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Friday, July 7, 2017

Triglotta– difficult, impossible, not serious? OR Great work! Golden! (Scaer/LC-MS) Part 3

      This concludes from Part 2c (Table of contents in Part 1) in connection with the unveiling of the complete 1921 Concordia Triglotta on Google Books this year, 2017. —  After thoroughly studying the writings on Lutheranism's "sola fide", I return again to focus on how this book has fared in the 20th century and now in the 21st century.
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     Some may wonder how it came about that the massive Concordia Triglotta book (1551 pages!) came into disuse so quickly after its introduction in 1921.  It is puzzling because it was a massive effort by the old (German) Missouri Synod to bring the Book of Concord into an American edition that included the original Latin and German languages.  World War I had forced them to develop their own supply since their sourcing from Germany was cut off.  The 400th Anniversary of the Reformation in 1917 provided the motivation to commit large amounts of money and teaching staff resources. And there was great joy from "real orthodoxy" (my use of Sasse's term) exhibited at the unveiling of the Concordia Triglotta in 1921.
      In 1989 Dr. Robert Preus gave us a mile-marker on the road to oblivion paved for the Concordia Triglotta.  In his Foreword to the book Concordance to the Book of Concord (edited by K. Larson, published by NPH) he said (all emphases mine):
“Members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and of the former Synodical Conference may wonder why the Tappert text was the preferred choice from which to make a concordance. The reason is quite simple. Even in Missouri Synod circles the Tappert text is the one the overwhelming number of students have been using for the last twenty years. The Triglotta, however, is referenced as well, which will enable older pastors and those who want to check the Latin and German the opportunity to use the concordance to great advantage as well.”  –  Dr. Robert Preus
Preus testifies that the Triglotta was essentially abandoned by 1969.  It seems a bit strange to me why he made no comment about this situation, no reason was given, no expression of sorrow over this… it just happened.  The LC-MS killed it by using the Tappert edition.  Why?

      But the mystery begins to be solved when one sees how quickly the old (German) Missouri Synod morphed into today's (English) LC-MS, a synod that would almost overnight become an enemy of the teachings of its forefathers.  The history of the breakup of the old Synodical Conference and of the separation by some prominent members (OLC, etc.) testifies to this sudden (almost unbelievable) change.  But what about today's LC-MS, here and now, supposedly recovered from its "explosion"?

Dr. David P. Scaer – against the Concordia Triglotta

Dr. David P. Scaer of Concordia Theological Seminary-Fort Wayne is thought of as one who defended against those who left the LC-MS in a walkout in 1974 and formed Seminex.  But his stand for the faithfulness of the old Missouri Synod seems in question as he has issues with the "noble" Concordia Triglotta.  In the following table, I present his comment from the year 2000 and compare it with other Lutheran scholars for a survey on the book that celebrated old Missouri's 400th Anniversary of the Reformation:

Concordia Triglotta
4 comments: 1 critical, 3 praiseworthy
-Chairman, Systematic Theology- CTS-FW
-Editor of CTQ
-Faculty Marshal
Paul T. McCain,
General. Editor
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
J. Michael Reu
The Augsburg Confession, 1930
Pres. Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
“The old synodical conference Triglotta, … provides a single English translation for both the Latin and German versions of the Lutheran Confessions that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate either one. It cannot really be used for serious study, though it has served nobly in our circles for years.”
“ … the Concordia Triglotta was produced in 1921, an edition that used only the texts of the Confessions as they are contained either in the German BOC of 1580 or the Latin BOC of 1584, both being the "received texts" of historic Lutheranism. … For these reasons, the editors of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions … [followed] the same decision made by editors of the Concordia Triglotta.”
“In their Book of Concord in three languages (Latin, Ger­man, and English) [Triglotta], edited by Dau and Bente 1921, the Synodical Conference, particularly the Missouri Synod, has given the church a great work of lasting value”  “... the Synodical Conference, particularly the Missouri Synod, has given the church a g
Just read the Confessions, check their Scripture evidence and convince yourself that a more than adequate Scriptural proof is made. … 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”.
Logia 09-1 (2000), p. 62
Quoted at this blog post.

J. Michael Reu
Hmmm, it seems that Dr. David Scaer is more of an opponent of the old (German) Missouri Synod than the noted Professor Johann Michael Reu of the opposing Iowa Synod (later ALC).  Having read from Reu's book from 1930 that is still sold by CPH (The Augsburg Confession, ebook only), I wonder that he is a greater scholar of the Lutheran Confessions than Dr. David Scaer.  And Prof. Reu called the Triglotta (p. 205

"a great work of lasting value".

My "apologies" to Dr. Scaer, but I have been able to seriously study all three languages of the Apology, Art. IV in the Concordia Triglotta, especially on its teaching of "sola fide".  —  Is it any wonder why the Triglotta fell into disuse?… when its teachers not only abandoned it, but also practically condemned anyone who would use it for "serious study"?  How quickly the Tappert edition killed almost all use of the Concordia Triglotta.  (What greater enemy of old Missouri is there than today's LC-MS teachers?)
      I would suggest to Dr. Scaer that he should seriously study Article IV of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession in the Concordia Triglotta (in whatever language) and then explain to his students and to all alumni that Rev. Richard John Neuhaus abandoned the heart of Christianity when he left Lutheranism to become a Roman Catholic priest.
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      Enough of today's LC-MS!  How happy I have been to:
  • re-discover J. Michael Reu's scholarly work on the Augsburg Confession and his great tribute to the Concordia Triglotta
  • study in the "Triglot" what the Lutheran Confessions laid down in writing for its defense of "SOLA fide"
  • discover and glory in these two great treasures…
Sola fide!
The Lutheran Shibboleth!

Concordia Triglotta 
now in Google Books in 2017!

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