Author of the Nicene Creed

Growing up, we are taught that St Athanasius the Apostolic wrote the Nicene Creed. This has been contested by historians and scholars who concede that St Athanasius was an ardent defender and definer of Nicene theology. My question is, did St Athanasius write the Nicene Creed?


  • This is a question I haven’t paid much attention to and really doesn’t make much of a difference. Whether Athanasius wrote it or not, he made sure the word “homoousios” was defended, rather than the heretical “homoiousios”. That one iota made all the difference in the world to Athanasius and he would not compromise one bit to have it in the Creed.

    Furthermore, the Nicene creed wasn’t the first creed. I’m sure whoever drafted the Creed used earlier versions and modified it in some way to answer against the Arian heresy. It’s without a doubt in my mind therefore that at the very least Athanasius had a hand in the Nicene Creed.

    We are very sure about one thing. The last part of the Creed that comes after “We believe in the Holy Spirit” was not written by him, but by the fathers of the second ecumenical council.
  • always beware of the opinions of 'historians and scholars'!

    i know (personally) a protestant PhD scholar who has written his thesis on the Holy Communion.

    he disagrees with a lot of orthodox opinion, and when I looked what historical sources he was using, i saw that he used a lot of nestorian sources.

    he says that the nestorian point of view was a mainstream one and that it was not until very late in history that their theology was considered erroneous. so for him the works of saint cyril of alexandria are equally valid as those of theodore of mopsuestia!

    he told me there is no evidence that the early church considered the bread and wine to be the Body and Blood of our Lord in the 1st 3 centuries!!

    no wonder so many of them are so very confused!

    they have no idea who are church fathers and who are heretics!

  • TL;DR answer: There is no one author of the Creed. Probably a certain bishop came up with the words and proposed it, but every single other bishop present at the council had to agree with it. 
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