Origins of the Apostles’ Creed

Ancient theory or legend adopted the belief that the 12 apostles were the authors of the Apostles’ Creed. Today biblical scholars agree that the creed was developed sometime between the second and ninth centuries, and most likely, the creed in its fullest form came into being around 700 AD. The creed was used to summarize Christian doctrineand as a baptismal confession in the churches of Rome.

It is believed that the Apostles’ Creed was originally formulated to refute the claims of Gnosticism, or early heresies and deviations from orthodox Christian doctrines. For more about the origins of the Apostles’ Creed visit the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Like the Nicene Creed, the Apostles’ Creed is widely accepted as a statement of faith among Christian churches and used by a number of Christian denominations as a part of the worship services. Some evangelical Christians, however, reject the creed, specifically its recitation, not for its content, but simply because it is not found in the Bible.

The word “catholic” in the Apostles’ Creed refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostles’ Creed

Modern English Version (From the Book of Common Prayer)

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

The Apostles’ Creed

Traditional English Version

I believe in God the Father Almighty, 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 rose 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.

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