The Nicene Creed

  
As approved in amplified form at the Council of Constantinople (381), it is the profession of the Christian Faith common to the Catholic Church, to all the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, and to most of the Protestant denominations.


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Introduction

A seemingly minor difference in the wording of this simple text had a profound impact on European history. The Nicene Creed, or Symbol of Faith, was written by the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 C.E., with additions (the 3rd paragraph and following) by the first Council of Constantinople (381). There is an unresolved controversy over the words 'and the Son' (in Latin filioque). This language was added in 587 by the local council of Toledo, Spain, in an attempt to combat the Arian heresy. Pope Leo III (795-816) forbade the use of the filioque version and had it engraved without 'and the Son' on the walls of St. Peter's Basillica. After a failed attempt to unite by marriage Charlemagne's Frankish holdings with that of the Byzantine Empress, Charlemagne challenged Byzantinium's claim of universal jurisdiction as the successor to Rome by claiming in 792 that among other things, that the Byzantines had omitted the filioque from the original text. The filioque was finally accepted by the Romans in the year 1014, and the revision has been part of Catholic doctrine ever since. The "filioque," the significance of Roman primacy, and geo-political conflict led to the the Great Schism of 1053. To this day, the Eastern Orthodox Churches do not accept the filioque and raise this as one of many reasons that prevent re-unification with the Roman Catholic Church.

--jbh


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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

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