The Apostles’ Creed is a compilation of belief statements that embodies a widely accepted and terse summary of the fundamentals of Christianity, and although the Apostles’ Creed does not have the same authority as Scripture, this paper will seek to prove that if upheld to the apostolic tradition, or its orthodoxy, the creed’s summation of Christian doctrine is one that all believers should grasp, support, and consider.
Throughout church history it has been necessary for the church to adopt and embrace creedal statements to clarify the Christian faith and to distinguish true content from error and false representations of the faith.
The Apostles' Creed is one of the oldest creeds of Christianity, dating in an early form to at least the middle second century with roots in the biblical traditions of the Gospels. Some phrases were added for clarity as late as the fourth century, but the basic creed remained intact. The clearly Trinitarian structure was likely intended to counter the teachings of Marcion who denied that the God of the Old Testament was the same God revealed in Jesus the Christ. This Trinitarian formulation would remain the basic structure of all the early creeds. The Apostles' Creed has often been divided into 12 sections for catechesis, instruction for new converts or children.
DEFINITION OF CREED
In order to understand the Apostles’ Creed and its necessity, a definition or understanding of a creed is warranted. Derived from the Latin word credo, which simply means ‘to believe’, a creed is simply a statement of belief. For the Church, it is a shortened version of what they understand and know to be true about God, Christ, and humanity. Irenaeus, an early church father, described a creed as “the canon of truth.”It is a summary of the basic principles, practices, ideas and foundational beliefs that define what makes one a Christian. Creeds originated in churches because of the baptism ceremony. Many...
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