The Nicene Creed: What Catholics believe in a nutshell


#1

It seems that there is never ending confusion among many non-Catholics concerning just what we Catholics really believe, so I decided to post this, which is the profession of faith that we proclaim at every Mass. Sometimes we use the Apostles Creed which is just shorter, but covers the same essentials.
MAYBE, just maybe, this will assist some folks with a better understanding of what we profess. (Please God?)

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,
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.


#2

This, along with our promises at baptism, are the essential beliefs of Catholicism.


#3

[quote=katherine2]This, along with our promises at baptism, are the essential beliefs of Catholicism.
[/quote]

Absolutely! We had one today and that was exactly what I was thinking. :thumbsup:


#4

I am amazed that the Bible nazis haven’t appeared here yet…
http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/AN878.gif


#5

I’d even say the Apostle’s Creed is adequate – the Nicene Creed is essentially a modification of the Apostle’s Creed designed to refute Arianism.


#6

[quote=vern humphrey]I’d even say the Apostle’s Creed is adequate – the Nicene Creed is essentially a modification of the Apostle’s Creed designed to refute Arianism.
[/quote]

Yes indeed! LOL! And the Apostle’s Creed is a lot easier to remember. :wink:


#7

I have often wondered why there is no mention of the communion of saints in the Nicene Creed. Anyone know?


#8

[quote=mark a]I have often wondered why there is no mention of the communion of saints in the Nicene Creed. Anyone know?
[/quote]

I believe that the Nicene Creed, which was drawn up in the 4th century, was intended to fully emphasize the deity of Christ and the existence of the Trinity, in order to refute the then widespread heresy of Arianism which denied these doctrines. Just look at the following portions of the Creed:

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

The belief in the “communion of Saints” on the other hand was not seriously in dispute then, which is probably one reason why it didn’t appear in that Creed.

It however appears in the Apostles’ Creed though, which was written sometime in the first or second centuries, perhaps in order to emphasize the humanity of Christ and refute the heresy known as Gnosticism, which denied that Jesus had a real, corporeal body, as well as His suffering.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#9

Hey Mike and all,

If the Creeds contain the “essentials,” what are these articles of faith essential for?

Cordially,

ferd


#10

These creeds are actually very incomplete representations of what Catholics believe:

[list]
*]As mentioned by others, they were originally intended as specific responses to specific heresies and primarily addressed the errors in the heresies. They were not intended to serve as accurate summaries of the faith.
*]The idea that they summarize our faith is really a poor notion - notice that they jump from Jesus’ birth to his death and totally ignore everything in between - everything he said and did.
[/list]They may be important historical writings which state important theological concepts but they fall far short of summarizing Catholicism - how can you leave out all the words and deeds of Jesus?


#11

These are indeed our core beliefs. But don;t forget after that we Catholics are bound to believe Dogma.
Now just what are all the Dogmas we are bound to believe? Add these two together and you got it! The total deposit of the Faith.


#12

[quote=ferdgoodfellow]Hey Mike and all,

If the Creeds contain the “essentials,” what are these articles of faith essential for?

Cordially,

ferd
[/quote]

Creeds are NOT meant to contain the “essentials.” They are composed to refute heresies. As has been pointed out, the Apostle’s Creed was composed to refute Gnocisticism, the Nicene Creed to refute Arianism.

The idea is that a Catholic established his bona fides by saying he believed things the heretics didn’t believe. The idea therefore was not to list everything Catholics believe, but to list those things we believe that the heretics rejected.

Having said that, it must also be recognized that both the Apostle’s Creed and it’s expanded version, the Nicene Creed, are pretty good capsules of Catholic doctrine.


#13

Who exactly are the “bible nazi’s”?..I assume your joking…but seriously- who are the bible nazis.

[quote=Church Militant]I am amazed that the Bible nazis haven’t appeared here yet…

http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/AN878.gif

[/quote]


#14

[quote=Raynd]Who exactly are the “bible nazi’s”?..I assume your joking…but seriously- who are the bible nazis.
[/quote]

The “Bible Nazis” are those who believe in Sola Scriptura – “If it ain’t in the bible, it ain’t.” This is a Protestant position – but nowadays, some Catholics seem perilously close to accepting it.

The Catholic position, of course, is Scriptura et Traditione – Scripture AND Tradition. A great deal of the Christian message was handed down by word of mouth, and not written down until long afterwards. That tradition is as valid and as precious as the handful of written documents which the Church selected to make up the New Testament.


#15

The Byzantine CHurch and the Orthodox church all have creedos.

I belive everything in the Creedo to some extent. TO not belive is Heresy.


#16

[quote=Church Militant]I am amazed that the Bible nazis haven’t appeared here yet…

http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/AN878.gif

[/quote]

I love this guy!!! Reminds me of all my former pastors!


#17

[quote=Church Militant]It seems that there is never ending confusion among many non-Catholics concerning just what we Catholics really believe, so I decided to post this, which is the profession of faith that we proclaim at every Mass. Sometimes we use the Apostles Creed which is just shorter, but covers the same essentials.
MAYBE, just maybe, this will assist some folks with a better understanding of what we profess. (Please God?)

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,
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.

[/quote]

I like the Apostles Creed better. I know it by heart. I would “agree” with both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. This is only a picture of the Catholic beliefs, though. There are many beyond this creed. I believe you would readily admit that. If this was all there was - I would be Catholic :slight_smile: (maybe)

Peace…


#18

I appreciate all these good posts all of you made. Since the Nicene Creed was posted, may I post the Apostle’s Creed>

Apostles C. Modern

Modern English Version

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he [/font]descended to the dead. ( *some books say,“into hell”)
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and 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.

*see 1st Peter3:v19.“he preached to those spirits which were in prison”


#19

[quote=vern humphrey]Creeds are NOT meant to contain the “essentials.” They are composed to refute heresies. As has been pointed out, the Apostle’s Creed was composed to refute Gnocisticism, the Nicene Creed to refute Arianism.

The idea is that a Catholic established his bona fides by saying he believed things the heretics didn’t believe. The idea therefore was not to list everything Catholics believe, but to list those things we believe that the heretics rejected.

Having said that, it must also be recognized that both the Apostle’s Creed and it’s expanded version, the Nicene Creed, are pretty good capsules of Catholic doctrine.
[/quote]

As some may notice, I’m awfully fond of inserting quotes from the Catechism, so here it goes:

**CCC 187 **Such synteses are called “professions of faith” since they summarize the faith that Christians profess…

**CCC 194 ***The Apostle’s Creed *is so called because it is rightly considered to be a faithful summary of the apostle’s faith…

**CCC 195 **…Nicene Creeddraws its great authority from the fact that it stems from the first two ecumenical Councils…It remains common to all the great Churches of both East and West to this day.

The Catechism is broken into four parts based on the four pillars:

The profession of faith
The sacraments of faith
The life of faith
Prayer in the life of the Church

My point? Yes, the creeds are a great summary of our faith, but they are certainly only one pillar :slight_smile: . There are a few other things like the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, the Eucharist…

Peace in Christ,

Robert.


#20

I don’t disagree that the creeds are a pretty good capsule of what we believe – going back to the start of this thread, if someone were to ask me “What do Catholics believe?” I’d start with the Creed. (Personally, I’d choose the Apostle’s Creed because of its elegant simplicity.)

However, while the two great creeds (Apostle’s and Nicean) are used nowadays as a general profession of faith, that’s not what they were originally composed for. They were essentially a Venn Diagram of Catholicism versus heresy – the Creeds cover the areas where the circles don’t overlap.

In the case of Gnosticism, Irenaeus was faced with a dual problem – to refute the Gnostics (his main goal), he had to accomplish something else – he had to produce a definitive statement of what Catholicism believes. He did this in “Contra Haerisis” (That’s why he’s sometimes called the first theologian.) The Apostle’s Creed stems from his work – and the name from his emphasis on the Apostolic Succession as the key to orthodoxy.

The “missing parts” of the Apostle’s and Nicean Creeds (those things Catholics believe but are not included) are beliefs that were not in question when the creeds are composed.

At the same time, there is a strong emphasis on things that look strange if we don’t know the history of the creeds. For example, why does the Nicene Creed emphasize “ONE baptism for the remission of sins?” Because another heresy, the Donatists, insisted on re-baptizing people who joined their church.


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