The Nicene Creed is the only Christian Creed accepted by all the major denominations. It has been approved by the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Angelician and most Protestants churches. Officially recognized at the Council of Nicea in 325AD, the Nicene Creed has been a formal doctrinal statement of belief within the Christian church for almost sixteen hundred years.
The oldest surviving manuscript of the Creed dates back to the 5th Century. There are known variances in the Creed between the Council of 325 and 381AD. Just as with the Apostle's Creed, the term "Catholic" does not refer to the Roman Catholic church but rather represents the Greek work for "universal" church, because Christ does not have denominations. He only has One Church that is undivided in Him.
The Nicene Creed 325 AD
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down, and became incarnate and became man, and suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the heavens, and will come to judge the living and dead,
And in the Holy Spirit.
But as for those who say, There was when He (Jesus) was not, and, Before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing,
or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance, or created, or is subject to alteration or change,
these the Catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.
Nicene Creed as of 381
changes from 325 to 381 in red
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into existence,
Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down from the heavens,
and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures and ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge living and dead, of Whose kingdom there will be no end;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is together worshiped and together glorified, Who spoke through the prophets; in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. We confess one baptism to the remission of sins; we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
The Filiquo cause (Filiquo being Latin, meaning "the Son") highlighted above in blue was added sometime in the beginning of the 6th century. This change reflects ongoing doctrinal development of explaining the identity of Christ and His relationship to the Holy Spirit and God, the Father.
As anyone can clearly see, there were substantial changes to the Nicene Creed in only 56 years. These changes reflect the Church trying to clarify its theology and guard against heresies of the day. As mentioned previously, this Creed in its current form from 381AD is the only Christian creed accepted by the majority of Christian denominations.
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