Exposition And Doctrine
Luther’s Works, Vol. 1, Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 1–5, translated by George V. Schick (Concordia, 1958, 387 pp., $5), is reviewed by F. R. Webber, author of A History of Preaching.

Here is the first of a set of 55 good sized volumes that may well be one of the most significant publication projects of our generation. Several volumes have appeared recently, and others will be released at the rate of four a year.

There have been many editions of Luther’s collected writings, such as Weimar, 80 vols.; Wittenberg, 19 vols., Jena, 15 vols.; Altenberg, 11 vols.; Leipzig, 23 vols.; Walch, 24 vols.; Erlangen-Frankfurt, 102 vols.; Lenker, 13 vols.; St. Louis, 23 vols.; Holman, 6 vols. and Calwer, 6 vols. Of these, Weimar is by far the most scholarly. Most of these are in Latin and German. Single volumes are so numerous that the listing fills 105 double column pages, set in the smallest of type, in the British Museum’s 1946 catalogue.

The new 55-volume edition of Luther’s collected writings is an effort to make Luther speak in idiomatic English. They are based upon the Weimar edition of 1883 ff., whose 80 volumes, each the size of a pulpit Bible, fill eight shelves of standard public library size.

Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 1–5, will prove a revelation to readers who think of Luther as a defiant man, who shook his fist at popes and councils, and challenged them to prove their arguments by means of clear Scripture verses. In this series of expository lectures we meet with a genial Luther in his peaceful lecture room at Wittenberg University, with a Hebrew Bible before him, explaining the text in simple, winsome language.

Luther’s expositions of Genesis began on June 3, 1535 and ended January 18, 1544. They were ...

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