We have many books to recommend. This list is actually quite abbreviated.
Our goal is education about our Faith and about our Savior. To jump to a specific heading,
you can choose:
Bibles, Confessions of Faith, Doctrine,
Bible Study and Other Topics, Ordering Info
This is perhaps the toughest area to recommend. There are numerous
Bible translations and paraphrases in today's market. Some of them are good. Most of them
are questionable for one reason or another. No matter who translates the original Hebrew
(Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) into English, there is some interpretation
taking place. A translator must take into consideration the original language, grammar,
historical setting, cultural nuances, etc. Such a work is very difficult. There is no
exact correlation between English and the original languages of the Bible. The translator
must bring the meaning across for what's been written in a manner that is understood by
the audience of today.
Within this work there are many terms and concepts to relate. The
attempt by many modern Bible translators to simplify the language has resulted in the loss
of many theological concepts and Biblical terms such as Justification, Repentance,
Sanctification, Two Natures of Christ, Virgin Birth, Messianic
Prophecies, and the Sacraments. A proper translation will not shy away from
using complex terminology that exists in the original writings.
That being said, what do we recommend? Several choices. The Bible
student will not rely on one translation, but several. Each one has its own merits and
they are best used together to see how different verses are translated.
King James Version
The classic for many generations. The poetry and rich language of
"King James English" is hard to top. Most of the theological terms we're
familiar with came to the English-speaking world in the KJV. While many non-theological
terms are no longer used today, the KJV remains one of the standards. Originally
translated in 1611, the copies sold today are a revision of 1769 (plus some later minor
New King James Version
A revision of the KJV. Modern English is used while still preserving
poetry and theological terminology. Plus, with recent archaeological discoveries of
ancient manuscripts, the translators have more material to work with than in 1611. That
and more knowledge of Hebrew and Greek have resulted in revising some sections of the
original KJV that were in error.
An American Translation
Now out of print, this version is a translation done by William F.
Beck. A desire to keep the Bible in modern American English while maintaining doctrinal
purity resulted in a worthy translation.
The New Testament: God's Word to the Nations
Only available in the New Testament, and now sadly out of print.
This was a revision of Dr. Beck's AAT (mentioned above). Containing many study helps and
numerous cross references, this was a great addition to the Bible student's library. The
attempt to revise the AAT Old Testament and publish the complete Bible did not turn out as
expected. The resulting translation fell victim to oversimplification and unclear
teaching. It cannot be recommended.
New American Standard Bible
The aim of this translation was to be a faithful rendering of the
original Hebrew and Greek. It sticks very close to the grammatical pattern of these two
languages and therefore doesn't lose much meaning. The reading is rather "stiff"
compared to other versions. This makes the NASB better for study vs. public reading.
The Book of Concord
This is the book for knowing what Lutherans believe. It's
what the Lutheran Reformers wrote down in explaining their position to their opponents
during the Lutheran Reformation. The most common edition available today is the
translation by Theodore G. Tappert.
Introductions to the Book of Concord
This book is a must read for the student of the Lutheran
Confessions. It is written by F. Bente. This book digs deeper into the historical context
and theological discussions that pertain to the Reformation and contents of the Book of
Available in many versions, we recommend the annotated
version by Edward W.A. Koehler. It contains numerous notes by Koehler with Scriptural
references. This book is excellent for the entire family. The Small Catechism is one of
the writings that composes the Book of Concord.
* The link takes you to an online text of Luther's Small Catechism. It
does not contain the annotations by Koehler.
This Mean? Catechesis in the Lutheran Congregation
Written by Dr. A.L. Barry, President of the LCMS. This booklet explains
Christian instruction in the church and its importance. The primary focus is on Luther's
Small and Large Catechisms. Christian instruction throughout history is examined and
compared to the needs of the church today.
A Summary of Christian Doctrine
An excellent book on doctrine, also by Edward W.A. Koehler. Explains
in detail all the major doctrines of the church. A very good book for those who wish for
more detail than is offered in the catechism.
Light from Above: A Popular Presentation of Christian Doctrine
Written by Alfred W. Koehler to answer in broader terms and settings
the contemporary questions people have about God.
The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel
A series of lectures by Dr. C.F.W. Walther to explain the difference
between the Law (what God demands of man) and Gospel (what God has done for man).
God's No and God's Yes
A condensed version of Walther's Law and Gospel. This is handy for
those who are looking for a shorter introduction to this subject.
Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant
Subtitled, "A Doctrinal Comparison of Three Christian
Confessions". Written by Dr. Gregory L. Jackson. This books looks at the areas of
agreement, partial agreement, and complete divergence between the three main branches of
Christianity. Those concerned with how the churches have changed in the last hundred years
should read Dr. Jackson's analysis.
This is the set of books on doctrine for confessional
Lutherans. Written by Francis Pieper, this 3 volume set (4 with the index volume), is used
in the seminaries for training our pastors in systematic theology (explanation of all
religious truth in an organized manner). While containing some words in Hebrew, Greek, and
Latin, this book is easily read by the layman. Those serious students of Scripture and
Lutheranism cannot do without this set.
Church and Ministry
Translated by J.T. Mueller. An explanation of the theological
reason for the structure of the Christian congregation and how members are involved in the
process. Written by C.F.W. Walther, this book is one of two our congregation adheres to in
its structural outline of the congregation.
The True Visible Church and The Form of a
Translated by J.T. Mueller. Two of C.F.W. Walther's famous works
in one volume. Explores the definition of the visible church and how the Lutheran Church
fits that definition. Also, a more thorough examination of how a church is structured.
This volume is one of two our congregation adheres to in its structural outline of the
congregation. This particular translation is now out of print.
Walther on the Church
Translated by John M. Drickamer. An abridged version of the contents
of the two books by C.F.W. Walther that are listed above.
The People's Bible Commentary Series
A multi-volume commentary set on the whole Bible. Written with the
layman in mind, this series is a welcome addition to the Christian home. New volumes are
still being published, but the majority of the set is complete.
Pray: A Study of Prayer and the Devotional Life
Prayer is important in the life of the Christian. Dr. A.L. Barry
explores prayer through the history of the church and how it should be practiced. A fine
booklet by the president of the LCMS.
Unchanging Feast: The Nature and Basis of Christian Worship
Another booklet by Dr. A.L. Barry. With today's confusion on what
takes place in a worship service (focus on God vs. entertainment), this booklet explores
historically and scripturally where the focus of the service should be.
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
Written by Roland H. Bainton, a non-Lutheran, this is a
good historical outline of the Reformer's life for the layman.
Commentary on Romans
Available from several publishers, both in full and condensed
versions. This is Martin Luther's key book that helped lead to the Reformation. Written by
Luther in a clear style, the reader will gain insight into Paul's letter to the Roman
Christians. This applies just as much today as when it was written.
In Search of the Biblical Order: 2nd Edition
What is the source of patterns in the Biblical text, and what is their purpose? Questions such as these were posed by many lay people, clergy, and scholars who read the author's 1987 first edition of In Search of the Biblical Order. That volume—the result of nine years of study, research, and preparation, and the only known book on the subject of patterns in the Biblical text at that time—focused on the presentation of data, rather than delving into the meaning and implication of pattern discovery.
Now, following 25 years of further study and data accumulation, the author explains the meaning and significance of textual patterns in the Bible, while addressing the far-reaching implications of these patterns for the origin, authenticity, and quality of the Biblical text we have today.
Reclaiming the Gospel in the LCMS: How to Keep Your Congregation Lutheran
This book explores the current trends in Lutheranism today that are
taking the church away from its historical mission. Rev. Jack Cascione lists several
changes that have taken place in the church in the past few decades and how it can be
corrected. Published by Lutheran News, this book can only be ordered through the
publisher. Their telephone number is 573-237-3110.
It's difficult to list all the books we could recommend. The Christian life is
one of constant learning and growth. These are but a few of the many fine works that we
commend to you. If you have a special need or book you are hoping is "out
there", feel free to contact our pastor
or the web designer.
Most of the publications listed above can be obtained from one of the following
publishers. Use their toll-free number or click on the logos to go to their websites.
||Northwestern Publishing House
||Concordia Publishing House
The following book sources are for all types of books. We do not endorse all of
the material these locations may sell. However, we have found them to be good
resources for out-of-print and hard-to-find books on Lutheranism, Church History,
|| Both AddALL
and BookFinder provide a search engine that is
linked to multiple booksellers around the world. While both sites search most of the
same listings of booksellers, they are different enough that between them you get a pretty
Keep in mind that some results will overlap since many booksellers are listed
numerous times on multiple bookselling websites.
|| Biblio lists multiple booksellers from around the world. The site also contains a Want Ads section where you can list a book you're looking for but haven't been
able to find. Biblio is also indexed by AddALL and BookFinder.
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