The Athanasia Creed


This is an affirmation that the three persons of the Trinity are One.

The Athanasia Creed is a Christian statement of belief, focusing on Trinitarian doctrine.  The Latin name of the creed, Quicumque vult, is taken from the opening words “Whosoever wishes.”  In use since the sixth century AD it is the first creed in which the equality of the three persons of the Trinity is explicitly stated.  It differs from the Nicene-Constantinopolitan and Apostles’ Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas, or condemnations of those who disagree with the Creed (like the original Nicene Creed).  Though widely accepted among Western Christians, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church and most liturgical Protestant denominations, this Creed is less and less frequently used while never gaining much acceptance among Eastern Christians.

Moralizing as its content now appears, the opening lines establish the principle that the Catholic faith does not consist in the first place of propositions, but ‘that we worship One God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity’.  All else flows from this orientation.  (Background adapted from Wiki commentary)

In the following, minor changes to the English wordings have been incorporated to make the Creed more readable in today’s language, but no changes to original meanings have been made.

  1. Whomever wishes to be saved, before all things, it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith; which faith, unless one keeps it whole and undefiled and without doubt, he shall perish forever.

  2. And the Catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance, for there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Spirit.

  3. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

  4. Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Spirit.

  5. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

  6. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

  7. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

  8. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.

  9. As also, there are not three uncreated, nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

  10. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

  11. 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.

  12. So likewise, the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.

  13. For like as we are compelled by the Christian truth 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.

  14. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

  15. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

  16. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

  17. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

  18. And in this Trinity none is before another, nor after another; none is greater, or less than another.

  19. But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal.

  20. Thus, as previously stated, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

  21. He therefore, who wished to be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

  22. Furthermore, it is necessary for everlasting salvation that he also believes correctly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  23. For the correct faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

  24. God of the substance of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and made of the substance of His mother, born in the world.

  25. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

  26. Equal to the Father in His Godhead and inferior to the Father in His manhood.

  27. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

  28. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.

  29. One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

  30. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

  31. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give account of their own works.

  32. And those who have done good shall go into life everlasting, and those who have done evil, into everlasting fire.

  33. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.


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