The Nicene Creed, a creed invented by men in the fourth century, is taken by the majority to be considered the foundation of Christianity. It constantly comes up to define who is Christian and who is not, and one can see its influence in most Christian churches when they define their belief in God as “three persons.” However, it was completely unknown for the first three centuries of Christianity. Historians who study early Christianity will divide it into two periods: ante-Nicene and post-Nicene. The reason: the Nicene Creed changed and altered the original truth of Christianity. Today, people just follow it without question.
But what if it was found that the Nicene Creed was not based on scripture? If it is found to be against scripture, then the Nicene Creed is not only not Biblical, but it is also not Christian.
There are two kinds of people: those who follow religious authority without question, and those who question what they have been taught to see if it is true or not. The majority follow authority without question. But Jesus warned us against the traditions and doctrines of men:
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (Mat. 15:3)
So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. (Mat. 15:6)
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men. (Mark 7:8)
So let us take a close look at the Nicene Creed. There are two main variants, the original from 325 A.D., and a later version called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed from 381 A.D. Is it Biblical or not? Is it a tradition of men that has made void the word of God? Let’s take a look.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A SON OF GOD BORN FROM ETERNITY?
Most people assume that the Nicene Creed defines Christianity as it always was. But this is not true. For the first time, the Nicene Creed defined a Son of God born from eternity, always existing. This was done to combat the Arian heresy, which declared that Jesus was some created being or angel who once did not exist. However to combat Arianism, they invented something new: a Son of God born from eternity. Here is the exact wording:
“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“
Key words here are “begotten, not made.” The creed of 381 A.D. goes further:
“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“
This doctrine, a Son of God that is begotten from eternity, but not made, is not only inherently contradictory but is also a new doctrine. Such a concept was unknown to the Apostolic Church. That it was unknown, can be seen from the Apostle’s Creed which predates the Nicene Creed. In fact, the Nicene Creed is a modified version of the Apostle’s Creed (see The Nicene Creed: a distorted version of the Apostle’s Creed), which says this:
“I believe in God the Father almighty; and in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord, Who was born from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary“
The Apostle’s Creed states the Son of God was not begotten from eternity, but rather was begotten in time to the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. And to be more clear, the gospel of Luke states that the Son of God is the human born to the virgin Mary:
“The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
The Son of God thus came into existence for the first time with the virgin birth of Mary. Jesus had no human father, and is thus known as the Son of God. In the gospel of John, the Son of God is described as the “Word made flesh” –
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
The Word of God made flesh is the Son of God, born in time, to the virgin Mary. This is the exact OPPOSITE of the Nicene Creed which makes the illogical statement of “begotten, not made.”
That the Son of God is the human born in time to the v declared by the apostle Paul:
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared [to be] the Son of God with power (Rom. 1:3-4)
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law (Gal. 4:4)
The Son of God was the human that was born to Mary in time, thus Paul says the Son of God was “made of a woman, made under the law.” Again, this is the exact OPPOSITE of what the Nicene Creed says, which makes the inherently illogical statement of “begotten, not made.” Whereas before God spoke by prophets, it was not until Jesus came that God spoke to us through his human form, the Son:
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son (Heb. 1:1-2)
Moreover, we have this prophecy from the Old Testament:
I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (Ps. 2:7)
This is a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus the Son of God (Acts 13:33, Heb. 1:5). Again it says “this day” and “begotten” – referencing the virgin birth in time. There is no such thing as a Son of God born from eternity, this is a false invention of the Nicene Creed which was invented to combat Arianism.
If, however, one understands that the human form, the incarnation, was begotten, and the soul of Jesus was Divine and thus not created, one can arrive at a true understanding of the incarnation.
JESUS HAD A PRE-EXISTENCE AS JEHOVAH
So once it is seen that the Son of God is the human born in time to the virgin Mary, some may then reject it because Jesus definitely stated he had a pre-existence before his human incarnation:
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (John 17:5)
So does this mean that the Son is a “second person” that made a descent to become incarnate? No it does not, in his pre-existent form, Jesus was simply the Word of God:
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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)
The Word of God, known to the Greeks as the Logos, is the Divine Truth that emanates from Divine Love. There is one Divine Being who is Divine Love and Divine Truth, who made a descent into human form as to the Divine Truth that emanates from Divine Love. This Divine Love and Divine truth corresponds to the will and understanding in each person, for we are made in His image (see God is Divine Love and Divine Truth).
So who is Jesus Christ? He declares who he is in the gospel of John:
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. (John 8:58-59)
The reason why the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus is he was identifying himself with none other than Jehovah, which we know from this passage:
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”1 And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Ex. 3:14-15)
In other words, Jesus is Jehovah Himself. More precisely, Jesus is Jehovah in human form. It is the human form, the Word made flesh, which is the Son of God. The Father is to the Son as the soul is to the body in Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus said the Father is in him, and he who has seen him has seen the Father.
The final objection one may bring: why is Jesus described at sitting at the right hand of the Father, as also described in the Nicene Creed of 381 A.D.? This is a figure of speeach which means all power, or omnipotence from the Divine. See The Spiritual Symbolism of the Right Hand.
THE HUMAN FORM IS THE SON OF GOD
The Nicene Creed was created in order to fight against the Arian heresy which declared Jesus was a created being separate from God. But in so doing, the Nicene Creed perverted true Christianity by postulating a Son of God born from eternity, “begotten not made.”
It is the human born to the virgin Mary which is the Son of God, and Jesus later revealed that he is Jehovah in human form. This human form was initially inferior to God and subject to temptation like all of us, but upon the resurrection the human was made one with the Father, a Divine Human. The Divine Human is the Son of God. With the creation of the Nicene Creed, endless theological disputes resulted. In the end, many were deceived to declare that Jesus has two natures, the Divine and the human. And this fit the political goal of Papal Rome who falsely declared the Pope to be the “Vicar of Christ.” The truth of the matter is that Jesus gradually put off the human from the mother, and was transformed into a Divine Human.
WHY THE DIVINE HUMAN IS CENTRAL TO TRUE CHRISTIANITY
That Jehovah would become incarnate in human form, and make the human Divine, is the central message in all of scripture. By inventing a Son born from eternity, the Nicene Creed lost sight of the original Son of God: the Word made flesh, born in time. It is the union of the Divine with the human form by which salvation was effected. And this is declared by Jesus himself:
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (John 17:17-19)
This shows that the Word of God is indeed the Divine Truth (see God is Divine Love and Divine Truth
). To “sanctify” is cleanse onself from evil and falsehood through the truth. But notice this: Jesus says he must sanctify himself
. Jesus could be tempted by all of hell from the imperfect human form he inherited from his human mother Mary. In this manner, a spiritual warfare arose between Jehovah and all of hell, it is through the human form that Jesus could be tempted. It is in this way that he “bore our sins.” By making his human form Divine upon the resurrection, the Lord could reach all humanity that had been cut off from heaven through the Holy Spirit.
This salvation from Jesus Christ is available to all who decide to shun evils as sins, and to walk down the path of repentance.
That the human form was made Divine, or one with the Father, is shown from Jesus’ statement after the resurrection:
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt. 28:18)
This is not power being handed from one person to another, but rather, the human form was made Divine. God now had an external form by which He could reach all humanity through the Holy Spirit which proceeds from his human form. That the human form was made Divine is also declared by Paul:
God was manifest in the flesh, made righteous in the Spirit (1 Tim. 3:16)
Peter has a similar statement:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit (1 Pet. 3:18).
Both passages contain the same word for “righteous.” But Jesus could not suffer for our sins unless he had inherited a body that had sinful tendencies from Mary. This he completely resisted until he made the external human form Divine. The Divine Human also explains the central ritual of Christianity: the Eucharist, or Communion, in which all of the church partake in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This obviously does not mean the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ, but rather, we partake of Jesus inasmuch as we receive good and truth from Him (see The Symbolism of Communion and Salvation by Blood).
That the human born to the virgin Mary in time is in fact the Son of God, can be seen from the epistles to John. In these epistles, the apostle John fought against a form of Gnosticism which declared that Jesus was never born in the flesh with a human body:
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:2-3)
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. (2 John 1:7)
The flesh, or the human form, is in fact the Son of God, and was made Divine upon the resurrection.
WHY THE NICENE CREED IS ERRONEOUS
In true Christianity, there is one God who is one personal being, who became incarnate in human form, and this human form was united with His Divinity. The Nicene Creed created a Son of God that was begotten from eternity yet not made, which not only is a self-contradictory statement, but it creates a second person. The true Trinity resides in the soul, body and spirit of Jesus Christ, there is no such thing as three persons.
The Nicene Creed also adds the phrase “light of light, and God of God” and this kind of statement is nowhere found in scripture. I won’t even attempt to analyze it as its meaning is not clear. Why not use scripture:
With the Nicene Creed, a false theology then developed. It leads to several falsehoods which pervades the theology of modern Christianity.
- It was by making the human form Divine that salvation for humanity was effected. This is why the resurrection was a necessity. Without knowledge of the Divine Human, which is the Son of God, a new theology later developed in the west known as “vicarious atonement” or “substitutionary sacrifice,” which no theologian can logically explain.
- The Nicene Creed forces one to create a second person from eternity, which is a falsehood. It leads to dividing God into three persons, each of them god, thus hidden within the facade of modern Christianity is a form of tritheism.
- Many who pray the Lord’s prayer, when praying to the Father, pray to Him as another person bypassing Jesus Christ, without realizing prayers should be directed to Jesus Christ alone, for he is the Father in human form, the visible image of the invisible God.
- As the theology is not based on scripture, nor on rational logic, much of theology became enshrouded in the “mysteries of faith” a form of blind belief, in which rational thinking is suspended (see Truth by Religious Tradition & Authority vs. Spiritual Truth).
- In the modern age, in which the public is no longer blinded by religious authority, an irrational theology leads many to a loss of faith, to a form of atheistic naturalism.
From the Nicene Creed the anonymous Athanasian Creed later arose in the west. To see a corrected version of the Athanasian Creed which removes the falsehood of the Nicene Creed, see The Corrected New Athanasian Creed
CHURCHES SHOULD RE-EXAMINE FALSE TRADITIONS
Hopefully this will lead some to re-examine the false traditions of men which Jesus warned against. Practically every church will list “three persons” as the top thing of what they believe in, which is an erroneous assumption invented by the Nicene Creed.
All should examine if the Nicene Creed is Biblical, instead of using the Nicene Creed to evaluate if one is Christian or not. Because if the Nicene Creed is in itself not Biblical, it in itself does not define true Christianity, and in fact perverts it. If however, one understands that Jehovah was begotten in time in human form, but as to the soul is Divine and not created, one can arrive at a true understanding of Christianity. And this would mean there is a need for true Christianity to be restored to its original form, by acknowledging God as one personal Divine being: Jesus as Jehovah in human form.