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Nicene Creed 

The Nicene Creed that listed is on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History during 378 AD refers to the Christians’ profession of faith, which is recited in liturgical celebrations. The term was adopted in the Nicaea, a city where the Council of Nicaea was held in 325 AD. However, it is in a different form than the ones used at present in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Protestant denominations or the Church of the East. In the West, the Apostles’ Creed is recited, although this is not found in Eastern liturgies. As for the Catholic Church, the profession of faith includes the Nicene Creed. Byzantine Rites include the recitation or singing of the Nicene Creed at Divine Liturgies. This Creed precedes the Eucharistic Prayer, which is recited daily.

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Forms of Nicene Creed The Nicene Creed has two forms, and these have several designations with distinct meanings. For instance, the Nicene Creed is about the original version of the creed that was created in the Council of Nicaea. However, it was eventually used to refer to the revised version, and into the Latin version of additional phrases such as the Filioque and Deum de Deo. As for the Armenian Version, this included the phrase God from God, among a few others. As for the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, it refers to Constantinople’s revised version of the creed, as well as a few other versions. When the Creed is sung in Latin, this profession of faith is usually called Credo.

Nicene_Creed_papyrus
‘Oldest extant manuscript of the Nicene Creed, dated to the 5th Century.’

Significance of the Creed

The creed was created to establish a definite doctrinal statement of the Church’s belief. Furthermore, the Nicene Creed was made during the time of the controversy among the Arians. In Alexandria, a Libyan presbyter named Arius stated that while God-the-Son was divine, he was not co-essential with God-the-father because he was born as a being. Hence, Jesus was less than God-the-father, and this stirred up some conflicts in terms of the doctrine about the Holy Trinity. In the Nicene Creed, it provides an affirmation of the Son’s co-essential divinity, which means he was primarily consubstantial. In the 381 version of the Creed, the Holy Spirit was referred to as glorified and worshipped along with the Son and Father. As for the Athanasian Creed, it offered more details about the relationship of the Trinity. The Apostles’ Creed, on the other hand, lacked any statements about the Holy Spirit and the Son’s divine nature.

Nicene_Creed_Trinity
‘Holy Trinity, fresco by Luca Rossetti da Orta, 1738–9 (St. Gaudenzio Church at Ivrea)’

Further Details about the Nicene Creed

In 325 AD, the Nicene Creed was adopted by the Council of Nicaea. After the council, there was a new formula of the profession of faith that existed, and these are merely intended to counter the different phases of Arianism.

The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed was adopted during the 381 AD in the Second Ecumenical Council, and this intended to modify the Nicene Creed created in 325 AD. It is also an ecumenical profession of the Christian faith, which was accepted by the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, most Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic. On the other hand, the Athanasian and Apostles’ Creeds were not accepted widely by most Christians.

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