Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | February 18, 2008

Analysis of the Creed in English

My comments are in the blue

We believe in one God the Father (Credo means I believe, not we believe, if you want to say we believe say Credemus), the Almighty maker of heaven and earth of all that is seen and unseen. (Visiblilum is a cognate which means visible. Same with invisibilium).

We believe (In the Latin version of the Creed, this Credemus does not exist, it says: Et in Unum Dóminum Jesum Christum (and in one Lord Jesus Christ)) in one Lord Jesus Christ the only Son of God (The Latin text says: Fílium Dei unigénitum (The only Begotten Son)) eternally begotten of the Father (this text does not appear in the Latin Creed as it says this: Et ex Patre natum ante ómnia saecula, which translates Born of the Father before all ages), God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God begotten not made one in Being with the Father. (Theological language is very precise the One in Being does not accurately describe what this should be saying. The Latin word used here is consubstantiálem, which means of the same substance. This is language that’s used in philosophy to describe equality, thus a better word would be consubstantial, it didn’t take that long to explain to you consubstantial here, thus it would not take a priest long to mention what that means in a homily, we’re not stupid, we can understand big words you know). Through him all things were made. For us men and our salvation he came down from heaven.

By the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man (This part of the Creed is inaccurate in the first part: Et Incarnátus est de Spiritu Sancto ex María Vírgine et homo factus est, which translates and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost (Spirit is a correct translation) of the Virgin Mary and was made. Incarnátus is another theological word that is very precise as we describe the Birth of Jesus as the Incarnation, in the old rubrics (and in the new rubrics on the Nativity and Annunciation) we genuflected here, as this was an expression of adoration of our Lord)

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures, he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit (again, there does not exist a Credemus here in the Latin text, simply Et in Spíritum Sanctum (and in the Holy Ghost (Spirit))) the Lord, the giver of Life who proceeds from the Father and the Son (this is the spot of the infamous qui ex Patre Filióque procédit controversy. This is not in the Greek text and not used in the Eastern Churches, although they do believe it. The controversy was not this understanding by the Western Church, but putting it in the Creed, which was one of the reasons that resulted in the great schism of 1054 between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. It makes sense that the Father who sent the Son, and the Son who Sent the Spirit. Therefore the Father sent the Spirit. Thus the Spirit proceeds from BOTH the Father and the Son. Again in Theology the language is very precise this precision was needed in the Creed). With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. (Worshiped is a fair translation of adorátur, however, again, I stress the point that the language of Theology must be precise…hence adored would be better to use here) He has spoken through the Prophets. (The past tense that’s used in the English translation doesn’t exist in the Latin text (qui locútus est per Prophétas (who spoke through the Prophets)))

We believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church (the 4 marks of the Church, one: because we’re all united under the Vicar of Christ the Pope, Holy because Jesus Established it, even though we’re still sinners, catholic because the Church is universal, apostolic because the Faith comes to us from Jesus and passed to us by the Apostles, Church is capitalized because of the fact that it’s referencing the entire institution, not the local church).

We acknowledge (This does not exist in the Latin text, Confíteor means I confess, not I acknowledge, again, the precision of Theological Language) one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. (The Latin text remissiónem peccatórum has been translated as forgiveness of sins in most cases. The more precise translation is remission of sins. Both mean to erase or get rid of, but remission is more accurate). We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come Amen! (Et exspécto means I expect, or I look, not we look)


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