“Scutum Fidei” and the Athanasian Creed

JP: “Scutum Fidei” is Latin for “Shield of Faith”. From Wikipedia article:

The only name for this diagram which was in any regular use during the Middle Ages was “Scutum Fidei” (a Latin phrase meaning “Shield of the Faith”, taken from the Vulgate of Ephesians verse 6:16).

The particular phrase “Shield of the Trinity”, which is now the most common name for the diagram in English, didn’t come into regular use until the 20th century. However, it is called in Latin Scutum Sancte Trinitatis or “Shield of the Holy Trinity” (where sancte is a medieval form for more classical sanctae) on the font in Crosthwaite Church, near Keswick, Cumbria, England. Other variant names are “Arms of the Trinity”, “Shield of the Blessed Trinity”, “Emblem of the Trinity”, “Arms of the Faith”, “Emblem of the Holy and Undivided Trinity”

Below are some ancient and modern representations of the “Shield of the Trinity”.

Below: “The Trinity” from The Valley of Vision (HT: Challies.com):

Three in One, One in Three, God of my salvation,

Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit,

I adore thee as one Being, one Essence,
one God in three distinct Persons,
for bringing sinners to thy knowledge and to thy kingdom.

O Father, thou hast loved me and sent Jesus to redeem me;

O Jesus, thou hast loved me and assumed my nature,
shed thine own blood to wash away my sins,
wrought righteousness to cover my
unworthiness;

O Holy Spirit, thou hast loved me and entered
my heart, implanted there eternal life,
revealed to me the glories of Jesus.

Three Persons and one God, I bless and praise thee,
for love so unmerited, so unspeakable,
so wondrous, so mighty to save the lost
and raise them to glory.

O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me to Jesus, to be his sheep,
jewel, portion;

O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;

O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of
grace thou hast
exhibited Jesus as my salvation,
implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him for ever.

O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,

O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my
petitions,

O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my
infirmities, to show me my need,
to supply words, to pray within me,
to strengthen me that I faint not in
supplication.

O Triune God, who commandeth the universe,
thou hast commanded me to ask for those
things that concern thy kingdom and my soul.

Let me live and pray as one baptized into the
threefold Name.

Text: Athanasian Creed

Wiki: Athanasian Creed

Articles on the Trinity:

Loraine Boettner: The Trinity
An Explanation of the Trinity for Muslims
What is the doctrine of the Trinity?
ISBE: The Trinity I
ISBE: The Trinity II

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