The Nicene Creed

(The creed from Nicaea and Constantinople)

I believe (or: We believe [1]) in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

And 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.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son [2]). With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. And in one holy catholic ([3]) and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

Notes:

The Nicene Creed was written on the Council of Nicaea (325), and it was revised on the Council of Constantinople (381). It is the only creed which united Christians of nearly all confessions. There are, however, some differences between the traditions:

[1] The literal translation reads “I believe”. The Catholic church changed this to “We believe” on the second Vatican Council. Some of the Protestant churches have adapted this change.

[2] The original text does not have the “and the son”. It was added later to the text. Not all Christians agreed with this addition, and as a result the church split in 1054 into Western and Eastern Christianity. The Western churches (Catholics and Protestants) still have the added phrase, whereas the Orthodox churches stick to the smaller version.  In most Ecumenical services, the original version is used.

[3] The word “Catholic” in its original sense means “all-including”, “complete”. Christians of all confessions belong to the all-including church mentioned in the creed.

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