I ordered some more copies of the best catechism there ever was: “Luther’s Small Catechism”, published by my trusty synod publishing arm. I noticed something small, but potentially very significant.
When the new hymnal was published, the question arose, “Should we move to the new translation for the catechism?” The advantage of doing so would be uniformity of translation across all of the official synod books. Also, the abominable translation of John 20:23 from the NIV would be gone. The disadvantage would be that we would have yet another set of translations being memorized, thereby utterly ignoring Luther’s advice “Let him adopt one version, stay with it, and from one year to the next keep using it unchanged… There should be no change, even though one may wish to improve the text.” The synod decided to go with the “fixed form” argument, and the NIV was retained (Or should I say, ‘not forgiven’?) for the new hymnal.
Today, when I looked at my brand new, in-the-wrapper catechisms, I noticed that on the spine above the CPH symbol, it says, “NIV”. Now I am wondering, is CPH planning on producing an ESV version of the catechism after all? I suspect that, if they did, the text of the catechism itself would use the convention-mandated NIV, while the bible verses in the “explanation” section would be from the ESV.
Not that I know anything, but why mention it on the spine, which is an unnecessary change in an otherwise easy order? (“Yeah, print me 10,000 more of those Catechisms that we are always ordering.”) It seems like a pointless exercise unless there is a plan to have a non-NIV version at some point in the foreseeable future. So, if it happens, you heard it here first.
If not, then it’s your fault for believing wild speculation. As Homer Simpson once said, “It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.”