The Info List - Creed

A creed (also known as a confession, symbol, or statement of faith) is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets. One of the most widely used creeds in Christianity
is the Nicene Creed, first formulated in AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. It was based on Christian understanding of the Canonical Gospels, the letters of the New Testament
New Testament
and to a lesser extent the Old Testament. Affirmation of this creed, which describes the Trinity, is generally taken as a fundamental test of orthodoxy for most Christian denominations.[1] The Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
is also broadly accepted. Some Christian denominations
Christian denominations
and other groups have rejected the authority of those creeds. Muslims declare the shahada, or testimony: "I bear witness that there is no god but (the One) God (Allah), and I bear witness that Muhammad is God's messenger."[2] Whether Judaism
is creedal has been a point of some controversy. Although some say Judaism
is noncreedal in nature, others say it recognizes a single creed, the Shema Yisrael, which begins: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one."[3]


1 Terminology 2 Christian creeds 3 Christian confessions of faith 4 Christians without creeds 5 Latter Day Saints 6 Jewish creed 7 Islamic creed 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Terminology[edit] See also: Credo The word creed is particularly used for a concise statement which is recited as part of liturgy. The term is anglicized from Latin credo "I believe", the incipit of the Latin texts of the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
and the Nicene Creed. A creed is sometimes referred to as a symbol in a specialized meaning of that word (which was first introduced to Late Middle English in this sense), after Latin symbolum "creed" (as in Symbolum Apostolorum
Symbolum Apostolorum
= "Apostles' Creed"), after Greek symbolon "token, watchword"[4] Some longer statements of faith in the Protestant
tradition are instead called "confessions of faith", or simply "confession" (as in e.g. Helvetic Confession). Within Evangelicalism, the terms "doctrinal statement" or "doctrinal basis" tend to be preferred. Doctrinal statements may include positions on lectionary and translations of the Bible, particularly in fundamentalist churches of the King James Only movement. The term creed is sometimes extended to comparable concepts in non-Christian theologies; thus the Islamic concept of ʿaqīdah (literally "bond, tie") is often rendered as "creed". Christian creeds[edit] Main article: List of Christian creeds Several creeds have originated in Christianity.

1 Corinthians 15, 3–7 includes an early creed about Jesus' death and resurrection which was probably received by Paul. The antiquity of the creed has been located by most biblical scholars to no more than five years after Jesus' death, probably originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community.[5] The Old Roman Creed is an earlier and shorter version of the Apostles' Creed. It was based on the 2nd century Rules of Faith and the interrogatory declaration of faith for those receiving baptism, which by the 4th century was everywhere tripartite in structure, following Matthew 28:19. The Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
is widely used by most Christian denominations
Christian denominations
for both liturgical and catechetical purposes. The Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
reflects the concerns of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 which had as their chief purpose to establish what Christians believed.[6] The Chalcedonian Creed
Chalcedonian Creed
was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 in Asia Minor. It defines that Christ is 'acknowledged in two natures', which 'come together into one person and hypostasis'. The Athanasian Creed
Athanasian Creed
(Quicumque vult) is a Christian statement of belief focusing on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. It is the first creed in which the equality of the three persons of the Trinity is explicitly stated and differs from the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas, or condemnations of those who disagree with the Creed. The Tridentine Creed was initially contained in the papal bull Iniunctum Nobis, issued by Pope Pius IV
Pope Pius IV
on November 13, 1565. The creed was intended to summarize the teaching of the Council of Trent (1545–1563). The Maasai Creed is a creed composed in 1960 by the Maasai people
Maasai people
of East Africa in collaboration with missionaries from the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. The creed attempts to express the essentials of the Christian faith within the Maasai culture. The Credo
of the People of God is a profession of faith that Pope Paul VI published with the motu proprio Solemni hac liturgia of 30 June 1968. Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
spoke of it as "a profession of faith, ... a creed which, without being strictly speaking a dogmatic definition, repeats in substance, with some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time, the creed of Nicea, the creed of the immortal tradition of the holy Church of God."

Christian confessions of faith[edit] Protestant
denominations are usually associated with confessions of faith, which are similar to creeds but usually longer.

The Sixty-seven Articles of the Swiss reformers, drawn up by Zwingli in 1523; The Schleitheim Confession
Schleitheim Confession
of the Anabaptist
Swiss Brethren
Swiss Brethren
drawn up in 1527 – (being Anabaptist, this confession was not Protestant
in the usual sense); The Augsburg Confession
Augsburg Confession
of 1530, the work of Martin Luther
Martin Luther
and Philip Melanchthon, which marked the breach with Rome; The Tetrapolitan Confession of the German Reformed Church, 1530; The Smalcald Articles
Smalcald Articles
of Martin Luther, 1537 The Guanabara Confession of Faith, 1558, the first Protestant
writing in the Americas. By the martyr French Huguenots
French Huguenots
Jean du Bourdel, Matthieu Verneuil, Pierre Bourdon and André la Fon at the site of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Gallic Confession, 1559; The Scots Confession, drawn up by John Knox
John Knox
in 1560; The Belgic Confession[7] drawn up by Guido de Bres[8] in 1561; The Thirty-nine Articles
Thirty-nine Articles
of the Church of England
Church of England
in 1562; The Formula of Concord
Formula of Concord
and its Epitome in 1577; The Irish Articles in 1615; The Westminster Confession of Faith
Westminster Confession of Faith
in 1647 was the work of the Westminster Assembly of Divines
Westminster Assembly of Divines
and has commended itself to the Presbyterian Churches of all English-speaking peoples, and also in other languages. The Savoy Declaration[9] of 1658 which was a modification of the Westminster Confession to suit Congregationalist polity; The Baptist Confession of 1689 which had much in common with the Westminster Confession, but differed from it on a number of distinctions held important by the English Calvinistic
Baptists; The Confession of Faith of the Calvinistic
Methodists (Presbyterians) of Wales[10] of 1823. The Confession of Faith of the United Methodist Church, adopted in 1968

Christians without creeds[edit] Some Christian denominations, and particularly those descending from the Radical Reformation, do not profess a creed. This stance is often referred to as "non-creedalism". The Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers, consider that they have no need for creedal formulations of faith. The Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren
and other Schwarzenau Brethren
Schwarzenau Brethren
churches also espouses no creed, referring to the New Testament, as their "rule of faith and practice."[11] Jehovah's Witnesses contrast "memorizing or repeating creeds" with acting to "do what Jesus
said".[12] Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed.[13] Many evangelical Protestants similarly reject creeds as definitive statements of faith, even while agreeing with some creeds' substance. The Baptists
have been non-creedal "in that they have not sought to establish binding authoritative confessions of faith on one another".[14]:111 While many Baptists
are not opposed to the ancient creeds, they regard them as "not so final that they cannot be revised and re-expressed. At best, creeds have a penultimacy about them and, of themselves, could never be the basis of Christian fellowship".[14]:112 Moreover, Baptist "confessions of faith" have often had a clause such as this from the First London (Particular) Baptist Confession (Revised edition, 1646):

Also we confess that we now know but in part and that are ignorant of many things which we desire to and seek to know: and if any shall do us that friendly part to show us from the Word of God that we see not, we shall have cause to be thankful to God and to them.

Similar reservations about the use of creeds can be found in the Restoration Movement
Restoration Movement
and its descendants, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Churches of Christ, and the Christian churches and churches of Christ. Restorationists profess "no creed but Christ".[15] Bishop John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark, has written that dogmas and creeds were merely "a stage in our development" and "part of our religious childhood." In his book, Sins of the Scripture, Spong wrote that " Jesus
seemed to understand that no one can finally fit the holy God into his or her creeds or doctrines. That is idolatry."[16]

Many people said (the Apostles
Creed), but they understood what it was saying and what they meant by that quite differently. No matter how hard they tried, they could not close out this perennial debate. They cannot establish a consensus and they could not agree on the meaning of that phrase which had been once "delivered to the saints." It did not occur to these people that the task they were trying to accomplish was not a human possibility, that the mystery of God, including the God they believed they had met in Jesus, could not be reduced to human words and human concepts or captured inside human creeds. Nor did they understand that the tighter and more specific their words became, the less they would achieve the task of unifying the church. All creeds have ever done is to define those who are outside, who were not true believers; and thus their primarily achievement has been to set up eternal conflict between the "ins" and the "outs," a conflict that has repeatedly degenerated into the darkest sort of Christian behavior, including imperialism, torture, persecution, death and war.[17]

In the Swiss Reformed Churches, there was a quarrel about the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
in the mid-19th century. As a result, most cantonal reformed churches stopped prescribing any particular creed.[18] Latter Day Saints[edit] Main article: Articles of Faith (Latter Day Saints) Within the sects of the Latter Day Saint movement, the Articles of Faith are a list composed by Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
as part of an 1842 letter sent to "Long" John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat. It is canonized with the "Bible", the "Book of Mormon", the "Doctrine & Covenants" and Pearl of Great Price, as part of the standard works of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Creedal works include:

"Address" by Oliver Cowdery
Oliver Cowdery
( Messenger and Advocate 1(1), October 1834, p. 2) Wentworth letter (1842) Articles of Faith (Latter Day Saints) (1880) 1890 Manifesto Second Manifesto
Second Manifesto
(1904) 1978 Revelation on Priesthood The Family: A Proclamation to the World (1995) The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles
(2000) God Loveth His Children
God Loveth His Children
(2007) Handbook (LDS Church)
Handbook (LDS Church)
(2010) - a work unifying scripture and creed with ecclesiology and polity For the Strength of Youth
For the Strength of Youth

Jewish creed[edit]

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See also: Jewish principles of faith Whether Judaism
is creedal in character has generated some controversy. Rabbi
Milton Steinberg wrote that "By its nature Judaism is averse to formal creeds which of necessity limit and restrain thought" and asserted in his book Basic Judaism
(1947) that "Judaism has never arrived at a creed." The 1976 Centenary Platform of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, an organization of Reform rabbis, agrees that " Judaism
emphasizes action rather than creed as the primary expression of a religious life." Others,[who?] however, characterize the Shema Yisrael[Deut. 6:4] as a creedal statement in strict monotheism embodied in a single prayer: "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" (Hebrew: שמע ישראל אדני אלהינו אדני אחד‎; transliterated Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael
Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad). A notable statement of Jewish principles of faith
Jewish principles of faith
was drawn up by Maimonides
as his 13 Principles of Faith.[19] Islamic creed[edit] Main articles: ʿAqīdah
and Iman (concept) The shahada, the two-part statement that "There is no god but God; Muhammad is the messenger of God" is often popularly called "the Islamic creed" and its utterance is one of the "five pillars".[20] In Islamic theology, the term most closely corresponding to "creed" is ʿaqīdah (عقيدة) The first such creed was written as "a short answer to the pressing heresies of the time" is known as Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar and ascribed to Abū Ḥanīfa.[21][22][22] Two well known creeds were the Fiqh Akbar II[23] "representative" of the al-Ash'ari, and Fiqh Akbar III, "representative" of the Ash-Shafi'i.[21] Iman (Arabic: الإيمان‎) in Islamic theology
Islamic theology
denotes a believer's religious faith .[24][25] Its most simple definition is the belief in the six articles of faith, known as arkān al-īmān.

Belief in God Belief in the Angels Belief in Divine Books Belief in the Prophets Belief in the Day of Judgment Belief in God's predestination

See also[edit]

Credo Mission statement The American's Creed
The American's Creed
– a 1918 statement about Americans' belief in democracy The Five Ks Pesher


^ Johnson, Phillip R. "The Nicene Creed." Archived 2009-03-14 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 17 May 2009 ^ "Proclaiming the Shahada
is the First Step Into Islam." Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine. Islamic Learning Materials. Accessed: 17 May 2009. See also "The Shahada, or Shahāda / kalimatu-sh-shahādah / kelime-i şehadet." A. Ismail Mohr. Accessed: 28 May 2012 ^ Deut 6:4 ^ Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, 2nd ed., Vol. 1, p. 77. ^ see Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 66; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
(New York: Paulist Press, 1973) p. 81; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity
(New York: Random House, 1986) pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p. 96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus. ^ Kiefer, James E. "The Nicene Creed." Archived 2009-03-14 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 17 May 2009 ^ "The Belgic Confession". Reformed.org. Retrieved 2013-01-23.  ^ "Guido de Bres". Prca.org. 2000-04-20. Retrieved 2013-01-23.  ^ "The Savoy Declaration 1658 – Contents". Reformed.org. Retrieved 2013-01-23.  ^ "Confession of Faith of the Calvinistic
Methodists or Presbyterians of Wales".  ^ Martin, Harold S.: "Forward", "Basic Beliefs Within the Church of the Brethren". ^ "Creeds—Any Place in True Worship?", Awake!, October 8, 1985, ©Watch Tower, page 23, "The opening words of a creed invariably are, “I believe” or, “We believe.” This expression is translated from the Latin word “credo,” from which comes the word “creed.” ...What do we learn from Jesus’ words? That it is valueless in God’s eyes for one merely to repeat what one claims to believe. ...Thus, rather than memorizing or repeating creeds, we must do what Jesus
said" ^ Maxwell, Bill. "Leading the Unitarian Universalist Association, a faith without a creed." St. Petersburg Times. Apr 11, 2008 ^ a b Avis, Paul (2002) The Christian Church: An Introduction to the Major Traditions, SPCK, London, ISBN 0-281-05246-8 ^ Scott, Harp. "George A. Klingman". Restoration History. Buford Church of Christ. Retrieved 2015-09-19.  ^ p. 227 ^ Spong, John S. The sins of Scripture. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-076205-6, p. 226 ^ Rudolf Gebhard: Apostolikumsstreit in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 2011-01-27. ^ "Maimonides' Principles: The Fundamentals of Jewish Faith", in The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology, Volume I, Mesorah Publications, 1994 ^ "Islam Guide: What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?". www.islam-guide.com. Retrieved 2017-02-03.  ^ a b Glasse, Cyril (2001). New Encyclopedia of Islam (Revised ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 105. ^ a b Abu Hanifah An-Nu^man. "Al- Fiqh Al-Akbar" (PDF). aicp.org. Retrieved 14 March 2014.  ^ Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar II With Commentary by Al-Ninowy ^ Farāhī, Majmū‘ah Tafāsīr, 2nd ed. (Faran Foundation, 1998), 347. ^ Frederick M. Denny, An Introduction to Islam, 3rd ed., p. 405

Further reading[edit]

Christian Confessions: a Historical Introduction, [by] Ted A. Campbell. First ed. xxi, 336 p. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1996. ISBN 0-664-25650-3 Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition. Edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Valerie Hotchkiss. Yale University Press
Yale University Press
2003. Creeds in the Making: a Short Introduction to the History of Christian Doctrine, [by] Alan Richardson. Reissued. London: S.C.M. Press, 1979, cop. 1935. 128 p. ISBN 0-334-00264-8 Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions. Grand Rapids, Mich.: C.R.C. [i.e. Christian Reformed Church] Publications, 1987. 148 p. ISBN 0-930265-34-3 The Three Forms of Unity (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, [and the] Canons of Dordrecht), and the Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles' Creed, the Athanasian Creed, [and the] Creed
of Chalcedon). Reprinted [ed.]. Mission Committee of the Protestant
Reformed Churches in America, 1991. 58 p. Without ISBN

External links[edit]

has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Creeds.

The Creeds of Christendom – A website linking to many formal Christian declarations of faith. Creeds and Canons – A Guide to Early Church Documents from Internet Christian Library ICP Website International Cre