Anglican Church of the Americas
 
 

The Apostles' Creed

The title, Symbolum Apostolicum (Symbol or Creed of the Apostles), appears for the first time in a letter from a Council in Milan (probably written by Ambrose himself) to Pope Siricius in about 390: "Let them give credit to the Creed of the Apostles, which the Roman Church has always kept and preserved undefiled". But what existed at that time was not what is now known as the Apostles' Creed but a shorter statement of belief that, for instance, did not include the phrase "maker of heaven and earth", a phrase that may have been inserted only in the seventh century.

The legend that this creed, the forerunner and principal source of the Apostles' Creed, had been jointly created by the Apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, with each of the twelve contributing one of the articles, was already current at that time.

The earlier text evolved from simpler texts based on Matthew 28:19, and it has been argued that it was already in written form by the late second century (circa 180 AD).

While the individual statements of belief that are included in the Apostles' Creed – even those not found in the Old Roman Symbol – are found in various writings.

Some have suggested that the Apostles' Creed was spliced together with phrases from the New Testament. For instance, the phrase "descendit ad inferos" ("he descended into hell") echoes Ephesians 4:9, "κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς" ("he descended into the lower, earthly regions").

This phrase and that on the communion of saints are articles found in the Apostles' Creed, but not in the Old Roman Symbol nor in the Nicene Creed.

The Apostles' Creed

The Baptismal Creed used in Anglican churches is called the Apostles' Creed. It has received this title because of its great antiquity; it dates from very early times in the Church, a half century or so from the last writings of the New Testament.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
© 2010-2014 Anglican Church of the Americas • 200 West 3rd. Street • Luverne, AL 36049 • 334.335.2991 • 334.335.2660 (fax)