Creed as Verbum Breviatum

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Tarmo Toom


This article is about what creed as such was taken to be in early Christianity. It was believed to be what Romans 9:28 terms as verbum breviatum [Dei]. As a summary of Scripture and Christian faith, it rested on the apostolic authority. Yet, in time, there came to be many different ‘summaries of Scripture’ and, consequently, a need for certain hermeneutical criteria became evident. Various problems which became apparent with the proliferation of different creeds contributed to the reasons why confessing creed(s) was later discontinued altogether in some churches. The aim of this article is to revive the early Christian perception of creeds and encourage the use of the universally accepted ancient creeds (i.e. the Apostles’ Creed and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed) in the worship services of those churches which for one or another reason no longer confess them.

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Tarmo Toom

Tarmo Toom, a native of Estonia, is a patristic scholar who is teaching at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.