The oldest known creed in Christendom, the Apostles' Creed is a faithful summary of what Christians believe and holds an unparalleled level of doctrinal authority, beginning with the statement, “I believe in God.” Those simple words contain the basis of the entire Christian faith. This article examines how the creed came to be written.
THE BOOK of ACTS has a fourfold structure, as the faith spreads outwards from Israel to the Hellenist fringe, to the Gentiles and to Rome. Paul's own mission repeats a pattern four times. The whole book is cyclical, with a sequence of nine steps in each stage. Each section moves from a descent of the Spirit to a death and resurrection. And behind the pattern of the New Testament story is the pattern of the Old Testament.
"The most fundamental change in the intellectual life of the United States is the apparent shift from Biblical authority and religious sanctions to scientific and factual authority and sanctions."
"So, at any rate, Professor Hornell Hart, of Bryn Mawr College reads the signs...Two other investigators find evidence of a decline in dogma and a rise in the 'social gospel' as evidence of the humanist form of religion which Professor Hart sees foreshadowed by the morning sun."
In 1900 people wanted to know why men didn't like going to church...
The credited source for the attached article was a Christian cleric in Baku by the name of Pastor von Bergmann, who, having lived among the "Mohammedans" for some time, had gained a unique understanding as to their creed:
"But, by the rejection of the great grace of God through Mohamed, Christians and all other unbelievers have become such gross criminals that their lives have no worth or value whatever...It is a terrible sin to regard the Christians as equal to a Mohammedan or to consider them entitled to any rights over against the latter."
An article about the Muslim opinion concerning colonialism can be read here...
The French archaeologist and mathematician Théodore Reinach (1860 – 1928) believed that the answer to the question posted above was a big, fat "no", and he turned to two ancient sources for his answer: a sentence form Tacitus and a paragraph by Josephus:
"The paragraph by Josephus has given rise to an immense literature. Every word of the paragraph has been studied and commented on. All the works of Josephus have been cherished by the Christian Church as a sort of preface to the Evangelists... Judaism has been expiating for nearly sixteen centuries, by daily humiliations and incessant persecutions a crime it never committed and which it had not even the power to commit.""
From Amazon: The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
For the stat-minded among us who study the religions of New York City, this short magazine article from 1933 will illustrate how the various faiths were represented numerically in New York's Sing Sing Prison:
"One Buddhist and two [Muslims] were received within the gray walls of Sing Sing during the last fiscal year."
"During the same period the doors of the great prison closed behind 855 Catholics, 518 Protestants, 177 Hebrews, twenty Christian Scientists and eight of no religion at all."
Click here to see a 1938 photo essay about life in Sing Sing Prison.
Click here to read more old magazine articles about religion.