Archive for the ‘Book of Concord’ Category

Guys: Man Up and Be Lutheran! (What to Get a Guy for Christmas)

December 5th, 2011 3 comments

This photo has nothing to with the post. I just thought it was an awesome 'stache and beard combination.

Guys, let’s face it, we often deserve the bad rap we get in pop culture. We are often lazy. We do like to sit around and be entertained a lot of the time. We don’t always like the various responsibilities we are given by God. In fact, we are pretty much masters of talking ourselves out of them: fatherhood, husband-hood, employee-hood, friend-hood – ok, so I’m making some words up. That’s what guys do.

And, so, when it comes to responsibilities to be the leaders in our congregations and families, as men of God, we are often content simply to sit back and let “somebody else” do it. But, guys, we can do better. We are called to do better. Time simply to fess up and say it to ourselves, and to anyone else who needs to hear it, “I’m a poor miserable sinner. God, I hate to admit it, but I’m a big fat loser more often than I want to admit. But you know me, God. You search my heart. Yup, that’s me.” There you said it. I said it. And we know He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness through Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, let’s get on with it. Let’s go!

What kind of gift should we give guys who want to be Lutheran guys? You can not be a Lutheran man if you don’t know what being Lutheran is all about. Period. Let me repeat that: you can not be a Lutheran man if you don’t know what being Lutheran is all about. Period. End of story. There’s no debate here. If the only reason you are a Lutheran is because your wife dragged you to church, or your parents did, or your grandpa was a Lutheran, or because you have a thing for Lutheran girls, then you aren’t a real Lutheran guy. You just a poser.

So, what can you do to be a Lutheran guy? What can we do, what should we do, to make sure we are and remain Lutheran guys?

Deluxe Pocket Edition

Guys, here it is. We need to man up and get our heads and hearts into the Book of Concord. You want to know what being Lutheran is all about? You need to get to know the Book of Concord. And get this – there actually is a single book that gives Lutheran guys what they need to know to be Lutheran guys. One book guys. Great stuff in it. It’s not rocket science. It is most definitely not just for pastors or guys who “are into that sort of thing.” It’s for you. Sure, it’s a big book, but who cares? You aren’t afraid of a big book are you. Really?

Sure, there is some pretty deep stuff in it. Don’t wimp out and make that an excuse for yourself. You need to get a copy of the Book of Concord and read it and study it.

There are great options out there for you. You can either get an edition of the Lutheran confessions, which is what is in the Book of Concord, that gives you all the texts along with tons of great helps, notes, explanations, articles and yes, even pictures. You can get this when you buy Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, it is available in regular hardback, a bonded leather edition, a genuine leather edition, or in a digital study edition for the LOGOS software system.

But if you want something smaller and more portable, you can get a pocket edition, which contains just the texts of the Confessions, along with an index and reading guide. You can get this one in a simple paperback edition or, and this is really cool, a great looking deluxe pocket edition. You can also get a Kindle edition of the pocket edition, or an ePub edition.

Ladies, if you are reading this, get the man in your life a copy of the Book of Concord.

Guys, if you want to step up and be a real Lutheran man, then get the Book of Concord. Read it. Study it. You won’t regret it.

Real men read the Book of Concord. You can be “that guy.”

Get Your Very Own Copy of The First Edition of the Book of Concord, Dresden, 1580

June 30th, 2011 Comments off

Well, at least virtually….check out this great resource, uncovered by Pastor Harrison.

Categories: Book of Concord

Why I Do Not Work in the CPH Design Department: First Look at the Concordia Triglotta Cover

May 26th, 2011 17 comments

I’m happy to tell you that work on reprinting the Concordia Triglotta is progressing nicely and I’ll keep you posted on more details as plans shape up. We’ve got the cover design finalized. I thought you would like to see the “before” and “after” shot of the cover. First, the design I submitted to the design department. Second, the design they returned. I think their design is a little better than mine, not much, but only a little. I think my design inspired our team to greatness. Do you agree?

My Design


The CPH Design Department’s Design

The Concordia Edition of the Book of Concord — Rejoicing in Its Success and Wide Reception

February 9th, 2011 7 comments

“The Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord makes it possible for every English-reading Lutheran to learn first hand what it means to be Lutheran on the basis the confessions that define the Lutheran faith.”

This is a quote from a recent review of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. It has been several years now since we published Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions and we are quickly approaching over 100,000 copies sold, in its various formats and editions. Never before in the history of the Lutheran Church, has an edition of her formal confessions of faith been so widely distributed and read, as we have seen with this edition. There is a great hunger on the part of our laity for knowledge, for learning what it is to be, and remain a Lutheran. They are tired of being put on starvation diets of insipid platitudes and vapid and shallow “lessons for life.” There is an ever growing resurgence in a passion to get back to our Lutheran roots and really explore the faith of the churches of the Augsburg Confession.

By way of reminder, you can get the Concordia edition in the following formats:

Regular hardcover. On sale again now for only $19.99, regularly $31.99, and this item qualifies for the free shipping offer. Click through to learn more about that.

Bonded leather. On sale for $49.99, regularly $69.99, also qualifies for free shipping, per terms described on web site.

Genuine leather, boxed hardcover.

LOGOS edition

Pocket edition (the text of the Confessions proper, only)

The pocket edition is available in Kindle and ePub formats.

Here is the whole review written by Dr. Cameron MacKenzie for the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly last year, which he kindly provided to me.

Paul Timothy McCain, ed.  Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord.  2nd ed.  St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006.  xlvi+747pp.  $31.00

When a new version of the Book of Concord comes out, American Lutherans get excited – especially when it is designed for them.  This is precisely the case with the “reader’s edition” that is now available from Concordia Publishing House.  Although many pastors and theologians have recommended the Lutheran Confessions to lay people for study, it is unlikely that many have readily embraced the task.  The book is imposing – and not just in length (this one comes in at almost 800 pages).  The content too is challenging for this is a book of doctrine (the clear teachings of the Scripture) but not arranged according to topic or for systematic learning.  Instead it consists of 10 distinct documents or confessions that arose in the early Church and then again in the Reformation era as statements of truth about the issues that were controversial at the time.  In other words, these are historical documents that reflect their circumstances as well as Scriptural truth.

Nonetheless, they are important because – theologically speaking – they define what it means to be Lutheran.  Over the centuries, Lutheranism has changed significantly from what it was in the sixteenth century.  American Lutherans are themselves proof of this reality – using English, employing democratic forms of church government, and participating in all kinds of “church” activities within and without the congregation, to name just a few points.  But the Lutheran Confessions have functioned as a kind of “glue” to hold Lutherans together both now and across the centuries.  Thus, we are Lutheran today not because we speak German or we went to parochial school or even because we belong to a church that has “Lutheran” on its signboard but because our Church has committed itself (especially our professional church workers) to the Book of Concord.

But this commitment by the Church (and the constitution of every LCMS congregation spells this out in no uncertain terms) is the best reason for its members’ becoming familiar with this book.  And the “Reader’s Edition” – more so than any previous version of the Book of Concord in English – makes it feasible.  This is truly a “user friendly” edition – first of all just in its presentation.  The pages are large but divided into two columns.  The typeface is big enough for comfortable reading and the paper is just slightly off-white so as to avoid glare.  Although available in deluxe editions, the binding of the standard edition is very attractive (two tone, black and maroon, with gilt lettering imprinted on cover and spine.

There are more than 115 black and white illustrations – most of them woodcuts and engravings from the Reformation era – and 31 full color plates from the same period.  These provide faces for the names and visual representations of the truths confessed.  For example, the 1555 altarpiece at Weimar (Plate 31) not only depicts Luther and the artist, Cranach the Elder, but also the meaning of Law and Gospel by displaying several scenes from the Scriptures.

The reader will also find helpful introductions, not only to the entire book but to the various confessions as well, timelines of relevant historical events, outlines for each of the 16th century confessions, and indexes that include a glossary of terms, description of persons and groups, teaching and preaching illustrations, Bibles references, and subjects in general.  Along with information about this edition and historical data, the introductory material includes a brief explanation of “Confessional Subscription,” an overview of the entire Book of Concord, and a schedule for reading the whole book over the course of a year.  The editors have also incorporated headings and notes into the texts of the confessions [carefully set off by typeface and/or brackets] in order to assist the reader in following the argument.  Finally, there is a map on the last page that shows places that were historically significant for the Reformation.

The price is eminently reasonable (only $31.00 for the standard edition).  Perhaps one reason for this is that the text is not a brand new translation but a careful revision and updating of that which one finds in the Concordia Triglotta (1921), which includes the German and Latin as well as the English.  This is the edition that was the standard in the LCMS through the middle decades of the 20th century and that still can be found in many pastors’ libraries.  Now, after a thorough reworking, the English translation in that version is readily available for lay people as well as church professionals.

As pointed out in the introduction, C. F. W. Walther once wrote:

The Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home….If a person isn’t familiar with this book, he’ll think, “That old book is just for pastors. I don’t have to preach. After working all day, I can’t sit down and study in the evening. If I read my morning and evening devotions, that’s enough.” No, that is not enough!  The Lord doesn’t want us to remain children, who are blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so that we can teach others.

Now, more than ever, Walther’s admonition can become a reality.  The Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord makes it possible for every English-reading Lutheran to learn first hand what it means to be Lutheran on the basis the confessions that define the Lutheran faith.

Looking for a Special Gift for a Special Person? Here You Go

December 9th, 2010 Comments off

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

October 29th, 2010 39 comments

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?

Book of Concord: On Sale for $20

October 8th, 2010 1 comment

I was looking at some numbers today and noticed that we are about to hit 100,000 copies of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions in print. And, then I noticed that it is that time of year again: time when the Book of Concord is put on sale for only $20. People familiar with Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions know how helpful it has been to so many people. For only $20 and with free shipping on any order of at least $75, I encourage you to take advantage of this great offer. Place your order on the web, or call 800-325-3040.

Do you have some questions about the Book of Concord? We have answers.

Here’s more information about the Concordia edition, which is the number one bestselling edition of the Lutheran Confessions ever produced.

“The Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home. If a person isn’t familiar with this book, he’ll think, ‘That old book is just for pastors. I don’t have to preach. After working all day, I can’t sit down and study in the evening. If I read my morning and evening devotions, that’s enough.’ No, that is not enough! The Lord doesn’t want us to remain children, blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so that we can teach others.” – Dr. C.F.W. Walther

Nothing is more important than clearly confessing and bearing witness to the truths of God’s Holy Word which reveal the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is what the Book of Concord is all about. This edition of the Lutheran Confessions will instruct, inspire and educate all who use it and help them learn what it means to be, and to remain, a genuinely confessing Lutheran Christian.

Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions is a remarkable achievement in Lutheran publishing. In 800 beautifully presented pages, the reader will find helpful introductions, insightful notes and annotations, and helpful tools and guides to aid reading and comprehension. The dramatic history and heroic persons associated with the various documents in the Lutheran Confessions are brought to life. There are more than 115 black and white and 31 full-color plates illuminating the text of the Confessions.

The second edition offers several significant improvements including

  • An expanded timeline and general index.
  • Enhanced page layout features and design elements
  • New essays in the introduction which provide an overview of the textual issues and history of the Lutheran Confessions
  • A summary of the nature and meaning of the Church’s commitment to the Lutheran Confessions.

TheBook of Concord is the authoritative collection of the Lutheran Church’s statements of faith. It contains documents which Lutheran Christians have used since the sixteenth century to explain, defend, and advance their witness to the truth of God’s Word.

A Manuscript Transcript of a Book of Concord Colloquy

October 1st, 2010 5 comments

A friend of mine recently pointed out to me a fascinating rare book for sale in Germany, and upon closer inspection, we discovered the book is actually a handwritten transcript of a “colloquy” meeting involving the authors of the Formula of Concord and a group of theologians in Germany, apparently one of the many meetings held after the adoption of the Formula of Concord, in an effort to get as many German theologians “on board” before the Book of Concord was published. The meeting was held in 1578. Here is a photo of a spread from the mss, recording the conversation that took place concerning the Lord’s Supper. The Concordia Seminary library has purchased the manuscript, so it is good to know this piece of Lutheran history will not reside in the rare book collection there. As usual, click on the photo below, a new window will open and then click on the image again and the full size photo will be available to you. The notes are in German and Latin. Dr. Benjamin Mayes, my colleague here, explained to me that handwritten notes like this are much easier to read when they are in Latin, since they used a handwritten form of Latin that is more clear, than the handwriting they used when writing in German. You can see an example of that below, where, for example, the comments of Dr. Andreae, on the upper left portion of the pages are in Latin, and then you can see German above and below it. Fascinating stuff, no?

Dare to Read the Book of Concord: Free PDF Download

September 27th, 2010 Comments off

A friend put together this excellent little introduction to the Book of Concord. I think you’ll enjoy it. You can download it, for free, by clicking here. You can also share it with friends at the site, or read it, online.

Categories: Book of Concord

The Book of Concord: Key to Lutheran Vitality – A Pastor’s Testimony

May 29th, 2010 Comments off

I found this fascinating and powerful post by Pastor Joseph Eggleston, sharing how the Lutheran Confessions have become such a vital part of his ministry. He is a pastor in a congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s, Southeastern District. Here is what he had to say:

“The Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home. If a person isn’t familiar with this book, he’ll think, ‘That old book is just for pastors. I don’t have to preach. After working all day, I can’t sit down and study in the evening. If I read my morning and evening devotions, that’s enough.’ No, that is not enough! The Lord doesn’t want us to remain children, blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so that we can teach others.” - Dr. C.F.W. Walther

As happens about once a year, Concordia Publishing House has the new reader’s edition of the Book of Concord on sale. The hardback is a great value $20 (regularly $31). It contains readable, yet accurate translations of the Lutheran Confessions, including the three ecumenical creeds, The Augsburg Confession, the Apology (defense) of the Augsburg Confession, Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms, the Formula of Concord, and other symbolical writings that we hold as true exposition of Scripture, and our guide to right teaching of the Christian faith.

When I arrived at Peace In Christ, I found basically what I expected regarding our Lutheran Confessions: scarcity. Many had never heard of them (either the Book of Concord or the specific writings), and even fewer owned a copy. This did not surprise me in the least! In fact, I myself barely paid any attention to the Confessions in my first few years at the St. Louis seminary. We had two classes on the Confessions, and that was it. I approached them much like many adults do the Small Catechism, years after they are confirmed: I read that once, and I still even remember some of it! For years, I think we pastors have been trained to see the Confessions as a good reference book, but not much for regular use. That is certainly how I felt.

It was not till Concordia Publishing House, released Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord that I realized how central the Confessions were to my faith, my schooling, and the call to ministry I was setting out upon. It started when I won a copy as a door prize at a seminary social event. I decided to give it to my dad, but I had little interest in owning one, since I already had the “academic” version the seminary required (which I rarely took off my shelf). All this changed when I began flipping through the pages of the new reader’s edition, filled not just with the confessional writings, but with histories, summaries, timelines, and footnotes. I marveled at the pictures, portraits, woodcuts, and Christian symbols throughout, making for a very rich reading experience for even the novice who might be encountering the Lutheran faith for the first time!

I now own two copies of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions – one for my study, and one for home. I’m glad to say that I use them often. Re-embracing our confessional writings goes hand-in-hand with our renewal process, since any renwal that takes place needs to be grounded in our Lutheran faith and our identity as a church of the Reformation. I believe that our vitality as a church will rise or fall to the extent that we distinguish ourselves as the church of the Lutheran Confessions. I apply this both to Peace In Christ, and to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. May God grant us this type of renewal, to His glory.

Will You Read the Book of Concord This Summer With Me?

May 27th, 2010 19 comments

I came across an excellent blog post by Pastor Johann Caauwe, and he has given me permission to share it with you. By the way, the Book of Concord is on sale, right now, for only $20. That’s 35% off the regular price. But that special price ends in a week. Here is Pastor Caauwe’s invitation, which I join him in making. This reading plan/scheduled begins on May 30, this Sunday, Holy Trinity.

I will be using the CPH Reader’s Edition (Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions) again. This has become my standard English version which I use. If you don’t have a copy of the Book of Concord, get one. Read the paragraph below to explain why. It is currently on sale for $20 at If you have a different version (Triglot, Tappert, Kolb/Wengert), there is an older version of the summer schedule here. If you don’t want to buy a book, you can read it on the internet right here, or purchase an electronic version here. You might also consider the pocket edition if you want to keep reading while on vacation and not have to lug a big book around.

Are you interested in reading with me? If so, I’d like to hear from you. Perhaps we can even discuss a few topics as we go through it. I’ll warn you that the schedule is pretty ambitious. This is the third time I’ve attempted this schedule and I’ve never yet finished on September 6th. But maybe if I had a few reading partners, you can help me stay on track. Here is the reading schedule, just click on the link and it will download as a PDF file to your computer: summer-reading-schedule-for-reading-concordia

This is not just a book for pastors and church “professionals” or “academics.” In fact, it is important to realize that the people most directly responsible for the Lutheran Confessions were laymen, not pastors and theologians. At tremendous personal risk to their own lives, their property, and their profession, laymen boldly stepped before the emperor and the pope’s representatives. They asserted that these Confessions were their own. They did not back down or compromise. For this reason, it is unfortunate that down through the years the Book of Concord has come to be regarded more as a book for pastors and professional theologians.

Tucked into the middle of this book is the most widely used of all the Lutheran Confessions: Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Luther wrote this document not simply as a resource for the church and school, but, first and foremost, for the head of the household. Luther intended this little book to be used by laypeople, daily, to help them remain anchored to the solid teachings of God’s holy Word, the Bible. So keep this important fact in mind: The Book of Concord exists because of the faith and conviction of laypeople, who risked their very lives in order to have these Confessions produced, published, and distributed. The Book of Concord is a book for all Christians, church workers and laypeople alike.

Christians who want to be true and faithful to the teachings of the Bible return, again and again, to this book. In these confessions of faith they find agreement, unity, and harmony in the truths of God’s Word. (from the General Introduction to the Book of Concord)

So dust off those Books of Concord and we’ll get started in just a few days! Will you join me?

“The Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home.” Do we still believe this? And if so, what are we doing to make it happen?

March 12th, 2010 13 comments

The Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home. For that reason our church should provide a good, inexpensive copy, and pastors should see to it that every home has one. If a person isn’t familiar with this book, he’ll think, “That old book is just for pastors. I don’t have to preach. After working all day, I can’t sit down and study in the evening. If I read my morning and evening devotions, that’s enough.” No, that is not enough! The Lord doesn’t want us to remain children, who are blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so that we can teach others. (C.F.W. Walther, Essays for the Church, Vol. II, pg. 51).

Concordia Publishing House prepared and published Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions to make available a “good, inexpensive copy” of the Book of Concord available to all Lutheran homes. With over 85,000 copies in print, it has become, far and away, the most popular edition of the Book of Concord ever published. But there are still many Lutheran homes that do not have a copy of the Book of Concord and many Lutherans who still have not heard of it, and have never had a chance to understand it. There is no legitimate excuse for this. Let’s work at getting the Book of Concord in every Lutheran home. Yes, Dr. Walther was right: the Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home.

The Preparation and Printing of the First Edition of the Book of Concord

February 24th, 2010 3 comments

My colleagues here at Concordia Publishing House, Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes and Rev. Charles Schaum, prepared a translation of several pages from the Die Bekenntnisschriften der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche, the critical edition of the Lutheran Confessions, which deal with the preparation and printing of the first edition of the Book of Concord. I thought you might enjoy reading it, assuming you are a BOC geek like us.

The Text History of the First Edition of the Book of Concord

Translated by Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes and Rev. Charles Schaum from the Introduction to the Formula of Concord in the BSLK

The German Book of Concord (Konkordienbuch; abbreviated Konk.) was typeset probably starting in the summer of 1578 in the Dresden printing works of Matthes Stöckel and Gimel Bergen in the extent determined by the introduction to the FC [Formula of Concord].[i] They began with the FC. Andreae had the chief supervision and committed the proof-reading to Master Peter Glaser and Caspar Fuger from the Ministerium of Holy Cross Church [in Dresden] (Kreuzkirche). Glaser also prepared the index.[ii] On April 12, 1579 the printing was completed except for the title page, Preface, Catalog of Testimonies, and the list of signatories. A copy was immediately furnished for Chemnitz. On August 19, Secretary Elias Vogel permitted three copies to be bound by Jakob Krause, probably for the Electors.

Andreae had pushed on May 22 for an expedited printing of the Preface[iii] together with the title page, but only after the Heidelberg Recess[iv] did [Chancellor] Haubold von Einsiedel give the command for them to be typeset (August 9) and order 140 copies from Vögelin,[v] i.e., in Leipzig (August 13). Presumably the order was adhered to, since on August 23 the Elector commanded the printing of twenty copies that were to be sent with the same number of manuscript copies for the purposes of subscribing to them. This was carried out on September 26.

The list of signatories was not yet completed toward the end of March 1580. “Through the mercy of God” Andreae pleaded for the submission of subscriptions from Wolfenbüttel.[vi] Already in April incomplete copies (according to Andreae) were brought to the book fair in Leipzig. According to others, they were without the title and perhaps sold in small quantity. They were then subsequently withdrawn from circulation, but a Magdeburg paper salesman, Thomas Frantz, had already initiated a private reprint at the beginning of May.

After Elector Ludwig of the Palatinate made his final decision to join (June 13, 1580), the title page (see below), Preface, and Catalog of Testimonies[vii] had to be reprinted. The same occurred during the printing of at least two other signatures[viii] at the instigation of Chemnitz and Andreae. Nevertheless the printer reintroduced in haphazard[ix] fashion the signatures that had been excluded, and even the old title page, which was first noticed by Elector Ludwig. Aside from other aberrations, even in the list of the signatories, this was also observed with embarrassment (and the printer was fined 200 Gulden) when the three originalia, that is, the “authentica,” [the authoritative copies] were set aside in the electoral chanceries according to a suggestion of Elector Ludwig on June 13, 1580.

Read more…

The Story of a First Edition 1580 Book of Concord

January 30th, 2010 8 comments

I have an interesting story to share, well, at least it is interesting to me. If you are a book geek, like me, you’ll may find this interesting too. If you are not, stop reading now.

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Dr. Robert Kolb and in the midst of a back/forth e-mail discussion that day, somehow the matter of finding copies of old printings of the Book of Concord came up and we were discussing how it is rather interesting to notice that in most of the 17th century and into the 18th century, the most commonly found copies of the Book of Concord printed are only copies of the Latin Book of Concord. Latin, of course, was the language of the schools and scholars, so it makes sense. But finding German printings of the BOC beyond the 16th century is more difficult. I have one printed in the 1700s, and the first German/Latin diglot edition, printed in the 1700s as well, but a German edition from the 1600s is much less frequently found.

Then conversation in the e-mail discussion turned to the “holy grail” of Book of Concord collectors. I told Dr. Kolb that I had been on the “hunt” for a first edition of the 1580 German Book of Concord for nearly ten years, and had found one about five or six years ago, bound with a copy of the Saxon Church Order, but it was going for around $4,500 and so I had to pass. Well, after our e-mail exchange, I was poking around again looking for a first edition of the 1580 Book of Concord and to my amazement, found one listed by a German rare book shop. Talk about eerie! The next day I e-mailed Dr. Kolb and told him he was my good luck charm.

The book arrived a couple weeks ago. I was able to purchase it for a considerably lower price because it is missing the title page and a few pages of the foreword. I suspect, but can not prove, that it fell victim to an unfortunate practice out there of removing key pages from rare books and selling them as separate pieces. Egads! But, if so, it only benefited me, for I was able to obtain a first edition of the BOC for a lot less than the other one I had found.

I’ve posted a few photos here for you to see it. The first photo is the book as it now sits in my office, surrounded by some other Luther related items, and sitting under the Cranach Weimar Altar painting. The close up below is a shot of the most important page in the book for establishing its authenticity, the printer’s colophon. You’ll notice the date on it is 1579, not 1580. Here’s why. The Formula of Concord was printed in 1579, but was bound up into the whole book only in 1580, so that is why you will find in first editions of the 1580 Book of Concord, this kind of printer’s colophon with a date of 1579 on it.

So, there’s my 1580 Book of Concord story. Sorry about the quality of the photos, I just used my iPhone camera.

Printer's Colophon Page in 1580 German Book of Concord

Categories: Book of Concord, Books

I’m no Lutheran, but this book “almost maketh me” one!

December 10th, 2009 1 comment

531154Check out this interesting blog post over at “Reformed Reader” blog site. Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions continues to be a popular book and a strong seller for Concordia Publishing House. We are fast approaching 100,000 copies sold, which considering the nature of this book, is truly nothing short of remarkable. I have long ago lost track of the number of laypeople who have picked it up and started looking through it and can not put it down until they are finished reading all the notes, introductions, photo captions, time-lines, helps, annotations, charts and the like. It opens to them a whole world of authentic, confessing Lutheranism that they never even knew existed. We often hear people huffing and puffing about “the Lutheran Confessions”and how “of course, we are “faithful to the Lutheran Confessions” but to be honest about it, I do hope we do more than talk about the Book of Concord. Let’s resolve actually to read it, and use it.