Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Apostles' Creed


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

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; on the third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of God the Father, Almighty, from where he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and eternal life.

Amen


[The creed is a poetic masterpiece constructed for use during worship but also properly used for theological instruction. Notice its explicitly Triune form. Notice, moreover, that the second part, which summarizes the apostolic kerygma of Jesus Christ, is the fullest of the three articles. Strikingly, Christ’s death and resurrection, the gospel in sum, thus stands at the very center of the creed.

Because the descensus ad infero clause, which may be translated as “descended to hell” or “descended to the dead,” was not found in the earliest manuscripts and currently remains a matter of dispute among evangelical Christians, it has not been included here. This is not to say the translator necessarily disagrees with that doctrine. However, its use in worship may distract the minds of some from the centrality of the cross and the resurrection.

This version of the Apostles’ Creed has been specifically designed for use in congregational worship, thus its style recalls a poetic cadence and a centralized emphasis upon the gospel. It was first used at Lakeside Baptist Church, Granbury, Texas, on Easter Sunday, 16 April 2019, where I am the Teaching Pastor. An earlier version of this translation appeared in a more traditional form in my God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016).]

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