19 August 2006

Gottes Befehl...DIAKONOS

An interesting passage in the Lutheran Symbols is found in the German of the Apology (which is not the official text of that Symbol, the Latin is) at XIII, par. 12. After granting that Ordination can be considered a sacrament, we have:

Denn die Kirche hat Gottes Befehl, dass sie soll Prediger UND DIAKONOS bestellen.

Because the Church has God's command, that she ought to appoint both preachers AND DEACONS. [emphasis mine]

The "and deacons" part is what interests me. Some will argue that deacons here is used as a synonym for preachers, and that the two should be taken together as a single office (like "pastors and teachers" in Eph 4), but I am not certain that was what Jonas intended. If he were speaking that way, auf Deutsch, wouldn't the natural conjunction be "oder" rather than "und"? Any thoughts out there? Aside from the obvious one: where did God command the Church to appoint deacons? Thoughts on that too? Does apostolic practice constitute divine command? Why or why not? Is it significant that it reads "God's" command and not "our Lord's" command?

[I honestly don't remember if I've brought this up on the blog before, and since if I did, your answers didn't stick in the old mind here, throw them out again and pardon the redundancy!]


ConcordiaFan said...

My Dear Pastor Weedon, kudos for reading the German version of the Apology. Your comment that it is "not the official version" open a very interesting topic indeed.

Actually, the Triglotta [may it ever be praised] offers us something found *nowhere else* - the German of the Apology as it was published in the 1580 German Book of Concord -- thus making it in fact an official version of the Apology. The fact that it was adopted for use in the BOC of 1580 makes it "official" for us.

The K/W edition claims that the Octavo edition of the Apology there presented gives us the Apology that is basically what the German BOC of 1580 had. But this is simply *not* true, as a comparison of the texts reveal. The claims for the Octavo in the K/W are what they are, and are not in truth, quite true!

Back to the Apology...my point, and I apologize for my digression, is simply that the very fact that the Jonas "translation" of the Apology is in the BOC of 1580 makes it, de facto, an official version, which we can in fact point to as an authoritative confession. I love the Jonas version of the Apology. The German sparkles with warmth and passion.

In his Morphology of Lutheranism, in a footnote, Elert documents that Melanchthon "had no problem" with the Jonas additions, and there is every reason to believe that Jonas was also in conversation with Luther as he did his translation.

So, have joy of the German apology. We have no need to apologize for it. And we certainly have no good reason to try to swap it out with the Octavo text, as K/W does, which was *never* the official version in either the Latin or German texts of the Book of Concord.

ConcordiaFan said...

Here is my speculation/theory/guess....the Jonas "translation" is in fact a pious paraphrase, one blessed by Melanchthon and one that very well may have been also reviewed by Luther.

Could it be that Jonas is simply taking a bit of a liberty to refer to the ranks of clergy known at that time in Wittenberg?

After all, one had Georg Roerer and Veit Dietrich about town as "deacons."

It is odd he did not simply translate the word "teachers" with "teachers" in German.

I wonder how Luther renders it in his German Bible? Lerer, for the "work of the ampts" ... the work of the office.

tutal said...

The question is that if the Octavo was never the official version... then what do we do with the Evangelical Confessors from 1531 to 1580? Is there anything that is preventing our post-enlightenment confession of being one of confessing not solely one specific translation in one edition (the Jonas translation of the Quarto/Octavo), but also confessing the Quarto and Octavo as well?

Chaz said...

The question is, "What was subscribed to in 1580?" I realize it's not a question easily answered. The Confessors who wrote the Formula cite various editions, but the Confessors who signed it... by the THOUSANDS were signing a book that included the Jonas translation.

I don't think we get to be anachronists. Though the confessors from 1531 to 1580 probably used a variety of texts, we are given the German to subscribe to.

William Weedon said...


You're right! I slipped in what is actually a point I like to make. I was just remembering what I was taught (and I think it was our beloved Piepkorn who wrote the essay) in a hermeneutics of the Lutheran Symbols. I disagree with Piepkorn on this point - when I consciously think about it!- and agree that we subscribe to the 1580 BOC, and I also hold that the Latin 1584 within my subscription too since that was the version offered, if you will, for ecumenical discussion - i.e., for the poor clods who don't do German. ; )

So as to which version is authoritative, if we go by our Lex Ordandi, we pledge ourselves to the Symbols "as these are contained in the 1580 Book of Concord" in our ordination vows. (Lutheran Service Book Agenda).

Viekerhaus said...

Dittos to ConcordiaFan WRT the use of the word "deacon" at the time of the Reformation, and even for a couple of centuries of Lutheranism afterward.

I'd have to dig out the specific data, but I seem to recall that from Stiller's "J.S. Bach and the Liturgical Life in Leipzig," that the word "deacon" was used of ordained individuals serving in an assisting capacity to the local parish pastor. IOW, "deacon" then would be roughly synonymous with today's LCMS "assistant/associate pastor."

At any rate, Bill, you know the KO far better than anyone I know. How is the word "diakonos" used there? Such usage would surely bring helpful clarity to the questions you raise.

Larry H said...

If pastor and deacon are not two separate offices, then why are we training deaconesses in a church body that does not ordain women into the office of pastor?
Since we train deaconesses, why don't we also train men for the office of deacon?

William Weedon said...


It is clear from the Church Orders that in the post-Reformation times, the deacon was simply a pastor who served under the supervision of another priest in a given place. As you say, assistant pastor. But I am not sure that that is what Jonas was referring to. I know that this arrangement is clearly evident in the second generation of the Reformation and beyond, but I am not sure that I recall that is how the first generation thought of it. I need to look up again the FIRST Brunswick order by Bugenhagen (I shudder at the thought because of his incredibly odd spellings!), because I suspect that would give us a better read on what Jonas might have meant. Clearly by the second Brunswick order (Chemnitz') the term is used for an assistant or associate who served under the direction of the priest (here meaning "head pastor") of the given parish. And that is totally congruent with Stiller's account for Saxony as well.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Well, that very quesiton must be normed by the fact that the 1580 subscription was a sort of "by proxy" signature as the princes signed the 1580 Saxon Constitution. It was the Formula, in fact, that was signed by the "thousands."

But that question aside, the notion that we are to subscribe to a singular text is quite an innovation. No ordination rite has ever included a particular text or edition. Further, which printing in 1580 ought we to subscribe to? There were multiple printings, in fact, with various additions and subtractions -- the most significant being, perhaps, that the earliest printings did not include Luther's baptism booklet. This alone testifies to the fact that, the question of signatures aside, the 1580 edition was fluid, and open to revision.

To suggest that we ought to subscribe, in any sort of exclusive sense, "to 1580" is not only innovative, but it is schismatic -- no such distinction have been made in the history of Lutheranism. While 1580 had been the widest publicized edition, volume of publication does not necessarily mean exclusive authority.

To imagine for a moment that when 1580 was published, it in any way intended to counter, or be the "norm" of previous editions seem to run contrary to the very preface of 1580 which says, almost ad nausea, that they intend to present nothing different that what had been presented (naming the individuals) in 1530. Further, the other documents seem to be included individually in this respect, "In conclusion, to repeat once again for the last time, we are minded not to manufacture anything new through this work of concord nor to de part in either substance or expression to the smallest degree from the divine truth, acknowledged and professed at one time by our blessed predecessors and us, as based upon the prophetic and apostolic Scripture and comprehended in the three Creeds, in the Augsburg Confession presented in 1520 to Emperor Charles V of kindest memory, in the Apology that followed it, and in the Smalcald Articles and the Large and Small Catechisms of that highly enlightened man, Dr. Luther."

In other words, I can readily acknowledge that we do, in fact, subscribe to the text of 1580 (and the Latin of 1584), but doing do in any sort of exclusive sense, as if it superscedes the editions of the particular editions prior to it, amounts to drawing a false line in the sand that neither the confessors of 1580 intended, nor has our Lutheran heritiage and confession encouraged. To subscribe to 1580 is, in fact, to subscribe to each of the documents -- quarto and octovo included -- as these are all treasures of our confessional heritage.

It's also worth nothing that K/W, in the preface to the Apology, does not suggest that it is the one and final "authorized" text, but simply includes one "that had never been included before" and invites the student of the Confession to compare it with previous editions. The Octavo edition is, in fact, quite helpful in clarifying matters. Issues that are "flushed out" or "intensified" in the Octavo edition speak volumes about the significance and importance of those said matters for Melanchthon and the original Confessors -- thus help us to understand the whole Confession, not as a document per se, but as a living, breathing Confession.

Again, the problem with this whole debate is that it is being treated as "this is my text" vs "this is your text" and whose is better. Again, this is a line in the sand that Lutherans have never drawn. As it is clear from the preface of 1580, they intended in no wise to suggest anything differently than the originals. As such, a more wholistic approach, embracing both the 1580/1584 collections, and the original documents themselves, seems a bit more consistent with our own heritage and, in fact, what they intended to do in 1580.

Not to mention, that approach allows us to keep the "using their own pastors" clause in Tr. 72.

William Weedon said...

Larry H,

I think the point is that what was the practice at the time of the Reformation was shaped to a great extent by the medieval Western "devolution" of the office of deacon into little more than a step toward the presbyterate. The ancient church is where Lutherans were looking when they re-established the female diaconate, and that ancient church ordained women and men to the diaconate with the understanding that it was a separate office and NOT a stepping stone to the presbyterate.

The way Dr. Korby explained the office of deacon vs. the office of pastor (and I think he is indebted to Loehe for this) hearkens back to the ancient Church AND to the Reformation's insistence on justification as primary. The Office of the Ministry (presbyterate) is primary because justification is primary, and justification comes from the preaching of the Gospel and the giving out of the Sacraments. But such faith issues forth into love, and love needs its order too. And the diaconate was established as an office of love - to order and shape the community's loving care of the sick, the dying, the imprisoned, etc. These were given over to those ordained to the diaconate. IF Acts 6 is all about the establishment of this office, this makes perfect sense. Whatever in the Church does not fall under the heading of preaching the Word or serving the church's life of prayer, falls under the rubric of love. And that's the provenance of the diaconate.

This obviously is stepping back beyond the Reformation to the ancient Church, but Korby proposes this with the understanding of the Reformation guiding and making great sense out of what was then the practice - and continued as the practice of the Eastern Church for many centuries; less so in the West, where relatively early on the deaconesses were phased out and deacons became merely priests in the making.


Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Actually, Pr. Weedon --

The "1580" is no longer included in the Agenda for publication. It was rightfully recognized that this sort of vow, where particular editions are cited, has never been made in the history of Lutheranism. It would be an innovation contrary to our Tradition to demand such a narrow view of confessional subscription.

William Weedon said...


I quite agree that it is needless to pit the one against the other. And what would be the point? There's no change in doctrine in one over the other! And that holds true for 1584 also, with its sempervirgo. What the other "versions" do is help interpret the meaning that the Confessors intended. More light is never a problem. I think the issue would never have come up EXCEPT for the publication of the Variata and that got Lutherans a bit hyped about exact versions, because it DID alter meaning.


William Weedon said...

They changed that? I'm surprised, because it was in the proposal accepted at Synod's last convention. I think it has an "on again, off again" history. I think it was the Ordination rite in English prior to the publication of TLH, but it was NOT in the German Agenda, TLH, and I don't remember about LW.

ConcordiaFan said...

The reason 1580 was taking out of the Agenda was NOT to include Arand's speculations about predecessor forms of the documents contained in the Book of Concord, but rather not to rule out the 1584 Latin edition, which carried equally authoritative weight.

The LSB Agenda wisely notes that persons are subscribing to the Lutheran Confessions "as they are contained" in the Book of Concord. Something NOT said in the Lutheran Worship agenda.

And please note, it is a BOOK of Concord. While some scholars seem to find the notion that there is in fact a BOOK...preferring instead to try to instruct us that in fact the Lutheran Confessions are not authoritatively contained in the 1580 and 1584 editions of the BOOK of Concord, the fact remains that we are not subscribed to previous editions, what scholars believe *should* have been used, but what was actually accepted by the church.

Trying to claim that people subscribing to the 1580 BOC did not have in view a book is equally foolish. People knew full well to what they had subscribed. There was not protest that they had been "duped" at the time and in fact the Latin edition was very careful not to reprint the signatures contained in the German BOC precisely because those persons had not had the chance to review the entire book.

And suggestions that the Book of Concord was merely a "legal document" and such would thereby require us to take an equally dim view of other things, such as...oh...the Nicene Creed, etc.

The Octavo text is interesting to read and valuable to study, but to stick it into a book claiming to be the Book of Concord is misleading, vague and lacking in doctrinal clarity!

As for what we are to make of the confessors between 1530-1580, I'm not sure what to make of that comment.

And claiming that the Octavo in fact does present a text that is basically what was in the BOC of 1580 is simply untrue.

We pledge ourselves to the Lutheran Confessions as they are contained, not in the BKS, but what is in the BOOK of Concord. A book is a book, and that is clear enough for most, but apparently not for some who would wish rather to indulge in their quest for the historical Lutheran Confessions...it makes for endless interesting journal articles, to be sure.

The claim that there was never any such insistence on the precise form of the texts in the BOC is wrong as well. The Concordia Triglotta was very intentional in its choice of texts and they jolly well could have decided to use other texts, but they did not. It was only with the advent of the BKS in the 1930s that we were introduced to the notion that the text of the Book of Concord is not in fact the text of documents in a given Book, but rather texts as scholars propose the documents should have been.

It is no coincidence that such scholarship arose precisely in the wake of the movement to disregard the binding nature of the Book of Concord, thus it was easy to regard it no longer so much as the church's confession, but as a book subject to source criticism, form criticism, etc. Sound familiar???

The issue here is not the differences between 1580 and 1584 editions of the BOOK of Concord, but rather the fact that we have inherited texts claiming to be the BOOK Of Concord, which in fact are not...rather translations of what various editors of the BKS put forward as the "best" form of the texts that were used in the Book of Concord. That is a key difference and an important issue indeed.

All hail the Concordia Triglotta, which to this day remains the best single edition of the Book of Concord in English.

There is certainly everything good about carefully studying the textual history of the Book of Concord, but attempting to make more of it than an interesting study in textual criticism is foolish at best and harmful at worse.

ConcordiaFan said...

Chaz, just a note...when the Formula quotes the Apology, in German, it is quoting from the German translation by Jonas. When it quotes the Apology, in Latin, it is quoting from the first edition of the Apology, the Quarto.

It is amusingly interesting to notice how the K/W edition has to acknowledge this in the Formula, and in the Apology, has to acknowledge that it is sticking in large chunks of material that is not in either edition of the Book of Concord.

One doesn't even have to mention the dreadful and horrendous distortion of the original languages of the Confessions in the K/W in order to accomodate the gender-neutering and women's ordination agenda of the ELCA [the most serious examples of which were pointed out to the LCMS editors working on the project long before the K/W was printed] to understand that the K/W has serious "issues" -- to say the least.

William Weedon said...

Concordia fan,

Were you on the Agenda committee? What is the source for your info that it was not to rule out 1584? I think that's a SUPER reason and I hope it's true, but that is the first I've heard of it.

ConcordiaFan said...

An Apology...

I apologize for leading the way into a very fascinating conversation about the textual history and basis of the Book of Concord. Of course, we could have fun also talking about the multiple editions of the 1580 BOC, printed in 1580, a point some seem to like to use [wrongly and perhaps even deceptively] to defend their claims that we are to look to the form of documents before the 1580 and 1584 editions, but again, I digress.

I apologize for pulling the thread in this direction and away from Pr. Weedon's interesting discovery about how Eph. 4 was handled.

It is fascinating, since Jonas had in hand Luther's NT translation at the time and so it is fascinating to note that he chooses to use the word "deacon."

It could be that Jonas understood that Paul was speaking of the Ampt...as Luther's translation would make clear and therefore chose to use the most common form of the Ampt at that time: Pastor and Deacon.

I think that is what the Right Rev. Hymnal Editor, Jon Vieker may have been driving at, no?

William Weedon said...

Nothing to apologize for, Concordiafan. It's the fun of blogging. I never believe that anyone has to stick to topic in a conversation - I rarely do!

However, I think you misunderstood me about Eph 4. I was only referring to the fact that the Greek text uses KAI to join together pastors and teachers and most take that KAI as constituting a hyndiadus (is that how you spell that?). So sometimes AND does work that way, and it could work that way there in Apology XIII.

Luther's text has at Eph 4:

...etliche zu Hirten und Lehrern.

Rather an exact translation.

I was initially observing, though, that it seems more natural auf Deutsch and in English to use an "or" between names that denote the same office.

William Weedon said...

Also curious that Jonas transliterated "diakonos" from the Greek, not using the word "Diener" with which Luther renders the Greek in his German translation of the Scriptures in 1 Tim 3.

Viekerhaus said...

Below are some usages of the word "deacon" from early Lutheran KO's, according to notes taken by our friend, Joe Herl. FWIW.

Brandenburg-Nürnberg 1533
If the Pfarrer has no Diaconum, he serves the body to all before serving the cup; if there is a deacon, the deacon serves the cup to each after the latter receives the bread. During the distribution the Schüler sing the Agnus dei. Where there are no Schüler the congregation may sing it or whatever else that is scriptural, appropriate to the time and customary . . .

Eilenburg 1529
The deacon "ufm berge" preaches one day a week (normally Thursday) and on Sunday on the catechism. If the people want to hear other sermons they can go to church on other days in the city. (p. 560)

Hatzkerode [1534?]
If the deacon is hindered on account of the organ or is otherwise absent, then after the Pfar[rer] sings the collect and the choir has sung "Amen" he goes to the Pult and himself sings the Epistle and Gospel to the people. Then the Priester at the altar sings the Latin "Credo in unum deum," and the choir sings the Latin Patrem, and following this the people sing "Wir glauben," as it is found in Luther's hymnal.

Then he sings the Verba, consecrating the chalice immediately after the hosts. Then "Jesus Christus" is sung and the communicants go to the altar, receiving the body of the Lord from the Pfarher on the right side and the blood of the Lord from the Diacon (or Pfarher, if there is no deacon) on the left.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

The point, however, is that even if you accept a 1580 and/or 1584 edition, you are receiving an edition that, yes, is the BOOK of Concord that is nonetheless assembled due to the Formula's inclusion of each particular document, listed by its date. The 1580/84 publications make good on the Formula's adoption of each document -- and it was this Formula which had been signed by the "thousands," or about 2/3 of Germany.

The question, historically, then is whether or not they were pretending put forth an "authorized" version that was intended to superscede the earlier documents. I think the preface to the 1580 BoC, however, seems to suggest that they actually intended for their publication to be nothing other than a reflection *of* these texts, as the very publication of the BOOK of Concord was inspired by the Formula.

Btw... with respect to the Creeds, the Formula binds us to the Creeds as well -- hence, again, their inclusion in 1580/84. See Ep. 3.

Further, I don't think that the claim Arand, et. al., were making was that the octavo edition *was* the same text as was included in the 1580 BoC. Rather, his argument is that the octavo edition more closely reflects the text which Jonas had translated from in 1580 as opposed to the quarto edition. For example, Arand notes in his preface to his translation that, "FOR THE MOST PART he (Jonas) pattered his translation after the octavo edition, including, for example, many of the chnages in Articles IV, X, and XXVIII." (emphasis mine). So, did Jonas intend for his translation to be a "new edition" or merely a translation? If he clearly understood his work to be a "translation," as any translator would invite his audience to do so, there is no harm in examining those portions from the original texts which He had used in his translation.

Added to the question over the octavo edition, then, is the citation of the Apology in Ep. 4, which actually lists the Apology alongside the Articles presented at Smalcald in 1537. Which edition of the Apology was presented in 1537 at Smalcald? None other than the octavo edition. This also plays into the question of Jonas' translation, as it was immediately following Smalcald in 1537 when Jonas began working on his German translation.

So yes! We do subscribe to the *BOOK* of Concord, but does this *BOOK* not also bind us to the particular documents? The Preface in 1580 suggests, then, that what is produced in 1580 is welcome to be used alongside the original texts -- not in such a way that they would oppose one another, but that we might come to a better understanding of each as the multiplicity of languages might help to narrow our semantic field a bit. The various editions are understood best in concert with one another, rather than in some sort of imagined opposition.

With respect to the other issues in K/W... ie. gender neutrality... those issues are unfortunate, which is why I nonetheless reccomend the re-up-and-coming Concordia Readers Edition to my laymen. That doesn't mean, however, that the use of the K/W edition for scholarly purposes ought to be discouraged, so long as it is being examined by discerning eyes.

kjslutherisch said...

While it is clear that I'm not nearly as well informed as you gentleman, I do have a few questions to interject. Perhaps this is a bit simple of me but regardless of whether the confessions specifically mention the office what about the Scripture passages that speak of Sts. Philip and Stephen being ordained into the diaconate and it's mention in Timothy? It is clear from the scriptural texts, the early church fathers and the canons of the Council of Nicea that Deacons baptized and preached but didn't celebrate the Eucharist. I'm curious why we don't use the same practice as the Church of Sweden (as noted by the late Swede Fr. Rosendal: http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/crhale/rosendal.html) and the Anglicans. That is, instead of 2 years - vicarage - 1 year for seminary do a 2-3 years and then be ordained into the diaconate before becoming a pastor. This would resolve some of the "preaching before ordination" issues as well as give young ordinands more time to develop before taking the helm. Perhaps this stems from our beginnings. One thing I've noticed is that Pieper's "Dogmatics" and Walther's "Kirche und Amt" both confuse the diaconal office and use Acts 6 it as part of their argument for the ordination of pastors. St. Jerome, Martin Chemnitz, and many others, however, clearly point to Acts 6 as referring to ordaining deacons. Perhaps much of our confusion referring to the office stems from the beginnings of synod itself. I'm curious to know everyone else's thoughts on this.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Back on topic...

I think a lot of weight here falls on what command is being spoken of. That is, what is the literal command they are intending to reference? Are the referring to a command, in general, that according to human right we full with preachers, or deacons, as the need arises, or a specific command that actually mandates the office of "deacon"?

Also wrapped up in the quesiton -- I don't think the traditional view of Lutheranism for "One Office" (ministerium ecclesiasticum unum est) is incompatible with this view. In fact, after those deacons get ordained in Acts 6, Philip who was among them is seen later doing something other than "waiting on tables," but preaching the Gospel! No where in between do we see hands, or a second ordination of sorts. While that's ultimately an argument from silence, it nonetheless supports (however so slightly) the idea that the one ordination covers all sorts of human arrangements. Further, consider Paul, who in 1 Corinthians 1 says he was not "sent to Baptize" but to preach. Nonetheless, Paul did baptize, and he lists a few of those whom he could bring up off the top of his head... Crispus.. Gaius... I don't know who else. So while he might say, in as much a parallel way as we might define a specific call today as possible, that baptism was not a part of his "call documents" per se, he nonetheless did it not by emergency, but according to His office.

So, by human or divine right, at the very least this passage gives us a bit of "wisdom" from our fathers by which we might better address our contemporary problems, as opposed to the current abomination where we find unordained men (even women?) calling themselves "lay ministers" and acting as if they had been ordained.

I also agree, that little blub in Walther where he calls the laying on of hands "adiaphora," while it can be understood in a appropriate sense, must be normed by our own Symbols which speak, particularly in the Treatise, of ordaining pastors "by divine right." That last I looked, what the Lord gives us to do by divine right is not adiaphora.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

While the diaconate solution is certainly the best solution, from our history, I think the biggest thing holding us back is our own "immaturity" as a church body.

Because we confess "One Office" that is by divine right, and all distincions are according to "human right," we need to first acknowledge and accept, as a churh body, that "non-divine right" does not necessarily mean that it is indifferent, and that each may do as he pleases with regard to the "human right" side of things. However, it seems that the argument too often follows these days, "Well, show me in the Bible.. if it isn't there then it is just human, and I can choose to follow it or disregard it according to my good pleasure." This, by the way, runs completely counter to the way St. Paul runs with "koinonia" in 1 Corinthains, as much of what he was addressing with regard to the Lord's Supper was essentially problems with "human right" that had evoked other problems which were not merely of human consequence (hence, koinonia). All that eating first and last, getting your full and others going hungry, were problems that had emerged from human right. It was not necessarily that these things, alone, were wrong -- it is, rather, what was confessed by it, and how it schismed their "koinonia," not only between the "holy ones," but consequently with the "holy things" whereby they shared such a communion.

Still, until as a Church body we are willing to see the "de iure humano" stuff as something more than "advisory," but actually a matter of our communion/koinonia, I fear that the diaconate solution will open up a flood gate of other problems -- i.e. renegade "deacons" not respecting the authority they are under, because, after all, "we're called and ordained." Is there a solution to this problem? Probably, but it is one that the Missouri Synod has struggled with thoughout her history do to a bit of phobia over Martin Stephan -- that is, a clear respect of ecclesiastical supervision. The "pastors" (presybters) who are "over" deacons, must also have the support of a "bishop" of sorts (call them what you will, i.e. D.P.) who will not hesitate to "drop the axe" so to speak on a renegate deacon (or a renegade pastor, for that matter, who simply allows his deacons to run wild). Wait, another solution from tradition? I must be losing it in my young age...

William Weedon said...

Well, better yet, maybe (again, running with Korby) is to have the episcopus supervise not merely the presbyters (and the ministry of the Word, the faith stuff) but also the diaconate (and the ministry of service, the love stuff). In the ancient Church the diaconate was first thought of as assistants to the bishop; the presbyters as his co-workers. We need oversight not just in the preaching of the word and all that entails; we need oversight in our charitable works too. And we need those responsible for both in our communities. Its the full realization of the post-communion prayer!

William Weedon said...

I am especially thinking of the way in which the work of love has suffered among us of late, how we've been so "American" in handing over the church's care of the widow, the orphan, the sick, the prisoners to the Government! Look at the situation Loehe faced and look at the enduring structures he raised to deal with it. What are we doing?

ConcordiaFan said...

With Pastor Weedon’s kind permission, I would like to take up this matter of what is, and what is not, the Book of Concord, just a bit more. Pastor Fouts offers many interesting observations on this topic, but I believe he continues missing the point. Perhaps it would not be opportune, or prudent, for him to comment much further since he is, after all, a student of principals involved in this issue.

The issue is this. Our Lutheran fathers: Andreae, Chemnitz and Selnecker, to name the three most significant responsible for the editions of the Book of Concord (Andreae and Chemnitz chiefly for the German, Selnecker more involved with the Latin, with, thankfully Chemnitz great help), had to make decisions about which versions of the various Lutheran Confessions to include. They did not do so stupidly, nor from a position of ignorance. Were there mistakes made? No doubt there were. For instance, they were convinced they had an actual “autograph” of the Augustana, when in fact they in all likelihood did not. But the reality is this. But they were very clear on what was the first and what was the second edition of the Apology. At the time Lutheran opponents knew of the uncertainties of the various editions of the various documents and used it as a powerful weapon against the Lutherans: “They are not even sure what the authoritative form of their Confessions are!” Thanks to Melanchthon’s disastrous editions of the Augsburg Confession over the years (a point hardly mentioned in the K/W ??!!), there was great concern over using anything but the first editions of the AC and the Ap. While it may be the case that Luther approved of the Apology in its second edition, an assumption on the part of some who may well be stretching to the breaking point, this particular point, and while it is true that the Octavo was used by the 1561 Diet of Smalcald and Naumburg (not without Johann Friederich’s strong protest mind you, the most faithful and strident of the various Lutheran princes, Melanchthon’s prince by the way), the fact remains that the Octavo edition was pointedly rejected by the Formulators of the Formula of Concord who did not use it and quoted from the first edition.

The Book of Concord is a set collection of various Lutheran confessional statements. The preface to the Book of Concord makes it very clear that achieving a set “canon” of confessional documents was a primary cause for the publication of the Book of Concord. To dismiss the importance of the adoption and acceptance of the entire book by those who subscribed the Preface, which was written for the entire Book, is far too facile, far, far too facile indeed. To suggest that those who subscribed the Formula were not in any way assuming themselves to be bound to the collected edition of the other documents that were to be published in the Book of Concord is also quite a leap to make, again, far too facile! To try, in nearly Dan Brown fashion, to propose a deep dark secret now discovered, or a conspiracy theory, is proven ludricous by the simple fact that after the Book of Concord was published there was no hew-and-cry with shouts of, “They used the wrong editions! This is all wrong!” And there were more than enough around at the time who would have done that, as a study of the history of the preparation of the German and Latin edition will prove. To suggest that all this happened in ignorance is perhaps even more insulting to our fathers. “Oh, the dear men just didn’t know what they are doing. Thank God that 450 years later we can see what they were so blind to.” That smacks of hubris in monumental proportions!

To suggest that those who wish to appeal primarily to the Lutheran Confessions as contained in the Book of Concord are somehow nearly Neanderthal in their assumptions is a particularly embarrassing display of puerile pique, not to mention professorial arrogance, an arrogance born of a day-in and day-out fawning acceptance of whatever proceeds forth out of the professor’s mouth, and by the uncritical reception of such assumptions on the part of faculty members who have known no other teachers or schools of thoughts on these issues, quite an inbred little club indeed. Certain persons have grown so accustomed to their every whim, theory and speculation being reverently received as great “scholarship.” Ironically, those who undertook to review the Reader’s Edition issued a report that doesn’t even quote the latest edition of the BKS!

The Lutheran Confessions, as contained in the Book of Concord, in the editions of 1580 and 1584, are what we subscribe to and what the Lutheran Church has accepted as the “canonical” edition of the Lutheran Confessions. This is not like Biblical manuscripts. We do not have to remain in the dark about what the BOC textus receptus is, nor what the autographs of the BOC are. We have them, in abundance. We may with benefit study predecessor forms of the Lutheran Confessions, and that is a good thing, no doubt, but to represent them as somehow “superior” or “better” or even to suggest they are to be seen as on equal footing with the Book of Concord is false.

We can reliably put much more stock in the theological knowledge and understanding of Martin Chemnitz and Jacob Andreae, then in Kolb/Wengert and Arand.

There was no question in any of our Lutheran fathers’ minds what the Book of Concord was until 1930 when unionizing German scholars working on what was in effect a “higher critical” version of the Lutheran Confessions provided the BKS, a helpful tool, indeed, but it was not and never itself has claimed to be an edition of the Book of Concord. Ironically, therefore, it is not a Book of Concord that is provided to the church when the BKS is translated, and no amount of gold foil stamping on a book’s cover can make it so. It is a shame so many of us were led askew when Tappert, and now K/W, was, and are, represented as being translations of the Book of Concord.

That is why it is very important to understand that paralleling the rise of liberal ecumenism and Biblical higher-criticism, there arose a similar hermeneutic of the Lutheran Confessions that produced the BKS and then the Tappert edition and then the K/W edition.

The K/W edition suffers from several fatal flaws, not least of which is the use of the second edition of the Apology, an edition specifically rejected by our Lutheran fathers and then representing itself as an edition of the Book of Concord. Claiming that the Jonas “pious paraphrase”of the first edition of the Apology is in effect the Octavo is a falsehood, a simply intellectual dishonesty, and if not that, a stubborn willful ignorance of facts. Claiming that the Octavo should have been used is equally false. It was clearly rejected by the formulators of the Book of Concord, and as such therefore can not be represented as the Book of Concord’s Apology of the Augsburg Confession. Further, the K/W suffers from the liberal ecumenical approach heartily embraced by the ELCA and therefore reflects a historical revisionism over against the events of the 16th century that props up this approach, and finally, its use of gender neutral language, to the point even of neutering our Lord Christ’s maleness to the status of “creature” rather than man, and willfully distorting words to accommodate women clergy simply rules out K/W as a reliable edition of the Book of Concord. It is helpful for consultation. It has many good historical footnotes, particularly Kolb’s work in the Formula, but it can not be considered a solid edition of the Book of Concord. It is a pity it was labeled as Book of Concord, rather than something like “An Edition of Lutheran Confessions” or some such. The K/W presents a faulty text, in several significant respects!

The Triglotta, creeky and stilted as it is with English being done by those who spoke German in the home, still offers the best single edition of the Book of Concord, in English for those who wish, and are able, to benefit from looking at the German and Latin texts, and it does present the Jonas translation, in brackets, and this is also very helpful, since the German Jonas translation is in the BOC of 1580.

The “Reader’s Edition” is a magnificent work and were it not for leftist political nonsense, and a “review” by a commission far too influenced by editors of the K/W, who themselves didn’t follow proper procedure in their approach, it would still be selling hand over fist as it already has, and no doubt will again in the second edition. It offers a reliable edition of the Book of Concord and offers a bracing dose of 100 proof Lutheranism, something sorely lacking in the K/W and even in Tappert. It is easy to read, clear and so much better presented than K/W which is a typographical mess and hard to wade along through.

Ironically, when all is said and done, the only translation of the 1580 German Book of Concord in English is still the mid-19th century Henkel edition, the best being the second edition, from 1854!

The point, therefore, is simply this: the Book of Concord is the authoritative, “canonical” collection of the Lutheran Confessions. The BKS, and translations of it, are not editions of the Book of Concord, but rather translations of what certain scholars believe the “best” or “preferred” editions of the Lutheran Confessions should be, of course subject to ever changing opinion.

The Book of Concord is the received text of the Lutheran Confessions: in both the German and English editions, received as the authoritative collection of the Lutheran Confessions and regarded as such by all those who subscribed it and by all those who used it. It is no little irony that those who hold the doctrinal content of the Confessions in lowest regard are those who seem most intrigued to try to reconstruct the texts. A pity that those who should know better, either don’t, or are willing to try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Thankfully, Dr. Roland Ziegler released a broadside against the K/W several years ago that put the issue in front of people. So far the only response has been childish hubris rather than intelligent response and better, correction of K/W. Problems with K/W, the very serious problems with language, were made known to the LCMS editors working on the project long before the book was printed, but so far no corrections of these problems have been made and not even a public disclaimer issued, and that is curious, to say the very least, and quite telling.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...


The identity of my doktorvater not withstanding, I'm certainly willing to continue this discussion -- though, as your own anonymity reveals -- we might both be able to speak a bit more candidly via e-mail. Feel free to drop me a line, revfouts@gmail.com

Nonetheless, there are still a few things I might say in this sort of forum. What are your references for the Forulators explicitly rejecting the octavo edition? I don't think that their use of the quarto edition necessarily implies a rejection of the octavo edition. Further, the little blurb in the Epitome, "samt der selben Apologie und Artikeln, [so] zu Schmalkalden Anno 37 gestellt und von den vornehmften Theologen damals unterschrieben worden," seems to complicate the matter being that at 1537 the octavo edition of the Apology was the one which had been subscribed to. I do not doubt that Andreae, who was the "director" of the project, knew what he was doing. I certainly receive and subscribe to the Book of Concord, with the 1580 edition, though I question whether or not the text itself does not also invite us to consult the earlier editions, primarily due to the comments made to the 1580 preface, and the "dating" that was listed beside the particular documents in the Formula (the most interesting, I think, is the 1537 "subscription" to the Apology, along with the Smalcald Articles). Now... I agree with you... it is problematic to say "they should have used," or to claim that the "octavo" is the higher, or supreme edition -- though I seem to fall somewhere in the middle of this debate being that I neither see how or why it is excluded when the Formula seems, in fact, to mention it via the 1537 reference.


Latif Haki Gaba said...

I'm enjoying your riffs very much, Concordiafan. If you're still out there and reading this thread, I beseech you to share any more thoughts, in particular, on the authority of the 1584 Latin Concordia. Thanks.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

I can add a bit... "ConcordiaFan" can fill in what he may...

The 1584 Latin edition was initially a project undertaken by Nikolas Selneccer, sort of as his own pet project.

After its initial publication it endured harsh criticism, particularly for Selneccer's translation of the Formula into Latin.

Nonetheless, through several revisions (largely at the guidance of Chemnitz) the 1584 edition was eventually solidified (by use, more than by "subscription) -- though the same can be said for the 1580 German, as well) as the "standard" text or, if you will, the "textus receptus" of the Latin edition of the Book of Concord.

I, too, hope that ConcordiaFan has not abandoned this conversation entirely. I'd still like some response to the citation of the subscription to the Apology in 1537, as mentioned in the Epitome, which was the octavo edition -- and how that fits with his insistance that the Formula actually rejected the octavo edition -- again, simply quoting from the quarto edition doesn't necessarily mean a rejection of the octavo -- the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

William Weedon said...

Pastor Fouts,

I think that is a little imprecise. In 1580, I believe, Selneccer translated the German book on his own, roughed it out, as it were. Purely a private venture, and it was criticized. But the 1584 had more of an official character, and though Selneccer did it, he did it with help from Chemnitz. Still, they were careful not to include the names of the subscribers in 1584 so that none should be said to subscribe to a document that they hadn't actually seen. At least that is how my mind is remembering Bente's telling of the story. I don't have the energy to check it out right now, but if I am wrong, I know someone will correct.


Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Pr. Weedon,

I think you may have the German/Latin backwards...

The following from Kolde's essay (Chapter XXXVI in Schmauck/Benze's The Confessional Principle... p. 837) supports what I had said previously:

"In the same year Selnecker produced a Latin edition of the Book of Concord, which although described as 'Communi Consilio et Mandato Electorum, etc., vulgata,' was altogether a private undertaking. It contained thef irst, rather crude, transation of the Formula of Concord, which had been begun by Lucas Osiander in 1578, and completed by the Tübingen professor, Jacob Heerbrand. As the whole edition was full of errors, it found no favor, and Elector August seems to have prohibited its circulation. Only after a thorough revision of Selnecker's text, especially that of the Formula of Concrod, which must be attributed essentially to Chemnitz, had been effected at the convention at Quedlinburg (Dec., 1582 and Jan., 1583), which was especially devoted to the completion of the most important article of defense of the Concordia, the 'Apologia or Defence of the Christian Book of Concord,' did the Elector command the reprint of the revised text 'for the benefit of our student youth and the foreign church.' At the same time it was ordered to omit the signatures, sot aht no one need complain that his name was appended to a book which he had not read or approved. The edition published at Leipzig in 1584 became the textus receptus of the Latin Book of Concord."

The German edition that was first published in 1580, however, was an undertaking that had been directed by Andreä. (Umlauts are much easier when I'm using my MAC).

The one error I admit, having consulted the quotation above, was that I had previously attributed the actual translation of the the
intial preparation of the Latin of the Formula to Selneccer, while it apparently had been done by Lucas Osiander.

William Weedon said...

Fascinating! If you have the Triglott, check out page 5, section 3.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

That is interesting. The wording is so similar that I can't help but wonder if there was a bit of plagiarism going on... though, as Nagel says, "there is no private property in the Church."

That comment about having used the "octavo" edition of the Augsburg Confession in Selnecker's initial edition is also interesting... I wonder if the same applies to the Apology. I'm not sure if the octavo AC and the Apology were printed together (though it would make sense), but if they were it would seem awfully odd to include a revised edition of the AC, while not including the Apology from the same volume. Further, if he did use the octavo edition of the Apology, it is worth pursuing (if it is even possible to do so) how the Latin ended up with the quarto ed. of the Apology.

ConcordiaFan said...

The historical introduction to the Book of Concord in the BKS makes it clear that the Latin 1584 specifically rejected the use of the Octavo edition, in line with the use of the Quarto in the FC. When I say "reject" I do not wish to imply that the Formulators necessarily "rejected" the Octavo for study and reference. We frankly do not know what was in their mind, so I prefer not to speculate about it, as some have attempted.

The point I'm simply trying to make is that while the Octavo is interesting, it was not used in the Book of Concord, and therefore can not be regarded as of the same authority as what is actually in the BOC.

The Latin edition of 1584 was universally received as an authoritative edition of the BOC. It stands as the Latin textus receptus of the BOC, even as the German 1580 is the erman textus receptus. We do not have to try to guess at what is in either the German or the Latin. We have the "original autographs" as it were.

Here is what the BKS introduction to the BOC has to say about the Latin:

"Thus it was that the final, universally accpted [Latin] text of Conc. 1584 was established at Quedlinburg in January 1583, likely on the basis of Conc. 1580, keeping in mind the recommendations made by Chemnitz [on the Swabian text]. This edition went without the list of subscribers; it rather included a list from the 1582 edition, which was again modified from the 1580 edition. For Selneccer this was not the last; he seemed to have viewed the translation as his intellectual property, as a school edition of 1598 shows."

Textual criticism of the BOC is one thing, but I think we have since the advent of the BKS in 1930 something going on that closely parallels the higher-criticism of the Holy Scriptures, and with the K/W we have a full flowering of it.

The 1584 Latin was very carefully prepared and carefully and thoroughly reviewed by Chemnitz, et al. It was received by the Lutheran church as the authoritative Latin edition of the BOC.

That is why the new hymnal's agenda references only "Book of Concord" so as not to exclude either the Latin or German.

It does not mention "Book of Concord" thereby to include documents that are not in the Book of Concord. The Octavo was not used in the Book of Concord.

A reference in the Epitome does not make an inclusion of the Octavo in the Book of Concord. It would make no sense to say that with that reference the Confessors were thereby "endorsing" or specifically including the Octavo as a confessional document, and then to have them turn around and exclude it from use in the Formula, and to exclude it by specific choice from the Latin 1584 edition.

The explanation that this is all a result of a mistake simply holds no water in my mind and puts far too much confidence in 20th and 21st century speculations as opposed to the men who were much more thoroughly familiar with all these issues, who were actually "on the ground" at the time.

And, again, regardless ... what we have is the Book of Concord. It is, what it is, and no gold foil stamping on covers of English editions of the Lutheran Confessions, and the claims made about them, can change that.

Call the K/W an edition of the Lutheran Confessions, but don't call it "Book of Concord" -- if you want that, get Henkel, or Jacobs, or Triglotta, or "Reader's Edition" etc.

If you are interested, here is the full translation of the BKS introduction to the BOC, rough, but perhaps of help.

in dem . . . Umfang gesetzt
The citation originally in the body text is: (see BSLK 838, note 1). Various citations were moved to footnotes in order that the text be readable by the general public, yet remain scholarly in content.
Magister is Latin for an academic master even as Doctor is also Latin.
This church would play an important role throughout Lutheran Orthodoxy even to its sunset years with the tireless work of Caspar Löscher and his son Valentin Ernst Löscher. It would still play a role in shaping the early catechetical history of The LCMS.
Register. Words appear bold that occur in German Sperrdruck.
Heidelberger Abschied. This refers to a point in the negotiations at which a legal decision or conclusion was made, allowing the process to move forward.
Vögelin had also circulated ironically the so-called Exegesis Perspicua that harmed the Philippists by unmasking their Crypto-Calvinism.
The use of gegen here suggests an anticipated deadline.
The original citation in the body text is: (see BSLK 1101, note 1).
A signature (Bogen) results from folding and cutting the sheet on which multiple pages are simultaneously printed. One, (folio), two (quarto) or three (octavo) folds result in four, eight or sixteen pages. The term folio can also refer to a page, as used in the text. The original body text citation is: (t = folios 240–245 because of the “pudendum erratum,” see BSLK 789, note 1; and AA = folios 266–271 due to the alignment of the citations, see BSLK 884, note 1).
The citation originally in the body text is: (see Hutterus 1362–74). The reference is to Leonhard Hutter’s Concordia concors, Wittenberg, 1622, reprinted in Frankfurt/Main and Leipzig 1690.
Korrektoren could mean copy editors, proofreaders or even substantive editors, but the usual association of Korrektur lessen is used here and thus the generic proofreader.
The use of Oberdeutschen signifies southern Germans because the mean altitude rises towards the Alps, whereas Niederdeutschen signifies those of the northern flatlands.
The following citation list of such attempts appears in the body text: (Balthasar, Historie [des Torgischen Buchs] I 31f, III 70; Verteidigung zweier im Concordienbuch angefochtener Wörter, 1754, 8f.; Feuerlin, Biblioteca symbolica evang. lutheran., Göttingen, 1752, 9–11; Anton II 7; Heppe [Geschichte des deutschen Protestantismus] IV 223).
Formula Concordiae || Das ist: || Christliche / || Heilsame / Reine || Vergleichunge/ in welcher dir Gött-||liche Leer von den vornembsten Symbola vnd || Leerhaffte Schrifften /: welche allbereit vor dieser zeit von den || Kirchen Gottes Augspurgischer Confeßion / angenommen || vnd approbirt: / vorfasset. || Sampt klerung vnd entscheidung deren || Streit / welche vnder etlichen Theologen / so sich zu ermelter || Confession bekant / fürgefallen. || Alles nach inhalt der heiligen Schrifft / als der einigen Richtschnur || der Göttlichen warheit / vnd nach anleitung obgemelter in der Kir-||chen Gottes / approbierten Schrifften. || Auff gnedigsten / genedigen auch gün-||stigen beuehl / verordnung vnd einwilligung nach || beschriebener Christlichen Churfürsten / Fürsten vnd Stende des || heiligen Römischen Reichs Deutscher Nation / Augspurgischer Con-||feßion / derselben Landen / Kirchen / Schulen vnd Nach=||kommen zum Trost vnd besten in Druck || vorgefertigt. || Mit Churf. G. zu Sachsen befreihung. || Dreßden M. D. LXXIX.
The citation originally in the body text reads: For the details see Pressel, Kurfürst Ludwig, 565, 567, 570f., 582, 587f.
The Latin “and so it was done” is a play off the Latin version of Genesis 1:3f.
The original body text citation reads: (ZKG XIX 1899, 470f.)
The body text contains the publishing information: (Lips[iae], Georg Defner). Lipsia is Latin for Leipzig, so the citation means “in Leipzig, by the printer Georg Defner.”
The text inexplicably uses the form Selnecker here, which is the likelier German form, instead of the more Latinate Selneccer, which it had heretofore employed.
The body text gives the Latin title of the school edition: Ex forma Christianae Concordia Declaratio Articulorum etc.
In the body text there is a reference to (Main State Archives Dresden 10 303 Concordia III).
The subsequent information appears to refer specifically to BSLK.

ConcordiaFan said...

My apologies, I pasted only the footnotes, not the main text, and I'm not sure if the note numbers will come through, but for what it is worth, here is a translation of the BKS introduction to the BOC:

III. The German Book of Concord (Konkordienbuch; abbreviated Konk.) was given its scope and boundary via the introduction to the FC [Formula of Concord] in the Dresden printing works of Matthes Stöckel and Gimel Bergen indeed since the summer of 1578. One began with the FC. Andreae (Andreä) had the chief supervision and took over the correction done by Master Peter Glaser and Caspar Fuger from the Ministerium of Holy Cross Church in Dresden (Kreuzkirche). Glaser also prepared the index. On the twelfth of April 1579 the print run was completed except for the title, introduction, Catologus Testimoniorum (Catolog of Testimonies) and the list of signatories (subscriptions). A sample copy was immediately furnished for Chemnitz. On the nineteenth of August Secretary Elias Vogel permitted three sample copies to be bound by Jakob Krause, yet only for the electoral princes.
Andreae had pushed on the twenty-second of May for a streamlined printing of the preface together with the title, but only after the Heidelberg Recess did [Chancellor] Haubold von Einsiedel give the command for them to be typeset (August 9). They were made avaleable at the firm of Vögelin in Leipzig, a total of 140 copies (August 13). Presumably these remained available for sale, since on the twenty-third of August the electoral prince ordered 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 completed on the twenty-sixth of September.
The list of signatories was not yet fixed by the approach of the end of March 1580. “Through the mercy of God” Andreae pleaded for the submission of the subscriptiones from Wolfenbüttel. Already in April Andreae brought incomplete copies with him to the exposition in Leipzig. Like others they were without the title and perhaps mislaid in small quantity. They were then subsequently retracted, but a Magdeburg paper salesman, Thomas Frantz, had already initiated a private reprint at the beginning of May.
After Electoral Prince Ludwig of the Palatinate made his final decision to join (June 13, 1580) the title (see below), introduction and Catalogus Testimoniorum had to be reprinted. The same occurred during the printing of at least two other signatures at the instigation of Chemnitz and Andreae. Nevertheless the printer reintroduced in haphazard fashion the signatures that had been excluded. That included even the old title, which was first noticed by Electoral Prince Ludwig. It also included other aberrations, even in the list of the signatories, which incidentally was also observed with some embarrassment in the copies set apart as the three “originalia,” that is, the “authentica,” the authoritative copies set aside in the respective chanceries of the three secular electoral princes.
With prolonged negations, this occasion of dealing with the authentica led to the question of the Marriage Booklet and Baptismal Booklet. They were first included in keeping with their usual connection with the Small Catechism (according to Andreae as a result of an error by the proofreaders ) but then Andreae removed them again, leaving a bit of the church order (service) but not the doctrinal portion. In any case he did not remove the material entirely, as Duke Julius of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel soon commented. At the examination of the three planned authentica, Electoral Prince Johann Georg of Brandenburg wanted to know the Small Catechism “without truncation,” as did the churches of Lower Saxony, whereas the other two electoral princes had misgivings due to the position of the southern Germans regarding exorcism. Chemnitz suggested that they choose for the three “originalia” the Heidelberg printing of 1582, in which the Marriage Booklet and Baptismal Booklet are absent, leave the Electoral Prince Johann Georg free to include these pieces and insert in all three copies a special explanation regarding this decision. Electoral Prince Ludwig finally deposited a copy in 1583 without the Marriage Booklet and Baptismal Booklet and without any explanation. On the recommendation of Chemnitz, the Dresden Konkordienbuch was organized so that the Marriage Booklet and Baptismal Booklet should be offered separately. The place where they would have been was to be indicated by enumerating the page count 169, 170, 171, 172, 173 at the end of the Small Catechism. Aside from that, copies were also issued in which the Marriage Booklet and Baptismal Booklet were absent and any indication of where they should have been was also missing. Resulting from the multiple changes during the printing, also in the title and final pages of the FC, the ability to ascertain the sequence of different editions of the Dresden Konkordienbuch in 1580, in spite of incisive attempts, has led to speculation—two, four, six or seven editions—of which the paucity in extent of the material under scrutiny has deprived it of content. The estimate of two complete editions in the year 1580 in any case has a few possibilities, given that Andreae additionally had the opportunity to make improvements and additions to the list of signatories (such as including the Electoral Rhenish Palatinate). That is also the case with the inclusion of a list of corrigenda (=Cor) in a few copies of Konk. Dresden 1580. The later editions are covered by [Theodor] Kolde, Einleitung, LXXV f.
IV. The Title of Konk. appears according to its first published version, together with the first printing of the introduction (=A):

Formula of Concord
that is:
Salutary, Pure
Comparisons, in which the Divine
Doctrine of the most Preeminent Symbols and
Doctrinal Writings, already previous to this Time by the
Churches of God of the Augsburg Confession
were accepted and approved, is amassed.
Together with an Explanation and Resolution of that
Conflict, which among quite a Number of Theologians known to belong
to the abovementioned Confession has occurred.
Everything according to the Content of Holy Scripture, as the sole Plumb-Line
of Divine Truth, and according to the Instruction of the Approved Writings
in the abovementioned Church of God.
According to the most merciful, gracious and opportune
Command, Prescription and Indulgence
of the described Christian Electoral Princes, Princes and Estates of the
Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, of the
Lands adherent to the Augsburg Confession, their Churches, Schools and Descendants
for Comfort and best prepared in Print.
With the Dispensation of His Electoral Grace of Saxony.
Dresden, 1579.

A marginal notation was added by Andreae in a modified copy: “This title was changed, as was deliberated in Dessau.”
The title seems to have been variously changed, even already at Dessau, November 1579. These intermediate drafts were not discoverable, only documents that referred to them. It received its final form almost entirely through Electoral Prince Ludwig, who got quite excited about those changes during the course of the dispute over the final form of the introduction.
V. Translations of the FC: 1. Latin. Already in Bergen, Chytraeus had offered to do a Latin translation, as did Selneccer, who reported: “But our solicitations inevitably came to naught, and Doctor Jakob [Andreae] wanted that it should be made Latin in Swabia. Et factum est ita.” On the twelfth of April 1579, Andreae reported to the electoral princes the receipt of the produced translation by his brother-in-law Lucas Osiander with presumably considerable participation of Jacob Heerbrand. A copy went to Chemnitz, who reworked it considerably. Probably Andreae thought to bring Heerbrand’s Stuttgart edition (St) [of which one was the copy reworked by Chemnitz] into mass printing as soon as possible and solicited for that in January 1580 the Latin edition of the CA [Augsburg Confession] and Apology of 1531.
Chancellor Haubold von Einsiedel commissioned Selneccer’s deacon, Master Simon Gedick with the direction of the printing that was given over to Johannes Steinmann in Leipzig. With the result, the Latin Book of Concord (Conc.) of 1580, Selneccer only was willing to be involved in the completion of an ad hoc translation of the Schmalkald Articles and the organizing of the Greek citations in the Catalogus Testimoniorum. At the request of Andreae the list of signatories was also included. This document, previously designated the “private edition of Selneccer,” was sharply criticized. An approximately simultaneous printing undertaken in Tübingen appeared to grind to a halt due to defects in the text. Because of all this, in July 1581 Selneccer, who on his part had heavily censured the Swabian translation, asked the electoral prince for a six-week leave of absence to work out a new translation. That result was supposed to appear in his German-Latin edition if 1582; it was unsatisfactory. Thus it was that the final, universally accpted [Latin] text of Conc. 1584 was established at Quedlinburg in January 1583, likely on the basis of Conc. 1580, keeping in mind the recommendations made by Chemnitz [on the Swabian text]. This edition went without the list of subscribers; it rather included a list from the 1582 edition, which was again modified from the 1580 edition. For Selneccer this was not the last; he seemed to have viewed the translation as his intellectual property, as a school edition of 1598 shows.
2. A French translation was signed in Mömpelgart [current Montbéliard] and sent to Dresden. It was supposed to be printed in Tübingen but with that it got lost.
3. A Wendish [Sorbian] translation by Primus Truber was given over to the Württemberg Church Council (Kirchenrat) in June 1580; it seems not to have survived.
4. A Czech version, indeed in the great translation works of the Count of Hardeck, seems to have been started by a Pastor (?) Sigmund Buchhaver of Leonberg.
5. “Martinus Crusius has translated the Formula Concordiae into Greek and, as he writes [me], has received favorable consideration by the Greek Churches, for he is supposed to have received regarding the matter Greek letters from Constantinople.”
6. A Spanish edition [appeared] from the pastor in Eberdingen, Master Theophil Breu.
7. A Hungarian translation [appeared] yet in the sixteenth century.
VI. Concerning the Printing of the Text: The FC according to the original writing of Andreae (A) with the variants of the accessible manuscripts, partly German, coalesces into three textual groups, of which an (H) is accounted for as one in Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, that of Konk. 1580 as the second and the third—due to the three authentica—Konk. Heidelberg 1582. Additionally there are the most important lists of corrigenda. In Latin, according to Conc. 1584 with the most important variants of Conc. 1580 and occasionally those of St, the probable version of Osiander-Chemnitz.
The introduction is according to the version of the Heidelberg Recess and the variants produced by the development and changes made in progression up to Konk. The Latin text is according to Conc. 1584 with variants of Conc. 1580; the editing of the headings comes from Dr. H. Holz.
The Catalogus Testimoniorum comes from Konk. 1580 and Conc. 1584.

ConcordiaFan said...

I'm so pleased to know there are other geeks out there who love this stuff!

Here is one more thing to toss into the mix on the text of the BOC:

Note what we find at the end of the Formula of Concord, in the Triglotta, p. 1102:

I'm translating from a note added, and it appears only in the German text of the Triglotta:

"In the German Book of Concord at this point, there follows (1) the "Index of the Chief and Main Articles of Christian Doctrine Dealt with In This Book"; (2) the circa 8,000 "Names of the Theologians, Churches, and Ministers" who have subscribed this Book of Concord; (3) the printer's mark with the inscription of Psalm 9:1-2: "I will give thanks to teh Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exalt in You; I will sing praise Your name, O Most High," and underneath "Printed at Dresden by Matthew Stoeckel, Anno 1580 (1579)"; (4) the "Catalog of Testimonies of Holy Scripture adn the Old Pure Teachers of the Church concerning the Person and Majesty of the Human Nature of Christ."

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Thanks ConcordiaFan -- what a treat! (Yes, anyone who calls that a "treat" has to be a Geek!).

The note in the German Text of the Triglotta which you offered seems to contradict what I had been taught, namely, that only the princes of Saxony had subscribed to the Book of Concord and only by proxy when signing the Saxon constitution of 1580. Though, I can't argue with that citation. Nor, as I'm seeing now, can I argue with the big, huge, letters "Volgen die Namen der THEOLOGEN..." (emp. mine) at the top of this page: http://lutheranlegacy.com/images/Concordia1580/SM-IMG_0688.JPG

This discussion has been quite informative. Though, please do not consider my concession to this point a signal to discontinue the discussion. Like you said, it is not often when so many geeks who are interested in this question come together in any single forum. All that said, I'm still not so sure that I agree that the citation of the Apology, namely the octavo edition subscribed to in 1537, in the Formula does not in some sense enjoin us to it as a matter of our Confession. Not "The Book of Concord," I concede, but nonetheless with some normative value for our living confession of the same today.

ConcordiaFan said...

I will tell you though that you will be told that "Book of Concord" on that page actually refers ONLY to the Formula of Concord, which was also referred to as a Book of Concord. Sounds like a stretch? You bet, but that's what you will be told. In other words, we must believe that the 8,000+ theologians, pastors, teacher, and others were all duped and none of them, since they were stupid cows, ever bothered to make a peep when the actual BOOK OF CONCORD came out. None of them said, "What just a minute! We did NOT subscribe to all of this. In fact, you guys screwed up and put in the wrong text of the Apology and other texts!"

I believe it is far more plausible to believe that they knew precisely what was happening and understood that their subscription to the Formula was also a subscription to what would eventually be published as an entire book, which might just be the reason why all their names were printed at the back of the German edition, whereas they were not in the Latin, since the Latin editors did NOT want to be accused of adding their names to a BOOK they had no chance to review or be aware of, etc.

In other words, the fact that the 8,000+ were satisfied with the German BOC and after publication of the 1584 embraced it, in fact, it was the most widely used edition in all schools and universities and by all theologians!

Am I catching your drift here Pastor Fouts?

ConcordiaFan said...

I'm happy to grant that the Octavo is a text we can, and should, take very seriously and as an authoritative and illuminating resource for understanding the Apology, but I can not regard it as one of our Confessions, per se, but definitely a "confessional document part of the history of our confessional documents" or something like that.

But I simply can't grant it the status that we must, in my opinion, grant and be gladly willing to grant to the actual texts of the German and Latin BOCs.

I would argue, still, therefore, that it was an error to include it in the K/W edition. I would have much rather had a well done translation of the 1580 German Jonas work, or the Latin, or ideally, even both!

Obviously, that would have posed difficulties for the publisher...that's why my esteem for the Triglotta has only continued to rise ever higher!

The Octavo could well have been published as a separate monograph, or as part of the "Sources and Contexts" book. As it is now it is now the K/W is a typographical mess and it is hard to make heads or tails of what's going on.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

I agree...

It does seem an odd argument to make that the signatures were only to the Formula, in the light of the matters concerning the decision not to include the signature page in the Latin edition.

It seems, rather, that a simple explanation as to why the signatures were added at the time that they were likewise signing on to the Formula is a matter of logistics. Particularly when the printing process was a much more costly, and compex procedure than it is today, it would only make sense that if they wanted to include a signature page in the Book of Concord, they would get the signatures prior to its publication. It is not as though they could afford to set the type face for the entire book, particularly one as substantial as the Book of Concord, only to run off a few rough drafts that could be signed. I'm actually taking a class entitled "Hermeneutics of the Book of Concord" this fall -- it should be quite interesting.

ConcordiaFan said...

Who is teaching that claas, Pastor? And I wonder to what extent Piepkorn's "Hermenutics of the Lutheran Confessions" -- to my knowledge the only thing in print on this.

I think the good thing about all this recent attention to textual issues is that many, many of us have been alerted to the fact that something happened with the advent of the BKS in 1930 and that "something" may well be worth considering very closely rather than simply, or merely, swallowing the presuppositions of the BKS over against the Book of Concord.

Fascinating stuff indeed, no?

The other interesting point is that the Preface of the BOC was specifically prepared for the whole book and specifically subscribed. The argument has been made that the signatories to the Preface were all "politicians" and therefore the subscription to the entire BOC make it a German legal document, not actually a church confession.

This strikes me as no different than saying that the Nicene Creed is merely a "legal" document since it was Constantine who called for it and "subscribed" it on behalf of the Empire.

There is something just far too facile about all these things, and the "volume" of the comments made by some who wish zealously to safeguard the K/W as the "best" edition to me bespeaks a very definite indication that they are well aware that they have not been as entirely forthcoming, or intellectually honest, on these issues, or that they now find themselves in quite an awkward spot indeed!

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

At this point I'm not sure if we'll be using Piepkorn's book for the class or not, as it wasn't on the list of required books in the bookstore (though, being out of print, one wouldn't expect it to be). I'm sure it would be a good book to have, particularly in the light of recent issues, if the publisher who holds the rights to the book were to decide to reprint it. ;-)

The only book listed in the bookstore was K/W. Though it seems as though Dr. Arand typically has very short book lists, and assigns articles or texts on "closed reserve" in the library. If you happen to be whom I think you are, I'll let you know after the class begins.

ConcordiaFan said...

It is a bit of a puzzle to me that the work of one of the Synod's most significant scholars on the Confesions is not required in a graduate course on this issue. Perhaps it is an essay/article to which you will be referred, perhaps at the library desk, etc. I would be surprised if you were not required to read it. It is quite good actually. But then again, I'm given to understand that the translation of the BKS introductions to the various documents, done by Piepkorn and others, is no longer in print via the seminary book store. These BKS historical introductions have remained virtually unchanged since they were translated for the purpose of the Tappert edition. I'm fairly sure it is not in fact a book, but rather an essay. At the same time, I find it puzzling that Bohlman's book on the subject is not required. Perhaps it is out of print as well? Probably will be referred to quite a bit. The more I think of this, I'm remembering that Piepkorn's work was an essay/article. I believe the CTS Fort Wayne bookstore had it as a print shop work.

William Weedon said...

I have the essay, Fr. Fouts. I think it was published in the CJ or whatever it was called back then. IF I see you tomorrow, I can give you a copy. : )

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Hard to say... I won't know until I receive the syllabus. Though, now that I know of its existance, I'll be sure to pick it up either way. Come to think of it, I vaguely remember reading an article along those lines in the M.Div. level Confessions 1 class, with Kolb. But I was such a young pup in those days (well, I guess I'm still pretty young), I didn't even yet know who Piepkorn was, thus making it harder to remember for certain if we had read it or not. Though I'm about 75% sure we did.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Fr. Weedon,

Unfortunately I won't be able to make it tomorrow, though I do plan to make it a week from tomorrow. I'd very much like a copy.

Without classes at the moment, I'm taking the opportunity in the middle of the week to head down to visit my grandparents at the Lake of the Ozarks. At their age, and declining help, I try to take the opportunity whenever possible to pay them a visit.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

err.. correction... "help" should have read "health"

tutal said...

Pastor Fouts,

There were a bunch of old CJ's from the 40's through the 70's that I picked up. That essay does sound familiar, and I believe it was a multi part essay spanning a few Journals. I can check in a couple weeks and let you know when I get back in STL. Of course if I have them, I'll want to keep them, but we could make a copy if you need them.

ConcordiaFan said...

Here you go:

A. C. Piepkorn, “Suggested Principles for a Hermeneutics of the Lutheran Symbols,” CTM, XXIX (January 1958), 1–24.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...


I'd surely borrow yours, Tutal, though I imagine with the citation now provided it will be just as easy to pick it up at the Library and run a copy.

ConcordiaFan said...

Also, Bohlmann, "Hermeneutics of The Lutheran Confessions" ... the book. Now out of print, but surely in the library.

ConcordiaFan said...

A mystery to pursue....where, precisely, does the note, in German, at the very end of the SD, in the Triglotta, come from? I can not locate it in the Triglotta. It would seem to me to be a note added by the editor of the German text, simply indicating what follows in the particular copy of the German BOC.

And, if you feel yourself ready for the true gnosis, Dr. Von Hagel, at Concordia University RF has been carefully studying the individual printed copies of the 1580 Dresden BOC!!

If you love detail, detail, detail...you would do well to be in touch with him. A friend of mine told me about his work.

ConcordiaFan said...

Clarification of previous....the question is where does the bracketed note, in German, on the last pages of the Solid Declaration come from? It is not to be found in the BKS, and it would appear to be a note added by the editor of the German text Bente used for the Triglotta.

Note also I found this interesting comment in the historical introduction to the Henkel edition, a translation of German theologial Mueller's 1847 introductions:

Mueller explains that the chief reason Selnecker's hasty 1580 translation of the BOC was rejected was because he used the Octavo.

The historical introduction also points to the possibility that in fact it was the "Jonas translation" that was the basis for the Octavo, not the other way around. The introduction notes that Melanchthon was very much involved in the Jonas translation, and so it may well be said that the German Apology is every bit as much "authoritative" and is the text the Octavo is based on.

Curioser and curioser.


Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Interesting. I was reading last night, also, that Bente has a few quotes from Melancthon speaking of his involvement in the German Apology.

ConcordiaFan said...

There is a footnote in Elert's "Structure of Lutheranism" that the changes Justas were approved by Melanchthon.

Here's my hunch.

Melanchthon wrote Latin Apology. Jonas "translates" it and makes his changes with Melanchthon's knowledge and approval and I find it impossible to believe, knowing that Jonas was in constant contact with Luther, that Luther too did not have a hand in it. So there well could have been close collaboration amongst them all on the Jonas version of the Apology.

Jonas finishes his work and the Apology is published in April/May 1531.

Melanchthon, ever revising, set to work revising the Apology some more, and began his work on "improving" the Augustana too.

We know Luther chastised Melanchthon for his constant tinkering.

I would say the chances are high that the Jonas edition of the Apology were given the "OK" by Melanchthon and perhaps also by Luther, but Melanchthon kept going and produced the Octavo and it was printed in September 1531, and just basically accepted, but it was Melanchthon's changes to the AC that finally spelled the end for the Octavo, since, by the time of the Formula and in light of the mess caused by the various "Variata" of the AC, they said, "Chuck all these multiple editions, we are sticking with the first editions of the AC and the Ap."

Hence, we have what we have.

There may well be every reason to believe that the Octavo is really based on Melanchthon's work with Jonas in translating the Ap. into German, and Melanchthon decided to take that work and building on it, revise again the Latin.


Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

Certainly possible...

Though I seem to remember reading somewhere that Jonas began his work on the German Apology after Smalcald in 1537 when the Smalcald league, rather than adopting the Smalcald Articles, simply signed onto the AC, the Apology, and commissioned Melanchthon to write the Treatise. Again, I am away from home without my references at the moment, so I can't double check it.

ConcordiaFan said...

That's interesting, I'll have to look into that. I'll take a look at what the historical introduction in the BKS has to say about when Jonas did his work. I would be a little surprised to think Jonas waited that long to translate it, and I have seen a picture of the Quarto edition of the Augustana and Apology, in Germany, printed in 1531. Here is that picture, and you can read the handwritten note explaining what it is: note the words the Augustant and the Apology.


Interesting again!!

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

I'm thinking I had read that in the editors introduction to either Apology or the Smalcald Artciles in K/W. Though, that looks as though there was at least some sort of German Apology available already in 1531.

ConcordiaFan said...

Found this fascinating information in Schaff's "Creeds of Christendom" which remains a truly amazing piece of scholarship.

The Apology, though not signed by the Lutheran Princes at Augsburg, was recognized first in 1532, at a convent in Schweinfurt, as a public confession; it was signed by Lutheran divines at Smalcald, 1537; it was used at the religious conference at Worms, 1540, and embodied in the various symbolical collections, and at last in the Book of Concord.

The text of the Apology has, like that of the Confession, gone through various transformations. The original draft made at Augsburg has no authority.456456Manuscript copies of this ' Apologia prior ,' which was based on an imperfect knowledge of the Romish Confutatio , still exist. The Latin text of it was published forty-seven years afterwards by Chytræus (from Spalatin's copy), 1578, better by Förstemann, in his Neues Urkundenbuch (1842), pp. 357–380 (from a copy written partly by Spalatin and partly by Melanchthon). The best edition is by Bindseil, in the Corp. Reform. Vol. XXVII. pp. 275 sqq. in Latin, and in German, pp. 322 sqq. The first Latin edition was much enlarged and improved, and appeared in April, 1531, at Wittenberg, together with a very free German translation by Justus Jonas, assisted by Melanchthon.457457During the preparation of the editio princeps he wrote to Brentius (February, 1531): ' Ego retexo Apologiam et edetur longe auctior et melius munita ,' and to Camerarius (March 7): ' Apologia mea nondum absoluta est, crescit enim opus inter scribendum. ' Quoted by Köllner, I, p. 426. Six sheets were reprinted, and a copy of the first print is preserved in the library of Nuremberg. See Corp. Reform. Vol. XXVII. pp. 391 sqq. The second Latin edition of the same year was again much changed, and is called the Variata.458458See the titles of the various editions in Corp. Reform. Vol. XXVI. pp. 235–242, and the best text of the ' Apologia altera ' of 1531, with the changes of later editions till 1542 (viz., of the ed. II. 1531, ed. III. 1540, ed. IV. 1542), in Corp. Reform. Vol. XXVII. pp. 419–646. The German text was also transformed, especially in the edition of 1533. The Book of Concord took both texts from the first edition.

« Prev The Apology of the Augsburg Confession. A.D.…

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...


So, if the Apology was first published alongside Jonas' German, which he had been assisted with by Melanchthon, it would only seem natural to use Jonas' translation, rather than some sort of new German translation from the octavo, in the 1580 BoC. I'm wondering why all this evidence doesn't seem to fit with what I had learned from other sources.

LutherFan said...

I believe the reason is that some others have been convinced by a couple of German scholars, of highly questionable confessional/theological commitments [meaning that they have no concern for the nature of the BOC as an authoritative, binding, and most importantly TRUE exposition of God's Word], that there was a "mistake" made and that the Octavo "should have been chosen" for us as the text of the Apology, but to offer that thesis, they must basically set aside the work of Chemnitz and Andreae and others and label it erroneous.

Having said that, and at the risk of repeating myself ad naseum, while all this remains fascinating, perhaps endlessly so, the text in the Book of Concord is the Book of Concord, not any other.

But this is all interesting. I've appreciated this conversation, for I'm increasing growing convinced that the Jonas translation was not merely a "paraphrase" but was intended by even Melanchthon to be the German edition of the Apology, from which he then went back and used when he did his "Variata" version of the Apology.

I've yet to consult Bente.

I do not find the comments in the K/W at all persuasive and I notice that there is scant documentation for the assertions, which is rather odd, since such a significant suggested change for what we receive as the "Apology" would, you would think, at least have very specific documentation for the speculations and assertions made to justify its use in the K/W, but notice how there is a poverty of any documentation or citation of any evidence or authorities, just assertions without any documentation.

Odd, no?

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

I, too, have appreciate this conversation -- quite eye opening indeed.

I think that the evidence that has been presented in this thread certainly supports your suspicion that Melanchthon actually intended Jonas' Apology to be the offical German edition. I don't know if it will ever be possible to say *for certain* which came first -- his octavo, or the German apology -- but it seems as though the similarities are not so much due to a translation from the "octavo" or the "quarto" but that the German edition was being done almost alongside of the latin "octavo," though not without its differences...

William Weedon said...

It has been a great discussion and I know I have learned much. Thanks for carrying it forward. Fr. Fauts, if it issues in an opus magnum, don't forget to share the goodies.