The Nicene Creed is a Christian statement of faith accepted by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and most Protestant churches. It gets its name from the First Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.), where it was initially adopted, and from the First Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.), where a revised version was accepted. Thus it may be referred to specifically as the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed to distinguish it from the original 325 A.D. version.

The original Nicene Creed adopted in 325 ended just after the words, "We believe in the Holy Spirit..." Content was added at the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.; hence the name "Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed", which refers to the modified or updated creed. The Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus (431 A.D.) reaffirmed the creed in this form and explicitly forbade making additional revisions to it.

There have been other subsequent creeds formulated to guard against perceived heresy, but this one, as revised in 381 A.D., was the last time both the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) churches were in united agreement on a Credo. This creed is not to be confused with the later Athanasian Creed.

The 325 Nicene Creed compared to the 381 Constantinopolitan Creed.

Differences as documented in Schaff's "Creeds of Christendom," from vol. 1, §8. The Nicene Creed (e-Sword edition (http://www.e-sword.net):

325 Nicene Creed. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

381 Constantinopolitan Creed. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

325 Nicene Creed. And in one Lord Jesus Christ , the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousion)with the Father; by whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

381 Constantinopolitan Creed. And in one Lord Jesus Christ , the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), 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; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and 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; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

325 Nicene Creed. And in the Holy Ghost.

381 Constantinopolitan Creed. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

325 Nicene Creed. [But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]"

381 Constantinopolitan Creed. We 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 the Father before all worlds (æons), 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; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and 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; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

A contemporary English-language translation

Prepared by the International Consultation on English Texts, this version is used by many mainline communions in the United States and other English-speaking countries.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became truly human. 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 again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. Who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. Who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

See also