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The Apostles Creed

(The text of the Apostles Creed is in the public domain.)

The Apostles Creed is a brief summary of the Trinity and the person and work of Jesus Christ, not an exhaustive statement of faith. It originated in the Western Church as a last-minute examination of baptismal candidates. It probably existed as early as the third century, but it didn’t take its modern form until the eighth century. Notice that the creed is in three parts, which are the answers to the following three questions:

Do you believe in God the Father?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?

Protestants, Catholics, and Anglicans use the Apostles Creed extensively, especially in baptismal services. Orthodox Christians do not disagree with any statement in the Apostles Creed, but they do not use it in worship or recognize it as a an official creed of the Church, since it does not have the authority of an ecumenical council.

Note that in the creed, the word ‘catholic’ has its dictionary meaning of ‘universal.’

The Text of the Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
     creator of heaven and earth;

I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord;
     He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
          and born of the Virgin Mary,
     He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
          was crucified, died, and was buried.
     He descended to the dead.
     On the third day He rose again.
     He ascended into heaven,
          and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
     He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
     the holy catholic Church,
     the communion of saints,
     the forgiveness of sins,
     the resurrection of the body,
     and the life everlasting. AMEN.