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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Preface.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

A Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed.


This exposition of the Creed was made at the request of Laurentius, a Bishop whose see is unknown, but is conjectured by Fontanini, in his life of Rufinus, to have been Concordia, Rufinus’ birthplace.

Its exact date cannot be fixed; but from the fact that he says nothing of his difficulty in writing Latin after being so long in the East, as he does in several of his books, and from the comparative ease of the style, it is most probable that it was written in the later years of his sojourn at Aquileia, that is, about 307–309.

Its value is considerable (1) as bearing witness to the state of the Creed in local churches at the beginning of the 5th century, especially their variations. (In the church of Aquileia, in Jesu Christo. Patrem invisibilem et impassibilem. Resurrectio hujus carnis); (2) as showing the adaptation of Eastern ideas to the formation of Western theology; (3) as giving the Canon of the books of Scripture, and the Apocrypha of both the Old and New dispensations.

The exposition is clear and reasonable; and, with the exception of a very few passages, such as the argument from the Phœnix for the Virgin Birth of our Lord, is still of use to us.

We prefix the words of the creed on which Rufinus makes his commentary.

It seems desirable to give the original Latin, as well as the English version of the Creed of Aquileia. The words or letters which are peculiar to this creed are put in italics.

1. Credo in Deo Patre omnipotenti invisibili et impassibili

1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, invisible and impassible.

2. Et in Jesu Christo, unico Filio ejus, Domino nostro;

2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;

3. Qui natus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine;

3. Who was born from the Holy Ghost, of the Virgin Mary;

4. Crucifixus sub Pontio Pilato, et sepultus;

4. Was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried;

5. Descendit ad inferna; tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;

5. He descended to hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead.

p. 542 6. Ascendit in cœlos; sedet ad dexteram Patris;

6. He ascended to the heavens; he sitteth at the right hand of the Father;

7. Inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos;

7. Thence he is to come to judge the quick and the dead.

8. Et in Spiritu Sancto;

8. And in the Holy Ghost;

9. Sanctam Ecclesiam;

9. The Holy Church.

10. Remissionem peccatorum;

10. The remission of sins.

11. Hujus carnis resurrectionem.

11. The resurrection of this flesh.

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