Reviews by Steve Bauer
April 23, 2013  |  3:21 PM  |  Okay (3)
(I am writing this as a review of the Lutheran explanation of the Lutheran view of the Lord's Supper. As a Lutheran pastor there are several things the reader should be made aware of.)

1. Dr. Scaer notes that "Lutherans rarely use this term (Consubstantiation)." (p. 87) This sentence is an understatement. Confessional lutherans have always found the word, Consubstantiation offensive. In his "Creeds of Christendom" book, Schaff notes that Lutherans reject the term. (p. 229) ...
(I am writing this as a review of the Lutheran explanation of the Lutheran view of the Lord's Supper. As a Lutheran pastor there are several things the reader should be made aware of.)

1. Dr. Scaer notes that "Lutherans rarely use this term (Consubstantiation)." (p. 87) This sentence is an understatement. Confessional lutherans have always found the word, Consubstantiation offensive. In his "Creeds of Christendom" book, Schaff notes that Lutherans reject the term. (p. 229) Nevertheless, he unapologetically uses the term more than twenty times throughout his work to define the Lutheran view of the Lord’s Supper. Abraham Calov best explains the Lutheran view of that word, Consubstantiation: "We maintain that the body and blood of Christ are present in the Supper; not, indeed, through μετουσια, or by substantial transmutation, as the Papists hold; nor by συνουσια, or consubstantiation, which the Calvinists calumniously charge upon us; nor by local inclusion, namely, impanation, as flesh is in a meat-pie and invination, as they are accustomed to charge against us; nor in the way of a descent from heaven and from the Right Hand of God, to be followed again by an ascent to heaven and to the Right Hand of God.” (Schmidt, p. 563) So, if you want to misrepresent the Lutheran view of the Lord's Supper, then, go ahead and use the word, Consubstantiation. And if you want to unnecessarily offend Lutherans, then make use of that word. It's difficult to read Russell Moore's response to the Lutheran view. He writes: "By contrast, the Lutheran view of consubstantiation is exegetically, historically, philosophically, and semantically far more complex." (p. 102.) If he knew much at all about the Lutheran understanding of the Lord's Supper he wouldn't boldly and bluntly call it what it is not.

2. Scaer writes: "Today the majority of Lutheran congregations in the United States have a weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper." (97) While usually throughout his section he makes generous use of footnotes, the reader notices that in this section there are no sources of proof. That's because he set forth as proof something that is unproven. Even within his own church body (LCMS) there is no proof that "most churches" celebrate the Lord's Supper on a weekly basis. While there has been a growing appreciation of more frequent communion within Lutheranism in the last 10 or 20 years, there is no proof that the majority of Lutheran churches practice weekly communion.

3. On p. 100 Scaer notes that Luther found the basis for the Lord's Supper in the passages which clearly speak about the Lord's Supper. Scaer, however, doesn't exactly follow in Luther's footsteps. Consider this section: "Just as in baptism water symbolizes creation, birth, and destruction, bread is reminiscent of what humans must produce in the sweat of their brow to survive in a world of sin (Gen. 3:19). It is a reminder of our fallen condition and the necessity of eating Christ’s body for salvation." (p. 93) While imaginative and interesting, these conclusions are not conclusions we find clearly expressed in God's word about the Lord's Supper. So also, Scaer goes out on a limb with connecting John 6 to the Lord's Supper. In Luther's, "Babylonian Captivity of the church," he wrote: "John 6 is to be entirely excluded from this discussion, since it does not refer in a single syllable to the sacrament. For not only was the sacrament not yet instituted, but the whole context plainly shows that Christ is speaking of faith in the Word made flesh, as I have said above." (LW 36:19)

Conclusion: I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. The unnecessary inclusion of the word, Consubstantiation knocks it down a star. And Scaer's habit of occasionally going beyond what scripture can bear (and as a result, Lutheranism understands) knocks it down another star.

Pastor Steve Bauer
http://stevebauer.us
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
January 11, 2012  | 12:38 PM  |  Good (4)
This module is worthy of adding to your collections for two reasons:

1) It gives you the uncial text of the earliest papyri of the NT. So, while the NA apparatus and the CNTTS database give you the variants, if you want to look a little more in depth, you can do so with this module. Sometimes there aren’t any papyri which contain the verses you might be working with in the NT. What is nice about this module is that when there are several papyri which contain the verse, it lists all of ...
This module is worthy of adding to your collections for two reasons:

1) It gives you the uncial text of the earliest papyri of the NT. So, while the NA apparatus and the CNTTS database give you the variants, if you want to look a little more in depth, you can do so with this module. Sometimes there aren’t any papyri which contain the verses you might be working with in the NT. What is nice about this module is that when there are several papyri which contain the verse, it lists all of them. Take Jude 5 as an example:

(P72) ⲩⲡⲟⲙⲛⲏⲥⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲩⲙⲁⲥ ⲃⲟⲩ
ⲗⲟⲙⲁⲓ ⲉⲓⲇⲟⲧⲁⲥ ⲁⲡⲁⲝ ⲡⲁⲛⲧⲁⲥ
ⲟⲧⲓ ⲑ̅ⲥ̅ ⲭ̅ⲣ̅ⲥ̅ ⲗⲁⲟⲛ ⲉⲅ * [1370] ⲅⲏⲥ ⲉⲅⲩⲡⲧⲟⲩ
ⲥⲱⲥⲁⲥ ⲧⲟ ⲇⲉⲩⲧⲉⲣⲟⲛ ⲧⲟⲩⲥ ⲙⲏ
ⲡⲉⲓⲥⲧⲉⲩⲥⲁⲛⲧⲁⲥ ⲁⲡⲱⲗⲉⲥⲉⲛ
 
(P78) ⲩ̈ⲡⲟ
ⲙⲛⲏⲥⲁⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲩ̈ⲙⲁⲥ
ⲃⲟⲩⲗⲟⲙⲉ ⲁⲇⲉⲗⲫⲟ̣ⲓ̣

2) The Notes module is wonderful. It gives the history, provenance and signifigance of each papyrus. Through my years at our seminary I had heard words like “Chester-Beatty Papyrus” and “Bodmer” papyrus. The notes clearly explain why they are important in a clear, straightforward way. Take for example the commentary on the Bodmer papyrus:

“Kurt Aland’s thinking was also changed by P75. He used to speak of the second and third century manuscripts as exhibiting a text in flux or even a “mixed” text, but not after the discovery of P75. He wrote, “P75 shows such a close affinity with the Codex Vaticanus that the supposition of a recension of the text at Alexandria, in the fourth century, can no longer be held.”9 Even more so, Gordon Fee argued there was no Alexandrian recension before the time of P75 (late second century) and Codex Vaticanus (early fourth) and that both these manuscripts “seem to represent a ‘relatively pure’ form of preservation of a ‘relatively pure’ line of descent from the original text.”10

In the final analysis, it must be declared that P75 is an extremely accurate copy. Concerning the scribe who made P75, Colwell said, “his impulse to improve style is for the most part defeated by the obligation to make an exact copy.””

N.B. The text is tagged. So, if you aren't used to the uncial font you can still figure out what it is by looking at the instant details box. And after a reading the uncial font for a little while you can get used to the texts from the GNT-image collections.

The only drawback is that the images are not included. But, I suppose, if they were, it would cost much more than $70.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]

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