaul. The earliest known concrete historical evidence of the creed's existence as it is currently titled (Symbolum Apostolicum) is a letter of the Council of Milan (390 CE) to Pope Siricius (here in Enlgish):

"If you credit not the teachings of the priests . . . let credit at least be given to the Symbol of the Apostles which the Roman Church always preserves and maintains inviolate."

The public domain Catholic Encyclopedia contains a detailed discussion (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01629a.htm) of the origin of the Apostles' Creed.

Theological issues

It does not address some of the Christological issues associated with the later Nicene Creed and other Christian Creeds. In particular, it was acceptable to many Arians and Unitarians.

See also


cs:Apoštolské vyznání de:Apostolisches Glaubensbekenntnis et:Apostellik usutunnistus fr:Symbole des aptres nl:Apostolische geloofsbelijdenis no:Den apostoliske trosbekjennelse pl:Skład Apostolski fi:Apostolinen uskontunnustus sv:Apostoliska trosbeknnelsen zh:使徒信經 da:Den apostolske trosbekendelse


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