What is The Athanasian Creed?

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    [color=darkred:r4jkimx2][u:r4jkimx2]This was on a Lutheran website[/u:r4jkimx2].[/color:r4jkimx2]

    Whoever will be saved shall, above all else,
    hold the catholic faith.
    Which faith, except everyone keeps whole and undefiled,
    without doubt he will perish eternally.
    And the catholic faith is this,
    that we worship one God in three persons
    and three persons in one God,
    neither confusing the persons
    nor dividing the substance.
    For there is one person of the Father,
    another of the Son,
    and another of the Holy Spirit.
    But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one:
    the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
    Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
    The Father uncreated,
    the Son uncreated,
    and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
    The Father incomprehensible,
    the Son incomprehensible,
    and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
    The Father eternal,
    the Son eternal,
    and the Holy Spirit eternal.
    And yet there are not three eternals
    but one eternal.
    As there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles
    but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
    So likewise the Father is almighty,
    the Son almighty,
    and the Holy Spirit almighty.
    And yet they are not three almighties
    but one almighty.
    So the Father is God,
    the Son is God,
    and the Holy Spirit is God.
    And yet there are not three gods;
    but one God.
    So likewise the Father is Lord,
    the Son Lord,
    and the Holy Spirit Lord.
    And yet they are not three lords
    but one Lord.
    For as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every person by himself
    to be both God and Lord,
    So we cannot by the catholic faith
    say that there are three Gods or three Lords.
    The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
    The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created;
    but begotten.
    The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten
    but proceeding.
    So there is one Father, not three Fathers;
    one Son, not three Sons;
    one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
    And in this trinity none is before or after another;
    none is greater or less than another;
    But the whole three persons
    are coeternal together and coequal,
    so that in all things, as is aforesaid,
    the Unity in Trinity
    and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped..
    He, therefore, that will be saved is compelled thus to think of the Trinity.
    Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation
    that he also believe faithfully the incarnation
    of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    For the right faith is
    that we believe and confess
    that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
    is God and man;
    God of the substance of the Father,
    begotten before the worlds;
    and man of the substance of his mother,
    born in the world;
    Perfect God and perfect man,
    of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
    Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead,
    and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood;
    Who, although he is God and man,
    yet he is not two but one Christ.
    One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh,
    but by taking the manhood into God;.
    One altogether,
    not by confusion of substance,
    but by unity of person.
    For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man,
    so God and man is one Christ;
    Who suffered for our salvation;
    descended into hell;
    rose again the third day from the dead.
    He ascended into heaven;
    he sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty,
    from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead.
    At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies
    and will give an account of their own works.
    And they that have done good will go into life everlasting;
    and they that have done evil,
    into everlasting fire.
    This is the catholic faith which
    except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.



    We hold to the Athanasian Creed.

    It is one of the first things I post when involved in a debate on the Trinity.



    I wonder why it is on a Lutheran website? http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=3357
    I have been a Catholic since 1959 and never remember saying this creed in Church.Everytime I ask my Lutheran friends why is the word Catholic in some of your teachings they say “Oh Catholic means universal” I know it means that.



    Because Lutherans are orthodox Trinitarians.

    We do not recite the Athanasian Creed in church. I am not sure if we every have, in any rite.



    <img src=” title=”Confused” /> I’m confused now on 8/15 you said “We hold to the Athanasian Creed”, is this a Catholic or Lutheran creed? if it is Catholic then what is the purpose of having if it’s never read?



    [color=blue:10tj8auq]This what I found out about the Creed,so it could be Catholic or anybody’s[/color:10tj8auq]

    One of the symbols of the Faith approved by the Church and given a place in her liturgy, is a short, clear exposition of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, with a passing reference to several other dogmas. Unlike most of the other creeds, or symbols, it deals almost exclusively with these two fundamental truths, which it states and restates in terse and varied forms so as to bring out unmistakably the trinity of the Persons of God, and the twofold nature in the one Divine Person of Jesus Christ. At various points the author calls attention to the penalty incurred by those who refuse to accept any of the articles therein set down. The following is the Marquess of Bute’s English translation of the text of the Creed:
    For the past two hundred years the authorship of this summary of Catholic Faith and the time of its appearance have furnished an interesting problem to ecclesiastical antiquarians. Until the seventeenth century, the “Quicunque vult”, as it is sometimes called, from its opening words, was thought to be the composition of the great Archbishop of Alexandria whose name it bears. In the year 1644, Gerard Voss, in his “De Tribus Symbolis”, gave weighty probability to the opinion that St. Athanasius was not its author. His reasons may be reduced to the two following:
    firstly, no early writer of authority speaks of it as the work of this doctor; and
    secondly, its language and structure point to a Western, rather than to an Alexandrian, origin.
    Most modern scholars agree in admitting the strength of these reasons, and hence this view is the one generally received today. Whether the Creed can be ascribed to St. Athanasius or not, and most probably it cannot, it undoubtedly owes it existence to Athanasian influences, for the expressions and doctrinal colouring exhibit too marked a correspondence, in subject-matter and in phraseology, with the literature of the latter half of the fourth century and especially with the writings of the saint, to be merely accidental. These internal evidences seem to justify the conclusion that it grew out of several provincial synods, chiefly that of Alexandria, held about the year 361, and presided over by St. Athanasius. It should be said, however, that these arguments have failed to shake the conviction of some Catholic authors, who refuse to give it an earlier origin than the fifth century.
    An elaborate attempt was made in England, in 1871, by E.C. Ffoulkes to assign the Creed to the ninth century. From a passing remark in a letter written by Alcuin he constructed the following remarkable piece of fiction. The Emperor Charlemagne, he says, wished to consolidate the Western Empire by a religious, as well as a political, separation from the East. To this end he suppressed the Nicene Creed, dear to the Oriental Church, and substituted a formulary composed by Paulinus of Aquileia, with whose approval and that of Alcuin, a distinguished scholar of the time, he ensured its ready acceptance by the people, by affixing to it the name of St. Athanasius. This gratuitous attack upon the reputation of men whom every worthy historian regards as incapable of such a fraud, added to the undoubted proofs of the Creed’s having been in use long before the ninth century, leaves this theory without any foundation.

    Who, then, is the author? The results of recent inquiry make it highly probable that the Creed first saw the light in the fourth century, during the life of the great Eastern patriarch, or shortly after his death. It has been attributed by different writers variously to St. Hilary, to St. Vincent of L?©rins, to Eusebius of Vercelli, to Vigilius, and to others. It is not easy to avoid the force of the objections to all of these views, however, as they were men of world-wide reputation, and hence any document, especially one of such importance as a profession of faith, coming from them would have met with almost immediate recognition. Now, no allusions to the authorship of the Creed, and few even to its existence, are to be found in the literature of the Church for over two hundred years after their time. We have referred to a like silence in proof of non-Athanasian authorship. It seems to be similarly available in the case of any of the great names mentioned above. In the opinion of Father Sidney Smith, S.J., which the evidence just indicated renders plausible, the author of this Creed must have been some obscure bishop or theologian whose composed it, in the first instance, for purely local use in some provincial diocese. Not coming from an author of wide reputation, it would have attracted little attention. As it became better known, it would have been more widely adopted, and the compactness and lucidity of its statements would have contributed to make it highly prized wherever it was known. Then would follow speculation as to its author, and what wonder, if, from the subject-matter of the Creed, which occupied the great Athanasius so much, his name was first affixed to it and, unchallenged, remained.

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