In the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed, the three persons of the Trinity each seem to have their own role in creating the world:
- The Father is "maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible".
- For the Son, we have "by whom all things were made", a clear lifting from John 1:3.
- The Holy Spirit is "the giver of life" (Greek ζῳοποιόν, Latin vivificantem).
Does this text intend to suggest a strict division of responsibilities (eg, the Father does not give life, the Spirit did not make heaven and earth), or is it more like giving emphasis to the ways in which each person contributes to a single creative will? In particular, what distinction is envisaged between the Father, who makes all things, and the Son, by whom all things are made? My sense is that the authors wanted to make some sort of distinction, but not to the extent of dividing God; I'd like to know how they thought about the ways that the three persons of the one God are responsible for creation.
I am interested in answers that reflect the probable opinions of the authors of the creed, though any further detail based on later Trinitarian theology is also welcome.