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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Triglotta– Pieper- English language? (4e); Amish analogy

This continues from Part 4d reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH. (See Table of Contents here)  This Part 4e continues my translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book in 1921.  Pieper had just beautifully defended against the attacks of German theologians, who claimed differences between Martin Luther and the Lutheran Confessions, when he opened up the topic of languages.

Pieper's essay is indented. My interspersed comments are in green
Underlining is in the original.  Highlighting is mine. 
Hyperlinks added including page links to original essay in Google Books.
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"Concordia Triglotta"
by Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
(continued from Part 4d)

German?  English?  Which language to choose?  Pieper proceeds...

The fact that the Triglotta also presents the English text of the Lutheran Confessions besides the Latin and German, should not draw the accusation that we want to hastily turn the American Lutheran Church into an English oneWe hold, as it befits a Synod in principle, that the Church of God does not serve the language, but the language is to serve the Church.  We engage ourselves in each language which serves the doctrines of the Gospel.  In India we speak Indian, in China, Chinese.  Here in America we speak German where one understands German the best, English where the English language is understood the best or is preferred.  We also do not refuse, as everyone knows, to speak in some Slavic languages.  We so-called Missourians are now here in America, where English has taken root for a long time as the national language.  So we owe our wonderful Lutheran confessional writings in English to both those within and those outside the Lutheran Church.

A careful reading of this paragraph reveals that there were some in the old (German) Missouri Synod who resisted the changeover from German to English for the wrong reason... perhaps nationalism. Pieper squashes this thought with the imperative that 
"the Church of God does not serve the language, but the language is to serve the Church"
The question might then be: 
"Why did the old (German) Missouri Synod hang on to the German language so long in America?"
Pieper answered that question above and elsewhere by saying that the language to use is the "language which serves the doctrines of the Gospel."  Two World Wars have sadly pushed this question far too quickly.  And so the German language for me, a full German descendant, is totally foreign...  the language of Luther and the Reformation is outside my comprehension, and so probably for most of today's American Lutheran pastors... and probably so even for many of the Lutheran teachers.  Thank God the old (German) Missouri Synod produced the Concordia Triglotta (with an authoritative English translation) before the old Missouri was superseded by today's LC-MS.  And thank God they produced all 3 languages synchronized in 3 parallel columns so one can see, compare, and reference the old original languages.  

There is a religious group today that is partially analogous to the old (German) Missouri Synod – the Amish, and others like them – the "old order" societies.  Along with maintaining the old farming practices, they maintain the old German language among themselves.  One of their stated reasons for maintaining a separation from modern society is to maintain separation from "the English".  On the face of it, they have been successful, and so modern society by the millions go to visit their areas to get a taste of the "old ways".  Their lifestyle is now so popular that the Discovery Channel even attempts to cash in with a sensationalistic depiction of them ("Amish Mafia"), a depiction that is widely discredited.  One wonders that if the German language was still evident in today's LC-MS in certain areas of America, the Discovery Channel would also falsely depict them.  It is sad for me that the Amish, although they maintain separation from "the English", have separated from the Lutheran Reformation, and so became a sect, a sect that went back to a doctrine of works.  But I envy them in this respect, that they largely understand the German language.  Hmmm...  I wonder if they use Luther's translation of the Bible in the German language?

Pieper then ends his essay on the physical aspects of the book itself:

As for the exterior features of the Concordia Triglotta, our Concordia Publishing House has particularly succeeded this time in providing a suitable dress for the "golden Concordia".       
F.[ranz] P.[ieper]

- - - - - - - - - End of Pieper's essay - - - - - - - - -

The original Concordia Triglotta was hardback whereas today's CPH version is "Print on Demand" paperback (2-4 weeks delivery)...  much cheaper to produce in smaller volumes.  I would not fault CPH for producing it this way if it allows a wider audience to purchase the book.  But a $70 price tag would rather present a barrier to a purchase... something they seemingly would have attempted to avoid.  So I suggest the reader look for used copies of the older version on Amazon or elsewhere first.  But if none are available, I recommend purchasing this new one because it is the "gold standard", the "golden Concordia".  Then one will understand the Reformation... the Lutheran Reformation, from the Reformation century, ... then one will understand Martin Luther.

May Pieper's introductory essay serve as today's introduction to the newly available Concordia Triglotta, even if this new book lacks Bente's "Historical Introductions" (free version here).  And if today's CPH has added its own introduction and attempted to do a better job than Pieper, may the reader ignore it and do what Pieper says:
"Just read the Confessions, check their Scripture evidence and convince yourself..."
In the next Part 5a of this series, I begin to review the essay by Prof. Roland Ziegler concerning the Book of Concord... and a detractor of the old Missouri Synod.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Triglotta–Pieper–Luther, Scripture, detractors (4d); Bente's Historical Intro

This continues from Part 4c reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH. (See Table of Contents here)  This Part 4d continues my translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book in 1921.  Pieper previously pointed out how the Lutheran Confessions demonstrate that the Lutheran Church is the Bible Church.   And now Pieper quotes Martin Luther to bolster this claim...  Yes, Prof. Pieper, tell us again what Luther says about Scripture itself... for you are the best one to point us to
What Luther Says:

Pieper's essay is indented. My interspersed comments are in green
Underlining is in the original.  Highlighting is mine. 
Hyperlinks added including page links to original essay in Google Books.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Concordia Triglotta"
by Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
(continued from Part 4c)

Yes, Prof. Pieper, tell us again what Luther says about Scripture itself... for you are the best one to point us to What Luther Says:

"It is a different study in the Scripture when one lays out obscure passages and figures; that becomes thought of as a kind of hunting, because one understands it to be some fun [for entertainment], as they look for and catch wild game.  But the kind of study useful for battle is that one that is learned in Scripture, as Paul says [Titus 1:9]. It means to fight powerfully and with many clear passages, as with a drawn and naked swordwithout any glosses and interpretations. This was the significance of the golden spears in Solomon’s temple. Thus the opponent, overcome by the bright light, must see and confess that God’s sayings stand alone and need no human interpretation.  The foe who does not believe clear Scripture will certainly not believe the glosses of any of the fathers either."
And shortly before:
"How could they [the fathers] have overcome the heretics if they had fought with their own glosses?  They would have been regarded as fools and senseless people. But since they cited such clear passages, which did not need glosses, that all reason was captivated by them, the evil spirit himself, along with all the heresies, had to retreat before them." (St. Louis Edition, 18, 1293 f.Luther's Works, Am. Edition, v. 39page165 [PNG file] – "Answer to the Hyperchristian, Hyperspiritual and Hyperlearned Book by Goat Emser...") 
In summary, the Lutheran church has by God's mercy a confession which identifies itself in the strictest examination as a vow to the doctrine revealed in the Holy Scripture.

Ah, how refreshing it is to hear Luther in relation to Scripture and the essence of the Lutheran Confessions which include Luther's Small and Large Catechism.  Now we understand Luther.

But there are those who would try to put a wedge between Luther and the Lutheran Confessions.  And Pieper points them out, this time from a different German theologian than in the last section (von Frank).

The Triglotta also offers in 256 pages the "Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church."  We particularly refer to these historical introductions.  They have been presented for a quarter century by Prof. Bente to the Symbolics classes at our St. Louis institution.  An examination of these introductory remarks will show that the author thoroughly knows and completely understands the historical material, especially the dogmatic history.  Unfortunately, newer theologians, Lutherans included, e.g. misrepresent the relationship between Luther and the Formula of Concord, and especially concerning the disputes surrounding the drafting of the Formula of Concord, and so do not [Page 301] judge properly.  The reason is that they themselves do not hold to the teaching of the Lutheran Confessions.  So they were then always tempted to reinterpret the disputed issues and confessional statements for the purposes of their own divergent doctrinal positions.  For example, Dieckhoff claimed that Luther was in mind when the 2nd Article of the Formula of Concord discarded "the Stoic and Manichaean absurdity"(See the article in Lehre und Wehre. 1886, p 193 ff.: "Luther and the Formula of Concord.")  And Dieckhoff stands there with the assertion that a contrast existing between the Formula of Concord and Luther – Luther's De Servo Arbitrio [The Bondage of the Will] – is not the only difference.  We now see what Professor Bente proves otherwise with documentary evidence under the sub-headings "The Synergistic Controversy" (p.124 ff.), "The Eleventh Article of the Formula of Concord" (p. 195 ff.), "Luther and Article XI of the Formula of Concord" (p. 209 ff).  Altogether we have in Prof. Bente's "Historic Introductions" such an expert and thorough dogmatic history over the whole time period of Luther up to the Formula of Concord, that we European theologians who are not so strong in the English language desire a separate edition to appear in the German language.

Even my blog has received comments from would-be theologians like the German theologian Dieckhoff that Pieper points out above.  These commenters are supporters of the theology of CTS-FW, e.g. Profs. David Scaer and Cameron MacKenzie... I call them my "Jeopardy" theologians.  You can read about them on this blog post: "Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther", blog post of December 15, 2012... from my "Dieckhoff-Jeopardy" theologians.  Although their specific so-called "difference" between Luther and the Lutheran Confessions is not the same point that Pieper defends against, yet their whole idea of this "difference" is ridiculous and so I have not even taken the time (yet) to investigate it.   If I get time, I will translate Pieper's 1886 essay in Lehre und Wehre where he gave more specifics of Luther's detractors.  
I think that I will call my detractors of last December my "Jeopardy-Dieckhoff" theologians.  Hmmm, the commenters didn't say where they got this idea of theirs, that the Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther... could it be an idea dreamed up by Prof. Cameron MacKenzie?  

But let us proceed on to Pieper's last point in this paragraph:

Altogether we have in Prof. Bente's "Historic Introductions" such an expert and thorough dogmatic history over the whole time period of Luther up to the Formula of Concord, that we European theologians who are not so strong in the English language desire a separate edition to appear in the German language.

Pieper almost floored me with this comment...  he seems to be almost expressing jealousy that Bente wrote the "Historical Introductions" in English and not German.  He seems to say that he himself is not so strong in the English language.  But I know that is not the case for he wrote a wonderful essay "Luther's Doctrine of Inspiration" in the English language for The Presbyterian & Reformed Review a few years earlier.  But this raised a question of language... what language should the old (German) Missouri Synod use for the future, beyond 1921?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - continued in Part 4e - - -

In the next Part 4e, Pieper addresses the issues surrounding the languages... specifically that the Triglotta included.......  English language!  Is the English language important today?  I suppose so...  it's the only language I can speak...  sigh.

Triglotta - Pieper – Scripture Principle (Part 4c)

This continues from Part 4b reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH. (See Table of Contents here)  This Part 4c continues my translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book in 1921.  Pieper, after quoting Bente's Preface which sweeps away any earthly glory of the Lutheran Church, highlights its true glory.  And now it is time for Pieper to give his own comments on the foundation of the Lutheran Confessions.  And anyone who will not listen to Pieper does not know the Lutheran Confessions...

Pieper's essay is indented. My interspersed comments are in green
Underlining is in the original.  Highlighting is mine. 
Hyperlinks added including page links to original essay in Google Books.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
"Concordia Triglotta"
by Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
(continued from Part 4b)

We would still like to add some words concerning the rich treasure which the Lutheran Church possesses in her confession.
Christianity is unfortunately divided into many parties.  It ever continues, ever more is fulfilled what the Apostle Paul pronounced in Miletus [page 299] before the elders from Ephesus: "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:30.  But it can be said of the Lutheran Church that it assumes no party status in Christendom.  The reason for this is that it assumes no special doctrines, but only teaches and confesses God's will and order what all Christians believe and confess.  Not just to theoretically represent the Scripture principle, they actually hold to it in the discourse of all doctrines that have become disputed.  This is irrefutably straight from the confessional writings.  The proof is to be led naturally by way of induction.  Also the Triglotta presents on page 1158 ff. an index of Scripture passages that are either mentioned in the confessions, or where they are pointed out.  There are almost 1000 Scripture passages, and we call on everyone who wants to examine the scripturalness of the Lutheran Confessions to do this: Take and read the Confessions and their Scripture proofs and convince yourself that the doctrines known there of convincing proof is taught from Scripture, even if you should believe that among the Scriptures abundantly given, one or the other is less clear or should be at a different place.  So you can examine the Confessions on their Scripture evidence.  We follow this procedure in our St. Louis institution, to continually remind our students this way so that they do not to enter into the office of ministry with doubts as to the conformity of the Lutheran Confessions to Scripture.  In the last academic year we particularly urged once again that students read the confessional writings in their context and pay close attention to the Scripture proof.

I was fooled for awhile into thinking that some of the Reformed church bodies, especially those considered more "conservative" were equal to the Lutheran Church... were equally as "scriptural" as the Lutheran Church, but this is not so.  I learned this from John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world...") and other passages like it.

Now Pieper points out one of the major weaknesses of Germany's theologians – their charge that the Confessions were scripturally weak...

As everybody knows, it has often been said in recent times that the Lutheran Confessions are weak in Scripture proofs.  This has been repeated without checking by certain rather vocal leaders and is generally also held of the old Lutheran teachers.   [Franz Hermann Reinhold von] Frank also says this in relation to the Formula of Concord and the theologians of that time. (Die Theologie der Konkordienformel, IV, 178 f.)  But Frank is in error.  We have already demonstrated elsewhere with examples, that where Frank finds a weakness in the Scripture proof of the Formula of Concord, this weakness exists on his (Frank's) side. (F. Pieper, Christliche Dogmatik, II, 177III, 541Christian Dogmatics II, 160III, 478)  The fact is that the Scripture proofs of the Confessions, and especially of the Formula of Concord, are more careful than in any modern theological writing where the attempt is made to represent Christian doctrine.  That is already in the nature of the matter.  The Confessions of the Lutheran Church date from the Reformation century.  And this was a truly great time as also modern Lutherans nevertheless still admit.  Thus it is unlikely already a priori [page 300] that anyone in this great time would have prevailed against the papacy and pseudo-Reformation by relying on a weak Scripture proof.  Also, do not forget that one dealt in that great time with quick-witted and devious opponents.  So they were compelled to pay careful attention to text and context of the Scriptural statements already by this fact.  But we repeat: Just read the Confessions, check their Scripture evidence and convince yourself that a more than adequate scriptural proof is made.  You should only keep an eye to what is truly a proof from Scripture, namely, not a human gloss or exegesis over a Scripture passage, but the quotation of the clear word of Scripture itself, as Luther often reminds

It is sad to see that the theologians of Germany, the land of Luther, would largely be the ones who would lead the people away from Scripture and so away from Luther. Pieper had to show the Missouri Synod that they should not fall back on the erring teachers of their former homeland... but stick to the Confessions.
The above paragraph takes us back to the Reformation century. And in spite of what the editors of today's CPH say, it was only Luther's Reformation!

- - - - - - - - continued on Part 4d - - - - - - - - 

In the next Part 4d, Pieper quotes Martin Luther to hammer home just who used the Scriptures as their basis – Luther and the Lutheran Confessions.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Triglotta - Pieper Intro, Bente's Preface (Part 4b)

This continues from Part 4a reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH. (See Table of Contents here)   This Part 4b continues my translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book in 1921.  With some details out of the way, Pieper now approaches the heart of the matter – first he repeats the conclusion of Bente's Preface.
Underlining is in the original.  Highlighting is mine. 
Hyperlinks added including page links to original essay in Google Books.
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"Concordia Triglotta"
by Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
(continued from Part 4a)

With what devotion the editors have made their extensive and painstaking work is expressed in the conclusion of the preface.  They see the true adornment of the Lutheran Church in its scriptural confession. 
"Not the great number of her adherents, not her organizations, not her charitable and other institutions, not her beautiful customs and liturgical forms, etc., but the precious truths confessed by her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power."  "Accordingly, if Lutherans truly love their Church, and desire and seek her welfare, they must be faithful to her confessions and constantly be on their guard lest any one rob her of her treasure.  To strengthen this loyalty and to further and facilitate the study of our 'Golden Concordia' – such is the object also of this Jubilee Edition – the Triglot Concordia."
- - - - - - - - - continued in Part 4c - - - - - - - 

Pieper above repeats one of the most thrilling prefaces ever written for a book.  Its phrasing has stuck in my memory for many years since I first received my copy of the Triglotta from Northwestern Publishing House.  Bente boldly pulls all earthly glory away from the Lutheran Church... he strips it away.  I would call this phrasing "the great negation" by Bente:
  • not the great number of her adherents, 
  • not her organizations, 
  • not her charitable and other institutions, 
  • not her beautiful customs and liturgical forms...
How this jolted me when I was coming back to my Lutheran (Christian) faith.  Did he really exclude the Lutheran liturgical forms?  But this is so important to some Lutheran teachers today...  — I have thought of other phrases that Bente could have included such as "not her beautiful church buildings".  Bente almost equals Pieper who said:
All praise of Christ, of grace, and of the means of grace, without the right doctrine of justification, is nothing
Pieper identified the author of the preface as "the editors" in deference to W.H.T. Dau's work.  But I must now step in front of even Pieper and point to F. Bente as its author, not Dau.  W.H.T. Dau showed great weakness in his later years.  No, it was Prof. Friedrich Bente who especially makes this edition of the Lutheran Confessions authoritative for our modern times.  I will go one step further and say that this edition, the Concordia Triglotta, is the most authoritative since the days the Confessions were written!

If we now know what is not the glory of the Lutheran Church, then what is?  In the next Part 4c, Pieper highlights the true heart of the Lutheran Confessions.

Concordia Triglotta - Pieper's introduction (Pt 4a)

This continues from Part 3 reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH.  (See Table of Contents here)  This Part 4a begins my translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book in 1921.

So what does The Twentieth Century Luther, The Second Walther have to say to introduce the monumental work called the Concordia Triglotta?  A lot... topics such as World War I, German language in America, the English language in the old Missouri Synod, modern theology, Martin Luther, the Reformation century, the Church fathers, etc.
No one, not even the highly praised Prof. F. Bente, speaks with more authority since 1921 than ... Franz Pieper.

My interspersed comments are in green. Underlining is in the original.  Highlighting is mine. 
Hyperlinks added including page links to original essay in Google Books.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
"Concordia Triglotta"
by Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301

What caused our Synod to organize a trilingual edition of the confessional writings of the Lutheran Church is expressed in the petition from the theological faculty of Concordia Seminary–St. Louis to the Delegate Synod in 1917. The petition reads:
"As a result of the European war [World War I], the Latin-German edition of our symbolical books of [J.T.] Müller currently cannot be obtained, and we will already in next year's classes at St. Louis probably have to make do with the bare German text edition of the St. Louis edition; also already in America there is an ever growing need of an English edition of Concordia, not just with Latin and German text; furthermore, since the study of them is easier and promoted by such a Latin-German-English edition of our symbolical books, and all over the Lutheran Church of our country would be provided a great service and the best advance of true Lutheranism in America; that finally, through the publication of such a trilingual Concordia would be a worthy, useful and God-pleasing monument established for the 400-year anniversary of the Reformation which would allow us to experience God in these troubled times: so have we, the members of the faculty of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., decided herewith to address the petition to the venerable Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States, [Page 298] as gathered here rejoicing in Milwaukee, to take the necessary steps without delay to establish as soon as possible a Latin-German-English edition of our 'golden Concordia' – for the commemoration of the four-hundred year jubilee celebration, for the service to the Church, and for the praise and glory of God and his glorious name." 
The Synod proceeded willingly on the request of the St. Louis faculty, and unanimously decided for the publication of the now completed Concordia.

Does the reader see how God used the hardship of World War I to bring about the Concordia Triglotta?  ... and how He used this monument to comfort those German American Lutherans?

Pieper proceeds with some details on the editors and this printing:

The editorial work was done by Professors Bente and Dau.  Prof. Bente says in the preface concerning this edition of the work:
"While I alone am responsible for the Latin and German texts, the English translation of the Triglot is throughout the joint effort of Prof. W.H.T. Dau and myself.  It is based on the original German and Latin texts, respectively, and on the existing English translations, chiefly those incorporated in Jacobs`s Book of Concord." 
The Triglotta has a total of 1556 pages, of which 453 pages are devoted to a Preface, Historical Introduction, Visitation Articles, and Register.  The text of the confession itself takes 1103 pages to complete, because it presents the three languages ​​in three parallel columns.  The fourth column (half page) is open, a welcome feature to add comments, literary supplements, etc.  From the Triglotta, reference information is given at the top of each page to the editions of J.T. Mueller [Müller], J.G. Walch, and A. Rechenberg so that orientation is easily possible because the pagination of Müller and Walch is at the top of the page which is also accompanied by text in parentheses from Rechenberg's Latin edition.  Other information relating to the treatment of the texts as they exist in the printing can be found in the preface. 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  continued in Part 4b - - - - - - - 

Now with some details out of the way, Pieper approaches the heart of the matter, the heart of the Lutheran Confessions... in the next Part 4b.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Concordia Triglotta vs. unionistic eds.- Ironies (Part 3)

This continues the previous post Part 2 (of 5) reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta.  (See Table of Contents here)  A translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book will follow shortly.

But before I begin this, I would say that the 1921 essay by Theodore Graebner is not without some benefit as he points out the type and amount of labor that went into this project.  The size and scope was massive!... over 70,000 changes of English wording, hundreds of thousands of references in the indexes.  It is difficult to comprehend such a project without the benefit of computers.  I suspect that the Missouri Synod did more than just pass a resolution in 1917, but gave large sums of money for this effort.  

But what is of more importance is the wording used for critical phrases encompassing the doctrines of the Bible.  And here I believe that it was especially Friedrich Bente, more so than W.H.T. Dau, who made sure the sense of the English read true to the original Latin (and German).  There had been earlier English translations and also later English translations – General Council (Jacobs), TappertKolb-Wengert.  And now available is McCain's new "Reader's Edition of Lutheran Confessions, largely an updated Triglotta English version.  But none except the Triglotta had editors/translators as capable as Friedrich Bente who would have ensured that the true Lutheran doctrine was upheld in English.   Perhaps Paul McCain's "Reader's Edition" has some benefit in updating the English wording slightly.  I use McCain's "Reader's Edition" only occasionally as a comparison to the original Triglotta.  I should add that the online version is happily based on the Triglotta.  Also notable is the fact that it includes the text of the German edition, notable for probably OCRing old black letter fraktur font.  Unfortunately it does not include the text of the Latin version.

1) Tappert Edition
The title page of this book reveals that this was a unionistic endeavor:
Translated and edited by Theodore G. Tappert in collaboration with Jaroslav Pelikan, ..., Arthur C. Piepkorn.
Pelikan and Piepkorn were teachers in the LC-MS at that time – 1959.  Tappert was in some other American Lutheran synod outside the fellowship of the Synodical Conference... it doesn't matter which one.

It pains me to see that in 1982 Prof. Kurt Marquart used the insufficient and defective Tappert edition when the Triglotta was readily available to him.  How is Tappert insufficient?  In Article IV of the Apology (or Defense) of the Augsburg Confession, sentence 2:
Of Justification
Tappert edition (1959, pg 107)
Triglotta, pg 121 (Bente/Dau)
In this controversy the main doctrine of Christianity is involved; when it is properly understood, it illumines and magnifies the honor of Christ and brings to pious consciences the abundant consolation that they need.
But since in this controversy the chief topic of Christian doctrine is treated, which, understood aright, illumines and amplifies the honor of Christ [which is of especial service for the clear, correct understanding of the entire Holy Scriptures, and alone shows the way to the unspeakable treasure and right knowledge of Christ, and alone opens the door to the entire Bible], and brings necessary and most abundant consolation to devout consciences,

Do you see the difference?  Bente and Dau did not ignore the wonderful German language superlatives that are not in the Latin version.  The Tappert edition ignored the authoritative German words – that the Doctrine of Justification:
  1. is of especial service for the clear, correct understanding of the entire [ganze] Holy Scriptures
  2. alone [allein] shows the way to the unspeakable treasure and right knowledge of Christ
  3. alone [allein] opens the door to the entire Bible
And Prof. Marquart used the Tappert edition in the worst possible place – his translation of the founding essay of the Synodical Conference from 1872, Justification, Objective and Subjective : A Translation.  It is my intention to present my own translation of this pivotal document in my blog soon... and so correct the sad misunderstandings of Prof. Marquart.
Prof. Roland Ziegler, in his essay in 2002 The New Translation of the Book of Concord (pages 147-151), addressed the most glaring examples of the sorry results of this unionistic production.  Paul McCain finally realized that Prof. Ziegler was on to something... and even presented a good (and lengthy) blog post in 2006 [archived, full screenshot here]  on the problems with this unionistic book.  But now we see that Prof. John T. Pless still uses the unionistic Kolb-Wengert edition ("K-W") even in his new book to be available December 2013 (available now in Kindle edition)!
I think my head is spinning...   the ironies in today's LC-MS never end!  But there was a teacher in the former old (German) Missouri Synod who presented no ironies... just pure Christian (Lutheran) teaching.  His name was Franz Pieper and he wrote the authoritative introduction to the new (in 1921) Concordia Triglotta.  So in the next Part 4a, I begin presenting a translation of Pieper's full article introducing the Concordia Triglotta – the Lutheran Book of Concord in 3 languages.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pastor Joel Baseley's correction

I have received a comment from Pastor Joel Baseley of Mark V Publications.  He wanted to correct an error I made on my recent posting about his translation work of Der Lutheraner.  You may read his comment in its entirety on that blog post.  I started a short reply to him but it grew too large for just the comments section and so I am devoting an entire blog post to it:
Pastor Baseley:

You are quite correct in admonishing my error of identifying Walther as the subject of Prof. John T. Pless' praise on your Customer Quotes section of your website.  I will change the name from Walther to Luther and make a note of the error.

But if you should afterward continue to question my admonishment against Prof. Pless because you are "not personally acquainted with Pless' regard or lack thereof for Walther", then you should read more of my blog that clearly shows this "lack thereof".  Prof. Pless' praise of Wm. Loehe is misplaced... you should especially know this as a translator and authority on Walther.  Loehe's errors are not unknown – on the Sacraments and Ministry (Pieper, Christian Dogmatics III, pg 407, 445-449)  Or do you think it is possible to properly praise Luther (his clarity?) while at the same time holding to Loehe's errors, Loehe as a corrective to Walther?  (Pless is your head of the "Commission on Doctrinal Review" in the LC-MS according to page xiv of the 2013 Convention Workbook.) 
You know that in the very first issue of volume 4 (1847) of Der Lutheraner, Walther placed emphasis on his polemics – his defense of doctrine against error.  But although you correct my error, your polemics (from within today's LC-MS) for the truth are limited.  Yes, you defend the sacrament of Holy Communion and perhaps some other practices.  But you seem to stop there.  Do you agree that it was necessary for Walther to publicly defend against the manifold errors in America and Germany?  Do you agree that Walther had to defend against Loehe's errors on the Ministry ("Kirche und Amt - Neue Aphorismen") and against his error on the Sacraments?
I will tell you a story Pastor Baseley.  When I was coming back to my Christian faith, I started reading the 12 volumes of  R.C.H. Lenski's Commentary on the New Testatment, you know, Prof. Lenski of the Ohio Synod... and I couldn't get enough of him!  I devoured his many volumes.  But when I read his warnings against the old (German) Missouri Synod's teaching of Universal, Objective Justification, I threw all of his volumes into the trash!  Imagine that!  12 volumes of a Lutheran teacher... in the trash!  That was a lot of money that I threw away.  "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Galatians 5:9

Your translation work of Luther and Walther astounds me and I recommend that all my readers make use of your resources on them... as I do of those published by CPH (with some warnings) and others (e.g. Australia).  But it takes more than translation to understand them.  I suggest that you read about the heart of Walther – his Doctrine of Justification.  You will easily find it on my blog.  Then as you continue your translation work of Walther, you will have a better understanding of Walther, The American Luther.  May you continue to sit at the feet of Luther and Walther.  I will be sitting there also (Here I Sit!) but included among my teachers will be The Twentieth Century Luther, The Second Walther – Franz Pieper.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Concordia Triglotta in 1921 (Graebner vs. Pieper) Part 2

In the last post, I advertised the "re-introduction" of the old Concordia Triglotta book by Concordia Publishing (CPH). (See Table of Contents here)   However, since that time, I was reminded again of a short essay that President Franz Pieper wrote to introduce the original publication.  And to publicize the "re-introduction", I want translate what Pieper said back in its beginning.  An extra motive I have to do this is to counteract any additions that CPH (e.g. Paul McCain, Charles Schaum, Benjamin T. Mayes, Edward Engelbrecht, John T. Pless, David Scaer, Matthew Harrison, etc.) want to add to this marvelous book.
There were actually 2 introductory articles published in 1921:
  1. "Concordia Triglotta" in the periodical Theological Monthly, October, 1921 issue, pages 289 - 297, by Prof. Theodore Graebner.
  2. "Concordia Triglotta" in the periodical Lehre und Wehre, October, 1921 issue, pages 297 - 301, by Prof. Franz Pieper.
Since the article in Theological Monthly is already in English, the English speaking reader can immediately understand it.  But there is a difference between the spiritual understanding of the 2 authors.  Prof. Theodore Graebner said himself that already in 1921 and earlier he was beginning to harbor false doctrines surrounding the continued separation of the Missouri Synod with other American Lutheran synods – Ohio, Iowa, Norwegian synods – later to be the ALC, then the ELCA.  And so these words of Graebner in 1921 announcing this glorious book should sound so ominous now (page 289):
...we hold it to be, that the Lutheran Church is even now entering upon a new era of growth and development, greater than any of the past. Who, then, standing at the threshold of a new day for Lutheranism, shall say what this book, containing the history of its great trials and the memorials of its triumphs, the platform upon which it invites the Church Visible to unite for future labor and conquest, — what this Concordia Triglotta means to the Church of the coming years?
I say "ominous" because of what this same professor announced 18 years later in December 1939 (8 years after Pieper's death) – a statement that revealed not only a profound misunderstanding of the differences with the opposing American Lutheran synods (Ohio, Iowa, and Norwegian - later ALC and ELCA), but of the Doctrine of Justification itself and so also the Lutheran Book of Concord.  And so what Graebner attempted to herald in 1921, "a new day for Lutheranism", turned out to be a day of horror in December 1939...  the day of the birth of a lukewarm Lutheran church.

Before Pieper's essay appeared in October, 1921, he had in the month before (September L.u.W.) given a brief announcement in the "Literature" section, on page 276.  Translated it reads:

Concordia Triglotta. The symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, German-Latin-English, as a memorial of the four hundred year jubilee of the Reformation, anno Domini 1917, published by decision of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states.  Price: $ 10.00.
Just before the end of this issue, a copy of this monumental work comes to us, which presents in three languages ​​(Latin, German and English) the Lutheran confessional writings to the Church.  We have earlier expressed ourselves publicly that very special thanks of the Synod are due the editors, professors Bente and Dau, if they would by God's grace complete their work which required difficult and great theological ability.  We repeat it here.  Of course later in "Lehre und Wehre" we will bring a more detailed discussion of this superb work.      F. P.

As I read this brief announcement by Pieper, I wondered that the original idea for this project came from Prof. Pieper himself.

In the next Part 3, further information is given concerning the unionistic English language editions published since 1921.  Then later, I will present my translation of Pieper's "more detailed discussion of this superb work" – the Concordia Triglotta.

Monday, September 9, 2013

2 new books: (2) Concordia Triglotta (2 of 2); Renaissance? (Part 1); Table of Contents

Continued from the previous Part 1.
    (See bottom of this post for Table of Contents on entire Concordia Triglotta series)

2) Concordia Triglotta

The venerable Concordia Triglotta is now again available from CPH. It was dropped from their lineup many years ago.  Back then it was a hardback book and included Friedrich Bente's "Historical Introductions...".   For awhile, Northwestern Publishing House picked up this basic Lutheran book but it was dropped again a few years ago.  And it seems this book was unavailable except "Used" from Amazon for some time... maybe a few years.  I would imagine that both institutions, CPH and NPH, would say that it was "too expensive", "unprofitable", "used the German fraktur font", and "not enough interest".  To that, I would say "Why was this so?"  Why was there too little interest in the book that contained the basic documents of the Lutheran Church?  Surely it wasn't because their church bodies had ceased being truly "confessional Lutherans"?  Surely it wasn't for a lack of continually teaching the beautiful Christian doctrines from the Lutheran Confessions?... a lack of continually bringing the history of the Lutheran Church that is so detailed in Bente's Historical Introductions... in adult Bible classes?  Surely not... was it?

But now there is a new publication of the Concordia Triglotta, this time again from Concordia Publishing House.  (See McCain's cyberbrethren blog on this from 2010).  But it is probably not in hardback, rather it is "Print-On-Demand" and it does not include Friedrich Bente's Historical Introductions....  And because it is "Print-On-Demand", it takes 2-3 weeks to produce digitally and is non-returnable.  I am glad to see that it is being offered again, but I suggest that the reader investigate available used copies before spending $70 + shipping on this new digitally produced version.  And who knows what sorry "introduction" or "preface" or "historical context" that CPH will have added to this new publishing?

This edition must be new since it is not yet listed on Amazon or the WorldCat catalogue.  Who knows if their "Print On Demand" books will ever be noted in the WorldCat system since CPH is calling this version the "1968" edition.  I must assume that this edition includes the original German and Latin versions along with the English translation of F. Bente and W.H.T. Dau.

There remains a Concordia Triglotta Edition on Amazon in a Kindle version for $0.99 USD, but the name is deceiving because it is only the English translation, and does not include the original German or Latin editions.  So this printed book appears to be the only way to purchase all 3 languages together, a good reference to compare the original languages to the English.  This can be handy when Walther or Pieper quote the Latin or German texts in their writings.  I use it regularly when I need the most authoritative source for all things "Book of Concord".

It seems CPH is becoming like the rogue publishers (e.g. KessingerUlanNabu, etc.) who are using free online Google Books to print and sell again.  These publishers care nothing of the content of the books but only to make a monetary profit.  CPH is becoming more like the Expresso Book Machine that prints many books, old Google eBooks or new publishings "On Demand" — CPH cares little of the content of the old (German) Missouri Synod.

As for Friedrich Bente's Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, it is strangely unavailable on Google Books but is available on – so far.  If it is ever pulled off, here is a downloadable HTML file:
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==>> To: Rev. Paul T. McCain, Publisher - Concordia Publishing House, (
I can't wait to see these on your next blog posts, Rev. McCain.
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Be not deceived, dear reader, by those who would claim that there is a "renaissance" in today's LC-MS.  What is happening in today's CPH and LC-MS is happening because they are embarrassed to find that the old (German) Missouri Synod was actually religious and spiritual... just like all the others they consider to be religious and spiritual, e.g. Herman Sasse, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Wilhelm Loehe, etc..  But as this "renaissance" proceeds, e.g. a republishing of the Concordia Triglotta, more of Luther's Works, and more of Walther's works, Walther's Hymnal, etc., it is apparent that what they really mean to do is place the old (German) Missouri Synod on an equal religious and spiritual footing to these others.  Ooooo....  wooowww!  CPH is printing German and Latin now!  We should be impressed!...  they are so religious and spiritual!  How they "began to pray and chant" and use "The Brotherhood Prayer Book"!  And how they soar now with their Gregorian chants... so high that they can judge Pieper, Walther, and...  Martin Luther!  Yes, they know the "truth", the great "truth" that Martin Luther was not "the lone hero of the Reformation"!  Oh, wow!... what religiosity!  What depth of spirituality!...
What blindness is their "renaissance".
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Table of Contents - Concordia Triglotta series of blogs
Part 1 -  (this post) New/old book from CPH; Renaissance?
Part 2 -  Graebner vs. Pieper
Part 3 -  Unionistic editions of the Book of Concord
Part 4a - Pieper intro to Concordia Triglotta
Part 4b - Pieper: Bente's Preface - perfect agreement w/ Scriptures
Part 4c - Pieper: The Scripture Principle
Part 4d - Pieper: Luther, Scripture, detractors; Bente's Historical Introduction
Part 4e - Pieper: German/English language?; Amish analogy
Part 5a - Sasse/Ziegler confusion on "Missouri Synod" & Confessions
Part 5b - Sasse/Ziegler: criticize "Missouri"; Brief Statement over Confessions?
Part 5c - Sasse/Ziegler: "Statementarians"; The Confessional Lutheran
Part 5d - Sasse/Ziegler: Worship & Church Fellowship
Part 5e - Sasse/Ziegler: Ministry & Church
Part 5f - Sasse/Ziegler: Conclusion ("something lacking in Missouri's orthodoxy"?)
Part 5g - Sasse/Ziegler: An Appeal to Prof. Ziegler (Perhaps Not!)
Part 5h - Ziegler/Sasse: A dedication to Ziegler

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2 new books: (1) Der Lutheraner, vol. 4 (1 of 2)

Two new publishings have come to my attention.  The first is below:

1) Der Lutheraner, volume 4 (1847)

Pastor Joel Baseley of Mark V Publications has recently announced this by email to subscribers.  (Go here to subscribe).  Pastor Baseley has previously made available the first 3 volumes of Der Lutheraner on his website so far.  But now a new volume 4 is in the works, although it is not actually available yet.  I recommend that all readers subscribe to Baseley's newsletter and receive these PDF issues.  On my blog post listing of all Der Lutheraner volumes available online at Google Books, the reader will notice Google has yet to offer volumes 4 or 5 – years 1847-1849.  These are available on my downloads page here.

Baseley is providing free PDF copies of individual issues of volume 4 to subscribers as he proceeds with his translation.   He attached a PDF of the first issue, 8 wonderful pages of perfectly readable English, mostly from the pen of C.F.W. Walther. 

And Paul T. McCain, in a recent posting on his cyberbrethren blog, wraps himself in Walther and Luther by including one of the items of this first issue – on "On Spiritual Satiety", from page 7.   Very well!  Since you, Paul T. McCain, can do it, so can I.  I will present another short anecdotal story that Walther included on page 8:
Don't be deceived, God is not mocked!
A man named Pietsch lived with his grown son in the blaspheme of drinking and sport and all warnings from the pastor were for naught. Once this man was announcing for communion. Pastor Leitenberger very seriously admonished him yet once more.  Even Dr. Paul Anton visited with him.“Pietsch!” – Said Dr. Anton – “I've heard that you have been warned so very often and it’s done no good.  Don't let yourself be deceived, God is not mocked.  Maybe it’s up to me to give you your final warning.” – Pietsch made all kinds of promises, went to the holy LORD’s Supper, but that very day again resumed in old ways with his son and this even went far into the night.  The next day the son came to the pastor and begged him to visit his father as he was sick and something was strangely wrong with him.  The pastor found him sitting in bed as he arrived. He inquired of him the circumstances of his illness.  Pietsch rightly answered all of his questions.  Then the preacher began: “But what if it’s now to be said: Get your house in order, for you must die?” – With these words the sick man sank down and slept. The preacher was frightened.  The son shouted at his father and got him sitting up straight.  But as the preacher again began speaking the first spiritual words, he sank down again and slept.  He was set up straight and wept.  “Pastor,” he said, “I can't help it.  As soon as you begin to speak, as quick as lightning, I fall asleep.” The pastor tried it and spoke to him of work related things and he responded to it all rightly, but at the first word to his heart he slept, and also, unfortunately died – that very same night.
When I read this story from Walther, I recalled that when I came back to my Christian faith and wanted to talk about Christian teaching, about Jesus, about the Gospel, one close person in particular would fall asleep.  Every time I spoke of the pure Grace of God during a devotional period, he dozed.  I want to blame his LC-MS upbringing for this!  Notice how Walther's story ends... sadly!  "...he that believeth not shall be damned". Mark 16:16.  May it not be so for any of our readers... or me!  God grant it!... for Jesus sake! Amen.

I have already commented on Pastor Baseley and his work previously.  May he not be swayed by what is happening in his LC-MS synod!  But how can he cite the Rev. John T. Pless as a defender of Walther Luther?! (Corrected 9/15/2013 – see comment below)
==>>  Pastor Baseley, are you going to be like President Matthew Harrison, whose praise of Walther and Pieper is highly suspect as he seems to be using them as a screen for his own agenda??
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The next book is covered in the next post, Part 2 of 2.