12 May 2010

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

I confess that I share the view of those that feel that world Lutheran ties are more important than American solidarity.  Quite apart from this, however, I have basic misgivings about the use of a three-year cycle of pericopes.  With the irregular attendance of many of our people at divine worship and with the general lack of preparation for the service on the part of many of the worshippers that do come, I feel that a three-year cycle or even a two-year cycle would mean that many of our people would in the end be less acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures than they are now.  -- A. C. Piepkorn, The Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, p. 13.


Anonymous said...

except, Pastor Weedon, Piepkorn wrote that a number of cycles ago and only regulars come to church today anyway and I have used the three year cycle already for roughly 35 years of my 40 year plus ministry... that's about twelve times through plus any overlapping of stories and textual parallels... I really think that the three year provision opened up so much more scripture that it is a blessing. I am not saying a one year lectionary is a curse but it may not be treating the people as a growing people and it may not offer the treat of more scripture. Even in the olden days when I started out we all ordered copies of Nespers *Biblical Texts* to have the Nitsch, Saxon, Hamburg, Wuettemberg, Thomasius, Hannover, Swedish, Eisenach, Lenski, Ranke, Fendt-Liefled-Owens, Synodical Conference and Soll sets of yearly readings as well as other texts for occasions and seasons. Historic stuff is nice and yet is not the historic stuff basically carried forward somehow in the three year set albeit not all in one year? Harvey Mozolak

William Weedon said...

Ah, Harvey! I knew that one would rouse some!!!

As a devoted practitioner of the historic series, I'd argue that it's benefits outweigh its defects; and that for the three year the reverse is true (which I did use for the first six years of my ministry). I have no doubt that someone like you who has faithfully through these years proclaimed the Word of God using the three year series exploited those benefits to the max in the service of God's holy people. Yet, I think Loehe was right when he said in Three Books that we better serve our people by grounding the people in a basic set of texts from which we can teach the entire revelation.

Christopher Esget said...

Amen, amen, and amen.

Past Elder said...

OK I'm roused. On top of everything PW and Piepkorn says, up until within my ruddy lifetime the "one-tear" lectionary WAS the lectionary for Judas' sake at the bimah -- that is until (Pastor Yount Alert: here it comes) the revisionist liturgical wing of the historical-critical movement dreamed up a three-year lectionary to tone down the miracle stories, which probably never happened anyway in their mindset, to emphasis "more of Scripture" ie moral teaching and got the bleeder through at Vatican II to break the continuity of hundreds of years of preaching and teaching, which thereupon became the common property of all the heterodox churches as they ecumenically stumble, stagger and barf towards unity as the reunited Whore of Babylon.

Great Judas at the tebah -- for our Sephardic friends, or at least mine -- there is no known three-year cycle to anything except in the fevered minds of scholars needing something to publish, and the whole thing was tried hundreds of years ago in the synagogue and gave way to an annual cycle of parashot now universal except, as with us, among revisionist descendants of Romantic hallucinations of some pristine lost age.

Call me Ezra if anything else makes the slightest shred of sense.

Which is also why there is a Gospel and Epistle (which is not always literally an Epistle) reading just like there was (is) a torah and haftorah for Judas holding the railing's sake.

Anonymous said...

OK. Tho I am not sure what PastElder said, reads too much like many think poetry does... altho "the revisionist liturgical wing of the historical-critical movement dreamed up a three-year lectionary to tone down the miracle stories," does bait one to ask whether then God is responsible for toning down miracle stories by having more scripture than miracle stories in the first place?!
but Pastor Will, what do you think of the use an OT Lesson, which was not in the historic sequence of readings? Harvey Mozolak

William Weedon said...

Well, not usually there. But there was the odd feast day when the "epistle" was from "Isaiah!" :) Actually, I think the restoration of the OT reading has been a blessing. I'm glad of it. Weekday services, though, I don't always read an OT; but I always read Epistle and Gospel.

Past Elder said...

The first place is, God wrote the Bible, not a lectionary, nor did he in writing a Bible write a new one to replace one used for 1,500 years or so in more or less the same identifiable forms.

Nor is there a restoration of bupkis. The classic lectionary stands as a Christianisation of the synagogue cycle, wherein the Law is read through in a year, so now is the Gospel, precedence given to that of Matthew, whose first but no longer extant version was in Jesus' dialect Aramaic (which it also why it stands first in the NT rather than Mark), with a related passage (haftorah) from the Prophets though once in a while from the Writings, so now is the Epistle, which once in a while is from other writings in the Bible (and is also why the NT is laid out Gospels, Pauline Epistles, other writings, as is the Tanach Law, Prophets, Writings).

Which is enough for a solid QED, but what is the origin of the three-year? A council of the chief brothel of the Whore of Babylon, summoned by an office bearing the marks of Antichrist!

And what is the effect of this "greater exposure to Scripture"? The novus ordo lectionary with its similarly hatcheded caloendar is now, with its miserable misbegotten stepchild the RCL, the common property of all heterodox churches with liturgical pretensions, who despite alleged salutary effects of this exposure to Scripture in varying degrees daily deny its doctrines.

Gott hilf mir seitlich.

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

This is a squabble amongst pastors that the laity don't care about, nor should they.

One year? Three year? It's all good.

Pastor Peters has a nice post today about this issue.

The irony is that one year lectionary users are much more devoted to their own personal tastes and preferences than three-year users.

They can't even agree on a Bible translation to be used.

Some use ESV, some NIV, some KJV, others NKJV and some prefer NASB.

We've only sold, to date, less than 450 copies of the one year lectionary we published with Lutheran Service Book.

I myself love the one year lectionary, just because it is easy to find classic Lutheran sermons by Luther, Gerhard, Chemnitz, et al and Bach used it for his Cantata cycles, of course.

But the three year lectionary with the LSB project is very well done.

Christopher Esget said...

Random thoughts which will anger everyone:

Paul McCain wrote, "This is a squabble amongst pastors that the laity don't care about, nor should they." My friend,you haven't met some of my parishioners, some of whom are quite unhappy with my use of the 1-year lectionary and/or the ESV!

I'm sure it's a matter of taste for some. For me, it's a matter of confession. There's no need to rehash the arguments here, but I find no other way to read AP XXIV then to see myself bound to following the "traditional order of lessons."

In recent decades CPH has promoted the RSV, then the NIV, now the ESV translation. It's no wonder that there is a lack of uniformity. Getting a parish onboard with a particular translation, getting Bibles into the homes of people (and getting them to actually use them!) is a challenge. Then, the Synod changes its mind, and you have to convince people to buy new Bibles, because what you told them before is now "wrong." That's a bigger challenge, and some people (and parishes) decide to not follow the herd because they've invested time, energy, and money in their decisions. I've got stacks of Bibles in multiple languages in my office. Most pastors do. Most parishioners want one Bible. One. That they keep and use as long as they can.

Some of my people are really ticked at me for promoting the Lutheran Study Bible with the ESV translation. They all dutifully bought the NIV Concordia study Bible, and then switched to different translations when pastors (preceding me) pointed out to them that the NIV isn't so great. My parish bought NKJ Bibles before the ESV was even published. I've been trying to encourage a switch to ESV – even though I think it's based on an inferior Greek NT textform – but people are not happy about it. Not happy with me at all.

I support CPH, to the degree that I really should be earning some commission on the books I sell or promote. :) A member of my parish is on the board. I'm trying to use the ESV, even though I don't prefer it, because I want to encourage unity of practice. But it isn't always a simple thing to do.

I wish we could roll back the clock and try and make different decision that would foster that unity today, but the cows left that barn some time ago.Taste – and varied use of Bible translations – runs on both sides of this debate.

Anonymous said...

Where can I get my copy of a longer, Aramaic version of Matthew's Gospel, which would be the inspired one since it would be the "autograph"? Maybe it's on the shelf next to the copies of "Q".

Tony Bertram

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

Chris, you have very unique parishioners, and I'm still waiting for my "finders fee" for sending a lot of them to you! One of them wants only the Holy King James to sound in your congregation!

: )

By and large, rank and file, laity do not give a hoot about these pastor squabbles over lectionaries. I've gotten to a point where I hardly give a hoot.

The same-old/same-old tired argument for/against the three year series, or in favor of the one year series.

My take on it all is purely pragmatic and self-serving. I just like being more easily to plagiarize from Luther, Gerhard, Chemnitz, Walther, Bach and others.

There, I said it.

Christopher Esget said...

I sometimes forget that Immanuel is about the best place to serve in the LCMS, and I do have very unique parishioners!

I'll trade you my commission for your finders fee. We've got a good thing going here, Paul! :)

P.S. LOL - the "captcha" is "angra" - change the "a" to a "y" and you've summarized the way these discussions usually go.

Past Elder said...

For me, it's a matter of confession. There's no need to rehash the arguments here, but I find no other way to read AP XXIV then to see myself bound to following the "traditional order of lessons."

Rock on, PE (Pastor Esget, that is).