Two Creeds of Epiphanius

As we near the end of our early Church creeds, we come to another set of personal creeds by a man of Jewish lineage, Epiphanius. At the end of his work, the Anchored One, he summarized the Nicene Creed and presents a summary as well, using the Creed, against other heresies such as Apollinarianism (comp. Ancor. c. 75–81) and Pneumatomachianism.

Epiphanius introduces his first creed saying that, ‘this is the holy faith of the catholic Church, as the holy and only Virgin of God received it from the holy Apostles and the Lord to keep,’ and that ‘every person preparing for the holy laver of baptism must learn it as the common mother of us all confesses it, saying, We believe,’ etc. The creeds, as we have learned, were the end of the evolutionary process begun with the Rule of Faith used by earlier Christian groups in lieu of the Scriptures – not to replace them, but because they did not have them.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the only-begotten Son of God,

begotten of the Father before all worlds,

that is, of the substance of the Father,

Light of Light,

very God of very God,

begotten, not made,

being of one substance  with the Father;

This is not the miahypostatic (ὁμοούσιον) theology prevalent in Marcellus’s theology as well as those dating back to Tertullian, but the Greek ‘though’ equivalent.’ Marcellus, although a signatory to the Nicene Creed and the homoousian phrase would later fight against it as an unbiblical word, and thus should not be used in discussions.

by whom all things were made, both those in the heavens and those on earth;

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven.

and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,

and suffered, and was buried;

and the third day He rose again,

according to the Scriptures;

and ascended into heaven,

and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;

and he shall come again, with glory,

to judge the quick and the dead;

of whose kingdom shall be no end;

Epiphanius great expounds the Nicene creed in dealing with but the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, the Creeds were of greater expansion over the Rule of Faith, and is hardly recognizable to the likes of Irenaeus or Tertullian.

And in the Holy Ghost,

the Lord, and Giver of life,

who proceedeth from the Father,

who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,

who spake by the Prophets;

in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;

we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

and we look for the resurrection of the dead;

and the life of the world to come.

The Second Creed is wholly Epiphanius’ and was most likely meant for those that had converted from the above mentioned, as well those converting from the tendencies of Origen.

Second Creed:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty,

Maker of all things, invisible and visible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Son of God,

the only-begotten Son of God the Father,

that is, of the substance of the Father,

God of God,

Light of Light,

very God of very God,

begotten, not made,

being of one substance with the Father,

by whom all things were made, both those in the heavens and those on earth, things visible and invisible;

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down, and was made flesh,

that is, begotten perfectly of the holy ever-Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost, who became man,

that is, assumed a perfect man,

soul and body and mind (spirit), and all that belongs to man, without sin,

not of the seed of man, nor in a man,

but forming for himself flesh into one holy unity,

not, as in the Prophets, where he breathed and spoke and wrought,

but he became perfectly man,

for the Word became flesh,

not undergoing any change,

nor converting his Godhead into Manhood,

uniting into his own one holy perfection and Godhead,

(for there is one Lord Jesus Christ and not two,

the same God, the same Lord, the same King);

the same suffered in the flesh;

and rose again;

and went up into heaven in the same body,

sat down gloriously at the right hand of the Father;

is coming in the same body in glory,

to judge the quick and the dead;

of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

And we believe in the Holy Ghost,

who spake in the Law,

and preached in the Prophets,

and came down at the Jordan,

who speaks in Apostles,

dwells in saints;

and thus we believe in Him,

that there is a Holy Spirit,

a Spirit of God,

a perfect Spirit,

a Paraclete Spirit,

uncreated,

proceeding from the Father,

and received from the Son, and believed.

We believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church;

and in one baptism of repentance;

and in the resurrection of the dead;

and in a righteous judgment of the souls and bodies;

and in the kingdom of heaven;

and in life everlasting.

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7 Replies to “Two Creeds of Epiphanius”

  1. THERE IS NO LOGIC OF A POWERFUL GOD TO DIE JUST FOR THE SINS OF MANKIND. IF HE IS THE MOST POWERFUL ONE, WHY THEN HE HAS TO HAVE SUCH DRAMA OF DYING AND COMING INTO LIVING… POWERFUL MEANS HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS. FORGIVENESS CAN BE GIVEN BY HIM AT HIS OWN DECISION. YOU ARE DECIEVING PEOPLE. HOW CAN BE THE “MOST” BE OF 3 DIFFERENT GOD? “MOST” MEANING THERE IS ONLY ONE…

    FROM A NEW MUSLIM

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