Monday, July 5, 2010

LHP Review: A Treasure from NPH

Jeske, John C. Treasures Old & New: Daily Readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2009. 384 Pages. Paper. $24.99. (Hardcover also available in 2010.) http://www.nph/   (LHP)

There are many things I do not understand. One of them is why LCMS congregations purchase so little from Northwestern Publishing House, the home of good Lutheran resources, and the publisher the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The LCMS and the WELS were in fellowship for a hundred years, working together on The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941 with the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. I understand the history. But what about the reality today?

A book review is mostly opinion, but opinion backed by fact.
Fact: The LCMS has FAR more in common with the WELS, ELS and other Lutheran Synods than the ELCA.
Fact: Theological discussions among the Biblical Confessional Synods of America would benefit all of us.
Fact: The WELS and the LCMS have done little to heal the rift of the 1960's and 70's.

Hope: We can and should do better in the hopes of re-establishing the Synodical Conference.

[End soapbox]


Treasures Old & New is a new-found treasure. Author/Editor John C. Jeske has done yeoman's work in producing a truly evangelical Lutheran version of Heinrich Bitzer's Light on the Path and its successors. It uses some easier and more important Hebrew texts. In addition to the daily format of both New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew, a third daily "reading" from the Lutheran Confessions was added to Jeske's manuscript. Thanks be to God!

And a special thanks to Concordia Publishing House for allowing the use of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions to be reprinted in this volume. (This is an example of the future cooperation I pray for.)

I will admit that I lean on my supplemental Greek and Hebrew resources more than I ought. And I will further admit that I needed a few more helps than were provided on the daily pages.

I strongly believe that this book of Daily Readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions should be on the desk of every Lutheran pastor, professor, seminarian, and layman equipped in either Greek or Hebrew.

Perhaps an anonymous Lutheran foundation could put that dream into reality.

Or, perhaps an anonymous Lutheran insurance company could send out a specially-commissioned print run of Treasures Old & New in addition to their annual Lutheran Desk Diary. (I miss their book and CD selections.)
This is "A daily devotional book for Seminary students and pastors who want to review the biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew. A passage from the Hebrew Old Testament and a passage from the Greek New Testament are provided for each day of the year. Also, a brief passage from the Lutheran Confessions in English is included. Notes on vocabulary and grammar follow each passage.

"General themes of the Christian church year calendar as well as key doctrinal passages of the Old and New Testament are chosen for these Scripture references" (publisher's website).

As I said when this book was released, "Buy this. Use this." Treasure this for the sake of the Word of God and the Lord's People whom you serve.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.