All of these books are great, but since budgets are a necessary evil when it comes to buying books, I arranged them in descending order of importance.
A good study Bible – personally I recommend the Lutheran Study Bible – the articles and notes are second to none, the only way to get better notes is to buy a commentary series like The People’s Bible Commentary Series or the Concordia Commentary Series (both are excellent choices).
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions-A Readers Edition of the Book of Concord – This is the collection of our agreed upon confession. There are some parts people may find familiar such as Luther’s Small Catechism, but there is so much more to us than the Catechism. Luther’s Small Catechism was only meant to be the start, here in the full collection of the confessions you will find the confession of faith which has stood the test of time. You can’t find a better explanation of Scripture, plus like a study bible there are notes to help you understand more difficult passages.
Treasury of Daily Prayer – The best devotional ever written. Each day you will read a Psalm, a passage from the Old Testament, a passage from the New Testament, and a writing by various authors on the theme of the passages. Plus, it has daily prayers, the daily offices (devotional times based on time of day).
Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible – This is the pivotal work of Rev. C.F.W. Walther, where he explains the importance of rightly understanding and dividing the two central themes of the Bible – Law and Gospel. This particular edition has a lot of helps and notes to aid people in understanding the book and more importantly understanding Scripture itself.
Lutheran Book of Prayer – The name kind of says it all. This book is a collection of prayers. In it you will find prayers for each day of the week during a month’s time. There are prayers for special occasions, times of trouble, of preparation, and many others. This is a good tool if you are at lost for words, want to pray but don’t know how, or even if you are unsure of what to pray for.
Reading the Psalms with Luther– One of the classes Luther taught as a professor was the book of Psalms. In this book he introduces each Psalm and guides you through reading the ancient song book of the church.
Lutheran Service Book – Every home should have a copy of the hymnal. In this book is a collection of songs that have been passed on for centuries connecting us with the Christians who went on before us. Plus it has excellent resources for personal devotions. I can imagine somebody saying why would I have a hymnal at home? So, I will share a story that comes from my families history. My mother when she was about 11 lived in Turkey when her father was stationed at the U.S. Embassy there. During this time a violent insurrection began that involved fighting in the city they lived. Locked in their apartment afraid to go out, my mom and her family comforted themselves by sing hymns.
The Lutheran Difference – This book will help you understand what sets us apart from other denominations, helping you to understand our distinctive teachings. It will help you understand why we never really fit into the nice neat categories sociologists like to use