C.F.W. Walther’s Doctrinal Text: First Edition/First Printing of Baier’s Compendium – Fantastic Condition – For Sale
I’m beginning to divest of some of my books so you’ll be seeing “for sale” ads over the coming months.
First, I begin with a set of Walther’s doctrinal textbook that he edited. These are in very good condition. The spine material is wearing, but each of these volumes is nice and tight in the binding and the paper is in very good shape. Baier’s Compendium is in Latin, with extensive citations from Lutheran theologians, in German. This was printed at Concordia Publishing House in 1879. They are yours for $265, which includes shipping via USPS Priority Mail to addresses in the continental USA. These books are from the first printing, first edition.
Here is more information about these books.
Dr. Robert Preus, in his The Theology of Post-Reformation Lutheranism said this about John William Baier:
“John William Baier (1647-95) studied at Jena, where he came under the influence of John Musaeus, who later became his father-in-law. He was called as professor at the University of Jena and later at Halle, where he did not always get along very peaceably with the pietists. However, like many of the later orthodox Lutherans, he was somewhat affected by Pietism. Baier is known primarily for one book, his Compendium Theologiae Positivae (1685). While demonstrating that the Jena theology was not syncretistic but orthodox, this work, which on every page leans on Musaeus, is not wholly free from the latter’s synergism. Baier’s presentation and formulations are very scholastic and indicate a decline in the forcefulness of orthodox Lutheran dogmatics. His theological shorthand, although precise, becomes so abbreviated at times as to be quite bewildering to one who has not read in other theologians of that day. Nevertheless, because of its clarity and convenient size the book was used in many schools and was re-edited in Germany and America in the 19th. century.”
Apparently from the beginning of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Baier’s Compendium of Positive Theology was used as the basic dogmatic textbook, primarily because it was easy to find. John William Bauer (1647-1695) had been professor at the University of Jena and the University of Halle. Although he wrote a number of other books entitled Compendium (one of historical theology and one of exegetical theology), his Compendium of Positive Theology is his best known work.
In 1865, Dr. C. F. W. Walther wrote that he had been persuaded to try and write his own dogmatic textbook, but this, unfortunately, never happened. Instead, synodical president H. C. Schwan “compelled” Walther to publish an edition of Baier’s Compendium that would include “annotatioins,” and that edition began coming off the press in May 1879. Besides correcting the publishing errors of earlier editions, Walther included copious quotations from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theologians as elaborations on Baier’s terse comments. In this translation, the major loci and footnotes to them are from Baier. The interspersed quotations from Luther, Chemnitz, Gerhardt, et. al., were added to this edition of Baier by Walther.