Preface to the Triglot Concordia - by. F. Bente
Memorialized by the Faculty of Concordi Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, assembled as Fifteenth Delegate Synod from June 20 to 29, 1917, at Milwaukee, Wis., unanimously passed the very appropriate resolution to publish as a Memorial of the Quadricentennial of the Glorious Reformation, a German-Latin-English edition of the Book of Concord containing the Symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The work on Concordia Triglotta was begun immediately. Chiefly owing to the economic conditions created by the World War, however, the completion of the large undertaking was delayed much longer than anticipated. And the fact that we are now in a position to write the Preface to the finished book, together with its detailed Indixes and extensive Historical Introductions, we regard and gratefully acknowledge as a special favor of God, whom alone also we credit with whatever merit any one may anywhere justly ascribe to this work, or any part of it . . .
While I, the undersigned, alone am responsible for the Latin and German texts, the English translation of the Triglot is throughout the joint effort of Prof. W. H. T. Dau and myself. It is based on the original German and Latin texts, respectively, and on the existing English translations, chiefly those incorporated in Jacobs' Book of Concord.
The Preface to the Christian Book of
Concord , the Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, and the treatise Of the Power and Primacy of the Pope are translated from the Latin; the Smalcald Articles, the two Catechisms of Luther, the Formula of Concord, and the Visitation Articles, from the German. In the Catalog of Testimonies the translation of the introduction, the ten theses, and the conclusion are based on the German text, while the passages quoted from "Orthodox Antiquity" are translated from the original Greek and Latin, respectively . . .
Whatever in the texts of the Triglot is included in brackets does not belong to the text proper. When reading the longer passages, it may perhaps, in some instances, be advisable simply to skip the brackets in order not to disturb the natural flow of a period.
Church differs from all other churches in being essentially the Church of the pure Word and unadulterated Sacraments. Not the great number of her adherents, not her organizations, not her charitable and other institutions, not her beutiful customs and liturgical forms, etc., but the precious truths confessed in her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power.
Church ignored her symbols or rejected all or some of them, there she always fell an easy prey to her enemies. But wherever she held fast to her God-given crown, esteemed and studied her confessions, and actually made them a norm and standard of her entire life and practice, there the
Church flourished and confounded all her enemies.
Accordingly, if Lutherans truly love their Church, and desire and seek her welfare, they must be faithful to her confessions and constantly be on their guard lest any one rob her of her treasure. To strengthen this loyalty and to further and facilitate the study of our "Golden Concordia,"—such is the object also of this Jubilee Edition—the Triglot Concordia.
May God be pleased, as in the past, so also in the future, to bless our Church, and graciously keep her in the true and only saving Christian faith as set forth and confessed in Lutheran symbols, whose paramount object is to maintain the gem of Luther's Reformation, the blessed doctrine of salvation by grace only, which most wonderfully magnifies the great glory of our God, and alone is able to impart solid comfort to poor sinners.
St. Louis - July 4, 1921
[Italic and bold emphasis added]