The “Sublime Simplicity” of the Creed

6 January 2010 by Wes Bredenhof

I’m working on Lord’s Day 8 this week and doing some study into the Apostles’ Creed.  Along the way, I stopped in at  the introduction in our Book of Praise.  The introduction notes that, despite the name, the apostles didn’t write this confession.  Then we find these words:  “It sets forth their doctrine, as has been said, ‘in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity.'”  These euphonic words are often quoted in introductions to the Creed, but the original author is never mentioned.  Who originally wrote this?  The answer is easy to find these days, thanks to Google Books.  The words originally come from Philip Schaff, the great German Reformed symbolist.  They can be found on page 568 of his History of the Apostolic Church.  Don’t you think he should finally get some props?

One response to “The “Sublime Simplicity” of the Creed”

  1. Brad says:

    I’ve often wondered about that quote myself.

    Props to Schaff for such an appropriately descriptive and pithy phrase!

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