Monday, November 27, 2023

Mayes Procedure for Sermon Writing

Folks have asked me for this, so here it is! I use this mainly to generate content (rhetorical inventio). For other procedures that I admire, see this and this.

Procedure for Sermon Writing

Find old sermons and notes in physical files and computer.

Make note sheet with the readings on them (or Notes document on computer).

Read the readings in NKJV or ESV.

Discuss the sermon text with others, especially laypeople, to see what questions they have of the text. Be sure to research and address these.

Review exegetical computer documents, filed by book of Bible.

[For saints’ days, consult both historical (e.g. Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche or Catholic Encyclopedia) and legendary sources (Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legend).]

Compare main Bible versions: NKJV or ESV, KJV, Vulgate, Lutherbibel.

Read sermon text in original language. (Add to “Textual Notes”.)

Check Index Rerum for topics. (This is my personal master index of my past research. See this for one way to make an index for yourself. My Index Rerum is organized alphabetically by topic, however.)

Look up the passage in Book of Concord.

Read a commentary, or look up the passage in dogmatics, if necessary. If there is time, read one ancient commentary and one classic Lutheran commentary. 

Outline the sermon.

Find illustrations for each point.

Find practical uses (can use “Evangelischer Wegweiser” in Gerhard’s Schola Pietatis at the beginning, or Das Weimarische Bibelwerk). For more on practical uses, see this. The uses are:

  • Teaching
  • Admonishing
  • Warning
  • Consoling

Look for antithesis. (What would be the opposite of this teaching, consolation, command, example, virtue, or vice? How has this been misunderstood?)

Find the cross in this pericope, or bring it in from one of the other texts of the day. Don’t force it in, but if the cross of atonement isn’t there, remind the hearers who our God is, about His will to save mankind through the cross of Christ, and who they are.

Answer the question: “Why is this important for the hearers to hear?”

Write (but write the introduction last). 1400 words for a short Sunday sermon (2000 words max), 1000 words for a short chapel sermon (1400 words max).


Categories of Illustration

Use illustrations from the common experience of your hearers. Keep illustrations short: no more than one sentence, and less than a sentence is best.

  • Combat
  • Lawsuit
  • Physician/medicine
  • Family/servitude
  • Government
  • Market/commerce
  • Nature/farming
  • Food and drink
  • Body
  • Building/architecture/construction
  • Crime/police
  • Love
  • Machinery/electricity/technology
  • School/education
  • Gifts

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Valerius Herberger on the Division of the Apostles [July 15]

On the Day of the Division of the Apostles [July 15]

De numero et officio Apostolorum
Of the number and office of the Holy Apostles.

De numero quatuor Evangelistarum dicam die S. Lucæ in Exordio: I will speak of the number of the four Evangelists in the exordium on the day of St. Luke.

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Confidence of all holy Apostles and of ourselves, my Portion in the land of the living (Ps. 142), my heart’s Comfort and my Portion (Ps. 73), forever more blessed and beloved with God the heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Devout hearts, that we may say something noteworthy concerning the Division of the Apostels, join me in praying, “The Father and the Son bless us; God the Holy Ghost bless us, whom all the world doth glorify,” etc.

Hear with devout attention the appointed Gospel which was traditionally read on the day of the Division of the Apostles, from the 9th chapter of St. Luke:

The Lord Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases; and sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick; and said unto them, Ye shall take nothing with you on the way, neither staff nor scrip nor bread nor money, neither shall any have two coats. And when ye enter into a house, abide ye there until that ye depart thence. And whosoever receive you not, go ye out of the same city and shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they went out and passed through the marketplaces, preaching the Gospel and healing in every place.

Quid intelligatur sub titulo Divisionis Apostolorum: What is meant by the title “Division of the Apostles.”

God-devoted hearts! The feast of the Divisionis Apostolorum, of the Division of the Apostles, does not remind us that the holy Apostles gladly and willingly divided their goods among the poor according to their means (Acts 2). For the word of Christ was ever in their mind, “Be ye merciful, as your Father is merciful.” Much less does it remind us that Christ left them a worldly estate which they divided among themselves after His ascension. For He Himself laments (Matt. 8), “Foxes have holes, and the fowl under heaven have nests, but the Son of Man hath not whereon to lay His head.” Whoever still seeks worldly goods with Christ today will certainly be disappointed. For His kingdom is not from thence. Rather, the Division of the Apostles reminds us how, at about this time of year, those twelve dear men, after receiving the Holy Ghost, were willingly divided one from another and scattered into the whole world according to Christ’s command [Matt. 28], “Go ye into all the world, teach all nations,” etc.

Thomas makes his way among the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, and Bactrians, and into the remotest Indians; Matthew into Macedonia and Ethiopia, Bartholomew into Lycaonia and further India, Andrew into Achaea and Scythia, John into Asia, Peter into Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Italy, James the Great into Spain, Judas Thaddæus into Mesopotamia, Simon into Egypt, and Philip into Gaul, while James the Less remained in Jerusalem. And from these lands, the whole world was filled with their teaching according to the prophecy of Psalm 19: “Their line (the Apostles’ teaching, the plumbline and norm of our faith and life) is gone into every land.” The ancient doctors of the church inform us that they first established the Symbolum Apostolicum and agreed to abide by that in every land. Peter is said to have initiated it, saying, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,” Andrew thereupon to have said, “And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.” And so each added his piece to it until finally Matthias concluded with “eternal life,” even as these twelve articles are commonly written under the image of the Apostles.

If we also abide by these articles of the Apostles’ Creed, we are agreed with the Apostles in religion and can be saved just as certainly as the holy Apostles.

Cur legatur hic textus: Why this text is read.

Now, because a similar division of the holy Apostles also occurred in the Promised Land before our Lord Christ’s Passion, when He sent them ahead of Him two by two into certain Judean cities (as Mark bears record in ch. 6) to announce Him and His Gospel and say that He would quickly follow on their heels wherever He may be a welcome Guest to them, therefore our forefathers assigned this account for this day. Matthew describes the account at great length in chapter 10, which is why Pomerius [Bugenhagen] refers to this text. But here, St. Luke gives a very quick summary. Therefore let us stick with the old missals and direct our devout attention to three points:

Dispositio: Outline.

1. From what considerations the Lord Jesus divided the whole world with the doctrine of precisely twelve Apostles; why He chose twelve persons, no more, no less, to preach the Gospel at first.

2. What He obligated them to do when for the sake of their office they were to be divided up and part ways.

3. How each one obediently found his assigned portion and served Christ faithfully, that we might all have them for examples.

    The Lord bless us out of Zion, even He who made heaven and earth (Ps. 134). . . .


[Part of this Postil has been omitted.]


Of the Third Point.

Whoever obeys, honors.

What do the Apostles do at this command? “They went out and passed through the marketplaces, preaching the Gospel and healing in every place.” They divided up according to Christ’s command. Each one goes to his own assigned place and portion. They do the same thing also after Christ’s ascension. For “obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15). Oboedientia optima reverentia. Let every man examine his conscience as to what he would do if God spoke to him in hurch. When you go home, there is also a divisio discipulorum Jesu, a division of Jesus’ disciples. One goes out one door, another goes out another door. Let each go to his own portion, place, and vocation in which God has set him. Let no man go to the brandy house, to the place of villains, to evil deeds, but let each consider in what portion and in what estate God has placed him. If any man govern, let him attentive; if any man teach, let him study further; if any many labor, let him be more diligent than before. In summary, in every place of your vocation obey your Savior Jesus, and on the Last Day you will be recalled again from every place and, gathered with the holy Apostles, glorify God forever. Amen.


Closing Benediction.

Jesus Christ, the holy Apostles’ only Foundation, at whose command they willingly divided themselves and faithfully served God in every place whither the Holy Ghost drove each one, grant that we may willingly divide ourselves in the world (each in his own area), faithfully serve God in every place of our vocation, and afterward, by a blessed last hour, be gathered with joy to eternal glory, where with the Twelve Apostles we will see God face to face and be healed forever. Amen.


(Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Valerius Herberger: Commemoration of John Hus


On the Octave of Peter and Paul
Commemoration of John Hus

Confessio Evangelicæ Veritatis
compensabitur aureola æternæ salutis.

The evangelical truth’s confession
is rewarded with the halo of eternal salvation.

In the name of Jesus Christ, quem candidatus martyrum laudat exercitus, whom the noble army of martyrs praise with a mighty sound, who will joyfully confess before His Father all godly hearts who fearlessly publish His Gospel before men; forever most blessed with God the heavenly Father, the Lover of all believing confessors, and the Holy Ghost, the Support of all bold confessors, world without end. Amen.

Devout hearts, we are minded to hear a beautiful saying from the mouth of the Lord Jesus, and to illuminate the same with the account of John Hus. Now that it may be done prosperously, help me to pray: “Arise, O Lord, help us for Thy mercy’s sake” (Ps. 44).

Hear the noteworthy words which Matthew has recorded in chapter 10:

The Lord Jesus said: Whosoever confesseth Me before men, him will I confess before My heavenly Father; but whosoever denieth Me before men, him will I also deny before My heavenly Father.

Recordatio Johann Huß: Commemoration of John Hus.

Beloved friends, the octave of Peter and Paul, namely the 6th of July, is renowned in the Evangelical churches on account of the forthright, fearless confession of the noble martyr John Hus, who on this same day in the year of Christ 1415 was burned in Constance, Swabia. (Sequor acta Huss. Chytræi Onomasticon pag. 842. Johannem Foxum Anglum qui prolixe descripsit et Indicem Bucholzeri: I follow the Acts of Hus in Chytræus’s Onomasticon, p. 842, the Englishman John Fox, who has given a lengthy description, and Buchholzer’s Index.) Now because his history is worth remembering, let us first lay the foundation and hear from the mouth of Christ that we are all obliged not only to know and to love the Lord Jesus in our heart, but also to confess Him with our mouth, and also the most weighty reasons which we have for this. Second, let us hear how John Hus will present the mirror to us and be a living example of the words of Christ. God grant His blessing to the devout labor of our heart! Amen. <298>


Of the First Point.

We are to confess Jesus.

We are indebted, on pain of losing our salvation, to know the Lord Jesus. For He says (John 10), “I know Mine own, and am known of Mine”; and, “This is eternal life, that they know Thee, that Thou alone art true God, and Him whom Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17). Therefore Peter says there is salvation in none other (Acts 4). We swear this immediately upon Holy Baptism. Consider this, dear parents! With the mother’s milk, pour also the name of Jesus immediately into the tender, young hearts of your children.


Second, we are also indebted to love the Lord Jesus in our heart. “To have love for Jesus surpasseth all high imaginings” (Eph. 3). “He that loveth not the Lord Jesus, let him be accursed unto death” (1 Cor. ult.).


Yet these two things do not form the whole of Christianity. Rather, we are indebted also to confess the Lord Jesus and His Gospel with the mouth. Of this the Lord Jesus Himself says, “Whosoever confesseth Me before men, him will I confess before My heavenly Father,” etc. And St. Paul says, “if one believeth from the heart, one is justified, and if one confesseth with the mouth, one is saved.”

Jesum multis modis confitemur. Docendo, audiendo: We confess Jesus in many ways: By teaching, hearing.

But now the Lord Jesus is confessed in various ways:

1. When He is preached without fear, as the holy Apostles do (Acts 2; 5). When no heed is given to danger, as with Paul. When His person, office, and benefits are taught rightly, as with Athanasius.

2. When God’s Word is diligently followed, even if danger results, as with that mother of Edessa who took her son with her that he too might become a martyr; as with the godly Christians, some twenty thousand of whom were burned in their church on Christmas Day, as was told at the same time. Victorinus, a Roman rhætor, told old Simplicianus that he was a Christian. Simplicianus answered him, “I will not believe it until I see thee in our church.” Then said Victorinus, “Then if I hear aright, your church walls make one a Christian.” For he did not wish to anger his friends and kinsmen. Thereupon Simplicianus recited the words of the Lord Jesus just read, which so struck his heart that he appeared in church unexpectedly. All this is called confessing Christ publicly.

Quærendo absolutionem et cenam Domini: By seeking Absolution and the Lord’s Supper.

3. When the Absolution is sought in humility, and the Table of the Lord attended with a hungry and thirsty heart. For when this does not happen, no godly heart can be distinguished from a frivolous, Epicurean sow.

Orando: By prayer.

4. When the Lord Jesus is called upon, as with Stephen, as with the Canaanite woman, as with blind Bartimæus. For “whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10).

Pie vivendo: By living godly lives.

5. When a Christian life is lead according to St. Paul’s teaching (2. Tim. 2): “Let everyone that confesseth and nameth the Lord Jesus depart from unrighteousness,” when testimony is made in deed that the Lord Jesus is regarded as one’s sovereign Lord.

Impiorum consortiæ vitando: By avoiding the fellowship of the ungodly.

6. When entanglement with the ungodly is avoided according to the teaching of Psalm 1, and they are shunned, as John did Cerinthus’ bath, as Polycarp said to one devil-head, “Cognosco te primogenitum Satanæ: I know thee, firstborn of Satan.”

Non desperando: By not despairing.

7. When one does not doubt in the cross, but confidently says with Job (ch. 19), “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” When one in tribulation does not let oneself be blinded by the devil, as Judas, Cain, and Saul did, but steadfastly confesses that a single drop of the Lord Jesus’ blood outweighs all our sin.

Veritatem non dissimulando: By not feigning truth.

8. When one’s religion is not set on a screw, one does not waver and lean to either side. If the Lord Jesus had kept His love <299> secret, what would we know to speak of it? But He demonstrated it to us with words, with deeds, and with every drop of His blood. We are obliged to show Him the same degree of gratitude.

Constanter perseverando: By persevering steadfastly.

9. When in persecutions one remains steadfast until the end, as the holy martyrs did (Matt. 10; 24; Rev. 2).

Hinc apparet, quot modis Christus abnegetur: Hence it is clear in how many ways Christ is denied.

From this it becomes clear as day what it means, on the contrary, to deny the Lord Jesus. They are not confessors of Jesus, but rather traitors and deniers of Him:

1. Who hinder the course of the Gospel of Jesus, who call themselves by Jesus’ name and yet sweep under the rug all that is said in Scripture to the glory of the Lord Jesus, as though they had sworn an oath to that effect; who slay and put to death so many sincere lovers of the Lord Jesus, or who teach wrongly of the Lord Jesus’ person, office, and benefits, such as the Photinians and other rash spirits.

2. To whom God’s Word is as dear as a hot turnip in the mouth, who for a despicable little portion neglect all sermons or, if they hear them, are not improved by them, as though the Lord Jesus had nothing to command them.

3. Who do not go to the confessional chair and Holy Supper once a year or over several years. Ambrose says they are perfidi desertores castrorum Domini: false people who have sworn loyalty to the bloody banner of the Lord Jesus in Holy Baptism, but have proved unfaithful. God, help us, it is horrible to hear! See, O traitor of God, how you can adorn yourself. If all did as you do, what distinction would there be between angels and devils, or Jews or heathens and Christians?

4. Who do not wish to call upon the name of Jesus, as Servetus in Geneva, who refused to pray, “Christ, Thou Son of God, have mercy upon me,” even when prompted by Guilelmus Farellus. Moreover, this Servetus is the grandfather of the new Arians of our times. Pertinent here are also the ruffians who bend no knee at the name of Jesus, much less doff their crude felt hat.

5. Who live unchristian lives, are Evangelical and Lutheran with their lips, evil-minded and loose with their life (Ps. 14). May God root out all such noxious weeds, that the mangy sheep may not corrupt the healthy ones.

6. Who associate with all the enemies of Christ, play with them under their hat, eat out of the same spoon, and betray the welfare of the whole church for the sake of little sip. Whoever gets mixed up with the slop is devoured by the swine.

7. Who in tribulation fall into despair, like Latomus and Spira, and count their sins greater than the precious merits of Jesus Christ, as Cain did.

8. Who are neither cold nor hot, like those of Laodicea (Rev. 3); who let themselves dream that the truth may be known in the heart and enemies be vexed with deceptive words, as Gordius’ friends thought, whom the noble knight refuted from St. Paul’s words (Rom. 10); or as formerly Basilides and the Elcesaites claimed (Lege Onom. Chytræi).

9. Who for the sake of temporal glory raise the flag of the rabbit, as did Julian the Apostate, better named Idolian, and Demas, who forsook St. Paul and loved the world, like Ecebolius the weathercock.

Praxis: Practical application.

Now you know what Jesus means by confessing and denying. “If ye know, blessed are ye, if ye do according thereto” (John 13) and by no means deny Jesus, but openly confess Him in the manner recounted above.

Causæ impulsiva: Impulsive cause.

But what powerful, compelling reasons do we have for this? The Lord Jesus brings to our mind great benefit and certain harm.


The benefit is this. “Whosoever confesseth Me before men, him will I confess before  My heavenly Father.” When they pray, the Lord Jesus will <300> take up their cause before His Father, and be their advocate (Rom. 8; 1 John 2). When they whimper in their cross, He will confess Himself as their Savior and not leave them (John 14; Ps. 9). He will creep with them in all furnaces of the cross (Dan. 3) and deliver them, as He did Peter (Acts 12). In distress and death He will give them a champion’s courage as He did Laurence, who said, “Has epulas diu exoptavi: I have long desired these banquets.” On the Last Day He will publicly know and confess them as those who love Him. Then will follow the dies confessionis Jesu Christi: the day of the confession of Jesus Christ, when He will deliver the kingdom to His Father (1 Cor. 15), that thenceforth God may be All in all. Then He will confess and say, “These are My beloved sheep, My dear brothers and sisters whom I have delivered, dear Father. Love them as Thou lovest Me, and let them abide with Thee forever.” Tunc erit tibi gloria: Then glory will be yours. Oh what singing of praise and what thanksgiving will be raised (as may be read in Revelation at the end of chapter 7 and in the middle of chapter 12).


The detriment is found in the statement, “But whosoever denieth Me before men, him will I also deny before My heavenly Father.” That is, when they pray, the Lord will not know or hear them, but let them babble in vain as did the priests of Baal (1 Kings 19). When they whimper in their cross, He will not have mercy on them, as He did not on Antiochus (2 Macc. 9). Suchlike is not to be read in all the Bible. From this may God preserve all hearts who hear it. In tribulation the devil shall be the abbot of such unfaithful souls, and receive the best thereof, as happened with Franciscus Spira. When death comes, evil shall be made worse. They shall be buried in hell, and cry out with the rich man, “Crucior in hac flamma: I am tormented in this flame!” (Luke 16). On the Last Day, they shall hear the disheartening declaration, “I have never known you. Depart from me, all ye evildoers” (Matt. 7). “I never knew you” (Matt. 25). That it is what it means when it says, “Thou repayest each according as he deserveth” (Ps. 62)


Of the Second Point.

Applicatio historiæ Iohannis Huß: Application to the history of John Hus.

These words of the Lord Jesus were zealously followed by the honor-loving martyr from Bohemia, John Hus. From this not only does he have a Christian name in the world, but the Lord Jesus, whom he confessed, and who by His Spirit gave him the courage to be able to confess steadfastly, will confess him in turn before His Father. Blessed John Hus, from his confession veritatis, of the truth, can await the aureolam salutis, the halo of salvation. Let us examine the chief points of his history.

Patria Hußi: Hus’s homeland.

He was born in a Bohemian village Hussinecz, just like Valentius Fridland von Trotzendorff, and Master Vechner, former rector of Freystadt, who both educated many learned people. Luther was the son of a simple woodcutter, and in his youth also ate the bread of charity. God begins His enterprises humbly but concludes them loftily. He accomplishes the greatest objects through poor people, that the glory may remain His own (1 Cor. 1).

Doctrina Hußi. Hus’s teaching.

In the year of Christ 1400, the pope held a great jubilee year in Rome, and offered indulgences lavishly to all who came with a full purse. John Hus rebuked this and said it was intolerable greed and simoniacal trafficking, basing his argument on Peter’s words in Acts 8: “So that thou shalt be damned with thy money, because that thou thinkest God’s gift is obtained by money”; and in 1 Peter 1: “Know that ye were redeemed not with perishable silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ,” etc.; and said, “The true indulgence is found only in the precious merit of Jesus Christ. For ‘the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sins’ (1 John 1). This letter of indulgence Jesus, the Legatus a latere æterni Patris, the Legate from the side of the eternal Father, appointed Himself (John 6): ‘This is the will of Him who sent Me, that whosoever seeth the Son and believeth in Him hath everlasting life.’ (Lege Mourning-Bands, part 2.) <301> This indulgence must be bought by grace, for free, without money, as Isaiah says (Isa. 25), and this indulgence is free and open all year, every day and hour, to all penitent hearts, in the Absolution whenever they come to confession. God’s grace is without moderation. There is no need to run to Rome first. That is why the Lord Jesus commanded the Gospel, in which the true indulgence is comprehended, to be preached in all the world.” Behold, the business began as it did with Luther. Therefore he recalls him approvingly in the preface to the Bohemian Brethren hymnal. Just as Luther had his Philipp, so Johan Hus had with him the learned Hieronymus from Prague. Peter of Dresden, who made the songs Quem pastores, In dulci jubilo, and other Christmas hymns, in which German and Latin are mixed together, in the year 1410, also began to rebuke the withholding of the chalice in the Holy Supper, when John Hus was already at Constance, he ventured it and re-established its use. Therefore Hus wrote at home, “You have found the chalice in which I shall drink my death,” which also happened. For Hus had to do everything. He also said that the Roman Church is no longer the etrue church; for of the true church the Lord Jesus said above in John 10, “My sheep hear My voice.” The same thing was also said by a notable theologian to Bishop Gerstman when he asked why had left the papacy: “The word, Hunc audite (Matt. 17), does it all. Hus said that the doctrine of the Roman priests was as far from the doctrine of the holy Apostles as heaven from earth. For the latter sought the salvation of men, but the former sought the money and property of men, and consumed it with dogs, whereas the Lord Jesus, Vos autem non sic. He also rejected Masses for the souls of the deceased. For ex inferno there is nulla redemptio. Likewise, the worshiping of images; for we are to call upon God alone (Deut. 6; Matt. 4). Behold, dear heart, John Hus was not the first to speak against the papacy. Even in the midst of the papacy there were the “seven thousand who did not bend their knee before Baal,” as in the days of Elijah (1 Kings 19). There have always been those who distinguished black and white, as may be seen in the great, enlarged catalogus testium veritatis. Only they could not make progress becauase of the great power, or they did not have the courge to put it into the light. Only Luther is able first to venture what no emperor and prince was able to venture.

Concilium constantiense: The Council of Constance.

Concerning this religious schism, the emperor Sigismund was concerned, and brought a free council out to Constance in the year 1414 (two fourteens—there was to be a great change) and to it cited John Hus, and also sent him safe conduct. Hus immediately arose before he received the safe conduct and on the way testified everywhere to what his opinion was, as Luther did (lege ejus vitam apud Matthesium 21b). The truth does not creep into a secret place; it does not flee the light (John 3).

The pope himself came to the council and began the sessions with a glorious oratio from the words of Zechariah 8: “Love ye truth and peace.” This was made to be a cloak. It goes according to the proverb: in God’s name all calamity begins, just as in the cellar the drink is also spoiled when in God’s name water is poured into wine, and the table-beer and “fish-beer” is poured into the best stuff. The emperor also came afterward and on Christmas Eve put on a choir gown and publicly sang the Gospel from Luke 2. A decree was issued by Emperor Augustus. The business, however, was greatly prlonged. In the year 1415, on July 5, Hus was presented and asked where he persevered in his teaching. He said, “Yes.” Further, whether he would recant. He said, “Yes, willingly, if it is against God’s Word.” Then said the bishop, “Hui, tune plus vis sapere universo concilio: Wilt thou be more knowledgeable than all of us?” Hus said, “No, dear sirs, but neither are ye to be more knowledgeable <302> than God and His Word. I will step around the least letter in God’s Word.” Then cried the bishop, “Heu quam pertinax ille in sua hæresi: Oh, how the fellow sticks and stands fast in his heresy!” For Satan cannot hear the “scriptum est: it is written.”

Huß condemnatur: Hus is condemned.

The following day, July 6, on the octave of Peter and Paul, the archbishop brings them into the parish church. After Mass is celebrated, tables and benches are arranged. The bishop preaches, framing his words in three points: 1. What worthless people heretics are; 2. Authorities have full power to execute them; 3. What great benefit follows such action. When he has concluded, the concilii orator, speaker of the council, steps forward and applices the sermon to poor Hus, and mixes in many irrelevant matters. Hus wishes to respond, but is commanded to keep silent; for a heretic has no power to speak in church. He asks to be convinced of the false accusations, as fitting by law, but no one will hear him. At this he falls into despondency and says, “Then I summon you all before the judgment of God, when all truth shall have room.” Then hell burned: is this how he answers the high priest? He appeals to the emperor’s conduct and says, “For what purpose, then, is his majesty’s certificate and seal if I am not to be heard and speak the truth?” But the clergy claimed, “Hæretico non servandam fidem: faith need not be kept with a heretic.” Over this, Zedekiah also came into sorrow and distress (2 Chron. ult.). And Vladislaus the King of Poland and Hungary, who fell piteously before Varna, whom Cardinal Julian absolved of the oath he had made in the year 1444. The Turkish emperor Amurathes is supposed to have stepped before the crucifix on Julian’s banner and said, “Thou crucified Christ, if Thou be God’s Son, then chasten Thy Christians, which in Thy name sware peace unto me and shamefully brake it.” Thereupon fortune inclined toward the Turkish side. The noble Caspar von Schlick, chancellor of three emperors, stood at Constance and publicly protested, in the name of the emperor, that he had not consented to the priestly business, as may also be read in the Annales Silesiæ. However, might precedes right. Hus was denied his life, and (terrible to hear) the resolution “Hoc non obstante” concerning the Holy Supper was made: “Notwithstanding Christ instituted it under both forms and it was also used by the faitihful in the early church in both forms, yet it is to remain according to the current custom of the church.” Christianity stinks from these people’s throats like Bohemian cheese.

I must make mention of Doctor Andreas Zacharias, who with respect to John Hus earned a rose in his cap from the pope, who said, “Hus, I will overcome you from your own Bible,” (and turned to Ezekiel 34, where it says, “I will strike My shepherds et non populus, and not the people”) “Behold, God Himself wishes to rebuke the pope and his cardinal; you had no power to do so.” And these words stood in Hus’s Bible: “et non populus: and not the people.” The learned might well cross themselves to see how the words appeared. For we find them now in no Bibles, even if they are printed in the midst of the papacy. Spalatin said, “The devil put that text into the Bible.” This Doctor Andreas Zachariæ lies buried before the high altar in the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. When Doctor Andreas Proles saw his image in the cloister in Gotha with a rose in his cap, he said to Doctor Staupitz, “God protect me from wearing this rose,” since he had overcome Johann Hus unjustly from a falsified Bible. Behold, this was made to be a little cloak to cover the evil affair.

Huß crematur: Hus is burned.

Thereupon Hus was degraded and deprived of all his priestly dignity, and handed over to the secular judges, as Christ was to Pilate and the soldiers. On his head was placed a paper mitre on which three devils were painted along with the title, “Iste est hæresiarcha: This is an arch-heretic.” Then he was burned and his ashes scattered in the Rhine. But in the process he was <303> joyful and of good cheer, just as his colleague Hieronymus of Prague was the next year, 1416, on Saturday after Ascension, who said, “post centum annos respondebitis Deo et mihi: After a hundred years you will answer God and me.” Æeneas Sylvius, an arch-papist, who later became pope, writes a remarkable thing:

Quasi ad epulas invitari ad incendium properarunt, nullum emittentes vocem, quæ miseri animi posset facere indicium. Ubi ardere cœperunt, hymnum cecinére, quem vix flamma et fragor ignis intercipere potuit. Nemo Philosophorum tam forti animo mortem pertulisse traditur, quam isti incendium: They hastened to the fire as if invited to a banquet, emitting no cry which might give indication of a wretched soul. When they began to burn, they sang a hymn, which the flame and crackling of the fire could scarcely hinder. No philosopher is reported to have borne death so boldly as these men did their fire.

When the hangman was about to kindle the fire behind Hieronymus, he said, “Huc accede, et in conspectu ignem accende. Si enim illum timuissem, nunquam in hunc locum, quem fugiendi facultas erat, accessissem: Come here and light the fire before my face. For if I feared it, I would never have approached this place from which there was power to flee.” {Read of Luther’s joy, V. Mathesii, p. 21.} This all flows from a good conscience, which is an everlasting delight. This courage mightily impressed many hearts. They said, “What these men taught we do not know, but their death is very comforting and Christian.” Therefore Emperor Charles said, when he heard of the Elector’s steadfastness, “Of a truth, this doctrine must have more foundation than many of you think.” Gerson, the chancellor of Paris, was also at Constance and helped to season these bad fish in spite of his conscience (lege Examen Concilii Tridentini parte secunda, how boils the bolts), was pricked in his heart because of this. Fourteen years later he died in great misery in Lyons. Shortly before his death, he gathered the children, brought them into the church, and behind closed doors had them kneel before the altar and spoke before them pitifully, “Deus meus, Creator meus, miserere miseri famuli tui Johannis Gerson: O my God, my Maker, have mercy upon Thy miserable servant John Gerson!”

Patientia: Longsuffering. — Vaticinium: Prophecy.

Let us remain with John Hus. When he saw that a farmerwas bringing a greaet armful of wood. Then a monk called out an indulgence for all those who would help put this heretic to death. Then the captive man said, “O sancta simplicitas: O holy innocence, what are you doing?” And he prayed for his enemies, just as Christ and Stephen had done. He also prophesied and said, “You are now cooking a goose (which in Bohemian is ‘Hus’), but in a hundred years, a swan will come, whom you will leave unroasted.” (It this event, no doubt, that Hieronymus of Prague also saw a hundred years before.) This was truly fulfilled. For Hus was burned in the year 1415, but Luther, the white swan from Wittenberg (Whitenberg) began to write in the year 1517. That is two hundred and two years apart. The papists also wished to break his safe conduct to Worms and roast him, but the Rhenish Palsgrave, Elector Ludwig, would not let his certificate and seal be broken; he would never, as an honest German prince, bear the ignominy of having deceived any man to his death. He also said, “It should not be forgotten how Emperor Sigmund no longer had any success from the moment he broke, contrary to the laws of all nations, the safe conduct given to John Hus.”

Agon extremus: Final agony.

As John Hus was led to his death, he prayed without ceasing, “Jesu Fili Dei vivi, qui passus es pro nobis, miserere mei: Jesus, Son of the living God, who didst suffer for us, have mercy upon me!” Behold how he observed the octave of Peter and Paul, how he made use of Peter’s words from the Gospel of Matthew 16. Therefore even the gates of hell cannot prevail against him. Learn likewise to make use of the latest sermons in your prayer. “Qualis concio, talis debet esse precatio: Such as the sermon, so should the prayer also be.”

Praxis: Practical application.

What John Hus did, all who love Christ are obliged to do. Let everyone ask his heart what he is minded to do in this situation. A fine confessor! How would you confess Christ in time of peril, who now in good days exhibit no Christian work to the honor of Christ nor live according to the Gospel, but wallow in all reckless frivolity! May God correct you! <304>
You who are poor, you also have your stake of anguish. Everyone has his little fire of the cross in which his heart is roasted. Come then, confess Christ, do not deny Him. Forget Him not. Call upon Him. Remain faithful to Him even to the last gasp. That will benefit you eternally. Amen.

Closing Benediction.

Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, upon whom John Hus also called; the certain Lover of all who know and confess His name, pour the Holy Spirit into our heart, that we may not only know and love Him with His Evangelical truth, but also with joyful lips fearlessly confess Him before all the world, that He may confess us before His heavenly Father, and we accordingly receive the golden crown of eternal salvation, which is laid up for all who confess Jesus. Amen.

(Translation © 2023 Matthew Carver.)

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Organización de libros de lugares comunes

El original inglés de este artículo se encuentra AQUÍ. The original English of this article is found HERE.

¿Por qué libros de lugares comunes?

Los Libros de lugares comunes (loci communes [latín], commonplaces [inglés]) son libros de acontecimientos memorables, bien organizados. Las personas que trabajan con el conocimiento siempre han necesitado formas de organizar sus conocimientos para una futura recuperación, memoria y apoyo al pensamiento. El método clásico del libro de lugares comunes (loci communes) es lo suficientemente simple para ser utilizado por estudiantes de secundaria, y lo suficientemente sólido como para ser utilizado por profesores e investigadores avanzados. Tenemos que tomar notas de tal manera que, a medida que avanzamos, hagamos nuestros futuros escritos y lo pongamos todo en un solo lugar (Ahrens 2017, 140). “Lea con un bolígrafo en la mano, tome notas inteligentes y haga conexiones entre ellas. Las ideas vendrán por sí solas y tu escritura se desarrollará a partir de ahí” (Ahrens 2017, 151).

Tipos de libros de lugares comunes

Un sistema totalmente analógico para un teólogo luterano puede estar comprendido por cuatro tipos de cuadernos: (1) Lugares comunes bíblicos. (2) Lugares comunes sistemáticos. (3) Bibliografía. (4) Índice.

Organización de los libros de lugares comunes

Las partes del libro de lugares comunes incluyen lo siguiente.

Título del cuaderno: El tipo de cuaderno: bíblico, sistemático, índice o bibliografía.

Letra del tomo: Los tomos bíblicos y sistemáticos están en secuencias separadas. El primer tomo sistemático es A, el segundo es B, y así sucesivamente. El primer tomo bíblico es βΑ, el segundo es βΒ, el tercero es βC, y así sucesivamente. (La letra griega β significa βιβλικός, “bíblica”).

Índice de volumen (1–2 páginas): Este indexa el contenido de este cuaderno en particular.

Páginas de contenido: Recomiendo llenar los cuadernos de principio a fin, y así aprovechar todas las páginas. Si intenta asignar una cantidad determinada de páginas a determinados temas, inevitablemente muchas, si no la mayoría de las páginas, permanecerán en blanco para siempre. Además, al inicio de tu carrera no sabes a dónde te podrían llevar tus intereses futuros. Por lo tanto, se necesita una forma simple y al azar (no predeterminada) para asignar temas de página. Cuando están indexadas, estas páginas ordenadas al azar son fáciles de encontrar. Solo se asigna un capítulo de la Biblia por página (en cuadernos bíblicos), y solo se asigna una sola combinación de letras de encabezamiento (en cuadernos sistemáticos) por página. Las instrucciones sobre las combinaciones de letras de encabezados se darán a continuación en la sección sobre Libros sistemáticos.

Título de la página: Este es un capítulo de la Biblia (en cuadernos bíblicos), o una combinación de letras de encabezado (en cuadernos sistemáticos).

Número de página: Después del índice, las páginas de contenido se numeran secuencialmente: 1, 2, 3, ...

Margen izquierdo: El área a la izquierda de la línea roja se usa para encabezados (en cuadernos sistemáticos) o números de versículos (en los bíblicos).

Encabezado y pie de página: la parte superior del encabezado se utiliza para el título de la página. Las notas de contenido comienzan arriba de la primera línea. Reserve un pie de página de 3 a 4 líneas para texto adicional o notas cortas que pueden surgir tiempo después. El espacio adicional en el encabezado también puede servir para este propósito, si el pie de página está lleno.

Toma de notas

Notas fugaces: lea con un papel borrador y bolígrafo o lápiz. Mientras lees, escribe muy brevemente las ideas del libro con sus números de página. Esto es como tu índice personal para este libro o artículo. Estas se llaman “notas fugaces” o, en latín, conjectanea. Algunas de estas notas fugaces pueden ser borradores de lo que pondrás en tus lugares comunes. Estas notas fugaces se descartan pronto, después de haber sido ponderadas y convertidas en notas permanentes, o bien rechazadas. Asegúrese también de agregar a su bibliografía e índice antes de descartar sus notas fugaces.

Notas permanentes: revise sus notas fugaces y piense en lo que podría ser relevante para las notas que ya están en sus lugares comunes. Si es necesario, escriba un borrador de lo que pondrá en los lugares comunes. Después de esperar unos días, si el borrador aún parece digno de incluirse en tus lugares comunes, agréguelo al lugar adecuado y agregue referencias cruzadas. Más adelante se darán más instrucciones en la sección sobre Libros Sistemáticos de Lugares Comunes.

Notas de proyecto: Estas son notas que se han escrito para un proyecto de escritura en particular. Se extraen de las notas permanentes o de otra lectura (notas fugaces). Una vez que finalizas un proyecto de escritura, estas notas se descartan o se archivan (Ahrens 2017, 41–42).

Libros bíblicos de lugares comunes

Registre notas exegéticas sobre la Biblia en estos. Están organizados por capítulo de la Biblia. Uno puede optar por mantener cuadernos separados para el AT y el NT. Organización del cuaderno: El título del tomo será “Lugares comunes bíblicos”, y el número del tomo será una letra. Tal vez pueda agregar una β en la página del título al frente de la letra del tomo, para dejar en claro que este es un cuaderno bíblico de lugares comunes. Para el índice del tomo, coloque la abreviatura de cada libro de la Biblia (tal vez solo AT o NT) a la izquierda de la línea roja, un libro por línea. Una página se puede asignar a un solo capítulo de la Biblia, pero las páginas no se asignan por adelantado. Siempre que necesite una página para un capítulo de la Biblia en particular, titule la página apropiadamente y ponga el número de página en el índice del volumen. En el índice, coloque el número de capítulo en la línea del libro, dibuje un cuadro alrededor y coloque el número de la primera página al lado. Por ejemplo:

2 Tim. | [2] 45

No es necesario indexar páginas adicionales reservadas para el mismo capítulo, ya que tendrán referencias cruzadas desde la primera página de ese capítulo. Mantenga un pie de página de cuatro filas para el desbordamiento. (Vea la ilustración “Índice Bíblico”).

Cada página de contenido maneja solo un capítulo de la Biblia. En la parte superior de la página, escriba el nombre del libro y el número del capítulo. El resto del espacio del encabezado es para el esquema del capítulo. Si es posible, complete esto de inmediato, todo en una o dos líneas. (Se podrían usar otras líneas del encabezado para diferentes esquemas del capítulo). También incluya en el encabezado los versículos del capítulo que aparecen en el leccionario de tu iglesia. El margen izquierdo de la página está reservado para los números de verso. Estos no tienen que estar en orden numérico. Dado que los números están claramente indicados en el margen, es fácil encontrar material en cualquier versículo dado.

Primero compare las versiones (traducciones) más importantes, como ESV, NKJV, KJV (en inglés), biblia vulgata (biblia latina, ed. de Weber), Nova Vulgata latín, Elberfelder 1985 alemán, Lutero 1545 alemán, Reina Valera Revisada 1960, Reina Valera Contemporánea, Biblia de Jerusalén, además de la Septuaginta griega para el Antiguo Testamento. Si las versiones están de acuerdo, sigua adelante. Hay poca necesidad de hacer un trabajo léxico para esas palabras, ya que el significado es universalmente reconocido. Pero cuando las versiones varíen significativamente, analice y busque las palabras griegas o hebreas en  gramáticas y diccionarios respetados. Las notas sobre todo lo anterior deben hacerse en papel borrador.

Ahora decide lo que quieres recordar para la posteridad y escribe una nota breve y bien ordenada en tu cuaderno. He aquí un ejemplo de nota lingüística final:

22 שׁוֹבֵב "tradicionalmente: reincidente, infiel" (HALOT, aunque proponen una enmienda poco convincente); "infiel" (ESV); "rebellis" (NVul, Elb, Luth, RVR); “vaga” (Vul); ἠτιμωμένη [deshonrado (BDAG ἀτιμόω)] (LXX); ᾑταμίας [desvergonzado, precoz] (LXX en 49:4, misma palabra Hbr).

Luego, use sus Lugares comunes bíblicos para registrar otra información, como contradicciones aparentes y sus soluciones; doctrinas significativas que surgen del texto; declaraciones hermosas y memorables de los padres, incluyendo el Libro de Concordia y Lutero; aplicaciones útiles; e ilustraciones. Estos no tienen que estar en ningún orden en particular, pero el número de verso siempre debe estar en el margen izquierdo para que todo el material de cualquier verso se pueda encontrar rápidamente.

Si hay referencias cruzadas significativas a otros pasajes de la Biblia, escríbalas en el margen izquierdo entre paréntesis. Luego colóquelos en el índice de volúmenes con el número de página entre paréntesis. De esta manera, queda claro en el índice que se trata solo de referencias cruzadas y no de páginas enteras dedicadas al capítulo. Por ejemplo:

2 tim. | [2] (1)

También puede hacer una referencia cruzada a tus lugares comunes bíblicos de cualquier otro volumen de lugares comunes, o de tu índice general, haciendo referencia al volumen, la página y la referencia bíblica. Por ejemplo: NACIMIENTO VIRGINAL | βA6 sobre Jeremías 31:22.

Si llenas una página, busque la siguiente página en blanco y escriba el libro y el capítulo allí. En la parte inferior de la página completa, dibuje una flecha hacia la derecha y escriba el número de la página nueva, y en la página nueva en el margen interior superior, dibuje una flecha hacia la izquierda y el número de la página anterior completa. Si las páginas del mismo capítulo bíblico están una al lado de la otra, basta con flechas simples sin números de página. 

Si desea estudiar otros textos clásicos extensos de una manera que esté organizada por el contenido del documento (como el Libro de Concordia), puede llevar cuadernos separados, con índices y páginas organizadas por documento y artículo.

Lugares comunes sistemáticos

La forma más básica de usar un libro de lugares comunes es como almacenamiento de cosas que deseas encontrar más adelante. En este caso, coloca citas y pensamientos en espacios que están asignados a un tema en particular, indexa tus notas y luego encuentra tus notas fácilmente en cualquier momento en el futuro. La forma más avanzada es como cerebro externo, una forma de desarrollar pensamientos profundos con el tiempo. Esto requiere referencias cruzadas más significativas y una reflexión constante sobre cómo las notas nuevas apoyan o desafían las notas antiguas.

En los libros de lugares comunes sistemáticos, de nuevo, el número del tomo es una letra. El arreglo es por tema, no por capítulo de la Biblia. Las páginas no se asignan a temas específicos, sino a combinaciones de letras y vocales iniciales. Por ejemplo, en la página asignada a “Co” se pondrían notas referentes a “CONFESIÓN” y “COMUNIÓN”. Las dos primeras páginas están dedicadas a un índice del tomo. Este índice incluye cada letra del alfabeto, con las cinco vocales de cada letra del alfabeto: a, e, i/y, o, u. Por ejemplo, las primeras diez líneas del índice serían: Aa, e, i/y, o, u; Ba, e, i/y, o, u. K y Q no se subdividen por sus vocales; todas las palabras con K están en la misma página y todas las palabras con Q están en la misma página. Por eso, K y Q necesitan cada uno solo una línea en el índice. Todas las palabras que comienzan con X y Y se colocan en la misma página, por lo que estas dos letras juntas ocupan una sola línea en el índice.

En las páginas de contenido, el encabezamiento se escribe en el margen, para que uno pueda encontrar fácilmente las notas que se buscan. Deje una línea entre las notas. Cada nota debe escribirse con una letra minúscula, cada página debe comenzar con "a". P.ej:

a. BAUTISMO DE INFANTES] “Los infantes deben ser bautizados porque . . .” (Balduin 1618, 48).

Esta forma de enumeración te permite consultar notas específicas desde cualquier lugar. Si "Ba" fuera la página 82 del volumen C, la nota anterior sería "C82a". Este sistema de referencia simple e inequívoco es lo que permite la referencia cruzada entre todas las notas del sistema.

Para agregar una nota a los lugares comunes, elija un tema principal (un encabezado o “lugar común”). Pon primero el sustantivo principal. Sea riguroso con esto. De lo contrario, no sabrás dónde encontrar las cosas. Por ejemplo: “catolicismo romano” (en la página Ca); “Ortodoxia Oriental” (en la página Oo); “Federación Luterana Mundial” (en la página Fe); “Sínodo de Missouri, Iglesia Luterana” (en la página Si/y); “Concilios Ecuménicos” (en la página Co). Luego agregará referencias cruzadas hacia atrás (A2b <--) y adelante (--> B3c) a otras notas relacionadas y a referencias misceláneas (cf. C4d).

En teología, existen categorías bien definidas que se han utilizado durante siglos y milenios. Estas son útiles para estructurar el pensamiento teológico. Esta es la razón por la que se recomienda que seleccione un encabezado (lugar común) para cada entrada, incluso si otros encabezados pueden ser igualmente adecuados. Comience eligiendo palabras clave que correspondan a categorías teológicas clásicas. Luego, en el futuro, puede inventar nuevos encabezados y hacer referencias cruzadas a ellos. Por ahora, simplemente coloque las notas donde parezca que encajan. Pregunte: “¿De qué se trata esto? ¿Cómo voy a querer encontrar esto más tarde?” Elija el encabezamiento que parezca encajar mejor y escriba la nota en la página para esa combinación de letra y vocal. No elija palabras clave que sean demasiado específicas. Por ejemplo, “Oración intercesora” es un buen tema. “La Oración de intercesión es limitada a veces” es demasiado específico. Luego, piense si la nota se conecta con otras notas que haya ingresado en los libros de lugares comunes y agregue referencias cruzadas, posiblemente con notas nuevas que expliquen la conexión. Finalmente, si la nueva nota no hace referencia cruzada a ningún contenido anterior, agregue referencias a esta nota en su índice maestro, donde crea que encaja. Por ejemplo, una nota sobre “paternidad” está en la página "Pa". No hay otras notas comunes sobre la paternidad. Ingrese la referencia en el índice maestro no solo bajo "paternidad", sino también bajo "castigo" y "disciplina".

¿Qué poner en el libro de lugares comunes? Extractos, referencias cruzadas y notas. Extractos: Para libros que son raros o que no son de tu propiedad, es posible que desees escribir citas en sus libros de lugares comunes, porque en el futuro puede que no tengas los libros originales a tu disposición. Pero no se limite a escribir extractos. También resuma el contenido con sus propias palabras y haga conexiones con otros contenidos en sus lugares comunes.

Referencias cruzadas: No hay necesidad de escribir versículos completos de la Biblia o pasajes del Libro de Concordia. Solo de una referencia con una breve indicación de su contenido en sus propias palabras. Pero si le encanta el pasaje y quiere memorizarlo, adelante, escríbalo completo. Los libros que posee no necesitan ser citados textualmente a menos que la cita sea hermosa, memorable o polémica. En su lugar, de una referencia literaria con una oración breve de lo que trata el pasaje. P.ej:

LEY, TERCER USO DE] Lutero afirma el tercer uso de la Ley, pero se discute si usó esta expresión (LW 72:123).

CESAROPAPISMO] Gerhard afirma que el magistrado civil tiene un papel único en el proceso de convocatoria (Gerhard 2017, 123).

Para las referencias bibliográficas, sugiero usar el estilo autor-fecha de Turabian, ya que no requiere notas al pie, que son difíciles en un sistema analógico. Pero dado que habría ambigüedad si un autor tiene más de un título por año, a veces es necesario agregar una palabra del título, por ejemplo, Gerhard 2017 Interp., 104; Ahrens 2017 Smart, 100.

Notas: En tu lectura diaria de la Biblia, siempre busque algo para indexar. Pero lo que es más importante, si algo parece digno de recordar, escriba por qué parece importante, tanto como todos los posibles encabezados que correspondan. Esto puede convertirse en una breve entrada en sus lugares comunes. Además, explique lo que dice el pasaje de la Biblia y por qué es aplicable a este encabezado.

Al comienzo de la creación de tu sistema de lugares comunes, es posible que no tengas nada para hacer una referencia cruzada con tus nuevas notas. Pero pronto podrás hacer referencias cruzadas a notas que están potencialmente relacionadas. Por ejemplo, puedo poner una nueva nota sobre Jer. 23:16–17, 21–22, 36 en los lugares comunes con la palabra principal CARISMÁTICOS, pero luego debo hacer una referencia cruzada con REVELACIÓN y PROFECÍA, y tal vez incluso BIBLIOMANCIA (ya que mi nota dice que este pasaje está en contra de los carismáticos, que reclaman revelación inmediata). Si no tengo ganas de escribir nuevas notas para todos esos encabezados, solo agregaré entradas en mi índice general que apunten a esta nota en los lugares comunes.


Cada libro o artículo que leas debe ingresarse en tu bibliografía. Si bien el software es una buena manera de manejar la bibliografía para muchas personas (p. ej. Zotero), aquí hablaré sobre los cuadernos de bibliografía analógicos. Los cuadernos de bibliografía están numerados por letras, precedidas por la letra griega δ (un símbolo arbitrario, para permitir referencias cruzadas sucintas). Al comienzo del cuaderno de bibliografía, haga un índice de letras y vocales de la misma manera que se hizo para los libros sistemáticos de lugares comunes.  Las entradas están organizadas por el apellido del autor. Entonces, tanto "Smith, John" como "Schmidt, Johann" se colocarán en una página etiquetada como "Si". Cada vez que se etiquete una nueva página, agréguela al índice del volumen. Las páginas se asignan a combinaciones de letras y vocales según sea necesario, desde el principio hasta el final del cuaderno.

Utilice un formato estándar, como Turabian. El estilo de autor-fecha de Turabian se adapta bien a los cuadernos analógicos, ya que no es necesario utilizar notas al pie de página.

Inmediatamente después de leer un libro o artículo, escriba algunas frases (en un borrador) que resuman el trabajo. Luego agregue la bibliografía al cuaderno, seguida de su resumen y tal vez algunos números de página del libro o artículo con los temas o argumentos tratados allí. Luego agregue palabras clave en MAYÚSCULAS. Es importante hacer una referencia cruzada a todos los temas por los que podría querer encontrar este libro o artículo nuevamente. 

Después de agregar el libro o el artículo a la bibliografía, haga notas permanentes para añadir a los lugares comunes todo lo que considere digno de conservar, haciendo también referencias cruzadas de las nuevas notas con todo lo demás en el sistema que sea relevante. De esta manera el artículo o libro se podrá encontrar nuevamente en varios contextos.

Índice general

Un índice general se vuelve necesario tan pronto como uno ha llenado algunos cuadernos. Es fácil usar un archivo de texto sin formato en computadora como índice general, pero aquí hablaré de los índices generales analógicos, que se pueden hacer gradualmente y no requieren volver a tipear o escribir. En un cuaderno en blanco, numere las páginas y asigne una página a cada combinación de letra y vocal, como Aa, Ae, Ai/y, Ao, Au, Ba, Be, etc. (Dé solo una página a K, Q y XY). En un cuaderno de 80 o 100 hojas, habrá muchas páginas en blanco, que se pueden usar como desbordamiento, si se llena una de las páginas originales del índice. Luego, escriba la palabra indexada en el margen izquierdo. No es necesario dejar un espacio para las notas a pie de página. Si completa la última línea, indique en qué página continúa esta combinación de letras y vocales. Use abreviaturas muy breves para la Biblia y el Libro de Concordia. Las únicas otras referencias necesarias deben ser los lugares comunes bíblicos o sistemáticos, o los cuadernos de bibliografía (p. ej., B89d, o βA105 en v. 9, o δΑ104). Trate de mantener los temas del índice en general y desarrolle la especificidad dentro de los lugares comunes sistemáticos. Por ejemplo, “Oración intercesora” es una buena entrada de índice. “La Oración de intercesión es limitada a veces” es demasiado específico. Estos volúmenes no necesitan un índice de tomo, ya que todo el tomo es un índice.

Trabajos citados

Ahrens, Sönke. 2017. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking—For Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. North Charleston, SC: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.

Ver también

Locke, John. 1706. “A New Method of a Common-Place-Book.” In Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke, 311–36. London: W.B.

Mayes, Benjamin T. G. 2004. “Loci Communes: A Theologian’s Best Friend: Or, How to Make the Theological Tool of Your Dreams.” Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology 13 (3): 7–10.

The Literary Diary: Or, Improved Common-Place-Book. 1814. London: Taylor and Hessey.

Todd, John. 1835. Index Rerum, or Index of Subjects; Intended as a Manual, to Aid the Student and the Professional Man in Preparing Himself for Usefulness. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co.

Benjamín T. G. Mayes

Domingo Rogate, 14 de mayo de 2023

¡Gracias a Sergio Maita por la ayuda con la traduccion! 

Monday, May 15, 2023

How to Organize Digital Commonplace Notes for Theology or Anything Else

This post is a companion post to the prior post on taking analog notes. In the first section I will cover the reasoning behind my system (which is more important than any specific implementation), and in the second section I will give a simple method for storing digital notes. If you only want the method, read the second section, but a method is far less important than understanding why you are doing what you are doing.

I. The Reason for the Method

Dr. Mayes and I fundamentally agree on our philosophy of taking notes (he as an academic, I as a parish pastor). Where we differ is only in method, which is not that important.

Storing notes is not about amassing quotes. It does little use to store a bunch of data that never gets used. Not only must the data be stored, but in such a way that it will present itself to us for thought when we need it. It is as if our notes become a lifelong conversation partner.

It’s not just saving quotes and passages, but why and what we were thinking in notating it. It’s not just that notes need to be linked, but write down why we are linking them.

Such notes guard our thinking against the feature positive effect (Ahrens-2017, 117). This is the natural tendency to give greater importance to information that readily comes to mind or to information that has been more recently acquired despite the fact that it might not be the most relevant information. This is a powerful argument against just preaching whatever comes to mind first in sermon preparation. Awareness of this defect in our thinking does make us less prone to engaging in it. But the classical process of inventio (discovering things to say) sought to combat this by asking questions to find the most relevant facts and argument. We force ourselves away from the feature positive effect and toward discovery by distinguishing Law and Gospel, the fivefold applications of Scripture, and by asking questions like: What is not meant? What is excluded? What is interesting? Relevant? Why? So what? Such inventio is also part of the note-making processes.

Simply put, writing is thinking. We often think we understand something we’ve read or heard but then struggle to express those ideas in writing or in clear, unbroken speech. If it can’t be written out, it doesn’t count. Here technology does us a disservice, and I will freely bow to the superiority of an all-analog system such as Dr. Mayes described. Although the digital revolution allows us to aggregate data like never before, we know less. Typing and digital recordings allow us to record things verbatim. Handwritten notes are slower, and therein lies their power. Handwritten notes force us to summarize and rephrase as we read or listen to a lecture. Current psychology suggests that taking handwritten notes for lectures and books is better than digital note taking because it forces summarizing and elaboration. The ability to review every word is not the same as learning. But if I put the idea into my own words I thus prove that I understand it, whereas digital notes can be stored verbatim without understanding and therefore with less ability to recall (Ahrens-2017, 78).

The philosopher John Searle explains it with concision, “If you can’t say it clearly, you don’t understand it yourself.” Bad preaching and bad catechesis is unclear. With good reason did our orthodox fathers urge us to read our Bibles with pens in hand, creating our own outlines, connections, paraphrases, and summaries for each chapter of the Bible. In prescribing just such a method for his students, Johann Gerhard was 400 years ahead of the best-available modern neuroscientific findings about the plasticity of the brain and the formation of neural pathways. The old Socratic method generated learning by forcing elaboration, clarification, connection, and counter-argumentation. I used to feel bad asking catechumens questions to which I knew they did not (yet) have the answers. As it turns out, that is one of the most effective things a teacher can do: “If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matt. 22:45).

“The best-researched and most successful learning method is elaboration” (Ahrens-2017, 89).

For these reasons, I do not use a pure digital system. Fleeting notes (see Dr. Mayes’s post) should be made with pencil and paper. But once I am ready to make a permanent note, I go digital. For me the reasons are simple:

  1. I will actually do it. I am not nearly committed enough to indexing and handwriting to maintain a proper analog system.
  2. When I write, I write on the computer. So my permanent notes are in the same place as my writing.
  3. If I want analog notes (e.g., during Bible class), I simply query the notes I want and hit “print.”

II. A Digital Method

When I read, I keep a folded half sheet of paper in the book and make notes with a pencil. A key is not to just mark things but to write down why you are marking them and what thoughts you have at the time.

The worthier of these notes then go into plain text computer files. One file per note. Use plain text because it is simple to search and will never be deprecated. Do not use proprietary formats or software. If you need formatting use something simple like Markdown (

Again, do not use special programs. Not even MS Word. You can search an entire plain text directory without hassle if you use a specific file-naming scheme. I use DATE--TITLE_KEYWORDS.EXTENSION (borrowed from here). Using the date and time means that each note will have a unique ID, even if the notes were created in the same morning.

Example: 20220719T072731–

A sample note (click for larger size):

This scheme enables several features without becoming dependent on any software. I know it exists, but I avoid special software because it is highly unlikely that I will still be using it in 20 years. The metadata at the top of the file is optional. Feel free to ignore or adapt. A useful addition might be to add an author: field.

With this method, you can tag your notes and link them to each other by the unique filename. Anything that is a note on a Bible passage I tag with book and chapter (e.g., rom8). Need notes on Romans 8? Just search for “_rom8.” Simple. Therefore you can search them a number of ways: by content, date, name, keywords. And that’s mostly all just using the filename.

I don’t use an index or sort notes into folders. The computer makes them unnecessary, and I hate “deciding” where things go. There is also such thing as a “metanote” (tagged as such) which is like a mini index for a specific topic or research line, but I don’t use those much.

Why do I not worry about folders? If you think about it, whether you put notes in a book/file and index them or put them on notecards/textfiles and tag them, it amounts to the same thing. A folder on a computer is just a “tag.” With a digital system the “index” is auto-generated every time I search and I don’t have to maintain it.

To summarize:

  • Always read with paper and a pencil
  • Plain text only on the computer
  • No special software dependencies besides a good plain text editor
  • One “thought” = one file
  • Notes need to be able to reference one another by a unique filename
  • No indexing or sorting things into different folders

Final Thoughts

My sermons are stored in regular folders (one for each Sunday, but if I were starting from scratch, I wouldn’t bother with the folders). So if I have an idea, e.g., for Pentecost, I will open that file and save the note there. When I go to write that sermon I may or may not use that note. And if the note is worthy of being permanent, I will put it in my permanent notes and then put a reference to it in that sermon’s file.

I try to read some of my notes every day (synced to my phone), usually after my Bible reading. Sometimes this leads to writing new notes. By linking notes together, you can write entire papers or sermons “on accident” over time. I don’t do a lot of this as a preacher, though. Instead, when I write sermons I search and reference my notes. Often I make a note and then also link it in a file for an upcoming sermon to remind myself. I rarely write from a blank page anymore. Being on the One-year lectionary, I basically know for what Sunday any given note or thought I have throughout the year might be useful.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

How to Organize Analog Commonplace Books for Theology or Anything Else

Spanish translation of this article is found HERE.

Why Commonplace Books?

Knowledge workers have always needed ways to organize their knowledge for future retrieval, memory, and thought support. The classic commonplace book method is simple enough to be used by high school students, and robust enough to be used by professors and advanced scholars. We have to take notes in such a way that, as we go, we do our future writing and put it all in one place (Ahrens 2017, 140). “Read with a pen in your hand, take smart notes and make connections between them. Ideas will come by themselves and your writing will develop from there” (Ahrens 2017, 151).

Kinds of Commonplace Books

For an all-analog system for a Lutheran theologian, there will be four kinds of notebooks: (1) Biblical Commonplaces. (2) Systematic Commonplaces. (3) Bibliography. (4) Index.

Organization of the Commonplace Books

The parts of the Commonplace Book include the following.

Title: The kind of Commonplace Book it is: biblical, systematic, index, or bibliography.

Volume letter: Biblical and systematic volumes are in separate sequences. The first systematic volume is A, the second is B, and so on. The first biblical volume is βΑ, the second is βΒ, the third is βC, and so on. (The Greek letter β stands for βιβλικός, “biblical.”)

Volume index (1–2 pages): It indexes the content of this particular notebook.

Content pages: I recommend filling up notebooks from start to finish, and thus using every page. If you try to allocate a set amount of pages to certain topics, inevitably many if not most of the pages will remain blank forever. Also, at the beginning of your career you do not know where your future interests will lead. Therefore a simple, haphazard way of assigning page topics is needed. When indexed, these randomly arranged pages are easy to find. Only one Bible chapter is assigned per page (in biblical notebooks), and only one headword letter combination (in systematic notebooks) is assigned per page. Instructions on headword letter combinations will be given below in the section on Systematic Commonplace Books.

Title of page: This is a chapter of the Bible (in biblical), or a headword letter combination (in systematic notebooks).

Page number: After the index, content pages are numbered sequentially: 1, 2, 3, ...

Left margin: The area left of the red line is used for headwords (in systematic) or verse numbers (in biblical notebooks).

Header and footer: The top of the header is used for the page title. Content notes begin above the first line. Reserve a footer of 3–4 lines for overflow text or future short notes. Extra space in the header can serve this purpose, too, if the footer is filled.


Fleeting notes: Read with a scratch piece of paper and pen or pencil. As you read, write down the ideas of the book very briefly with their page numbers. This is like your personal index for this book or article. These are called “fleeting notes” or in Latin, conjectanea. Some of these fleeting notes can be rough drafts (half-baked ideas) of what you will put into your commonplaces. These notes are soon discarded, after they have been pondered and turned into permanent notes, or else rejected. Be sure also to add to your bibliography and index before discarding your fleeting notes.

Permanent notes: Go through your fleeting notes and think about what might be relevant for the notes that are already in your commonplaces. If need be, write a draft of what you will put into the commonplaces. After waiting a few days, if the draft still seems worthy to put into your commonplaces, add it to the proper place and add cross-references. Further instructions will be given below in the section on Systematic Commonplace Books.

Project notes: These are notes that have been written for a particular writing project. They are drawn either from the permanent notes or from other reading (fleeting notes). After a writing project is finished, these notes are either discarded or archived (Ahrens 2017, 41–42).

Biblical Commonplace Books

Record exegetical notes on the Bible in these. They are organized by chapter of the Bible. One may choose to keep separate notebooks for the OT and NT. Organization of the notebook: The volume title will be “Biblical Commonplaces,” and the volume number will be a letter. Perhaps you can add a β on the title page in front of the volume letter, to make clear that this is a biblical commonplace volume. For the volume index, put the abbreviation for each book of the Bible (perhaps just OT or NT) to the left of the red line, one book per line. A page can be assigned to only one Bible chapter, but the pages are not assigned in advance. Whenever you need a page for a particular Bible chapter, title the page appropriately and put the page number in the volume index. In the index, put the chapter number on the line for the book, draw a box around it, and put the first page number beside it. For example:

2 Tim. |  [2] 45

There is no need to index additional pages that are set aside for the same chapter, since they will be cross-referenced from the first page of that chapter. Keep a footer of four rows for overflow. (See illustration “Biblical Index”.)

Each content page handles just one chapter of the Bible. At the top of the page, write the book name and chapter number. The rest of the header space is for the outline of the chapter. If possible, fill this out right away, all on one or two lines. (Other lines of the header could be used for different ways of outlining the chapter.) Also include in the header the verses of the chapter that appear in your church’s lectionary. The left margin of the page is reserved for verse numbers. These do not have to be in numerical order. Since the numbers are clearly indicated in the margin, it is easy to find material on any given verse.

First compare the most important versions (translations), such as ESV, NKJV, KJV, Weber Vulgate Latin, Nova Vulgata Latin, Elberfelder 1985 German, Luther 1545 German, and Reina Valera 1960 Spanish, plus the Septuagint Greek for the Old Testament. If you do not yet read Latin, consult the Douay-Rheims instead of the Vulgate. If the versions agree, just move on. There is little need to do lexical work for those words, since the meaning is universally acknowledged. But where the versions vary significantly, parse and look up the Greek or Hebrew words in respected dictionaries and grammars. Notes on all of the former should be done on scratch paper. (See illustration “Biblical fleeting note”.) 

Now decide what you want to remember for posterity and write a brief, well-arranged note in your notebook. Here is an example of a final linguistic note:

22   שׁוֹבֵב "traditionally: backsliding, faithless” (HALOT, though they propose an unconvinving emendation); “backsliding” (KJV, NKJV); “faithless” (ESV); “rebellis” (NVul, Elb, Luth, RVR); “vaga” (Vul); ἠτιμωμένη [disgraced (BDAG ἀτιμόω)] (LXX); ᾑταμίας [unashamed, precocious] (LXX at 49:4, same Hbr word).

Next, use your Biblical Commonplaces to record other information, such as apparent contradictions and their solutions; significant doctrines that arise from the text; beautiful, memorable statements of the fathers, including the Book of Concord and Luther; useful applications; and illustrations. These do not have to be in any particular order, but the verse number always needs to be in the left margin so that all the material on any given verse can be found quickly.

If there are significant cross-references to other Bible passages, write these in the left margin in parentheses. Then put these into the volume index with the page number in parentheses. This way it is clear from the index that these are just cross-references and not entire pages devoted to the chapter. For example:

2 Tim.  |  [2] (1)

You can also cross-reference to your biblical commonplaces from any other commonplace volume, or from your master index, by referring to volume, page, and Bible reference. For example: VIRGIN BIRTH  |  βA6 on Jer 31:22.

If you fill up a page, find the next blank page and write the book and chapter there. At the bottom of the full page, draw a right arrow and write the page number of the new page, and on the new page at the top inside margin, draw a left arrow and the page number of the old, full page. If pages of the same chapter stand beside each other, simple arrows without page numbers suffice. (See illustration “Biblical content”.)

If you desire to study other large, classic texts in a way that is organized by the contents of the document (such as the Book of Concord), then separate notebooks could be kept, with indices and pages organized by document and article.

Systematic Commonplaces

The most basic way to use a commonplace book is as storage for things you want to find later on. In this case, you put quotations and thoughts into spaces that are assigned to a particular topic, index your notes, and then find your notes easily at any time in the future. The more advanced way is as an external brain, a way to build up deep thinking over time. This requires more significant cross-referencing and constant reflection on how new notes support or challenge old notes.

In systematic commonplace books, again, the volume number is a letter. Arrangement is by topic, not by Bible chapter. Pages are assigned not to specific topics, but to initial letter-initial vowel combinations. For example, on the page assigned to “Co” one would put notes concerning “CONFESSION” “COMMUNION” and “COMMONPLACES.” The first two pages are devoted to a volume index. This index includes each letter of the alphabet, with all six vowels for each letter of the alphabet: a, e, i, o, u, y. For example, the first twelve lines of the index would be: Aa, e, i, o, u, y; Ba, e, i, o, u, y. K and Q are not subdivided by their vowels; all the K words are on the same page, and all the Q words are on the same page. Thus, K and Q each need only one line in the index. All words starting with X, Y, or Z are placed on the same page, so these three letters together are given just one line in the index. (See illustration “Systematic or Bibliography index”.)

On the content pages, the headword is written in the margin, so that one can easily find the notes that are sought. Leave a line between notes. Each note should be lettered with a lowercase letter, each page starting with “a.” E.g.:

a. BAPTISM OF INFANTS] “Infants are to be baptized because . . .” (Balduin 1618, 48).

This manner of enumeration allows you to refer to specific notes from anywhere. If “Ba” was page 82 of volume C, the note above would be “C82a.” This unambiguous, simple reference system is what enables cross-referencing among all notes in the system.

To add a note to the commonplaces, pick a main topic (a headword or “commonplace”). Put the main noun first. Be rigorous about this. Otherwise you will not know where to find things. For example: “Catholicism, Roman” (on the Ca page); “Orthodoxy, Eastern” (on the Oo page); “Federation, Lutheran World” (on the Fe page); “Synod, Lutheran Church Missouri” (on the Sy page); “Councils, Ecumenical” (on the Co page). Then you will add cross references back (A2b <--) and forward (--> B3c) to other related notes, and to miscellaneous references (cf. C4d).

In theology, there are well-defined categories that have been used for centuries and millenia. These are useful for structuring theological thought. This is why I recommend that you select a headword (commonplace) for each entry, even if other headwords might be just as apt. Begin by picking headwords that correspond to classic theological categories. Then, in the future you can invent new headwords and cross-reference to them. For now, simply put notes where they seem to fit. Ask: “What is this about? How will I want to find this later?” Pick the headword that seems to fit best and put the note in the page for that letter-vowel combination. Do not pick keywords that are overly specific. For example “Prayer, Intercessory” is a good topic. “Prayer, Intercessory, is Limited Sometimes” is too specific. Then, think through whether the note connects with other notes that you have entered into the commonplace books, and add cross-references, possibly with new notes that explain the connection. Finally, if the new note does not cross-reference to any previous content, add references to this note in your master index, wherever you think it fits. For example, a note on parenting is on the “Pa” page. There are no other commonplace notes on parenting. Enter the reference in the master index not just under “parenting” but also under “chastisement” and “discipline.”

What to put in the commonplace book? Excerpts, cross-references, and notes. Excerpts: For books that are rare or that you do not own, you may want to write out quotations in your commonplace books, because in the future you will not have the original books to refer to. But do not just write excerpts. Also summarize the content in your own words and make connections with other content in your commonplaces.

Cross-references: There is no need to write out whole Bible verses or Book of Concord passages. Just give a reference with a brief indication of its content in your own words. But if you love the passage and want to memorize it, go ahead and write it down in full. Books that you own do not need to be quoted verbatim unless the quote is beautiful, memorable, or contentious. Instead, give a literature reference with a brief sentence of what the passage is about. E.g.:

LAW'S THIRD USE]  Luther affirms the third use of the Law, but it is contested whether he used this expression (LW 72:123).

CAESAROPAPISM]  Gerhard claims that the civil magistrate has a unique role in the call process (Gerhard 2017, 123).

For literature references, I suggest using Turabian’s author-date style, since it does not require footnotes, which are difficult in an analog system. But since there would be ambiguity if an author has more than one title per year, it is sometimes necessary to add a word from the title, e.g. Gerhard 2017 Interp., 104; Ahrens 2017 Smart, 100.

Notes: In your daily Bible reading, always be looking for something to index. But even more importantly, if something seems worth remembering, write down why it seems significant, and write down all the possible headwords that pertain. This can become a short entry in your commonplaces. You would explain what the Bible passage says and why it is applicable to this headword.

At the beginning of making your commonplace system, you might not have anything to cross-reference with your new notes. But soon you will be able to cross-refernece to notes that are potentially related. For example, I can put a new note on Jer. 23:16–17, 21–22, 36 in the commonplaces with the headword CHARISMATICS, but then must cross-reference it to REVELATION and PROPHECY, and maybe even BIBLIOMANCY (since my note says that this passage stands against charismatics, who claim immediate revelation). If I do not feel like writing new notes for all of those headwords, I will just add entries in my master index pointing to this note in the commonplaces. (See illustration “Systematic content”.)


Every book or article you read should be entered into your bibliography. While software is a good way to handle bibliography for many people, here I will discuss analog bibliography notebooks. Bibliography notebooks are numbered by letter, preceded by the Greek letter δ (an arbitrary symbol, to enable succinct cross-referencing). At the start of the bibliography notebook, make a letter-vowel index in the same way as was done for the systematic commonplace books. (See illustration “Systematic or Bibliography index,” above.) Entries are organized by the author’s last name. So both “Smith, John” and “Schmidt, Johann” will be placed on a page labelled “Si”. Whenever a new page is labelled, add it to the volume index. Pages are assigned to letter-vowel combinations as needed, from the beginning to the end of the notebook.

Use a standard format, such as Turabian. Turabian author-date style is well-suited to analog notebooks, since there is no need to use footnotes.

Immediately after reading a book or article, write a few sentences (on scratch paper) summarizing the work. Then add the bibliography to the notebook, followed by your summary, and perhaps a few page numbers to the book or article with the topics or arguments handled there. Then add key words in ALL CAPS. It is important to cross-reference to all the topics by which you might want to find this book or article again. (See illustration “Bibliography content”.)

After adding the book or article to the bibliography, make permanent notes to add to the commonplaces for whatever you deem worthy to keep, cross-referencing the new notes to everything else in the system that is relevant. This way the article or book will be found again in various contexts.

Master Index

A master index becomes necessary as soon as one has filled up a few notebooks. It is easy to use a plain text computer file as a master index, but here I will discuss analog master indices, which can be made gradually and do not require retyping or rewriting. In a blank notebook, number the pages, and give one page to each letter-vowel combination, such as Aa, Ae, Ai, Ao, Au, Ay, and so on. (Give only one page each to K, Q, and XYZ.) This requires 131 pages. In an 80 or 100 sheet notebook, there are then plenty of blank pages, which can be used as overflow, if one of the original 131 pages is filled. Then, write the indexed word in the left margin. There is no need to leave a footer on these pages. If you fill up the last line, indicate on what page this letter-vowel combination is continued. Use very brief abbreviations for the Bible and Book of Concord. The only other references needed should be to the biblical or systematic commonplaces, or the bibliography notebooks (e.g., B89d, or βA105 on Ps2:9, or δΑ104). Try to keep the index topics general, and develop specificity within the systematic commonplaces. For example, “Prayer, Intercessory” is a good index entry. “Prayer, Intercessory, is Limited Sometimes” is too specific. These volumes do not need a volume index, since the whole volume is an index. (See illustration “Index volume content”.)

Now for more explanation, see my lecture from May 15, 2023, over at YouTube

Works Cited

Ahrens, Sönke. 2017. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking—For Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. North Charleston, SC: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.

See Also

Locke, John. 1706. “A New Method of a Common-Place-Book.” In Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke, 311–36. London: W.B.

Mayes, Benjamin T. G. 2004. “Loci Communes: A Theologian’s Best Friend: Or, How to Make the Theological Tool of Your Dreams.” Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology 13 (3): 7–10.

The Literary Diary: Or, Improved Common-Place-Book. 1814. London: Taylor and Hessey.

Todd, John. 1835. Index Rerum, or Index of Subjects; Intended as a Manual, to Aid the Student and the Professional Man in Preparing Himself for Usefulness. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co.


Benjamin T. G. Mayes

Rogate Sunday, May 14, 2023