2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
The Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed concisely sums up the beliefs and theology of the Christian Church in a manner that can be used as a statement of faith, even today. Originally written to take a stand against Arianism at the Council of Nicaea in 325, it underwent subsequent revision at later councils. Nicaea was primarily concerned with the relationship between Jesus Christ and God, the Father. Where Arius advocated a subordinationist position, the council choose the word homoousios (meaning, "having the same being as") to characterize this relationship; Jesus Christ is "one in being with" the Father. Later, at the Council of Constantinople (381), the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Godhead came into question; there, the claim that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father was added. In 451, at the Council of Chalcedon, the ammended Nicene Creed was once again accepted as the true statement of the Christian faith. The final revision of the creed was made at the Council of Toledo (589) when the term filioque (meaning "and the Son") was officially added to the previous claim from Constantinople that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father. This alteration was made following an unofficial custom in the West (handed down to us from Augustine) of using the filioque clause in the creed. The Council of Toledo also declared that the Nicene Creed (as we know it today) should be professed by Christians at every mass.
Jennifer M. Brom
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