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The enforcement of the ban on the Ninety-five Theses fell to the secular authorities.

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On 18 April , Luther appeared as ordered before the Diet of Worms. This was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire that took place in Worms , a town on the Rhine. Johann Eck , speaking on behalf of the Empire as assistant of the Archbishop of Trier , presented Luther with copies of his writings laid out on a table and asked him if the books were his, and whether he stood by their contents. Luther confirmed he was their author, but requested time to think about the answer to the second question. He prayed, consulted friends, and gave his response the next day:. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves , I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.

I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. At the end of this speech, Luther raised his arm "in the traditional salute of a knight winning a bout. The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each innovator has drawn his deceptive arguments. It was with Biblical texts that Pelagius and Arius maintained their doctrines.

Arius, for instance, found the negation of the eternity of the Word—an eternity which you admit, in this verse of the New Testament— Joseph knew not his wife till she had brought forth her first-born son ; and he said, in the same way that you say, that this passage enchained him. When the fathers of the Council of Constance condemned this proposition of Jan Hus — The church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect , they condemned an error; for the church, like a good mother, embraces within her arms all who bear the name of Christian, all who are called to enjoy the celestial beatitude.

Luther refused to recant his writings. He is sometimes also quoted as saying: "Here I stand.


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I can do no other". Recent scholars consider the evidence for these words to be unreliable, since they were inserted before "May God help me" only in later versions of the speech and not recorded in witness accounts of the proceedings. Over the next five days, private conferences were held to determine Luther's fate. The Emperor presented the final draft of the Edict of Worms on 25 May , declaring Luther an outlaw , banning his literature, and requiring his arrest: "We want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic.

It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence. Luther's disappearance during his return to Wittenberg was planned. Frederick III had him intercepted on his way home in the forest near Wittenberg by masked horsemen impersonating highway robbers. They escorted Luther to the security of the Wartburg Castle at Eisenach. These included a renewed attack on Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz , whom he shamed into halting the sale of indulgences in his episcopates, [72] and a "Refutation of the Argument of Latomus," in which he expounded the principle of justification to Jacobus Latomus , an orthodox theologian from Louvain.

In this work, one of his most emphatic statements on faith, he argued that every good work designed to attract God's favor is a sin. On 1 August , Luther wrote to Melanchthon on the same theme: "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. In the summer of , Luther widened his target from individual pieties like indulgences and pilgrimages to doctrines at the heart of Church practice.

In On the Abrogation of the Private Mass , he condemned as idolatry the idea that the mass is a sacrifice, asserting instead that it is a gift, to be received with thanksgiving by the whole congregation. He assured monks and nuns that they could break their vows without sin, because vows were an illegitimate and vain attempt to win salvation.

In Luther dealt largely with prophecy, in which he broadened the foundations of the Reformation, placing them on prophetic faith. His main interest was centered on the prophecy of the Little Horn in Daniel —12, 23— The antichrist of 2 Thessalonians 2 was identified as the power of the Papacy. So too was the Little Horn of Daniel 7, coming up among the divisions of Rome, explicitly applied. Luther made his pronouncements from Wartburg in the context of rapid developments at Wittenberg, of which he was kept fully informed.

Andreas Karlstadt , supported by the ex-Augustinian Gabriel Zwilling , embarked on a radical programme of reform there in June , exceeding anything envisaged by Luther. The reforms provoked disturbances, including a revolt by the Augustinian friars against their prior, the smashing of statues and images in churches, and denunciations of the magistracy. Luther secretly returned to Wittenberg on 6 March He wrote to the Elector: "During my absence, Satan has entered my sheepfold, and committed ravages which I cannot repair by writing, but only by my personal presence and living word.

In these sermons, he hammered home the primacy of core Christian values such as love, patience, charity, and freedom, and reminded the citizens to trust God's word rather than violence to bring about necessary change. Do you know what the Devil thinks when he sees men use violence to propagate the gospel?

He sits with folded arms behind the fire of hell, and says with malignant looks and frightful grin: "Ah, how wise these madmen are to play my game! Let them go on; I shall reap the benefit. I delight in it. The effect of Luther's intervention was immediate. After the sixth sermon, the Wittenberg jurist Jerome Schurf wrote to the elector: "Oh, what joy has Dr. Martin's return spread among us! His words, through divine mercy, are bringing back every day misguided people into the way of the truth. Luther next set about reversing or modifying the new church practices.

Wartburg Castle – Home to Luther's Bible - DW English

By working alongside the authorities to restore public order, he signalled his reinvention as a conservative force within the Reformation. Despite his victory in Wittenberg, Luther was unable to stifle radicalism further afield. There had been revolts by the peasantry on a smaller scale since the 15th century. Luther sympathised with some of the peasants' grievances, as he showed in his response to the Twelve Articles in May , but he reminded the aggrieved to obey the temporal authorities.

In Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants , written on his return to Wittenberg, he gave his interpretation of the Gospel teaching on wealth, condemned the violence as the devil's work, and called for the nobles to put down the rebels like mad dogs:.


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Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel For baptism does not make men free in body and property, but in soul; and the gospel does not make goods common, except in the case of those who, of their own free will , do what the apostles and disciples did in Acts 4 [—37].

They did not demand, as do our insane peasants in their raging, that the goods of others—of Pilate and Herod—should be common, but only their own goods. Our peasants, however, want to make the goods of other men common, and keep their own for themselves. Fine Christians they are! I think there is not a devil left in hell; they have all gone into the peasants. Their raving has gone beyond all measure. Luther justified his opposition to the rebels on three grounds. First, in choosing violence over lawful submission to the secular government, they were ignoring Christ's counsel to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; St.

Paul had written in his epistle to the Romans —7 that all authorities are appointed by God and therefore should not be resisted. This reference from the Bible forms the foundation for the doctrine known as the divine right of kings , or, in the German case, the divine right of the princes. Second, the violent actions of rebelling, robbing, and plundering placed the peasants "outside the law of God and Empire", so they deserved "death in body and soul, if only as highwaymen and murderers.

Without Luther's backing for the uprising, many rebels laid down their weapons; others felt betrayed. Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora , one of 12 nuns he had helped escape from the Nimbschen Cistercian convent in April , when he arranged for them to be smuggled out in herring barrels. Some priests and former members of religious orders had already married, including Andreas Karlstadt and Justus Jonas , but Luther's wedding set the seal of approval on clerical marriage.

Not that I am insensible to my flesh or sex for I am neither wood nor stone ; but my mind is averse to wedlock because I daily expect the death of a heretic. Luther and his wife moved into a former monastery, " The Black Cloister ," a wedding present from the new elector John the Steadfast — They embarked on what appears to have been a happy and successful marriage, though money was often short.

By , Luther found himself increasingly occupied in organising a new church. His Biblical ideal of congregations choosing their own ministers had proved unworkable. If he were forced to choose, he would take his stand with the masses, and this was the direction in which he moved. From to , he established a supervisory church body, laid down a new form of worship service , and wrote a clear summary of the new faith in the form of two catechisms. Luther's thought is revolutionary to the extent that it is a theology of the cross, the negation of every affirmation: as long as the cross is at the center, the system building tendency of reason is held in check, and system building does not degenerate into System.

To avoid confusing or upsetting the people, Luther avoided extreme change. He also did not wish to replace one controlling system with another. He concentrated on the church in the Electorate of Saxony , acting only as an adviser to churches in new territories, many of which followed his Saxon model. He worked closely with the new elector, John the Steadfast , to whom he turned for secular leadership and funds on behalf of a church largely shorn of its assets and income after the break with Rome.

The elector authorised a visitation of the church, a power formerly exercised by bishops. For example, the Instructions for the Visitors of Parish Pastors in Electoral Saxony , drafted by Melanchthon with Luther's approval, stressed the role of repentance in the forgiveness of sins, despite Luther's position that faith alone ensures justification. In response to demands for a German liturgy , Luther wrote a German Mass , which he published in early Some reformers, including followers of Huldrych Zwingli , considered Luther's service too papistic, and modern scholars note the conservatism of his alternative to the Catholic mass.

Luther and his colleagues introduced the new order of worship during their visitation of the Electorate of Saxony , which began in Luther devised the catechism as a method of imparting the basics of Christianity to the congregations. In , he wrote the Large Catechism , a manual for pastors and teachers, as well as a synopsis, the Small Catechism , to be memorised by the people themselves. The catechism is one of Luther's most personal works. For I acknowledge none of them to be really a book of mine, except perhaps the Bondage of the Will and the Catechism. Luther's Small Catechism proved especially effective in helping parents teach their children; likewise the Large Catechism was effective for pastors.

He rewrote each article of the Creed to express the character of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Luther's goal was to enable the catechumens to see themselves as a personal object of the work of the three persons of the Trinity, each of which works in the catechumen's life.

That is, Luther depicted the Trinity not as a doctrine to be learned, but as persons to be known. The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Spirit sanctifies, a divine unity with separate personalities. Salvation originates with the Father and draws the believer to the Father. Luther's treatment of the Apostles' Creed must be understood in the context of the Decalogue the Ten Commandments and The Lord's Prayer , which are also part of the Lutheran catechetical teaching.

Luther had published his German translation of the New Testament in , and he and his collaborators completed the translation of the Old Testament in , when the whole Bible was published. He continued to work on refining the translation until the end of his life. Paul urgently require and demand it.

For in that very passage he is dealing with the main point of Christian doctrine, namely, that we are justified by faith in Christ without any works of the Law. But when works are so completely cut away—and that must mean that faith alone justifies—whoever would speak plainly and clearly about this cutting away of works will have to say, 'Faith alone justifies us, and not works'. Luther did not include First Epistle of John , [] the Johannine Comma in his translation, rejecting it as a forgery. Luther's translation used the variant of German spoken at the Saxon chancellery, intelligible to both northern and southern Germans.

Published at a time of rising demand for German-language publications, Luther's version quickly became a popular and influential Bible translation. As such, it contributed a distinct flavor to German language and literature. His tool of choice for this connection was the singing of German hymns in connection with worship, school, home, and the public arena. Luther's hymns were frequently evoked by particular events in his life and the unfolding Reformation. This behavior started with his learning of the execution of Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes , the first individuals to be martyred by the Roman Catholic Church for Lutheran views, prompting Luther to write the hymn " Ein neues Lied wir heben an " "A new song we raise" , which is generally known in English by John C.

Messenger's translation by the title and first line "Flung to the Heedless Winds" and sung to the tune Ibstone composed in by Maria C. Luther's hymn, adapted and expanded from an earlier German creedal hymn, gained widespread use in vernacular Lutheran liturgies as early as Sixteenth-century Lutheran hymnals also included "Wir glauben all" among the catechetical hymns, although 18th-century hymnals tended to label the hymn as Trinitarian rather than catechetical, and 20th-century Lutherans rarely used the hymn because of the perceived difficulty of its tune.

Luther's hymnic version of the Lord's Prayer , " Vater unser im Himmelreich ", corresponds exactly to Luther's explanation of the prayer in the Small Catechism , with one stanza for each of the seven prayer petitions, plus opening and closing stanzas. The hymn functioned both as a liturgical setting of the Lord's Prayer and as a means of examining candidates on specific catechism questions.

The extant manuscript shows multiple revisions, demonstrating Luther's concern to clarify and strengthen the text and to provide an appropriately prayerful tune. Other 16th- and 20th-century versifications of the Lord's Prayer have adopted Luther's tune, although modern texts are considerably shorter. Luther wrote " Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir " "From depths of woe I cry to You" in as a hymnic version of Psalm and sent it as a sample to encourage his colleagues to write psalm-hymns for use in German worship.

In a collaboration with Paul Speratus , this and seven other hymns were published in the Achtliederbuch , the first Lutheran hymnal. In Luther developed his original four-stanza psalm paraphrase into a five-stanza Reformation hymn that developed the theme of "grace alone" more fully. Because it expressed essential Reformation doctrine, this expanded version of "Aus tiefer Not" was designated as a regular component of several regional Lutheran liturgies and was widely used at funerals, including Luther's own.

Along with Erhart Hegenwalt's hymnic version of Psalm 51 , Luther's expanded hymn was also adopted for use with the fifth part of Luther's catechism, concerning confession. He wrote two hymns on the Ten Commandments , " Dies sind die heilgen Zehn Gebot " and "Mensch, willst du leben seliglich". He wrote for Pentecost " Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist ", and adopted for Easter " Christ ist erstanden " Christ is risen , based on Victimae paschali laudes.

He paraphrased the Te Deum as " Herr Gott, dich loben wir " with a simplified form of the melody. It became known as the German Te Deum. Luther's hymn " Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam " "To Jordan came the Christ our Lord" reflects the structure and substance of his questions and answers concerning baptism in the Small Catechism. Luther adopted a preexisting Johann Walter tune associated with a hymnic setting of Psalm 67 's prayer for grace; Wolf Heintz's four-part setting of the hymn was used to introduce the Lutheran Reformation in Halle in Preachers and composers of the 18th century, including J.

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Bach , used this rich hymn as a subject for their own work, although its objective baptismal theology was displaced by more subjective hymns under the influence of lateth-century Lutheran pietism. Luther's hymns were included in early Lutheran hymnals and spread the ideas of the Reformation. He supplied four of eight songs of the First Lutheran hymnal Achtliederbuch , 18 of 26 songs of the Erfurt Enchiridion , and 24 of the 32 songs in the first choral hymnal with settings by Johann Walter , Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn , all published in Luther's hymns inspired composers to write music.

In contrast to the views of John Calvin [] and Philipp Melanchthon , [] throughout his life Luther maintained that it was not false doctrine to believe that a Christian's soul sleeps after it is separated from the body in death. In his Smalcald Articles , he described the saints as currently residing "in their graves and in heaven. The Lutheran theologian Franz Pieper observed that Luther's teaching about the state of the Christian's soul after death differed from the later Lutheran theologians such as Johann Gerhard.

Luther's Commentary on Genesis contains a passage which concludes that "the soul does not sleep anima non sic dormit , but wakes sed vigilat and experiences visions". In October , Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse , convoked an assembly of German and Swiss theologians at the Marburg Colloquy , to establish doctrinal unity in the emerging Protestant states. The theologians, including Zwingli , Melanchthon , Martin Bucer , and Johannes Oecolampadius , differed on the significance of the words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper : "This is my body which is for you" and "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" 1 Corinthians 11 — Zwingli, for example, denied Jesus' ability to be in more than one place at a time.

Luther stressed the omnipresence of Jesus' human nature.

Philip Schaff

Citing Jesus' words "The flesh profiteth nothing" John 6. This is Hesse, not Switzerland. Despite the disagreements on the Eucharist, the Marburg Colloquy paved the way for the signing in of the Augsburg Confession , and for the formation of the Schmalkaldic League the following year by leading Protestant nobles such as John of Saxony , Philip of Hesse, and George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.

The Swiss cities, however, did not sign these agreements. Some scholars have asserted that Luther taught that faith and reason were antithetical in the sense that questions of faith could not be illuminated by reason. He wrote, "All the articles of our Christian faith, which God has revealed to us in His Word, are in presence of reason sheerly impossible, absurd, and false. Contemporary Lutheran scholarship, however, has found a different reality in Luther.

Luther rather seeks to separate faith and reason in order to honor the separate spheres of knowledge that each applies to.

He saw the Turks as a scourge sent by God to punish Christians, as agents of the Biblical apocalypse that would destroy the Antichrist , whom Luther believed to be the papacy, and the Roman Church. This is absolutely contrary to Christ's doctrine and name". In , Luther read a Latin translation of the Qur'an.

Early in , Johannes Agricola — —serving at the time as pastor in Luther's birthplace, Eisleben—preached a sermon in which he claimed that God's gospel , not God's moral law the Ten Commandments , revealed God's wrath to Christians. Based on this sermon and others by Agricola, Luther suspected that Agricola was behind certain anonymous antinomian theses circulating in Wittenberg.

These theses asserted that the law is no longer to be taught to Christians but belonged only to city hall. In his theses and disputations against the antinomians, Luther reviews and reaffirms, on the one hand, what has been called the "second use of the law," that is, the law as the Holy Spirit's tool to work sorrow over sin in man's heart, thus preparing him for Christ's fulfillment of the law offered in the gospel.

On the other hand, Luther also points out that the Ten Commandments—when considered not as God's condemning judgment but as an expression of his eternal will, that is, of the natural law—also positively teach how the Christian ought to live. The Ten Commandments, and the beginnings of the renewed life of Christians accorded to them by the sacrament of baptism , are a present foreshadowing of the believers' future angel -like life in heaven in the midst of this life. From December , Luther became implicated in the bigamy of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse , who wanted to marry one of his wife's ladies-in-waiting.

Philip solicited the approval of Luther, Melanchthon, and Bucer, citing as a precedent the polygamy of the patriarchs. The theologians were not prepared to make a general ruling, and they reluctantly advised the landgrave that if he was determined, he should marry secretly and keep quiet about the matter because divorce was worse than bigamy. However, Philip's sister Elisabeth quickly made the scandal public and Phillip threatened to expose Luther's advice. Luther told him to "tell a good, strong lie" and deny the marriage completely, which Philip did.

In the view of Luther's biographer Martin Brecht , "giving confessional advice for Philip of Hesse was one of the worst mistakes Luther made, and, next to the landgrave himself, who was directly responsible for it, history chiefly holds Luther accountable". Luther wrote negatively about the Jews throughout his career. Therefore, in any case, away with them! Luther spoke out against the Jews in Saxony, Brandenburg, and Silesia. Throughout the s, riots led to the expulsion of Jews from several German Lutheran states. Luther was the most widely read author of his generation, and within Germany he acquired the status of a prophet.

Heinrich Himmler albeit never a Lutheran, having been brought up Catholic wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in Schulz and Dr. On 17 December , seven Protestant regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge , "since after his bitter experience Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory.

Martin Brecht []. At the heart of scholars' debate about Luther's influence is whether it is anachronistic to view his work as a precursor of the racial antisemitism of the Nazis. Some scholars see Luther's influence as limited, and the Nazis' use of his work as opportunistic. Johannes Wallmann argues that Luther's writings against the Jews were largely ignored in the 18th and 19th centuries, and that there was no continuity between Luther's thought and Nazi ideology. Hillerbrand agreed that to focus on Luther was to adopt an essentially ahistorical perspective of Nazi antisemitism that ignored other contributory factors in German history.

His position was entirely religious and in no respect racial. Probst, in his book Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany , shows that a large number of German Lutheran clergy and theologians during the Nazi Third Reich used Luther's hostile publications towards the Jews and their Jewish religion to justify at least in part the anti-Semitic policies of the National Socialists.

Some scholars, such as Mark U. Edwards in his book Luther's Last Battles: Politics and Polemics —46 , suggest that since Luther's increasingly antisemitic views developed during the years his health deteriorated, it is possible they were at least partly the product of a state of mind.

Edwards also comments that Luther often deliberately used "vulgarity and violence" for effect, both in his writings condemning the Jews and in diatribes against "Turks" Muslims and Catholics. Since the s, Lutheran denominations have repudiated Martin Luther's statements against the Jews and have rejected the use of them to incite hatred against Lutherans.

Geary noted, based on his research, that the Nazi Party received disproportionately more votes from Protestant than Catholic areas of Germany. In , he began to suffer from kidney and bladder stones , arthritis , and an ear infection ruptured an ear drum. In December , he began to feel the effects of angina. His poor physical health made him short-tempered and even harsher in his writings and comments.

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His wife Katharina was overheard saying, "Dear husband, you are too rude," and he responded, "They are teaching me to be rude. His last sermon was delivered at Eisleben , his place of birth, on 15 February , three days before his death. And so often they do. Luther's final journey, to Mansfeld, was taken because of his concern for his siblings' families continuing in their father Hans Luther's copper mining trade.

Their livelihood was threatened by Count Albrecht of Mansfeld bringing the industry under his own control. Luther journeyed to Mansfeld twice in late to participate in the negotiations for a settlement, and a third visit was needed in early for their completion. The negotiations were successfully concluded on 17 February When he went to his bed, he prayed, "Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God" Ps.

He thanked God for revealing his Son to him in whom he had believed. His companions, Justus Jonas and Michael Coelius, shouted loudly, "Reverend father, are you ready to die trusting in your Lord Jesus Christ and to confess the doctrine which you have taught in his name? He was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg , beneath the pulpit. A piece of paper was later found on which Luther had written his last statement.

The statement was in Latin, apart from "We are beggars," which was in German. The statement reads:. Do not assail this divine Aeneid ; nay, rather prostrate revere the ground that it treads. We are beggars: this is true. The tomb of Philipp Melanchthon , Luther's contemporary and fellow reformer, is also located in the All Saints' Church. Martin Luther's Death House , considered the site of Luther's death since However the building where Luther actually died at Markt 56, now the site of Hotel Graf von Mansfeld was torn down in Casts of Luther's face and hands at his death, in the Market Church in Halle [].

Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, the site where Luther posted his Ninety-five Theses , is simultaneously his gravesite. Luther's tombstone beneath the pulpit in the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Luther made effective use of Johannes Gutenberg 's printing press to spread his views. He switched from Latin to German in his writing to appeal to a broader audience. Between and , Luther's works represented one fifth of all materials printed in Germany.

In the s and s, printed images of Luther that emphasized his monumental size were crucial to the spread of Protestantism. In contrast to images of frail Catholic saints, Luther was presented as a stout man with a "double chin, strong mouth, piercing deep-set eyes, fleshy face, and squat neck.

His large body also let the viewer know that he did not shun earthly pleasures like drinking—behavior that was a stark contrast to the ascetic life of the medieval religious orders. Martin Luther is honored in various ways by Christian traditions coming out directly from the Protestant Reformation, i. Lutheranism, the Reformed tradition , and Anglicanism. Branches of Protestantism that emerged afterwards vary in their remembrance and veneration of Luther, ranging from a complete lack of a single mention of him to a commemoration almost comparable to the way Lutherans commemorate and remember his persona.

There is no known condemnation of Luther by Protestants themselves. Various sites both inside and outside Germany supposedly visited by Martin Luther throughout his lifetime commemorate it with local memorials. Mansfeld is sometimes called Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, although the state government has not decided to put the Lutherstadt -prefix in its official name.

Reformation Day commemorates the publication of the Ninety-five Theses in by Martin Luther; it has been historically important in the following European entities. Two further states Lower Saxony and Bremen are pending a vote on introducing it. Slovenia celebrates it due to the profound contribution of the Reformation to its culture. Austria allows Protestant children not to go to school that day, and Protestant workers have a right to leave work in order to participate in a church service. Switzerland celebrates the holiday on the first Sunday after 31 October. It is also celebrated elsewhere around the world.

He went on to produce several critical pamphlets on Islam, which he called "Mohammedanism" or "the Turk". Though Luther saw the Muslim faith as a tool of the devil, he was indifferent to its practice: "Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and other false Christians live. Terry Forman shared this article with me today about the role Muslims played in the history and development of the Americas, and how the Puritans and the Pilgrims have taken over the foundation story of the USA. So although Pepys never mentions slavery or much about the Muslim religion, you might like to take 10 minutes and acquaint yourself with what was happening in Portugal, Spain, West Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the mainland of North America during his lifetime.

I found it fascinating. Log in to post an annotation. If you don't have an account, then register here. Categories Map Family tree. Log in Register Search. Martin Luther. Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Friar Priest Theologian Professor. Book of Concord. Apostles' Creed Nicene Creed. Apology of the Augsburg Confession. Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.

Theology of Martin Luther. Justification Law and Gospel. Sola gratia Sola scriptura. Christology Sanctification. Two kingdoms catholicity. Sacramental Union Homosexuality. Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference. Walther F. Former monks' dormitory, St Augustine's Monastery , Erfurt. Luther as a friar, with tonsure. A posthumous portrait of Luther as an Augustinian friar.

Luther's theses are engraved into the door of All Saints' Church, Wittenberg. The Latin inscription above informs the reader that the original door was destroyed by a fire, and that in , King Frederick William IV of Prussia ordered a replacement be made. Painting by Joseph Noel Paton , The meeting of Martin Luther right and Cardinal Cajetan left, holding the book. Luther Monument in Worms. His statue is surrounded by the figures of his lay protectors and earlier Church reformers including John Wycliffe, Jan Hus and Girolamo Savonarola. Wartburg Castle , Eisenach.

An original first edition is kept in the case on the desk. Lutherhaus , Luther's residence in Wittenberg. The Twelve Articles , Martin Luther at his desk with family portraits 17th century. Church orders, Mecklenburg Lutheran church liturgy and sacraments. A stained glass portrayal of Luther. Luther's Bible.

INTRODUCTION.

An early printing of Luther's hymn " Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott ". Ein feste Burg sung in German. The German text of "Ein feste Burg" "A Mighty Fortress" sung to the isometric, more widely known arrangement of its traditional melody. But the key factor was Luther's Bible.

Following the Diet of Worms in , Luther's territorial ruler, Frederick the Wise, had Luther hidden away for safekeeping in the castle at Wartburg. Luther settled down and translated Erasmus's Greek New Testament in only eleven weeks. This is a phenomenal feat under any circumstances, but Luther contended with darkened days, poor lighting, and his own generally poor health.

Das Newe Testament Deutzsch was published in September A typographical masterpiece, containing woodcuts from Lucas Cranach's workshop and selections from Albrecht Durer's famous Apocalypse series, the September Bibel sold an estimated five thousand copies in the first two months alone. Luther then turned his attention to the Old Testament. Though well taught in both Greek and Hebrew, he would not attempt it alone. Never before, and not for many years after, was the scholarship of this body equaled. Luther remained the principal translator, however.

His spirit motivated and guided the Sanhedrin in producing a translation that was not literal in the truest sense of the word. He wanted this Bible to be in spoken rather than bookish or written German. Before any word or phrase could be put on paper, it had to pass the test of Luther's ear, not his eye. It had to sound right. This was the German Bible's greatest asset, but it meant Luther had to straddle the fence between the free and the literal. To translate properly is to render the spirit of a foreign language into our own idiom.

I try to speak as men do in the market place. In rendering Moses, I make him so German that no one would suspect he was a Jew. The translators used the court tongue as their base language but flavored it with the best of all the dialects they could find in the empire. Luther, a relentless perfectionist who might spend a month searching out a single word, talked at length with old Germans in the different regions.

To better understand the sacrificial rituals in the Mosaic law, he had the town butcher cut up sheep so he could study their entrails. When he ran into the precious stones in the "new Jerusalem" that were unfamiliar to him, he had similar gems from the elector's collection brought for him to study. Luther longed to express the original Hebrew in the best possible German, but the task was not without its difficulties.

They have no desire to give up their native Hebrew in order to imitate our barbaric German. It is as though one were to force a nightingale to imitate a cuckoo, to give up his own glorious melody for a monotonous song he must certainly hate. The translation of Job gives us immense trouble on account of its exalted language, which seems to suffer even more, under our attempts to translate it, than Job did under the consolation of his friends, and seems to prefer to lie among the ashes.

In spite of this, the Sanhedrin worked rapidly but accurately, translating in a tone more apologetic than scientific. The result was a German Bible of such literary quality that those competent to say so consider it superior even to the King James Version that followed it. And because it sounded natural when spoken as well as read, its cadence and readability have made it a popular Bible in Germany to this day. Germans everywhere bought Luther's Bible, not only for the salvation of their souls if such was their concern , but also for the new middleclass prestige it conferred.

It was the must book to have in their homes, and many Germans had no choice but to read it: it was likely to be one of the few books they could afford to buy. It was the first time a mass medium had ever penetrated everyday life. Everyone read Luther's new Bible or listened to it being read.

Its phrasing became the people's phrasing, its speech patterns their speech patterns. So universal was its appeal, and so thoroughly did it embrace the entire range of the German tongue, that it formed a linguistic rallying point for the formation of the modern German language. It helped formally restructure German literature and the German performing arts. Its impact, and Luther's in general, were so awesome that Frederick the Great later called Luther the personification of the German national spirit.

Many scholars still consider him the most influential German who ever lived. As might be expected, the German Bible's impact reached well beyond the borders of the empire. It was the direct source for Bibles in Holland, Sweden, Iceland, and Denmark, and its influence was felt in many other countries as well. Most important, the Bible left a permanent impression on a great translator of the English Bible. William Tyndale, one of the Reformation's champions, had fled from England to the Continent about the time Luther was publishing his German New Testament.

He, too, was translating from the original manuscripts, and possibly he and Luther met in Wittenberg. One strong point of Luther's work that impressed Tyndale was the order given to the books of the New Testament. In previous Bibles, there had been no uniform arrangement; translators placed them in whatever order suited them.

Luther, however, ranked them by the yardstick of was treibt Christus —how Christ was taught: the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John ; the Acts of the Apostles; the Epistles, in descending order of the Savior's prominence in each; and, finally, the Revelation of John. Tyndale followed Luther's lead, as have virtually all Bible translators since. Many phrases we know today came from Luther, through Tyndale. Luther's auf dem gebirge became was a voice heard in Matthew