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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.

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