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Apostles’ Creed

The full form of the creed dates from about 700 AD.  However, segments of it are found in Christian writings dating as early as the second century.  During the first few centuries, Christians believed that the twelve apostles were the authors of this widely known creed which bears their name.  According to an ancient legend, each of the twelve apostles contributed a clause to form the whole creed.  Today, the creed is generally accepted as apostolic in nature because its basic teachings are agreeable to the theological formulations of the apostolic age.  It continues to be used (similar to the past) as a baptismal confession, as a teaching (and theological) outline, as a guide against false doctrine, and as a summary of the Christian faith.  It is still one of the most widely accepted and used creed among Christians.

Modern Version

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 sits 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.


*Note:  “the holy catholic church” refers to the universal Christian Church rather than the Roman Catholic Church.  The word “catholic” comes from the Latin catholicus meaning “universal” (also cata “according to”, and holos “the whole”), that is the universal church, not limited by parochial denominations.

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Old Roman Creed

The Apostles’ Creed likely stems from the Old Roman Creed, which was probably developed during the second half of the second century.

I BELIEVE in God almighty
And in Christ Jesus, his only Son, our Lord
Who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and was buried
And the third day rose from the dead
Who ascended into heaven
And sitteth on the right hand of the Father
Whence he cometh to judge the living and the dead.
And in the Holy Spirit
The holy church
The remission of sins
The resurrection of the flesh
The life everlasting.

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Gallican Creed

This creed is an amended version of the Old Roman Creed, derived from the Gallican Liturgy (5th - 7th Century) in northern Italy, Gaul, Spain and Ireland.  One theory maintains that this form was, in fact, the Creed used at Ephesus in apostolic times and therefore had the sounder pedigree than the Roman Creed.  Another legend states that this creed was delivered to the Irish monks by St Patrick himself.

I BELIEVE in God the Father almighty,
I also believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord,
conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.
suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, dead and buried;
he descended into hell,
rose again the third day,
ascended into heaven,
sat down at the right hand of the Father,
thence he is to come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the remission of sins,
the resurrection of the flesh and life eternal.

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Earliest Fragments

These discovered fragments are believed to date within fifty years after the last New Testament writings.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty,
and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord.
And in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Church,
the resurrection of the flesh.

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