Franz Pieper

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Franz Pieper at the Fort Wayne, Indiana Convention in 1923

Franz August Otto Pieper (June 27, 1852 – June 3, 1931) was a Confessional Lutheran theologian.

Pieper was born at Karwitz, Pomerania (85 miles (137 km) west of Danzig) and died in St. Louis, Missouri.[1] After studying at the gymnasium of Kolberg, Pomerania, he emigrated to the United States in 1870.[2] He graduated from Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1872 and from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1875. He was a Lutheran pastor from 1875 to 1878, serving first at Centerville, Wisconsin and then at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He became a professor of theology at Concordia Seminary in 1878, and in 1887 he became president of the same institution. He also served as editor of Lehre und Wehre, the faculty journal of Concordia Seminary.

From 1882 to 1899, Pieper served on the Board of Colored Missions for the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. He then served as the fourth president of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (Missouri Synod) from 1899 to 1911.[3]

As a systematic theologian, Franz Pieper's magnum opus, Christliche Dogmatik (1917-1924), provided the modern world with a learned and extensive presentation of orthodox Lutheran theology.[4] Translated into English as Christian Dogmatics (1950-1953), it continues to be the basic textbook of doctrinal theology in Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.[5] He was also the main author of the Missouri Synod's A Brief Statement of 1932, an authoritative presentation of that church body's doctrinal stance.


External links[edit]

Title of Christliche Dogmatik.JPG

Works by Franz Pieper[edit]

  • Christliche Dogmatik. 4 vols. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1917–1924) [English translation: Christian Dogmatics. 4 vols. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950–1953)]
    (In German, public domain) Vol I Vol II Vol III
  • The Synodical Conference, an essay in The Distinctive Doctrines and Usages of the General Bodies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States (Philadelphia, 1892), 119-166.
  • Gesetz und Evangelium (1892)
  • Das Grundbekenntnis der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1880).
  • Lehre von der Rechtfertigung (1889)
  • Unsere Stellung in Lehre und Praxis (St. Louis, 1896)
  • Lehrstellung der Missouri-Synode (1897)
  • Christ's Work (1898).
  • Das Wesen des Christentums (1903)
  • Conversion and Election : a Plea for a United Lutheranism (1913, HathiTrust Digital Library)
  • What Is Christianity and Other Essays. John Theodore Mueller, tr. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1933)


  1. ^ Jason Todd and Marvin Huggins, "Franz August Otto Pieper: Fourth President of the Missouri Synod: 1899-1911. (St. Louis: Concordia Historical Institute, 1998)."
  2. ^ "Franz August Otto Pieper."
  3. ^ "Franz August Otto Pieper."
  4. ^ Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 4 vols., (St Louis: CPH, 1950-1953), 1:v.
  5. ^ Robert D. Preus, ed., Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics, 13 vols. (St. Louis: The Luther Academy, 1989-2008), 6:viii.
Religious titles
Preceded by
H. C. Schwan
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Succeeded by
F. Pfotenhauer