The publication of the Christian Book of Concord in the 1580 German edition included an appendix, the Catalog of Testimonies, which was not a formal part of the Lutheran Confessions. It is important to Lutherans and has been widely used because it provides additional evidence for the Lutheran position on the doctrine of the two natures in Christ. Scripture passages and quotations from church fathers on the person of Christ are cited, with a special focus on the fact that because of the Incarnation the human nature of Christ shares in the qualities of divinity. Why share quotations from church fathers? It showed that the Lutheran positions on the two natures in Christ and the Sacrament of the Altar were not newly-invented or ahistorical, but Biblical, having been confessed by fathers faithful to the Scriptures centuries before. (Condensed and restated from http://bookofconcord.org/testimonies.php)
This volume, now included as the second volume of the Collected Works of Franz Posset, was originally published in 1999 by Cistercian Publications. This 2018 Wipf & Stock edition features a new Introduction by the author and two pages of Corrigenda. Regarding the latter (4), perhaps the very first correction, "p. 6," should be corrected. It appears to refer to second page of the Table of Contents, giving the correct page numbers for 'On Consideration' (353) and 'Triple Feeding' (366) [not "Tripe"]. I do not wish one line in the book distract you from its overall importance. What is the connection between Bernard and Martin Luther? Consider this photo of my copy of the back cover of the 1999 edition:
Honestly, I cringed a little at the phrase "broadly Reformed doctrine" being a Lutheran, but I find the volumes I've seen so far to be fair and "rich in biblical theology." (Perhaps a small "r"? Either way, the word is preferable to how "protestant" is now (mis)used generally. My concern is more in the realm of future marketing than actual offense.) These three volumes are practical tools for preaching while also being substantive. I want to see the whole set!
A Major Prophet joins the Twelve so-called Minor Prophets in Volume VII. It features an abundance of tables, a helpful teaching tool for Daniel primarily, but also for Hosea and Jonah. Daniel 12:1-3 was a recent Series B lectionary text. It is here helpfully combined with Daniel 11:2ff. The text is daunting to a preacher. The commentary is quite comprehensive, yet focused and helpful.
Highlights in this volume include exposition of Ephesians 2:8-10. It notes that the antecedent of "this" is the whole phrase before. "God not only saves us from our sin; he also saves us for good works. Paul is absolutely clear that good works do not save a person. However, he does maintaining that God calls all believers to a virtuous life" (47, italics original).
I received these three volumes in October. As expository commentaries, they are designed to prepare a pastor for preaching. And so they did. Given the readings in Series B of the Three-Year Lectionary from Lutheran Service Book, the bulk of my attention was given to volume XIII, covering Hebrews through Revelation.
Hebrews 2:1-13 (14-18)
Hebrews 4:1-13 (14-16)
Revelation 7: (2-8) 9-17
Hebrews 9: 24-28
I had the opportunity to evaluate recent sermons on the first texts on the list on the basis of the scholarship and homiletical insights of volume XIII. I then was able use the volume to better prepare for preaching on the rest.
Individual authors do occasionally show their biases and those of their specific theological tradition. I find respectful presentation of views throughout, in a way that is an improvement upon the commentary of the original ESV Study Bible. (I have yet to see volumes covering Matthew 16 and 1 Corinthians 11, but call me optimistic for now.) The discussion of the Thousand Years (Revelation 20:1-6; pp. 723ff) is illustrative. The author, as do I, has the amillennial view, yet he fairly explains postmillenial and premillenial views. Such an approach allows all sides to deal with 1) the actual text, 2) actual theological positions instead of caricatures, and 3) be confronted with Biblical evidence explained honestly, clearly, and pastorally. Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts and minds. This approach helps get preference, opinion, and ego out of the way.
Rev. Paul J Cain is Senior Pastor of Immanuel, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School and Immanuel Academy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education, Secretary of the Wyoming District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and a member of its Board of Directors, Wyoming District Education Chairman/NLSA Commissioner, and Editor of Lutheran Book Review. He has served as an LCMS Circuit Visitor, District Worship Chairman and District Evangelism Chairman. A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Rev. Cain is a contributor to Lutheran Service Book, Lutheranism 101, the forthcoming LSB Hymnal Companion volumes, and is the author of 5 Things You Can Do to Make Our Congregation a Caring Church. He is an occasional guest on KFUO radio. He has previously served Emmanuel, Green River, WY and Trinity, Morrill, NE. Rev. Cain is married to Ann and loves reading and listening to, composing, and making music.