Traditional Wording I 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 his Father before all worlds, 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; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he 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 both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
Personal Wording We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, and was made man; for our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered death and was buried and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And We believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who has spoken through the Prophets. And We acknowledge one holy Catholic 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. AMEN.
The Nicene Creed, for starters, is an output of a Catholic congregation purposed at signifying the Church’ faith in God. Being a consolidated product of many unified minds and beliefs, it is already ideal, proven by the scant revision of the original creed in accordance to the needs of the changing times. While it is considerably complete, I find that there is still a room for improvement, hence my personalized version of the creed. Even as I managed to revise just a few things in the oath of belief in Christ, I also retained most and even borrowed from the original to be inserted in the modern version. The foregoing is a categorical explanation of my personalized creed: Instead of the word “I,” I used “We” in order to signify the oneness of the pious Catholics in their declaration of belief in God. “I” is too individualistic, while “We” responds to the idea that a gathering of faithful invokes the presence of the Lord. “We” is also a reference to the Church of Christ, that it exists only when they are gathered together. All the references to the divine were also capitalized not only for grammatical purposes but also for the signification of the great importance of God. Words like “Maker,” “His,” “Whom” and other nouns and pronouns alluding to God are capitalized as a personal sign of reverence to the Lord. God is my Creator, so I treat him with specialty by raising Him notches above ordinary persons or things. The retention of the word “one” that serves as a reference to God is a sign that I recognize the foremost commandment of having only one God. It fortifies the concept that there is no other God except for the Triune God. The mention of the word “Triune” should not cause a confusion of three being equated to one, however mathematically controversial, because the equation is supposed to call to mind the notion of the divine mystery. The retention of “heaven and earth” without any addition of concepts like hell, purgatory or limbo is intentional because the first two ideas are reminiscent of the story of Genesis, the first book of the Bible which records God’s true words. The last three concepts are unmentioned because hell is created by God only for the ultimate place of punishment for Satan whereas purgatory and limbo exist outside the Bible. The repetition of words like “begotten,” “true” and, most especially, “believe” is for emphasis. The stress is to create the idea of importance of these words in relation to the words they appear in context with. The contrast with which the word “made” appears twice in the creed is to show that God cannot have been made because God has no beginning or end (for the first time the words appears) and to show that instead of having been created, it is God who creates things (in the case of the second time the word appears). The first “made” is also fortified by the description that God is “of one substance with the Father,” that they are one and the same in being Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end). Apart from the idea that they cannot have been created by some higher God (which makes them the Supreme God), the description shows that God the Father and God the Son are one and the same. The retention of Jesus Christ’ descent from heaven and incarnation of the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary complements the Biblical proofs of God’s great love for the world that this merited the Son’s response of sacrifice of becoming a flesh-and-bone human (via the human medium that’s Mary), as made possible by the third segment of the divine mystery: the Holy Spirit. It is noteworthy that Mary’s representation does not go to the extent of eliciting faith in her because one, she is only a human although an extraordinary one at that for being sinless and, most importantly, she does not share equal footing with the Lord, as some misled Marian fanatics think and practice. This puts Mary in place with holy persons like saints but not in similar rank as God, in accordance to the first commandment. Te mention of the words “suffered death” after the crucifixion of Jesus under Pontius Pilate goes well with my belief that God has a human side: he not only felt anguish but also experienced death, much like the rest of the humanity. It is also a recognition of the fulfillment of the promise of salvation—that Jesus must die (and eventually rise again after the third day) in order to redeem all of us believers. The retention of the ideas of Jesus’ ascension and sitting next to God is an investment of faith in the Bible which is the source of God’s truth and an acknowledgment of God the Son’s equality to God the Father, whom Jesus joins to judge humanity on Judgment Day. The change of “Ghost” to “Spirit” is to lend contemporariness of the term. Retaining the word “ghost” might cause confusion of that word to its synonym “phantom,” whereas “Spirit” is a more acceptable term in our modern context. The retention of the idea of “Spirit” is the acknowledgment of God the Holy Spirit’s equality with God the Father and God the Son. This oneness or equality is further strengthened by the mention of “who with the Father and the Son together/is worshipped and glorified.” The change of the word “believe” into “acknowledge” which runs along with “one holy Catholic Church” is to set the Lord apart from His earthly body that’s the Church because investing faith in the Church runs the danger of making a deity out of the Church. Since evil uses trickery at all cost in order to lead astray the unwary, even the Catholic Church is not spared from being used to lead the faithful from worshipping God alone. In other words, there is a risk that fanatics might put their belief in the Church instead of putting faith in God. Acknowledgment is a more neutral term, something that can also work in the case of the Virgin Mary who should not be treated as God but should be taken especially as well as the roster of saints. The little changes I made for both the original and modern versions of the creed point to my recognition of it as already an ideal manifesto of belief in the one true God. I believe that those changes not only provide an insight into my personal faith but also attest to my oneness with the body of Christ with regards to believing God.
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