The Apostles' Creed
by Ron Kurtus (updated 22 December 2022)
The Apostles' Creed is considered a Christian Belief System.
The modern version of the Apostles' Creed, as we know it today, was written in about 700 AD. It is called the "Apostles' Creed", not because it was produced by the apostles themselves, but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It is a belief system followed by many Christian churches. The creed has beliefs concerning God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
Questions you may have include:
- What are the beliefs concerning God?
- What is said about Jesus Christ?
- What are beliefs about the Holy Ghost?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Note: This is an educational website. We are not promoting any one religion.
God the Father
The first sentence states the belief in God.
"I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth."
This basic statement also includes that God created the Universe. The expression "God the Father" could mean that He is the father of everything, but it also could mean that He is the father of Christ.
The second series of sentences state beliefs about Jesus Christ and his role.
"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 from the dead. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead."
This states the belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God the Father and is part of the Holy Trinity. It gives a summary of Jesus' birth and death. What is unusual is the mention of Pontius Pilate, whose name is immortalized and repeated in this Creed.
The idea that Jesus descended into hell is not specifically documented in the Bible. The Apostles' Creed doesn't say why He went to hell. Also, nowhere in the Bible does it say the Christ will judge. Most references state the the Father is the judge.
Finally, since many religions believe that Christ's role was to save them from their sins, it is strange that it is not mentioned in this part of the Creed.
The final section in the Apostles' Creed states the belief in the Holy Ghost, as well as several other critical items of belief.
"I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting."
The expression "Holy Christian Church" was once the "holy catholic church", since catholic (with a small "c") means universal. This was changed in recent years to avoid confusion with the Catholic Church.
The statements of faith concerning the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are the basis of many Christian religions.
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The Apostles' Creed