The "apostles creed" for our time
 

Newcomers to Christian worship on reading or hearing the "apostles creed" often have questions about several phrases. Study can show deep meaning in these phrases. Please be aware that this is not from the Apostles. Hippolytus about 215 wrote the earliest draft. The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles who died in 542. Apparently it was used as questions about Christian beliefs to be answered by baptismal candidates.

Here are two similar revisions of that widely used creed that replace virgin Mary with phrases from Paul's letter to the Galatian churches; the second version changes a few other phrases:

I.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
“born of a woman, born under the law,”*
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting. Amen.

II.

I believe in God, the Parent Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe “when the fullness of time came,
God sent his Son,
born of a woman,
born under the law…
so that we might receive adoption as children.”*
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
on the third day he rose again;
He is let loose on the world,
so there is a man in God,
who will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy church for all peoples,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting.


*Paul's letter to the Galatians 4:4, which was written about a dozen years after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, and dozens of years before the first Gospel, Mark who, like Paul, did not mention the virgin birth

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