A wall painting of the Apostles’ Creed from Wales, dating to the early modern era .
A wall painting of the Apostles’ Creed from Wales, dating to the early modern era .


Medieval tradition held that the Apostles’ Creed was composed by The Twelve on the Day of Pentecost–hence the name “Apostles’ Creed.” Though certain aspects of the creed may suggest late-first or early-second century origins, today it is generally agreed that a fourth-century date is most likely. The first reference to the Apostles’ Creed comes in a letter from the Council of Milan in the year 390. It is considered a baptismal creed since it is used in that rite and is one of the most basic statements of the Christian faith.



我信圣灵。我信圣而公之教会。我信圣徒相通。我信罪得赦免。我信身体复活。我信永生。 阿们。


The First Council of Nicea rejected the heresy of Arianism, which held that Christ is a creature, less than God the Father. The orthodox, led by St. Athanasius taught that Christ is ‘of one substance (homoousios) with the Father’ and ‘God of God, light of light, very God of very God’, ‘begotten not made’, to battle the views of the Arians. According to Athanasius, ‘there never was a was when the Son was not’. Or to put it another way, if the Father is eternal, the Son must be co-eternal with him, since a father is not a father without a son.

The debate at and after Nicaea revolved around the word homoousios, which does not occur in Scripture. The Arians used the word homoiousios, ‘of similar substance’, to define their belief. The creed of this Council forms the core of our Nicene Creed, but the full text that we now use was produced by the next Council (with the exception of one word, filioque, ‘and the Son’, added later), so scholars usually call the creed the Nicene-­Constantinopolitan Creed.



我信圣灵、是主、是赐生命的、从父子出来、同父子一样受尊贵、一样受颂美、往日藉着众先知传话。我信使徒所传的惟一圣而公之教会。我承认为赦罪设立的独一洗礼。我望死人的复活。又指望来世的永生。 阿们。


The Athanasian Creed is one of the three great Creeds of the Church, and as such is printed in most editions of the Prayer Book, though not in the American Prayer Books. The omission of the Athanasian Creed from the American book may have had something to do with the influence of anti-Trinitarian Deism in the 18th century and probably even more to do with an uneasiness concerning its so-called ‘damnatory clauses’. However, as the preface to the American Prayer Book asserts an identity of doctrine with the Church of England, which does use the Athanasian Creed, there was never any question of a formal rejection of the Athanasian Creed. As for the damnatory clauses, they may be understood as directed mainly against traitors to the faith or apostates (those who fail to keep the faith), rather than as a condemnation of those who have never had the opportunity to embrace or hear the gospel. In any case, the status of the Athanasian Creed is acknowledged by the Affirmation of Saint Louis and by the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Catholic Church.

A 16th century icon of St. Athanasius, supposed author of the Athanasian Creed.
A 16th century icon of St. Athanasius, supposed author of the Athanasian Creed.

As the Apostles’ Creed was not in fact authored by the Apostles, and the Nicene Creed as it now stands was actually the product of the Council of Constantinople, not the Council of Nicaea, so too the Athanasian Creed was not authored by Saint Athanasius. In each case, however, the creed in question does present the faith of the nominal author, so the traditional titles are fitting if somewhat historically inexact. In the Athanasian Creed the divinity of Christ, and his oneness of substance with the Father, as taught by Athanasius, are clearly asserted.

The Athanasian Creed in fact probably dates to the late-fifth century. Although this creed has dogmatic authority as well as a place in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, and is respected in the Eastern Church, its place in the Anglican Church is uniquely high. This unique position comes from the fact that the English and most other Prayer Books direct that the Athanasian Creed be recited publicly in Morning Prayer on a dozen or so great feasts. Since Morning Prayer in turn was often the chief popular service on most of those feasts, Anglican laymen said or sang this creed with unparalleled frequency. In contrast in the Roman Church the Athanasian Creed was generally only recited occasionally in Latin by clergy or religious in one of the daily Offices, and so was not widely known by laymen.

The Athanasian Creed is also called the Quicunque vult, from the first words of its Latin translation. The Prayer Book translation of the text is printed as a canticle or hymn in the Prayer Books.

  1. 凡欲得救者、首先须当持守属公会之道。
  2. 此道、凡守之不全、守之不纯者、必致永远沉沦。
  3. 属公会之道、载下、我等敬拜独一天主为三位、又敬拜三位为一天主。
  4. 其位不紊、其体不分。
  5. 盖圣父一位、圣子一位、圣灵亦一位。
  6. 然圣父之为天主、圣子之为天主、圣灵之为天主、其性为一、荣光同等、威严同是永远。
  7. 圣父如是、圣子如是、圣灵亦如是。
  8. 圣父非受造、圣子非受造、圣灵亦非受造。
  9. 圣父无限量、圣子无限量、圣灵亦无限量。
  10. 圣父无始终、圣子无始终、圣灵亦无始终。
  11. 非三无始终、乃一无始终。
  12. 亦非三不受造、非三无限量、乃一非受造、一无限量。
  13. 圣父全能、圣子全能、圣灵亦全能。
  14. 非三全能、乃一全能。
  15. 圣父是天主、圣子是天主、圣灵亦是天主。
  16. 非三天主、乃一天主。
  17. 圣父是主、圣子是主、圣灵亦是主。
  18. 非三主、乃一主。
  19. 依属主基督教之实情、我等不得不认三位各自为天主、各自为主。
  20. 如是、依属公会之道、我等不得谓天主有三、亦不得谓主有三。
  21. 圣父无所由成、非受造、亦非生。
  22. 圣子独由圣父、非受成、非受造、乃由圣父而生。
  23. 圣灵由圣父与圣子、非受成、非受造、亦非生、乃由出。
  24. 如是、有一圣父、非三圣父、有一圣子、非三圣子、有一圣灵、非三圣灵。
  25. 此三位一体之中、无先后、无尊卑之别。
  26. 乃三位皆互相永远同在、并同等。
  27. 如是、由上所论、一天主为三位、三位为一天主、乃当敬拜。
  28. 凡欲得救者、当如是、顾三位一体之天主。
  29. 再者、凡欲得永救、又必须依正道、信吾主耶稣基督成为人身。
  30. 依此正道、我等信认吾主耶稣基督、天主之子是天主亦是人。
  31. 其为天主、以其由圣父之体生于万物之先,其为人、以其由母之体生于世间。
  32. 其真为天主、亦真为人、灵心与肉躯全备。
  33. 论其天主之性、与圣父同等、论其人之性、则次于圣父。
  34. 其为天主亦为人、然不可称为二、惟一基督。
  35. 其为一、非天主之性变为肉身、乃天主取人性而成一位。
  36. 其真为一、非在体之相紊、乃在位之为一。
  37. 盖灵心与肉身相合为一人、天主与人相合为一基督、亦若是。
  38. 其为救我等而受难、降于阴间、第三日从死复活。
  39. 升天、坐于天主全能圣父之右、后必自彼处降临、审判活人死人。
  40. 降临之时、万人必以身体复活、并且陈明本身所行之事。
  41. 行善者必入永生、行恶者必入永火。
  42. 此乃属公会之道、凡不依正道笃信者、必不能得救。

起初如此、现今如此、以后亦如此、世世无尽。 阿们。