Christianity: Changes in the Nicene Creed to Combat Heresies Essay

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Christianity is a very unique religion. It, unlike many of the world's major religions, places a great emphasis on having the correct beliefs and interpretations of religious doctrines. Being a much more societal religion than many others, Christianity in its early years found that it was important to have every follower have the same understanding of the cardinal beliefs that it preaches. The story of the bible is a very complex one, as compared to other religions. The statement of beliefs of the other Abrahamic religions are all relatively short. They do not rely so heavily on scripture as Christianity does, and therefore there s no need for a comprehensive statement of belief that covers all major events and definitions (Johnson 9). Christianity, even around the time of its founding, was a very controversial religion. Given the religious landscape of the time, consisting of mainly of Greco-Roman Pagan beliefs and Judaism. Early followers of Jesus had to convert former Jews or Pagan Greeks into Christianity, but that caused some prior views of people to hinder their full understanding of Christianity and bring with them plausible, yet ultimately false ideas on the correct interpretation of some fundamental events in the Bible. The Christian statement of belief, or creed, in the beginning was a very rudimentary summary, but as Christianity grew in its early years, it became evident that there was clearly some clarification needed. The creed slowly evolved from the original "apostles" version to the version that is widely accepted today called the Nicene Creed (Fullerton & Hunsberger 317). The main reason for the rapid evolution of the creed was to define the correct interpretation of scripture, and halt the spread of various her...

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... Biblical story were left to interpretation. This was the direct cause of the rise in strength of many different heresies that although were based on the correct knowledge, but preached some fundamentally incorrect things. Clarification was needed to combat most of these heresies, and so, it was decided that the easiest way to do so would be to alter a common statement of belief that all Christians would know, even if they did not read the Bible itself. The Council of Nicaea was put in charge of altering the creed to its final form as we see it today. With the addition of many choice words and phrases, the specificity of the creed was increased to encompass all complex and disputable areas of the creed. The major heresies such as Sebellianism, Marcionism, and Arianism were reduced to nothing, as word of the changes of the creed spread throughout the ancient world.

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