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Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation - 2017 Edition

by Luther, Martin

Item #: 223203 / 2017 / Hardback / 432 Pages


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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

Download Reading Plans for the 2017 Edition »

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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Customer Reviews

Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation - 2017 Edition

by Luther, Martin

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Truly, this is the best Catechism Concordia has ever produced. Excellent for teaching and daily devotions. I am highly impressed. If all one had in there Christian library was The Lutheran Study Bible and this Catechism, they would have all they need and treasure beyond compare. Well done, CPH! Also, please be sure to read my review for A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF CHRISTIANITY (being a tract of Luther's Small Catechism) because, to state it plainly, it is the most brilliant evangelistic tract CPH has ever made available. Therefore, I highly recommend the following three items, being of prime importance, for every Lutheran household: THE LUTHERAN STUDY BIBLE, LUTHER'S SMALL CATECHISM WITH EXPLANATION 2017, and A SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF CHRISTIANITY [for evangelical outreach of friends, family, and neighbors]. May you all be blessed as you go out and spread the Good News. Godspeed.

1 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
Excellent for personal and family devotions

The updated explanation is great! We have started using it for our daily family devotions. The six chief parts of the faith are clearly explained with scripture references. Thank you for all the effort that went into the updated version. It is truly a blessing!

3 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not
An Excellent Teaching Tool for the Church

There is a lot to love about the 2017 Catechism and Explanation. First, the pictures, colors, and fonts are very attractive to the eye. Second, the new lay out (central thought, closer reading, etc) is great for devotions AND will be a great Lesson Plan for Confirmation. Third, many biblical topics have received greater emphasis (e.g. Creator vs creature, kingdom of God, resurrection and new creation) have received greater attention and new contemporary issues are addressed. Finally, the appendix offers great resources to supplement Confirmation Lessons. Personally, I believe that this catechism takes the best of the old explanations and improves upon it. I pray that God uses this catechism to expand the Kingdom, to enrich the faith of the baptized, and to give our church body the courage to dare to be Lutheran.

3 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not

I totally disagree with the other review. I think this is the most user friendly and meaningful edition ever! I love how the explanation is set up as a Bible Study.There is a central thought, then verses to read and look up that support and explain the thought. There are questions and answers on how to apply this to our modern lives. Then the conclusion gives a psalm to read, a hymn to sing and a prayer about what we just learned! I love it! I have just finished working through the commandments using this edition and have learned so much, and been so blessed by the Word of God! I highly recommend this book. It will renew the faith of a life long Christian, and is a very useful resource for teaching a newbie what the Christian faith is. I will be reading and studying with this Catechism for years to come. As to the Preface, I like it at the back, in that placement it does not detract from the wonderful way this edition is set up as a true Bible Study. The older editions just had verses listed supporting the Commandment or other 6 parts of Christian belief. But this edition teaches why we belief these things, encourages us to think about them and actually look up verses ourselves that support the beliefs! This is exactly what I have been looking for! I wish this edition had been out when I was confirmed 16 years ago! Thank you for this great, useful and God inspired edition! Also it is cheaper to buy here than on Amazon!

4 people found this comment helpful, 0 did not

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