Creed is a modern rock band of grassroots troubadours that performs highly inspirational music with a message, within the lines of a simple and unaffected genre called “new-era” rock. The band, led by vocalist Scott Stapp, features Mark Tremonti on guitar, Brian Marshall on bass, and Scott Phillips on drums. The four musicians are clean-cut and wholesome and qualify easily as “the boys next door.” Creed’s “formula” for success—if indeed they have one—is embodied in their independence from corporate ties. The band eschews conglomerate involvement, relying instead on writing and self-publishing their own songs and touring incessantly to popularize their music. They record and perform without gimmicks, and mind the business operations of their band, relying extensively on the Internet for communications as well as for advertising. Creed uses its website not only to promote songs, concerts, and albums, but for mutual correspondence between its fans and the band members.
Creed originated in Tallahassee in 1995 with a chance meeting between Stapp and Tremonti, two former schoolmates
Members include Brian Marshall (born April 24, 1973), bass; Scott Phillips (born February 22, 1973), drums; Scott Stapp (born August 8, 1973, in Orlando, FL; one son, Jagger), vocals; Mark Tremonti (born on April 18, 1974), guitar.
Released My Own Prison, 1997; Human Clay, 1999; produced and performed (with others) soundtrack for film Scream 3; performed at Woodstock ’99.
Awards: Rock Artist of the Year, Billboard magazine; songwriting award for “My Own Prison,” by Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti, BMI Pop Music Awards, 1999.
from Orlando, Florida. Before long the two musicians recruited drummer Phillips and bassist Marshall from among the ample mélange of otherwise unskilled workers in north Florida. Between the four of them, before uniting to form their band, the future Creed members shucked oysters, fry cooked, and washed dishes to earn a living. Stapp himself was on the rebound from a series of injudicious career decisions and minor catastrophes. After performing poorly in school due to lack of interest, he abandoned his pre-law studies at Florida State University, job-hopped, and lived in his car for lack of income. It was, in fact, his lack of general prudence that inspired much of his music.
The members of the neophyte group invested their own money, a modest $6,000, into recording My Own Prison, an album that featured an assortment of songs, written by Stapp during the months after he abandoned his education and wandered aimlessly in search of a purpose. Most notably he wrote “My Own Prison,” which became the title track of the debut album, in contemplation of the difficulties he courted by his own choices in life. Despite the bitter undertone of the song, it brought him to an epiphany about self-determination, as he wrote “No time for mourning, Ain’t got no time, So I held my head up high….”Another song on the album, “What’s This Life For?” was a collaborative effort by Stapp and Tremonti, the result of their reflection on the suicides of two mutual friends. Songwriters Tremonti and Stapp published their own works through Tremonti/Stapp Music of BMI, while a secondary publisher, Wind-up’s Dwight Frye Music, assumed the administrative functions for the pair.
Creed released My Own Prison on August 26, 1997, on the Wind-up label, and the album had moved halfway up the Billboard 200 chart less in than three months. The title song became a hit single, and by November 22 reached number two on the rock-track chart of most-played hits. The album, which sold more than four million copies, went into successive releases, and other hits emerged—including “Tom,” “What’s This Life For?” and “One.” Each of the single releases from My Own Prison attained number one hit status on BillboardRock Radio.
The members of the band collectively invested a portion of the royalties from My Own Prison to acquire a parcel of land, away from urbana and city life, where they might relax and find inspiration for future creative endeavors. They retired to their newly acquired hideaway, and set to work on Human Clay, their second album. The tone of Human Clay, which was released on October 1, 1999, evoked an uplifting atmosphere, in direct contrast to Creed’s original, My Own Prison. Human Clay featured assorted ballads, soothing and melodic, yet interspersed with energetic and fast-paced compositions. Two months later, in early December, Human Clay achieved double platinum sales (over 2 million copies sold), and Anthony Bozza of Rolling Stone dubbed Creed the best-selling hard-rock band in America. Additionally, their albums ranked in the top 12 in 1999, according to radio play and sales statistics. Additionally, Creed’s international appeal extended to remote continents; the group sold 80,000 albums in New Zealand alone in 1999.
With two best-selling albums to their credit, the band expanded its horizons and contributed to the movie soundtracks of Faculty and Dead Man on Campus. The soundtrack for Scream 3, which Creed self-produced, includes original Creed compositions “What If” and “Is the End.” For that album, Creed solicited contributions from a number of their fellow recording artists and comrades from Wind-up Records, including Orgy and Static-X. A total of 17 “heavy rock” bands contributed to the album.
Between recording sessions, Creed tours extensively. The band attracts audiences composed primarily of teen-agers and young adults, 14 to 34 years old. In 2000, the band remained a young and evolving musical entity, at times unpolished because of its newness. Regardless, Creed persisted in projecting a positive image as was evidenced in July of 1999 when the band performed in Rome, New York, at Woodstock99, a reprise festival of the original festival by the same name. The 1999 concert, held in celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the original festival in 1969, differed drastically in mood from the original concert in the 1960s. When a catastrophic outbreak of violence instigated by concertgoers marred the end of the 1999 festival, Stapp responded to the chaotic outburst and vented his embarrassment during Creed’s performance.
The four Creed band members are extremely close in age, and all enjoy the music of Led Zeppelin. The senior member of the group, drummer Scott Phillips of Madison, Florida, was born in February of 1973. Phillips began playing the drums in his late teens. Guitarist Mark Tremonti was born in April of 1974 and is the youngest member of the group. He played guitar for approximately ten years before joining Creed. Bassist Brian Marshall was born on April 24, 1974, approximately one week before Tremonti. Marshall is a native of Fort Walton Beach in Florida. He started playing the bass in his midteens. Creed founder and vocalist, Scott Stapp, was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, the son of a Pentecostal minister. He was born on August 8, 1973, and is the second oldest member of the group. During adolescence his musical affinities veered toward U2, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, and the Doors, and according to critics, the circumstances of Stapp’s childhood are evidenced in many of his song lyrics. Stapp, who repeatedly disavowed such interpretation of his music, nonetheless intimated that his parents were not only devoutly religious, but rigid and strict, and highly antagonistic toward rock music and electric guitars. Stapp moved with his family to Tallahassee, Florida, in the mid-1990s. He wrote the song “With Arms Wide Open” in honor of the birth of his eldest child, a son named Jagger.
As Creed’s media presence continually evolves, their presence on the Internet is secure. “We’re on our Web site almost every day, especially when we’re on tour.
The Internet is such a cool medium. It’s definitely the future of how bands will know what their fans are thinking,” Stapp told Billboard in September of 1999. Creed’s plans for the new millenium included more touring and a live album, along with an acoustic album. Their schedule included appearances in Las Vegas in December of 1999, and contract negotiations to play in Edmonton, Canada in the year 2000.
My Own Prison, Wind-up Records, 1997.
Human Clay (includes “Higher”), Wind-up Records, 1999.
Scream 3 soundtrack (with other bands), 1999.
Billboard, November 22, 1997; December 20, 1997, p. 97; September 4, 1999, p. 18.
Campus Life, September-October 1998, p. 32.
Rolling Stone, September 16, 1999, p. 38; October 28, 1999; pp. 99-100; December 9, 1999, p. 34.
“Info About the Band Creed,” available at http:/xrs.nct/unified/info.html (February 4, 2000).
“Lyrics and Meanings Behind Songs,” available at http:/xrs.nct/unified/lyrics-myownprison.html (February 4, 2000).
The Latin credo ("I believe"), a compound of the Latin words cor/cordis ("heart") and do/dere ("put, place"), implies putting one's trust in someone or something. It is a profession of belief, an expression of faith and commitment, on the part of an individual (credo ) or a group (credimus ). In Christian tradition, the common declaration of beliefs on the part of the community became a password, a symbol (symbolum from the Greek symballein ) whereby members recognized one another as belonging to the Church. A part of the baptismal rite whereby individuals were initiated into the Church was for the neophyte to declare publicly that he/she subscribed to the community's declaration of faith. The earliest form of the creed was a series of questions (interrogatory creed) that focused on the Holy trinity. This soon developed, for catechetical purposes, into a formal declaration (declaratory creed) that summarized the Church's belief in the saving work of the Father, Son, and Spirit. By the second century a.d., the declaratory creed was regarded as a "rule of faith" (regula fidei ), a norm of fidelity to the teachings of the New Testament and apostolic Church.
Although they differed in wording and emphasis from place to place, the baptismal creeds were very similar in their Trinitarian structure and brevity. As controversies arose about points of doctrine, notably from the fourth century onwards, the formulas that had their origins in the liturgy began to be used more and more as tests of orthodoxy. Phrases were added and the wording was changed to define better the Church's faith and to safeguard the integrity of the traditional faith. The story of the development of Christian creeds from the primitive professions of faith made in apostolic preaching in the New Testament to the formalized declarations of Church councils and synodal statements is long and complicated. In the twentieth century the story took on new twists as the ecumenical movement sought a creedal formula that all Christians could profess as an expression of their common faith.
The requirements of preaching, teaching, defending, and defining Christian doctrine dictated the gradual formulation of a series of statements embodying the basic beliefs of the Church. In the New Testament and the primitive Church documents, however, no creedal statement as such exists; but there is abundant evidence of certain basic truths that formed part of the apostolic preaching of kerygma. Beginning with the proclamation of a living God, the Apostles preached the birth, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Epistle to the Hebrews urges its readers to "hold fast at whatever cost to Jesus, the pontiff of our confession" (3.1; 4.14) and, "in the fullness of faith … washed in the pure water, to the indefectible confession of our hope" (10.23). The Epistle of Jude recalls the "faith once delivered to the saints" (3). St. Paul exhorts his hearers to "hold fast to the traditions which you have been taught" (2 Thes. 2.15) and insists on the "pattern of doctrine" (Rom. 6.17). He calls upon the Christian "to be established in the faith as you have been taught it" (Col. 2.7) and speaks of "one faith, one Lord, one baptism" (Eph. 4.5). All through the Gospels there are formulas of belief relative to God and His providence, to Christology and salvation, to the Trinity and other basic Christian teachings that reveal a pattern of belief but there is no established creed.
Several passages in Acts imply that a declaration of belief was required at Baptism. Thus before Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, the latter declared: "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" in answer to the Apostle's question (8.36–38). After listening to Paul's preaching, Lydia was baptized on her declaration: "You judged me to believe in the Lord" (16.14–15). St. Paul's statement, "If you confess Jesus as the Lord with your mouth, and in your heart believe that God has raised him from the dead" (Rom. 10.9) is probably a fragment of a baptismal confession; and so is "In Whom, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1.13).
In the 2d century justin martyr described the rite of Baptism, stating that those who received instruction and promised to live accordingly were admonished to fast and pray to God for forgiveness of past sins. They were then given a lustral washing in water in the name of the Father, the Lord of the universe; and of the Savior Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate; and in the name of the Holy Spirit, who through the prophets announced beforehand things relating to Jesus (Rv. 1.61). tertullian (c. 195) testified to the threefold question used in the ceremony of Baptism: "Then we are three times immersed, making a somewhat fuller reply than the Lord laid down [Mt. 28.19] in his gospel" (Coron. 3); "For we are baptized not once but thrice into the three persons severally, in answer to their several names" (Adv. Prax. 26). Later he stated that the "soul is bound not by the washing, but by the candidate's answer" (Resur. 48).
Finally, the Apostolic Tradition of hippolytus of rome (c. 217) described the baptismal process as including an interrogation that is very close to the Roman Creed. According to this document, the candidate goes down into the water, and the one baptizing lays his hand on him and asks:
Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and died [and was buried], and rose on the third day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven and sat down on the right hand of the Father, who will come to judge the living and the dead?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and the holy Church, and the resurrection of the flesh?
And he who is being baptized shall say, "I believe." [Chapter 21]
origen in his Commentary (32.16) on the Gospel of John spoke of the "articles of faith, that in being believed, save the man who believes them"; and specified, "that there is one God, Who created and framed all things…. We must also believe that Jesus Christ is Lord; and all the true teaching concerning both His godhead and His manhood. And we must believe in the Holy Spirit; and that having freewill, we are punished for our misdeeds and rewarded for our good deeds." He makes similar summaries in his Contra Celsum (1.7); in his De principiis (1, praef.); and in his commentaries (in Ierem. hom. 5.13; in I Cor. hom. 4).
firmillian of caesarea in correspondence with Cyprian of Carthage spoke of an ecclesiastical rule of Baptism, and a "customary and established interrogation" (Cyprian, Epist. 75.10–11). Cyprian likewise gave an indication of the content of this interrogation and mentioned God the Father, Jesus Christ His son, and the Holy Spirit, as well as: "Do you believe in the remission of sins and everlasting life through the holy Church?" (Epist. 69.7). By the middle of the 3d century a formula of faith with minor variations had developed in all the main Churches, based upon the Trinitarian formula prescribed by Christ for Baptism (Mt. 28.19). Yet in all the available evidence, there is no indication of a declaratory creed connected with the baptismal ceremony.
Before the Council of Nicaea (325) eusebius of caesarea said: "As we have received from the bishops before us, both in our catechetical training, and when we received the baptismal bath … so we now believe and bring our faith forward to you" (Eusebius, Letter to his Church, Patrologia Graeca, ed. J. P. Migne, 20:1535). irenaeus of Lyons (c. 200) referred to the "rule of faith… received through Baptism" (Adversus haereses 1.9.4); and in his Epideixis, or Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, he supplied examples of the catechetical summaries given by way of instruction in preparation for Baptism (chapters 6, 7, 100). These summaries expounded the three aspects of the Divine Being in whose triune name the Baptism was to be accomplished and they were evidently based on the baptismal interrogations.
Earlier still ignatius of antioch (c. 116) made quasi-creedal statements based on the primitive kerygma that gave evidence of the development of Christological doctrine in an anti-Doceticsense:
Being fully persuaded as regards our Lord, that He was truly of David's stock after the flesh, Son of God by the Divine power and will, begotten truly of the Virgin, baptized by John that He might fulfil all righteousness, truly nailed in the flesh on our behalf under Pontius Pilate, and Herod the tetrarch, … that through His resurrection He might set up an ensign … in one body of His Church. [Smyrn. 1.1–2]
polycarp of smyrna likewise presents a statement of doctrine built on phrases from 1 Pt. (1.21; 3.22; 4.5), which appears to have been a fragment of the teaching given to converts in the Smyrnaean Church (Epist. ad Phil. 2). Justin Martyr in both his Apology and Dialogue with Trypho echoed many quasi-creedal statements based on the apostolic kerygma that had a relationship to both the Trinitarian and Christological formulas used in preparation of candidates for Baptism. It thus seems apparent that, along with the baptismal interrogations, formulas of faith were gradually educed that were commented on in the catechetical instruction of converts and gradually built into a more or less fixed creedal statement.
Ancient Roman Creed. rufinus of aquileia in his Commentary on the Apostles' Creed (404) described the legendary origin of the creed of Aquileia, which he quoted as differing in only a word or two from the Roman Creed. He said that the Apostles, on the point of separating, first settled on an agreed norm for their preaching. They met together and, filled with the Holy Spirit, compiled a brief token (symbolon ) of their future preaching, each making the contribution he thought fit, and decreed that it should be the standard teaching for believers (2; Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne, 21:337). The story reflected a tradition witnessed by the Explanatio symboli ad initiandos probably of St. Ambrose (Patrologia Latina 17:1193–96), and the 4th-century Apostolic Constitutions (6.14); it arose apparently in connection with the earlier conviction concerning the "rule of faith" that Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (Adversus haereses 1.10.1), and Tertullian (Apol. 47) claimed to have been handed down by the Apostles.
While there is no evidence to support the apostolic origin of the Roman Creed, there are indications that at the beginning of the 3d century a thorough reorganization of the catechetical system was in progress; and the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus contains evidence of the fact that at Rome a declaratory creed took shape that was handed over (traditio ) to the catechumens by the bishop in the course of their instruction and given back (redditio ) by the candidates as part of the immediate preparation for Baptism. The discipline of the secret required that this creedal statement be memorized, and not betrayed to the uninitiated, since it contained the central mysteries of Christianity that had to be treated with great circumspection. There is evidence that indicates that the Roman Creed may have taken shape first in Greek before the pontificate of Pope Victor (189 to 199), for Greek was still current in Rome at the time, and the antiheretical bias of the creed seems directed against adoptionism, mo narchianism, and docetism, which were then bothering the Roman Church. As reported by Rufinus, the Roman Creed stated:
I believe in God the Father Almighty; And in Christ Jesus His only Son, our Lord, Who was born from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, Who under Pontius Pilate was crucified, and buried; on the third day rose again from the dead, ascended to heaven, sits on the right hand of the Father, whence he will come to judge the living and the dead; and in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the flesh.
The similarity between this creed and the interrogatory creed (quoted above) from the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus is striking, despite a number of significant differences. Further evidence for the Roman Creed is furnished by Tertullian (De praescrip. 36), who expressly alludes to the teaching that the Roman Church shared (contesserarit ) with the African Churches. A substantially similar Greek text of the creed was submitted by mar cellus of ancyra in Cappadocia to Pope julius i at a synod in Rome in 340.
It would seem that the crystallization of the Roman Creed began toward the close of the 2d century and that several versions of the creed in both Latin and Greek were in circulation and that a standard version was achieved sometime during the 4th century, for Rufinus reports that at the recitation of the creed in the baptismal ceremony in Rome, the faithful listened carefully so that not a word would be changed (Comm. in Symb. 3). He testifies likewise that the same creed was in use in Jerusalem (Apol. ad. Anast. 8) and that "in other places, certain phrases are added to exclude the ideas of new doctrines because of heretics" (Comm. in Symb. 3).
Symbolon. The Greek word symbolon and its Latin transcription, symbolum, usually meant a seal or a signet ring or a legal bond or warrant. Thus Tertullian challenged marcion, asking by what warrant (symbolum ) of authority he took the Apostle Paul on board his vessel (Adv. Marc. 5.1). In the East, the customary description of the creed was the faith (pistis ), or teaching (mathema ). Cyprian of Carthage speaks of "baptizing with the symbol" (Epist. 69.7), by which he evidently means the creedal interrogation; and Firmilian of Caesarea mentions the symbolum Trinitatis in connection with Baptism (Cyprian, Epist. 75.10–11). Arnobius refers to the spoken symbols by which initiates in the rites of Eleusis recognized each other. Hence by the 4th century the word symbol was used in the sense of a creed; and the Council of Arles (314) directs that a heretic wishing to rejoin the Church should be interrogated regarding the symbol (interrogent eum symbolum ); "if he does not answer with this Trinity [non responderit hanc trinitatem ] he should be baptized" (J. D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio 2:472). Likewise the Council of Laodicea (353 or 380) used the expression "learn the symbols of the faith" (Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio 2:563). Gradually in both East and West the word became synonymous with creed.
In explaining the origin of the word, Rufinus said it could mean either collatio, a whole made up of parts, and here he was following the erroneous legend and bad philology; or indicium or signum, a token or sign. In this sense he compared it to the password used by soldiers in battle to distinguish friend from foe (Comm. in Symb. 2). Augustine traced its meaning to the pacts or agreements made between businessmen (Serm. 212). Some modern authors believe that it signified a pact or contract between the person baptized and God. But the basic idea of a sign of belief in the triune God, in whose name Baptism was being enacted and with whom the Christian was being united, seems to have preserved the integrity of the word's original meaning and its connection with the primitive structure of the baptismal rite.
Eastern Creeds. No Eastern Church had an influence on the formation of creedal statements comparable to that of Rome. Eusebius of Caesarea gave evidence of the creed of his Church and indicated its longevity (Patrologia Graeca 20:1537). In 348 cyril of jerusa lem delivered a series of catechetical lectures explaining the articles of the creed (Catech. 7–18); and in 431 John cassian wrote a treatise against nestorius in which he quoted the creed of Antioch. The same creed is evident also in the Acts of the Council of ephesus (Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio 4:1009). The Syrian version of the Apostolic Constitutions (end of 4th century) gave an account of the baptismal ritual, including a long creedal statement. The creed commented on by theodore of mopsuestia in his Catechetical Lectures betrayed a Syro-Palestine origin. Alexander of Alexandria echoed an Egyptian creed in his letter to Alexander of Constantinople (Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 1.4.46, 53, 54); and there was another Egyptian creed connected with the so-called Apophthegmata Macarii (Kattenbusch, 2:242). While reflecting the basic articles of the Roman Creed, all these statements of faith manifested variations that pointed to independent but parallel development in the articulation of the statement of the faith. What is peculiar is that they did not manifest any considerable influence on the part of the Nicene Creed.
With the Council of nicaea (325) the custom was established of ecclesiastics meeting in solemn conclave to frame formularies that were not merely epitomes of belief, but tests of orthodoxy for Christians in general. However, the change was not abrupt, for earlier creedal statements had been used as a challenge to the integrity of faith. But at Nicaea, while the basic structure of the baptismal creed was preserved, its articles were elaborated with the intention of excluding heretical interpretation and buttressed with anathemas or condemnations of whoever would not accept them in their literal signification.
Nicene Creed. Early in 325 a council had been held at Antioch in which the bishops of Palestine, Arabia, Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, and Cappadocia met to elect a metropolitan for the See of Antioch; but they used the occasion to publish a full statement of their faith in opposition to Arian teaching (Opitz, Urkunden 18). A few months later the Council of Nicaea opened (probably, June 19), having been called and presided over by the Emperor constantine i.
Although the acts of the council have not been preserved, a glimpse of the proceedings is possible through a fragmentary reminiscence of eustathius of antioch, who possibly presided over the theological deliberations (Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 1.8.1–5); recollections of athanasius of Alexandria (De decret. Nic. syn. chapters 19 and 20; Patrologia Graeca 25:448–52; 26:1036–40); and the letter of Eusebius of Caesarea to his Church (Patrologia Graeca 20:1535–44; Opitz, Urkunden 22). Eustathius stated that the Arians made the first attempt to formulate a creed and failed. Athanasius maintained that it was only after a vain effort had been made to use strictly scriptural terms in formulating the creed that recourse was had to clauses such as "from the substance of the Father" and "of one substance with the Father" (homoousios). Eusebius provided both a creed and a brief explanation of its clauses that he implied was a new formulation to which had been added the word homoousios (consubstantial). The text of the Nicene Creed that he produced was confirmed by Athanasius (Epist. ad. Iov. imp. 3), Socrates (Ecclesiastical History 1.8.29), and Basil of Caesarea (Epist. 125.2); it was also incorporated into the acts of the Councils of Ephesus (431) and chal cedon in 451 (Acta conciliorum oeumenicorum 2.1.2:79):
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation, came down and became incarnate, becoming man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven, and will come to judge the living and the dead; And in the Holy Spirit.
But as for those who say, there was when He was not, and, before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing, or, who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance, or is created, or is subject to alteration or change—these the Catholic Church anathematizes.
Much confusion surrounds the harmonizing of the three sources of evidence. What seems most probable, however, is that Eusebius was not claiming that his creed of Caesarea is the Nicene Creed, but that he had read his creed at the council to clear himself of the charge of heresy. After that a committee of bishops worked out the new formula, which he said he scrutinized most carefully before accepting. St. Basil seems to have lent credence to this solution in his claim that a priest named Hermogenes, later bishop of Caesarea, was the leading spirit in composing the new creed (Epist. 81; 244.9; 263.3).
Homoousios. In the several phrases of the creed of Nicaea relating to the Son as "begotten of the Father" it was made unmistakable that the Son shared the divine essence to the full. That he was "true God of true God" was an answer to Arian misuse of Jn. 17.3. In insisting on Christ's divinity, the phrase "there was not when he was not" had been used by Origen (De princip. 4.4.1) and Dionysius of Rome (Athanasius, De decret. Nic. syn. 26). The word homoousios (consubstantial) met with much opposition because of the innumerable meanings given to ousia, or substance, in the current philosophies. The Arians sincerely understood it in a material sense. At the Council of Antioch in 268 Paul of Samosata's use of homoousios had been condemned; and it had been viewed with suspicion by Dionysius of Alexandria and the Origen tradition generally. The Meletians, Constantine, Hosius of Córdoba, and Eusebius of Nicomedia are each credited with having introduced the word. But whatever the true solution of the historical problem as to its origin at the council is, it is certain that it was accepted at the urging of the emperor and understood in various senses by the different factions, although the Western bishops, as well as Eustathius of Antioch and Marcellus of Ancyra, accepted it as giving expression to the identity of substance between Father and Son.
In the East the Nicene Creed was not fully reflected in the creeds of which we have texts that were used in catechetical instruction; nor did it greatly affect the series of synods or councils between Antioch (Dedication Council) in 341, Sardica in 342 or 343, and the first synod at Sirmium (35l). However, at the second and third synods at Sirmium (357 and 359), Rimini (359), and Constantinople (360), the Homoean position triumphed and St. Jerome wrote: "the whole world groaned and wondered to find itself Arian" (Dial. cum Lucif. 19). The Nicene Creed was unknown in the West until hilary of poi tiers (c. 356), who confessed that he had not heard of it until leaving for exile.
The Constantinopolitan Creed. While not based directly on the creed of Nicaea, the doctrinal statement credited to the Council of constantinople i (381) was a restatement of the faith of Nicaea, with its style emended by liturgical usage and its content adapted to the theological requirement of the council of 381. It probably reflected the "fuller statement of the faith" referred to in the synodal letter issued by the Synod of Constantinople assembled in 382 (Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 5.13). Great obscurity surrounds its history, however. In the records of the council of 381 there is no direct reference to this creed, and when it was introduced by the imperial commissioners at Chalcedon in 451, it seems evident that the majority of fathers present had not heard of it before. Besides, a text very close to this creed was discovered in the Ancoratus (ch. 118) of Epiphanius of Salamis, certainly written in 374. This led modern scholars to claim that the creed of Constantinople was actually a reworking of a Palestinian creed; but, recently, the authenticity of the passage in Epiphanius has been challenged; and it is suggested that the original Epiphanian text actually contained the creed of Nicaea.
Origin and Text. The true solution as to the origin of the Creed of Constantinople seems to lie in the evidence of theodore of mopsuestia, who claimed that the socalled 150 fathers at Constantinople had merely endorsed the Nicene faith; they inserted "from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary" to protect the doctrine concerning the divinity of the Third Person of the Trinity. This seems to have been the meaning of the Definition of Chalcedon when it decreed "that the creed of the 318 holy fathers [at Nicaea] should reman inviolate; and because of those who contend against the Holy Spirit, it ratifies the teaching subsequently set forth by the 150 holy fathers assembled in the royal city [Constantinople, 381] concerning the essence of the Spirit, not as adducing anything left lacking by their predecessors, but making distinct by Scriptural testimonies their conception concerning the Holy Spirit …" (Acta conciliorum oecumenicorum 2.1.2:128–29).
The text of the Creed of Constantinople was read in the fifth and sixth sessions of Chalcedon (October 22 and 25):
We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into existence; Who because of our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge living and dead, of Whose kingdom there will be no end; and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and together glorified, Who spoke through the prophets; in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. We confess one baptism to the remission of sins; we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Apollinarianism and Macedonianism. While possibly elaborated out of the Nicene Creed, this document could also reflect clauses of similar but more local creeds that had been modified in catechetical usage to repel heretical deviation. The inclusion of the words in the second article "[Christ] became incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary" has been the subject of much discussion. At Chalcedon, Diogenes of Cyzicus claimed the words were added to refute apollinarianism (Acta conciliorum oecumenicorum 2.1.1:91). The clause itself was taken from the primitive kerygma and did not answer the explicit error of Apollinaris. However, confusion prevailed as to the true nature of his teaching, and it may be that he was thought to have denied that Christ had taken true flesh of Mary; and as the Council of Constantinople condemned the heretic himself, the phrase was adopted as a consequence. There is no doubt, however, that the inclusion in the same article of the phrase "of whose Kingdom there shall be no end" taken from Luke (1.33) was directed against Marcellus of Ancyra (d. 374), who maintained that the Incarnation would be dissolved at the end of time.
The development of the doctrine on the Holy Spirit in the third article was a refutation of the Pneumatomachians (opposers of the Spirit) or Macedonians. The language used was that of the Scripture. Paul had called the Spirit, Lord (2 Cor. 3.17–18), and spoke of the "Spirit of Life" (Rom. 8.2). He had been designated as Life-giver in John (6.63); and Christ had described Him as "The Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father" (Jn.15.26); while "Who spoke through the prophets" was an adaptation of 2 Peter (1.21). The phrase "Who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped, and together glorified" reproduced the teaching of Athanasius (Ad. Serap. 1.31) and Basil of Caesarea (Epist. 90.2; 159.2; De Spir. S. ch. 9–24). Finally, the creed's statements of belief referring to the Church, Baptism, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and life in the world to come, while not in the Nicene Creed, are in keeping with the contents of almost all the contemporary baptismal formularies taught to catechumens.
Mildness of Statement. Scholars have been puzzled by the apparent mildness of expression on the part of this creed; its failure, for example, to use the word homoousios of the Holy Spirit as consubstantial with the Father and Son. But the historical situation evidently dictated that, while asserting the Godhood of the Holy Spirit, a great effort should be made to win over the Macedonians. This cautious approach had been the strategy of Basil (d.379) and was apparently followed by the assembled fathers at the suggestion of Emperor theodosius i, who had summoned the council.
The Constantinopolitan Creed seems to have been established as a baptismal creed in the capital and its environs during the mid-5th century. Reaffirmed at Chalcedon, it was considered a complete and definitive form of the Nicene Creed by Emperor zeno in his henoticon (482) and became the standard baptismal creed of the Eastern Churches. philoxenus of mabbugh (d. 523) and severus of antioch (d. 538) aided in the process of standardizing it. Finally it was reconfirmed at the Council of constantinople ii in 553.
In the West, however, a general silence seems to have prevailed with regard to Constantinople I and its creed, in good part because of the attempt of the council to elevate the See of Constantinople to a position second to that to Rome (c. 3). Pope leo i, accepting the Definition of Chalcedon in 453, took no notice of the Constantinopolitan creed. Pope vigilius i seems to have been the first Roman to make specific allusion to it in his encyclical of 552 written in Constantinople. However it was recognized by the Gelasian sacramentary and the Ordo Romanus VII as the declaratory creed in the baptismal ceremony recited before the interrogations and seems to have been adopted in Rome during the 7th century. It was certainly in use in Rome by 810, as the Abbot Smaragdus attested (Patrologia Latina 102:975).
Orthodox Churches. The Nicene and Constantinopolitan Creeds and the definitions of the first seven ecumenical councils are considered infallible statements of faith in the Orthodox Churches. In recent times the formulation of particular Orthodox confessions of faith were attempted in rejection of Catholic or Protestant tendencies. Thus the confession of gennadius ii, Patriarch of Constantinople (1455 to 1456), addressed to Sultan Mohammed II as a statement of Orthodox belief in the Trinity, Incarnation, immortality, and Resurrection, was directed against the reunion with Rome accomplished at Florence in 1439. Patriarch Jeremias II of Constantinople composed a confession directed against the Protestant theologians of Wittenberg and Tübingen in 1576, 1579, and 1581. The confession of faith composed by metrophanes critopoulos of Alexandria in 1625 and 1636 sought to outline the Byzantine teaching, somewhat influenced by Protestantism. The Orthodox confession of Peter moghila of Kiev (1640) against the Calvinist confession of Cyril lucaris, Patriarch of Constantinople (d.1638), was approved by the Greek and Russian patriarchs (1643), but modified by the theologian Meletius Syrigos in keeping with an anti-Catholic position, departing from the doctrine in Moghila's small catechism of 1645.
The confession of the Patriarch Dositheus at the Synod of Jerusalem (1672) was directed against Cyril Lucaris and toward Catholicism. The catechism of the metropolitan filaret of Moscow (ed. 1823, and 1827 under Protestant influence) went through more than 100 editions. The document of the patriarch Anthimus IV of Constantinople and the Eastern patriarchs rejecting the appeal of Pope Pius IX in 1848 and the answer of Anthimus VII to Leo XIII in 1895 also are looked upon as official statements of their belief.
Catholic Creeds. Over the centuries the Roman Catholic Church has formulated creedal statements to deal with specific doctrinal aberrations and schisms. These formularies include the basic statements of the ancient creeds, but are adapted to the situation dictating their application. They include the Symbol of Leo IX (1053); the Formula for the Waldenses (1208); the Confession of Michael Palaeologus (1267); the Decrees for the Greeks, Armenians (1439), and Jacobites (1442), resulting from the Council of Florence; the Creedal Confession of the Council of Trent (1564); the Maronite Formula (1743); and the Oath Against the Errors of Modernism (1910). By decree of Pope Pius X all clergy engaged in pastoral work and teaching of the sacred sciences were obliged to take the oath and affirm the Tridentine Confession of Faith. Bishops and other ecclesiastical officials took the Oath when assuming office, professors of theology took it at the opening of each school year, and candidates for the diaconate and priesthood took it before ordination In 1967 the Sacred Congregation of the Faith promulgated a new text. It suppressed the anti-Modernist Oath and appended a short formula to the Symbol of Constantinople that contained obvious references to the Councils of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II. In June 1968, at the closing of the "year of faith" Pope Paul VI, taking note of the need for guidance felt by many faithful, promulgated the 'Credo' of the People of God. He prefaced it saying,
We shall accordingly make a profession of faith, pronounce a creed which, without being strictly speeking a dogmatic definition, repeats in substance, with some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time, the creed of Nicea, the creed of the immortal tradition of the holy Church of God.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law requires a profession of faith of all ecclesiastics upon taking office as well as candidates for the diaconate. In 1989 the CDF replaced the 1967 formula with a new text that updated the profession of faith "as regards style and content," and to bring more in line with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (profession of faith).
A Common Confession of Faith. In 1927 the World Conference on Faith and Order addressed the issue of the Church's common confession of faith. In 1975 the Assembly of the world council of churches meeting in Nairobi urged member churches "to undertake a common effort to receive, reappropriate and confess together, as contemporary occasion requires, the Christian truth and faith, delivered through the Apostles and handed down through the centuries." In response the Commission on Faith and Order initiated a project "Toward the Common Expression of the Apostolic Faith Today." It had three goals: 1) the common recognition of the apostolic faith as expressed in the Ecumenical Symbol of that faith, the Nicene Creed; 2) the common explication of this apostolic faith in contemporary situations of the churches; and 3) a common confession of the apostolic faith today.
The position of the World Council of Churches is that no creed, ancient or modern, is a complete summary of Christian belief and, therefore, no creed can be considered normative for every aspect of doctrine and practice. The number of creedal formulas promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries to address particular needs seems to support this position. At the time that Lukas Vischer was director of the secretariat of the Faith and Order Commission, he wrote: Creeds must "be taken seriously as testimonies [of faith] because they were taken seriously by all the generation which preceded us, which means that a community through the ages is inconceivable without respect for the creeds."
Bibliography: j. n. d. kelly, Early Christian Creeds (2d ed. New York 1960). j. de ghellinck, Patristique et moyen-âge: Études d'histoire littéraire et doctrinale v. 1 (2d ed. Paris 1949), bibliography. f. hort, Two Dissertations (Cambridge, England 1876). f. loofs, Symbolik (Tübingen 1902); "Das Nicänum," Festgabe … Karl Müller (Tübingen 1922) 68–82. e. schwartz, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kund der älteren Kirche 25 (Giessen-Berlin 1926) 38–88. j. lebon, Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 32 (1936) 809–77; 47 (1952) 485–529, consubstantial. f. j. dÖlger, Antike und Christentum 4 (1934) 138–46. a. von harnack, j. j. herzog and a. hauck, eds., Realencyklopädi für protestantische Theologie, 24 v. (3d ed. Leipzig 1896–1913) 1:741–55; 11:12–28. i. ortiz de urbina, El símbolo niceno (Madrid 1947); Nicée et Constantinople (Paris 1963); Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 7:938–40. p. t. camelot, Éphèse et Chalcédoine (Paris 1962). h. zeller, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2:144–46, 147–48. b. schultze, ibid. 148–49, Orthodox creeds. b. capelle, Revue Bénédictine 39 (1927) 33–45; Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 2 (1930) 5–20, Roman Creed. h. carpenter, Journal of Theological Studies 43 (1942) 1–11; 44 (1943) 1–11, Symbolum. d. van den eynde, Les Normes de l'enseignement chrétien (Paris 1933). f. kattenbusch, Das apostolische Symbol, 2 v. (Leipzig 1894–1900). h. opitz, ed., Urkunden zur Geschichte des arianischen Streites (Berlin 1935). s. zankow, Das orthodoxe Christentum des Ostens (Berlin 1928). m. jugie, Échos d'Orient 28 (1929) 423–30. m. gordillo, Compendium theologiae orientalis (3d ed. Rome 1950). y. m. j. congar, Irénikon 23 (1950) 3–36. p. schaff, ed., The Creeds of Christendom 3 v., (New York 1931). c. pozo, The Credo of the People of God (Chicago 1980). j. neuner and j. dupuis, eds., The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents of the Catholic Church rev. ed. (New York 1982). b. l. marthaler, The Creed. The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology, rev. ed. (Mystic, Conn 1993). h. denzinger and a. schÖnmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum (36 ed. Herder 1976).
[f. x. murphy/eds.]
Members: Scott Stapp, vocalist (born Orlando, Florida 8 August 1973); Mark Tremonti, guitar (born Orlando, Florida 18 April 1974); Brian Marshall, bass (born Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 24 April 1973); Scott Phillips, drums (born Madison, Florida, 22 February 1973).
Best-selling album since 1990: Human Clay (1999)
Hit songs since 1990: "My Own Prison," "Torn," "With Arms Wide Open," "Sacrifice"
Creed rose swiftly as a major player in the post-grunge rock world on the strength of direct, sometimes Christian-tinged lyrics, and intense, soaring anthems. But the journey was not smooth. Critics disparaged them as imitative grungers whose overly serious, sometimes spiritual lyrics cast them as a Christian rock group. In time, it became clear that Creed were much more than the sum of their parts as their guitar-heavy rock came to dominate sales and radio charts.
Creed came together when two Florida high school friends, singer Scott Stapp and guitarist Mark Tremonti, teamed up with bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips in Tallahassee. A son of fundamentalist parents, Stapp grew up in a strict environment where rock music was scorned and punishment sometimes meant having to write Bible verses in longhand.
Over time Stapp rebelled, later experimenting with drugs while studying law at Florida State University. He eventually dropped out to pursue music, a decision that further estranged him from his stringent family. It was during these lean years that Stapp began to pen reflective songs about self-examination, sometimes drawing upon his experience of writing Biblical verses. When he teamed up with Tremonti, they set the lyrics against grunge power chords.
These early compositions made up the bulk of their debut CD, My Own Prison (1997), produced by John Kurzweg and released on their label, Blue Collar. It came to the attention of Wind-Up Records, an indie imprint distributed by Sony, where it was remixed and given a brawny sheen. This refurbishing resulted in four number one singles on Billboard 's mainstream rock radio charts: the title track, "Torn," "What's This Life For," and "One." Though slightly preachy, Stapp's lyrics captivated fans: "Only in America we kill the unborn / to make ends meet."
The combination of thunderous guitars, direct lyrics, and anthemic songs became Creed's sonic signature.
Creed's ascent began to accelerate, but cynics and other fence riders questioned the band's staying power. The post-grunge world was crowded with sound-alike big-riff guitar bands, and Creed seemed to have molded its sound after Pearl Jam's variation on grunge. It did not help that Stapp's rough vocals were often compared to those of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. But Creed surprised everyone, including the naysayers, when their follow-up, Human Clay (1999), debuted at number one on the Billboard chart and quickly went multiplatinum, eventually selling more than 10 million copies in two years. "Higher," the first single, spent seventeen weeks at number one on rock radio. Other tracks became chart toppers, including "What If" and the catchy ballad "With Arms Wide Open," which later won a Grammy for Best Rock Song. The song has personal meaning for Stapp. It was written while he awaited the birth of his first son, Jagger. In June 1999 Stapp divorced Jagger's mother, Hillaree Burns, an aspiring model, after a sixteen-month marriage.
In public statements, Stapp said the reason "wasn't infidelity. We were just young and had a baby, and everything happened so fast." The divorce was amicable. "I think in her heart she would like a man who's home every day," he said. "I'm in a rock band and I'm gone a lot. I'll always love her. She gave me one of the greatest gifts in my life, my son." On "With Arms Wide Open," Stapp said he would never tire of singing the song: "It was written about my unborn child. And I have a constant reminder of why I wrote that song in Jagger. The feelings that inspired that song well up in me every time I sing it." One of the key lines is, "With arms wide open, under the sunlight / Welcome to this place I'll show you everything / With arms wide open."
More muscular and better paced that its predecessor, Human Clay featured more accessible, mainstream-leaning guitar rock. For better or for worse, Creed was sounding like the early 1980s power pop band Journey but with more rock muscle and a more passionate singer. Other tunes like "Wrong Way" recalled Led Zeppelin with its Middle Eastern rhythms.
Formula for Success
By the late 1990s, genres likes rap/rock, rock metal, and teen boy bands were making major inroads into the market. Creed was going against the grain, producing anthemic guitar-fueled rock complete with angst-filled introspective lyrics and increasingly ruling the charts. From outward appearances, Creed had all the cliches: guitar hooks, soaring choruses, leather pants, messanic poses. It was clear that the group's influences drew from such seminal groups as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and the Doors, as well as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots. A VH1 Behind the Music special in 2000 touted the band as Orlando's "spiritual band with the thunderous sound." But two elements made Creed distinctive. First, in contrast to the tones of anger and sodden negativity of other grunge bands, Creed seemed comfortable and happy. Second, Stapp's biblically inspired lyrics prompted speculation about Creed's agenda: Were they a Christian band trying to reach rock audiences? Stapp told the Sydney, Australia, Daily Telegraph that judgment was in the ears of the beholder: "Everyone has their own background and it affects the way you perceive things. When I make religious or spiritual references in my songs, they don't know the meaning behind what I'm trying to figure out for myself, so when they hear those words, a Christian person will base it on their belief systems," he said. "People of a non-Christian belief hear them in a completely different way. At this point we have no agenda, we're not a professing Christian band, we just write from our hearts about experiences we go through. We don't want to do anything to change how people hear a song because that's what makes a song theirs, makes it personal to them."
By the time Creed went back into the studio in early 2001, the pressure was on to beat the multiplatinum success of the previous CDs. Tremonti took over bass duties in the studio after bassist Brian Marshall left the band, replaced on the tour by Brett Hestla of Virgos Merlot. No official reason was ever given for Marshall's departure. Again, producer Kurzweg was brought in to help hammer out the songs that became Weathered in the fall of 2001. Ultimately, there were few surprises. The monster rock anthems were there in "My Sacrifice," and "One Last Breath." Zeppelin's mystical tones were evoked again on "Who's Got My Back Now." The album registered big sales, but not everyone was pleased. Creed demonstrated their proficiency at power rock ballads, but Weathered proved that the band could not expand their musical vocabulary. Their messages of hope defy hard rock's gloom and anger, but the band's polished and intense power pop was becoming predictable.
Creed has been an important contributor to rock's evolution. Their radio-friendly hard rock has fused post-grunge elements with spiritual undertones in lyrics that appeal to fans who want more from music than angry alienation.
My Own Prison (Wind-Up, 1997); Human Clay (Sony, 1999); Weathered (Wind-Up, 2001).
creed / krēd/ • n. a system of Christian or other religious belief; a faith. ∎ (often the Creed) a formal statement of Christian beliefs, esp. the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed. ∎ a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone's actions: liberalism was more than a political creed.