A General Understanding of the Nicene Creed



The Belief in Christianity, What is it? It would be a belief in the Trinity (The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost), a tradition that goes back to the days of Judaism in the 9th Century B.C.E. It has grown to become one of the largest religions in the world today. The question is, what is the set of principles that have come to structure such a religion as it is based in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and others with the exception of most Protestant denominations.

The Creed that helps to structure the Christian Beliefs before the Apostles' Creed (A Creed that is practiced in the west but not in the east), is commonly known as the Nicene Creed. This document was brought about by the first ecumenical council, which met in the city of Nicaea. It is recited during a Roman Rite Mass, or simply after the homily of all Sundays. The Byzantine Liturgy is recited during all occasions, a profession of faith to a stronger degree.

There are a number of changes that have been made to the document as it proceeded through wartime, religious dispute, or different mixes of cultural influence. The original form was created in 325 in the city of Nicaea, although the year 381 brought about changes commonly known as the "Niceno-Constantinopolitan" Creed. This particular revision by the second Ecumenical Council made the revised changes in order to adopt the multiple cultural influences the dominated the region at the time. Below is a chart to accompany the results of both the original and the revised edition.


First Council of Nicaea V.S. First Council of Constinople

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First Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.)  
First Council of Constinople  
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];
By whom all things were made;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Ghost. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.
In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
[But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]

A Video on the Council of Nicaea

Importance of this Creed

This Creed, in all it's entirety, gives a profession of faith and a continued belief for years to come. The various churches all have different ways of proceeding in this ritual, although the Byzantine Church has the unique dedication that isn't comparable to most other churches today. The Byzantine Ritual starts by a reciting by the Cantor, who in himself represents the entire group of people within the room at the time, but also represents all Christians as a whole in further faithful idealistic dedication. There is also the tradition of inviting someone from the congregation to speak and recite the creed either alone or together with the cantor, the reasoning to show the importance of the people involved.

The Roman Rite Mass has a different way of presenting the creed, as they incorporate the use of the Apostle's Creed jointly when making rites duriing Masses. The Apostle's Creed alone is presented as, "The second baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church", although both together are known as, "The Profession of Faith or Creed". The western side of European faith is binded by the Apostle's Creed, while the Eastern Byzantine regions strictly forbid the Apostle's Creed, and stick by the Nicene Creed.

The church of Saint Sophia in Nikaia is where the first ecumenical council met under Constantine I


In Conclusion

In Conclusion, the concept behind Christianity, even though it is engraved within the pages of the Bible, the write-up for a profession comes in the form of a Creed, and a revised one at that. You could easily relate this to a political declaration, but for religious purposes and a symbol of the entire Catholic denomination altogether as being closer to their Higher Power.

Do you think the revision of the Ancient Creed was Justifiable?

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Comments 14 comments

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Sueswan 5 years ago

I don't believe in organized religion but in God as a spirtual energy that runs through all living things.

Voted up and interesting.

BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Most of my family grew up with a Christian denomination under their belt, but I choose to see Gaia as the planets energy. Thank you for your feedback, once again greatly appreciated.

Niteriter profile image

Niteriter 5 years ago from Canada

Constantine had a problem with conflict between the relatively new Jesus-Believers and the more populous Pagans that made up the Roman Empire he ruled. The Council of Nicaea, as I understand it, was given the task of working out a philosophy that would bridge the differences between the two groups.

The bishops on the Council saw an opportunity in the Jesus movement to transfer a chunk of the emperor's power into the fold of the Church. It is my belief that their ambitions were more political than religious. (The placement of Christ's birth to coincide with a popular Pagan feast is just one example to support this idea.) Consequently, the creeds (and Bible) they produced were based on material that suited their purposes and did not include representations from all the documentation that was available to them.

Had the Council of Nicaea considered all the texts that were in circulation at the time, the status of Jesus (and the grip of the Church on the people) would have been considerably different.

BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

That is very true, but I'm curios as to what particular feast you attribute that too?

Niteriter profile image

Niteriter 5 years ago from Canada

I was referring to the winter solstice and the various festivities in honour of the sun's rebirth. The Romans, as well as other pagans in the region, are reported to have made a big deal of this annual event. "Scholars" still find excuses to squabble over the details!

BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thank you for those details I'll look into that and possibly make a hub about it

Civil War Bob profile image

Civil War Bob 4 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

Interesting article. I just Googled 'gaia' and 'gaia hypothesis' to learn a little. It almost sounds as though she's seen as a miniature version of The Force, but just earth-related, not universe related. Is that your understanding?

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BakerRambles 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Gaia is about the earth, but that it sprouts into something larger; a universal concept.

Doing My Best 3 years ago

Thank you for your awesome hub. I enjoyed reading it. You may find this website very interesting, it portrays a beautiful story of the love Jesus and Mary have for us that can add to the Nicene Creed for all religions are right, they only have pieces of the puzzle. This is where the story of the egg came from, for the egg fell on the ground and all the kings men could not put the egg back together again, the tragic loss of knowledge.


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cmoneyspinner1tf 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

Quite a coincidence I should stumble across this HUB as we just had a brief study about this Creed in our Bible class last Sunday. I refrained from making remarks because I didn't think I'd be able to comply with “the ground rules” for making comments.

But I'm assuming I'll be allowed to make my comments here. If not, the comments won't be published for public viewing.

So here's my take or understanding of the Nicene Creed. The Creed is built on a faulty foundation and all builders know if you build on a shabby foundation, anything else layered on top of it won't stand. It will crumble.

“The wise man built his house upon the rock.” The Nicene Creed was not built on The Rock.

Do I think the revision of the Ancient Creed was justifiable?

I don't even see where the Creed itself was justifiable, much less a revision of it.

Early believers found their way to The Way without it. Anybody can.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: ..."

You know the Apostles could have written the Creed right into the scriptural text, so if anybody asks, that would have been all any Christian needed to say! Any follower in every generation from the 1st century and forward. Yet being guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit, none of them thought to do JUST that.

BakerRambles profile image

BakerRambles 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Actually that's a very good opinion on the matter. :) I appreciate your.comment, thank you. Honestly in my opinion all cultural beliefs have pull in one way or another, both from socialogical and religious standpoints.

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cmoneyspinner1tf 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

I like your HUBs. Glad you introduced yourself in the Google+ community. It was hard to resist those smiling eyes. :)

This community is helping me connect with other HUBBERs. I'm leaving the link here. Hope others will join.


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BakerRambles 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thank you very much, and yes it's taken me years just to figure out about Google + fully. I hope to see you around, and I will be sure to keep you updated on further work i do in the field, what would you like to see more of?

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cmoneyspinner1tf 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

I don't have a preference. I read the Bible and whatever else catches my eye. ;-) When my eyes are open that is. :)

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