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Why the Concordia Triglotta is Still a Priceless Jewel: Do You Want a Copy of It?

October 29th, 2010
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The Concordia Triglotta. Do you even know what it is? It was a book published by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod many moons ago, and here I’m quoting from the title page: “As a Memorial of the Quadricentenary Jubilee of the Reformation anno Domini 1917 by resolution of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States.” Due to wartime paper shortages and so forth, it was not actually printed until 1921. For many years Concordia Publishing House kept it in print, but eventually transferred it over to the Wisconsin Synod’s publishing house, which kept it in print until the late 1990s. I picked up a copy from the last printing in around May 2006.

The reason that the Concordia Triglotta remains such a priceless jewel is because it is the only place you can obtain the text of the official, authorized edition of the German Book of Concord, published in 1580, and the Latin edition, published in 1584, along with a fairly literal, to the point of being literalistic, translation of either the German or Latin texts. What happened is that while the Triglotta remained in print, the texts of the two official editions of the Book of Concord were easily accessible to anyone. Now, however, since the Triglotta has gone out of print, and is only available digitally, these texts are not as easily accessible, unless of course you happen to own a first edition 1580 Concordia or 1584 Latin.

Why is this important? Because modern translations of the Book of Concord are not, in fact, based on the official texts of the Book of Concord, but on scholarly reconstructions of what the “best form” of those texts are thought to be, not what they are as they were published in 1580 and 1584. Is this some doctrinal crisis? No, but since confessional Lutherans are pledged to the texts of the German and Latin Book of Concord, most specifically, of course, the German 1580 text, it is good to have those texts available.

So, here is my question to you, dear reader, would you be interested in buying a copy of the Concordia Triglotta is we bring it back into print? We are investigating this right now and aiming at trying to bring it back into print at a reasonable price point, but it is not going to be cheap. Obviously, we can not print thousands of copies and expect to sell those. So, we will probably have to print copies in the hundreds of copies, rather than thousands, which mean the price point will be somewhere in the $60 or $70 range. It will be a casebound book, with an attractive cover design.

So, drop me a note and let me know if you are interested in buying a copy of the Concordia Triglotta. We will not be including the eye-straining copy of the Historical Introductions in the Triglotta, since those now have been retypeset in a nice readable edition, which is available here.

So, let me know. Is you in, or is you out? Want a copy of the Triglotta?

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  1. Adam
    October 29th, 2010 at 11:55 | #1

    As a recent seminary grad, and BOC nut, yes I would be very interested in this. Please keep me updated on the possibility

  2. Andrew Packer
    October 29th, 2010 at 12:04 | #2

    Yes, I would love a copy.

  3. Barry
    October 29th, 2010 at 12:43 | #3

    Yes a copy would be welcomed!

  4. October 29th, 2010 at 13:08 | #4

    Count me in, I’ve been searching for one for a little while…

  5. Brian Thomas
    October 29th, 2010 at 13:38 | #5

    Definitely would purchase it. Thanks.

  6. Lance Armstrong O’Donnell
    October 29th, 2010 at 14:13 | #6

    I own both the print and digital editions, but when I served a parish near the seminary I gave a couple of these away as ordination gifts to my field workers. This is a must-have for every LCMS Pastor given the vows we take and that most of us do not have good reading knowledge of German and Latin. I’m thrilled that CPH is seriously considering returning it to print.

  7. Guillaume
    October 29th, 2010 at 15:04 | #7

    Already have one.

  8. October 29th, 2010 at 15:30 | #8

    Yes…Yes…a thousand times, YES!!! Would LOVE to have a copy of the Triglotta…great idea Paul…more Lutheran goodness from CPH!!!

  9. October 29th, 2010 at 15:45 | #9

    Doesn’t that mean it will be public domain next year? If so, I’d probably just get the ebook off of Google Books.

  10. Ron Hobbie
    October 29th, 2010 at 16:14 | #10

    I treasure my old copy given me by an elderly, retired pastor a couple decades ago – containing his seminary margin notes in German, by the way. It is my favorite version (Sorry – even compared to your welcomed Readers Edition! [wink, wink]). It would be great to make this available to all who wish to have one!

  11. October 29th, 2010 at 16:28 | #11

    I would buy this as fast as you can link it up for sale!

  12. (Rev) Donavon Riley
    October 29th, 2010 at 18:42 | #12

    I would buy another (newer) edition for myself as well as buying copies for colleagues and friends.

  13. Jacob
    October 29th, 2010 at 18:45 | #13

    I would love to have a copy of the Triglotta. The BOC is such a foundational document that it should never be out of print in the original languages.

    Also, since we are on the topic of old texts, a reprint of the 1912 version of the Luther Bibel would be great (I don’t mean to be hijacking this thread).

  14. Rev. Glenn Niemann
    October 29th, 2010 at 19:11 | #14

    There is a “Confessions Study” every 4th Thursday at St. John Lutheran Church in Bath, IL … most every Pastor there brings their (old, mangled) Trig to this study – there’s not a session goes by that by having the Latin & German there in front of you isn’t helpful in many a way! So yes – bring the Trig back home to CPH!!! :-)

  15. Terry Yarish
    October 29th, 2010 at 20:49 | #15

    This would be a great addition to all the current excellent offerings from CPH. Fortunately, I have 1920′s copy in my library. I would be nice to have this edition available. If I did not have one I would absolutely in line for a new copy!

  16. Harry
    October 29th, 2010 at 21:34 | #16

    I would like a copy.

  17. October 29th, 2010 at 22:14 | #17

    Yes interested, will there be an Libronix edition?

  18. October 29th, 2010 at 23:16 | #19

    I am blessed with both Libronix and print copies, but would love to promote a Concordia Triglotta from Concordia!

  19. October 30th, 2010 at 02:20 | #20

    Yes, definitely.

  20. Jake
    October 30th, 2010 at 07:49 | #21

    I have three copies of the BOC but can’t understand what I would do with the triglotta as I read neither German nor Latin. Who is the audience for this? Not sure what the thinking is behind this venture.

    • October 30th, 2010 at 18:46 | #22

      Jake, those of us who are able to work with the original languages of the Lutheran Confessions, German and Latin, even as we work with the original languages of the Holy Scriptures, Greek and Hebrew, will be blessed to have the Triglotta back in print. Hope that helps you understand the purpose of the Concordia Triglotta. God bless.

  21. George
    October 30th, 2010 at 13:55 | #23

    I think I would, if I could afford it. I know this would be a bigger project, but what about putting the “McCain” edition :) alonside a re-typeset latin and german?

  22. October 30th, 2010 at 15:29 | #25


  23. Rev Michael Schmidt
    October 30th, 2010 at 17:21 | #26

    Yes, I would be interested in purchasing a copy of the Concordia Triglotta. Would it be more feasible for CPH to put it as a print on demand title (ie. Concordia On Demand)?

    • October 30th, 2010 at 18:49 | #27

      Well, print on demand works great when you really have NO idea how many copies of something you will sell, and so, if you only sell a handful, it is great, but if we know we might have 50 or more people ready, willing and able to buy a regularly printed book, we use traditional printing methods. That’s why I’m trying to gauge interest.

  24. JR Lawlor
    October 30th, 2010 at 18:53 | #28

    I would purchase one.

  25. Brian Westgate
    October 30th, 2010 at 21:15 | #29

    Maybe instead of a Triglot republication, how about a Quodlot, where both the German and the Latin would be translated separately? It could also be an opportunity to fix any translation errors there might be. For those of us who already have a Triglot, perhaps English only versions could be sold.

  26. Joshua Conradt
    October 30th, 2010 at 23:56 | #30

    I have been looking for one of these for awhile now. My first year in sem. I noticed it in the bookstore and when I finally got around to purchasing it, it was no longer there. When I asked about it, I was told that the rights had been sold to NPH. So I went to NPH and asked them for it, which is when they told me that they had sold it back to CPH. So needless to say, I would definitely purchase a copy.

  27. Jake
    October 31st, 2010 at 08:10 | #31

    Any chance of ever getting Luther’s Works in paperback? The hardcovers are beyond my wallet’s reach at 35-55$ a volume.

  28. (Rev) Alf Danbolt
    October 31st, 2010 at 12:57 | #32

    How wonderful to have it on my desk next reformation day here in Norway :-) I can come and pick it up in St. Louis next fall.

  29. October 31st, 2010 at 14:58 | #33

    I look forward to it. I have a copy of it that is quite old and has seen better days. In fact, several pages are missing. So a new edition would be most welcome.

  30. Karen Keil
    October 31st, 2010 at 18:02 | #34

    Even though I already have a green cover copy of the 1917 (published 1921) of the Triglotta under the Northwestern Publishing House imprint, I am very interested in the CPH copy albeit sans the historical introductions (these already published in a separate book).

  31. Mark
    November 1st, 2010 at 08:59 | #35

    I would definitely purchase a copy.

  32. Fraser Pearce
    November 4th, 2010 at 17:52 | #36

    I’m interested!

  33. Tim Stout
    November 4th, 2010 at 18:46 | #37

    I second the suggestion of setting the Reader’s Edition along side a retypeset Latin and German (old German typset is so hard to read). That would be enough to get me to purchase another one. I was given an old CPH version as a gift a few years ago from a woman who had received it as confirmation gift from her aunt. It is in nearly perfect condition, since she never used it. It was an amazing gift.

  34. November 5th, 2010 at 11:10 | #38

    Am I wrong in thinking that the German text of the Triglot is somewhat modernized (at least in terms of orthography) from the 1580 text? If so, it would be great to get a Triglot that was unaltered.

    Here’s another vote for the Reader’s Edition text to be the English text.

  35. Josh Hayes
    November 11th, 2010 at 07:54 | #39

    I would be interested in purchasing the Latin and German as separate volumes, provided that they are convenient to take with you (e.g. to class/bible class). Even regular trade-sized paperbacks would be fine for this.

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