The "Thirteen Articles of Faith" were written by Maimonides, a Jewish sage of the 12th century. They're interesting to read, partly as an insight to Judaism (as Maimonides saw it), and also as a commentary on what Maimonides felt he had to respond to to distinguish Judaism from other religions. They are intended to be read out as an affirmation of one's faith. They are found in many prayer books after the morning services; many Jews read them every day.

Translation mine.

  1. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, created and guides all creatures, and he alone made, makes, and will make all things.
  2. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, is one, and there is no uniqueness like his in any way, and he alone is our God, past, present, and future.

    A fairly standard play against polytheism. Judaism's big on the whole "One God" thing.

  3. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, is not corporeal, and is not affected by physical limits, and there is nothing at all to compare with him.
  4. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, is the first and the last.
  5. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, is alone worthy of being prayed to, and nothing else is worthy of prayer.
  6. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are the truth.
  7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses our Teacher (peace be upon him) was true, and that he is father of all prophets, before and after him.

    Some support for accepted prophets and the primacy of Mosaic revelation. "Father" is obvious meant metaphorically here: that he is chief among the prophets.

  8. I believe with perfect faith that all the Law now in our hands is that which was given to Moses our Teacher (peace be upon him)
  9. I believe with perfect faith that this Law will never be changed, and there will never be another Law from the Creator, blessed be his Name.

    Seems to be drawing a distinction with Christianity, and its "New Testament." Note that "Law" in these two articles is the translation for the Hebrew word "Torah," and refers really to the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible.

  10. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, knows all the actions of human beings and all their thoughts, as it is said (Psalm 33:15): "He fashioned their hearts all together; he understands all their deeds."
  11. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be his Name, rewards those who keep his commandments, and punishes those who transgress them.

    Basic reward and punishment doctrine. This and some of the earlier ones also speak against the "God the watchmaker" concept, though I don't think that was really popular back then (but I'm not sure).

  12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, even though he may tarry. Even so, I wait for him to come every day.

    This is the best-known of the lot; it's the one with melodies people sing it to. It's the one they say people sang on their way to being killed in the Holocaust.

  13. I believe with perfect faith that there will be a revival of the dead, at such time as it pleases the Creator, Blessed be his Name and Exalted his Mention forever and ever.

    Please, no cracks about the Grateful Dead doing more concerts; it's how it wound up translating. Maybe you'd prefer "resuscitation"?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka Mormon church) has Thirteen Articles of Faith which sum up the Church's basic theology:






They were written by the Church's first president, Joseph Smith. Members of the LDS Church are encouraged, but not expected, to have them memorized

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