These three Christian creeds represent the most widely accepted and ancient Christian statements of faith. Together, they form a summary of traditional Christian doctrine, expressing the fundamental beliefs of a broad range of Christian churches.
It's important to note that many Christian denominations reject the practice of professing a creed, even though they may agree with the creed's content. Quakers, Baptists, and many evangelical churches consider the use of creedal statements unnecessary.
The ancient text known as the Nicene Creed is the most widely recognized statement of faith among Christian churches. It is used by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Anglicans, Lutherans and most Protestant churches. The Nicene Creed was originally adopted at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The creed established conformity of beliefs among Christians, identified heresy or deviations from orthodox biblical doctrines, and was used as a public profession of faith.
The sacred text known as the Apostles' Creed is another widely accepted statement of faith among Christian churches. It is used by a number of Christian denominations as part of the worship services. Some evangelical Christians, however, reject the creed, specifically its recitation, not for its content, but simply because it is not found in the Bible. Ancient theory suggests that the 12 apostles were the authors of the Apostles' Creed; however, most biblical scholars agree that the creed was developed sometime between the second and ninth centuries. The creed in its fullest form most likely came into being around 700 AD.
The Athanasian Creed is a lesser known ancient Christian statement of faith. For the most part, it is no longer used in church worship services today. The creed's authorship is often attributed to Athanasius (293-373 AD), bishop of Alexandria. However, because the Athanasian Creed was never mentioned in early church councils, most biblical scholars believe it was written much later. The statement provides a precise explanation of what Christians believe about the divinity of Jesus Christ.