Where did the "God from God" and "True God from True God" in the nicene creed come from?

I would like to know where the “God from God and True God from True God” in the nicene creed came from? Did it come from the bible? And also what do you think it means?

This language was in the original Nicene Creed of AD 325:

"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;"


According to Saint Athanasius, who was at the Council of Nicea in AD 325, the creed was written by Bishop Hosius of Cordova, who, according to historian Warren H. Carroll, was a papal legate. So the Nicene Creed, and the language you cite, came from the Bishop of Rome, the Holy Roman Pontiff.


Remember that the primary theological issue addressed at the Council of Nicaea was the divinity of the Son and His precise relationship with the Father. The additions to the Nicene Creed (as compared to the older Apostles’ Creed) exist to nail down the answer to that question in precise theological language. The line “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God; begotten, not made; consubstantial with the Father” is something a believer in the contrary Arian position could not possibly agree with. It staked out the orthodox position in stark terms that could not be weaseled around.


(…well… I wish!–a tangent on your screen name! :wink:)

…if you are looking for Scriptural origins… I think that there are several passages in Scriptures from which our theologians would have gathered their inspiration…

True God is often one Yahweh’s definition of Who He Is:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the one true God; whoever takes an oath in the land will swear by the one true God. For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.

(Isaiah 65:16)

But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. (Jeremiah 10:10)

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (St. John 17:3)

for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, (1 Thessalonians 1:9)

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 St. John 5:20)
…so the Father is the True God… as is the Son.

God from God could have been inspired by these passages:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(St. John 1:1-2, 14)

I and the Father are one.” (St. John 10:30)

5 For to which of the angels hath he said at any time, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

8 But to the Son: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10 And: Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of thy hands are the heavens. 11 They shall perish, but thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment. 12 And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: but thou art the selfsame, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:5, 8-12)
Christ, the Word, Existed, from the Beginning, as God and with God (the Holy Trinity); the Son, Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, is the Only Begotten Son of God… and it is to Him Only that the Father Calls Son and describes Him as God, King/Lord, and Eternal…

Maran atha!



“… Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine…” is the Latin text. Pretty hard to come up with anything other than what we got in English. :shrug:

The expression “He was God from God the Father” appears in the Novatian’s On the Trinity, chap. 22. Novatian died in 258. That is the earliest appearance of the expression I could find in the writings of the Church Fathers.

Thank you for these, I am a new Catholic and found your kind response helpful.:slight_smile:

[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]Hi!

Welcome Home! :extrahappy::extrahappy::extrahappy:

I’m glad to be of assistance; I love Scriptures and it pleases me to no end to be able to share them!

Maran atha!



Thanks for your help. Some closure would revolve around St. Leander who introduced the recitation of the nicene creed although the author of it could be through the council of Nicea. This would help explain the eternity of God, and how he is the one and only creator of us all.
Any more help on this part though would help

Fr. Mitch Pacwa recently addressed this on EWTN’s Open Line. He stated that it was in response to the Arian heresy, which was raging at the time - to establish Christ’s divinity. Arius believed that there was a “time” when Christ did not exist and therefore, was created by the Father.

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