A Short Exposition of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism - Schwan

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Nov 24 2012 12:15 PM

As traditional and orthodox as the Dietrich Catechism was, there were problems from the beginning.  First of all, the prospect of having students memorize all 600 odd questions was daunting at best, especially with as long as some of the questions were.  And so eventually Missouri Synod wrote its own catechism.  It was called the Schwan Catechism, named after Heinrich Christian Schwan who was in charge of writing it.  This new catechism was approved in 1896.  Both the "new" Schwan and the old "Dietrich" were used extensively for a while at different congregations...

I am pretty sure that Schwan wrote this catechism in German.  In 1905 there was a bilingual edition, preserved by the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/details/shortexpositiono00luth.  I have used the English side of that for this work.  On Google Books is a later (1912) bilingual edition, which seems to have the same basic text.  I noticed that the later edition numbered the bible passages, had different pagination, and a few things in Bold in 1905 were in Italics in 1912.

The question that hit me the most was the wording for #221.  "Why would God have us accost Him "Father"?  Such directness makes it clear how shocking it can be to truly view God as Father...  I wonder if this was intended...

Anyway, this catechism served the LC-MS for almost a half century - until it was replaced by a synodical catechism in 1943.

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SDG

Ken McGuire

 

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 25 2013 7:03 PM

Ken McGuire:

As traditional and orthodox as the Dietrich Catechism was, there were problems from the beginning.  First of all, the prospect of having students memorize all 600 odd questions was daunting at best, especially with as long as some of the questions were.  And so eventually Missouri Synod wrote its own catechism.  It was called the Schwan Catechism, named after Heinrich Christian Schwan who was in charge of writing it.  This new catechism was approved in 1896.  Both the "new" Schwan and the old "Dietrich" were used extensively for a while at different congregations...

I am pretty sure that Schwan wrote this catechism in German.  In 1905 there was a bilingual edition, preserved by the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/details/shortexpositiono00luth.  I have used the English side of that for this work.  On Google Books is a later (1912) bilingual edition, which seems to have the same basic text.  I noticed that the later edition numbered the bible passages, had different pagination, and a few things in Bold in 1905 were in Italics in 1912.

The question that hit me the most was the wording for #221.  "Why would God have us accost Him "Father"?  Such directness makes it clear how shocking it can be to truly view God as Father...  I wonder if this was intended...

Anyway, this catechism served the LC-MS for almost a half century - until it was replaced by a synodical catechism in 1943.

Cover:

SDG

Ken McGuire

 

Peace, Ken!                               A beautiful late summer here on the eve of the 52nd Wedding Anniversary of my wife and self!    *smile*

                   In a few minutes am going to have a cup of Rooibus with her ...   and a few wild Ontario Blueberries from the Canadian Shield! 

                         *smile*                 (I like Michigan blueberries also, BTW!)

Blessings to you!              And your new pastor!                     Just cleaning up some of the things I've put off ...             *smile*

This post is to give you a Big Thank You, for sharing this and so many other items........      Much appreciated indeed!

 

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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Ziggy Rein | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 5 2014 6:13 PM

Dear Ken McGuire,

Yes, Pastor Heinrich Schwan did write the catechism bearing his name in German.

Also the wording for #221.on page 112  "Why would God have us accost Him "Father"? is a mistranslation. The German verb "anreden" simply means "to address," thus the correct English wording should be "Why would God have us 'address' Him "Father"?

Thank you,

Ziggy Rein (ziggy.rein@yahoo.com)

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