The Nicene Creed

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Authors' Bias | Interpretation: conservative

Christian Creeds and Statements are carefully worded responses to heresies or situations that challenge orthodox Christianity. They are not new revelations or additions to Scripture, but rather a careful reflection of doctrine.

Arius, questioned by Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, challenged the doctrine of the Trinity by teaching that Jesus was a created being and not fully God. Excommunicated by a council of Egyptian bishops, Arius continued to defend his position to various bishops which prompted Emperor Constantine to summon a council of Bishops in Nicea (325 AD). By a majority, the bishops repudiated Arius with a draft of the Nicene Creed. Arius' trinitarian theology still exists today in the form of the Jehovah Witnesseses Watchtower Society.

A more formal version of the Nicene Creed was developed by the Council of Constantinople (381 AD) and officially adopted by the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD). Despite controversy with a phrase of the Nicene Creed, the filioque clause, it is the only creed accepted and used regularly in liturgical worship services by all three major branches of Christianity: Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox. The work of the Council of Constantinople became known as the Nicene Creed of 381 or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed which is listed here.

We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty,

maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

The Pilate Inscription is housed at the Israel Museum

Learn more about the Pilate
mentioned in the Nicene Creed
at Pontious Pilate Inscription

God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary

and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again 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.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father,

who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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