Exploring the Apostles’ Creed | The Brandon & Brian Show

In this episode, Brandon and Brian delve into the significance of the Apostles Creed. Join them as they uncover the historical roots and enduring influence of this foundational creed on Christian belief and practice. Gain valuable insights into the core tenets of faith and how the Apostles’ Creed continues to shape personal devotion and theological understanding.


Hey, welcome back to the Brandon and Brian Show. I’m Brian, and he’s Brandon. Welcome, thank you, so good to see everybody again. We’re jumping back into the Apostles Creed here, so we’re gonna talk about that today as we did the intro. We want to talk about one of the first and most well-known Creeds. Brandon, I thought we would talk maybe a little bit about its origin, and you know just how it was used, how it was developed. It’s one that if we go back to our intro video, it actually doesn’t come from a council, so it’s a little bit of an outlier in that way.

Um, we know that it’s mentioned by some of the early church fathers. Ambrose talks about it in the fourth Century, about 390 AD, something in that range. Yeah, yeah. So, I think the first thing that maybe we could have you help us with is why is it called the Apostles Creed? What is the thinking behind naming it that?

Well, I think Mark wrote it. No, I’m kidding. That’s early on, there was, you know, this was the assumption, right? This was the myth behind it. But history can confirm that the apostles did it. But we’ve kept it as the Apostles Creed because it is the Apostolic tradition, like it is the foundational central core of what it means to be Christian at all. If you deny any line of the Apostles Creed, properly understood, you have another faith. You know, this is the bare essentials, you know, the central thoughts. And so, we keep that term because of its kind of apostolic teaching, not because they wrote it, because it came much, much later. And there were probably earlier credal versions that led to this as being the accepted universal thought.

And because this one is so short, we thought we could jump in and read it as well. But just to kind of contextualize how important this was in church history, the historian Philip Schaff says that as the Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of prayers, the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments is the law of laws. So, the Apostles Creed is the Creed of Creeds, which is exactly what you were getting at. Like it is thought of as being that core central piece. And again, that’s why as we go through the Creeds and we talk about them, we’re going to see a lot of things that are similar, a lot of things that it’s affirming. And that’s where it says, “Hey, these are the boundaries of Christianity.”

So, let’s just kind of go through each stanza. I mean, as in our little devotional book, it’s on day one, page 40. And maybe we’ll each read one of these sections back and forth and just kind of talk a little bit about it. The first stanza, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” It sounds simple enough, but it’s a very profound statement, right?

Yeah, especially when it’s affirming the Creator God. Not to go off on something that could be a lot larger topic, but as people think about what they believe about creation and evolution and theistic evolution, things like that, it affirms from the earliest days that God is Creator. So, no matter what we’re thinking about like origins, the Bible very strongly affirms God as creator of all.

And we are creation, right? So, this immediately separates us from every other religion, even like Islam, because there’s this duality, right? There’s not the oneness that you find in other religions like pantheism, where all is one and everything is God. There is God the Creator and his creation. They are distinct, right? And that gives him the authority. He’s the almighty, right? And authoritative, and he’s distinctive.

And that separates us from every other religion right off the bat, yeah.

Yeah. “And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.” And then I’ll just kind of continue, “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost.” So, now we’ve introduced all the members of the Trinity, which again, is one of the very core things in early church history that was a battle. It’s talking about Christ being our Lord, but also the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son being right in the early parts of this Creed.

“Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.” That’s key, that he truly died, you know?

From an apologetics point of view, I’m sure you would point out too that not only that, but we mention a somewhat small unknown person in Rome, Pontius Pilate, in the earliest Creeds. So, it’s grounding it in time and space, yeah.

Christianity isn’t something that should just make you feel good. It should not be something that, “Oh, it works for me.” It’s either something that’s true in history or it’s not. Either Pontius Pilate was there or he wasn’t, right? And so, and if these things happened, then it immediately puts some kind of burden on our lives.

Here’s the controversial one though: “He descended into hell, and he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence, he shall come to judge the living and the dead.” So, what are your thoughts on the descending into hell? What does that mean to you?

There are some different perspectives on that one.

Yeah, yeah, there is. I think that’s one that we’re going to get to, two of them in here. One is the Catholic Church, lowercase ‘c,’ and one has descended into hell. You know, I do tend to think that that is one that probably has more historical purchase or meaning than it does today, like the whole descent into hell and kind of thinking about that in terms of what people were believing, certainly as the Roman Catholic Church was the church. But yeah, I’ll be honest, I kind of struggle with its meaning today. Like, it would not bother me if it was removed. Not that I’m advocating removal, but it wouldn’t bother me.

Well, I mean, it’s a, you know, he was either proclaiming, you know, “I have conquered,” you know? “I am the Lord,” you know? “I will have victory.” Another thought in church history that during the Old Testament, it talks about Sheol, the place of the dead. And so even during the Old Testament, because Christ says, ‘I’m going to go and prepare a place for you,’ so in the death and the resurrection of Jesus, something radical took place. And so in Sheol, where there was a separation of a joyful heavenly-type place and a place of torment, Jesus went and led those captives to the new heavenly realities that they were waiting, something even better.

Yeah, you can read into that what you will.

And so to kind of finish this off, you get into the last section, which is the ‘I believe’ segment. So, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, meaning the Universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.’ And then it ends with ‘amen,’ meaning like a sense of agreement.

One thing I would say before we end is, you know, in the Middle Ages, it was common to recite this daily, and that was retained in some things like the book of common prayer that we will cover in future months. So, the importance of the Apostles Creed is it really can’t be overstated.

No, I mean, it’s core understanding. Of course, rightly understood, it’s not the Catholic Church, as in saying the Roman Catholic Church. Catholic means Universal; that’s what the term actually means. It’s not talking about the institution; it’s basically saying I believe that we are all a part of the same assembly. Ultimately, all those who are regenerated, all those who have new hearts, all those who truly trust in a fiduciary, trusting way in Jesus for themselves as their Lord and Savior, that we are all a part of the same universal church. That’s what we’re saying. We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, that Jesus is God, that the Father is God. We believe in these core realities of who God is, and we’re trusting in that historical reality of the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus for our personal hope and assurance.

Well, thanks again for being with us today. We will see you next time, where we will cover another topic from ‘Be Thou My Vision.’ Yeah, see you next time on the Brandon and Brian Show.