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In the Biblical sense, anything whereby one is led to sin or error or whereby he is encouraged to continue therein. The Gk. word skandalon, of which “offense” is a tr., is used to designate the trigger stick of a trap; a trap, snare, or impediment put in the way to cause one to stumble or fall; stumbling block. The seriousness of giving offense is evident from the fact that offense is an obstacle placed in the way of one's salvation (1 Co 8:11; Ro 14:15). Christ and the Gospel are an offense to some (cf., e.g., Mt 11:6; 13:57; 15:12; 17:27; Jn 6:61; Ro 9:33; 1 Co 1:23; Gl 5:11; 1 Ptr 2:8). A Christian's conduct may be an offense to some (cf., e.g., Ro 14:13–15, 19–21).

Offense is given by uncharitable use of Christian liberty, without consideration for the weak (see Adiaphora), and by unchristian life (Mt. 18:6; Ro 2:23–24). Offense may be unjustly taken on basis of a prejudiced, loveless judgment of a Christian's actions or words.

A Christian must give offense when avoiding offense would involve denial or yielding of a truth of God's Word (Gl 2:11–14). RGL

Offermann, Henry Frederick

(July 11, 1866–May 21, 1953). B. Hanover, Ger.; educ. Kropp* Sem.; to US 1889; studied Semitics at U. Pennsylvania; Ger. secy. Pennsylvania Ministerium 1900–08; prof. NT Luth. Theol. Sem., Mount Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1910–44. Ed. Lutherisches Kirchenblatt. Other works include The Jesus of the New Testament; Introduction to the Epistles and Gospels of the Church Year.


(Lat. offertorium). Originally the offertory was the 1st liturgical act of the missa* fidelium. It was the offering of one's self through prayer and supplication, supplemented by placing on the altar gifts that might be used as sacramental elements (bread and wine), or used in the agape (see Agape, 2), or given to the poor. In the Middle Ages the offertory as an act of the people was replaced by sacerdotal ceremonies and prayers of different character. These anticipated the consecration and the sacrifice of the mass* and became the “Little Canon” by the 14th c. During the various ceremonies a choral group sang a Psalm and antiphon* in Gregorian chant (see Gregorian Music). Each Sunday and feast or festival day had its own offertory (see also Propers). Since these offertories were usually short, further musical settings were added later, including motets, songs, and organ compositions. In 1593 G. P. da Palestrina* issued 68 offertories for the whole yr. In the 18th and 19th c. organ offertories were written by F. A. Guilmant,* C. C. Saint-Saens,* C. M. Widor,* et al. In It. such organ music was called elevazióne in reference to the elevation.* The Luth. Ch. refused to adopt the RC view of the offertory. M. Luther* was willing to drop the offertory entirely and begin the liturgy of Holy Communion with the preface.* But many did not follow him in this. In the 17th c. Georg Winer's (1583–1651) “Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herze” became popular as an offertory. Some used penitential hymns, hymns of praise, and Lenten hymns as the offertory. Some used the exhortation in place of the offertory. But the exhortation and penitential and Lenten hymns were not readily accepted by those who stressed the joyful eucharistic nature of the service. “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God,” sung to a melody from hymns assoc. with J. A. Freylinghausen,* is widely used. Plain chant settings of Psalm texts are also used. See also Ambrosian Music. WEB

Office Hymns.

Hymns traditionally assoc. with the monastic offices of the canonical hours.* The “night office” was matins*; the other office included lauds* to compline.* The assoc. of certain hymns with the offices began in the Rule of Benedict* of Nursia but did not become gen. in the RS liturgy until the 13th c. Examples of office hymns include “A solis ortus cardine,” “Angularis fundamentum,” “Hostis Herodes impie,” “Jesu, dulcis memoria,” “O Pater sancte,” “Tibi, Christe,” “Veni, Creator Spiritus,” “Veni, Redemptor gentium,” and “Vexilla Regis prodeunt.”

Oftedal, Sven

(March 22, 1844–March 30, 1911). B. Stavanger, Norw.; educ. Oslo (Norw.) U. and Paris, Fr.; to US 1873; pastor Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1873–81; prof. NT Augsburg* Theol. Sem. 1873–1905; helped found LFC Ed. Kvartalskrift and Kirkebladet. See also Publication Houses, Lutheran.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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