Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Part III

Athanasian Creed, Part III

So likewise the Father is almighty,
the Son almighty,
and the Holy Spirit almighty.

And yet they are not three almighties,
but one almighty.

So the Father is God,
the Son is God,
and the Holy Spirit is God;

And yet they are not three Gods,
but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord,
the Son Lord,
and the Holy Spirit Lord;

And yet they are not three Lords
but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled
by the Christian verity
to acknowledge every Person by himself
to be God and Lord;

So are we forbidden
by the catholic religion to say;
There are three Gods
or three Lords.


  1. Greetings IggyAntiochus

    Unfortunately, this is not however, the creed of Jesus, nor of his disciples.

    Jesus solely identified the Father
    as the only true GOD.
    [John 17.3]
    Paul & the early church concurred:
    (1 Cor 8:4) ... that there is none other God but one.
    (1 Cor 8:6) But to us there is but one God, the Father, ...

    The creed of Jesus is the Shema, Deut 6.4ff

    (Mark 12:28-32) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is,
    Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

    It ought to be obvious then, that neither Jesus nor the scribe, subscribed to anything in the so-called Athanasian creed
    (which was written years after Athanasius!!)

    Therefore, I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.

    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor

  2. Greetings, Adam! Differing opinions are always welcome here on All for Hymn, so long as the discussion does not reach a heated point. Nobody learns anything that way. See the comment disclaimer for more on that.

    You are correct that this creed was written after the death of Athanasius. I was not clear on that. I wasn't trying to hide that, I just didn't take time to explain it.

    Lutheran Service Book is very clear that Athanasius did not write this creed.

    Though attributed to Athanasius, a fourth-century opponent of Arius, this anonymous creed clearly came at a later stage in the debate.

    The creeds evolved as a way of explaining what the Church Universal taught in the face of contrary teachings.

    The Eastern Orthodox Church only subscribes to the Nicene Creed, whereas the Western Church (including those that broke from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation) hold to three creeds: the Apostles (who did not write that one, either), the Nicene (from the Counsel of Nicaea, 325AD) and the Athanasian.

    Jesus states, "Even before Abraham was, I AM." Which offended his listeners because it meant he claimed to be Yahweh (or Jehovah, if you prefer). So Christ establishes Himself to be God. Not a second God, but one with the Father, even as Jesus says, "I and the Father are one."

    The Holy Spirit is a little more tricky, because He tends to be the one in the background pointing to Jesus.

    Still, the Messiah speaks of Him as well.

    If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:15-17)

    The debate in the Church was not whether the Holy Spirit was one with the Father and the Son, but did he proceed from both the Father and the Son.

    The Eastern Church says, "only from the Father" and the Western Church says, "from the Father and the Son." The two have been discussing this point for centuries.

    Trinitarian Christians in no way contradict the Great Shema. It is part of our heritage as we wholly and unconditionally subscribe to the Hebrew Bible. It is the very Word of God and we confess that Word in its entirety.

    The Athanasian Creed unifies the teaching of Shema and the Trinity by stating, "And yet they are not three Gods, but one God ... And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord ... So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords."

    As an aside, small-c "catholic" here means "universal" or "the whole Christian Church" and does not mean the denomination that uses that word in its title.

    Lutherans in particular try not to explain the Trinity any further than that which the Church Universal has agreed on, because invariably a new explanation comes up short.

    So I offer you the Athanasian Creed, even though Athanasius did not write it, as the clearest explanation of the Trinity and an extension of the Great Shema.


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