When was the Apostle's Creed created?

Did the Apostle’s create it? was it created after the time of the Apostles?

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I believe it showed up in the fourth or fifth century sometime after the Nicene Creed was developed. It is not likely that it was created by the Apostles. However, the Apostle’s Creed is a simpler form of the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was taken from an earlier creed used in Caesarea and the area around Palestine, and was tweaked to address the Arian controversy at the Council of Nicaea. Eusebius of Caesarea actually offered it up in his defense at the Council of Nicaea. Could that earlier creed have been apostolic in origin? Who knows? Maybe. The earliest creed of the Church that I am aware of is: Jesus is Lord.

1st Council of Nicaea 325AD -> Nicene Creed

Synod in Milan 390AD -> Apostles’ Creed

Part of the reasons for the convening of the many Synods in Milan (340-390s) were the Jovinian Heresy (abstinence and sex in the framework of pleasure related heresy) was spreading, condemnation of Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, and the Filioque Controvery (issue of if the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, which was doubted in spreading Eastern Orthodoxy.

As a result, around 390AD, Pope Siricius wrote in an encyclical the need for an official layed our foundational creed, he coined the term ‘Apostles’ Creed’. I took a class on the historical and foundational basis for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and these councils and others were covered extensively

According to Denzinger (43rd edition), “The creed developed in two forms: the older Roman form (designated by ‘R’) originated in Rome and was passed on in Greek as well as Latin. The more recent form (‘T’) is the more generally received text, and it was probably formed around the seventh century in southern Gaul and later introduced into Rome. Afterward, the rest of the Latin Church also adopted the ‘T’ form. The publication of the Roman Catechism (1566) and the Roman Breviary (1568) put an end to the development.”

The book exhibits 18 slightly different forms of the Apostles Creed, from that of Hippolytus of Rome (from the early third century) through a Roman Baptismal Ritual of the ninth century (essentially the form used now). One is ascribed to St. Ambrose of Milan in the late fourth century.

You will find a partial answer to your question on pp. 317-319 of The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages Upon the Christian Church, by Edwin Hatch (link below). It’s quite possible, of course, that present-day theologians may possess a greater store of factual knowledge about the origins of the Creed than was available in Hatch’s day, but his ideas still make a lot of sense.


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