World Wide Wolfmueller

Law and Gospel in Joyful Clarity

Category: Bible Study

The Different Sacrifices of the Old Testament are Types of the Different Aspects of the Atonement

A beautiful excerpt from Christian Dogmatics and Notes on the History of Dogma (1922):
Christ became the perfect antitype of the principal sacrifices : the sin-offering implied expiatio, the trespass-offering indemnificatio, the burnt-offering oblatio, the peace-offering conciliatio. The same holds with regard to the offering of the covenant in Ex. 24, the offering of consecration in Lev. 8, and the offering of the Passover, since Christ is our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7).
Conrad Emil Lindberg, Christian Dogmatics and Notes of the History of Dogma, page 260. (This text is in the public domain, I’ve downloaded it to my Google Book app. )

Martin Luther’s Genesis Commentary (Chapters 1-4)

Alright! Here it is, the study edition of Luther’s Genesis Commentary, chapters 1-4.

400 pages with wide margins for notes, and, as always, you can download this for free, or spend $15 and pick it up from Lulu. 


Martin Luther’s Genesis Commentary is the last (and perhaps greatest) work of Luther. Spanning the last ten years of his life and work, the Genesis Lectures capture the full wisdom of the Evangelical Reformer. This book is a publication of Luther’s comments on Genesis chapters one through four, copied from the public domain text of Lenker (1904).

Luther’s commentary is really phenomenal. Especially in these last days, we all do well to understand rightly the first days of the cosmos.

Please share this with your friends and family. And, as you engage with Luther, please post your thoughts and questions in the comments.

Let’s all hear Luther’s voice again, and rejoice in hearing of Jesus in Genesis.



Mortis Dulcia Nomina, “The Sweet Names of Death”

Tucked away in a few footnotes in volume three of Pieper’s Dogmatics is this gem of comfort, both for pastors and die-ers: the sweet names of death.


Beautiful stuff. Pieper says in the text, “Every Christian, and especially every teacher in the Church, ought to know [the mortis dulcia nomia] well and use them” (Piepers Dogmatics III.511).

Here, then, is our comforting and lovely list of the “Sweet Names of Death”:

  • “Gathered to one’s people” (Genesis 25:8, 17).
  • “Departure in peace” (Luke 2:29).
  • “Depart and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23).
  • “Taken from evil” (Isaiah 57:1).
  • “Sleep” (Matthew 9:24; John 11:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Daniel 12:2).
  • “Rest” (Revelation 14:13; Hebrews 4:11).
  • “Passing from death to life” (John 5:24).
  • “Deliverance from evil” (2 Timothy 4:18).
  • “Gain” (Philippians 1:21).

May God grant us joy in His victory over death.



Martin Luther on “The One Great Book”

Here’s another little gem from Lenker’s introduction in Luther’s Genesis, a quotation from Luther on having too many books.

“The aggregation of large libraries tends to direct men’s thoughts from the one great book, the Bible, which ought, day and night, to be in every man’s hand. My object, my hope, in translating the Scriptures, was to check the so prevalent production of new works, and so to direct men’s study and thoughts more closely to the divine Word. Never will the writings of mortal man in any respect equal the sentences inspired by God. We must yield the place of honor to the prophets and apostles, keeping ourselves prostrate at their feet as we listen to their teaching. I would not have those who read my books, in these stormy times, devote one moment to them which they would otherwise have consecrated to the Bible.” (Martin Luther, Table Talk)


Teaching Bible: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians: published!

The most recent volume of the Teaching Bible, with St. Paul’s letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, is published! The Teaching Bible formats the text of the Scripture with extra wide margins for notes and cross references. The English text is the World English Bible, the cross references are from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and the Greek version includes the text from the Society of Biblical Literature.

The volumes of the Teaching Bible may be downloaded as a PDF absolutely free. If you are interested you may also purchase a professional published spiral bound version. (Instead of offering lined and blank page offerings, I’ve added a light grid to the background of the pages. Let me know what you think.)

Greek & English: FREE DOWNLOAD | PURCHASE on LULU ($?) Coming Soon

Other volumes of the Teaching Bible include Matthew, Acts, 1 & 2 Peter, and Revelation. Find them all here.

Genesis 1:26, “Let Us Make Man,” Luther’s defence of the Trinitarian Teaching

In Genesis 1:26 we hear the conversation of the Godhead about the creation of humanity:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

This text has long been treasured by Christians as the teaching of the Trinity in the Old Testament. But this confession has also been disputed.

In Luther’s commentary on Genesis he takes us the arguments for and against this text.

The word “Let Us make” is aimed at making sure the mystery of our faith, by which we believe that from eternity there is one God and that there are three separate Persons in one Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Jews indeed try in various ways to get around this passage, but they advance nothing sound against it. This passage bothers them to death, to use an expression of Occam, who applies it to irksome and difficult problems which he cannot solve.

Luther will then take up the objections against the Trinitarian reading. There are three other possibilities. God could be talking to the angels, to the earth, or to other creatures.

The Jews, then, say that God is speaking thus with the angels, likewise with the earth and with other creatures.

First, that God is speaking with the angels, Luther offers five points of rebuttal.

But I for my part ask: Why did He not also do this previously? In the second place: What concern is the creation of man to the angels? In the third place: He does not mention the angels but simply says: “We.” Therefore He is speaking of makers and creators. This certainly cannot be said of the angels.

In the fourth place, this is also sure: that it cannot be said in any way that we were created according to the image of the angels. In the fifth place, here both appear: “Let Us make” and “He made,” in the plural and in the singular; thereby Moses clearly and forcibly shows us that within and in the very Godhead and the Creating Essence there is one inseparable and eternal plurality. This not even the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18) can take from us.

Second, regarding the idea that the Lord is speaking to the earth, Luther argues

Next, when the Jews say that God is speaking with the earth concerning the earth, this is also worthless. For the earth is not our maker.

This also applies to the idea that the Lord was speaking to other creatures or parts of creation.

Moreover, why didn’t He rather speak to the sun, since Aristotle says: “Man and the sun bring man into existence.” But this does not fit either, because we were not made according to the image of the earth; but we were made according to the image of those Makers who say “Let Us make.” These Makers are three separate Persons in one divine essence. Of these three Persons we are the image, as we shall hear later.

Finally, another objection is offered, namely that to say “We” and “us” is a custom of royalty, and does not indicate plurality. Luther repsonds

It is utterly ridiculous when the Jews say that God is following the custom of princes, who, to indicate respect, speak of themselves in the plural number. The Holy Spirit is not imitating this court mannerism (to give it this name); nor does Holy Scripture sanction this manner of speech.

The conclusion, then, is a bold and comforting doctrine of the Holy Trinity. We rejoice in the “Let us make,” knowing that our first parents were created in the image and likeness of God.

Consequently, this is a sure indication of the Trinity, that in one divine essence there are three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Not even so far as Their activity is concerned, therefore, is God separated, because all three Persons here co-operate and say: “Let Us make.” The Father does not make one man and the Son another, nor the Son one man and the Holy Spirit another; but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one and the same God, is the Author and Creator of the same work.

The quotations may be found here: Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 1: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 1-5, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 1 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 57–58. Order from CPH. Or you can read an older translation of the Genesis commentary online here.

Micah 4: The Blessings of the Latter Days

Rightly Divided is a daily Bible meditation blog. I write on Tuesdays.

We take three chapters of the Bible (a Psalm, and an Old and New Testament chapter), and make a few notes. If you’re interested, here are a few links:

Here are the notes for Micah 4, today’s Old Testament reading:

(13 verses, 2:41 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Micah preached about Pentecost, the renewal of Jerusalem in the life of the church, and the joy of Jesus’ kingdom.


  • First, compare Micah 3:12 with 4:1. The mountain that the Lord will be destroyed will be established throughout the earth.
  • Kretzmann divides up the chapter like this:
    • 4:1-7, The Glory of the House of the Lord
      • “Thus this sketch, composed of bold figures taken from the general aspects of Judah’s history, sets forth the glory of the Church of the New Testament, beginning here in time, and continuing through all eternity, as the Church Triumphant.”
    • 4:8-13, Zion Established throughout the Earth
  • The entirety of this prophecy, then, is to be understood in the establishment of the Church of the New Testament, and the “Latter Days” of which Micah speaks are the days in which we live.

Continue reading

Colossians, Two Passing Thoughts

I was looking through Colossians this morning (tracking down some of the things Paul says about the dangers of a disordered mind), and I noticed two things.


First, the epistle begins and ends with a discussion of prayer.

Colossians 1:3, We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you…

Colossians 1:9, For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…

Colossians 4:2, Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving…

Colossians 4:12, Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always striving for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

(The picture of striving or contending in prayer is stunning. God grant the we could all be described this way.)


Second, there is a theme of “Thanksgiving” that runs through the letter. Thanksgiving, in fact, shows up in some particularly important discussions, and is given to us by Paul as one of the chief marks of the Christian mind and life.

Consider these verses:

Colossians 1:3, We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you…

Colossians 2:6-7, As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:15-17, And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord. Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.

Colossians 4:2, Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving

As we consider what it means to be Christians is these last days, it is good to remember that our minds and hearts and lives are marked with thankfulness to God for all His benefits in Christ.

Also, I was reminded once again how helpful it is to read through entire books in one setting. The difference connections are easier to see.

Thoughts? I’d be thankful to hear them.


Top Ten Dates of Events in the Old Testament

This will help you keep you chronological bearings:

  1. 2166 B.C.: The Birth of Abraham
  2. 1876 B.C.: The Migration to Egypt
  3. 1446 B.C.: The Exodus from Egypt
  4. 1406 B.C.: The Entrance into Canaan
  5. 1010 B.C.: The Accession of David
  6. 931 B.C.: The Division of the Kingdom
  7. 722 B.C.: The Destruction of Samaria
  8. 586 B.C.: The Destruction of Jerusalem
  9. 538 B.C.: The Edict of Return
  10. c. 420 B.C.: The Completion of the Old Testament


Thanks to Dr Douglas Judisch who published this list in just about all of his isagogical books.

Here’s a Bible Bookmark with this list and some other nice summary facts to keep handy: BibleBookmark.


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