Free Reformed Churches of Australia
The Athanasian Creed
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This creed is named after Athanasius (293-373 A.D.), the champion of
orthodoxy over against Arian attacks on the doctrine of the Trinity. Although
Athanasius did not write this creed and it is improperly called after him,
the name persists because until the seventeenth century it was commonly
ascribe to him. It is also called the Quincunque, this being its opening
word in the Latin original. Apart from the opening and closing sentences,
it consists of two sections, the first setting forth the orthodox doctrine
of the Trinity (3-28), and the second dealing with the doctrine of Christ,
especially concerning the two natures (29-41). The teachings of Augustine(354-430
A.D.) in particular form the background to the section on the Trinity,
and the decision of the council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) forms the background
to the Christological section. The creed itself appears for the first time
in the first half of the sixth century, but the author is unknown. It is
of Western origin, and is not recognised by the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Whosoever desires to be saved, must above all things hold
to the Catholic Faith.
Unless a man keeps it in its entirety inviolate, he will
surely perish eternally.
Now this is the Catholic Faith: That we worship one God in
Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
without either confusing the Persons, or dividing the Substance.
For the Father's Person is one, the Son's another, the Holy
But the Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
is one, their Glory is equal, their Majesty is co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is also
the Holy Spirit.
The Father is uncreate, the Son uncreate, the Holy Spirit
The Father is infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit
The Father is eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit
Yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal.
just as there are not three uncreates, or three infinites,
but one uncreate, and one infinite.
In the same way the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty,
the Holy Spirit Almighty.
yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit
And yet they are not three Gods, but there is one God.
Thus the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit
And yet there are not three Lords, but there is one Lord.
Because just as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge
each Person separately to be both God and Lord,
so we are forbidden by the Catholic Religion, to speak of
three Gods, or Lords.
The Father is made from none, not made nor created, nor begotten.
The Son is from the Father alone, not made, nor created,
The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made,
nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three
Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity there is nothing before, or after; nothing
greater or less;
but the all three Persons are co-eternal with each other
Thus in all things, as has been stated above, both Trinity
in Unity and Unity in Trinity must be worshipped.
So he who desires to be saved should think thus of the Trinity.
It is necessary, however, to eternal salvation that he should
also believe in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the right Faith is, that we should believe and confess,
that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is equally both God and Man.
He is God, from the Father's substance, begotten before time;
and He is Man, of His Mother's Substance, born in time;
Perfect God, perfect Man, composed of a human soul and human
Equal to the Father, in respect to His divinity; less then
the Father, in respect of His humanity.
Who, although He is God and Man, is nevertheless not two,
but one Christ;
He is one, however, not by the transformation of His divinity
into flesh, but by the taking up of His humanity into God;
One certainly; not by confusion of Substance, but by oneness
For just as soul and flesh are one man, so God and Man are
Who suffered for our salvation, descended to hell, rose from
ascended to heaven, sat down at the Father's right hand,
from where He will come to judge the living and the dead.
At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies
and will render an account of their deeds.
And those who have done good will go to eternal life; and
those who have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the Catholic Faith. Unless a man believes it faithfully
and steadfastly, he cannot be saved. AMEN.