Why was the English Version of the Creed changed?

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I have been in several discussion of late with people who do not believe Christ received his humanity from Mary . .

The Nicene Creed was brought up and here is the relevant portion

this agrees with the Latin version:

he “was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and was made man”

The Latin is:

“Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est”

The Creed in my missal says this instead:

“he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the virgin Mary, and became man.”

Why are we using a Creed that is very different in its actual language from the ancient Creed and what the Latin says?

Peace in Him!
A good question which, I believe, must be addresed to Pope Paul VI. I believe he is credited with its composition. The correctly translated words you quoted were carefully composed to affirm the Motherhood of God and the Hypostatic Union of the natures of man and God. If your friend believes in the Holy Scriptures, I suggest a very careful, slow, and repeated study of the opening chapters of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke.

Remember, the Triune God requires satisfaction for all sins starting with the sins of pride and disobediance of our first parents. It was mankind that sinned and, therefore, the reparation must be performed by mankind. However, not the most horrible sufferings of all mankind, from Adam through the last human, could possibly equal the effect of anyone of mankinds sins. Only God had the power to provide sufficient redemption. Therefore, God chose to become man to suffer for man with His Divine capacity for redemption. He could have just appeared as a man, but He chose to undergo the entire experience of manhood as an example and sign to man that He loves us infinitily. His two natures remained complete, unmixed, and undiluted. He chose the most perfect of all His creation, a Jewish girl named Mary, to carry out this plan.

Besides the Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church attested to this many times, the earlist I have read is in a number of letters written by St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca. A.D. 110) on his way to be martyred. The doctrine of “theotokos” (phonetic of Greek word) declares Mary to be the true Mother of the God-Man, the Christ Jesus. Hope something in there will help. It is very difficult to explain the “communion of saints” which is important to a bekief in the importance of Mary, because protestants lost that concept shortly after their separation from the Church.
Thank you for your reply . .

I guess I was more looking for the “why” it was changed . . did it also change in latin? Or does the latin still reflect what I pointed out above?

The Orthodox already have problems with us adding in the filioque, though I think this is a tempest in a tea pot.

What I am trying to find out is specifically why the wording was changed . . . it is not at all as clear as it used to be that Mary participated by giving something of herself . . Previously, it clearly showed that Mary participated in the incarnation, that Jesus received his flesh and humanity from her, and did not merely become a “container” to gestate Jesus as some outside the Church would have it mean the way it is worded now . .

It seems the current modern wording weakens the Creed instead of strengthens it . . So I am asking for more information specifically about this.

Originally the change was made, illicitly, my local bishops trying to protect their flocks against the Arian heresy.
Oops! The above post was meant in reference to the filioque.

I have no answer to your original question, except that I think the translators of the Missal made some very diabolical, conscious decisions to water-fown the sacredness of many of the prayers, the Creed included.
Oops! The above post was meant in reference to the filioque.

I have no answer to your original question, except that I think the translators of the Missal made some very diabolical, conscious decisions to water-fown the sacredness of many of the prayers, the Creed included.
I am wondering if this does present a watering down in the US of the creed . . that is in part why I am asking . .

Peace in Him!
It’s dumbing down, I think, in the sense that it abandons the Creed’s traditional wording, to reflect more modern ways of thinking. Such initiatives deemphasize the sacredness of a text, and mak the surrounding liturgy more “worldly” I believe.

The proposed revision of the Missal in English words it the following way: “and by the Holy Spirit became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.”
Thank you so much for that information.

I hope that at least they do this much! 🙂

I have been in several conversations with non-Catholics who, in their zeal to demote Mary from any and all positions of importance in a reaction to how they have preceived the Catholic’s veneration of Mary, go so far as to deny that Jesus received his humanity from Mary, that she contributed in any way to his formation in her womb, other than to provide a place to grow within her, and be born . .

The wording of the creeds is often referred to as justification for such a position. I have been involved with a Christian site that, in theory, requires that everyone who posts in the Christian Only section adhere to the Nicene Creed . … yet, of course, there are always elements that are not adhered to by many of our Protestant brethern, such as One Baptism for the Remission of Sins.

But I have been encountering more and more this idea that Mary contributed nothing to Jesus’ humanity, and turning to the Apostle’s Creed and this version of the Nicene Creed to support their position . . it has me more than a little disturbed that it was changed like this.

Do you have any idea when this proposed missal may be approved? That change is a great improvement, but it would be much better in m opinion to go back to the original wording. 🙂


Peace in Him!
In the Daily Roman Missal.1998, There are two versions of the
Nicene Creed.The version for use in the UK, Australia, etc.has the
wording ’ by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.’ This follows more closely the original latin. The other version you quote would seem
to be used in the US and a few other English speaking countries.
We certainly use the above version here in Australia and always
sorry, er, I am a spaniard and the previous english version seems a worse translation than the new one.
This sounds like something similar to what was done with “Et cum spiritu tuo.” I think there is a tendency in the U.S. to avoid including things in the Mass that don’t flow naturally off the tongue.

The U.S. is not known for its appreciation of elevated language.That’s often viewed as pretentious.
I have been in several discussion of late with people who do not believe Christ received his humanity from Mary . .

Ask your doubting friends what they think about Genesis 3:15, which is an obvious reference Mary and “her seed”. That certainly indicates a physical connection to Mary’s body. Every other place in the Bible this kind of “seed” is referred to as from a man. Not in Genesis 3:15 and its fullfilment in Jesus’ incarnation from the “seed” of Mary by the Holy Spirit. She is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son and the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Sorry this does not address your question about the Creed.
The English version of a lot of our liturgical prayers are not as faithful to the vulgate as the Holy Father thinks they should be. I don’t know why this happened. Could be the various bodies that made the translations had their own agendas.

A few years ago the document Liturgiam Authenticam was published to help illuminate us, and our pastors may God belss them, on what good translations for the liturgy should be. This link is a good article summarizing Liturgiam Authenticam, and links you also to the source document.

I hope it means we’ll see more faithful translations in the future.

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