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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Der Lutheranerplain text online

This post continues from the previous post, a continuing survey of old German Missouri Synod online resources for scanned images with good text.
Unfortunately the results of Google Books efforts on Der Lutheraner periodical fall short in two areas:
  1. only about 1/2 of volumes of first 78 volumes are available so far, and
  2. extraction of the pure text has not been as successful as the results of previous publications in my survey: St. Louis Edition – Luther's works, Lehre und Wehre, and Walther's books.  The 2 reasons for this are:
  • multi-column format like our newspapers and
  • smudged printing from the aging bound volumes.
    The earlier editions especially show these detrimental effects of the OCR'd text.  It is quite difficult to get a clean image when scanning these large pages with so much smudging, especially close to the bound edge – I know.  (I have updated my original blog post on image scans of DL to switch from my personal scans to those of Google Books where available.)

    It is a bit of a disappointment to not have clear plain text at my fingertips of the articles of Walther and the founding fathers of the old (German) Missouri Synod.  To alleviate this somewhat, Pastor Joel Baseley has made a good beginning with his translation of the first 3 years (1844-1847) of Der Lutheraner, a worthy effort.   An example of the disappointment is that it is not easy to discern the translated English in this article from July 1851, a reprint of Martin Chemnitz' Examination of the Council of Trent. on the topic "Von der Rechtfertigung der Sünden vor Gott durch den Glauben an Jesum Christum". Here is a very rough translation taken directly from Google Translate:
    Jnbalt: W elchcs of Ha n dtp uukt in Diefer teaching fine. over which the Lntheraner ftreiten with Pauiften, - For deffen befferer development and demonstration is added right from the outset. d'ate forgiveness of sins and Erneurung connected Feien, but at the same time recalls. fie that are not mixed together Follen, - ** Zuerft I must speak of those fophiftifchen trickery ttnd twist. because the underlying dispute unfere opponents. is the fichs. fchlau and lifiig fiellen into the darkness and hide. and a gehäffige Weife unfere teaching Fuchen to fehen fchlimmes in a fairly light, as if we denied namely. that the Erneurung a benefit unferes mediator. the Son of God. and ici linked to the justification. It ifi * yes of course certain. Both blessings that unferes mediator. the Son of God find. not only the Vergebuttg of sins. fondern the Erneurung. in which the sacred Geifi new believers in the virtues awakened and worketh. Because Ehriftus us through finely Leideu s not only earned forgiveness of Siinden. 
    Do you, dear reader, consider this Google translated version gibberish?  I don't.  I can pick out that it speaks about the heart of Christianity – the forgiveness of sins.  I can pick out that it speaks about our mediator, the Son of God.  And it speaks about our justification.  I believe that it was Walther himself who ordered  this crowning work of Martin Chemnitz to be reprinted in Der Lutheraner.  Of course we now have this work translated into English and published by CPH.  And thanks to J.A.O. Preus II, (CHI article) we have his book about Martin Chemnitz – The Second Martin.

    I have found that the periodical journal Lehre und Wehre contains as much or more of the pure spiritual heart of Missouri as Der Lutheraner.  And yet, I will present the results of my survey of Der Lutheraner to all the world, to testify to the fact that the true heart of Lutheranism came to America, but was published in the German language.

    Please note the following points:
    1. there are no resources in HathiTrust or Archive.org yet for DL (only Google Books)
    2. the "Plain Text" selection shows as much as 5 pages of DL  – a lot of text for each "page" of Google's display,
    3. but the plain text is somewhat garbled as the large pages were difficult to get clean scans


    One will look in vain for news stories of the history of America during the 1800's and 1900's in the pages of Der Lutheraner. Just try to find stories of the happenings of the American Civil War in the pages of Der Lutheraner... they are few and far between.  The German Lutherans were interested in the hereafter more than the affairs of this world.  It was Der Lutheraner that went out from America to all the world to show that the heart of Lutheranism was not dead, but lived.  It had traveled from Germany to America... and back again.

    God did bless America... He sent C.F.W. Walther!

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