Theology Corner

Addressing commonly asked questions about Christianity from the perspective of a non-theologian

44. WHAT IS THE APOSTLES' CREED?

The Apostles’ Creed was not written by the apostles but it represents a summary of their teaching.  It appears that, in the early church, some form of confession of belief was required in order to join the body of believers.  Two types of belief statements were used: (1) the Kerygma which was a summary record of the life of Christ and (2) a Trinitarian form which was condensed and combined into the Apostles’ Creed.  This Creed was established in 100 – 150 A.D. and had virtually the same text as is used today.

 

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.

 

In some denominations (e.g. UMC), this creed is recited by the congregation during every Sunday morning worship service.  Other denominations (e.g. Baptist) reject man-made creeds and are thereby deprived of its magnificence.