The Book of Concord is the set of documents that comprise the Lutheran confessions. It is the fundamental beliefs of the Lutheran church. Included are the Preface, Ecumenical Creeds, Augsburg Confession, Apology (Defense) of the Augsburg Confession, Smalcald Articles, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Luther’s Small Catechism, Luther’s Large Catechism, Epitome of the Formula of Concord, and Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord. Additionally, there are four appendices to the original Book of Concord of 1580: Saxon Visitation Articles, Catalog of Testimonies, Luther’s Baptismal Booklet, and Luther’s Marriage Booklet. These works are written by four principle authors: Martin Luther, Philip Melanchthon, Martin Chemnitz, and Jakob Andreae.
Martin Luther was a great reformer of the church. Opposing many errors of the church in Rome in the late Middle-Ages, he wrote an enormous volume of writings, which can be found incompletely above. Far from a systematic writer, Luther generally wrote pastoral theology. Despite the common depiction by others, Luther’s personal works are not binding to the theology of the Lutheran church, but they are considered to be written in great wisdom.
Luther’s Bondage of the Will (1525) is one of his greatest works. Luther himself claims this. In response to theologian Desiderius Erasmus’ Freedom of the Will (1524), Luther sought to write on the bondage of man to his sinful nature.
Numerous sects broke off of the western church between the Great Schism from the East in 1054 and Luther’s condemnation at the Edict of Worms in 1521. Many of these sects were entirely heretical, embracing old heresies or denying the Biblical and historical teaching of the church in novel developments. In contrast, John Wycliffe (1328-1384) and Jan Hus (1372-1415) sought to reform the church without breaking from historic orthodoxy. While Wycliffe and his followers (known as Lollards) were certainly not Lutherans (in fact, they are mentioned for their incorrect doctrine in the Lutheran confessions) nor Roman Catholics, they sought many reforms for which Lutherans would later advocate. Jan Hus and his followers (known as Hussites) were much closer to Lutheranism and even maintained full fellowship with Lutherans for a time. Fighting for the authority of scripture and against many abuses of the Roman church, Luther saw his reflection in these figures and declared at the Edict of Worms where he was condemned, “Ja, ich bin Hussite.” [Yes, I am a Hussite]. Sadly, many works of Lollards and Hussites remain untranslated.
Studium is the journal of confessional language studies at Martin Luther College. It fosters the study of the confessional languages at Martin Luther College and in Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod by publishing original, English translations of historic Latin and German resources drawn from the Lutheran tradition in both Europe and the United States. Studium is published by the students in confessional languages studies at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN, along with contributions from MLC alumni who participated in those studies.
“Next to the Bible and St. Augustine, no book has ever come into my hands from which I have learned more of God and Christ, and man and all things that are.” – Martin Luther
Theologia Germanica is a 14th century mystical work by an anonymous author (though perhaps Joahnn Tauler). Luther (and later Lutheran theologians) drew heavily from this work in developing their own theology, particularly theology of faith.
While most Protestant traditions have easily identifiable confessions, Baptists are odd in that they often were non-unified in doctrine or failed to hold to particular confessional standards. The other Protestant confessions can be found here. While the most common resources were the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith and Keach’s Catechism (for Reformed/Particular Baptists) and the Orthodox Creed (for Arminian/General Baptists), these are from from comprehensive. The resource above includes nearly all common Baptist confessions and catechisms, with only a select few absent.
Gottesdienst exists to promote and defend the historic liturgy of the Church, as it has come to us from Western Christendom. Publishing blog posts, academic works, and other Confessional Lutheran resources, Gottesdienst is a wealth of knowledge not only on liturgy but also on sermons and exegesis.
Concordia Theological Quarterly Journal is the official academic journal of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Four issues are released each year containing academic works by theologians of the Lutheran church.
CTSFW’s Media Library has numerous essays and free publications from Lutheran theologians including many of the best sermons and essays of 20th and 21st century dogmaticians.
“[The Book of Concord] has introduced no new, strange, self-devised, unheard-of paradoxes and expressions into the Church of God.” – Catalog of Testimonies
The church fathers are abounding in wisdom. While the entirety of the fathers is unavailable in any single location. Most prominent works can be found above. Rooted deeply in historical theology, Lutherans prize the fathers as important roots to our theology and often utilize their opinions in matters of doctrinal dispute and Biblical exegesis.
CCEL is an archive of an enormous volume of Christian literature throughout all of history. Books by the church fathers, medieval theologians, reformation theologians, and modern theologians can be accessed for free in their archives.
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was an Italian Dominican friar that wrote extensively in the scholastic tradition. Drawing on the theology of the church fathers, later theologians, the scriptures, and the greatest philosophers in history, Aquinas wrote an enormous volume of content. While much of what he writes is not according to the theology of the Lutheran tradition, he is still tremendously useful. The Summa Theologiae is his greatest work, though sadly remains unfinished.