Catholic added to creed

I was given a book called A Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith A Catechism in Pictures where a paragraph reads in regards to the creed:

Thus the words “Creator of heaven and earth” were added to counteract the Manichaean heresy that the world was created by the principle of evil: and the word “Catholic” was added, to distinguish the True Church from churches springing up around it. As Our Lord said, “And you also bear witness,because from the beginning you are with me”(John 15:27)

Does any one know when the word catholic was added to the creed?

And the words Creator of heaven and earth?


From the Catholic Encyclopedia regarding the Apostle’s Creed:

"Neglecting minor points of difference, which indeed for their adequate discussion would require a study of the Latin text, we may note that R does not contain the clauses “Creator of heaven and earth”, “descended into hell”, “the communion of saints”, “life everlasting”, nor the words “conceived”, “suffered”, “died”, and “Catholic”. Many of these additions, but not quite all, were probably known to St. Jerome in Palestine (c. 380.–See Morin in Revue Benedictine, January, 1904) and about the same date to the Dalmatian, Niceta (Burn, Niceta of Remesiana, 1905). Further additions appear in the creeds of southern Gaul at the beginning of the next century, but T probably assumed its final shape in Rome itself some time before A.D. 700 (Burn, Introduction, 239; and Journal of Theol. Studies, July, 1902). We know nothing certain as to the reasons which led to the adoption of T in preference to R. "

Tertullian, in the 200’s, does reference a form of the creed which does mention “maker of the world”. (See same link as above.)

For info on the Nicene Creed:

Thanks. I’ll check out the links.

A condensed history of the first 400 years
Re: “Catholic Church”
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Thank you

The word " added" in the above material does not mean that the Creed once existed without the words it mentions. What it means is that these particular terms, including “Catholic” were specifically placed as they exist in the Creed for specific reasons.

It is like saying, “Sugar is added to cake recipes to make cake sweet.” It doesn’t mean the recipe ever existed without sugar, it is just specifying the role played by sugar, as in why sugar is placed in the cake in the first place.

For instance: The term “katholicos,” the word as it reads in original Greek, was introduced in the very early 2nd century in general Church speech. Challenges like Gnosticism, which claimed salvation was exclusive to a select few, were countered with the word “Catholic” which means salvation is “universal,” not exclusive.

Post script:

While it is well recognized that the Apostles Creed gradually developed into the form in which it now stands and that phrases were added piecemeal through history, the exact timing of phrases cannot be definitively determined. This doesn’t exclude the fact that historical development and religious intrigue played no part in when and why the Creed developed how it did. The earliest recorded forms of the Creed compared to its finalized form do not exclude the fact that added phrases often merely represented what was already understood from the start.

It should also not be forgotten that creeds were generally formalized in response to threats to the universal faith, not merely to produce exhaustive doctrinal explanations or faith compendiums. Though products of their specific time, phrases that were gradually introduced are often seen as clarifications due to necessity but not representative of ideas that were merely novel. The reasons such were added, whether from the start or later, cannot be deduced as always representative of some afterthought on the part of the Church.

Very informative. Thanks

Yes, thanks.

Going forward, we see a further example of emphasis on disputed points in the Nicene Creed, which follows the basic structure of the Apostles’ Creed but notably adds that section with a whole list of synonymous ways to say “Jesus is really God,” that being the main point at issue during the Council.

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