The Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. The Council of Nicaea was called by Emperor Constantine to resolve a dispute in the church that had arisen over the teachings of a presbyter named Arius, which became known as the Arian controversy. Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, objected to the bishop of Alexandria, Alexander I’s, teaching on the eternal generation of the Son from the Father. In Arius’ view, if the Son had been begotten by the Father, then such a thing happened in time and thus there had been a time when God the Father existed without the Son. The controversy threatened to tear the Empire apart as a large number of Christians adopted Arius’ views. The Council at Nicaea declared Arius’ teachings to be heresy (known as Arianism) and formulated the Nicene Creed to provide a doctrinal statement of correct belief among Christians and to distinguish believers from heretics.
The Nicene Creed:
|Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα, πάντων ὁρατῶν τε καὶ ἀοράτων ποιητήν·
|We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
|καὶ εἰς ἕνα Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, γεννηθέντα ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς [μονογενῆ, τοὐτέστιν ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ Πατρός, Θεὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ,] Φῶς ἐκ Φωτός, Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ, γεννηθέντα, οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί,
|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, consubstantial with the Father;
|δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο, [τά τε ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ,]
|By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];
|τὸν δι’ ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα καὶ σαρκωθέντα καὶ ἐνανθρωπήσαντα,
|Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;
|παθόντα, καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ, ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς,
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;
|ἐρχόμενον κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς.
|From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
|Καὶ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα.
|And in the Holy Ghost.
|[Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, Ἦν ποτε ὅτε οὐκ ἦν, καὶ Πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν, καὶ ὅτι Ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων εγένετο, ἢ Ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας φάσκοντας εἶναι, ἢ κτιστόν, ἢ τρεπτόν, ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, τούτους ἀναθεματίζει ἡ ἁγία καθολικὴ καὶ ἀποστολικὴ ἐκκλησία].
|[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.]