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