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Messages - R. T. Fouts

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Your Turn / Re: AC 7 and Visible Unity
« on: April 04, 2007, 11:00:56 AM »
Gary -- you may be referring to the Marburg Colloquy (see the account translated in Sasse's "This is My Body." )

At one point Oecolampadius (Zwingli's cohort) exhorts Luther to "life your eyes to the heavenly Christ."

Luther's response, "I know of no other Christ than the Christ on the altar, at the virgin's breast, and upon the cross." (an attempt to quote from memory, it may be slightly off)

The Marburg Colloquy is key, for a number of reasons, in sorting out the difference in Luther's thought.  Luther was, of course, firstly a scholar of the Old Testament.  In the OT YHWH consistenly works and appears in physical ways - a burning bush, pillar of cloud and fire, etc.    Zwingli, on the other hand, was trained in greek(ish) humanism, when tended to abhor the physical and exthol the spiritual.  When Luther remarks at Marburg that he and Zwingli are "of a different spirit," that is likely what he means. 

Luther's "spirit," or world-view, is a world view rooted in Old Testament studies, which extols the very physical, dirt-level sort of ways in which the Lord works.  This worldview is similarly lurking "behind the scenes" with Luther's visible/invisible or, his more preferred term, hidden/revealed church.   You can always see the Church, it's just that much of what the Church truly is is hidden.   There are several beautiful images of the Church in Scripture -- my personal favorite being the bride/bridegroom relationship of the Church to Christ in Ephesians 5.  As had been the custom of the day, a bride underwent a ceremonial washing in preparation for her bridegroom.  Thus, the Church's status as the bride of Christ is made evident through her "washing" in Holy Baptism -- which is always evoked in the Invocation (prior to the Divine Service, or the eschatalogical wedding feast).  I was just noting this last week how beautifully Bach brings this out in his cantatas, as the Soprano (speaking as the bride/church) often sings in longing for Christ, represented by the Bass voice.  Yes, there is much more to say about the Church than that she is hidden and revealed.  Though, if you don't get the manner of this "hiddeness" down, as an ecclesiological theology of the cross, you won't really get how all the other stuff goes on either.    Lutheran theology really has a very rich, deep, ecclesiology that, unfortunately, is lost on many lay people these days due to other polity concerns which often seem to overwhealm us (perhaps our constant struggles with polity matters, particularly in Missouri, are simply the suffering and the cross wherein the Church is truly hidden and revealed).   Pax!

Your Turn / Re: AC 7 and Visible Unity
« on: April 04, 2007, 02:51:59 AM »
Part of the problem with the visible/invisible church notion is that we're getting Luther's use of the terms, which he more commonly renders as the hidden/revealed church, confused with the way Calvin runs it (which, for Calvin, is wrapped up in problems of predestination, and the church defined as the elect).     For Luther, it isn't human hearts that define what is or isn't the "true" church, because Luther isn't defining the Church by way of the doctrine of election.  For Luther, his ecclesiology of the Church revealed and hidden is, in short, an ecclesiological theology of the cross.  Just as God is truly "visible" in the flesh of Christ, hanging upon the cross, God is nonetheless hidden, or veiled, beneath suffering and the cross.  So too it is with the Church.  The Church is never technically "invisible," because it is always accompanied by things you can see:  sheep hearing the voice of their shepherd.  Or, as Chemnitz puts it in his locus on the Church, the church is "where there are preachers and hearers."   Nonetheless, as the Church consistently exists where the gifts are being given and received (Word and Sacrament, both administered according to the gospel, and received by the people), she is always nonetheless both revealed and hidden within suffering and the cross, i.e. error, false believers among the people, etc.  That is because, for Luther (and Melanchthon, as can be seen from the Apology) "faith" is not first and foremost a matter worked up in the heart.  It is, as an organon leiptikon, or a receiving organ.  Faith is simply receiving the Lord's gifts, which is inexplicably tied to an external word (externum verbum).  Faith primarily as an internal "matter of the heart" isn't an emphasis until the age of pietism. 

Your Turn / Re: Textual History of Confessional Documents and the BoC
« on: April 04, 2007, 02:18:26 AM »
A few thoughts to interject into the discussion: 

I don't know that one can reasonably deduce the Selneccer wasn't aware of the earlier quarto text when he chose to use the octavo text in the 1580 Latin Leipzig BoC.   He simply used the text that had been used, almost exclusively, for almost 50 years.  It isn't much a of a quandary to wonder why Selneccer used the octavo text -- it would have been the "default" choice.  The bigger question is why they later insisted on reprinting the quarto text in the 1584 "official" Latin edition.   

Kris said: "Well, as luck would have it, this is my area of expertise. The "unofficial" Latin 1580 BoC (and therefore uninteresting version), was a translation of the German aus dem Deutschen, as the publisher assures the reader on the opening page. I have a copy of it."

That's partially true.  What is intended, there, however is with respect to the "Formula" itself.   The Formula had never been published separately.  It had only been published as the "Book of Concord."  In reality, the title "Formula of Concord" wasn't ascribed to what we now know as the "Formula" until later.  There is a letter from Selneccer, for example, in 1584 indicating that the title "Formula of Concord" had been bantered around, but he thought that it was too lofty of a title.  Even then, the title "Formula of Concord" hadn't been settled on.   Even before 1580, the Formula was often referred to as the "Book of Concord," and sometimes referred to as the "Bergen Book."   The lengthier title which can be seen in the K/W text was the official title, and the only one explicitly included in the BoC.   In fact, the "Binding, Summary, Rule and Norm..." was not really supposed to be the title for the introductory section, it was actually supposed to be the title of the document.  You can see that discussion in the concluding report of the March meeting at Bergen, by Chemnitz, Andreä, and Selneccer (published by Leonard Hütter in Concordia Concors.).    It really makes sense, it is that "section" which defines the other confessional documents to be included (including the Apology as subscribed to at Smalcald in 1537, which would have been the octavo text), and was the title chosen instead of using the previously common "Corpus Doctrinae" title.  The Torgau Book had used the "Corpus Doctrinae" title, but it was "scratched" out in some of the memorandums which were then sent to Bergen, and at Bergen they took the suggestion and removed the Corpus Doctrinae title from the work.   Thus, even by 1584, there wasn't really a unanimous title for the document.   The old "Bergen Book" title had been used almost exclusively by those who rejected it in a pejorative way, and the title "Book of Concord" was becoming confused with the larger collection.  So, even in 1584, when they published the BoC it was understood first and foremost as a publication of what we now know as the Formula.  The other documents included were included largely due to the subscription the Formula itself makes to those documents as a "Corpus Doctrinae" (even though they avoided that name).   So, when it says in the title page to your 1580 Latin Leipzig BoC (I envy you, that you own a copy btw.) it's really only speaking about the Formula.   It's sort of similar to how, in the 1580 Dreseden German BoC the "signatories" page says "Book of Concord" at the top when, in reality, what they were signing wasn't the collection of all the texts, but the signatures there were explicitly subscriptions only to the Formula and the other documents only by "proxy" as they are mentioned in the formula.   

It is, without a doubt, the octavo text as it was prepared by Melanchthon in September, 1531.    As a matter of fact, the translation from the "octavo" which Arand did for K/W actually used the text as it was printed in the 1580 Leipzig Latin BoC.  Aside from checking it out with an actual printing of the octavo text, a simple comparison of the 1580 Dresden BoC and the 1580 Leipzig Latin texts of the Apology will reveal that what you have in the Leipzig Latin of 1580 simply couldn't be regarded as a translation from the German.   It is, more accurately, the reverse (though done so by Jonas and Melanchthon in 1530).   

You are quite right, that Jonas and Melanchthon both worked on the German Apology.  That said, it is still generally granted "second class" status to the Latin.   It is not, as Bente and others from Missouri have (and sometimes still do) a "loose" translation.   The German simply reveals that Jonas had begun his translation with the April/May quarto text, and as Melanchthon was finishing his revisions of the Octavo text, the German began to take it into account.  So, it isn't really a very "loose" translation, it just happens to reflect both Latin texts.   Christian Peters' book on the Apology flushes all this out in much more detail.   Is the German the "authoritative" German translation -- you betcha.   Just, historically speaking, it is a sort of blend between the quarto and octavo editions.   

Now -- WHY did they switch to including the quarto text in 1584, after Selneccer had used the octavo text in 1580?   Well, there are several possible explanations.
1.  See Chemnitz' comments in the Iudicium.  It seems as though he favored the quarto text at some parts due to its more effective countering of Reformed doctrine.  Being that the quarto had not been published for some time as an edition of the Apology, it may have been deemed a better "fit" for their then-more-relevant disputes with the Reformed, and reformed-leaning princes.   

2.  It may parallel their decision to go with the AC as, they had supposed, it was delivered to the Emperor on June 25, 1530.   The April/May "quarto" Apology had also been the edition that was initially sent to the Emperor (he had given the Lutherans an April due date to respond to the Confutation).   It may simply have been a decision to consistently abide by the same "textual principle" with the Apology as they had with the AC (a point which had been hotly debated, particularly at Naumberg in 1561).   

3.  It could be that due to the prominence of the octavo text in the Corpus Doctrinae Philippicum that the inclusion of the quarto was a way of distancing the Latin Concordia from the C.D.P.   

Another brief note -- as far as I can tell, the German Apology of 1531 pretty much stuck as-is throughout the 16th Century.  Melanchthon did make several revisions to the German Apology, most notably in 1533, but it doesn't seem as far as I can tell that Melanchthon's *later* revisions of the German Apology were ever widely accepted.  You can glance at the various revisions made to the text in Corpus Ref.  I haven't done an extensive comparison of the revisions of 1533 to the Jonas/Melanchthon translation as included in the 1580 BoC, but from the little bit I've looked, the 1533 revisions didn't get carried through.

Also, regarding the comment that it was "impossible to improve upon," I'm not sure if Melanchthon ever said that -- if he did, it must have either been hyperbole, or he soon changed his mind, because he made constant "improvements" upon it throughout his life -- even if they weren't widely received.  As previously mentioned, most notably in 1533.   Luther said something similar about the Apology, in general, though not explicitly referencing the German translation, "I have read Master Philip's Apologia, and it pleases me very much. I know of nothing to improve or change in it, and that would not be appropriate anyway, for I cannot tread so softly and gently as he." (WA Briefe, 5, No. 1568, 319-320).

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