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Forever young in Christ

Forever young in Christ

Campus ministry provides an opportunity to continue to reach the younger generation with the saving message of God’s grace.

Glenn L. Schwanke

The Supper is ready. The invitation to come forward has been given. I stand before the Lord’s altar holding the paten, the small plate that holds the consecrated wafers. I watch as the first table of communicants comes forward—when it hits me. They are all so young!

Those of you who know me might quip, “Well, you’re no spring chicken anymore. Fifty-year-olds probably look like kids to you.” Point well taken. But so many of the communicants coming forward aren’t 50, or 40, or even 30. They are in their late teens or early 20s. They are part of the Millennial Generation. They are college students, young men and women who are growing up in a world so different from the one I experienced at their age.

Millennials can’t remember a world without the Internet, personal computers, smart phones, GPS, and social media. From the time they were toddlers, they’ve heard terms like climate change and green energy. For many of them, 9/11 is ancient history that must be learned from textbooks. Al Qaeda and Bin Laden are yesterday’s news. Same-sex marriage is fast becoming America’s societal norm. Many, including some of those who stand behind the podiums in college classrooms, have abandoned the concept of absolute right and wrong.

And what about Christianity? Far too many ridicule all religion as nothing more than silly, ancient superstition—little more than road kill to be scraped into the ditch of modern life.

Surrounded by such a dense fog of conflicting thoughts, it’s a wonder that a single college student still comes to worship regularly. But they come, even though Mom and Dad don’t swoop into their dorm rooms on a Sunday morning to rouse them out of bed. These students fill our chapel. They listen attentively. They sing powerfully.

And they come forward to the communion table, heeding the age-old invitation: “Take and eat. Take and drink.” They come hungering and thirsting for that one meal where the menu never changes. “This is my body. This is my blood.” And like countless generations of Christians before them, they leave the table possessing a gift worth more than all the wisdom, power, and money in the world—“the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

So many pastors tell me how their congregations are graying along with them. “All the young people are moving away or staying away.” But I know of a place where young people still come. Actually, I know of many such places. It is happening in Campus Ministry, where your sons and daughters and your grandsons and granddaughters still come to learn about Jesus, who is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

After all the other communicants have come forward, at last, it is my turn. The elder stands before me with the paten. As I kneel, one knee creaks. My lower back pops. My right shoulder throbs. But then I eat, and then I drink. And the distant triumph song of my Savior takes hold of my heart: “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5).

Now the Supper is ended. The benediction is spoken. I look out at the congregation, and it hits me. They, we, are all so young. Forever young in Christ. The words of the psalmist ring true: “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits— . . . who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:2,5).

Glenn Schwanke, pastor at Peace, Houghton, Michigan, serves as campus pastor at Michigan Technological University. 

 

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Author: Timothy J. Spaude
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

WELS Historical Institute

The WELS Historical Institute recently received a complete set of Luther’s Works published from 1729-33 in Leipzig, Germany. The 24-volume set was given to the institute by the John Hoenecke family. It was originally purchased by Pastor Otto Hoenecke, longtime director at Michigan Lutheran Seminary, and given to his grandson, Pastor John Hoenecke. These books arrange Luther’s writings in topical fashion, with two volumes bound together, for a total of 12 large pigskin books. Published by Johann Zedler in the German language, they are among the earliest complete compilations of all of Luther’s writings. This collection was added to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary’s Rare Book Room at a ceremony in November 2014. In addition to members of the Historical Institute Board, several members of the John Hoenecke family were present, including John’s widow, Arline, and four sons, Jon, David, Mark, and Joe.

 

Author:
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

 

Who will roll the stone away

“Who will roll the stone away?”

God has the answers for all the difficult questions in life.

Timothy J. Spaude

Their hearts were broken. Jesus was dead. They faced tragedy or loss as we often do. They decided to do something. Do anything.

Mark tells us that when the Sabbath was over (6 P.M. on Saturday) Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Just after sunrise they hurried to Jesus’ tomb. But on the way they experienced one of those “oops” moments. “Who will roll the stone away?” they asked each other.

Good question. The typical tomb for a wealthy man like Joseph of Arimathea was hollowed out of rock. A large, round, quarried stone several inches thick and four to five feet in diameter was positioned near the entrance. Then the heavy stone was rolled over the entrance. The women needed more help to open the tomb than they brought. “Who will roll the stone away?” Good question.

   God answer! When they got to the tomb, the stone had already been rolled away, but not by any manpower. It was God power. An angel of the Lord had rolled the stone away. All their worries and concerns over the problem of the stone had been needless. God had things under control. Their tears and sadness, doubts and fears had been needless too. Jesus was not dead! “He is risen, just as he said,” the angel told them. God’s answer to their good question was more than they could have imagined or hoped for.

That same God is active in our lives too. Easter gives us an opportunity each year to revisit the empty tomb and be reminded of the power of God, who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. We have our own good questions that come from trying times. “How will I go on without him?” the grieving widow asks. Good question. Death hurts. God answer! “You won’t live without me. I will be with you and provide you with what you need to go on until you see me and him again.”

“What’s going on in our world? Where will it end?” Good question. Morality disappears. Division and lawlessness grow. It seems we are spiraling out of control. God answer! “I am in control. I have been raising up and tearing down countries for thousands of years to advance the plan of salvation. This too fits in my plan.”

“How will we make it?” the Christian couple asks after a downsizing leaves the breadwinner jobless. Good question. There are bills to pay. God answer!“Don’t worry. Look at the birds in the air and the lilies in the field. I take care of them and I take care of you. Sometimes I hide behind jobs. Sometimes I hide behind other means of income. When you pray for daily bread, I provide.”

We don’t know exactly how God will take care of our dilemmas any more than the women on Easter morning did. But did you notice something? The women kept going! Look how God worked that out!

I wonder if the women learned from their experience. The next time they faced a dilemma, did they smile to themselves? Did they remember that when they are facing something out of their control they can count on the God of Easter to fix their problem in just the right way?

Will we learn? Will we learn from the God who sacrificed his Son for us? We can. Live each day with Easter in mind.

Who will roll the stone away? God will, of course. Jesus lives!

Timothy Spaude is pastor at St. Jacobi, Greenfield, Wisconsin.

 

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Author: Timothy J. Spaude
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

Relief efforts for Malawi flood victims

Relief efforts have been ongoing in the flood-damaged areas of Malawi. WELS missionaries in Malawi, leaders from the Lutheran Church of Central Africa-Malawi (LCCA), WELS Christian Aid and Relief, and WELS Kingdom Workers have been collaborating to meet the needs of affected LCCA members from WELS’ sister synod in Malawi. So far, Christian Aid and Relief has designated $50,000 to relief efforts, but initial assessments indicate that needs are extensive and ongoing.

In January, Malawi experienced damaging floods that destroyed or damaged the homes of an estimated 3,200 LCCA families and nearly 20 LCCA church buildings. The floods also washed away crops, depleting the local food supplies, and increased the threat of diseases such as malaria and cholera.

So far, Kingdom Workers volunteers and LCCA leaders, working with Christian Aid and Relief, have been distributing supply buckets with sheet plastic, nails, and blankets to provide temporary housing to affected families. To help expedite the travel and delivery process, Christian Aid and Relief is funding two more Kingdom Workers volunteers to rent additional trucks in Malawi and get supplies to members more quickly.

WELS Christian Aid and Relief Director of Operations Mark Vance traveled to Malawi in March to assess the damage and to determine ongoing relief needs, particularly food and medical needs in addition to the structural damage to homes and churches.

LCCA members are thankful for the support. “How can we thank God enough for you, our brothers and sisters in America! You have poured out your earnest prayers like a mighty flood before God’s throne. You do not know our names and we do not know yours, yet you have come to our assistance,” says Riphat Matope, president of the LCCA-Malawi Synod. “These gifts of love do more than warm our bodies in the cold hours of the night. They warm our hearts, for now we know that you are one with us in Christ!”

To help support relief efforts, you can donate online (choose Christian Aid and Relief) or send checks to WELS, Re: Christian Aid and Relief, N16W23377 Stone Ridge Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188.

 

Author:
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

 

Heart to heart: Parent conversations: Jealousy

What do we do when our children struggle with jealousy?

Since Cain and Abel, the devil has used jealousy to drive a wedge between siblings and make parents crazy. What can we do to help equip our children—and ourselves—for this battle? This month’s Heart to heart authors provide their perspectives. 

For a deeper look into the account of Cain and Abel, read “Sin that entangles” at blog.nph.net. 


God’s timing is always perfect. I received an e-mail asking me to write about jealousy among siblings right after I received the call from the director of the upcoming young actors’ production. The news came in; Micah didn’t receive a part, and his brother Silas did. Micah is the one who has been in a number of productions. Silas has only auditioned once before. This was setting up to be the perfect scenario for a great article on jealousy. All I had to do was watch and see what happens.

The first day of rehearsal came. Silas got ready to go. Micah got up from his video game, walked him out, and said, “Have fun, Silas. You will have a blast.”

Wait, what? Where was the drama? Where was the anger? And most important, where was the jealousy?

When I had a chance to talk to Micah one-on-one, I asked him, “How are you doing it?”

“Doing what?”

“Every day you are watching Silas do something that you love. And you are being so gracious and encouraging. How are you doing it?”

He replied, “I don’t know. I guess I just focus on him more than myself.”

Our conversation led to the old Cherokee legend that talks about the battle going on inside each one of us. In the legend there is the battle between a good wolf and an evil wolf. The battle is won by the wolf that we feed.

As Christians we know this battle. It is the battle between our flesh and the Spirit. One is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride, superiority, and ego. The other is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self -control. Which one wins? The one that we feed.

Micah knows who he is in Christ. He gets what it means to love others. He gets what it means to put others before himself. The fruit of this child shows his relationship with his heavenly Father is living and active. Ah, if only I could “get it” like my 12-year-old son.

This doesn’t mean that tears have not been shed. It doesn’t mean that Micah doesn’t struggle when he thinks about seeing his brother on stage while he will be in the audience. What it does mean is that in these struggles, he knows he has a choice: a choice to walk in the flesh or to walk in the Spirit. Our most important job as parents is to cultivate our children’s relationship with their Savior. The more they know who our God is, the more they know his voice, and the more they walk with him.

Jenni Schubring and her husband, Tad, have four children.


 

“It’s not fair,” my granddaughter insisted. “He’s playing with the toy I want!”

Jealousy. It’s inextricably woven into the fabric of family life. Siblings constantly compare who has the biggest or the best, who is most loved or most favored, who got the largest piece or the lesser penalty.

“It’s not fair!” Anger radiated from her stance. Eyes glared. Lower lip pouted. Elbows flared from her hips like flying buttresses.

Jealousy springs from the sin-infected core that festers in us all. It’s more obvious in children because they haven’t learned to mask it as well as adults. It’s apparent in the 7-month-old who doesn’t want anyone else, even Dad, to hug Mom. It’s in the 27-month-old who insists that the toy he tired of ten minutes ago still belongs to him. It’s in the 7-year-old who has learned to cover over her jealousy by calling for fairness. It’s in the seventh-grader who didn’t make the cut for the basketball team and is angry with those who did. It’s in the 17-year-old who contends that he alone, of all his friends, lacks a cell phone.

“It’s not fair!” she shouted again. This time her right foot punched against the floor . . . once, then a second time.

You might expect some advice at this point about helping kids recognize how jealousy has clawed out of their hearts, but this article is heading in another direction. A more personal, introspective direction.

I’m uncomfortable seeing jealousy in my grandkids because I know that I wrestle with it. We never outgrow sin’s selfishness, so none of us ever outgrows jealousy. Worse, jealousy is more infectious than the flu. I recognize that at times I teach everyone around me more about being jealous of others than about being content with the gifts my heavenly Father has given me.

I have to face it: My granddaughter’s selfish indignation was, to some degree, a reflection of the jealousy she had seen in me. I taught her how to grumble about a friend who has a larger bedroom, a newer doll, or a faster computer. I demonstrated for her how to express pained injustice when someone else stole “my parking place” at Walmart. She even might have seen me pout when the family voted down my choice for the last Netflix movie.

Helping my grandchildren overcome jealousy means I must face my own jealousies. My apology for failing to set a better example will go farther than the wag of an accusing finger. Even better is rejoicing together over God’s forgiving grace.

But why stop there? Think of the power in teaming up against jealousy. My grandkids and I can commit to encouraging each other to be content, whatever our circumstances. How wonderful to hear, “Papa, quit complaining. Jesus always provides everything that’s important.”

James Aderman and his wife, Sharon, raised three daughters and are now enjoying their grandchildren. 


 

On our son’s first night home from the hospital, then three-year-old Anna, truly thrilled to be a big sister but exhausted from all the excitement, proclaimed angrily as she went off to bed, “Everything is not fair!” I’ve spent the last two-and-a-half years trying to convince her that what she proclaimed that night was truth.

Nobody warned me that I’d need a training course in refereeing to parent two children. My life has suddenly turned into constant repetition of the phrases: “Work it out!” “Get off of your sister!” “Use your gentle hands!” and “I love both of you very much, neither more than the other.” Though my kids adore each other—it’s truly a blessing how well they usually play together—neither of them likes to feel that the other is getting a larger share of attention, fun, or other good things.

Anna had a loose tooth. Henry pretended his teeth were loose. Anna got mad that Henry was trying to steal her thunder.

Henry and I went to the zoo on a sunny morning to give him something to do other than systematically destroy our house. Anna found out after she got home from school and was angry she didn’t get to go along. Henry saw her reaction and talked about nothing but lions for the remainder of the day, resulting in Anna seething not-so-silently throughout dinner.

Anna, as a first-grader, gets to participate in fun activities like school, Lutheran Girl Pioneers, and birthday parties. Henry often has a hard time understanding that younger siblings are not always welcome at these events and that his time for these activities is coming.

Determining my role in their developing relationship has been tricky for me. I want them both to be happy. Don’t all mothers wish that for their children? But happiness is not a constant, nor a guarantee. So I try to focus on teaching them to deal in healthy ways with the frustrations and disappointments that come with the many great blessings of having a sibling. There will be times when things aren’t equal. There will be situations that are unfair. But I want them each to have the stability of knowing they are loved, regardless of what is going on in the moment.

I want them to enjoy the same experiences and to know that I want to spend time with them both. I hope they grow from this playmate/enemy relationship into a close friendship like I now enjoy with my adult brother and sister. But there’s only one of me. And between trying to keep us all fed, in clean clothes—at least until a spill or fall change that—and somewhat entertained, balance is a bit hard to achieve. Henry, as most two-year-olds are apt to do, requires a lot more of my attention than six-year-old Anna does. Some days she handles this well. Other days, I’m thankful she doesn’t have access to eBay to rid herself of her sweet but pesky brother.

It’s normal and natural for siblings to fight and argue. My goal is to teach them that, while life isn’t always fair, they are, regardless of circumstances, loved immensely by God and their parents. My hope is that by loving them each for who they are, they will grow into adult siblings who can love and support each other.

And maybe along the way the “stop looking at me!” fight will die out. A mom can dream. . . .

Kerry Ognenoff and her husband, Andy, have two young children. 

 

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Author: Multiple
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

Confessions of faith: Todd

After trying out a variety of religions and practices in a search for contentment, a dog trainer finds that God’s Word alone fills his soul.

Rachel Hartman

Buddhism, Mormonism, and Episcopalian teachings. West Todd has experience with all of them, and many more. “I constantly tried to find something that made sense and that I could hold to,” he recalls. Nothing stuck.

When he came across WELS during his adult years, however, a long pattern was broken. “The fact that I don’t have to be 100 percent perfect to be a child of God was the most wonderful message to me,” he says. “The peace of forgiveness came shining through.”

A LARGE SAMPLING

Todd grew up in Virginia. As a child, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents, who attended a Southern Baptist church in the area. He became particularly close to his grandfather during this time. “My grandparents were very religious, and I went to church with them almost every Sunday,” says Todd.

He also went to other churches with his father. “Dad was always looking for God,” he recalls. With his dad, he attended a Methodist church and an Episcopalian church for a while. But even though he went to church services, Todd found it difficult to connect to a particular religion.

When he was in high school, Todd’s father and stepmother at the time became Mormons. Todd did too. He was even called to go on a mission as a Mormon, but he declined. “I didn’t think it was the right thing,” he explains.

Finding what was right proved to be difficult. Todd was active in theater during his high school years and loved singing too. He grew attached to these activities and not to anything related to the church. “I memorized poems and plays, but not spiritual things,” he says.

Then, when Todd was in college, his grandfather passed away. “I took it really hard,” he notes. Overwhelmed with grief, Todd searched for something to help him feel better. “I tried everything, drugs, alcohol, to feel whole,” he says. Instead of healing, he sunk down further. “I felt worthless and guilty and that I had made so many mistakes I wouldn’t be able to get out of this hole.”

HITTING BOTTOM

Todd’s life continued to dip into a downward spiral. He says, “I realized if I continued on that track I would kill myself.” Finding a solution seemed impossible. Todd turned to Eastern religions for a while and delved into Buddhism. “Everyone seemed so happy and peaceful, but even with meditation and yoga and trying to find myself, I never felt peace and never felt good enough.”

The rocky path kept going. Todd entered into a marriage that soon failed. “After that, I worked with a therapist for quite a while,” he recalls. Together they came up with a list of ten things that Todd’s future wife would have to have. “The list was so long I thought, ‘There’s no woman in the world that can meet all these things,’ ” says Todd.

At the time, Todd was working for a company in Virginia. He earned an award at the company and was invited to attend an event to receive it. The event brought in employees from a number of different states. During the event, Todd met another employee, Jennie, who was from Wisconsin. She was there to receive an award as well.

The two hit it off right away. “I grilled her for six hours and couldn’t find a single reason not to like her,” Todd remembers. She met all of the criteria he had mapped out with his therapist, and there was another interesting fact about her: she was Lutheran. “I loved the fact that she was religious, it was very grounding to me,” says Todd. “She told me church was important to her, and I said, ‘Not a problem. I’ve been to church before, and I can learn.’ ”

The two began dating, and Todd soon moved to Wisconsin. He took Bible instruction classes and became a member. Then, in 2007, West and Jennie got married.

GROWING IN FAITH

Todd’s initial impression of WELS was that it focused on truth. He appreciated that its stance on certain issues, such as creationism and homosexuality, was based on the Bible. “I had seen other religions that followed the Bible but pretended parts of it didn’t exist if they didn’t fit with an issue,” he says.

At the start of their marriage, West and Jennie continued to attend a WELS church. Then their daughter was born, and the couple knew they wanted her to attend a Lutheran school.

When his daughter turned 3, Todd went to sign her up at a nearby WELS school for preschool. While there, he began chatting with the pastor. “Pastor Marggraf asked me, ‘What spiritual things do you do with your daughter besides pray at the table and pray at night?’ ” The question struck Todd to the core. “I wasn’t doing anything more than that and thought I was doing a great job,” he says.

That conversation did more than just take Todd aback; it made him think about what he was doing in the home for religion. He started more daily activities, such as reading from a children’s Bible and sharing Bible stories with his daughter. “She was still really young, but it started me on the right track,” he explains.

Not long after, the family moved because of a promotion Jennie received. At the time, the couple had a daughter and a son and a baby on the way. The shift took them to South Carolina. “We started our home search by looking at where the churches were,” says Todd.

With the help of the WELS locator, the family found a church, Hope, Irmo, South Carolina, to attend. When they arrived, without any family in the area, they were immediately welcomed with open arms by the congregation.

And they, in return, found ways to help out. Todd taught a class to the teens at church, an activity he grew to love. “I told them about my past and let them know God will always be there for them,” he states.

Thirteen months later, the family moved to Michigan, again due to Jennie’s job. They were able to find a house that was close to a WELS school and church.

After 10 months, the family relocated once more, this time to Indiana. As before, with the help of the WELS locator, they found a congregation and school in the city of Granger. Now Todd stays at home during the day with the family’s three young children. He works as a dog trainer in the evenings and on the weekends. He and Jennie are active in church.

Getting into the Word and learning about Jesus’ amazing forgiveness has motivated Todd to show love to others. He is involved in the “Please Open the Door” initiative, which looks for ways to reach out to Mormons. “When I was a Mormon, no one pointed out to me where I was wrong in the Bible,” he explains. “I want to help plant the seed and try to help others see how happy they can be too.”

Rachel Hartman and her husband, Missionary Michael Hartman, serve in León, Mexico.

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Author: Rachel Hartman
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us

 

NPH to publish Lutheran Bible translation

Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) will be publishing a new translation of the Bible produced by the Wartburg Project, an independent Lutheran Bible translation effort by WELS and Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) pastors and professors.

Since late in 2013, more than 90 WELS and ELS pastors, professors, and others have been working through the Wartburg Project on the translation. The goal is to publish a New Testament and Psalms special edition in 2017, with a future date for the complete Bible yet to be determined.

NPH was chosen from among other publishers to publish this new translation. “Printing this translation aligns with NPH’s mission to ‘deliver biblically sound, Christ-centered resources within WELS and beyond,’ ” says Bill Ziche, NPH president. But he stresses that this will not be the only translation used by NPH in its materials. “NPH will continue to pursue an ‘eclectic approach,’ as directed by synod resolution, utilizing the best translation for the context of any given work. The Wartburg Project translation will be one translation option among others.”

Not funded, owned, or directed by WELS, the Wartburg Project formed after the 2013 synod convention. While convention delegates defeated a resolution calling for the synod praesidium to appoint a committee to explore producing a Lutheran translation of the Bible, discussion on the floor was encouraging for those who wanted to work on a translation on their own. “There were a number of groups doing that,” says Prof. John Brug, general editor and Old Testament editor for the Wartburg Project. “We thought, why not try to bring everyone together under one umbrella in a purely positive project.”

Brug says the Wartburg Project’s goal is to aim for the “middle road” in its translation. “We feel there are some translations that depart fairly freely, not necessarily from the biblical meaning, but they don’t preserve a lot of the traditional biblical language. On the other hand there are some translations that are kind of wooden and hard to read, but they’re quite close to the biblical language. We’re trying to aim for the middle spot.” He says that means they will preserve traditional biblical idioms like “the glory of the Lord” and “manger” but also look for better ways to say things that may be confusing in other translations.

While the translation is based on the original Hebrew and Greek texts, translators also will be building on the heritage of the English translations that already are available. “From the beginning, I’ve enjoyed saying that we are standing on the shoulders of giants,” says Pastor Brian Keller, New Testament editor. “We are not trying to reinvent the wheel. Copyright laws are certainly being honored. But there is this long tradition of English Bible translation that provides a base to work with.”

They also are taking into account the language used in our current hymnal and catechism. “We want to be fresh, but we also want to be rooted in the language of worship and the hymnal and what people already know,” says Brug.

About 20 pastors and professors are the main core of translators and technical reviewers. More than 70 other pastors and professors as well as additional teachers and laypeople are helping with readability. All are volunteers, working on the project in their spare time.

“One of the blessings of the Wartburg Project is the great opportunity which it is providing to many of our pastors for continuing education in the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible,” says Brug. “The knowledge they are gaining will provide rich dividends to the church as it works its way into their preaching, teaching, and writing.”

Members of the Wartburg Project are excited that the translation is progressing so quickly. “We appreciate all the support, encouragement, and prayers,” says Keller. “We thank God for his blessing and ask for his help. If this translation turns out to be a blessing for many, may God alone have all glory and praise!”

Learn more about the Wartburg Project. Download a complimentary Passion History developed by the Wartburg Project and learn more about NPH’s publishing plans

Author:
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

Copyrighted by WELS Forward in Christ © 2019
Forward in Christ grants permission for any original article (not a reprint) to be printed for use in a WELS church, school, or organization, provided that it is distributed free and indicate Forward in Christ as the source. Images may not be reproduced except in the context of its article. Contact us