The Apostles’ Creed is an early statement of Christian belief that possibly has its roots in the first or second century, but in its current form it is dated no later than the fourth century. It was not written by the Apostles themselves but contains a concise summary of their teachings and is used by a large number of Christian denominations. It is a Trinitarian creed made up of three sections which declare faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In his Creeds of Christendom, Philip Schaff writes: “As the Lord’s Prayer is the Prayer of prayers, the Decalogue the Law of laws, so the Apostles’ Creed is the Creed of creeds. It contains all the fundamental articles of the Christian faith necessary to salvation, in the form of facts, in simple Scripture language, and in the most natural order—the order of revelation—from God and the creation down to the resurrection and life everlasting.”1
1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
2. And in Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, our Lord.
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.
4. Suffered under Ponce Pilate, was crucified, dead, buried, and descended into hell.2
5. The third day he rose again from the dead.
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
7. Whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit.
9. The holy catholic church.
10. The communion of Saints: The forgiveness of sins.
11. The resurrection of the body.
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
- Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, Volume 1: The History of Creeds, pp 14–15. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books) 1983.
- For a helpful explanation of the phrase “descended into hell”, check out this article.