This work will offer a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the origin and development of the Apostles' Creed (symbolum apostolorum), the first to appear since Kelly's Early Christian Creeds (1950). Westra offers a concise Forschungsgeschichte, gathers the fruits of more recent literature, and critically discusses the work of Markschies, Kinzig, and Vinzent (Tauffragen und Bekenntnis), who presented a completely novel theory on the origin of the Apostles' Creed in 1999.
A new feature in Westra's work is its discussion of the phenomenon of credal change - a long-felt need, as the different variants. How did these variants originate, and how did they develop over the course of the centuries in the different parts of th Western Church?
Consequently, Westra presents an elaborate overview of these different variants. He discusses the testimony of wellknown authors such as Ambrose, Augustine, and Rufinus anew, and also draws attention to a number of hitherto neglected or even unknown sources, thus replacing (at least as far as the Apostles' Creed is concerned) Hahn's Bibliothek der Symbole.
"Voici donc un ouvrage absolument fondamental. Non seulement il propose une solution plausible à la question de l'origine, mais aussi et surtout il fait la synthèse d'une documentation singulièrement enrichie en vue de la définition de formes régionales." (P.-M. Bogaert dans Revue Bénédictine, 2005/1, p.213-215)
"This is the most extensive contribution to the development of the Apostles' Creed in recent years. (...) This is a rich and learned book which is a useful andd reliable tool for further research, and will in any case stimulate scholarly debate on the creeds for a long time to come." (W. Kinzig in Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 56/3, July 2005, p.548-549)