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Old Roman Creed

(397 words)

Author(s): Wyrwa, Dietmar
“Old Roman Creed,” or “Romanum,” is the scholarly name for the earlier and shorter form of the Apostles’ Creed as we have it in its original Greek (with probably also a simultaneous Latin edition) in Marcellus (d. ca. 374) and Rufinus (ca. 345–411) and three MSS from the early Middle Ages. It was evidently the baptismal creed of the early Roman church (Baptism). The baptismal questions that have come down to us from Hippolytus (d. ca. 236) at the beginning of the third century are an almost exact prototype of this creed. Dating of the Old Roman Creed is difficult. A starting point…

Donatists

(785 words)

Author(s): Wyrwa, Dietmar
1. The Donatists were a North African schismatic church of the fourth and early fifth centuries. They fell into schism because, against the realities of their own time, they wished to be loyal to the ancient principles inherited from Tertullian (ca. 160-ca. 225) and Cyprian (ca. 200–258). With naive enthusiasm they clung to the ideal of a Spirit-filled church of saints and martyrs that could not tolerate anything unclean and that therefore had to suffer persecution. The main period also saw an infusion of social and revolutionary elemen…

Rule of Faith

(713 words)

Author(s): Wyrwa, Dietmar | Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
1. Early Church The phrase “rule of faith” (regula fidei), equivalent to “rule of truth,” is a term and concept that we first find in Irenaeus (ca. 130–ca. 200). It then occurs in almost all second- and third-century church fathers but is less common in Constantinian usage. As the defining genitive shows, what is meant is the substance of Christian faith, or truth as a standard and normative authority. In the rule of faith the church has preserved the quintessence of Christian belief, and it has shown its fidelity to the apostolic tradition by maintaining the r…