The Biblical Basis for the Nicene Creed Pt. 1

I begin a series where I provide the biblical basis for the Nicene Creed in order to highlight the Creed’s fidelity to what the God-breathed Scriptures teach concerning the nature of God, salvation, end times etc. I will let the passages speak for themselves for the most part, and will only add some explanatory comments if and when necessary. I will also highlight specific Greek terms employed in the Creed itself for the express purpose of showing that these words are taken directly from the inspired Greek NT writings.

Here is the Creed in its entirety:

We believe in one God,
      the Father almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth,
      of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
      the only Son of God,
      begotten from the Father before all ages,
           God from God,
           Light from Light,
           true God from true God,
      begotten, not made;
      of the same essence as the Father.
      Through him all things were made.
      For us and for our salvation
           he came down from heaven;
           he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
           and was made human.
           He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
           he suffered and was buried.
           The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
           He ascended to heaven
           and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
           He will come again with glory
           to judge the living and the dead.
           His kingdom will never end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
      the Lord, the giver of life.
      He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
      and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
      He spoke through the prophets.
      We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
      We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
      We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
      and to life in the world to come. Amen. 

I now proceed to break it down and supply the biblical support for each of the Creed’s affirmation,

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

“But for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist…” 1 Corinthians 8:6a Modern English Version (MEV)

one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6 MEV

“After this I looked. And there was an open door in heaven. The first voice I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit. And there was a throne set in heaven with One sitting on the throne! And He who sat there appeared like a jasper and a sardius stone. There was a rainbow around the throne, appearing like an emerald… The four living creatures had six wings each, and they were covered with eyes all around. All day and night, without ceasing, they were saying: ‘“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” who was, and is, and is to come.’ When the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him, who lives forever and ever. Then they cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You have created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’” Revelation 4:1-3, 8-11 MEV 

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God (ton hyion tou Theou ton Monogene),

begotten from the Father before all ages (ton ek tou Patros gennethenta pro panton ton aionon),
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten (gennethentai), not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him… And the Word became flesh, and [k]dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father (monogenous para Patros), full of grace and truth… No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God (monogenes Theos) who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” John 1:1-5, 9-10, 14, 18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (ton Hyion ton monogene), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life… He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (tou monogenous Hyiou tou Theou).” John 3:16, 18 NASB

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son (ton Hyion autou ton monogene) into the world so that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9 NASB

“And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You (ego semeron gegenneka se).’” Acts 13:32-33 NASB

“in these last days did speak to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages (tous aionas)… For to which of the messengers said He ever, `My Son thou art — I to-day have begotten thee? (ego semeron gegenneka se)‘ and again, `I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son?’” Hebrews 1:2, 5 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God (ho Theos) with us.’” Matthew 1:22-23 NASB

“Thomas answered and said TO HIM, ‘My Lord and my God! (ho Kyrios mou kai ho Theos mou)’ Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:28-29 NASB

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28 NASB

“Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” Romans 9:5 NIV

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,” Colossians 2:9 NASB

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God (ho Theos), will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” Hebrews 1:3a, 8a NIV

“as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (tou megalou Theou kai Soteros hemon ‘Iesou Christou).” Titus 2:13 New English Translation (NET)

“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (tou Theou hemon kai Soteros ‘Iesou Christou)… for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (tou Kyriou hemon kai Soteros ‘Iesou Christou) will be abundantly supplied to you.” 2 Peter 1:1, 11 NASB

For You are my lamp, O LORD; And the Lord illumines my darkness.” 2 Samuel 22:29 NASB

“This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’” John 8:12 NASB

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.” Revelation 21:23-24 NIV

“‘No one has ascended to heaven except He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven.’… He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” John 3:13, 31 MEV

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me… What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” John 6:38, 62 NASB

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God (ego gar ek tou Theou exelethon kai heko), for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me… Your father Abraham rejoiced [e]to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.’ So the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”” John 8:42, 56-59 NASB

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God (apo Theou exelthen) and was going back to God,” John 13:3 NASB

“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father (ego para tou Theou exelthon). I came forth from the Father (exelthon ek tou Patros) and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.’ His disciples said, ‘Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God (apo Theou exelthes).’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 16:25-31 NASB

“So now, Father, glorify Me at Your side (para seauto) with the glory that I had alongside You (para soi) before the world was… for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You (para sou exelthon), and they believed that You sent Me.” John 17:5, 8

“… And there is one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”1 Corinthians 8:6a MEV

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For IN HIM all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM. HE IS before all things (kai autos estin pro panton), and IN HIM all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:13-18 New International Version (NIV)

“But to the Son He says… ‘You, Lord [the Son], laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they all will wear out like a garment; as a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not end.’” Hebrews 1:8a, 10-12 MEV

With the foregoing in perspective, I will pick up the rest of the Creed in the next segment: The Biblical Basis for the Nicene Creed Pt. 2.

3 thoughts on “The Biblical Basis for the Nicene Creed Pt. 1

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