10 February 2010

Another CPH Gem

is in the works. They are preparing to publish an ESV Apocrypha with study notes! That's exciting, because I believe it will be the first time that CPH will offer such a critter in English. It was standard in the past when things were in German to have these books bound into the Bible with Luther's explanatory note prefacing them. They were even read from in the Divine Service. Having the Apocrypha back in the hands of English speakers in ESV's crisp new translation is definitely a plus; and adding study notes will be very helpful as folks learn to again navigate these important and useful writings. Kudos, CPH! Another winner.


Paul McCain said...

Thanks Pastor Weedon. It is looking great!

It will be a Lutheran Edition of the Apocrypha, that is, will contain only those books included in the Luther Bible translation.

The introductions to the books and notes are very well done.

I think folks are going to be fascinated by this and will enjoy the chance to be reintroduced to their birthright as Lutherans.

Tapani Simojoki said...

I recently got the OUP's ESV with the Apocrypha. Apart from the study notes, I wonder how much of a difference there will be in the text.

William Weedon said...


I think it's the same text, though it will no doubt be Americanized in its spellings. Silly Brits with their extra "u"s... ;)

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...


What is the Lutheran opinion on these --- salutary but not binding? I noticed the Confessions cite them.

William Weedon said...


Chemnitz, curiously enough, treats them as on the same level as what he termed the NT apocrypha (James, Hebrews, Revelation, etc.). Hence they are books from which we may learn much, but that no doctrine can be drawn from if that same doctrine is without seat (sedes doctrinae) in the canonical works. This is an amazingly handy shortcut for dispensing with those pesky Millennialists! :)

Josh said...

Is there an estimated time frame for it to be published and released for sale?

Paul McCain said...

Tapani, ah....the "apart from the study notes" thing is kind of the point of the project, oh, yes, and the "Lutheran" thing.

: )

Edward Reiss said...

Fascinating. Out of curiosity, will there be worship materials which use the Apocrypha?

William Weedon said...


There already are! Anytime you see in LSB the silly phrase "liturgical text" that is the weasel way of saying that it is from the Apocrypha. See for example the Introit for Christmas Eve - specifically the Antiphon. It's from Wisdom. There are numerous such spots in LSB. Also note the prescription of the Benedicite Omnia Opera for the Vigil of Easter - its from the apocryphal additions to Daniel.

William Weedon said...


I'm not entirely certain, but I think the hope is for the fall of this year?

Past Elder said...

How much of Luther's notes will be included?

William Weedon said...

Can't answer that. Of course, Luther's intros ARE in the TLSB already.

Rev. Allen Yount (CRSM) said...

Will there also be cross references?

William Weedon said...

I think that will be largely the job of the notes...

Anonymous said...

Very exciting news! Who is doing the notes? Are there very many Lutheran scholars out there specializing in inter-testamental literature? CPH has really been hitting them out of the park lately. Many thanks to whoever got this one rolling.

Bethany Kilcrease

Karl said...

Thank you! It's about time we begin fixing all the problems introduced when we went from German to English!

Josh said...

Now, here is the crucial matter: I hope they keep the color scheme going. I love the Lutheran library's burgundy-ish color.

Craig said...

I gotta say, I'm looking forward to this. I use my LC-MS study Bible way more than my ELCA one (I am ELCA, but please don't hold that against me.)

Tapani Simojoki said...


Yes, of course. The point of my clumsily worded question was, is it the same text? Are there any books in the OUP version that are omitted from the CPH? Same translation?

Must work on clarity of expression! :-)

Paul McCain said...


Thanks, my friend.

Yes, OUP text is being used, but only those books in it that are part of the Apocrypha included by Luther and our fathers in the Luther Bible tradition. That means we did not use all the text, just that part that is part of our heritage.

It took a bit of explanation for OUP to figure out what we were talking about, but all went well and they very graciously granted us permission to use their text, the same one used in British ESV editions.

Does that help/make sense?

As for who is working on the project, a number of Lutheran professors/pastors, same model we used for TLSB.

This has generated a LOT of interest at our Concordias and among students at those institutions where there are faculty members working on this project.

I was at Mequon recently and a pre-seminarian was thrilled that his professor had asked him to read his work on the Apocrypha to check his clarity and if it made sense to the student. The young man was positively giddy about the experience.

And then I went to CURF and had the same experience.

It is really interesting/encouraging to notice how much interest there is in these books among the under 35 crowd.

I think it has a lot to do with the recent surge in popular interest in the "missing books" of the Bible. This is a great opportunity to offer clarity between the Gnostic Gospels and other Gnostic literature and the true OT apocryphal books.

And, Pastor Weedon, I do recall being taught the very point you made: that we do not ever use the less universally support texts in the NT to establish doctrine, and that thought has been very helpful in helping laity understand why our "go to" book on End Times can never be Revelation, but must always start with our Lord's own words in the Holy Gospels.

As for ETA on this book. We are looking at early 2012/late 2011.

We have some other wonderful goodies coming before then:

A reader's edition of Walther's Law and Gospel, featuring a wonderful new translation that will really give you a view of the real Walther, not the sanitized version offered by Dau in his translation of Law/Gospel.

A great new book titled "The Lutheran Difference" based on the very popular Bible study series of the same name. A great lay-friendly comparative dogmatics, to use a more technical term. But a resource that lays out very clearly, based on Scripture, the teachings of the Lutheran Church, compared and contrasted to those of other confessions. We have been in need of this kind of resource for a long time.

All these books will be designed and produced to match the other volumes in the Essential Lutheran Library.

Pray for us as we work on these resources that our work goes smoothly, that we are faithful to God's Word and that the Devil and his evil angels will be prevented from causing us problems.

It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which little "glitches" spring up right at the wrong moments, on our very most important projects. But it is no secret why. Satan does not want the truth to get out there.

Our Saviour said...

Good. I look forward to getting my hands on it. If only these book swould have been included in the Lutheran Study Bible so I don't have to buy two seperate books :-)

I am also most intrigued by the new versio nof Law and Gospel that Pr. McCain has mentioned. I am looking forward ot that.

Now....any word on a new edition of Church and Ministry Pr. McCain?

Paul said...

All I can say is, "Lass die Schrift ganz bleiben!"
(that was intended as an affirmation)

Rev. Allen Yount (CRSM) said...

Pr Weedon, I kind of figured that. Having something like center column references might inadvertently confuse some people into thinking that the Apocrypha are on the same level as the canonical books, just like including the Apocrypha in TLSB very likely could have done.Still, there *is* that paragraph in the Apology that calls a particular passage in Maccabees "Scripture.":) I imagine there will be a study note regarding that

Pr McCain,
This is so neat. I'm really excited about this upcoming release and all the other ones you mentioned. With items like Concordia, TDP, and TLSB you and all the other wonderful folks have made it so more and more people in our church body (and other church bodies) can delve deeper into the richness of our Lutheran heritage. Blessings on your continued work!

Paul McCain said...

We've already caught flak for making TLSB as big as it is, and as heavy as it is, and for not including this, or not including that, and not making the larger print larger, or not making the book smaller, yet with very wide margins so I can write my notes, or not making the paper thicker, but the book smaller, or the type smaller and the book larger, or the book smaller and the paper thicker and the type smaller, or not making the notes longer and including more references to the Church Fathers, and not .....

Well, you get the picture.

You can never make all of the people happy, all of the time, and you can rare make most of the people happy most of the time, but you can make some of the people people happy most of the time.

: )

Past Elder said...

I look forward to ordering a copy of the Apocrypha as soon as it is available!

And a Law and Gospel before then? Great!

Anonymous said...

I'll forward yet another "complaint". :)
"Please don't use "What Luther Says" as a reference." As a scholarly citation, that's right down there with Reader's Digest Condensed Books. Nice as far as it goes, but incomplete. If you want to know the context, you have to be digging out your cross references.
Better to use original sources in the first place, please?


Scott Larkins said...

"Chemnitz, curiously enough, treats them as on the same level as what he termed the NT apocrypha (James, Hebrews, Revelation, etc.)"

Are James, Hebrews, and Revelation canon? You Betcha.

Let's just toss out what doesn't jive with our doctrine. There is truly nothing new under the sun.

Marcion anyone?

William Weedon said...


That is so bizarre that I'm not sure how to comment upon it. The notion of certain books of the NT canon being antilegoumena is not something that Luther or any of the Reformers made up; it is learned from Church history. It was Eusebius who said:

"Among the disputed writings, [των αντιλεγομένων], which are nevertheless recognized by many, are extant the so-called epistle of James and that of Jude, also the second epistle of Peter, and those that are called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the evangelist or to another person of the same name."

William Weedon said...

P.S. Marcion, you are aware, rejected the OT and much of the NT he thought agreed with the OT? Can you find any Lutheran divine who rejects the OT? Certainly not Luther, for he was a professor of OT!!

Paul McCain said...


Couple reactions to your remark about "What Luther Says"

It is still, after all these years, an amazing resource. It provides a lot of Luther material nowhere else translated into English, and since it is aimed at laymen, it is clearly not intended to satisfy the interests of librarians.

It does however contain references to where one can find every single quote by Luther in his original work/writings in the original languages.

So, be kind to WLS, it is not quite so bad as your comment would make it out to be.


Anonymous said...

Hi, PTM,
OK, not as bad as RDCB, if you say so. (I derived that from various Pastor's opinions over the years.)

But material found in WLS & AE might have been more usefully cited from AE, I'm told.
"Laity" include college students being taught to write accurate bibliographic citations. :)


Paul McCain said...


Here's the point that folks seem to be having a hard time wrapping their noggins around.

TLSB was not, and is not, designed or intended for anyone but pious laymen and women who simply need and want a good solid study Bible. Those who wish to study Luther in more depth have boatloads of resources.

WLS was produced many decades before the AE was produced.


Bryce P Wandrey said...

Will CPH also be publishing "Bible Studies" for each of these books? I wonder because if they are to be re-introduced to the mainstream it would seem more likely that this would happen through study and an understanding of their nature, the canonical status, author, content, etc.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

Who wants to give me odds on if I get answer from Paul on this question or not? :)

And then, who wants to give me odds that if Paul answers he will tell me that I am presumptuous for assuming that people will answer my blog comments (even when I ask a direct question to a certain individual)? :D

Scott Larkins said...

Fr. Weedon,

You are correct. Bad post.