Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed
1. a formal statement of the chief tenets of Christian belief, adopted by the first Nicene Council.
2. a later creed of closely similar form (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed or Constantinopolitan Creed) referred, perhaps erroneously, to the Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381), received universally in the Eastern Church and, with an addition introduced in the 6th century A.D., accepted generally throughout western Christendom.

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Ecumenical Christian statement of faith accepted by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and major Protestant churches.

Originally written in Greek, it was long thought to have been drafted at the Council of Nicaea (325), but is now believed to have been issued by the Council of Constantinople (381), based on a baptismal creed already in existence.

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      a Christian statement of faith that is the only ecumenical creed because it is accepted as authoritative by the Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism), Eastern Orthodox (Eastern Orthodoxy), Anglican (Anglicanism), and major Protestant churches. The Apostles' and Athanasian creeds are accepted by some but not all of these churches.

      Until the early 20th century, it was universally assumed that the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (the more accurate term) was an enlarged version of the Creed of Nicaea, which was promulgated at the Council of Nicaea (Nicaea, Council of) (325). It was further assumed that this enlargement had been carried out at the Council of Constantinople (Constantinople, Council of) (381) with the object of bringing the Creed of Nicaea up to date in regard to heresies about the Incarnation and the Holy Spirit that had risen since the Council of Nicaea.

      Additional discoveries of documents in the 20th century, however, indicated that the situation was more complex, and the actual development of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed has been the subject of scholarly dispute. Most likely it was issued by the Council of Constantinople even though this fact was first explicitly stated at the Council of Chalcedon (Chalcedon, Council of) in 451. It was probably based on a baptismal creed already in existence, but it was an independent document and not an enlargement of the Creed of Nicaea.

      The so-called Filioque clause (Latin filioque, “and from the son”), inserted after the words “the Holy Spirit . . . who proceedeth from the Father,” was gradually introduced as part of the creed in the Western Church, beginning in the 6th century. It was probably finally accepted by the papacy in the 11th century. It has been retained by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant churches. The Eastern churches have always rejected it because they consider it theological error and an unauthorized addition to a venerable document.

      The Nicene Creed was originally written in Greek. Its principal liturgical use is in the Eucharist in the West and in both Baptism and the Eucharist in the East. A modern English version of the text is as follows:

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, one in Being with the
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary, and
became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated on the right hand of the
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
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.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nicene Creed — • The profession of the Christian Faith common to the Catholic Church, to all the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, and to most of the Protestant denominations. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Nicene Creed     The Nicene …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Nicene creed — Creed Creed (kr[=e]d), n. [OE. credo, crede, AS. creda, fr. L. credo I believe, at the beginning of the Apostles creed, fr. credere to believe; akin to OIr. cretim I believe, and Skr. [,c]raddadh[=a]mi; [,c]rat trust + dh[=a] to put. See {Do}, v …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nicene Creed — Nicene Ni cene, a. [L. Nicaenus, fr. Nicaea Nice, Gr. ?.] Of or pertaining to Nice, a town of Asia Minor, or to the ecumenical council held there a. d. 325. [1913 Webster] {Nicene Creed}, a summary of Christian faith, composed and adopted by the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nicene Creed — n. a confession of faith of Christians traditionally attributed to the first Nicene Council and accepted, with some differences in wording, by both the Eastern Church and the Western Church …   English World dictionary

  • Nicene Creed — Icon depicting Emperor Constantine (center) and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 The Nicene Creed (Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is the creed or profession of faith (Greek:… …   Wikipedia

  • Nicene Creed —  ; Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed    This term refers to the summary statement of Christian belief that was originally formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and later amplified at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. This creed …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Nicene Creed — noun Date: circa 1569 a Christian creed expanded from a creed issued by the first Nicene Council, beginning “I believe in one God,” and used in liturgical worship …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nicene Creed —    The name commonly given to the longer of the two Creeds set forth in the Prayer Book, from its being settled at the Council of Nicea (which see Nicea, Council of). It was introduced into the Liturgy, A.D. 471. The rubric directs that it be… …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Nicene Creed — Ni′cene Creed′ n. 1) rel a formal statement of the chief tenets of Christian belief, adopted by the first Nicene Council 2) rel a later creed of similar form accepted generally throughout Christendom • Etymology: 1560–70 …   From formal English to slang

  • Nicene Creed — /naɪsin ˈkrid/ (say nuyseen kreed) noun 1. a formal statement of the chief tenets of Christian belief, adopted by the first Nicene Council. 2. a later creed of closely similar form authorised by the Council of Constantinople (AD 381), received… …  

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