What is the Nicene Creed?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Other than the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed is likely the most universally accepted and recognized statements of the Christian faith. The Nicene Creed was first adopted in A.D. 325 at the Coun...

July 01 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Al Mari Private practice as a cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon
I could be wrong, but nothing could compare the historic event that shaped the belief-system of today's world than the development of the Nicene Creed in the 4th century. 

Prior to this, Christians were in a "flux", a "stage of growth & development" in truth. Interpretations and writings at that time were so many and diverse that included quotations from Clement in A.D. 95, Ignatius in A.D. 107 and Polycarp in A.D 110. It became so "confusing and convoluted" that the first collection of New Testament books was proposed by a successful shipbuilder and prominent Christian (later declared a "heretic) named Marcion in A.D. 140, a "docetist". He was suspicious of others that his "canon" only includes 10 letters of Paul and gospel of Luke, at the exclusion of other books and writings, viz., 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus and the Old Testament. Even he, has his own "understanding", as we all are, even today. The 2nd proposed collection was the Muratorian Canon in A.D. 170, that included the 4 Gospels, Act, 13 letters of Paul, John's 3 letters, Jude and Revelation. 

At the First Council of Nicea (present day Iznik, Turkey) in 325 AD, called by then Emperor Constantine, the Nicean Creed was established once and for all. The dominant Christian leaders at odds that time were Athanasius and Arius, who excommunicated each other and forced their beliefs to the known Christian world, dependent on who was the Emperor at the succeeding times. From one's perspective, the other and those with him, are "heretics". The final N.T. Canon was first identified by the church father Athanasius in A.D. 367 and ratified by the Council of Carthage in A.D. 397. 

In essence, Nicene Creed is about the doctrine of Trinity. The "trunk-of-the-tree" basis of this belief emanates from reconciling a well-entrenched "Judaism" concept of Shema doctrine of "one God" (Deut.6:4) with deity of both the Son as well as the Father. Regarding this "oneness doctrine" see and compare also, Isa. 45:21-22; 44:6-8;Ex.15:11; Deut.4:35; 32:39; I Samuel 2:2; I kings 8:60; Mk.12:29. At the core of the controversy was the nature of the Father and Son and their relationship. The terms "homoousios, homoiousios and heterousious" (same substance/cosubstantial vs. Similar and different substance) developed and came to be used to explain varying interpretations

How could the Son and Father being two Gods be "one God"? While affirming that the "anthropos/man" Jesus is divine, Arianism denies that the Son is God, "because there is only "one God, the Father". On the other hand, to reconcile the Shema doctrine with the belief that the Son is God, the Father is God and the Spirit is God, a new concept emerged: the Trinity Doctrine, which then became the Nicean (Athanasian) Creed,

Arius’ basic premise was the uniqueness of God the Father, who is alone self-existent and immutable; the Son, who is not self-existent, cannot be God. The controversy was brought to an end by the Council of Nicaea (AD 325), which condemned Arius and his teaching and issued a creed to safeguard orthodox Christian belief. This creed states that the Son is "homoousion" to Patri (“of one substance with the Father”), thus declaring him to be all that the Father is: he is completely divine. 

Now, with the history easily retrievable through books, libraries and internet, we can piece together, not only why Athanasius and Arius disagreed, but also how their differences could have been resolved. The "cornerstone" and became a "stumbling block was in the identity of the person referred to in the word "Elohim" in Genesis I, YHVH ELOHIM in Genesis II, "Theos" in Greek and Lord "YHVH/kyrios".... "all lost in translation". This was akin to the failure of mainstream Jews to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, as in Matt. 21:42; Eph. 2:19-222;Isa. 28:16; Ps 112:22;1 Pet. 2:5-7;Acts 4:11; 1 Cor. 1:23. 

May the Holy Spirit guide us to the truth behind the Nicene Creed.

February 03 2015 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Thomas K M A retired Defence Scientist from Indian Defence R&D Orgn.
I would like to add some more information on the Nicene Creed

Emperor Constantine convened a council in AD 325. Around 300 bishops assembled for this council. The main issue in this council was to discuss on the Arius’ heresy which denied the eternal deity of Jesus and the Trinity.

The doctrine of the Trinity was formally developed in the early church in reaction to errant teaching on the nature of God as found in Arianism. Arianism attempted to protect monotheism (the belief in one God) by denying the full deity of Jesus, a belief most Christians held at this time. Arianism taught that Jesus was divine, but that he was a lesser deity than the Father!

The council was also discussed the following:
Formulation of wording concerning Trinity
Certain changes in the verses in the Bible
Eliminating certain verses and books in the Bible
Declaring Arain’s Unitarian as heresy 
Changing the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday
Changing the date of Christmas as 25th December
Introduction of Easter
Church of Rome officially became Universal Church of Roman empire 

To affirm the Church's stance on the nature of God, the Trinity was formally stated in the Nicene Creed (325 A.D.). Nicene’ Creed is still repeated by many Christians today in their worship.

January 09 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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