Ancient Symbols

  • Creeds in the Bible
  • Ireneaus Rule of Faith
  • Hippolytus' account of the baptismal service
  • The Apostle's Creed
  • The Creed of Nicaea as approved by the Nicene Council (A.D. 325)
    • The First Ecumenical council of Nicaea was called by emperor Constantine. The council met to deal with the schism created by Arianism. The Arians wished to avoid the heresy of Sabellius who believed in a divine monad which, by expansion, projected itself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit--a form of Modalism. The Arians separated the Son from God entirely so that they believed he was a creature having a beginning. "There was when he was not." The Son was but God's first creation, yet out of nothing and hence has preeminence over the rest of creation.
    • The symbol answers the question, "Who is Jesus Christ."
      Its answer: God
  • The Nicene Creed as approved by the Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381)
  • -- The Nicene Creed -- Constantinopolitan Creed -- Creed of 150 Fathers
    • Usually associated with the Council of Constantinople this symbol is an expansion and revision of the earlier Creed of Nicaea with which it is often confused. This is the creed recited in churches. The council met to refute Apollinarianism. Apollinarius taught that Jesus was a combination of the divine Logos spirit, a sensitive human soul and a human body. He taught that Jesus did not have a human spirit. His views were based on the platonic tripartite view of human nature. The council condemned this view in order to show that Christ, as truly human, could redeem the whole person.
    • The symbol emphasizes the Trinitarian faith.
    • The symbol is very suitable for liturgical use and was used as an early baptismal and eucharistic creed. It goes beyond the Creed of Nicaea in its affirmation of the full deity of the Spirit though it uses biblical rather than philosophical terms to do so. The filioque clause found in the Western version of this creed is one of the major disagreements between the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity. This clause was not accepted even by the Western Church until the turn of the first millennium.
    • Further Notes on the Nicene Creed
    • Notes on the Filioque Clause Controversy
    • The Church in the Nicene Creed
    • Other documents of the First Council of Constantinople
    • Notes from the ecumenical councils
  • The Council of Sardica Canon V (A.D. 343)
    • The council of Sardica was the first synod, which in some sense asserted Roman primacy.
  • The Definition of Chalcedon (A.D. 415)
    • The council of Chalcedon met to resolve the Monophysite controversy in which Eutyches had refused to confess the existence of two natures in Christ both after the union as well as before. The definition summarizes the Church's teaching on the natures of Christ largely in negative terms.
  • Canons of the Council of Orange (A.D. 529)
    • The Council of Orange was an outgrowth of the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius. This controversy had to do with degree to which a human being is responsible for his or her own salvation, and the role of the grace of God in bringing about salvation. The Pelagians held that human beings are born in a state of innocence, i.e., that there is no such thing as a sinful nature or original sin. As a result of this view, they held that a state of sinless perfection was achievable in this life. The Council of Orange dealt with the Semi-Pelagian doctrine that the human race, though fallen and possessed of a sinful nature, is still "good" enough to able to lay hold of the grace of God through an act of unredeemed human will. As you read the Canons of the Council of Orange, you will be able to see where John Calvin derived his views of the total depravity of the human race.
  • Quicumque vult (Athanasian Creed) (ca. A.D. 500) (Encarta article)
    • The fullest statement of the Trinitarian faith in abstract metaphysical terms.
    • Part one: Augustinian definition of the Trinity
      • Each persona of the Trinity is fully divine
      • Each is unique to itself
      • Each is within the other, in perpetual intercommunication and motion, coequal and coeternal.
      • Damnatory clause for those who do not accept this teaching.
    • Part two: The doctrine of Christ
      • Anti:
        • Appollinarian
        • Nestorian
        • Eutychian
        • Monophysite
      • Reaffirms Ephesian and Chalcedonian council decisions.
      • Damnatory clause for those who do not accept this teaching.
  • Anathemas of the Second Council of Constantinople (A.D. 533)
  • Creeds and Statements - from the Period after A.D. 600
  • Later Creeds

Labelled with ICRALast Updated: 05/21/2003

creeds and confessions, creeds theology symbolics confessions symbols confession creed religion belief faith believe testament Christian orthodoxy creedal Credo confess Christianity Creeds symbols confession creed religion beliefs Christianity doctrines creed religion beliefs Christianity Creeds Confessions symbols confession creed religion beliefs Christianity creeds confessions denomination sect symbols dogmas tenets Trinity confession tenets presbyterian councils synod creed religion beliefs Christianity covenants Creeds confessions symbols confession creed religion proofs teachings truths beliefs Christianity lore tradition doctrine dogma  denominations sects churches fundamentals covenant