Fortress Press

The Book of Concord (New Translation): The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Book of Concord (New Translation)

The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

Robert Kolb (Editor), Timothy J. Wengert (Editor)


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Commissioned in 1993, this translation of The Book of Concord brings a new generation of scholarship and sensitivities to bear on the foundational texts of Lutheran identity. The fifth English translation since 1851, this edition succeeds that edited by Theodore Tappert published in 1959 by Muhlenburg Press.

A review of the text in light of a mountain of new scholarship and other factors dictated the new translation and apparatus, including changes in the English language over the past forty years, differences in the training and preparation of seminarians and pastors, limitations in the introductions and annotations to the various parts of the book, new knowledge of the history and theology of these very documents, and the occasional error in Tappert's translation.

Kolb and Wengert's team of leading Reformation historians was augmented by consultation with one hundred other scholars and teachers who use The Book of Concord continually, and two other teams of scholars who have reviewed the translations. In coming years, two volumes of related documents will follow.

Benefits of this new translation:

  • Expanded introductions and annotations offer richer historical context
  • New translation aims at accessible but accurate translation
  • Format is easier to read and use
  • Leading American scholars have been involved or consulted
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780800627409
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 792
  • Publication Date August 4, 2000


"This is an important book that contains the doctrinal writings of the Lutheran church prepared by Martin Luther and his followers. ...If anyone, regardless of denomination, wishes to know what the Lutheran church teaches, this is the book that will answer those questions. ...

"[The 1959 Tappert translation of the Book of Concord] served the church well for more than four decades. But the reasons for replacing Tappert with Kolb/Wengert are three: 1. ...The current edition speaks clearly to contemporary readers. 2. Scholarship on the Lutheran doctrinal writings has increased dramatically in this past generation. 3. Extensive introductions and notes make this book useful to the general reader as well as to the specialist. ...

"Make this book available so members of your congregation can join the discussion."

— reviewed by Rod Olson in Lutheran Libraries (spring 2001)

Table of Contents



    Editors' Introduction to the Book of Concord

    Title Page to the Book of Concord (1580)

    Preface to the Book of Concord (1580)

    The Three Ecumenical Creeds

    The Augsburg Confession (1530)

    Apology of the Augsburg Confession (September 1531)

    The Smalcald Articles (1537)

    Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope (1537)

    The Small Catechism (1529)

    The Large Catechism (1529)

    Formula of Concord (1577)

    Index of Biblical References

    Biographical Index

    Subject Index