The Apostles Creed Analysis

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This essay will address the question, what is a Creed and why did the Church feel the need to produce them? To begin with the essay will define a Creed, later providing context as to why they were. Furthermore, the essay will explain and explore numerous avenues for the Church initiating the creation of Creeds, issues, Church identity, theology, evangelism, ecclesiology, and politics.
A Creed has been described as an expression that elaborates on essential Biblical truths, with an attempt to try and encapsulate scripture (Bromiley, 1984, pp283), leading to the definition of a Creed as, “a concise statement of Christian doctrine” (Fahlbusch, 1998, pp727). However, it seems some consider this widely accepted definition is arbitrary and slightly
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The earliest occurrence of the Creed in physical form was seen in the year 390; when a letter was sent by the Synod of Milan to Pope Siricius. (Kelly, 1972, pp1). Although Kelly’s argument is informative, she fails to provide any context during the time the Apostles Creed was being created. However where Kelly lacks, Harvey argues, the Apostles felt the need to create a Creed because the scripture of the New Testament was still being canonised. Further developing this, by arguing, Christians at the time did not have accessibility to the New Testament, however they still needed guidance (Harvey, 1854, pp2). Harvey states the Creed was intended as an “apostolic compendium of Christian truth in all things necessary to salvation” (Harvey, 1854, pp2). This is a strong argument because Harvey explains and explores the rationale behind the Apostles creating a Creed, as oppose to others, such as Kelly, who simply state a chain of …show more content…
The most famous being the Arian controversy. In 318, Arius, a presbyter in charge of a local Church in Alexandria formulated a theory that challenged the views of his Bishop, Alexander of Alexandria and the ‘orthodox’ Christology (Hanson, 1998, pp3). Arius began teaching that Jesus is not one of the essential Godheads. Arius furthered this by teaching; Jesus is nothing more than a mere creation of the Father, a creation which is not in any position to save humanity (Wiles, 1996, pp5-8). Although the bishop had Arius excommunicated (Kopecek, 1979, pp5-6) the Church still had not resolved the question of Arianism, until Emperor Constantine gathered bishops from all over the world at Nicaea (with permission from Pope Sylvester), where a Creed would be created to defeat the heretic views of Arianism and restore a common identity in Christianity across the globe. (Gwatkin, 1889, pp17-19). The Nicene Creed was designed to reassert the authority of Christ (Leith, 1973, pp28), hence phrases such as, “True God from true God”, “Begotten not created”, being included in the Creed (Leith, 1973, pp29). It can be inferred from the above; the Church felt the need to create Creeds to try and keep one, united orthodox identity of Christianity across the world, as oppose to sects with differentiating

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