Johann Gerhard was the premier Lutheran theologian of the early seventeenth century. Combining his profound understanding of evangelical Lutheran theology with a broad interest in ethics and culture, he produced significant works on biblical, doctrinal, pastoral, and devotional theology. His Loci Theologici are regarded as the standard compendium of Lutheran orthodoxy, with topics ranging from the proper understanding and interpretation of Scripture to eschatology. They interact with the writings of the Church Fathers, Luther and his contemporaries, and the Catholic and Calvinist theologians of his day.
In his Loci, Gerhard addresses the doctrines of the Lutheran faith with skill and precision. His series remains a classic of Lutheran theology and offers contemporary church workers and researchers a wealth of material on the distinctive of Lutheran doctrine.
The Theological Commonplaces series is the first-ever English translation of Johann Gerhard’s famous Loci Theologici. The series, which will total 17 volumes, will be among the most thorough and comprehensive presentations of Lutheran theology in the English language. This six-volume collection includes the following portions of Gerhard’s Loci:
With the Logos edition of the Theological Commonplaces series, references to Luther, the Church Fathers, and other early and medieval texts are also linked, allowing you to click your way through the history of the church and across the theological spectrum. Your digital library also allows you to perform powerful searches and word studies, and Scripture passages are linked to your Hebrew and Greek texts, along with your English translations, making the Theological Commonplaces series a vital tool for research on Lutheran studies!
In this volume, Johann Gerhard presents a brief introduction on the nature of theology, then addresses the source of all Lutheran doctrine: Holy Scripture. In 28 chapters, Gerhard explores the efficient cause of Scripture and the subject matter of Holy Writ, offers specific treatment of each canonical and apocryphal book of the Bible, and discusses the inspiration of Scripture. Finally, Gerhard offers insight on versions of Holy Scripture and its interpretation.
On the Nature of God and on the Trinity addresses God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as Gerhard explores the divine names, the natural knowledge of God, the divine essence, and the mystery of the Trinity. As Gerhard makes the argument for the Trinity, he turns repeatedly to Holy Scripture and interacts with the writings of the ancient Church fathers as they sought to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity. He specifically addresses the arguments of the Socinians (Unitarians) concerning the Trinity.
The central figure of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. In this volume, Gerhard addresses the etymology of Christ’s name, the divine and human natures of Christ, the personal union and communication of the two natures, the communication of attributes, and the office (or work) of Christ. In many ways this volume is even more thorough and complete than Chemnitz’s master work The Two Natures in Christ.
The doctrine of the church was contentious as Lutherans argued for the scriptural catholicity of their churches, which embraced the Reformation, over against Roman Catholic claims to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church confessed in the creeds. Distinguishing between visibility and invisibility as aspects of the same church, Gerhard discusses whether the church can err and defines the true marks of the church. Yet this volume covers much more than just the doctrine of the church. It deals with mission, miracles, prophecy, the curious case of “Pope Joan,” and the corruptions of the papacy in the centuries leading up to Gerhard’s time.
This volume, the first part of Johann Gerhard’s commonplace On the Ecclesiastical Ministry deals especially with ministers of the church: their necessity, call, ordination, transfer, removal, and the like. With detailed and penetrating examination and analysis, Gerhard first proves that there is an ecclesiastical ministry instituted by God, an affirmation disputed by contemporary Anabaptists and Unitarians. Next, Gerhard demonstrates from Scripture the necessity of a specific call to the ministry, a call given by God through the church, before one may carry out the pastoral functions and duties. Besides the qualifications for holding this office in the church, Gerhard discusses the call of Martin Luther, the degree of Doctor of Theology, and ordination through prayer and the imposition of hands, among many other topics that are of importance to the church still today.
This volume, the second part of Johann Gerhard’s commonplace On the Ecclesiastical Ministry deals especially with grades of ministers, marriage of the clergy, and duties including preaching, administering the Sacraments, church discipline, care of the poor, and visitation of the sick.
What power do pastors have? What are their duties? Against anticlericalism on one side and Roman Catholic views of hierarchy on the other, Gerhard teaches the New Testament doctrine of the ministry. Gerhard sets forth the true, Evangelical Lutheran view of bishops, explains what spiritual power ministers of the Word have, and describes not only the holy duties of preachers and hearers, but also their common vices. On the basis of Scripture, Gerhard defines the ecclesiastical ministry as “a sacred and public office, divinely instituted and committed to certain men through a legitimate calling, so that they, being equipped with a peculiar power, may teach the Word of God, administer the sacraments, and preserve ecclesiastical discipline, in order to bring about the conversion and salvation of people and to spread the glory of God.”
Johan Gerhard (1582–1637) was a German Lutheran theologian. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Wittenberg. Upon graduation in 1605, he began to give lectures at the University of Jena. In 1606, Gerhard graduated with a doctorate of theology from the University of Jena. In 1616, he was appointed senior theological professor at Jena—a position he held until his death. During his lifetime, Gerhard was considered the greatest living theologian of Protestant Germany.