Nicene and Apostles Creed Differences and Similarities

Before the celebration of these mysteries in the Eucharist begins, the Creed or Profession of Faith is said so that the entire congregation may respond to the Word of God as it is revealed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the Homily, as well as so that they may honor and confess the great mysteries of the faith.

The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed are both historic creeds that date all the way back to the early days of the church. The two creeds were wisely chosen by the church to be recited at various times. The choice of which creed to recite is entirely up to the ordained church authorities.

The two creeds do differ in a number of ways, though. Despite the fact that the two serve essentially the same functions during some religious occasions, they differ in a number of ways, including the source, history, and even the wording.

The journey should have started at this point if you are curious to learn more about the two. Without sufficient resources, it might be difficult to cover such a detailed topic. To understand the differences between them, this post will attempt to delve deeper.

The Apostle’s Creed: What is it?

The Apostle’s Creed was first written down around 400 AD. Although there is no proof that it was written by the apostles of Jesus Christ, it has historically been so. This could be better understood by looking into the origins of the Creed. The Christian church generally accepts the Apostle’s Creed. Today, the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and many Protestant churches use this statement of faith, also known as the Apostolicum.

READ:  Catholic and America: Population and Events

The Apostles’ Creed History

The baptismal creed that was used in the church in Rome between the third and fourth centuries has similarities to the current text and context of the creed. It reached its peak in the late 6th and early 7th centuries.

The existing baptismal creeds were progressively replaced by the creed, which was accepted as an authoritative declaration of faith by the whole Catholic church in the West. As of right now, the credo is widely accepted by numerous Protestant denominations. The churches use it throughout services, while some, like the United Methodist Church, omit the phrase stating that Jesus Christ descended to the dead after His death.


Basic TermsApostle CreedNicene Creed
Occasion when recitedIt is recited during baptism.It is recited during the lent season and Easter.
OriginIt was adopted by the early church before the middle of the 2nd century.It was created in 325 by the council of Nicaea.
HistoryIt is comparatively older.It is the recent one.
LanguageIn the beginning, the manuscript was written in Latin.It was written in Greek.
Pronouns usedIt uses ‘I’ that is ‘I believe’.It uses ‘we’ that is ‘we believe’.

Source: CoreDifferences


The Nicene Creed: What is it?

A widely used declaration of faith that is frequently connected to Christian liturgy is the Nicene Creed. The title “Nicene” was used because the religion was first embraced in the Turkish city of Nicaea. It is Iznik in the modern day.

READ:  What Does The Parable Of The Sower Mean?

The Nicene Creed’s History

The major reason the credo was adopted was to settle the “Arian debate.” Arius, an Alexandrian clergyman, started the controversy by objecting to Alexander’s seeming negligence in obfuscating the distinction between the natures of God the Father and the Son.

Alexander charged Arius with outright denial of the deity of God the Son when the conflict first erupted. Additionally, he charged that his thoughts were too “Greek” and “Jewish.”

Following this, Alexander and his allies created the Nicene Creed to clarify the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. This was a reaction to the Arian teachings being widely accepted. The teachings were subsequently labeled as heretical.

Differences Between the Nicene and The Apostles Creed


The reason it is known as the Apostles’ Creed is because it is rightly regarded as an accurate summary of the Apostles’ beliefs. Additionally, it is thought to be the oldest baptismal symbol, which gives it a great deal of authority. The Nicene Creed, on the other hand, derives its authority from the fact that it was a product of the first two ecumenical councils.

Since it was created and embraced by the early church before the middle of the second century, the Apostles’ Creed is the older of the two. The Nicaean Council formulated the Nicene Creed in 325.


The Nicene Creed is primarily connected to Jesus Christ’s death, but the Apostles’ Creed has been used during baptism. As a result, it is said during Lent and the Easter season.

READ:  Country with The Most Christians


The vocabulary used in the two creeds also varies.

The Nicene Creed starts with “We Believe,” but the Apostle’s Creed begins with “I Believe.”
The Apostles’ Creed has the phrase “descended into hell,” whereas the Nicene Creed does not.
Language The Nicene Creed was written in Greek, but the Apostles’ Creed’s beginnings are in Greek, albeit the first manuscripts are in Latin.

Similarities Between the Nicene and  Apostle Creeds

  • The Nicene Creed is simply a longer version of the Apostles’ Creed that includes every element present in the shorter version. There is only one instance where the Apostles’ Creed adds new information: the Apostles’ Creed asserts that Jesus entered the grave and rose from it three days later, whereas the Nicene Creed makes no mention of this.
  • Both creeds are used in the opening prayer of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, which follows the homily, at all Masses celebrated worldwide. The local bishop can decide which he prefers. The Nicene Creed is most frequently used in the United States. When reciting the Rosary, one usually uses the Apostles’ Creed.
  • Both are used to communicate with God and to pray.
  • The Latin term “creed,” which means “I believe,” is used in both.
  • They both express beliefs.

Final Thoughts

Despite differences between the two creeds, they essentially accomplish the same goals. They are typically regarded by Christians as affirmations of faith. They were both established primarily to address different challenges, which results in the differing language.

Leave a Comment