An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Rule of Faith

A term designating a summary of orthodox faith (regula fidei) in the first Christian centuries. It was a confession of faith in the three divine Persons that included a confession of faith in the Incarnation of the Word. It eventually designated three traditional creeds: the Apostles' Creed, which grew out of the confessions of faith that took place during baptism; the Nicene Creed, formulated by the Council of Nicaea (325) and completed by the first Council of Constantinople (381); and the Quicunque Vult, or Athanasian Creed, a western document of the fifth century directed against the Arian heresy (BCP, pp. 864-865). Article VIII of the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1571 affirmed that the three creeds “ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.” Later forms of the Articles of Religion omit the Athanasian Creed, including the form adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1801 (BCP, pp. 867-876).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.