Although not written by the apostles, the Apostles’ Creed is a concise summary of their teachings. It originated as a Christian baptismal confession, probably in the second century, and developed into its present form no later than the seventh century, though some maintain its completion by as early as the fourth century. Used by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox alike, it may rightly be called the ecumenical creed of Christianity.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son,* our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,* born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell;* the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick* and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*Some versions read “only begotten Son” and “Holy Spirit” which we affirm as the intended meaning of these phrases.
* By “descended into hell” we understand that Christ suffered the pains of eternal punishment for elect sinners. For details, see John Calvin’s comments on this article of the Creed from his Institutes of the Christian Religion.
*By “catholic church” we understand “universal church,” not Roman Catholicism.
*The reference to “the quick” is to those who are alive at the Lord’s second advent. Accordingly, some versions read “the living and the dead.”