There are two main forms of the Apostles’ Creed, the first is the Old Roman form and the second is the Received form of the Apostles’ Creed.
- The Old Roman Form:
The Old Roman version of the Apostles’ Creed is taken from the Greek of Marcellus, of Ancyra, 341 AD. It says,
“I believe in God the Father Almighty. And in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; (the life everlasting).”
The last phrase is absent in the Latin form preserved by Rufinus, 390 AD.
- The Received Form
The Received version of the creed says, “I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of Heaven and Earth; and in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) 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 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.”
- Originally when the Holy Ghost was spoken of, it was speaking of the Holy Ghost spoken of by the apostles’. This is the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit, that was poured out on the day of Pentecost, in which they received the power to be witnesses and spoke in other tongues (Acts 1: 4-8; 2:4; 2:16-21). This was the expected normal experience throughout the early Church. The promise of the Holy Ghost is available to believers today, for the promise is to “as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:37-39; 8:4-8, 12-17; 10:44-47; 19:5-6). Notice there is a distinction between those who believe and the believer who receives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is received by faith the same as salvation, a healing, a miracle, or wisdom from God (Galatians 3:2-5; James 1:5-8). It is received by asking in faith and then waiting in faith until you have received the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; 24:49; Acts 5:32).
- The term catholic means universal. The term is speaking of the universal Church or the world-wide whole body of Christ. It is not referring to the Catholic religious institution as we know it today.
We believe in the Apostles’ Creed as it was originally intended being established upon the beliefs of the Apostles’. We prefer the way the Received version is worded due to the calcification of Jesus being conceived by the Holy Ghost or Spirit. As with the original wording, the term holy church included believers everywhere, so the Received version uses the word catholic meaning universal Church.