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The(N) was promulgated in 325 by the * to defend the orthodox faith against the Arian heresy and to assert the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father. This relatively short creed was probably based upon creed(s) of Syro-Palestinian origin into which the Nicene emphases were interpolated.
God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
The term Nicene Creed is also used ambiguously of the creed used in the eucharistic worship of the church which is not only longer but different in many respects from N. The former is known as the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (C). The hybrid title reflects the popular, although mistaken, view that at the second ecumenical council at Constantinople* (381) another creed was put forward which enlarged the Nicene formulary. A number of considerations, however, shed considerable doubt about the identity of C and its relationship to N: (1) no mention of a creed is made in the four canons of the Council of Constantinople or in the official letter to Theodosius.* The first appearance of C is, in fact, at the* (451) where “the faith of the 150 fathers” was read out. There is, then, an absolute silence regarding a Constantinopolitan creed from 381 to 451; (2) a comparison of C with N shows that key formulae of the Nicene faith, such as the Son's participation in the “substance of the Father,” are missing. Such omissions make it difficult to accept that it is a modified version of N; (3) the Creed of Jerusalem which Epiphanius incorporates in his tract Ancoratus (c.374) is practically identical to C.
Among the many suggestions for the solution of this mystery are: that C was used at the baptism and episcopal consecration of Nectarius*; thatpresented the revised creed of Jerusalem at the Council as testimony to his orthodoxy; that the second ecumenical council reaffirmed N; and C, a creed of Syro-Palestinian origin, was embodied as an illustrative formula in its tomos.
The famous and divisive Filioque clause was added to C at the Third Council of Toledo in Spain in 589, but the Church of Rome continued to use the creed in its original form until the start of the eleventh century.
F.J.A. Hort, Two Dissertations (1876); J. Kunze, Das nicänisch-konstantinopolitanische Symbol (1898); A.E. Burn, An Introduction to the Creeds and to the Te Deum (1899) and The Nicene Creed (1909); J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds (1950); T.H. Bindley, The Oecumenical Documents of the Faith (4th ed. rev. by F.W. Green, 1950).