Nicene Creed

The name is taken from Nicea in Bithynia where the first ecumenical council was held in a.d. 325. At that council the scriptural doctrine of the consubstantiality* of the Son was declared. In 381 the second ecumenical council was held in Constantinople and this added to the Nicene Creed the scriptural teaching on the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit. In 569, at Toledo, the Western Church added the famous "filioque"* clause. Thus, in its final form, the Nicene Creed is a full statement of Biblical trinitarianism.

The full text of the Nicene, or more properly the Nicene-Constantinopolitan, Creed is as follows:

"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is 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 Father. 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 Pilate; 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 at the right hand of the Father. 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 worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. 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."

For the implication of the expression "only begotten," see Monogenes.

Cairns, A. (2002). In Dictionary of Theological Terms (p. 309). Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International.

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