Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 12. The Development of Catholic Theology in Conflict with Heresy” Sections 137-158, Loc. 18758-20235.
§ 140. The Rule of Faith and the Apostles’ Creed.
Schaff provides an extensive bibliography at the start of this section, with helpful annotations as usual (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19074). He goes on to observe that a “rule of faith” was commonly understood to be a summary of Christian doctrine, which would regularly be useful in catechesis prior to baptism (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19093). These would then also be used to make distinctions between those who were Christians and those who were not. There are various such documents, or fragments of accounts of the, dating back to the late 2nd century (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19105). Though they come from different authors and different places, they expressed the same version of Christianity. The development of such confessions was largely ended in the East after the Nicene Creed was widely accepted as an authoritative fundamental creed (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19110). Meanwhile, the “Roman Symbol,” which we know as the Apostles’ Creed, was more prominent in the West. Schaff thinks if it had actually been from thepen of the apostles it would have had more honor and been better preserved (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19116). However, it exists in a shorter and a longer form, with the earliest versions coming from the third or second century (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19122). The longer form is what we traditionally use now. Schaff finds that both the Apostolic and Nicene Creeds reflect the teaching of the earliest Christians and center on Christ and His work (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19132). After the sixth century, a tradition arose which assigned different parts of the Apostles’ Creed to the different apostles. Schaff provides this tradition in Latin (Schaff 2014, Loc. 19139).