George Booker
What Are The First Principles?

9. The Apostles’ Creed

The earliest-known post-Biblical statement of faith is the so-called “Apostles’ Creed”. This statement is known to have been in existence by the middle of the second century. While it cannot be directly traced to the apostles, its almost elegant brevity and simplicity argue for a fairly close connection to the apostolic period:

I believe in God the Father, Almighty; Maker of Heaven and Earth;
and in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body; and
the life everlasting.

It is interesting how closely this mirrors the “statement of faith” compiled by our earlier investigations, both as to items included and items omitted. While we might wish for fuller definitions of certain doctrines, we may see that the fundamental matters are all found here, if not the specific repudiation of all that we might call “false doctrines”.

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