Of the Three Creeds
De Tribus Symbolis
We believe in one God the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten begotten from the Father, that is from the substance [Gr. ousias, Lat. substantia] of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten [Gr. gennethenta, Lat. natum] not made [Gr. poethenta, Lat. factum], of one substance [Gr. homoousion, Lat. unius substantiae (quod Graeci dicunt homousion)] with the Father, through whom all things were made, both those in heaven and those in earth; for us humans and for our salvation he came down and became incarnate, became human, suffered and rose up on the third day, went up into the heavens, is coming to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Spirit.
- And those who say
- "there once was when he was not", and "before he was begotten he was not", and that
- he came to be from things that were not, or from another hypostasis [Gr. hypostaseos] or substance [Gr. ousias, Lat. substantia], affirming that the Son of God is subject to change or alteration:
As is obvious, the Creed of Constantinople as adapted for use in liturgy, with each believer affirming it himself (I believe) is “the Creed called Nicene.” The doctrine is one and the same, but the second version is stated in a completely positive manner, partly because they may have felt some relief from that particular controversy in which the actual Nicene version was written, and partly to make the Creed a tool for instruction to be used locally in the churches.
It is also important that the point is about the God we worship, not One we vainly presume to comprehend with our intellect. The creed says, “That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.” This cannot really be different from the words of Jesus in John, the fourth chapter (22-24):