Credo: Engaging the Nicene Creed
This is not a reflection paper espousing whatever ideas come to mind; it is a scholarly research paper. The goal of the paper is to unpack what the original creed writers were trying to communicate through the creed. You are unpacking their thoughts; you are not telling me about your own. You will need to use at least 7 scholarly sources (books and/or journal articles) for each paper. Your Olson and Noll textbooks can be (but do not need to be) secondary sources. The Bible is not a secondary source. Check with the librarian for proper “secondary” sources; in short, they must be directly about the primary source, namely the Nicene Creed.
The paper will be structured as follows:
Introduction (1 page)
In this section you will outline the background history of the Nicene Council and formation of the Nicene Creed. Use this section to set up the content of the creed itself.
Body of the Paper ( 6 pages)
In the main section of the paper, you will analyze the claims made in the Nicene Creed. This means unpacking what the original authors were intending by the claims. Again, this isn’t your interpretation of the claims; this is researching and unpacking the original authors’ intent. In particular, I want you to analyze the following claims contained in the Creed:
“God, the Father, the Almighty”
“Jesus Christ…eternally begotten of the Father”
“…true God from true God, of one being with the Father…”
“He came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he was made man”
“His kingdom shall have no end”
“The Holy Spirit…who proceeds from the Father and the Son”
“One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”
“the resurrection of the dead”
Conclusion (approx.. ¾ page)
In this section, I want you to evaluate the Nicene Creed. Does it have a purpose for today? Do the claims made in the Creed still hold today? What use should Christian make of the Creed, if any? How should the Creed function, if at all, for the contemporary church? Make sure that you don’t just make statements; make sure to make arguments. If you make a statement, you need to back it up with an argument.
Scriptural Citations Page
Included at the end of your paper will be a “scriptural citations” sheet. On this sheet, include scriptural verses that support each of the claims of the Creed. For example, the Creed states, “God…maker of heaven and earth.” Where in scripture would we get such an idea? Provide a list of scripture verses and the corresponding claim in the Creed. E.g.,
“He came down from heaven” – John 1:14
Your paper will follow the Chicago Manual of Style format (see website: www.chicagomanualofstyle.org). There is a “Quick Guide” on the homepage for easy reference regarding proper citations of scholarly sources.
The paper should be double-spaced, 12pt font, Times New Romans, 1” margins on left and right, page numbers included in upper right corner. Footnote citations should be in 12pt font, single-spaced, 1’ margins left and right.
You will be graded on grammar, syntax, format, page length, proper secondary sources, depth of research, accuracy of claims and creativity of presentation.