Nicene Creed:

Nicene Creed

Also Known As: "The Symbol Of Faith"

ΤΟ ΣΥΜΒΟΛΟΝ ΤΗΣ ΠΙΣΤΕΩΣ

 

 
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"In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, liberty.  In all things, love."

325 A.D. / 381 A.D.

Also: Nicean Creed; Constantinopolitan- Nicene Creed

 

 

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Nicene Creed: Scripture Basis

The Nicene Creed:

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo: Mountain Peaks.  Photo Copyright 2006 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved. “...that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.”  -Vincent of Lerins (450 A.D.)

"...we make our own the profession of the faith that we carry in our heart...We have the catholic faith in the creed, known to the faithful and committed to memory, contained in a form of expression as concise as has been rendered admissible by the circumstances;"  -St. Augustine of Hippo*

The Nicene Creed is the only creed accepted by all three major branches of Christianity: Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant.  It was adopted by a general Council of the entire Church (Ecumenical) in 325 A.D., and revised by a general council of the entire Church in 381 A.D.

Traditional liturgical worship always includes the Nicene Creed whenever there is Communion.  It is a corporate proclamation that corresponds to the Schema (“Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one”) in synagogue liturgy.

(Note: The Nicene Creed in its original Greek is posted further below on this page.)

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things seen and unseen.

       And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God, 1 Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made.

       Who, for us all for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

       And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father; 2 who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

     And I believe in one holy universal 3 and apostolic Church. 4  I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.           

                                       Amen. ____________________________________________________________

Historical Explanatory Footnotes:

The Greek term used in the Nicene Creed for "Maker" is poieten--a cognate of our word "poet," but closer in meaning to the English word "artist".

1 The phrase "God of God", used in Western Church versions of the Nicene Creed (Protestant and Roman Catholic) is not included in the Greek of the Nicene Creed of 381 A.D. (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed).  The original 325 A.D. version of the Nicene Creed does include it.  It agrees with "very God of very God" (or "true God of true God".

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2 The Filioque Clause: Roman Catholic and many Protestant versions of the Nicene Creed often add at this point the phrase: "and the Son;".  This so-called filioque clause was inserted by the Western (Roman Catholic) Church in 589 A.D.  In the phrase, "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son;" the debate concerned whether the Holy Spirit proceeded from only the Father, or from the Father and the Son (filioque in Latin).  The phrase "and the Son" was not in the Greek version of the Creed as accepted at Nicća and Constantinople.

Eastern (Orthodox) tradition has always used the Revised 381 A.D. Greek version of the Creed, resisting any changes.  A growing rift between Eastern and Western traditions eventually led to the "Great Schism" in 1054 A.D.  The Eastern Churches have never used the version with the filioque clause, while most churches that derive from the Western tradition (Protestants) use the creed with the filioque clause.  The Episcopal Church has recently approved omission of the filioque clause in new editions of the Book of Common Prayer.  We have also omitted it in the version we use, to return to the original wording of the Nicene Creed in Greek approved at the Council of Nicaea in 381A.D

The Church has widely used the Nicene Creed since the fifth century.  In some Protestant churches it is recited every Sunday.  In others, the Nicene Creed alternates each week with the Apostles’ Creed Eastern Orthodox tradition uses only the Nicene Creed.  

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3 The word "catholic" (with a small "c") usually is used in the different English Versions of the Creed at this point.  It is in general use by both Protestant and Orthodox believers.   The word "catholic" has come to mean "universal" or "general" (as in the "General" Epistles).  Martin Luther (and the Lutheran Churches) have substituted the word "Christian" at this point in the Creed, to avoid any confusion of the term with Roman Catholicism.  We have used the word "universal" for the same reason.  The actual Greek word: katholikos, literally means "according to the whole."

4 The word "Church" is used here for the actual Greek word "ecclesia", which literally means "assembly".  It refers neither to a building nor to an organization, but to all Christian believers; on Earth and in Heaven.  In the Holy Scriptures Christians are also referred to as "The Body of Christ" and "The Bride of Christ."

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Additional Notes On The English Version Posted Above:

There are many slightly variant English Versions of the Nicene Creed used by different Churches.  Even the various Orthodox Communions in America, when using English Versions, use slightly differing English Versions (the difference being due to different words being used in the translation from the original Greek). 

The English Version of the Nicene Creed posted above is the one used by The Prayer Foundation Monks .  It was compiled by S. G. Preston (Monk Preston), Co-Founder of The Prayer Foundation , and is based on the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer Version, with a few updates made as concessions for greater clarity in the general usage of modern English.

The Updates:

  • "Ghost" to "Spirit"; "quick" to "living"; "men" to "all", "spake" to "spoke"; "on" to "at", "catholic" to "universal".  

  • The word "worlds" was changed to "ages" (the actual Greek word is "aeons").

  • The "filioque" clause (see explanatory note 2 above) was omitted as a return to the original wording of the Nicene Creed in Greek as approved at the Council of Nicaea in 381A.D.

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YouTube: Nicene Creed Read Aloud in Greek

Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed.

 An Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene Creed in Greek:

Πιστεύω είς ενα Θεόν, Πατέρα, παντοκράτορα, ποιητήν ουρανού καί γής, ορατών τε πάντων καί αοράτων.

Καί είς ενα Κύριον, Ίησούν Χριστόν, τόν Υιόν του Θεού τόν μονογενή, τόν εκ του Πατρός γεννηθέντα πρό πάντων τών αιώνων. Φώς εκ φωτός, Θεόν αληθινόν εκ Θεού αληθινού γεννηθέντα, ού ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τώ Πατρί, δι’ ού τά πάντα εγένετο. Τόν δι’ ημάς τούς ανθρώπους καί διά τήν ημετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα εκ τών ουρανών καί σαρκωθέντα εκ Πνεύματος ‘Αγίου καί Μαρίας τής Παρθένου καί ενανθρωπήσαντα. Σταυρωθέντα τε υπέρ ημών επί Ποντίου Πιλάτου καί παθόντα καί ταφέντα.

Καί αναστάντα τή τρίτη ημέρα κατά τάς Γραφάς.

Καί ανελθόντα είς τούς ουρανούς καί καθεζόμενον εκ δεξιών τού Πατρός.

Καί πάλιν ερχόμενον μετά δόξης κρίναι ζώντας καί νεκρούς, ού τής βασιλείας ουκ εσται τέλος.

Καί είς τό Πνεύμα τό ¨Αγιον, τό Κύριον, τό ζωοποιόν, τό εκ τού Πατρός εκπορευόμενον, τό σύν Πατρί καί Υιώ συμπροσκυνούμενον καί συνδοξαζόμενον, τό λαλήσαν διά τών Προφητών.

Είς μίαν, αγίαν, καθολικήν καί αποστολικήν Έκκλησίαν. ‘Ομολογώ εν βάπτισμα είς άφεσιν αμαρτιών. Προσδοκώ ανάστασιν νεκρών. Καί ζωήν τού μέλλοντος αιώνος.

Άμήν. ________________________________________________

The Nicene Creed in Greek in All Capital Greek Letters:

ΠΙΣΤΕΎΩ ΕΊΣ ΕΝΑ ΘΕΌΝ, ΠΑΤΈΡΑ, ΠΑΝΤΟΚΡΆΤΟΡΑ, ΠΟΙΗΤΉΝ ΟΥΡΑΝΟΎ ΚΑΊ ΓΉΣ, ΟΡΑΤΏΝ ΤΕ ΠΆΝΤΩΝ ΚΑΊ ΑΟΡΆΤΩΝ.

ΚΑΊ ΕΊΣ ΕΝΑ ΚΎΡΙΟΝ, ΊΗΣΟΎΝ ΧΡΙΣΤΌΝ, ΤΌΝ ΥΙΌΝ ΤΟΥ ΘΕΟΎ ΤΌΝ ΜΟΝΟΓΕΝΉ, ΤΌΝ ΕΚ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΤΡΌΣ ΓΕΝΝΗΘΈΝΤΑ ΠΡΌ ΠΆΝΤΩΝ ΤΏΝ ΑΙΏΝΩΝ. ΦΏΣ ΕΚ ΦΩΤΌΣ, ΘΕΌΝ ΑΛΗΘΙΝΌΝ ΕΚ ΘΕΟΎ ΑΛΗΘΙΝΟΎ ΓΕΝΝΗΘΈΝΤΑ, ΟΎ ΠΟΙΗΘΈΝΤΑ, ὉΜΟΟΎΣΙΟΝ ΤΏ ΠΑΤΡΊ, ΔΙ’ ΟΎ ΤΆ ΠΆΝΤΑ ΕΓΈΝΕΤΟ. ΤΌΝ ΔΙ’ ΗΜΆΣ ΤΟΎΣ ΑΝΘΡΏΠΟΥΣ ΚΑΊ ΔΙΆ ΤΉΝ ΗΜΕΤΈΡΑΝ ΣΩΤΗΡΊΑΝ ΚΑΤΕΛΘΌΝΤΑ ΕΚ ΤΏΝ ΟΥΡΑΝΏΝ ΚΑΊ ΣΑΡΚΩΘΈΝΤΑ ΕΚ ΠΝΕΎΜΑΤΟΣ ‘ΑΓΊΟΥ ΚΑΊ ΜΑΡΊΑΣ ΤΉΣ ΠΑΡΘΈΝΟΥ ΚΑΊ ΕΝΑΝΘΡΩΠΉΣΑΝΤΑ. ΣΤΑΥΡΩΘΈΝΤΑ ΤΕ ΥΠΈΡ ΗΜΏΝ ΕΠΊ ΠΟΝΤΊΟΥ ΠΙΛΆΤΟΥ ΚΑΊ ΠΑΘΌΝΤΑ ΚΑΊ ΤΑΦΈΝΤΑ.

ΚΑΊ ΑΝΑΣΤΆΝΤΑ ΤΉ ΤΡΊΤΗ ΗΜΈΡΑ ΚΑΤΆ ΤΆΣ ΓΡΑΦΆΣ.

ΚΑΊ ΑΝΕΛΘΌΝΤΑ ΕΊΣ ΤΟΎΣ ΟΥΡΑΝΟΎΣ ΚΑΊ ΚΑΘΕΖΌΜΕΝΟΝ ΕΚ ΔΕΞΙΏΝ ΤΟΎ ΠΑΤΡΌΣ.

ΚΑΊ ΠΆΛΙΝ ΕΡΧΌΜΕΝΟΝ ΜΕΤΆ ΔΌΞΗΣ ΚΡΊΝΑΙ ΖΏΝΤΑΣ ΚΑΊ ΝΕΚΡΟΎΣ, ΟΎ ΤΉΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΑΣ ΟΥΚ ΕΣΤΑΙ ΤΈΛΟΣ.

ΚΑΊ ΕΊΣ ΤΌ ΠΝΕΎΜΑ ΤΌ ¨ΑΓΙΟΝ, ΤΌ ΚΎΡΙΟΝ, ΤΌ ΖΩΟΠΟΙΌΝ, ΤΌ ΕΚ ΤΟΎ ΠΑΤΡΌΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΚ ΤΟΥ ΥΙΟΥ ΕΚΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟΝ, ΤΌ ΣΎΝ ΠΑΤΡΊ ΚΑΊ ΥΙΏ ΣΥΜΠΡΟΣΚΥΝΟΎΜΕΝΟΝ ΚΑΊ ΣΥΝΔΟΞΑΖΌΜΕΝΟΝ, ΤΌ ΛΑΛΉΣΑΝ ΔΙΆ ΤΏΝ ΠΡΟΦΗΤΏΝ.

ΕΊΣ ΜΊΑΝ, ΑΓΊΑΝ, ΚΑΘΟΛΙΚΉΝ ΚΑΊ ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΙΚΉΝ ΈΚΚΛΗΣΊΑΝ. ‘ΟΜΟΛΟΓΏ ΕΝ ΒΆΠΤΙΣΜΑ ΕΊΣ ΆΦΕΣΙΝ ΑΜΑΡΤΙΏΝ. ΠΡΟΣΔΟΚΏ ΑΝΆΣΤΑΣΙΝ ΝΕΚΡΏΝ. ΚΑΊ ΖΩΉΝ ΤΟΎ ΜΈΛΛΟΝΤΟΣ ΑΙΏΝΟΣ.


ΆΜΉΝ.
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The Nicene Creed in Greek but Written Out With Latin Characters (Letters):

Pistevo is ena Theon, Patera pantokratora, piitin ouranou ke yis, oraton te panton ke aoraton.
Ke is ena Kyrion Isoun Khriston, ton Yion tou Theou ton monoyeni, ton ek tou Patros yennithenta pro panton ton eonon.  Fos ek fotos, Theon alithinon ek Theou alithinou, yennithenta ou piithenta, omoousion to Patri, dhi ou ta panta eyeneto.  Ton dhi imas tous anthropous ke dhia tin imeteran sotirian katelthonta ek ton ouranon ke sarkothenta ek Pnevmatos ayiou ke Marias tis Parthenou ke enanthropisanta. Stavrothenta te yper imon epi Pontiou Pilatou ke pathonta, ke tafenta.  Ke anastanta ti triti imera kata tas Grafas.  Ke anelthonta is tous ouranous ke kathezomenon ek dhexion tou Patros.  Ke palin erhomenon meta dhoxis krine zontas ke nekrous, ou tis vasilias ouk este telos.
Ke is to Pnevma to ayion, to kyrion, to zopion, to ek tou Patros ekporevomenon, to syn Patri ke Yio symproskynoumenon ke syndhoxazomenon, to lalisan dhia ton profiton.
Is mian, ayian, katholikin ke apostolikin Ekklisian.  Omologho en vaptisma is afesin amartion.  Prosdhoko anastasin nekron.  Ke zoin tou mellontos eonos. 

Amin.

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Source:

* Augustine, "On Faith and the Creed"1 (NPNF 13:321);  Footnote 8., P.36, "Credo" by Jaroslav Pelikan; Yale University Press.

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Related Pages:

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Nicene Creed Text is in the Public Domain.

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Photo of Skellig Michael Copyright © Irish Tourist Board. 

Next  Creeds Index

        

aball1i.gif (324 bytes) The Nicene Creed (YouTube):

YouTube: Nicene Creed Sung in English by an Orthodox Church Choir

YouTube: Nicene Creed Read Aloud in Greek

Related Page:

YouTube: The Apostle's Creed Sung by Christian Alternative Band, "Third Day"

aball1i.gif (324 bytes) (Eternally) Begotten of the Father:

"A father begets, a mother conceives God the Son is begotten of the Father and conceived of the Virgin Mary.  The begetting is an eternal relationship, the conception is an event in time)."

-Ken Collins: "The Nicene Creed" __________

"We have learned the plan of our salvation  from no one else other than from those through whom the gospel has come down to us.  

For they did at one time proclaim the gospel in public.  

And at a later period, by the will of God, they handed the gospel down to us in the Scriptures --- to be 'the ground and pillar of our faith.'"

-Irenaeus of Lyon (written ca. 175-185 A.D.)  

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