Books refuting Luther, and Protestantism, from Scripture?

I try to live at peace with my Protestant friends, but some of them persist in alleging that they follow “The Word of God” while the Catholic Church doesn’t. They take it for granted that Martin Luther’s great contribution was to place “The Word of God” above Church tradition and teaching, and that his novel doctrines (Sola Scriptura, Sola Fides particularly) are true to scripture.

I must, reluctantly, challenge these assertions. I don’t intend to debate my friends personally, but just to refer them to a book.

I am sure that Catholics over the centuries must have comprehensively refuted Luther from scripture itself. I’ve never bothered to go into it in great detail because I have full faith in the Church apart from this. I argue with Protestants only as a shield to defend the faith, not as a sword to attack theirs.

Please inform me of the best books (both old and new) which refute Luther from scripture itself.

(and, please don’t just say “The Bible” - I know what you mean, but that’s not going to get me anywhere)

Edmundus, try this site. Lots of good stuff.

The word of God was transmitted orally and in writing. The first words of the New Testament were written ten years after Pentecost so there wasn’t even a Bible as we know it for the first ten years of the Church.

***So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. **(2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. (2 John 1:12)*

I can’t recommend a specific book.


Historically, an excellent book from Luther’s time refuting his ideas from Scripture is:

"The Catholic Controversy" by St. Francis de Sales
Online version:
Physical book:

See also “Classic Catholic Biblical Apologetics: 1525-1925” by Dave Armstrong

The guy I just mentioned, Dave Armstrong, has tons of books answering Protestant ideas. For example:

"Protestantism: Critical Reflections of an Ecumenical Catholic"

"The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants"

"Martin Luther: Catholic Critical Analysis and Praise"

"Biblical Catholic Answers for John Calvin"

"A Biblical Critique of Calvinism"

For more examples, see here:

the Protestants Dilemma- Devin Rose
Catholicism and Fundamentalism- Karl Keating
Born Fundamentalist Born Again Catholic - currie
How to go from being a good evangelical to a committed catholic in 95 difficult steps- Christian Smith


Thanks for all the excellent replies, and so fast with the answers!



These books will be indispensable:

Dave Armstrong

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (answers to their questions)
The Catholic Verses (turns the tables and YOU’LL be making them squirm)
The One-Minute Apologist (for a quick overview of many hot topics)

John Salza

For deeper treatment of several topics, I recommend books by John Salza. He has several in a series: The Biblical Basis for XYZ (where XYX could be the Papacy, Purgatory, etc.)
Warning - he’s become a sedevacantist, so ignore that stuff on his website.

Finally, for exhaustive treatments:

Robert Sungenis

Sungenis has also become a sedevacantist, but these books are from his earlier years and they are truly staggering in scope.

Not By Scripture Alone (refutes the doctrine of sola scriptura)
Not By Faith Alone (refutes the doctrine of sola fide)
Not By Bread Alone (supports the Catholic Eucharist)

Thanks Randy! **
The Protestant’s Dilemma**

             Regular Price:                                      $-]14.95                /-]             
             Special Price:                                      $11.95                

Thanks Church Militant!

The sort of book you would recommend depends on the sort of person your friend is and the religious background he comes from. For example, Keating’s book Catholicism and Fundamentalism might be a good recommendation for Fundamentalist Baptists, but it probably would not be a good recommendation for Anglo-Catholics. Protestants are a diverse group. Keep that in mind. It might help people here if you elaborated on your friend’s background, his temperament, etc.

If your friend admires Luther so much for his deep respect for the word of God, it might be instructive to examine what Luther actually thought about the word of God. What many Protestants don’t realize is that Luther held a much more nuanced and liberal view of Scripture than they do. He was not a Fundamentalist by any means. He felt free to dispute the apostolicity and inspiration of books of the Old and New Testaments, and said that their status was a matter of private opinion. Here are some excerpts from his prefaces to certain letters of the New Testament.

On James:
Flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture, it ascribes righteousness to works, and says that Abraham was justified by his works, in that he offered his son Isaac, though St. Paul, on the contrary, teaches, in Romans 4:2, that Abraham was justified without works, by faith alone, before he offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15:6. Now although this Epistle might be helped and a gloss be found for this work-righteousness, it cannot be defended against applying to works the saying of Moses in Genesis 15:6, which speaks only of Abraham’s faith, and not of his works, as St. Paul shows in Romans 4. This fault, therefore, leads to the conclusion that it is not the work of any apostle.

On Hebrews:
*However that may be, it is a marvelously fine epistle. It discusses Christ’s priesthood masterfully and thoroughly, out of the Scriptures, and interprets the Old Testament finely and richly. Thus it is plain that it is the work of an able and learned man, who was a disciple of the apostles, learned much from them, and was greatly experienced in faith and practiced in the Scriptures. And although, as he himself testifies in Hebrews 6:1, he does not lay the foundation of faith, which is the work of an apostle, nevertheless he does build finely thereon gold, silver, precious stones, as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:12. Therefore we should not be hindered, even though wood, straw or hay be mixed in with them, but accept this fine teaching with all honor; though to be sure, we cannot put it on the same level with the apostolic epistles.

Who wrote it is not known, and will not be known for a while; it makes no difference. We should be satisfied with the doctrine that he bases so constantly on the Scriptures, showing a right fine grasp upon the reading of the Scriptures and the proper way to deal with them.*

On Jude:
Concerning the Epistle of St. Jude, no one can deny that it is an extract or copy from St. Peter’s second epistle, so very like it are all the words. He also speaks of the apostles as a disciple coming long after them, and quotes sayings and stories that are found nowhere in the Scriptures. This moved the ancient Fathers to throw this Epistle out of the main body of the Scriptures. Moreover, Jude, the Apostle, did not go to Greek-speaking lands, but to Persia, as it is said, so that he did not write Greek. Therefore, although I praise the book, it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books, which are to lay the foundation of faith.

On Revelation:

Finally, let everyone think of it as his own spirit gives him to think. My spirit cannot fit itself into this book. There is one sufficient reason for me not to think highly of it,-Christ is not taught or known in it; but to teach Christ is the thing which an apostle is bound, above all else, to do, as He says in Acts 1:8, “Ye shall be my witnesses.” Therefore I stick to the books which give me Christ, clearly and purely.

Why are you calling Robert Sungenis and John Salza sedevacantists? They are not, and there is nothing on either of their websites saying that they are.

If this is correct, I would be very, very happy. :yup:

So, let me publicly apologize to Mr. Sungenis and to Mr. Salza for misunderstanding their views.

I feel even better about recommending their books very highly. :thumbsup:

James 2:24 is pretty good(on mobile right now so i cant c&p the verse)

Thanks again!

I have kept this thread as a reference for this question. I see the the Francis De Sales book is highly recommended in this question also…

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