Creed

Creed

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Creed'
Start a new discussion about 'Creed'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

A creed is a statement of belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

—usually a statement of faith
Statement of faith
A statement of faith is a statement of the core beliefs of a religious group.A typical statement of faith is said to be a non-comprehensive summary of the core beliefs of a particular faith within a tradition . Even religious organizations without affiliation will use a statement of faith for...

 that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemic
Polemic
A polemic is a variety of arguments or controversies made against one opinion, doctrine, or person. Other variations of argument are debate and discussion...

al, as well as didactic
Didacticism
Didacticism is an artistic philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature and other types of art. The term has its origin in the Ancient Greek word διδακτικός , "related to education/teaching." Originally, signifying learning in a fascinating and intriguing...

, it is not called a creed but a Confession of faith
Confession of Faith
A Confession of Faith is a statement of doctrine very similar to a creed, but usually longer and polemical, as well as didactic.Confessions of Faith are in the main, though not exclusively, associated with Protestantism...

. The term "creed" can also refer to a person's political or social beliefs or is sometimes used to mean religious affiliation.

One of the most widely used creeds in Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

, first formulated in AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

. It was based on Christian understanding of the Canonical gospels, the letters of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 and to a lesser extent the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

. Affirmation of this creed, which describes the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

, is generally taken as a fundamental test of orthodoxy
Orthodoxy
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos + doxa , is generally used to mean the adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion...

 for most Christian denominations. The Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

 is also broadly accepted. Some Christian denominations and other groups have rejected the authority of those creeds.

Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s declare the shahada
Shahada
The Shahada , means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed"/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet...

, or testimony: "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger."

Whether Judaism is creedal has been a point of some controversy. Although some say Judaism is noncreedal in nature, others say it recognizes a single creed, the Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services...

, which begins: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Etymology



The word derives from the Latin credo, which means "I believe" (because the Latin translation of the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

 and the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

 both begin with this word) so a creed may also be called a credo
Credo
A credo |Latin]] for "I Believe") is a statement of belief, commonly used for religious belief, such as the Apostles' Creed. The term especially refers to the use of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the Mass, either as text, Gregorian chant, or other musical settings of the...

. A creed is sometimes referred to as a symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

 signifying a "token" by which persons of like beliefs might recognize each other.

Creedal statement in 1 Corinthians 15



1 Corinthians 15, 3-7 includes an early creed about Jesus' death and resurrection which was probably received by Paul. The antiquity of the creed has been located by most biblical scholars to no more than five years after Jesus' death, probably originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community.

Old Roman Creed



The Old Roman Creed is an earlier and shorter version of the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

. It was based on the 2nd century Rules of Faith and the interrogatory declaration of faith for those receiving baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

, which by the 4th century was everywhere tripartite in structure, following Matthew 28:19.

Nicene Creed



The Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

 reflects the concerns of the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

 in 325 which had as their chief purpose to establish what Christians believed.

Apostles' Creed



The Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

 is widely used by most Christian denominations for both liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical Churches of Western tradition, including the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, and Western Orthodoxy. It is also used by Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists
Congregational church
Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing Congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs....

.

Chalcedonian Creed



The Chalcedonian Creed was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 in Asia Minor. It defines that Christ is 'acknowledged in two natures', which 'come together into one person and hypostasis'.

Athanasian Creed



The Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult) is a Christian statement of belief, focusing on Trinitarian doctrine and Christology. It is the first creed in which the equality of the three persons of the Trinity is explicitly stated, and differs from the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas, or condemnations of those who disagree with the Creed.

Tridentine Creed



The Tridentine Creed was initially contained in the papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Iniunctum Nobis, issued by Pope Pius IV
Pope Pius IV
Pope Pius IV , born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was Pope from 1559 to 1565. He is notable for presiding over the culmination of the Council of Trent.-Biography:...

 on November 13, 1565. The creed was intended to summarize the teaching of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 (1545–1563).

Masai Creed



The Maasai Creed is a creed composed in 1960 by the Maasai people of East Africa in collaboration with missionaries from the Congregation of the Holy Ghost
Holy Ghost Fathers
The Congregation of the Holy Spirit is a Roman Catholic congregation of priests, lay brothers, and since Vatican II, lay associates...

. The creed attempts to express the essentials of the Christian faith within the Maasai culture.

Credo of the People of God



The Credo of the People of God is a profession of faith that Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 published with the motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

Solemni hac liturgia of 30 June 1968. Pope Paul VI spoke of it as "a profession of faith, ... a creed which, without being strictly speaking a dogmatic definition, repeats in substance, with some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time, the creed of Nicea
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

, the creed of the immortal tradition of the holy Church of God"

Christian confessions of faith



Protestant denominations are usually associated with confessions of faith
Confession of Faith
A Confession of Faith is a statement of doctrine very similar to a creed, but usually longer and polemical, as well as didactic.Confessions of Faith are in the main, though not exclusively, associated with Protestantism...

, which are similar to creeds but usually longer and polemical, as well as didactic.

Christians without creeds



Some Christian denominations, and particularly those descending from the Radical Reformation
Radical Reformation
The Radical Reformation was a 16th century response to what was believed to be both the corruption in the Roman Catholic Church and the expanding Magisterial Protestant movement led by Martin Luther and many others. Beginning in Germany and Switzerland, the Radical Reformation birthed many radical...

, do not profess a creed. The Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

, find no need for creedal formulations of faith. The Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren
The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination originating from the Schwarzenau Brethren organized in 1708 by eight persons led by Alexander Mack, in Schwarzenau, Bad Berleburg, Germany. The Brethren movement began as a melding of Radical Pietist and Anabaptist ideas during the...

 also espouses no creed, referring to the New Testament, as their "rule of faith and practice." Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 contrast "memorizing or repeating creeds" with acting to "do what Jesus said". Unitarian Universalists
Unitarian Universalism
Unitarian Universalism is a religion characterized by support for a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the understanding that an individual's theology is a...

, who practice probably the most liberal of all religions, do not share a creed.

Many evangelical Protestants similarly reject creeds as definitive statements faith, even while agreeing with some creeds' substance. The Baptists have been non-creedal "in that they have not sought to establish binding authoritative confessions of faith on one another". While many Baptists are not opposed to the ancient creeds, they regard them as "not so final that they cannot be revised and re-expressed. At best, creeds have a penultimacy about them and, of themselves, could never be the basis of Christian fellowship". Moreover, Baptist "confessions of faith" have often had a clause such as this from the First London (Particular) Baptist Confession (Revised edition, 1646):
Similar reservations about the use of creeds can be found in the Restoration Movement
Restoration Movement
The Restoration Movement is a Christian movement that began on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century...

 and its descendants, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

, the Churches of Christ, and the Christian churches and churches of Christ.

Some religious leaders in traditional creedal Churches have also come to question the utility of creeds. Bishop John Shelby Spong
John Shelby Spong
John Shelby "Jack" Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was formerly the Bishop of Newark . He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author...

, retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark, has written that dogmas and creeds were merely "a stage in our development" and "part of our religious childhood." In his book, Sins of the Scripture, Spong claims that "Jesus seemed to understand that no one can finally fit the holy God into his or her creeds or doctrines. That is idolatry."

Jewish creed



Whether Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 is creedal in character has generated some controversy. Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 Milton Steinberg
Milton Steinberg
Milton Steinberg was an American rabbi, philosopher, theologian and author.-Life:Born in Rochester, New York, he was raised with the combination of his grandparents' traditional Jewish piety and his father's modernist socialism...

 wrote that "By its nature Judaism is averse to formal creeds which of necessity limit and restrain thought" and asserted in his book Basic Judaism (1947) that "Judaism has never arrived at a creed." The 1976 Centenary Platform of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Central Conference of American Rabbis
The Central Conference of American Rabbis , founded in 1889 by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, is the principal organization of Reform rabbis in the United States and Canada, the CCAR is the largest and oldest rabbinical organization in the world....

, an organization of Reform
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

 rabbis agrees that "Judaism emphasizes action rather than creed as the primary expression of a religious life."

Others, however, characterize the Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services...

as a creedal statement in strict monotheism
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

 embodied in a single prayer. "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One" ' onMouseout='HidePop("19207")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Romanization_of_Hebrew">transliterated
Romanization of Hebrew
Hebrew uses the Hebrew alphabet with optional vowel points. The romanization of Hebrew is the use of the Latin alphabet to transliterate Hebrew words....

 Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.) It is recited twice daily by all observant Jews, once when waking up, and once when going to bed.

Islamic creed



The Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic creed is the Shahadah, the proclamation لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله (lâ ilâha illallâh, Muḥammadur rasûlullâh – "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.") Taking this creed is one of the five pillars of Islam
Five Pillars of Islam
The Pillars of Islam are basic concepts and duties for accepting the religion for the Muslims.The Shi'i and Sunni both agree on the essential details for the performance of these acts, but the Shi'a do not refer to them by the same name .-Pillars of Shia:According to Shia Islam, the...

.

Non-religious creeds


The term "creed" can be used to refer to a set of non-religious beliefs, like political or social beliefs. Some examples are the American's Creed
American's Creed
The American's Creed is the national creed of the United States of America. It was written in 1917 by William Tyler Page as an entry into a patriotic contest. It was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives April 3, 1918.-See also:*List of U.S...

 and the Social Creed
Social Creed (Methodist)
The Social Creed originated to express Methodism's outrage over the miserable lives of the millions of workers in factories, mines, mills, tenements and company towns. It was adopted by the Methodist Episcopal Church, the first denomination in Christendom to adopt an official Social Creed...

 adopted by the Methodist Church (which contains both religious and social beliefs).

Further reading


External links