Videos on the Apocrypha Now Available

Concordia Publishing House has recently released a new resource that will allow readers to immerse themselves in Lutheran heritage. The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes is a collection of texts that, while not divinely inspired, are helpful for Christians to read. CPH’s new book is the only ESV edition available, chock full of study notes, annotations, articles and illustrations that are meant to help the Lutheran reader navigate through these books.

The Rev. Heath R. Curtis, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Carpenter, Ill., and Trinity Lutheran Church in Worden, Ill., served as a contributor to this new edition. Curtis wrote the study notes for several chapters in Sirach, drawing on his background in the Classics to help bring the reader to an understanding of how to read this book in the best and most useful way.

The following is an edited Lutheran Witness (LW) interview with Rev. Heath R. Curtis (HRC).

LW: What is the difference between this and previous editions of the Apocrypha?

HRC: This is the first that’s been put out in English, and this version is like the newLutheran Study Bible. It has study notes, comprehensive introductions and even a very detailed introduction to the 400-year history between Malachi and Matthew.

That’s why Lutherans need to read this: It really fills in the gaps between Malachi and Matthew. People may have wondered, “Why on earth is the New Testament in Greek? Where did these Greeks come from?” The answer to all these questions is in the Apocrypha; it’s the link between worlds and cultures. It’s an essential part of intelligently studying Scripture.

LW: Why should Lutherans be interested in checking out this book?

HRC: History. The Apocrypha contains the connection between the Old and New Testament worlds. As Lutherans, it’s part of our tradition. Not only are there lots of pious stories that teach morality, but there is so much history that certainly any history buff would consider this a must-have

(source: cyberbrethren.

 

“Hey, Paul McCain, is there any kind of study guide or something like that for the Apocrypha?” “Do you have a bulletin insert we can use in our congregation?” “Do you have one of those sign up sheet things you usually send us for new books like this?”

Why, yes, in fact, I have a study guide for you, a bulletin insert for you, and a sign up sheet for you! Let me give you the links right now:

Study Guide

Bulletin Insert

Sign Up Poster

Oh, wait, there’s more, did you know you can download a nice PDF “sampler” from The Apocrypha? Yes, you can. Click here.

(source: cyberbrethren)

 

(From here — we have a whole YouTube playlist of videos for you to watch, thirteen in all, most easily watched in 2-3 minute sessions.

For more than 100 years, the Apocrypha has been left out of English versions of the Bible. Concordia Publishing House is proud to announce the 2012 release of the first and only ESV edition of the Apocrypha with notes and annotations by Lutherans.

Here is a link to the playlist (shown below)

 

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Videos on the Apocrypha Now Available — 23 Comments

  1. The video about CPH’s new publication, The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes, leads off with an image and its description – “A Bible with a hole in it.” Note that the video shows a book which has the size, shape and title printed to look like “The Holy Bible.” Instead the book is titled with just one word, “Bible” (not even “The Bible”) with the projected image of a “holey” Bible.

    Then a disembodied voice tells us, “To some extent, the Apocrypha is exactly that hole, missing in action from Protestant Bibles.”

    This is a deceptive statement. The reference to the “hole” being “exactly” (with the weasel phrase, “to some extent“) the “Apocrypha” is tied to the claim that the hole is “missing in action from Protestant Bibles.”

    A Protestant “Bible” does not differ from the Holy Bible that Lutherans recognize as God’s Word, Holy Scripture, the Canon. Except for a possible issue about some translation versions, a Protestant “Bible” is exactly the same Scripture, the same books in the Old and New Testaments, the same chapters and verses, as the Holy Bible the Lutherans recognize and use. Thus the video commits, and quite deliberately, the fallacy of equivocation – using one word to mean two different doctrinally distinct things.

    The disembodied voice continues the equivocation: “You see, when Luther translated the books of the Bible into German he included the Apocrypha in his German Bible.”

    Thus again, in an advertising flim-flam, the word, “Bible,” is used in two equivocal and doctrinally distinct ways – as Holy Scripture, the Canon, God’s Word, and as a human publication which contains errant, non-Scriptural writings along with God’s Holy Scripture.

    With all of this equivocation, a quick 15-sec excerpt from President Harrison was inserted into the video: “But he [Luther] made it clear that these books weren’t not divinely inspired, recognizing they don’t have the authority of Scripture itself, but they’re insightful and help explain what was going on in that intertestamental period.”

    However, the video then continues with the claim, “Parts of our [Christian? Lutheran? Liturgical?] tradition come from the Apocrypha,” with a picture of the “Holey Bible” shown again, and with the disembodied voice noting that the Apocrypha “fills in the gaps in the lives of God’s people in the time between the Testaments.”

    What the video does not inform the viewer is that the Apocrypha contains historical and doctrinal errors, and thus the Apocrypha can never considered as part of the Holy Bible, should be used with caution, and should not be promoted exactly to some extent with equivocal advertising verbage.

  2. Oh, Rick….

    The fact that the history of the Lutheran Church, from Luther to Walther and to any German speaking, and German using, Lutheran in American demonstrates that the Apocrypha was simply always a part of our Lutheran heritage and in our Bibles apparently is a fact you are steadfastly refusing to take into account with all your ranting about the Apocrypha.

    The fact is that the Bibles Lutherans have been using for a relatively brief period of time have had a gaping hole in them, right in the middle of them, in fact. Good that what has gone “missing in action” has been restored.

    By the way, each time you go after this book, you are contributing toward greater interest in it and more sales!

    So, thanks. Keep up the good work. We appreciate it.

    🙂

  3. By the way, we are expecting the Kindle edition to be available by the end of this year, and we are moving ahead with the LOGOS edition as well, and that should be out by Spring 2013, if not sooner.

  4. The Lutheran heritage and use of the apocrypha has been obscured in recent times. Look at how Martin Chemnitz speaks of them in the Enchiridion which was used to educate Lutheran ministers. Chemnitz is a very orthodox confessional Lutheran, and was regarded as such in his day, in that he was key in producing the book of concord to start with. Many Lutheran ministers were under the oversight of this Enchiridion hence its hardly the view of “one man”.

    ——————————————

    #46 How are the Biblical books divided ?

    In two ways : I. Into the books of the Old and New Testament. II. Into the canonical and apocryphal books of each testament.

    #47 Which are the canonical books of the Old Testament ( the current protestant OT canon is listed )

    #48 Which are the apocryphal books of the Old Testament ? ( the rest of the books in the catholic canon are listed, ie. omitting books like Esdras found in the KJV apocrypha )

    #49 Which are the canonical books of the New Testament ? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, I & II Thess, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, I Peter, I John

    #50 Which are regarded as apocryphal books in the New Testament ? II Peter, II & III John, Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation of John.

    ——————————————

    The interesting thing is Chemnitz speaking of a Lutheran view that called the OT apocrypha “Biblical” in the same manner and sense as what Lutherans regarded as the second tier of the New Testament Biblical but “non canonical” books.

    Lutherans had a distinctly different view from the rest of the protestant world that has been lost. CPH etc. are merely attempt to restore the lost view of historic confessional Lutherans.

  5. Is it part of the confessional Lutheran tradition to confuse readers about the antilegomena with the title of “Apocrypha of the New Testament”?

    While some Lutherans may accept or reject some of the books of the antilegomena as canon, or, as others do, refer to them as “canon of the second rank,” President Harrison has affirmed that “these books [of the Apocrypha] were not divinely inspired, recognizing they don’t have the authority of Scripture itself.”

    Lutherans today might make a more valid comparison of the Jewish writings of the Apocrypha with the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. But then that title might not sell as many books.

  6. Carl Vehse :
    Is it part of the confessional Lutheran tradition to confuse readers about the antilegomena with the title of “Apocrypha of the New Testament”?

    http://www.cph.org/p-676-chemnitzs-works-volume-5-enchiridionlords-supperlords-prayer.aspx?SearchTerm=enchiridion [ Martin Chemnitz (the “Second Martin”) is credited with solidifying and defining the Reformation movement begun by Martin Luther (the “First Martin”). Chemnitz was a major contributor to the Formula of Concord and is considered to be one of the greatest Lutheran theologians of all time. ]

    Are you saying Martin Chemnitz the guy who was instrumental in the production of the book of concord was unorthodox or are you objecting to how this Enchiridion was translated ? The quote and its context “#50 Which are regarded as apocryphal books in the New Testament ? II Peter, II & III John, Hebrews, James, Jude, Revelation of John.” is directly from that work.

    This was what Lutheran pastors were to affirm in their regular examinations.

  7. @bitznbitez #8: “Are you saying Martin Chemnitz the guy who was instrumental in the production of the book of concord was unorthodox or are you objecting to how this Enchiridion was translated ?”

    Don’t try to put words in my mouth. Chemnitz lived in the 16th century and spoke German. You are the one who excerpted quotes from a translation of his writings and then explained: “The interesting thing is Chemnitz speaking of a Lutheran view that called the OT apocrypha ‘Biblical’ in the same manner and sense as what Lutherans regarded as the second tier of the New Testament Biblical but ‘non canonical’ books.”

    That is what is confusing. It is the pseudopigrapha of the New Testament that are non canonical books.

  8. Just so I’m clear, Rick, are you actually claiming that the unbroken practice of Lutherans including the Apocrypha in their Bibles is nothing more than being akin to believing the earth to be the center of the universe? Or … that garlic juice smeared on a magnet prevents it from working well?

    Really?!

    I’d say if this is actually an argument you are trying to put forward as to why Lutherans have always included the Apocrypha and used them, preached on texts from the Apocrypha, used texts from the Apocrypha to illustrate their Catechisms, as the basis for hymns, and as content for devotional literature and doctrinal works, then you probably need to buy a copy of this new edition and learn a whole lot more about it.

    Further, you disparage one of the greatest theologians of the Christian Church and our Lutheran Church, Martin Chemnitz, dismissing his views as mere that of a 16th century man but then expect us to join you in that, and at the same time hold in equal low opinion the views of the church fathers and all orthodox Lutheran fathers, and our own LCMS founding fathers.

    Instead, apparently, we are to elevate as of greater authority the practice of third and fourth generation LCMS Lutherans who forgot about the Apocrypha and even taught erroneous things about them as a result.

  9. Carl it sounds like you are, perhaps correctly, questioning the translation that used the same word apocrypha -vs- canonical for both nt and ot. You may very well be right that it was incorrect.

    Here is the Latin version of Enchiridion from 1588 in this case the words used are identical, Canonici versus Apocryphi in both old and new testaments. Page 45 onward.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=qw08AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA46#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Here is a German version of Enchiridion published in 1886 and scanned from the library of Concordia. I have not been able to locate the citations in the German edition yet.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=J9srAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Perhaps there are German experts who can assist, though I do recall comments in the CPH English version of Enchiridion relating to variations between the various german and latin scripts they had available.

  10. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #10: “Just so I’m clear, Rick, are you actually claiming that the unbroken practice of Lutherans including the Apocrypha in their Bibles is nothing more than being akin to believing the earth to be the center of the universe? Or … that garlic juice smeared on a magnet prevents it from working well?”

    What I said earlier on this thread, Paul, was that “the Apocrypha is as much ‘a part of our Lutheran heritage’ as geocentrism.” I said nothing about garlic juice or a magnet, or any of the other words you tried to put in my mouth.

    BTW, the Lutheran practice of including the Apocrypha in the same publication as the Bible was broken about a century ago (or about 20% of the time back into Lutheran heritage)–at least according to some video I saw recently–although the Apocrypha wasn’t “lost” as claimed. English versions are readily available in print or on the internet, or one can find a German version as well.

    “Further, you disparage one of the greatest theologians of the Christian Church and our Lutheran Church, Martin Chemnitz, dismissing his views as mere that of a 16th century man”

    It’s your pejorative words, “dismissing his views as mere that of a 16th century man”. I said, “Chemnitz lived in the 16th century”.

    “Instead, apparently, we are to elevate as of greater authority the practice of third and fourth generation LCMS Lutherans who forgot about the Apocrypha and even taught erroneous things about them as a result.”

    What third or fourth generation LCMS Lutherans forgot about the Apocrypha? My confirmation class was told about the Apocrypha. It’s just that Lutherans, including those in the Missouri Synod, have had (or should have) more important things to study and learn in various Lutheran documents than from some intertestamental Jewish writings. I mean, it’s not like they were given to us on stone tablets from Moses, or have been declared by the Synod convention for 160 years as the correct understanding of doctrine under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

    What erroneous things about the Apocrypha have third and fourth generation LCMS Lutherans been taught… well, except for the equivocal statements in the CPH Apocrypha ad video? (I’m starting to see where that ad’s fallacy of equivocation might have originated.)

  11. I addressed them, Paul, just not the way you evidently like. Now, as I noted in #2, how about the use of an equivocation fallacy in the Apocrypha ad video?

  12. The problem Rick is on this issue you are wrong simply because you have a fundamental lack of awareness of basic facts and, sorry to say, an invincibly ignorant understandng of Lutheran Church history caused by the blinders you choose to wear by which you regard the LCMS of the twenties, thirties and forties to be some sort of “gold standard” for understanding Lutheranism.

  13. Ah, yes, the ol’ ad hominems. Those will certainly resolve the ad video’s equivocation fallacy.

  14. Rick, I’m simply trying to encourage you actually to learn more about the Apocrypha and its place in Lutheranism’s confession of the faith, worship, devotional literature, dogmatics, etc.

    How about you get a copy, read and study it carefully, and then from that informed position express your opinions?

    Your bias is showing when you say that 100 years is 20% of Lutheranism’s history. Of course, the greater majority of Lutherans in the past 100 years in fact always have had the Apocrypha in their Bible and didn’t, and don’t, speak English.

    As for the kind of errors made by LCMS pastors, etc. who has lost the Apocrypha out of their Bibles (Bible with holes in them!), already in the 1930s and 1940s LCMS pastors were telling people that the Apocrypha was the “devil’s book” and people should not read it because it was “Roman Catholic.”

    This is a very far cry from the attitudes of Martin Lutheran, all our orthodox Lutheran fathers, and our more immediate LCMS fathers in the faith, who even used texts from the Apocrypha for their Bible reading for sermons, as a source of teaching in their doctrinal and devotional works, etc. That attitude reflects more the prevailing anti-Romanism of the Protestant ethos prevailing in LCMS circles after World War I, in the wake of intense anti-German prejudice and persecution in the USA, etc. A desire to be viewed as simply yet another one of America’s great Protestant churches caused many things to be forgotten or to be set aside in a desire to fit in.

  15. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #17: “I’m simply trying to encourage you actually to learn more about the Apocrypha”

    No, you’re avoiding the Apocrypha ad video’s use of the equivocation fallacy, in part by spewing out your usual ad hominems as a diversion.

    … already in the 1930s and 1940s LCMS pastors were telling people that the Apocrypha was the “devil’s book” and people should not read it because it was “Roman Catholic.”

    You are referring here, of course, to the anecdotal story about the pastor who catechized your mother, and Raymond Hartwig’s (1950s) childhood story opening a WMLT CPH Apocrypha promotional column, in which he claimed “we children knew better than ever to touch one of those [Roman Catholic] Bibles, much less open it and read from it, lest our attention wander over to ‘those books’.”

    Anti-Romanist sentiment among Missouri Synod Lutherans certainly has existed throughout the 20th century: in the 1928 presidential campaign, in 1939 when FDR sent his representative to the Vatican, in the 1960 presidential campaign, and against the 1999 JDDJ announcement.

    And there was the Missouri Synod’s 1932 announcement: “Hence we subscribe to the statement of our Confessions that the Pope is ‘the very Antichrist.'” Of course, in these “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” days of HHS mandates, politically correct Lutheran views, and the company we keep, have apparently changed.

    Nowadays, there’s a new bogeyman we have been warned about on Lutheran sites where at least one Lutheran book is claimed to have “deliberate miss-translations,” “played fast and loose,” along with “hundreds of homogenizing/protestantizing choices,” and “done tremendous damage”… although the book is still being sold by CPH. And in a video we Lutherans are now being told that a new CPH publication of the Apocrypha (English versions have been around for years) is “exactly”, to some extent, the “missing hole,” “missing in action,” and will “fill in the gaps” in our Holy Bible.

    So, regarding the Apocrypha, I am underenthused.

  16. Rick, I’m quite sure you do not want to be perceived to be a person who is never one to allow himself to be confused by the facts, but…I’m afraid your comments are at a point where they are so shrill and so poorly considered that is what is happening.

    I’m inviting and encouraging you to learn quite a bit more than you evidently know now about the Apocrypha and its role and place in the history of the Lutheran Church. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to do so.

  17. I’m inviting and encouraging you, Paul, to comment on the Apocrypha ad video’s use of the fallacy of equivocation, which was pointed out in Post #2. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.