The Nicene Creed for non-native English speakers (users)

Paraphrased by David Bar-Tzur

Created 21 April 2006, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

I was asked by a Catholic church I interpreted for to write a paraphrase of the Nicene Creed for non-native English speakers as part of their Faith Formation programs. I post it here in the hopes that it might prove helpful to others.

Original: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

ESL version: We believe that there is only one God, who is our Father. Nothing is too difficult for Him. He made everything in the world that we can see and the things we can't see.

Original: We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,

ESL version: We believe that there is one God, but we can think about Him in three different ways. He is too complicated for us to understand in a simple way. Because God is so powerful, He sometimes seems hard to talk to, like a strict father. We think he demands us to follow every rule or we cannot satisfy Him. We Christians believe God is Love and He wants to be our friend. This second way of thinking about God means Jesus became a person and lived in our world so He could understand how we think and behave. God has never shown us who He is through any other person except Jesus Christ and He will never show Himself to us again as a different person.

Original: eternally begotten of the Father,

ESL version: Jesus has always been in the world, even before He had a body. He is the Son of God, who we sometimes think of as our Father.

Original: God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.

ESL version: The Father and the Son are both ways of thinking about the same God. Both have the same Light, that is, the same message for us. Both of Them are true ways for us to understand God because our minds have a limit. Jesus' personality is the same personality as God the Father. Jesus was not made as something separate from the Father, the way we are separate from God.

Original: Through him all things were made.

ESL version: God the Father did not make Jesus. Jesus and the Father both had the power to make everything we see in the world.

Original: For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven:

ESL version: Jesus became a person and lived in our world so He could understand how we think and behave. When we saw Him alive on Earth, it helped us understand how God thinks and behaves.

Original: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

ESL version: Jesus' body was made inside the Virgin Mary's body, but His Father is God. We will explain the Holy Spirit in a moment.

Original: For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

ESL version: For many years, people sacrificed animals to show they were sorry for their sins. They tried to get animals that had no problems with their bodies, but Jesus became the perfect sacrifice because he had a brain like us but He never sinned. Pontius Pilate ordered his soldiers to nail Jesus to a cross and leave Him to die. He hurt just like we would. He died and was buried. Three days later his body became alive again like the Bible promised. Then He went back to Heaven and He is not here to help us understand God anymore. This is what the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit also makes us feel better when we miss Jesus.

Original: He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

ESL version: When Jesus lived on Earth, some people did not know He was God, but when He comes back again everyone will know He is God. Jesus will decide who will be rewarded and who will be punished. He will become the leader of the world forever.

Original: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

ESL version: The third way we think about God is the Holy Spirit. He also is God and our Master. He gives us life. He is another way of thinking about God like the Father and the Son. We should worship all three ways of thinking about God and understand that God is really one.

Original: He has spoken through the Prophets.

ESL version: God is so smart and powerful that not everyone can understand what He is saying. Some people can understand God, because His Spirit speaks to them. We call these kind of people, "prophets".

Original: We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

ESL version: We believe that people who trust God should be members of one Church. This Church believes the same all over the world and it follows what Jesus taught us. We must preach this to everybody in the world.

Original: We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

ESL version: We believe there is only one way to baptize people so that God will forgive their sins.

Original: We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

ESL version: We are waiting for Jesus to come back and make all dead people alive again. After that, the world will be different and we can live forever. This is what we believe.