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Three Creeds (chart)

Apostles Creed

[May be traced 130-140 AD, and perhaps earlier.}
Nicene Creed

[As approved in amplified form at the Council of Constantinople (381), it is the profession of the Christian Faith common to the Catholic Church, to all the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, and to most of the Protestant denominations.]
Athanasian Creed

[Exact date uncertain; generally assumed to be 5th or 6th century.]

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;
2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
I believe in God the Father, Almighty; Maker of Heaven and Earth;
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.
21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.
26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.
27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
and in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man;
29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.
32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.
36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and
39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
42. and shall give account of their own works.
43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
the holy church;
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body; and
the life everlasting.
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.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

Note how the earliest statement (the Apostles Creed) has remained relatively static in most of its clauses, through the later revisions, while certain clauses (the ones dealing with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) have been amplified and expanded far beyond reasonableness, until at last they are altogether out of proportion with the rest. And it is in these clauses, of course, where the Church -- over several centuries -- has criminally departed from the Apostolic Faith, and excommunicated and condemned those discerning ones who will not accept such error and confusion.

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