The Nicene Creed begins with the following:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

What does the phrase "all things visible and invisible" mean exactly? This may seem like a basic question, but I guess I don't know the full list of things that this is saying that God made.

  • This choice of words in the creed may have been intended as an explicit denial of the Manichean heresy. If I understand it correctly,that heresy claimed that there are two equal powers, a good one whom we call God and an evil one. The creed asserts to the contrary that any evil powers that exist are not equal to God but are created beings, subordinate to God. Aug 17, 2018 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


The Catechism of the Council of Trent explains "Of all Things Visible and Invisible" thus:

What we have said, then, of the creation of the universe is to be understood as conveyed by the words heaven and earth, and is thus briefly set forth by the Prophet: Thine are the heavens, and thine is the earth: the world and the fulness thereof thou hast founded. (Ps. 88:12). Still more briefly the Fathers of the Council of Nice expressed this truth by adding in their Creed these words: of all things visible and invisible. Whatever exists in the universe, whatever we confess to have been created by God, either falls under the senses and is included in the word visible, or is an object of mental perception and intelligence and is expressed by the word invisible.

  • I've decided to accept this answer because it most directly addresses the specific terms "visible" and "invisible". It was a tough choice though; the Catechism talks about it in greater detail without using those words. Aug 16, 2018 at 19:29

Everything that is that is not God. The physical universe. Humans. Spiritual beings (angels and demons etc).

CCC 325: The Apostles' Creed professes that God is "creator of heaven and earth". the Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes "all that is, seen and unseen".

CCC 326: The Scriptural expression "heaven and earth" means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: "the earth" is the world of men, while "heaven" or "the heavens" can designate both the firmament and God's own "place" - "our Father in heaven" and consequently the "heaven" too which is eschatological glory. Finally, "heaven" refers to the saints and the "place" of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.

CCC 338: Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. the world began when God's word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.

In this all the branches of Trinitarian Christianity are agreed.

  • Are there any invisible things we are aware of other that spiritual beings and heaven? Or is that the limit we have there? Aug 15, 2018 at 1:21
  • 2
    Well there are invisible things in the universe (gravity, electromagnetism, etc). There could be other invisible things, if so they too are created by God.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 15, 2018 at 1:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .