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Historic Christian Creeds
and Historic Church Doctrines


The following Historical Christian Creeds and links to Historical Church Doctrines are provided for your information, study, contemplation and research.

Creeds and Doctrines

What is so important about creeds and doctrines? As the modern, American church moves into true reconciliation, wouldn't it be better to simply abandon these "documents of division" and put the past behind us? What benefit can we derive from these historical statements of faith?

The practice of reciting creeds has waned in modern, American Evanglelical Christianity. In the early Church, creeds were used as a means to express a common faith - a unity. Read more about the historical significance and background of the Christian creeds. Why were they so important back then and why is it still important today for every Christian to have a creed?

The word "doctrine" frightens many modern believers. What are doctrines and why is it so important for us to re-discover their importance and significance? Should Christian doctrine continue to divide the Church or can we learn to celebrate the beauty of diversity within the body of Christ? Can modern, evangelical Christians benefit by learning about the traditional, denominational doctrines?

Creeds. Check back later for more information about the history of Christian creeds.

Doctrines. Check back later for more information about the history of Christian doctrines.

The Creeds
The Apostles Creed
The Apostle's Creed probably appeared sometime in the third century AD but didn't come into full use until the eighth century. The Apostle's Creed is used extensively today in both Catholic and Protestant services.

The Nicene Creed
Formulated at the First Ecumenical Council held in Nicea in 325 AD, the Nicene Creed is the most widely used of all the Christian Creeds. It is the only creed created by an ecumenical council. At that time in history, there was literally only one Church - no denominations had yet split off. The Nicene Creed actually preceded the canonization of the New Testament.

The Athanasian Creed
The Creed is named for Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, a man many credit with establishing the doctrine of the Trinity in the early Church. Athanasius struggled against Arianism, named for the Alexandrian priest, Arius, who taught that Jesus was simply a man who found the way. Though biblically sound and historically significant in establishing the Trinitarian view of the Godhead in early Christianity, this Creed is waning in popularity in our day.

The Five Major Historical Protestant Doctrines

Lutheran Seal Lutheran: Augsburg Confession, 1530 Written by Philipp Melancthon (1497-1560), a friend of Luther, and presented to the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, this document is the historical confession of the Lutheran faith.

Episcopal Shield Anglican / Episcopal: Book of Common Prayer, mid-1500's This site provides online versions of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in its several revisions from 1549 to 1996.

Presbyterian Logo Presbyterian / Reformed: Westminster Confession, 1647 We still have some more research to do about this document. Your help and suggestions are welcomed.

Baptist Logo Baptist: First London Confession of Faith, 1689 We still have some more research to do about this document. Your help and suggestions are welcomed. We are also still looking for the Baptist Logo.

Methodist Logo Methodist: The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church, 1808 We still have some more research to do about this document. Your help and suggestions are welcomed.

Oh the Glory of God
reflected in the diversity of His people!

"Father God, remind us again of the faith of our fathers. Humble our hearts to appreciate Your work through their sacrifice. Help us to despise not our roots and beginnings."

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead and buried;
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come 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.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten,not made,
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made;
Who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost
of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man,
and was crucified also for us
under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered and was buried,
and the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand
of the Father;
And He shall come again with glory
to judge both the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit
the Lord, and giver of life,
who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshipped and
who spoke by the Prophets.
And I believe one universal
and apostolic church;
I acknowledge one baptism
for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

The Athanasian Creed

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.

For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are three gods or three lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved is must think thus of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

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