An Expanded Apostles Creed

I don’t want to change the Apostles’ Creed. I hate individualistic, make-it-up-as-you-go confessions of faith. I especially hate confessions that are cute or faddish. The church’s confessions of faith should be marked by catholicity – i.e., widespread and long-term use throughout the church. It is the church’s faith that we confess.

But, if I had the chance to go back into the first millennium of Christian history, I think I would have argued for a couple of additions to the creed. The Apostle’s Creed does not portray a faith that is tightly connected to the the broad scope of covenantal history. Furthermore, the second article jumps too quickly from Jesus’ birth to his crucifixion. Jesus’ words and deeds offered the world a a foretaste of the coming kingdom. The lines in red below are an attempt to flesh out in a few words the pieces that are missing.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth,
who made covenant with Abraham and his descendants,
gave instruction through Moses,
established the throne of David,
and spoke through the prophets and sages of Israel.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He proclaimed the coming of God’s kingdom,
cast out demons, healed the sick,
fed the hungry and ate with sinners.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven.
He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

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