The confessional writings in the Book of Concord, first published in 1580, are given authoritative status by Lutherans because they are viewed as faithful expositions of scripture, particularly of the gospel. Their accessibility to theologians, seminarians, pastors and churchpeople has, therefore, been a priority for Lutheran churches. A number of English translations have appeared in the U.S., most recently that edited by Theodore E. Tappert in 1959. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert cite three particular reasons for a new translation: to address linguistic considerations, especially a concern for inclusive language; to acknowledge the results of recent theological research on the confessions; and to supply more extensive notes and introductions. All these concerns have been addressed admirably. While the Tappert edition was consulted extensively and is at times reproduced, the new translations are all based on the authoritative German text.