The PostBarthian
30Dec/142

Jürgen Moltmann’s Proposed Additions to the Creed

(source: wikipedia)

Illuminated Manuscript of the Apostles' Creed circa 13th Century (source: wikipedia)

The Apostles' Creed does not say anything about Jesus' life after he was 'born of the Virgin Mary' until he was 'crucified under Pontius Pilate'. The other great Christian symbol, the Nicene Creed, likewise does not inform us of the person and work of Jesus Christ between his birth and crucifixion. This omission has not gone without notice, and many have pointed out these unspoken events are represented by the comma in the Creeds where they might have been added.

Jürgen Moltmann has made a famous Proposed Addition that may be inserted in these creeds, not to change what was said, but to say what was left unsaid in the comma. The Proposed Additions confesses "the messianic and social mission of Jesus Christ".

The following two quotations from The Way of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ for Today's World that have the Proposed Additions to the Creed, and I've also included the Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed with these Proposed Additions insert in the respective locations at the end of this post.

Traditional christology stressed only the theological person of the God-man Jesus Christ. Modern eschatological theology stressed the eschatological person of Jesus Christ. The most recent contextual christologies have disclosed the social person of Jesus Christ. These last two developments have again begun to take seriously the messianic and social mission of Christ, over against the histology of the Nicene and Apostles' creeds; for in these creeds there is either nothing at all, or really no more than a comma, between 'and was made man, he suffered' or 'born' and 'suffered . . .'. We cannot close this chapter on the messianic mission of Jesus Christ without offering a suggestion for an addition to these two ancient creeds of the church. The intention is not to alter the words of tradition; but one must know what has to be added in thought. After 'born of the Virgin Mary' or 'and was made man', we should add something along the following lines:

Baptized by John the Baptist,
filled with the Holy Spirit:
to preach the kingdom of God to the poor,
to heal the sick,
to receive those who have been cast out,
to revive Israel for the salvation of the nations, and
to have mercy upon all people

Moltmann, Jürgen. The Way of Jesus Christ. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993. 149-50. Print.


The Moltmanniac recently reviewed Jürgen Moltmann: Collected Readings, and this excellent reader contains Moltmann's Proposed Additions to the Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed from The Way of Life. The Moltmanniac shared an alternate version of Moltmann's Proposed Addition to the creeds from Jesus Christ for Today's World:

I have always missed this presence of the earthly Jesus in the Christian creeds. Why is it reduced to a mere comma between ‘born” and ‘suffered’? Ought we not to add – at least in thought -

Baptized by John the Baptist,
filled with the Holy Spirit
to proclaim God’s kingdom to the poor,
to heal the sick
to receive the rejected,
to awaken Israel for the salvation of the nations,
and to have mercy on all human beings

Moltmann, Jürgen. Jesus Christ for Today's World. Trans. M. Kohl. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994. 3-4. Print.

The following table includes the Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed with Moltmann's Proposed Additions. In the first, I've used the version from The Way of Jesus Christ and in the Nicene Creed, I've inserted the form from Jesus Christ for Today's World. I've put the Filioque in the Nicene in bold-strike to highlight Moltmann's criticism of the Filioque as "superfluous" in a chapter of The Spirit of Life title "Is the Filioque Addition to the Nicene Creed Superfluous or Necessary?". I also note that Moltmann has in other writings questioned whether the Filioque has done more than reduce the Holy Spirit to an animal and serves now only to keep the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church separated.

Apostles Creed
(Including Moltmann's Proposed Additions
form from
The Way of Jesus Christ)
Nicene Creed
(Including Moltmann's Proposed Additions
form from
Jesus Christ for Today's World)
1. I believe in God the Father Almighty [Maker of heaven and earth].2. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;3. Who was [conceived] by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;

Baptized by John the Baptist,
filled with the Holy Spirit:
to preach the kingdom of God to the poor,
to heal the sick,
to receive those who have been cast out,
to revive Israel for the salvation of the nations, and
to have mercy upon all people

4. [Suffered] under Pontius Pilate, was crucified [dead], and buried
[He descended into Hell (Hades)];

5. The third day he rose from the dead;

6. He ascended into heaven; and sitteth on the right hand of [God] the Father [Almighty];

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

8. [I believe] in the Holy Ghost;

9. The Holy [Catholic] Church
[The communion of saints];

10. The forgiveness of sins;

11. The resurrection of the body (flesh);

12. [And the life everlasting].

(The Old Roman Form is in brackets)

1. We [I] believe in one God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth,
And of all things visible and invisible.2. And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
Begotten of the Father before all worlds;
[God of God],
Light of Light.
Very God of very God,
Begotten, not made,
Being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made;3. Who, for us men, and for our salvation,
came down from heaven,
And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of
the Virgin Mary,
And was made man

Baptized by John the Baptist,
filled with the Holy Spirit
to proclaim God’s kingdom to the poor,
to heal the sick
to receive the rejected,
to awaken Israel for the salvation of the nations,
and to have mercy on all human beings

4. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
And suffered and was buried;

5. And the third day he rose again,
According to the Scriptures;

6. And ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of the Father;

7. And he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.

8. And [I believe] in the Holy Ghost,
The Lord, and Giver of life;
Who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son];
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified;
Who spake by the Prophets.

9. And [I believe] in one holy catholic and apostolic Church;

10. We [I] acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;

11. And we [I] look for the resurrection of the dead;

12. And the life of the world to come.

(Enlarged A.D. 381 form. The words in brackets are Western changes.)

Schaff, Philip. The Creeds of Christendom: With a History and Critical Notes. Vol. I. New York: Harper, 1877. Print.

The Proposed Additions created a viral response when I shared them on my @PostBarthian twitter handle.

creed-twitter

 

 

Posted by Wyatt

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  1. Thank you for this. I appreciate the sourcing and the side-by-side layouts!


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