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Did Christ's Apostles Formulate the 'Apostle's Creed'?

While the title implies that this creed was written or approved by Christ's original apostles and the early church of God, that idea is completely false. This document, composed in its final form between the fifth and seventh centuries AD, is one of many religious frauds, and is a mixture of truth and error.

Smith's Bible Dictionary admits it "is not their [the apostles'] own making." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states: "Though not, as the long-current legend of its origin affirmed, the direct work of the Apostles, it has its roots in apostolic times. . . . [I]t is to be pointed out that the received form of the creed is not its oldest or original form. The creed exists in two forms—a shorter and a longer; the former, known as the Old Roman Form, going back certainly as early as the middle of the 2nd century (about 140 AD), the latter, the enlarged form, in its present shape, of much later date. Its final form was probably given to it in South Gaul not before the middle of the 5th century (in one or two clauses, as late as the 7th)." Hastings Dictionary of the Bible concurs that the Apostle's Creed "can be traced, in its simplest form, to the 2nd century."

Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church reports: "The creed, as it stands in its present form, could not be composed in any manner as it is pretended, by the Apostles. The silence of the Acts of the Apostles about any such composition is [an] evidence against it." Bingham's also says that it was originally called the "Roman Creed" because of the statement, "I believe in . . . the Holy Catholic Church."

Apparently, the creed was created in an attempt to give apostolic authority for accepting the many pagan doctrines and customs that were being brought into the professing Christian church in the western Roman Empire. It should not be considered authoritative in determining what the faith and doctrines of the early true church were. These can be found only in the Bible.


 


The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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