One of the most extensive resources on the internet for the study of early Christianity

“Rufinus shares the tradition about the origin of the creed (Old Roman/Aquileain/Apostles) with the Apostles - Latin Text with English translation”

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more about our use of cookies here.

Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Latin (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from the NPNF series.

earlychurchtexts.com

  • Is like an electronic encyclopedia of the first five centuries of Church History, with extensive links (subscription version only) to information on around 800 people and themes, and around 230 Church Councils;

  • Is a Reader in Early Christian History and Theology with 225+ carefully prepared on-site texts (Greek and/or Latin with English translation alongside) from the first five centuries of the life of the Church. These cover a range of significant themes and represent several authors (a sample text is here and a complete list of on-site texts here). All have dictionary lookup links. There is also an introduction to each text (to help in understanding its context and significance) together with background notes linked with the text, carefully prepared printable versions, a site search engine and many other helpful features;

  • Gives easy access to complete Greek and Latin texts which are in the public domain and translations (where found available) from the first five centuries. There are carefully indexed links to authors and their works, including an index of commentaries, homilies etc. by biblical book. Nearly all of the Greek and Latin texts from this period contained in the Migne Patrologia series are covered. Some other sources are also used. The texts used are the scanned versions available at Google Books and elsewhere. A distinctive feature of the Early Church Texts website is that where English translations have been found available online they can easily be read immediately alongside the original Greek and Latin. (A complete list of authors represented is here. A sample text is here.)

Try out the feature rich subscription version of the Early Church Texts website for just $5 for a trial period or $30 for a year ($15 student rate). Click here for more information. Check out the video demo of the site. Click here to go to the Early Church Texts Home Page for the publicly available version of the site which has just the original Greek and Latin texts with dictionary lookup links.

 

iPad at Amazon

Click on picture for more details.

 For UK click here.

--------------

Relevant books
available at Amazon

Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski
Early Christian Doctrine and the Creeds

-----

Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski

-----

Liuwe H. Westra

Apostles' Creed: Origin History and Some Early Commentaries (Instrumenta Patristica Et Mediaevalia, 43)

-----

Frances Young

-----

J.N.D. Kelly

-----

Lewis Ayres

 

2. Our forefathers have handed down to us the tradition, that, after the Lord’s ascension, when, through the coming of the Holy Ghost, tongues of flame had settled upon each of the Apostles, that they might speak diverse languages, so that no race however foreign, no tongue however barbarous, might be inaccessible to them and beyond their reach, they were commanded by the Lord to go severally to the several nations to preach the word of God. Being on the eve therefore of departing from one another, they first mutually agreed upon a standard of their future preaching, lest haply, when separated, they might in any instance vary in the statements which they should make to those whom they should invite to believe in Christ. Being all therefore met together, and being filled with the Holy Ghost, they composed, as we have said, this brief formulary of their future preaching, each contributing his several sentence to one common summary: and they ordained that the rule thus framed should be given to those who believe.
To this formulary, for many and most sufficient reasons, they gave the name or Symbol. For Symbol (κύμβολον) in Greek answers to both “Indicium” (a sign or token) and “Collatio” (a joint contribution made by several) in Latin. For this the Apostles did in these words, each contributing his several sentence. It is called “Indicium” or “Signum,” a sign or token, because, at that time, as the Apostle Paul says, and as is related in the Acts of the Apostles, many of the vagabond Jews, pretending to be apostles of Christ, went about preaching for gain’s sake or their belly’s sake, naming the name of Christ indeed, but not delivering their message according to the exact traditional lines. The Apostles therefore prescribed this formulary as a sign or token by which he who preached Christ truly, according to Apostolic rule, might be recognised. Finally, they say that in civil wars, since the armour of both sides is alike, and the language the same, and the custom and mode of warfare the same, each general, to guard against treachery, is wont to deliver to his soldiers a distinct symbol or watchword—in Latin “signum” or “indicium”—so that if one is met with, of whom it is doubtful to which side he belongs, being asked the symbol (watchword), he discloses whether he is friend or foe. And for this reason, the tradition continues, the Creed is not written on paper or parchment, but is retained in the hearts of the faithful, that it may be certain that no one has learnt it by reading, as is sometimes the case with unbelievers, but by tradition from the Apostles.

The Apostles therefore, as we have said, being about to separate in order to preach the Gospel, settled upon this sign or token of their agreement in the faith; and, unlike the sons of Noah, who, when they were about to separate from one another, builded a tower of baked bricks and pitch, whose top might reach to heaven, they raised a monument of faith, which might withstand the enemy, composed of living stones and pearls of the Lord, such that neither winds might overthrow it, nor floods undermine it, nor the force of storms and tempests shake it. Right justly, then, were the former, when, on the eve of separation, they builded a tower of pride, condemned to the confusion of tongues, so that no one might understand his neighbour’s speech; while the latter, who were building a tower of faith, were endowed with the knowledge and understanding of all languages; so that the one might prove a sign and token of sin, the other of faith.

But it is time now that we should say something about these same pearls, among which is placed first the fountain and source of all, when it is said,— I Believe in God the Father Almighty.....
 



Mac Users please note that the site may not work with Safari versions lower than version 4. (It has been tested with version 4.0.3.) It will work with Firefox, which can be downloaded from here.

Please note that for all features of the site to work correctly javascript must be enabled and the operation of "pop-up" windows must not be blocked. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rufinus
Commentarius In Symbolum Apostolorum
Commentary on the Apostles Creed
Aquileaian creed
Old Roman creed
Apostles Creed
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
Patrologia Graeca

 

Back to Entry Page