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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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.


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Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

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