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Judaism does not accept Jesus in large part because of the beliefs contained in this document. When the Jewish sect Jesus established became Christianity it abandoned Torah and Judaism. When they adopted this Creed that division was finalized.
The Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council of the Catholic Church in 325 CE. This document presents the foundational dogma of virtually all Christian denominations and sects. The Creed is included here as a matter of education to Christians in what Judaism is not and to Jews as a reminder of what Christianity is. No one who accepts the teachings of this document can be considered religiously Jewish nor Torah observant. The Creed has been updated several times however the following is generally viewed as the most authoritative English presentation of this document.
The Nicene Creed of 325 and 381
The following table presents the earlier (325 CE) and later (381 CE) forms of the Creed in the English translation as given in Philip Schaff's work, Creeds of Christendom.
The numbers prior to the verses are added to indicate my comments on those points.
First Council of Nicea (325) First Council of Constantinople (381) 1. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. 2. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. 3. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; 4. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; 5. By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made; 6. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; 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; 7. He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; 8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick [living] and the dead. from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick [living] and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. 9. And in the Holy Ghost. 10. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. 11. In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. 12. [But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]
What's Wrong with the Nicene Creed?
3. This heresy (along with the dogma of the Trinity) is the most anti-biblical of Nicene Christian doctrines and is a major reason why Jews reject Jesus.
4. "Before all worlds (æons)" was specifically added to oppose the more biblical teachings of Bishop Arius (after whom the word "Arianism" was coined). Bishop Arius was one of the last outspoken monotheists of the Christian religion. He was excommunicated and later reinstated, but forbidden to discuss the truth of God's absolute oneness and the fallacy of the Catholic god-man dogma.
The implication of: "...was incarnate by the Holy Ghost..." is of the Holy Ghost as a separate entity (as will be confirmed below). The Holy Spirit (or Ruach HaKodesh) is not the "Third Person" of a Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of HaShem, akin to the Shekinah. HaShem is One, not three.
5. "All things" were made by HaShem without any mediator. HaShem alone is the Creator.
6. HaShem alone grants salvation to whomsoever He chooses. At His Word souls enter the world and at His Word they depart. No one but HaShem is required for "our salvation." A virgin birth is certainly within HaShem's power however a child conceived by form of divine intervention (like Isaac and others) is still a human being. HaShem has no form and no one has nor will ever see Him. He does not incarnate.
7. This is the teaching of the New Testament, that he suffered, died on a stake, and rose from the dead on the third day. The Christian idea of the atonement however that is derived from this claim violates Torah on numerous points:
- Torah forbids human sacrifices.
- Torah demands that each person be held accountable for his/her own sins.
- Sacrifices must take place in the temple precincts: Jesus was killed outside the walls of the city.
- The blood must be collected: His fell to the earth.
- Sacrifices must be conducted by the temple priests: He was killed by Roman Pagans.
There are numerous reasons why his execution does not qualify as a Torah approved sacrifice.
8. HaShem is the supreme judge who decides the final fate of humanity.
9. Not specific enough however the belief that the Holy Spirit is the "third person of a trinity" has no biblical support and disregards the way the terms is used throughout the Bible.
10. Heresy: "The Lord and Giver of life" The Ruach HaKodesh is not a "Lord" and has no individual existence. The Holy Spirit is the Presence of HaShem.
"Who proceedeth from the Father": The Ruach HaKodesh is not a "who."
"Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified: Only HaShem is to be worshiped. Worshiping Jesus or the Holy Spirit as an entity is a serious offense of idolatry against Torah and against HaShem.
"Who spake by the prophets": Again, HaShem spoke through the prophets by His Presence, not as a third person.
11. Jesus did not create a new religion. Christianity was established by Constantine and his Roman Pagan Bishops. Jesus remained Jewish and affirmed that the eternal Covenant of HaShem is with the Jewish people forever. The only religion authorized by the Bible is Judaism for Jews and the Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noach or Seven Noahide Laws for non-Jews.
Baptism (nor immersion in the mikvah from which the Christian rite is derived) alone can not remit sins. Immersion signifies only that one has had ones sins forgiven by HaShem through teshuvah or repentance and desires to live a godly life. Immersion of itself is only a bath and when done outside the auspices of Jewish authority is meaningless.
12. These points are directly and intentionally intended to oppose the biblical teaching that indeed "There was a time when he was not" as Paul makes clear at Colossians 1:15.
The phrase: "He is of another substance' or 'essence," is deceptive. Originally only Ain Soph (the Eternal), the "Echad Elohim" (the One God) existed. All existence came from Him and all existence is ultimately of his 'substance' or 'essence.' The attempt here is to elevate the Catholic Jesus above other mortals (in contradiction of Hebrews 2:11 and other verses) and deify him. The wording was meant to trap people like Bishop Arius with a "Do you still beat your wife" conundrum. It is philosophically a 'cheap shot.'
"They are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church." Based on this formal condemnation the Catholic Church and several of its daughter denominations executed millions of innocent people. They have no authority in heaven nor on earth. As Jesus said: Salvation is of the Jews -- John 4:22.
Practically all Christians, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, Netzarim, Messianic, Mormons, the various heterodoxies, Two House Christians, Hebrew Roots, and others -- accept the essential beliefs of the Nicene Creed. With these beliefs they stand in opposition to Torah, the Jewish people and ultimately HaShem. Fortunately for us all, HaShem is merciful and considers the heart (intentions) of all humanity.
Contact Rabbi Shlomo Nachman
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