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Thursday, April 16, 2015

BRIEF STATEMENT – Special Presentation, Part 1 Intro

adopted 1932
[April 17: See Comments section below for additional historical info. -- 2016-08-30: added OCR'd text files]
      In the spirit of my blog post on Franz Pieper's "theological diapers" and in "honor" of Prof. Jeffrey Kloha's (and many others) desire to disassociate his LC-MS from the Brief Statement of 1932, I want to give it a Special Presentation.  The cover page of the booklet I purchased in the mid-1990s looked like this (see right) ==>>
The text from this booklet appears to be the original English text, the same since it was adopted in 1932.  But the version sold by CPH today has been poorly re-typeset since that time.  Today, as far as my research has found, there seems to be no fully accurate online publication of this "official" document of the LC-MS.  How so?  Because virtually all publications, either online texts or PDF downloaded scans, have lost the italics emphasized wording from the original publication.  And on a humorous note, the newer texts (except here) have allowed errors to creep in.  I attribute these errors to poor proofreading, not malicious intent.  These are the proofreading errors discovered as of April 19:
  1. extraneous characters "6:30-8:30" are inserted into the text of paragraph #32: "If, however, 6:30-8:30 the minister..."; 
  2. omitted words (in highlight) from paragraph #25:  "invisible, Luke 17, 20, and will remain invisible  till Judgment Day. 
  3. Paragraph 2: Mueller, p. 284, not p. 684 [Added this and below errors on April 18]
  4. Paragraph 3: "sets up men as judges", not "set up men as judges"
  5. Paragraph 5: "developed more or less out of itself", not "developed more or less of itself"
  6. Paragraph 11: "Scripture calls the faith of man", not "Scripture call the faith of men"
  7. Paragraph 21: "The Word of the Gospel promises", not "The Word of the gospel promises"
  8. Paragraph 28: "and as involving the constant danger", not "and involving the constant danger"
  9. Paragraph 30: Omitted text underlined – "by virtue of delegated powers, conferred on them by the original possessors of such powers, and such administration", not "by virtue of delegated powers, and such administration"
  10. Paragraph 35: "the doctrine of Holy Scripture", not "the doctrine of the Holy Scripture"
  11. [added April 19] Paragraph 40: "spared not His own Son, but de­livered Him", not "spared not His own Son, but gave Him".
  12. Paragraph 46: Omitted text underlined – "conscience not because our Church has made them nor because they are the outcome", not "conscience not because they are the outcome".
  13. Paragraph 48: "obligation does not extend to historical statements", not "obligation does not extend to historical questions". 
Several minor discrepancies (4 or 5?) in punctuation have been corrected but not noted above. —  The LC-MS/CPH may not have had malicious intent in their poor proofreading, but don't they do a better job of proofreading Hermann Sasse's works, or Matthew Harrison's works?  Hmmm... (I'm just sayin')

Downloadable versions:  [2016-08-30: added OCR'd text files]
  1. Pieper's 1897 original Statement in English ==>>  here  <<== (OCR'd text here)
  2. Pieper's 1922 updated version w/ English translation    ==>>  here  <<== OCR text here)
  3. Original German publication in CTM May 1931  ==>> here  <<==
  4. Original English publication in CTM, June 1931 ==>>  here  <<==
      But I want to do more than restore the original text, I want to add hyperlinks to all its referenced sources, so that one can easily learn from Pieper's source materials.  Even more, I may add in cross-references to these sources for even more ease of use.  Of course the automatic "Reftagger" will tag all Bible verses, but the Brief Statement also refers to the Book of Concord (i.e. the Lutheran Confessions) in many places.  In 1931, that meant Pieper would use the Concordia Triglotta, which had replaced the Mueller edition a few years earlier in 1921; but Pieper also included the page numbers of Mueller's ("M.") edition which the Triglotta also cross-referenced.
      As stated previously, virtually all of the former members of the old Synodical Conference and their descendants have retained this document as a semi-"official" declaration of their teaching.
      Ah, but the Brief Statement has a stormy history – there was (and is) almost no end to its opponents:
  1. One opposition author states that a number of clergy felt it was "a dangerous innovation in the church's confessional position".  
  2. Another opposition author stated it was "subjected to increasing criticism by a number of theologians" and that it was "unconstitutional to bind pastors consciences" to it.  
  3. And finally, the prolific scholar, "Beloved, LegendaryArthur Carl Piepkorn called it "at best a transient formulation of opinion".  
But Franz Pieper's Last Words to his dear Missouri Synod included these:
...that his Theses (The Brief Statement of 1932) on the doctrinal position of the Missouri Synod should be regarded as his bequest...
Indeed the vehement scorn of A. C. Piepkorn against Pieper's work is like the scorn of Matthias Loy and his charge of "theological diapers"... and I would say with Pieper to Piepkorn that "almost too much honor lies in this strong expression".  —   And so this Special Presentation of "at best a transient formulation of opinion" is to the blessed memory of its author:
Prof. Franz Pieper.
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Because the full text of the Brief Statement takes up considerable screen space, I will present it, in its entirety, in the next Part 2...  (This Intro may be edited if I learn more in the proofing process.)


  1. The original version of the Brief Statement was written in 1892, and has been privately translated into English. Another version of the Brief Statement was the essay on the Synodical Conference which Pieper wrote for both editions (1892 & 1914) of THE DOCTRINES AND USAGES OF THE GENERAL BODIES OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES, published by the Lutheran Publication Society of the Ev. Lutheran General Council.

    1. Thank you! for the fuller history of this important work. If you could provide links to make these other resources more accessible, I would work to provide these on this post with an Addendum....
      As I read of the outright hatred of this document by so many so-called "confessional Lutherans", I have to thank God how He has yet preserved it to this day. How massive are the "straw man" arguments the opponents build against it! But they burn up in smoke in the light of Holy Scripture... and the Lutheran Confessions.

  2. Thank you for have this blog. It is extremely helpful. Thanks again.

  3. Mr. Raffel:
    Even if there were no one but myself to read these blog posts, I would still do them. For I need to keep hearing the pure doctrine for my faith. And Luther, Walther, Pieper, and the Lutheran Confessions supply my faith.
    But to hear your thanks is truly a blessing because... isn't your "Thanks" really a gratefulness to God for His unbounded Grace and Mercy?


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