Apostles’ Creed for Everyone
(A translation by Jim Rigby)
Every religion is a particular expression of the universal human experience. The original word for “creed” in Greek meant “symbol.” When the original mystical religion we now call “Christianity” was translated into Latin, it fell from a religion of awareness to a dogmatic sect that unnecessarily divided people. What follows is a translation of the Apostles’ Creed based getting back to ways the Greek symbols might call us to our common life with others.
To be Christian means to accept Jesus as one’s model for what it means to be a human in the cosmos. There is no reason why we who have chosen Christianity as our path cannot sing our hymn in harmony with those who use a different particular symbol to open to the universal. It is not possible to obey Jesus’ command to be a good neighbor with all if our hymn to life is, itself, partisan.
This translation is a work in progress, so feel free to take a stab at saying it in a way that is better for you. Can a Jewish, Muslim or atheistic person find a way of singing the hymn in their own key? Surely, each path will say things that sound very different from the Christian version. My hope (impossible though it may be) is to affirm the central hymn of Christianity in a particular way that calls us a Christian community to our common experience with every other human, believers and skeptics alike. Surely we can all find a way through our own particular expression, to affirm something we all know is bigger than any of us.
I trust in the source, parent of all being, ultimate power, creative principle of all that is,
And in the human one, our guide, a unique manifestation of the source,
Conceived by the spirit of love, born of faithfulness,
suffered under political oppression, was executed, died and buried,
Descending to the very depths of nonbeing; on the third day was
found alive again in human solidarity: rising to the highest, perfectly
at one with the source, thereafter, became a standard for living and dying.
I trust in the spirit of life, the universality of faithfulness, the unity of
all who are kind and just,
that no mistake is final, that love does not die with the body, and that
life itself is eternal.