Talk:Athanasian Creed

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General Talk[edit]

I am adding some discussion about objections to this Creed.

-- LeandroGFCDutra 22:43, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • I am adding the Latin appelation for this Creed (Quicumque vult) and its former use in the Office of Prime of the Divine Office. Prime, the first of the four minor hours (the other three being tierce, sext, and none) was suppressed with the promulgation of the post-conciliar Liturgy of the Hours.

Aloysius Patacsil 20:35, Aug 4, 2004 (UTC)


Does verse 23 have a filioque addition? Or was it always like that? --Audiovideo 13:45, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

To judge from , the earliest version of the Latin text directly available to us included "Et Filio", but it's omitted in Greek translations. -- AnonMoos
Not trying to offend anyone, but it occurs to me that this creed seems like a possible inspiration of the well-known Monthy Python and the Holy Grail gag about the "holy hand grenade." "And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'" And, again not trying to offend, I have to say that now that I am familiar with the Athanasian creed the joke is twice as funny. Three persons in one God, no more, no less, no substitutions, and anybody who has done evil will enter eternal fire! (sorrydontrecallmyusername)

Different Translations[edit]

User: deleted "descended into hell". I reverted that change based on [1]. There will be multiple english-langauge translations, so we might want to instead call out variations in a discussion section at the bottom. User:, can you provide a reference to a version that lacks the "descened" clause? (Which would prompt a start of this section?) Johnh 23:13, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

User: deteled the "descended into hell" clause, just as the previous anon user did. There's not much use in constantly going back and forth. Since the text is a translation, it seems much more fruitful to simply list alternatives rather than argue (or revert-war) back and forth. I therefore added the ICET text (since that is the only text about which I know the translation history) as one widely used translation. I strongly encourage others with alternate translations to add them in addition (before, after sideways :-) to this text instead of altering it. My hope is that this will give a fair, NPOV view of a wide set of reasonable viewpoints and avoid fruitless reversions.

I'm of course open to alternative, constructive suggestions. Johnh 02:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

I should add, although I changed the prior translation to the ICET translation, I did so only because I don't know the correct source or citation for the prior translation. If someone can offer it, I'm all for putting that translation back on the page in addition to the ICET version. Johnh 02:37, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

If there was any historically-significant attested variant of the creed which omitted the "decended into hell" clause then it would almost certainly be mentioned at . All that's shown there is one particular loosely-periphrastic Greek translation (certainly never accepted as authoritative by any church) which replaces the "decended into Hell" clause with a vague reference to Jesus' burial and resurrection. Since I don't think that any scholarly-respectable English translation would omit the "descended into hell" clause, I've replaced the call for other English translations with a reference to the page. --AnonMoos


I reverted Cmdrjameson's change capitalizing catholic. While often capitalized when refering to the Roman Catholic Church, my understanding is that in the creed, the word is used in the sense of "universal", in which case it is not capitalized. Johnh 03:56, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

but this is exactly not what the creed is saying. You've changed it for your own personal preference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
General capitalization conventions have varied greatly from medieval Latin manuscripts to the 16th/17th century Book of Common Prayer to modern English, so I don't see why we can't adjust the capitalization in order to convey the intended meaning to readers of modern English... AnonMoos (talk) 23:58, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

19thC controversy[edit]

In the nineteenth century, I think the Athanasian Creed became controversial in some circles in America and Western Europe because of its claims to exclusivity of salvation (I once read that some of the Bronte sisters didn't like it for that reason, but I don't really have any sources at hand now). It would be nice if this could be mentioned on the page and placed in context. AnonMoos 03:37, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

"Western Church"[edit]

Does the "Western Church" mean the Roman Catholic Church, or does it mean all (Nicene) western churches, including, for instance, Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed, Methodist, etc.? john k 19:52, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Arabic version[edit]

It would interesting if an Arabic version of the Athanasian Creed could be found. This way, it could be used to reduce misconceptions about the Holy Trinity among Muslims. ADM (talk) 19:35, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

One translation is probably included in the materials at (especially file rb4105a.pdf), and my own modest contribution to the subject was the graphic Image:Christian-Trinity-vs-Quran.png (which was rejected from inclusion at the Islamic view of the Trinity article), as well as the graphic ar:File:Turs-ul-Iman_Shi'ar-uth-Thaluth.png on Arabic Wikipedia. However, such things are really not at all likely to significantly change the opinions of a significant number of people... AnonMoos (talk) 21:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


What's the point of having the whole creed in Latin, without an English translation? It seems inappropriate for a quarter of an English article to be unreadible to an Englsih speaker. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

There have been repeated cycles of moving the text out to Wikisource (see ), then back here, then out there again. Unfortunately, most of the people who re-add an English version to this article insist on adding the old 16th-century Anglican Book of Common Prayer version, which creates problems when incorporated into this article, since it's phrased in very archaic language, and includes a very strange translation (arguably an out-and-out incorrect mistranslation) of the Latin word immensus into English as "incomprehensible"[sic]. I personally have no objection to adding texts to this article -- but if only one English translation of the Creed is to be added to this article, then it cannot be the old Book of Common Prayer version. However, if the text is added, then other people might move it back out to wikisource again... AnonMoos (talk) 02:39, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I've added the current 1979 ECUSA BCP translation, which is in the public domain. You can argue about it, but it's going to be next to impossible to come up with some other translation which is (in some sense of the word) current and legal. Mangoe (talk) 02:55, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
If you don't like that translation, find one we can use! Mangoe (talk) 15:05, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
That does not strictly follow. I have very strong objections to any translation which perpetuates the strange immensus-"incomprehensible" garbling of the classic 1662 BCP (already pointed out in the 19th century (as seen at linked above), but that doesn't necessarily mean that there will be an acceptable alternative out there). UPDATE: Just right now had a brilliant idea -- take the text from that references, but using most of the alternatives in square brackets, to be preferred over the 1662 BCP readings (with a few exceptions, such as "Hades" etc.); this will eliminate some of the objectionable features of the 1662 translation, while also modernizing the English text to a slight degree; it's a temporary stopgap, of course, but I think it works reasonably well for right now... AnonMoos (talk) 16:10, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I think it would be reasonable to adopt the "schaff" readings as footnotes to the words in question; I'd also welcome using the current official RC translation if it could legally be used. Part of the issue I see is that, bad translation or not (and really, the problem is that it is archaic), it is the version recognized by most churches. I've found what I expect would be a more acceptable translation here on EWTN, but it has no other provenance and the copyright is anyone's guess. If we could get the current RC ICEL translation and free of copyright I think that would probably be the best choice, but I haven't come up with a source. I've appended a note as to Schaff's original source. Mangoe (talk) 16:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

What's the first word?[edit]

I am finding a mixture of sources, of authority all over the map, for the first word of the Latin. Some say "Quicunque", while others say "Quicumque". Can we find a definitive source for this? Schaff and the 1979 American BCP opt for "Quicunque", for what that's worth. Mangoe (talk) 19:38, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

They're just sort of alternative spellings. Quicumque is more etymological (reflecting the word's origins from the three separate words qui, cum, que), while Quicunque probably reflects more closely how the word was often pronounced... AnonMoos (talk) 20:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, we have people starting to change the article for consistency, so it would be good if we could pick a definitive spelling (the Vatican would be nice, for instance) and stick with that. Mangoe (talk) 21:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
User:HJJJr (who has a grand total of exactly one edit) objected to the Latin name of the creed being "Quicumque vult" and the first words of the Latin text version being "Quicunque vult", but I'm really not sure that's something we should be greatly be concerned with. If we can validly harmonize things, then we should, of course, but if we can't, then it's simply not any kind of meaningful "contradiction" in any sense that undermines the usefulness of the article... AnonMoos (talk) 23:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

recent anonymous IP edits[edit]

I really don't see that we need equivocations on the word "catholic", or a raw data-dump from Schaff (who was a lot more concerned about producing a scholarly apparatus than an overall readable translation). Note that one feature (the glossing of the word "hell" as "Hades, spirit-world") appears to reflect Schaff's own personal theological positions, not true scholarship, which is why it was excluded from the previous version of the article (as briefly mentioned above)... AnonMoos (talk) 17:48, 8 August 2011 (UTC)


Is it just me, or does anyone else find the translation of the second line very awkwardly worded? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

It's 1662 A.D. English; the language has changed in 350 years. There have been copyright problems with using good modern translations here, as mentioned above. AnonMoos (talk) 15:20, 19 January 2012 (UTC)


What is meant by "making negative statements about the people's fate: 'They that have done good shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.'?" does negative mean they are stating something is false, r do they mean negative as in bad? The first sense i don't think applies here. I'm confused. (talk) 20:06, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

It's supposed to mean that the Athanasian creed is more emphatic and assertive about the existence of eternal afterlife punishments than previous creeds were... AnonMoos (talk) 14:43, 7 March 2012 (UTC)