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Introduction                                                                                                                                  

"The endeavor to have no creed but the Bible is successful only so long as there is common agreement as to what the Bible teaches." -John H. Leith

The list which follows is a mere "scarlet threading" through the many theological debates, synods, and councils which have come together over the centuries to define, defend, and declare sound doctrine and the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy.

All texts listed here are in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.


THE PROTO-CREEDS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS

Christianity has always been a "creedal" religion in that it has always been theological.  It is rooted in the theological tradition of ancient Israel, which was unified by its historical credos and declaratory affirmations of faith.  Many of these declaratory affirmations were preserved and passed on through the centuries by oral tradition and later came to be inscripturated in the Old Testament.  In like manner, many Christological or Trinitarian formulas first appeared in the New Testament writings and, in some cases, became the basis for the earliest creeds.

The Old Testament   The New Testament  
       
      Deuteronomy 6:4-9        Matt.28:19b      1Timothy 3:16
      Deuteronomy 26:5-9        Acts 2:36      2Timothy 2:11-13
      1Kings 18:39 (?)        Romans 1:3-4      1Corinthians 8:6
         Philippians 2:6-11      1Corinthians 15:3-7
      2Corinthians 13:14

THE EARLIEST CREEDS (Christological and Universal)

      
The Apostle's Creed (Date Unknown)
      
The Nicene Creed (325)
      
The Chalcedonian Creed (451)

      
The Athanasian Creed (500)

THE CREEDS OF THE REFORMATION ERA

    Lutheran Affirmations

       Luther's 95 Theses (1517)
      
The Augsburg Confession (1530)
      
The Smalcald Articles (1537)

      
The Formula (Epitome) of Concord (1577)

    Anglican and Episcopalian Affirmations (Church of England)

       The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (1571)

    Reformed and Presbyterian Affirmations

       The Belgic Confession (1561)
      
The Canons of Dordt (1619)
      
The Westminster Confession (1647)

      
The Waldensian Confession (1655)
     

    Congregational Affirmations

       The Savoy Declaration (Available Soon)

    Baptist Affirmations

       The Baptist Confession (1677)
          also known as: The Old London Confession (1689)
      
The Philadelphia Confession of Faith (1744)

 

THE POST-REFORMATION ERA

Pentecostal Affirmations

Under Construction!

 

Bibliography

Creeds of the Churches, Third Ed., Edited by John H. Leith, John Knox Press, 1982
Documents of the Christian Church, Selected and Edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford Press, 1981
A History of Christian Doctrine, Edited by Hubert Cunliffe-Jones, Fortress Press, 1980
Theology of the Lutheran Confessions, Edmund Schlink, Fortress Press, 1961
The Westminster Confession of Faith, Free Presbyterian Publications, 1985
A Faith to Confess, The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, Carey Publications Ltd., 1975
History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff, AP&A, unknown
History of the Waldenses, J.A.Wylie, Pacific Press Publishing, 1971

 

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