Book of Concord available again in French
CANADA – For the first 400 years after its publication, the complete Book of Concord was unavailable in French. Finally in 1980 it was released not by or even necessarily for the Lutheran Church, but primarily as a document of academic and historical interest under the title La foi des Églises luthériennes: confessions et catéchismes.
By the time it was published, most of Lutheranism in France was already well adrift towards a more generic expression of Protestantism than that defined by the confessional documents. The relatively few hardcover copies were eventually sold. By 2001 the book was no longer available. In 2003, the publishers printed a paperback edition, partially in response to the need of the then-young Lutheran churches in Haiti.
By 2015, the book was again out-of-stock and out-of-print with no plans for another edition. Then, responding to Lutherans’ requests, (primarily for Africa’s growing number of francophone Lutheran churches), the publishers agreed to reprint this foundational theological work on the condition of pre-order and pre-payment.
Now in 2017, 500 years after the beginning of the Reformation, the Book of Concord will once again be available in French as a living witness to the Scriptures. The congregation of Sainte-Trinité in Quebec City has released $4,000 to allow for the printing of 200 copies for future use in Canada—which goes part of the way to reaching the necessary minimum run for a reprint. Sister churches in the United States of America, France, and Haiti, along with the Lutheran Heritage Foundation, are also participating in the effort.