2.2 The origin of the early church creeds

As Christianity spread through the Roman Empire, many who became Christians remained, at least in part, mired in their previous religious or philosophical views. The fusion of these views with Christian doctrine resulted in heresies, which caused uncertainty among the believers. In particular, the doctrines of the Trinity and of the essence, or nature, of Jesus Christ ignited serious disputes. To counter this development, efforts were made to formulate creeds which were intended to be binding for the faith of the congregation and thus also for the individual believer. Conformity to the doctrine of Christ and His Apostles served as the standard when it came to deciding whether a statement about God's being and activity should find its way into the creeds. Over the course of time, various creeds were formulated: the Apostles' Creed (Apostolicum), the Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople, and the Athanasian Creed.