After I looked up the Apostles' Creed, I came across the Nicene Creed and did a really quick 2 minute comparison of the two.
They match each other point for point except that the Nicene has a great deal more detail about the nature and sovereignty of God and of the person and works of Christ. It emphasized, in short, the Holy Trinity of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and took pains to add that Christ is a'being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made;".
Both creeds are among the oldest declarations of the essentials of the Christian faith; the Nicene dates back to the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325) and revised in the First Council of Constantinople (AD 381). This was before the split between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox church - and obviously well before the rise of Protestant Christianity in the 1600s.
The difference in emphasis was apparently due to the fact that the Nicene Creed was written as a response to the rise of Arianism - the belief that Christ was a created being and thus not fully God.
In liturgical churches, the Apostles creed and/or the Nicene creed is recited as part of the service every Sunday. My own church is Baptist, a non credal denomination, and reciting it has never been part of my regular church going experience. The Scots Church service that I visited two weeks ago, is apparently Presbyterian, a liturgical denomination that does make the recital of the creeds part of their regular service.
I'd love to do classes on church history, latin and the historical rise of Christianity. But this is such a bad time to pick up anything. Exams coming up! Everything else will have to wait til after they're over.
I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost
of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried;
and the third day he rose again
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory,
to judge both the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life,
who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son];
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshipped and glorified;
who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.
Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis.
Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre (Filioque) procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.