The Nicene Creed
The Christian creed expressed by the First Council of Nicaea

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, 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 Spirit 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 sits 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 spoke 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. Amen.

End Notes

The Nicene Creed was adopted as a summary statement of belief, by church leaders, in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. At the Council of Constantinople in 381 some minor changes were made, again clearly stating the doctrine of the Trinity. The Creed was again reaffirmed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This ecumenical creed is the perhaps the most widely accepted creed in the Christian church.

In English a few minor variations exist as to the wording, mostly from translating it out of the original Greek or attempting to make it more understandable in modern English. Likewise, while substantially expressing the same content, similar variations are found in other languages and ancient translations. The Armenian version perhaps has the most unique wording, though still expressing the intent of the original.

The words in the last paragraph, regarding the Holy Spirit, "who proceeds from the Father" did not have the words "and the Son" immediately following in the original (though they do appear in the second instance, after "who with the Father"). It was added to strengthen the creed against the persistent Arian heresy (which denied Jesus was fully God) that still circulated for centuries after the creed was established. Unfortunately merely adding those words became part of the dispute that led to the east-west split of the church, the east (Orthodox) holding that no additions could be made. In reality both branches of the church opposed the Arian heresy, but ultimately disagreed over how to express such. The words "God of God" (or sometimes "God from God") in the beginning clause are also a subsequent addition but they never sparked any real controversy.