Nicene Creed

What is the significance of the Nicene Creed?

Expert Answers
kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The significance of the Nicene Creed is evident in its first two passages:

WE BELIEVE in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.

The Nicene creed is important, and it is restated at religious services on a weekly or even daily basis depending upon each faith’s practice because of its nearly universal theme. In short, it is a reaffirmation of the fundamental tenets of Christianity and is used by numerous faiths within Christianity, including the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches. Its origins date to the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea of AD 325, and it has survived major disruptions within the Catholic Church and revisions that have involved tenuous maneuvers within the ranks of the major Christian denominations. Its core affirmations, however, involve the creed’s statement of belief in the immortality of the soul, of the resurrection, and of the possibility of forgiveness of sins through the baptismal process.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main significance of the Nicene Creed was that it established much of what is now known as orthodox Christian teaching on the subject of God and the Trinity.  It remains the only statement of faith that is accepted by all major parts of the Christian faith.

The major point of the Nicene Creed is that it defines what the church believes about the nature of God.  It establishes the idea that all Christians must believe in the idea of the Trinity.  It establishes that God the father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all part of one being.  They are separate beings but somehow one.  This is a central "mystery of faith" that underlies all of Christianity.

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Not precisely. First the Apostle's creed is also accepted by all Christian denominations. Second, there are several groups that broke off from the main body of the church because they did not accept the Nicene Creed. Third, you are confusing the Athanasian and Nicene formulations of the Trinity. The Nicene Creed was responsible for the homoousia formulation, but left many other areas of Trinitarian theology untouched.

giorgiosdm | Student

Everything that pohnpei397 is true, but I have a minor detail to add.

 

The Roman Catholics have added so that it reads: Who proceeds from The Father, And The Son. 

 

The Protestants have changed it so that it reads: In one Catholic and Apostolic Church.

 

The Orthodox have the original: Who proceeds from The Father.

In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.