Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed: truth and myths

Шепетяк, Олег Михайлович and Шепетяк, Оксана Тарасівна (2021) Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed: truth and myths Українське релігієзнавство (94). pp. 37-58. ISSN 2306-3548

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The formation of the symbol of faith, which would adequately reflect the faith of the Church and prevent the spread of heresies, was the main task of the Ecumenical Councils and the diligent work of many theologians. The most popular among Eastern Christians who use the Byzantine liturgical rite is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. Scholars, priests and laity have developed the belief that this symbol of faith is the result of the activities of two Ecumenical Councils (the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the First Council of Constantinople in 381). The purpose of this study is to find out whether the First Council of Constantinople is really related to this symbol of faith. The authors of the article are convinced that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed was not adopted at this Council. There are several arguments. Firstly, the canons of the Councils of Constantinople and Ephesus forbid making changes to the Nicene Creed. Secondly, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed does not correspond to the spirit and goals of the First Council of Constantinople. Thirdly, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed does not contain the statements that are present in the symbol of Nicaea and which could emphasize the basic idea of the Council of Constantinople. These arguments convincingly prove that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is not connected with the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 325. The next Council, Ephesus, also did not change the symbol of faith. For the first time the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed was proclaimed at the Cathedral of Chalcedon. The answer to the question of the origin of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is given by the first word of the symbol of faith. All the symbols of faith that came from the Ecumenical Councils, including the Nicene Creed, begin with the words "we believe," because such a symbol is an expression of the collective faith of all the members of the Council and of the whole Church. The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed begins with the words "I believe." With these words began all the baptismal symbols of faith which the candidate uttered before baptism. The purpose of this act was to express the candidate's faith before the Church, which was a necessary condition for receiving baptism. This means that the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is a symbol of baptism, not a council symbol. The main issue in the debate between Catholics and Orthodox is "Filioque": Orthodox theologians accuse Catholics of adding to the symbol of faith words that are not in its original version, and thus violated the decisions of the Ecumenical Council. If the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is not a product of the Council's activities, then these accusations are baseless. The article proves that each liturgical tradition of Eastern Christianity has formed its own version of the symbol of faith, although each of them is based on the text of the symbol of faith which was adopted at the First Council of Nicaea. The article presents a comparative table showing the similarities and differences between the symbols of faith of different liturgical traditions. Five liturgical traditions were formed in Eastern Christianity: Byzantine, Armenian, Alexandrian, East Syrian (Assyrian), and West Syrian (Antioch). Each of them uses its own version of the symbol of faith. Western Christians (Catholics and Protestants) have adopted the Byzantine version of the symbol of faith and use it along with other symbols.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed; Christianity; theology; Ecumenical Councils; patristics
Subjects: Статті у наукометричних базах > Index Copernicus
Divisions: Факультети > Історико-філософський факультет > Кафедра філософії
Depositing User: Олег Михайлович Шепетяк
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 11:25
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 11:25

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