Creeds

Creeds are authoritative summaries of the principal articles of faith of various churches or bodies of believers. Since doctrines are subject to elaboration and interpretation that cause differences of opinion detailed creeds become necessary to emphasize the differences between the tenets of schismatic branches. They also serve as formulations of belief when liturgical usage, as in the administration of baptism, requires a profession of faith.

Canons of the Council of Orange

Written in 529 AD, this document was an outgrowth of the controversy between Augustine and Pelagius. This controversy had to do with degree to which a human being is responsible for his or her own salvation, and the role of the grace of God in bringing about salvation.

Definition of Chalcedon

Written in 451 AD, this creed is very important in defining the dual nature (God and man) of Christ. It was a often used source for later creeds and confessions.

The Anathemas of the 2nd Council of Constantinople

Written in 553 AD, this document was the result of a meeting called to resolve certain questions that were raised by the Definition of Chalcedon, the most important of which had to do with the unity of the two natures, God and man, is Jesus Christ.

The Apostle's Creed

Also known as the "Old Roman Creed", this creed is the earliest known dating to sometime in the first or second century AD.

The Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed is extremely important as one of the earliest detailed statements of the nature of the Trinity and dates from the early fifth century.

The Nicene Creed

Commonly known as the Nicene Creed, this creed is actually the Creed of Constantinople (381 AD), written about sixty years after the Nicene Council and the "original" Nicene Creed (325 AD). The original form did not include any description of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, and included a pronouncement of anathema on anyone who does not believe in the full deity of Jesus as described in the creed.