When the Nicene Creed was translated into Latin, a total of three interpolations were inserted into the text.
- Deum de Deo. The Greek text has φῶς ἐκ φωτός, Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ “Light from Light, True God from True God.” But the Latin inserts the phrase “God from God” first: Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine, Deum verum de Deo vero. It is unclear what the origin of this interpolation is.
- incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto ex María Vírgine. The Greek text has one preposition in reference to both God the Holy Spirit and our Lady: σαρκωθέντα ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένου. Thus the Greek says “incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,” whereas the Latin uses two different prepositions de (“from”) and ex (“out of”). This is seems to be in conformity with the more ancient Latin creed, the Apostles Creed, which uses the same prepositional phrase: conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine.
- qui ex Patre Filióque procédit. Again in conformity with Latin usage the Latin Nicene Creed inserts the infamous Filioque. Two other ancient Latin liturgical texts show this Latin phrase: the Quicumque Vult creed (“Athanasian”) and the Veni Sancte Spiritus hymn for Pentecost. The former is dated from the 5th or 6th centuries and includes this phrase: Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus, nec creatus, nec genitus, sed procedens (“The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son; neither created, nor begotten, but proceeding”). The Hymn for Pentecost is of later origin, perhaps the 9th century, which includes a petition to the Holy Spirit as from both the Father and the Son.
When we consider that the Latin west had a total of three creeds which developed into their liturgy (Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian), we can perhaps begin to see how inoffensive it was to them to have these interpolations. Moreover, the larger political shift away from the Greek Roman Empire to the Frankish Roman Empire is the context which should not be ignored. It is vital for the Orthodox to understand that both the Latin and Greek traditions stand on their own and must be judged on their own terms. The Seven Ecumenical Councils were dominated by Greek concerns, and not all of their mentality (or even canons) were translated over to the Latins, who dealt with their own concerns in their own legitimate way. The Greek tradition must not be rejected for the Latin, nor the Latin for the Greek. However, because the Greek party which rejected the equality of the Latin tradition ultimately held power in the east, the schism was ultimately consummated. Orthodox Christians today state that they accept the equal authority of the Latin Fathers, yet they reject that the Latin Tradition as developed by the 9th century has equal authority with the Greek. On the other side, the Eastern Catholics have accepted an equal authority of Latin Fathers and Tradition as it was dogmatized at Florence in the Filioque decree.