Explanation and Analysis of the Document
Every clause in the Nicene Creed deals with an actual or potential matter of controversy. Every clause is designed either to indicate the orthodox alternative to an ostensibly heretical idea taught by some existing school of thought or to preclude later misunderstanding about what the Catholic Church officially taught. Noncontroversial matters, by contrast, are not addressed, for the Church had no need to do so.
The creed begins with the...