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St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
January 18, 2015
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, th...
 January 18: A Brief Introduction and History
of the Nicene Creed
 January 25: God the Father
 February 1: God the Son
...
 The word “creed” comes from the Latin word
“credo” – meaning “I believe”
 “credimus” – “we believe”
 The creed emerged...
 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.
And you shall love the Lord with all your heart
and all your soul and all ...
 Early Christians adapted the Shema to their
experience of Christ, because they
experienced Jesus as God.
 1 Corinthians...
 Another source of the Creed comes from
Galatians 4: 4-7
 “When the fullness of time had come, God
sent his Son, born of...
 #1 Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch
and Martyr (died 107 CE)
Excerpt from a letter written on the
Way to Rome where he was ma...
 #2 Epistula Apostolorum (circa 150 CE)
 Purportedly written by the apostles to the
churches throughout the known world,...
 #3 Justin Martyr (died 165 CE)
 During his trial, the Roman prefect
Asked Justin what he believed. His
response: “The a...
 The earliest form of the Creed that we know of is
found in the Apostolic Tradition, written around
215 CE.
 It is an ea...
 The first time that the Creed is titled the
Apostles’ Creed is around 390 CE, when it
appears in a letter, presumably
wr...
 The Nicene Creed was produced by the first
ecumenical council of the church at Nicea in
318 CE.
 The purpose of this Co...
 The division was so potentially costly that it
threatened the whole empire.
 Constantine, the Emperor,
hoped that a uni...
The Creed that was formed at Nicea was an
innovation in three ways:
1. It brought the church into a cooperative
relationsh...
 It did not quell the Arian controversy, which
became even more divisive in the following
years after this council.
 Emp...
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, th...
 January 25: God the Father
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The Nicene Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters: Class #1

A Brief Introduction and History of the Nicene Creed

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The Nicene Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters: Class #1

  1. 1. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church January 18, 2015
  2. 2. We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, 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 :by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. 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 and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He 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.
  3. 3.  January 18: A Brief Introduction and History of the Nicene Creed  January 25: God the Father  February 1: God the Son  February 15: God the Holy Spirit
  4. 4.  The word “creed” comes from the Latin word “credo” – meaning “I believe”  “credimus” – “we believe”  The creed emerged from a more ancient confession of faith, called the Shema, Hebrew for the word “hear.”
  5. 5.  “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord with all your heart and all your soul and all your might.”  The Shema is the principle statement of belief in early Judaism, and it remains so today.  When Christianity emerged after Christ’s death and resurrection, it became necessary for the emerging Christian community to alter the Shema.
  6. 6.  Early Christians adapted the Shema to their experience of Christ, because they experienced Jesus as God.  1 Corinthians 15: 3-8 forms the heart of the Christian Creed: “That Christ died on behalf of our sins according to the scriptures. And that he was buried. And that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. And that he appeared to Cephas…”
  7. 7.  Another source of the Creed comes from Galatians 4: 4-7  “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children…  The origins of the Creedd are fairly easily detectable within the pages of the New Testament.
  8. 8.  #1 Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch and Martyr (died 107 CE) Excerpt from a letter written on the Way to Rome where he was martyred: “Be deaf, therefore, whenever anyone speaks to you apart from Jesus Christ, who is the stock of David, who is of Mary, who was truly born, ate and drank, was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate, was truly crucified and died in the sight of the the beings of heaven, of earth and the underworld, who was also truly raised from the dead.”
  9. 9.  #2 Epistula Apostolorum (circa 150 CE)  Purportedly written by the apostles to the churches throughout the known world, containing a dialog between the risen Jesus and the disciples. Of interest:  “They are a picture of our faith concerning the great Christianity and that is in the Father, the ruler of the entire world, and in Jesus Christ our Savior, and in the forgiveness of sins.”  This is the first reference we know of linking church and the forgiveness of sins.
  10. 10.  #3 Justin Martyr (died 165 CE)  During his trial, the Roman prefect Asked Justin what he believed. His response: “The according to what we worship the God of the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples.”
  11. 11.  The earliest form of the Creed that we know of is found in the Apostolic Tradition, written around 215 CE.  It is an early church order, meaning that it offered authoritative answers to questions of liturgy, church organization, etc.  Excerpt: “Do you believe in Christ Jesus, Son of God, who was born by the Holy Spirit out of Mary the Virgin, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate and died and was buried, and rose on the third day alive from among the dead, and ascended into heaven…”
  12. 12.  The first time that the Creed is titled the Apostles’ Creed is around 390 CE, when it appears in a letter, presumably written by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. It is so named in order to demonstrate that the tradition and belief handed down from the apostles remained intact.
  13. 13.  The Nicene Creed was produced by the first ecumenical council of the church at Nicea in 318 CE.  The purpose of this Council was to unify the new Christian Roman Empire that had been severely divided by the teachings of a priest named Arius.
  14. 14.  The division was so potentially costly that it threatened the whole empire.  Constantine, the Emperor, hoped that a unified expression of Christianity would be the “glue” that held the empire together.
  15. 15. The Creed that was formed at Nicea was an innovation in three ways: 1. It brought the church into a cooperative relationship with the state, something that people have debated and continue to debate if that was ultimately good for Christianity. 2. It imposed a universal creed to take precedence over local creeds. This new creed was to become the benchmark for all orthodox belief. 3. It uses philosophical language to articulate the Christian story.
  16. 16.  It did not quell the Arian controversy, which became even more divisive in the following years after this council.  Emperor Theodosius I called a synod in Constantinople in May of 381. Over 150 bishops attended. These bishops drafted a new creed, which we call the Nicene- Constantinople Creed. This is the form that is recited in churches around the world today.
  17. 17. We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, 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 :by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. 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 and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He 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.
  18. 18.  January 25: God the Father

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