To an understanding of Christianity

What is God? Who is Jesus? These were among the central questions of Christianity during the 4th century. Indeed the 4th century was pivotal for the formation of Christianity as it is known today in that the nature of the namesake of Christianity, Jesus Christ, was established. From this century emerged the Nicene Creed, one of the marks I believe to be a standard of what a Christian should always affirm as true. These things include the existence of God, the nature of Jesus, and the existence of the Church, and it is these basic tenets of Christianity that I want to explore with this series through the Nicene Creed.

The Nicene creed was written during the first council of Nicea and first council at Constantinople, the first two ecumenical councils of the church, that is councils that considered the opinions of bishops from all corners of the Roman Empire. These councils occurred in the years AD 325 and AD 381, almost immediately after Christianity was finally legalized under Emperor Constantine in AD 313[1]. They were conducted to help smooth over some of the divisions the occurred in the church and to promote unity in a newly legalized religion. What resulted was the Nicene creed, the most widely held standard of right Christian thought in both Eastern and Western branches of the historical Church.

Throughout this series I hope to explore a Christian understanding of God, of humanity, and of the world to come. I welcome questions and comments throughout this series, and I invite anyone with a desire to know more about Christianity to join me. My goal is to have this be finished by the end of Lent and while I can’t promise that however given the busyness of school, I still hope that I can and I also hope that these posts may be of interest to any that may come across them. I must also recognize that I am doing this to both expand my understanding of what I hold to be true, and that these posts do not encompass even a fraction of the historical understanding of God, but I hope to share what I do understand so that others may also under stand a little better.

The text of the Nicene Creed, 381 is as follows
(Latin additions to the greek form in brackets, post content in italics)

Part 1a Can we know God?
Part 1b: Who is God?

I believe in one God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
And of all things visible and invisible:

Part 1c: What is humanity?

Part 2a: Was Jesus divine?

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
Begotten of the Father before all worlds,
[God of God,] Light of Light,
True God of true God,
Begotten, not made,
Consubstantial with the Father,
By whom all things were made;

Part 2b: Was Jesus Man?

Who for us humans, and for our salvation came down from heaven,
And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary,
And was made man,

Part 2c: Why did Jesus Die?

Part 3: How should humans respond to God?

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,

Part 2d: Where is Jesus now?

And ascended into heaven,
And sits at the right hand of the Father.
And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead:
Whose kingdom shall have no end.

Part 4: Who is the Holy Spirit?

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord and giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father [and the Son,] [2]
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,
Who spoke by the prophets.

Part 5: What is the Church?

And I believe one catholic and apostolic Church.

Part 6: What is the hope of a Christian?

I confess 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.

notes
[1] In that this is a Christian series, I will hold to the AD/BC convention. I shall also note that, as AD is Latin, it come before the year in English writing
[2] For this series I have opted to use an English Translation of the Latin form of the Nicene Creed. This includes the filioque clause, which isn’t found in the Greek form

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