The Three Ecumenical or Universal Creeds

Apostles’ Creed

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 Spirit, born of the
virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He
descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the
forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Nicene Creed

I 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 only‐begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all
worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one
substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our
salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was
buried. And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures and ascended into
heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge
both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and
the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by
the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church I acknowledge one
Baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of
the world to come. Amen.

Athanasian Creed

Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic faith. Whoever does not
keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally.
And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither
confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. For the Father is one person, the Son is
another, and the Holy Spirit is another. But the Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit is one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is
the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit: the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit
uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal,
the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet there are not three Eternals, but one
Eternal, just as there are not three Uncreated or three Infinites, but one Uncreated and one
Infinite. In the same way, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, the Holy Spirit almighty;
and yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is
God, the Holy Spirit is God; and yet there are not three Gods, but one God. So the Father is
Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord; and yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord.
Just as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge each distinct person as God
and Lord, so also are we prohibited by the catholic religion to say that there are three Gods
or Lords.
The Father is not made nor created nor begotten by anyone. The Son is neither made nor
created, but begotten of the Father alone. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son,
neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding. Thus, there is one Father, not three
Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity
none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another; but the whole three
persons are coeternal with each other and coequal, so that in all things, as has been stated
above, the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity is to be worshiped. Therefore, whoever
desires to be saved must think thus about the Trinity.
But it is also necessary for everlasting salvation that one faithfully believe the incarnation of
our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man. He is God,
begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the
substance of His mother in this age: perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational
soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father
with respect to His humanity. Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ:
one, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the
humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for
our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, ascended into
heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will
come to judge the living and the dead. At His coming all people will rise again with their
bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds. And those who have done good will
enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.

 

Us men means all people.
Christian: the ancient text reads “catholic,” meaning the whole
Church as it confesses the wholeness of Christian doctrine