By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


What is the Apostles’ Creed?


The Apostles’ Creed, though not written by the apostles, is the oldest creed of the Christian church and is the basis for others that followed. Its most used form is:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.

In its oldest form, the Apostles’ Creed goes back to at least 140 A.D. Many of the early church leaders summed up their beliefs as they had an opportunity to stand for their faith—see, for example, 1 Timothy 6:12. These statements developed into a more standard form to express one’s confession of faith at the time of baptism. It is not Scripture, but it is a simple list of the great doctrines of the faith.

The word “catholic” means “relating to the church universal” and was the word used in the original version of the Creed. It does not mean the Roman Catholic Church, but the church, the body of Christ, as a universal fellowship. The phrase, “He descended into hell,” was not part of the creed in its earliest form.

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  1. says:

    Amen, Amen.

  2. Kim Trainer says:

    This was so helpful! We are forming a non-profit whose core is deeply committed to Christ. Your synopsis gives a clear description of its orginal meaning!

  3. Tommy Wayne Davis says:

    Thanks for the advice on the Apostle’s Creed. Explained the Holy Catholic Church. I am Baptist, going to my wife’s Roman Catholic Church.

  4. Daniel says:

    I believe all statements of apostles creed with all my heart but sometimes I have trouble accepting / believing that I am His. I don’t know why. It really bothers me. Please pray God will reveal to me what I should know.

  5. aondo iorwuese says:

    Good work.

  6. Cindy Brooke says:

    I love and respect the Apostles’ Creed prayer.

  7. Pat Green says:

    I have read all these different creeds and not one says anything about why Jesus died on that cross. He died because of my sins. He died for a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, for any who will believe in him. That was his whole purpose for the cross.

  8. Abdulnasir James says:

    The Creed is quite succinct about the essentials of Christianity.

  9. allen hatch says:

    It appears to me that we should only believe Scripture as sound doctrine and we need to carefully compare each part of this to Scripture.

    1. Mike Rectenwald says:

      I agree with you that we should stay in God’s Word, study the Holy Bible chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Knowing, understanding, sharing and living the Word is a statement of faith. All honor and glory is His.

    2. Terry Tyson says:

      The creed isn’t intended to be doctrine, rather a short answer to the question, “What do you believe.” To explain the entire Bible is more than a lifetime’s undertaking. With a creed such as this, you can give the fundamentals and then continue to discuss more details as appropriate.

  10. David says:

    Thank you for the the information about Catholics. I was raised in the Catholic Church and I always thought that it meant the Roman Catholic Church. I now am a member of a non-denominational Christian church that is studying the Apostle’s Creed. Thanks again