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Two Creeds of Epiphanius. A.D. 374.

Ancoratus, cap. 119, 120.

Epiphanius, the learned champion of a narrow and intolerant orthodoxy, was born in Palestine about 310, of Jewish parentage; Bishop of Salamis or Constantia, the capital of the island of Cyprus, 367; died at sea, 403. He has preserved to us two creeds at the close of his work Ancoratus ( ὁ ἀγκύρωτος, secured as by an anchor, the Anchored One), which was written in 33373 or 374, at the request of several presbyters in Pamphylia, as an exposition of the Nicene faith of the Holy Trinity, in opposition to the heresies of his age. The creeds are given as brief summaries of the preceding instruction. See Epiphanii 0pera, ed. Petavius, Tom. II. pp. 122 sqq.; ed. Migne, Patrol. Vol. XLIII. pp. 231 sqq.; also Hahn, l.c. pp. 56 sqq.; and Swainson, l.c. pp. 85 sqq. Comp. my Church History, Vol. III. pp. 926 sqq.

 

First Formula.

This is the shorter formula, and is chiefly interesting for its literal agreement with the fuller Nicene Creed as adopted, according to the current opinion, seven years afterwards by the second œcumenical Council (381). At the same time, it retains several clauses from the original Nicene Creed (325), especially 'Light of Light,' and the concluding anathema against the Arians. Epiphanius introduces this formula by the remark that 'this is the holy faith of the Catholic Church ( τὴν ἁγίαν πίστιν τῆς καθολικῆς ἐκκλησίας ), as the holy and only Virgin of God [i.e., the pure Church] received it from the holy Apostles and the Lord to keep,' and that 'every person preparing for the holy laver of baptism must learn it as the common mother of us all confesses it, saying, We believe,' etc.

 

Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα,

We believe in one God the Father Almighty,

ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ τε καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων·

Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;

Καὶ εἰς ἕνα Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν,

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ,

the only-begotten Son of God,

τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων,

begotten of the Father before all worlds,

τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ Πατρὸς,

that is, of the substance of the Father,

φῶς ἐκ φωτὸς,

Light of Light,

Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἁληθινοῦ,

very God of very God,

γεννηθέντα, οὐ ποιηθέντα,

begotten, not made,

ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί·

being of one substance (consubstantial) with the Father;

δἰ οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο, τὰ τε ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ·

by whom all things were made, both those in the heavens and those on earth;

τὸν δἰ ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν,

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven.

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καὶ σαρκωθέντα ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένον, καὶ ἐνανθρωπησάντα·

and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

σταυρωθέντα τε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου,

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,

καὶ παθόντα, καὶ ταφέντα,

and suffered, and was buried;

καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ,

and the third day He rose again,

κατὰ τὰς γραφάς·

according to the Scriptures;

καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς,

and ascended into heaven,

καὶ καθεζόμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Πατρὸς,

and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;

καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενον μετὰ δόξης

and he shall come again, with glory,

κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς·

to judge the quick and the dead;

οὗ τῆς βασιλείας οὐκ ἔσται τέλος ·

of whose kingdom shall be no end;

Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον,

And in the Holy Ghost,

κύριον, καὶ ζωοποιὸν,

the Lord, and Giver of life,

τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον,

who proceedeth from the Father,

τὸ σὺν Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον,

who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,

τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν ·

who spake by the Prophets;

εἰς μίαν ἁγίαν καθολικὴν καὶ ἀποστολικὴν Ἐκκλησίαν ·

in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;

ὁμολογοῦμεν ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν ·

we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

προσδοκῶμεν ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν,

and we look for the resurrection of the dead;

καὶ ζωὴν τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος.

and the life of the world to come.

Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, ἦν ποτὲ ὅτε οὐκ ἦν, καὶ πρὶν γεννηθῆναι οὐκ ἦν, ἢ ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐγένετο, ἢ ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας, φάσκοντας εἶναι ῥευστὸν 3636    Substituted for κτιστὸν ἢ τρεπτόν, made or changeable, in the Nicene Formula of 325. ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ Υἱὸν, τούτους ἀναθεματίζει ἡ καθολικὴ καὶ ἀποστολικὴ Ἐκκλησία.

But those who say, 'There was a time when he was not,' and, 'He was not before he was begotten,' or, 'He was made of nothing [of things that are not],' or 'of another substance or essence,' saying that the Son of God is effluent3737    Substituted for κτιστὸν ἢ τρεπτόν, made or changeable, in the Nicene Formula of 325. or variable, these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.

 

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Note.—Epiphanius adds: 'And this faith was delivered from the holy Apostles and in the Church, [in] the holy city, from all the holy bishops ( ἀπὸ πάντων ὁμοῦ τῶν ἁγίων ἐπισκόπων ), together more than three hundred and ten in number.' This evidently refers to the Council of Nicæa (which consisted of three hundred and eighteen bishops), and corrects the preceding statement of the apostolic origin of the Nicene Creed, which is true only of the substance, not of the form. But the reference itself is incorrect; for the creed of Epiphanius does not agree with the original Nicene Creed of 325, but word for word with the Nicæno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381, except that it retains from the former the clauses τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ Πατρός, θεὸν ἐκ θεοῦ, and the concluding anathema, which was wisely omitted by the Council of Constantinople. It is evident, therefore, that the important clauses which that council added to the original Nicene Creed, especially after the words 'in the Holy Ghost,' existed at least as early as 374, and in part much earlier, since some of them are found also in Cyril (348), and even in the heretical creed of Arius, as well as in the Western creeds of Tertullian and Irenæus. It is questionable whether the Council of Constantinople adopted a new creed differing from that of Nicæa. It appears, indeed, in the seventh canon of the Constantinopolitan Council (in Mansi's Collection, Tom. III. pp. 564 and 565), but it is wanting in the paraphrase from the Arabic (in Mansi), among the canons of Johannes Scholasticus (d. 578), and in the epitome of Symeon Magister, who both give only six canons; nor is it mentioned by the Church historians Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, or by any document before the fourth œcumenical Council of Chalcedon, 451, where the enlarged Nicene Creed was adopted, though not without objection from the Egyptian bishops. It seems, therefore, that the additions to the Nicene Creed, while they certainly existed several years before 381, and may have been put forward at the Council of Constantinople, were, nevertheless, not generally received till 451, See Vol. I. p. 25; Lumby, l.c. pp. 71–84; Swainson, p. 95; Hort, pp. 73 sqq.

 

Second Formula.

The second formula of Epiphanius is his own production, and is an enlargement or paraphrase of the first, i.e., the Nicene Creed, with several additional clauses against heretical opinions, especially against Apollinarianism (comp. Ancor. c. 75–81) and Pneumatomachianism (comp. Ancor. c. 65–74). He introduces it by the remark: 'Inasmuch as several other heresies, one after another, have appeared in this our generation, that is, in the tenth year of the reign of the Emperors Valentinianus and Valens, and the sixth of Gratianus [i.e., A.D. 374], … you as well as we, and all the orthodox bishops—in one word, the whole Catholic Church, especially those who come to holy baptism—make the following confession, in agreement with the faith of those holy fathers above set forth,' etc. The formula was probably intended for converts from the Apollinarian, Pneumatomachian, and Origenistic heresies. As a general baptismal confession it is too long and minute.

 

Πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν Πατέρα παντοκράτορα,

We believe in one God the Father Almighty,

πάντων ἀοράτων τε καὶ ὁρατῶν ποιητήν ·

Maker of all things, invisible and visible;

Καὶ εἰς ἕνα Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν,

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ,

the Son of God,

γεννηθέντα ἐκ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς μονογενῆ,

the only-begotten Son of God the Father,

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τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ Πατρὸς,

that is, of the substance of the Father,

Θεὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ,

God of God,

Φῶς ἐκ Φωτὸς,

Light of Light,

Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ,

very God of very God,

γεννηθέντα οὐ ποιηθέντα,

begotten, not made,

ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί,

being of one substance with the Father,

δἰ οὗ τὰ παντὰ ἐγένετο, τὰ τε ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ γῇ, ὁρατά τε καὶ ἀόρατα ·

by whom all things were made, both those in the heavens and those on earth, things visible and invisible;

τὸν δἰ ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα, καὶ σαρκωθέντα,

who for us men, and for our salvation, came down, and was made flesh,

τουτέστι γεννηθέντα τελείως ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας Μαρίας τῆς ἀειπαρθένου διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου, ἐνανθρωπήσαντα,

that is, begotten perfectly of the holy ever-Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost, who became man,

τουτέστι τέλειον 3838     τέλειον, as also the preceding τελείως and the following νοῦν , are evidently directed against the Apollinarian heresy, which taught only a partial incarnation, and made the divine Logos take the place of the reasonable soul. ἄνθρωπον λαβόντα,

that is, assumed a perfect man,

ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα καὶ νοῦν καὶ πάντα, εἴ τι ἐστὶν ἄνθρωπος, χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας,

soul and body and mind (spirit), and all that belongs to man, without sin,

οὐκ ἀπὸ σπέρματος ἀνδρὸς, οὐδὲ ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ

not of the seed of man, nor in a man,

ὰλλ᾽ εἰς ἑαυτὸν σάρκα ἀναπλάσαντα εἰς μίαν ἁγίαν ἑνότητα,

but forming for himself flesh into one holy unity,

οὐ καθάπερ ἐν προφήταις ἐνέπνευσέ τε καὶ ἐλάλησε καὶ ἐνήργησεν,

not, as in the Prophets, where he breathed and spoke and wrought,

ἀλλὰ τελεὶως ἐνανθρωπήσαντα,

but he became perfectly man,

ὁ γὰρ Λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο,

for the Word became flesh,

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οὐ τροπὴν ὑποστὰς,

not undergoing any change,

οὐδὲ μεταβαλὼν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ θεότητα εἰς ἀνθρωπότητα,

nor converting his Godhead into Manhood,

εἰς μίαν συνενώσαντα ἐαυτοῦ ἁγίαν τελειότητα τε καὶ θεότητα

[but] uniting into his own one holy perfection and Godhead,

(εἳς γὰρ ἐστὶν Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ οὐ δύο,

(for there is one Lord Jesus Christ and not two,

ὁ αὐτὸς Θεὸς, ὁ αὐτὸς Κύρεος, ὁ αὐτὸς βασιλεύς)·

the same God, the same Lord, the same King);

παθὸντα δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν σαρκὶ,

the same suffered in the flesh;

καὶ ἀναστάντα,

and rose again;

καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ σώματι, 3939    Probably directed against Origen's view of the spiritual resurrection body.

and went up into heaven in the same body,

ἐνδόξως καθίσαντα ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ Πατρός·

sat down gloriously at the right hand of the Father;

ἐρχόμενον ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ σώματι ἐν δόξῃ

is coming in the same body in glory,

κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς·

to judge the quick and the dead;

οὗ τῆς βασιλείας οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.

of whose kingdom there shall be no end.

Καὶ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα πιστεύομεν,

And we believe in the Holy Ghost,

τὸ λαλῆσαν ἐν νόμῳ,

who spake in the Law,

καὶ κηρῦξαν ἐν τοῖς προφὴταις,

and preached in the Prophets,

καὶ καταβὰν ἐπὶ τὸν Ἱορδάνην,

and came down at the Jordan,

λαλοῦν ἐν ἁποστόλοις,

who speaks in Apostles,

οἰκοῦν ἐν ἁγίοις·

dwells in saints;

οὕτως δὲ πιστεύομεν ἐν αὐτῷ,

and thus we believe in Him,

ὅτι ἐστὶ Πνεῦμα ἅγιον,

that there is a Holy Spirit,

Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ,

a Spirit of God,

Πνεῦμα τέλειον,

a perfect Spirit,

Πνεῦμα παράκλητον,

a Paraclete Spirit,

ἄκτιστον,

uncreated,

ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον,

proceeding from the Father,

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καὶ ἐκ τοῦ Υἱοῦ λαμβανόμενον 4040    The codices read λαμβανόμενον and λαμβάνοντα. Caspari (Vol. I. p. 5) conjectures λαμβάνον with reference to John xvi. 14, ἐκ τοῦ ἐμοῦ λήμψεται, and Ancor. c. 7; Pan. hær. 74, c. 1, where Epiphanins uses λαμβάνον . καὶ πιστευόμενον.

and received [receiving] from the Son, and believed.

Πιστεύομεν εἰς μίαν καθολικὴν καὶ ἀποστολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν,

We believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church;

καὶ εἰς ἓν βάπτισμα μετανοίας,

and in one baptism of repentance;

καὶ εἰς ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν,

and in the resurrection of the dead;

καὶ κρίσιν δικαίαν ψυχῶν καὶ σωμάτων,

and in a righteous judgment of the souls and bodies;

καὶ εἰς βασιλείαν οὐρανῶν,

and in the kingdom of heaven;

καὶ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

and in life everlasting.

Τοὺς δὲ λέγοντας, ὅτι ἦν ποτὲ ὅτε οὐκ ἦν ὁ Υἱὸς ἢ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, ἢ ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐγένετο, ἢ ἐξ ἑτέρας ὑποστάσεως ἢ οὐσίας, φάσκοντας εἶναι τρεπτὸν ἢ ἀλλοιωτὸν τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἢ τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα, τούτους ἀναθεματίζει ἡ καθολικὴ καὶ ἡ ἀποστολικὴ ἐκκλησία, ἡ μήτηρ ὐμῶν τε καὶ ἡμῶν. Καὶ παλὶν ἀναθεματίζομεν τοὺς μὴ ὁμολογοῦντας ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν, καὶ πάσας τὰς αἱρέσεις τὰς μὴ ἐκ ταύτης τῆς ὀρθῆς πίστεως οὔσας.

But those who say, 'There was a time when the Son or the Holy Ghost was not,' or, 'He was made of nothing,' or 'of a different substance or essence,' saying 'the Son of God or the Holy Ghost is changeable or variable,' these the Catholic and Apostolic Church, your and our mother, anathematizes. And again we anathematize those who will not confess the resurrection of the dead, and all the heresies which are not of this, the right faith.

 

Note.—This creed has a striking resemblance to the 'Interpretation of the [Nicene] Symbol' ( Ἑρμηνεία εἰς τὸ σύμβολον ), which is ascribed to St. Athanasius, and printed in the first volume of the Benedictine edition of his Works, pp. 1278 sq.; in Migne, Vol. XXVI. p. 1252; and in Caspari, Vol. I. pp. 2 sqq. Formerly overlooked by Walch and Hahn, it has been recently examined by Caspari (Vol. I. pp. 1–72), and conclusively proven to be an abridged modification of the formula of Epiphanius; for the original clauses of this formula agree in spirit and style with Epiphanius and with many passages of his Ancoratus and Panarium. Moreover, Athanasius died May 2, 373 (see Larsow, Die Festbriefe des heil. Athanasius, p. 46), i.e., about a year before the composition of the Ancoratus; and he was generally opposed to anti-heretical creeds beyond that of Nicæa, which he considered to be 'sufficient for the refutation of all impiety.' His Ἐκθεσις πίστεως (Hahn, pp. 175 sq.) is no proof to the contrary, for this is a subjective exposition of his personal faith, and was not intended to be a baptismal confession. Swainson (p. 89), without alluding to the lengthy discussion of Caspari, likewise denies the Athanasian authorship of the Ἐρμηνεία.

The Cappadocian Creed, ascribed to St. Basil, stands between the two Epiphanian Creeds, and is likewise an enlargement of the Nicene Creed with reference to the Apollinarian heresy. See Hort, pp. 120 sqq.

 


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