What is the difference between Nicene Creed and Apostles Creed

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Both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed are statements of Christian faith, but they originated in different contexts and have distinct content. Here are some key differences:

1. **Origin and Historical Context**:
– **Apostles’ Creed**: This is an older profession of faith, traditionally believed to be authored by the apostles themselves, though it likely developed over the first few centuries of the Christian church. It was used especially in the West for baptismal catechesis.
– **Nicene Creed**: This creed was formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and later revised at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. It was created to address and refute the Arian heresy, which questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ.

2. **Content and Structure**:
– **Apostles’ Creed**: This creed is shorter and provides a basic outline of Christian beliefs. It covers the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as well as other core Christian tenets.
– **Nicene Creed**: This creed is longer and more detailed, especially concerning the nature of Christ. It explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, clarifying the relationship between the three persons of the Trinity.

3. **Usage**:
– **Apostles’ Creed**: Often used in the Western Christian liturgies, especially the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and many Protestant traditions. It’s also commonly recited in daily devotions.
– **Nicene Creed**: Commonly recited during the Eucharistic celebration (or Mass) in many Christian traditions, both in the East and the West. It has a more ecumenical character as it emerged from the ecumenical councils.

4. **Specific Differences in Wording**:
– The Nicene Creed emphasizes the divinity of Jesus more explicitly: “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father”.
– The Nicene Creed has a more detailed section on the Holy Spirit and the Church: “Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets”.
– The Apostles’ Creed uses the phrase “He descended into hell” (referring to Jesus), a line not present in the Nicene Creed.

Despite these differences, both creeds serve as foundational statements of faith for billions of Christians around the world, and they capture core beliefs held in common across many Christian traditions.

Answer by Lloyd Hobbard-Mitchell

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