Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY
Business Office: 68 South Swan Street - Albany, NY 12210 - (518) 465-4737
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center: 575 Burton Road - Greenwich, NY 12834 - (518) 692-9550

What We Believe

From time to time, people ask what Episcopalians believe.

Our core beliefs center on the Apostles' Creed (this version dates from the 8th century, based on a shorter version from the third century AD, and it is found on pages 96 and 304 the 1979 Book of Common Prayer), the Nicene Creed (this is the version from the Council of Toledo in 586 AD as found in the services for Holy Eucharist in the Prayer Book, though it is substantially the same as the version from the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD), and An Outline of the Faith, as found on page 845 of The 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The Definition of the Union of the Divine and Human Natures of the Person of Christ and The Creed of Saint Athanasius (both found on page 864 of The Book of Common Prayer) augment the statements of faith that are found in the Apostles' and Nicene creeds.

Episcopalians have traditionally agreed to the Articles of Religion of 1801 A.D. (otherwise known as The Episcopal Church's version of "The Thirty-Nine Articles" which is based on the 1571 A.D. version from The Church of England), as found on page 867 of the Book of Common Prayer.

People preparing for Confirmation should know at least the Ten Commandments (found on page 318 and page 350 of The Book of Common Prayer, and found in the Bible, in the Old Testament, in the Book of Exodus, chapter 20, verses 1 to 17), the Apostles Creed, and the Lord's Prayer (as found in the various services in The Book of Common Prayer, such as pages 97 and 364; it is based on the version found in the Bible, in the New Testament, in the Book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 9 to 13 and as augmented by an ending such as that found in the Didache from the second century A.D., chapter 8).

Ideally, as in the early centuries of the Church's history, the role of a bishop in the Church is the guardian of the Apostles' teaching as handed down to the Church in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and as this teaching is summarized in the Creeds. The New Testament interprets the Old Testament, describing God's plan of redemption for us and for all creation through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is primarily God's Word to us about being disciples of Jesus Christ, and it is the basis for our beliefs in the Creeds.

Some of the books of the Bible found in the Old Testament Greek Translation called "the Septuagint" (dating from the 3rd or 2nd century B.C.) are helpful reading, even though they are viewed as having lesser authority than the other books of the Bible. The entire Septuagint was probably the primary Old Testament Bible for the writers of the New Testament, but these books of lesser authority that are part of the Septuagint are only parts of it, and collectively these lesser authoritative books are now known as the "Readable Books" (by the Orthodox Church), the "Deuterocanonical Books" (by the Roman Catholic Church), and as the "Apocrypha" (by certain Protestant denominations). Episcopalians often refer to these books of lesser authority by whatever title seems appropriate.

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