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Dogma, History of

(888 words)

Author(s): Meijering, Eginhard P.
The task of the history of dogma is to trace the development of the dogmas that the church has formulated. The task is closely tied to that of the history of theology, for theologians have influenced the formulation of the dogmas. No history of dogma was possible in the early church or the Middle Ages because the content of the Christian faith was then regarded as unalterably fixed from the beginning. This immutability was presupposed even in the heresies that were combatted, for, in the eyes of the orthodox, heretics were always ultim…

Apostles’ Creed

(898 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič | Meijering, Eginhard P.
1. History and Setting The Apostles’ Creed, an early confession (Confession of Faith), was first referred to as the Symbolum apostolorum in a letter from the Council of Milan (390) to Pope Syricius (384–99). According to an ancient tradition, its text arose from an attempt by the apostles to formulate a common rule of faith, with each apostle contributing a statement. This story, told by T. Rufinus (ca. 345–411), is merely a legend, but it does illustrate the high esteem in which the text was held. The setting of the Apostles’ Creed was early Christian baptism. Statements of fai…