Thursday, February 01, 2007

Armenian creed

We recently had a guest talk on the creed. The speaker brought several different versions, including an Armenian English translation. It has some interesting differences from the Chalcedonian:
We Believe in one God, the Father almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of God the Father, only begotten, that is of the same substance of the Father. God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten and not made, of the self-same nature ofthe Father, by whom all things came into being in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible; who for us human beings, and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate, was made man, was born perfectly of the holy virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit; by whom He took body, soul, and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance. He suffered, was crucified and was buried and rose again on the third day and ascended into heaven with the same body and sat at the right hand of the Father. He is to come with the same body and with the glory of the Father to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there is no end.

We Believe also in the Holy Spirit, the uncreate and perfect, who spoke in the Law and in the prophets and in the Gospels; who came down upon the Jordan, preached in the apostles and dwelt in the saints.

We Believe
also only one universal and apostolic holy Church; in one baptism with repentance for the remission and forgiveness of sins; in the resurrection of the dead, in the everlasting judgment of souls and bodies, in the kingdom of heaven and in the eternal life.
Nothing earth-shattering to say here. I just thought it was worth having a look at. There are a few elements here that you don't find in the Chalcedonian version and a few there that you don't find here. On the whole, I don't think an Orthodox Christian should have any objection to affirming this version of the creed (there's nothing it says that we should object to), and it makes some interesting contributions as well. I'm not going to give an opinion on whether this means it should be easy to restore communion with Armenian Christians (what do I know?). I just think it's worth considering what's here.


Roland said...

". . . by whom He took body, soul, and mind and everything that is in man, truly and not in semblance."

I was amazed at this line. A fairly explicit affirmation of Jesus' human nature, it practically screams, "We're not Monophysites!"

Trevor said...

Perhaps. It certainly is an important statement. But ISTM that it still leaves open the possibility that he took all those things, rolled them up with what belongs to the divine nature, and produced a third thing. Not saying that's what they mean here, but it doesn't quite rule it out.