The Nicene Creed, which is also called the Niceno-constantinopolitan Creed, is a Christian statement of faith accepted by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and major Protestant churches. It gets its name from the First Council of Nicaea, at which it was adopted.
- The Nicene Creed (A modern English version)
- We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
- maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
- We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
- eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
- true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
- Through him all things were made.
- For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven:
- by the power of the Holy Spirit
- he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
- For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
- he suffered, died, and was buried.
- On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
- he ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father.
- He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
- and his kingdom will have no end.
- We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
- who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
- With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
- He has spoken through the Prophets.
- We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
- We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
- We look for the resurrection of the dead,
- and the life of the world to come. Amen
Many Catholics in the United States omit the word "men" from the line "for us men and for our salvation..." out of respect for women. All Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches omit the words "and the son" (the filioque clause), from the description of the Holy Spirit, in keeping with the first seven Ecumenical Councils.
The Nicene Creed was first adopted at the first Ecumenical Council in 325 A.D., which was also the First Council of Nicaea. At that time, the text ended after the words "We believe in the Holy Spirit." The second Ecumenical Council in 381 A.D. added the remainder of the text except for the words "and the son"; this is the version still used by Eastern Orthdox and Greek Catholic churches today. The third Ecumenical Council reaffirmed the 381 version, and stated that no further changes could be made to it, nor could other creeds by adopted. The phrase "and the son" (filioque in Latin) was first used in Spain in about the 5th century, and was acknowledged as early as 447 at [Rome]] by Pope Leo I without the consultation or agreement of the other four patriarchs of the Church at that time. The dispute over the filioque clause and the manner of its adoption was one of the reasons for the Great Schism.
A more extensive edition and discussion of the text of the council is available on-line at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea1.txt.