Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation - 2017 Edition (ebook edition)

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The 2017 explanation presents a lens to faithfully interpret Gods Word in the midst of changing timesgiving young and old a practical guide for living the daily Christian life.


Written by Martin Luther in 1529, the Small Catechism provides a brief, clear summary of God’s Word on the essentials of the Christian faith. In question-and-answer format, it explores the Six Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine and includes daily prayers, a table of duties for Christians in their various callings, and a guide for Christians as they prepare to receive Holy Communion. The Small Catechism itself is a timeless confession of the Faith, applicable to Christian instruction in every age.

An explanation designed to help readers understand and apply Luther’s Small Catechism has accompanied editions of the catechism since the early days of Lutheranism. However, in the time since Luther wrote his explanation to the catechism, society and culture have changed dramatically. The 2017 Explanation presents a lens to faithfully understand God’s Word in the midst of changing times—providing a practical guide for living the daily Christian life.  With 374 questions and accompanying Scripture references, the new Explanation provides more biblical teaching and devotional aids than ever before. The Bible text included in the Explanation is from the English Standard Version (ESV). 

What else is new with the updated and expanded Explanation?

  • The Central Thoughtsection guides you through simple Bible study and reflection questions
  • Connections and Applicationsrelates Scripture to important issues in today’s culture
  • Psalms, hymns, and prayerscombine Scripture and catechism study with worship for devotional use
  • Bible narrative references, quotes from Martin Luther, the Lutheran Confessions, and expanded notes expose readers to the fullness of the Lutheran tradition
  • Expanded appendix provideshelpful articles, reference material, and glossary to aid in personal study

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What others are saying

Bringing forth the best of previous explanations of Luther's Small Catechism, the 2017 revision adds much that will enhance the use of the catechism in the home, congregation, and school. In addition to the careful exposition of Christian doctrine in the six chief parts, material is included on the daily prayers and table of duties. These appendices added by Luther were overlooked in previous editions. The inclusion of prayers, hymns, and psalms under each section will offer yet another opportunity to use the catechism devotionally. Short interpretative essays on the liturgy and "How to Read the Bible" will help connect the Catechism even more closely with the Christian's life in the Word. This new revision of the explanation of Luther's Small Catechism is fitting in this Reformation jubilee year as we carry the Reformer's legacy forward to the next generation.

—John T. Pless
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions
Concordia Theological Seminary
Fort Wayne, Indiana and author of Praying Luther's Small Catechism

The new catechism explanation is down-to-earth, thorough, and cares for the souls of its students. In a fresh and helpful way the explanation beautifully teaches the riches of our Lord's Word and applies this teaching in a clear, insightful, honest, and pastoral way. For example, the explanation covers abortion under the Fifth commandment with strong scriptural support for our unborn brothers and sisters, wise counsel for those considering abortion, and faithful guidance for those who have guilt over abortion. Throughout, the explanation gives our Lord's law undiluted, the Gospel in its full sweetness, and guidance for the life our Lord has called us to live. 

—Pastor David C. Fleming
Our Savior Lutheran Church

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