Moses Maimonides (Rambam, b.1138–d.1204) was the first Jewish scholar to attempt to formulate a Jewish creed, perhaps because of the need to draw clear lines in the face of Muslim and Christian attempts to convert Jews during those tempestuous years of conquest and crusade that he lived in. His 'thirteen principles of the faith', fist formulated in his Commentary on the Mishna (c. 1160):
I believe with perfect faith that:
- The creator is Author and Guide of everything that exists.
- The creator is One; His unity is unlike that of anything else; He is our God and exists eternally.
- The Creator has no body or physical characteristics, and cannot be compared with anything that exists.
- The creator is first and last of all beings.
- It is right to pray to the creator, but to no other being.
- All the words of the prophets are true.
- The prophecy of Moses is true, and He was the father (that is, the greatest) of all prophets, both before and after him.
- The Torah now in our possession is that given to Moses.
- The Torah will not be changed, nor will the Creator give any other Torah.
- The Creator knows the deeds and thoughts of people.
- He rewards those who keep his commandments, and punishes those who disobey.
- Though the Messiah delay, one must constantly expect his coming.
- The dead will be resurrected.
I'm still wondering what kind of analogous parallel creed, even tentatively, could have been enumerated back in the first century. Would this later listing reveal any continuity between the two different eras?