第二课 (lesson 2)使徒信经-历史背景

第二课 (lesson 2)使徒信经-历史背景 分类:信经 Creed 作者:CSI 点击数:2249 Lesson Two: The Apostles’ Creed – The Historical Background 第二课: 使徒信经-历史背景 A. The Apostles’ Creed is the most commonly used creed in our church. It is also one of the first pieces of Christian literature that children and adult Christians learn. Apart from the Lord’s Prayer, the Christian uses no set of words more frequently. It is the first of the three so-called “Ecumenical Creeds” or “Ecumenical Symbols” (the other two being the “Nicene Creed” and the “Athanasian Creed”). The word ecumenical comes from a Greek word meaning universal, general, or from the whole world. The word ecumenical is attached to these three Creeds because Christians in most parts of the world accept these Creeds as an accurate confession of their Christian faith. 使徒信经是我们教会中最常使用的信经。它也是儿童和成人基督徒的首要学习资料之一。基督徒除了主祷文与使徒信经以外,没有其他使用更加频繁。它是三部信经中的第一部,因此被称为 “普世信经”或 “普世标志” (其他两部为尼西亚信经和亚大纳西信经)。ecumenical这个词来自希腊语,意思为普世的,普遍的或世界范围的。用ecumenical这个词代表这三部信经是因为世界上大部分基督徒都承认这三部信经是基督徒信仰的准确告白。 B. For nearly two thousand years these Ecumenical Creeds have been standards of confession for Bible-believing Christians. In 1580, the Lutheran Church was accused of being a new church with new teachings. To demonstrate that it had that same teaching as the Ancient Church, Lutherans made these three Ecumenical Creeds part of their Confession, the Book of Concord. At least one of the three Creeds are quoted or mentioned in every Lutheran Confession in the Book of Concord. 这些信经作为相信圣经的基督徒的告白标准已经将近两千年了。1580年时,路德宗教会因为是带有新教导的年轻教会而被指责。为了说明这些教导与先前教会的教导是一致的,路德宗教徒将这三部普世信经作为他们的认信,协同书的一部分。这三部信经中至少有一部在协同书中每一个路德宗信仰告白中被引用或被提及。 C. The Creed which we use most often on Sunday is The Apostles’ Creed. However, there is no evidence that it comes word-for-word directly from the Twelve Apostles. The title, “Apostles’ Creed” (Symbolum Apostolorum in Latin) was already used by a council at the Italian City of Milan in A. D. 390. When we look at the teaching of the Apostles’ Creed we see that it agrees perfectly with the teaching of the Bible. So the name is still a good one. The Apostles’ Creed presents the teachings which Jesus gave to the apostles and which they have passed on to us. Luther said in a sermon on Trinity Sunday in 1535: “Neither we nor the early fathers invented this confession of faith, but just as a bee collects honey from all kinds of beautiful flowers, so is the whole of the Apostles’ Creed a finely constructed summary of the whole of Scripture, the writings of the beloved prophets and apostles, for the benefit of children and simple Christians.” 我们在主日最常使用的信经就是使徒信经。然而,没有证据表明它的一字一句都直接来自十二使徒。标题,“使徒信经”(在拉丁语中是Symbolum Apostolorum) 已经于公元39年在意大利米兰的议会上被使用。当我们看使徒信经的教导时,我们可以看到它与圣经的教导是完全一致的。因此这个名称是合适的。使徒信经呈现了耶稣给使徒们以及由他们传递给我们的教导。路德曾在1535年三一节的一次讲道中说到: “不是我们也不是我们的祖先发明了这个信仰告白,而是正如蜜蜂从各样美丽花朵中采取蜂蜜一样,使徒信经为了儿童和普通基督徒精确构建了圣经和我们所爱的先知及使徒写作的概要。” D. We can find the foundation for our Apostles’ Creed in the words of Christ’s great commission: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:18-19) Essentially, the Apostles’ Creed is an expansion and explanation of Jesus’ command. 我们能在基督的大使命中找到使徒信经的根基: 天上地下所有的权柄都赐给我了。所以,你们要去,使万民作我的门徒,奉父、子、圣灵的名给他们施洗(马太福音28:18-19)。 实际上,使徒信经是耶稣诫命的延伸和解释。 E. The Apostles’ inspired writings contain many short direct statements of their faith. These served as short confessions of doctrine and told both Jew and Gentile what the Christian believed. Two good examples are in 1 Corinthians: Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, From whom all things came and from whom we live; And there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, Through whom all things came and through whom we live. (8:6) We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (12:13) Similar one-line arrangements can be made of Phil. 2:5-11, 1 Tim. 2:4-6, 1Tim. 3:16. Thus the Apostles could confess important Christian doctrine in short precise statements. 受到默示由使徒们写下的篇章包含许多关于他们信心的简短而直接的陈述。这些篇章被用作教义的简单告白并告知犹太人和外邦人基督徒所信的是什么。哥林多前书中两个很好的例子是: 然而我们只有一位神,就是父, 万物都本于他,我们也归于他; 并有一位主,就是耶稣基督, 万物都是藉着他有的,我们也是藉着他有的。(8:6) 我们不拘是犹太人,是希腊人,是为奴的,是自主的, 都从一位圣灵受洗,成了一个身体,饮于一位圣灵。(12:13) 类似的一句话式组合可以由腓立比书2:5-11,提摩太前书2:4-6,提摩太前书3:16组成。因此,使徒们能以简短而精确的陈述告白重要的基督徒教义。 F. Before anyone was baptized, the early Christians gave him instruction in the teachings of Jesus. Then, as part of the baptism ceremony, they were asked questions about their faith. The church father Hippolytus gives us the following description (描述) of part of the baptismal ceremony at Rome about A. D. 215: When the one being baptized goes down into the water, the one baptizing puts his hand on him and says, “Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?” And he that is being baptized says, “I believe.” Then putting his hand on the head of the one being baptized, he baptizes him once. Then he says, “Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit, of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate and died and was buried, and rose up again on the third day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, about to come to judge the living and the dead?” And when he replies, “I believe,” he is baptized a second time. And again he asks, “Do you believe in the holy Spirit and the holy Church and the resurrection of the flesh?” And he replies, “I believe.” And then he is baptized the third time. So those who were baptized gave testimony to their knowledge of and trust in Christ and in the doctrines of the Gospel. The early baptismal ceremonies were similar to our present day ones. We also ask questions whose answers are given in the words of the Apostles’ Creed. 任何人在受洗之前,早期的基督徒们会给予这个人关于耶稣教导的指导。然后,作为洗礼仪式的一部分,他们会被问到关于他们信心的问题。牧师希波里图斯给了我们如下公元215年罗马洗礼仪式的部分描述: 当一个人在受洗时进入水中,施洗的人按手在他头上并说,“你相信上帝,全能的父吗?” 受洗的人说,“我相信。”接着施洗的人按手在受洗的人头上,为他施洗一次。然后施洗的人说,“你相信耶稣基督,上帝的儿子,由圣灵和童贞女马利亚所生;在本丢彼拉多手下受难,被钉于十字架,受死,埋葬,第三天从死人中复活;升天,坐在父的右边;将来必从那里降临,审判活人死人吗?”当受洗的人回答“我相信”,为他施洗第二次。施洗的人再问,“你相信圣灵,神圣教会和身体复活吗?”受洗的人回答“我相信”。就为他施洗第三次。 因此那些已经受洗的人见证了他们所了解的基督并相信基督和福音的教义。早期的一些洗礼仪式与我们现在的洗礼仪式类似。我们也用使徒信经作为提问的内容。 G. Many of these fragmentary baptismal creeds, all of which are somewhat similar, are found in the writings of the Early Church. The words vary somewhat from place to place, but most (following Matt. 28:18-19) have three parts, one for each member of the Trinity. As the years went by and the liturgy and customs became more fixed, these baptismal formulas also became more standardized. Individual words and clauses were added from time to time to show the true teaching as opposed to new heresies that arose. 我们能在早期教会的一些文章中发现许多洗礼信经中片段都有相似之处。不同信经中的词语做了些许改变,但是大多数(根据马太福音28:18-19)都是由三部分组成,每一部分各说的是三位一体中的一个位格。随着时间推移,礼拜仪式和习惯固定下来,洗礼的形式也变得更加规范化。个别词语和句子不时被添加进来从而体现真理的教导来抵挡新出现的异端。 H. One of the earliest local creeds is the ancient Roman baptismal creed (also called “The Old Roman Symbol”). Our oldest copy of it in Latin is from A. D. 404, set down in a commentary on the creed by the priest Rufinus. But the quote from Hippolytus (cited above) shows that a creed very similar to this one was already in use much earlier. We also have the witness of Marcellus, a bishop of Ancyra in Asia Minor, who was accused of heresy. To defend himself against those charges, he sent a creed almost identical to the Old Roman Symbol (but in the Greek language) to a council in Rome in the year 341. All of these versions are very close to the Apostles’ Creed we use today in our services. (Compare them on the chart in Appendix 2). Thus, while the Apostles’ Creed was not written directly by the apostles, it has a very ancient origin. Its main use was in the baptismal liturgy. It was used chiefly in the Western or Latin-speaking Church (Yugoslavia, Italy, Western Europe and the western part of North Africa). However, it was also known and quoted in the Eastern or Greek- speaking Church (Greece, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Egypt). 当地最早的信经之一是罗马洗礼信经(也被称为 “古罗马信经”)。我们最早的拉丁文版罗马洗礼信经,于公元404年由祭司鲁菲纳斯写在了这部信经的注释中。但是从上文中引用的希波里图斯的话中可以看出在早于此信经很久以前就已经使用了与之非常相似的信经。我们还有马赛路,小亚西亚安吉拉的一位被控告为异端的主教作为见证。在公元341年他将一个几乎与古罗马信经相同的(不过是用希腊语写的)信经递交给在罗马的一个会议,用来作为他对那些指控的辩护。所有这些版本都与我们现在在我们的敬拜仪式中使用的使徒信经非常相似 (将他们与附件2中表格里的内容作比较)。因此,虽然使徒信经不是使徒们直接所写,但是它的来源可以追溯到很早以前。它主要是用于洗礼仪式中。尤其是用在西方或拉丁语教会中(南斯拉夫、意大利、西欧和北非西部)。然而,它在东方或希腊语教会中也被人们所了解和引用(希腊、土耳其、叙利亚、巴勒斯坦和埃及)。 I. Today, the Apostles’ Creed reads as follows: I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. 我们现在使用的使徒信经内容如下: 我信上帝,全能的父, 创造天地的主。 我信我主耶稣基督,上帝的独生子, 因圣灵感孕, 由童贞女马利亚所生, 在本丢彼拉多手下受难, 被钉于十字架,受死,埋葬。 降在阴间。 第三天从死人中复活。 升天, 坐在全能父上帝的右边。 将来必从那里降临,审判活人死人。 我信圣灵, 我信圣而公之教会,我信圣徒相通, 我信罪得赦免, 我信身体复活, 我信永生。阿们! J. The actual text of the Apostles’ Creed, as we have it, dates from the early Middle Ages. It differs somewhat from the old Roman Creed in that it adds certain phrases from some of the other early creeds in use throughout Christendom. Note the following seven small changes:

  1. after the word “almighty,” it adds the phrase “maker of heaven and earth”;
  2. “born from the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary” becomes “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary”;
  3. it inserts “He descended into hell” after “buried”;
  4. it expands “at the right hand of the Father’ to “at the right hand of God the Father almighty”;
  5. it replaces “holy Church” with “holy Christian Church”.
  6. it inserts after “Church” the phrase “the communion of saints”; and
  7. it adds at the end of the Creed the phase “the life everlasting.” Clearly the Apostles’ Creed developed over several centuries as words and phrases were added until it reached the form in which we recite it today. We will speak more about these changes in the next chapter. 我们现在所用的使徒信经原文要追溯到早期中世纪时期。它与以前的罗马信经不同的是它添加了一些在所有基督徒中使用的其他早期信经中的一些短语。以下为七处细微的变化:
  8. 在“全能的”这个词之后,添加了“创造天地的主”;
  9. “由圣灵和童贞女马利亚所生”改为了“因圣灵感孕,由童贞女马利亚所生”;
  10. 在“埋葬”后面插入了“降在阴间”;
  11. 将“坐在父的右边”扩展为“坐在全能父上帝的右边”;
  12. 将“神圣教会”替换为“圣而公之教会”;
  13. 在“教会”这个词之后插入“圣徒相通”;
  14. 在信经的结尾添加了“我信永生”。 很显然,使徒信经经过了几个世纪的发展,词语和短语的添加形成了我们今天所诵读的形式。我们会在后面的章节谈到更多关于这些变化的内容。 K. In his Small Catechism, Luther wrote three little gems explaining the meaning of each of the three articles of the Apostles’ Creed. These explanations are still masterpieces in summarizing the Bible’s teaching in a clear and moving way. 在路德小问答中,他以个人所感对使徒信经三部分的意义分别进行了阐述。这些解释还是以清晰和令人感动的方式概括圣经教导的杰作。