The Lutheran Study Bible: Update and Mail Alert
We began this project first with an extensive and wide reading/research project, by which we invited lay people to read parts of the Bible assigned to them and write down every single question they had as they read the Bible. We had nearly 500 people reading the Scriptures in this very intentional way. This project produced a large data base of questions and comments which guided all we did in preparing this Bible. We asked professors from our seminaries to provide us with the most recent scholarship on all the books of the Bible, with issues identified clearly and then we turned to a team of note writers, the great majority of whom are active parish pastors, to write and help edit the notes. The result is a Bible that is scholarly, pastoral, practical, devotional and faithful to God’s Word, and clearly presented for the lay reader in view, with a keen focus on the Christ-centered nature of Scripture in the paradigm of Law/Gospel, which is that “particularly brilliant light” for proper understanding of the Bible, as our Lutheran Confessions put it. I’ll give you a list of the “priorities” we had in view as we did this Bible, as a PS at the end of this note.
Simply put, in the history of our Synod, there has not been a study Bible like this one produced for English speaking Lutherans. We have created this Bible with research, notes and commentary produced, “from the ground up” from Lutheran sources, scholars, pastors and writers. Previously we have borrowed notes from other non-Lutheran publishers and modified them for use in our church. I guess the situation is comparable to making a meal from scratch, with your own ingredients, and buying something pre-made and slightly changing it.
When describing The Lutheran Study Bible project to the CPH Board of Directors, to CPH staff, and to potential contributors, we included six goals for the work. We sought to create a study Bible that does the following:
1. Presents justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as the chief teaching of Scripture (Lk 24:44-;47; Jn 5:39; SA II I 1-4)
2. Properly distinguishes and applies Law and Gospel (reading the Bible as a book about justification; Jn 1:17; Gal 3:21-22; Ap XIIA 53-54)
3. Emphasizes God’s work through the means of grace (Mt 26:26-29; Jn 3:5; 20:22-23; Rm 10:17; SA III IV)
4. Functions from a “Scripture alone” point of view and presents a “Scripture interprets Scripture” approach to using the Bible (Ps 119; 1Tm 6:3; 2Tm 3:16-17; FC Ep Sum)
5. Equips the laity for works of service, with a particular focus on evangelism in their various vocations/callings in life (Ps 145:4–13; Eph 2; Ap XV 41-42)
6. Presents a uniquely Lutheran study Bible that features genuinely Lutheran notes and comments throughout, references to the Lutheran Confessions where appropriate, focus on the Small Catechism for helps and explanations, citations from Luther throughout, and materials to aid daily devotion and prayer
TLSB will be out by this October. I would invite you to look around the following web sites for a lot more information and samples of the Bible: http://www.cph.org/lutheranbible You will find at this web site pre-publication pricing information.
In the next couple of weeks we are mailing to every Lutheran congregation across the United States and Canada a forty-eight page “sampler” of TLSB. I hope you get a chance to see it. If you don’t, you can download a copy of it from the Internet. It is a large file (13 megabytes), so it will take a few minutes to download to your computer. When you click this link, the download will begin: <http://www.cph.org/cphstore/pages/resources/tlsb/tlsb%20sampler_body.pdf> Our congregations should have this mailing by the end of May, if not earlier. We will follow up this mailing later in the summer with a larger set of promotional materials for our congregations to use to gather orders. We are also featuring this Bible at our district convention displays, so be sure to stop by our booth.