The Books of the Old Testament: The Apocrypha

This article is a supplement to the church bulletin for our Palm Sunday service.  The Old Testament reading is from 2 Maccabees 10:1-7, which gives us a better context for understanding the people’s response as Jesus rode into Jerusalem.  The text from 2 Maccabees reads: With the Lord leading them, Maccabeus and his followers restored […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 7: The Resurrection Encourages Us, even in Our Suffering

Paul and Timothy said that what was happening to them, their suffering and being brought closer to death, made them outwardly seem fragile, like jars of clay. People considered such earthen containers of little value because they held garbage or excrement. Although Paul and Timothy looked like they were of little value, what they brought […]

1st Maccabees, Lesson 1: Introduction

Why the Apocrypha When we consider studying a book from what we call the Apocrypha, why should we do so?  After all, when we look at our Bible translations, those books are missing from our English-language Bibles and have been so for about 200 years.  Are those books part of the Bible?  If so, then […]

Palm Sunday Sermon

Today, we’re saddled with an Old Testament that Jesus and His disciples didn’t use.  They used the Septuagint, which was the Old Testament translated into Greek.  But what distinguishes their Old Testament from ours even more is that it had books that our Old Testament is lacking.  Those were also books that we Lutherans had […]

Review of The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes

No Longer Missing In Action: The Apocrypha, The Lutheran Edition By Pr. Rich Futrell In 397 AD, at Carthage (today in Tunisia), the Church gathered to resolve an issue: what books being read in the Church are Scripture?  Throughout the New Testament Church’s history, there was never complete unanimity on what books made up the […]

Lessons on the Apocrypha

Believe it or not, the Lutheran Confessions refer to the Apocrypha as “Scripture.”  Yet, if you were to read through the Lutheran Confessions, you would find that they never even bother to list the books of the Bible.  Why is that?  Simply put, we did not have any argument with the Roman Catholic Church on […]

Sola Scriptura in All Its Glory!

This is an article I wrote for the September 1st, 2011 edition of the Stone County Gazette. ——— “Sola Scriptura” literally says “scripture alone.”  It’s a shortened statement Martin Luther used during the Reformation.  But as with all sound bites, we lose much when a sound bite replaces the truth it originally promoted. Today, Sola […]

Tobit Who?

Many of you know I’m an enthusiast of hymns.  Here’s an old hymn that you’ve probably never heard of, which isn’t in Lutheran Service Book.  The hymn is O Starker Gott, Herre Zebaoth, which would be “Almighty God, Father, Lord of Armies.” This hymn is intriguing.  It has 35 stanzas!  But that’s all right, because […]

Sample Sermon: 1 Maccabees 4:36-56 and John 10:22-30 (Easter 4C)

To go the first article in this series, click here.   This is a “sample sermon” on preaching from the Apocrypha (Anagignoskomena/Deuterocanon), which is in a presentation I will lead for a pastoral circuit conference.  This sermon is more didactic than usual because the average listener is clueless as to how the Feast of Dedication ties […]

How to Use the Apocrypha and the Its Contents: A Re-education

Lesson 5: How to Use the Apocrypha and the Its Contents: A Re-education By Pr. Rich Futrell Jan 30, 2011 The Protestant Churches’ Rejection of the Apocrypha When some claim the Apocrypha is not biblical, they often cite many “proof texts” showing why we should reject the Apocrypha, such as, it teaches false doctrine.  Ironically, […]