Good ol' Luther


#1

I have often read that Luther “tried to remove” James from the new testament.

How was he stopped? Who stopped him? Was he convinced he was wrong, or did he grudgingly accept James? Or was it slipped back in after his death.

Who were his leutenants? Or did he call all the shots?


#2

Luther removed St. James to the end of the New Testament because he claimed it was inconsistent with Paul. “Martin Luther thought that James and Paul were irreconcilable. He said he would give his monk’s cowl to anyone who could reconcile them. In the end he concluded that James was not apostolic and he removed it to the end of his New Testament (along with Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation).”

catholicoutlook.com/apocdialog1.php?logo=dialogues

“Luther called the book of St. James an “epistle of straw”. Why? Because in the book of St. James is found the ONLY place in the Bible the phrase “faith alone”. James said (James 2:24) that “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” This did not fit Luther’s opinion so he wanted to rip out the book of St. James.”

This part is chilling: "When Luther was confronted with why he added the word ‘alone’ to the passage in Romans 3:28 in his German translation he admitted that the word ‘alone’ was not in the original Greek or Latin and he advised people to respond to this criticism with “say right out to them: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so.’ He went on to say, ‘I will have it so, I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough.’”

“This profound arrogance and pride of Luther is second to only the arrogance and pride of Satan. The riff in the Church caused by this arrogant and most likely demonized man pleased Satan to no end. We are still reaping the evil effects of the rebellion.”

“Today, many Protestants maintain this same arrogance and self-proclaimed authority (albeit the Bible’s admonition that no Scripture is to be privately interpreted (i.e… 2 Peter 1:20).” (italics added for emphasis)“Thus the bottomline is that the canon of scriptures listed by the Catholic Church IS the true and complete Bible that God has ordained. The deuterocanonicals are not second class texts, they are divinely inspired as is the rest of the Bible.”

saint-mike.org/apologetics/qa/Answers/Defending_Faith/p0305200040.html

This is a great source for information about the Bible:

catholicapologetics.net/

That’s what I could find about the reason for the removal of St. James to the end of the Bible.


#3

luther considered an apostle named by the Lord un-apostolic…interesting.
I’ve read a letter of luther’s where he explains WHY he added “sola” to that passage in Paul. It is an extremely long letter, in which he begins by stating repeatedly that he is the only one that can translate the bible, and even says that he can pray, while the “papists” cannot. He doesnt answer the question of why he changed it until the end of the letter. In the preceeding paragraphs he talks a lot about translation; how sometimes you have to change some words because to literally translate would make no sense in the other language. Now I’ve studied language, so I know that this is true. However, this part of the letter is easy to see through, because it has nothing to do whatsoever with the addition of “sola”. I believe that luther went to all the lengths of talking about translation and changing the phrasing of some sentences to draw attention to that part of the letter, and thus make people think that the “sola” was necessary as an addition to be understood in German.
He trips himself up–with anyone who is thinking while reading this–when he doesnt equate the addition of “sola” with translation. luther says basically, “Paul should have put ‘only’ in here, so I did.” Well, had Paul meant “only faith” he would have written “only faith”. He didnt.
This is not the only part luther changed. In the Gospel of Luke, at the Annunciation, he changed Gabriel’s greeting to Mary so that it sounded the same as the way he greeted everyone else he came to. luther did this, he says, to take away from the reverence to Mary. He defends this change by saying “Gabriel didnt greet others the way Mary is greeted; that’s not the way he greeted people.” Well, did luther stop to think for a second why Gabriel may have addressed Mary differently? I’ll give you two guesses why Gabriel greeted her differently, but you’ll only need one.
One thing protestants, and lutherans especially, dont like to think about (besides the fact that they now use James) is that luther not only appendixed the Apocrypha and Letter of James, but the book of Revelations as well. In my experience that has been the favorite book to draw quotes out of for them (especially the “not adding or taking away anything from this book”…ironically).


#4

Recommended reading: Where We Got the Bible - Our Debt to the Catholic Church by Henry G. Graham published by Catholic Answers.

If you approach this book with an open mind, you’ll learn in the first 60 pages how self-contradictory the idea of sola scriptura is. You’ll also learn the truth when the Latin Vulgate was assembled, which was 404 A.D, and when the Catholic Church had fixed the canon of the New Testament, which was 419 A.D.

And personally, I put more stock in what Bishop Graham has to say (especially since he was once Protestant) about the subject over what others on this board report as “fact”. Spend the $15. Its well worth it.

Jeff


#5

Thanks for the info folks. Anyone care to take a stab at some of the unanswered questions below?

[quote=mark a]I have often read that Luther “tried to remove” James from the new testament.

How was he stopped? Who stopped him? Was he convinced he was wrong, or did he grudgingly accept James? Or was it slipped back in after his death.

Who were his leutenants? Or did he call all the shots?
[/quote]


#6

[quote=JeffreyGerard]… unless by the grace of God they are called to The Catholic Church… Fr. Groeschel
[/quote]

Your signature quote is interesting, but I don’t quite understand the part I copied (above). Care to fill me in?


#7

[quote=mark a]Thanks for the info folks. Anyone care to take a stab at some of the unanswered questions below?
[/quote]

Ok.First thing, I have a link that should answer most of your questions on this topic:

ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm

Now, as to your unanswered questions.No one stopped Luther, but Luther did revise many of his views on the canon (my link above will document this). For instance, Eden posted that Luther called James “an epistle of straw”- true enough, but when he revised his prefaces he deleted that comment. Eden forgot to tell you this.

Some folks have answers, but I have strong doubts as to their accuracy.Catholic apologist Steve Ray claims,

“Martin Luther understood the place of the Church in establishing the canon… He realized that if he could jettison the Church, or at least redefine it as “invisible” and “intangible”, he was free to reevaluate and regulate the content of the canon for himself. He actually began to function as his own pope and council. If it weren’t for his theologian Philip Melanchthon, Protestants would no longer consider James, Revelation, Hebrews, Jude and a few other books as inspired Scripture.”

Source: Steve Ray: “Bible’s Canon: Do Protestants or Catholics Have The Correct Books?.”

Ray infers that Luther wanted to create his own canon, while most scholars recognize Luther holds to a “canon within a canon” [see Roland Bainton, Studies on the Reformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963) 5]. Paul Althaus explains that Luther “allows the canon to stand as it was established by the ancient church. But he makes distinctions within the canon” [See Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), 83].

Ray makes questionable points that make me wonder how familiar he is with Luther. Which “few other books” is Mr. Ray referring to? I am unaware of Luther ever seriously questioning the canonicity of any other New Testament book other than the four mentioned above. Ray also gives Melanchon far too much credit for the entire course of subsequent Protestantism. Melancthon’s theological opinions did not carry overly significant influence in other protestant non-Lutheran lands. For instance, Calvin in Geneva would hardly factor Melanchthon’s opinions as the decisive element in determing his theological perspectives.

Ray also seems to indicate, Luther’s views on the canon were somehow curtailed by Melanchthon. Ray says elsewhere,

“When Martin Luther rejected “popes and councils” he also realized that the canon was again up for grabs. He didn’t like James as we know, but he also placed Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation at the back of the book, not with the inspired books. It was only later that Philipp Melanchthon convinced him to defer to long tradition and place the books back in the New Testament, back in the recognized order. How did Luther fail to recognize the self-authenticating writings?"

Source:Steve Ray, “New Testament Books: Self-authenticating? No Need for the Church to Close the Canon?”

Ray would do well to provide further information to substantiate this claim that Melanchthon was the primary reason Luther put books “back in the New Testament.” To my knowledge, there is no such document from either Melanchthon or Luther. I have e-mailed him in the past asking for a source, I recieved no response. I tend to think its because it does not exist.

Regards,
James Swan


#8

But then he went on to give his reasons, arguing that the sense of the original was best translated in German by adding the word “allein.” You can disagree with his reasons, but he gave them, and his approach to translation is actually one that most translators today would accept (translating the sense rather than trying for an impossible word-for-word equivalence). Of course, for some strange reason, Catholics always take this bit of bluster out of context, omitting the following passage which completely gives the lie to the idea that he was simply being arbitrary.

Luther explicitly said that the “Martin Luther will have it so” stuff was sheer bravado directed against his opponents, who (he claimed) lacked any skill with translating and so didn’t deserve an answer. Polemicists have dishonestly excerpted this bit of bravado to give the entirely false impression that Luther had no reason for translating as he did. I know that most people who use this are not being dishonest. But you are being careless by failing to go and read the original passage.

As for James–Luther gave James a lesser status but included it in the Bible. He saw it as dubious and thus gave it a separate pagination. Many other scholars had similar questions about James and other NT books, as well as about the OT “deuterocanonicals.”

Edwin


#9

[quote=Contarini]Of course, for some strange reason, Catholics always take this bit of bluster out of context, omitting the following passage which completely gives the lie to the idea that he was simply being arbitrary.
[/quote]

Hi Edwin,

Great answers, I also would love an answer for the "strange reason."Maybe askEden (whom you quoted). She has informed me:

“Luther’s work is undeserving of continued, intense scrutiny. For all Catholics, it is important that we not become victims of revisionist history about the heresy that was Martin Luther. Apologist work for Luther is abetting the Devil.”

-snip-

“Whether I have the “correct translation” from the German or not, it is clear that Luther encouraged his followers to “sin and sin often” without the fear of losing salvation.”

-snip-

"Luther’s corrupt philosophy can be explained away in mellifluous language, abundant Scripture quotations and blithe dismissal but its sounds ring from a dark source. Remember the angel who “knew more than God”? Luther was, in the end, just another “fallen angel”. "

Regards,
James Swan


#10

[quote=TertiumQuid]Ok.First thing, I have a link that should answer most of your questions on this topic:

ntrmin.org/Luther%20and%20the%20canon%202.htm

Now, as to your unanswered questions.No one stopped Luther, but Luther did revise many of his views on the canon (my link above will document this). For instance, Eden posted that Luther called James “an epistle of straw”- true enough, but when he revised his prefaces he deleted that comment. Eden forgot to tell you this.

Some folks have answers, but I have strong doubts as to their accuracy.Catholic apologist Steve Ray claims,

“Martin Luther understood the place of the Church in establishing the canon… He realized that if he could jettison the Church, or at least redefine it as “invisible” and “intangible”, he was free to reevaluate and regulate the content of the canon for himself. He actually began to function as his own pope and council. If it weren’t for his theologian Philip Melanchthon, Protestants would no longer consider James, Revelation, Hebrews, Jude and a few other books as inspired Scripture.”

Source: Steve Ray: “Bible’s Canon: Do Protestants or Catholics Have The Correct Books?.”

Ray infers that Luther wanted to create his own canon, while most scholars recognize Luther holds to a “canon within a canon” [see Roland Bainton, Studies on the Reformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963) 5]. Paul Althaus explains that Luther “allows the canon to stand as it was established by the ancient church. But he makes distinctions within the canon” [See Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966), 83].

Ray makes questionable points that make me wonder how familiar he is with Luther. Which “few other books” is Mr. Ray referring to? I am unaware of Luther ever seriously questioning the canonicity of any other New Testament book other than the four mentioned above. Ray also gives Melanchon far too much credit for the entire course of subsequent Protestantism. Melancthon’s theological opinions did not carry overly significant influence in other protestant non-Lutheran lands. For instance, Calvin in Geneva would hardly factor Melanchthon’s opinions as the decisive element in determing his theological perspectives.

Ray also seems to indicate, Luther’s views on the canon were somehow curtailed by Melanchthon. Ray says elsewhere,

“When Martin Luther rejected “popes and councils” he also realized that the canon was again up for grabs. He didn’t like James as we know, but he also placed Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation at the back of the book, not with the inspired books. It was only later that Philipp Melanchthon convinced him to defer to long tradition and place the books back in the New Testament, back in the recognized order. How did Luther fail to recognize the self-authenticating writings?"

Source:Steve Ray, “New Testament Books: Self-authenticating? No Need for the Church to Close the Canon?”

Ray would do well to provide further information to substantiate this claim that Melanchthon was the primary reason Luther put books “back in the New Testament.” To my knowledge, there is no such document from either Melanchthon or Luther. I have e-mailed him in the past asking for a source, I recieved no response. I tend to think its because it does not exist.

Regards,
James Swan
[/quote]

Thank you for the thoughtful response.

The link provided contains far too much information for me to wade through, and because it’s from mostly a single source, it makes me suspicious right off the bat.

I am too gun-shy to accept this information as objective.

It’s kinda like a Catholic posting “Catholic Answers” links at an anti-Catholic site. This approach presents no credibility.

I highly respect Steve Ray’s work partly because he is an ex-Protestant.

It seems that too much of apologetics (Protestant, Catholic, anti-Protestant, anti-Catholic) is geared toward sound bites that give us just enough ammo to shoot ourselves in the foot (and yes, my own foot is very holy). Maybe it’s geared toward damage control.

I am open to non-Catholic information. Simple historical information and name lists that can be googled are more along the lines of what I’m looking for.

Pardon the bluntness. Your own (written) thoughts come across with precision, only to have your links and comments about Steve Ray cast a “here we go again” shadow over them.

Now go to time out for 15 minutes.


#11

quote:
*I have often read that Luther “tried to remove” James from the new testament. *
How was he stopped? Who stopped him? Was he convinced he was wrong, or did he grudgingly accept James? Or was it slipped back in after his death.

Ok, I’m going to give this a shot.
[left][/left]
I have always found that it was Luther’s opinion that James should be removed. I haven’t found where he actually removed it*. *The LCMS website addresses this in their FAQs at lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=6633. As for who may have stopped him, I tend to think that it was Philip Melancthon. Melancthon was much more even-tempered than Luther. He was nicknamed “the Quiet Reformer” for that reason. I remember hearing in Lutheran grade school that Luther and Melancthon had many debates, some of which lasted for days. :slight_smile: Bet they were interesting. (It seems that I have read it was Melancthon who was reponsible, but at the moment I’m not sure if it was in my books or my grandma’s. It might even date from grade school.)

I don’t think that anyone could have convinced Luther he was wrong. Convince him that he should let some stuff be, yes. There’s something about Germans, and German Lutherans especially, that make them immovable once their minds are made up. My great-great grandpa used to end religious arguements with “Gehrechtikeit is gehrechtikeit” (loosley translated: right (law) is right (law)). I’ve used that myself a few times. :smiley:

quote:
*Who were his leutenants? Or did he call all the shots? *

The major “players”, if you will, were Luther and Melancthon. Others involved were John Bugenhagen, Justas Jonas, and Martin Chemnitz (helped write the Formula of Concord after Luther’s death), just to name a few. Some more info can be found at Project Wittenberg iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-home.html.

One thing I’ve noticed is that people in general like to argue Luther’s Works as doctrine, when it’s the Book of Concord which contains the doctrine for the Lutheran Church. That’s where all the prostestant-turned-Catholic stories don’t help me. I’d like to see a good Catholic apologist take on the Book of Concord.

Hope this helps.
Tina


#12

[quote=TinaK]quote:

One thing I’ve noticed is that people in general like to argue Luther’s Works as doctrine, when it’s the Book of Concord which contains the doctrine for the Lutheran Church. That’s where all the prostestant-turned-Catholic stories don’t help me. I’d like to see a good Catholic apologist take on the Book of Concord.

Hope this helps.
Tina
[/quote]

Very good point, I guess people automatically gravitate toward Luther’s works because the religion was named after him, so armchair theologians,(people who study theology as a special interest rather than in the academic world) read Luther’s works and find all the flaws. I know many things were clarified and refined after Martin Luther’s death. I lightly studied the Book of Concord in college, I have read alot about teh Lutheran religion because my husband’s family is Lutheran, back to the first settlers of Wytheville, VA. where they are from.


#13

"When Luther was confronted with why he added the word ‘alone’ to the passage in Romans 3:28 in his German translation he admitted that the word ‘alone’ was not in the original Greek or Latin and he advised people to respond to this criticism with “say right out to them: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so.’ He went on to say, ‘I will have it so, I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough.’”


But Luther also said the context in Greek demanded inclusion of the word “alone”, and proceeded to explain some of the challenges of translating into another language. Having done some translating myself, I can understand.

But in all the “Luther-bashing”, we must not forget that he did not “go off on his own” like a 20th-century American. He was excommunicated.


#14

That link is Tertium Quid’s website.


#15

For those who are interested, this is the link to the thread from which Tertium Quid quoted me above. It is interesting that he only quotes me from my concluding post after a very long thread of earnest questions in which I try to understand why Luther believed he had the authority to speak for God:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=53342

and this one is related:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=53432

Here is the full text from which he quoted:

You say that this is a hobby for you but I do not see the point of anyone continuing to “debate” Luther’s theology. It is quite an assumption to put Luther’s beliefs on equal par with Christ’s “deposit of faith” in the Catholic Church! There is no comparison and as such, Luther’s work is undeserving of continued, intense scrutiny. For all Catholics, it is important that we not become victims of revisionist history about the heresy that was Martin Luther. Apologist work for Luther is abetting the Devil. Luther was not given the authority to speak for Christ. That assertion remains unchallenged. (Edit- please read the two threads linked above to see that this is true. If anyone cares to dispute this, I have eagerly been awaiting a response to no avail!) The only conclusion to be drawn is that Luther was speaking for the spirit, although that spirit was the opposite of Holy. Who in the spiritual realm would benefit from a divided Christian Church? Who in the spiritual realm would benefit from confusion over Jesus’ intentions? (Edit- This, curiously, has also never been answered.)

Whether I have the “correct translation” (Edit- the usual excuse in the previous posts about, specifically Luther’s views on the Jews is that we have do not have the “correct translation”) from the German or not, it is clear that Luther encouraged his followers to “sin and sin often” without the fear of losing salvation. (Can you imagine someone following this easy advice and after death- surprise! Shouldn’t have listened to Luther! :tsktsk: ) Luther’s corrupt philosophy can be explained away in mellifluous language, abundant Scripture quotations and blithe dismissal but its sounds ring from a dark source. Remember the angel who “knew more than God”? Luther was, in the end, just another “fallen angel”. These drunken words were certainly not inspired by the Holy Spirit:
“Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: “Whatever has he been doing with her?” Secondly, with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery whom he dismissed so lightly. Thus even Christ, who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.” - Martin Luther

(D. Martin Luthers Werke, kritische Gesamtausgabe [Hermann Bohlau Verlag, 1893], vol. 2, no. 1472, April 7 - May 1, 1532, p. 33)

(Edit- I got no response about this quote either. I assume that I will be told it is incorrectly translated from German.)

Please click on this link that I provided on the other thread as well:
aquinas-multimedia.com/catherine/new.html

I don’t see what the point of continuing to discuss the ins and outs of Luther’s work would be. To subject Christ’s teaching (through His Church) to the undignified realm of “Luther debate” is unnecessary. I refuse to elevate Luther to that level or to give dignity to anything that he had to say about Jews or otherwise. Once a heretic - always a heretic. Need we say more?

Links were provided both in my original post on this thread about James and on the thread quoted above. I always provide the links from which I quoted for fuller context. By the way, why does it appear that the only quotes from Luther that have been incorrectly translated are the questionable ones?


#16

Eden,

You give no context for your “adultery” quote. Again, this is a dishonest tactic. You are citing a German source, so presumably the translation is your own. If it isn’t, then you should tell us where you are getting this from. By citing the original source when you aren’t in fact using that source, you’re giving the misleading impression that you’ve read the original text in its full context.

I’ve seen this quote before but don’t exactly remember the context. However, I’m 100% certain that Luther was making a rhetorical point. If you provide the context, then we can see what the point was.

The same is true of the “sin boldly” remark. Luther did not tell his followers to sin boldly. On the contrary, he explicitly said on numerous occasions that anyone who had true faith would not deliberately commit serious sin. Luther told his close friend Melanchthon in a letter to “sin boldly”–again, this was a rhetorical device pointing up the fact that sin in itself would not, in Luther’s theology, separate the believer from God. He could say this to Melanchthon because he knew that Melanchthon wasn’t likely to misinterpret such a statement as a license to sin.

You will never find such a statement in Luther’s sermons or biblical commentaries. On the contrary, as I said, the Galatians commentary explicitly says the opposite.

It seems to me that the work of the devil is to make false accusations. You should be careful about this kind of thing. If you want to bring serious accusations against anyone living or dead, you should make sure you know what you are talking about. You clearly don’t. You pay no attention whatever to the context. These are old slanders that are passed down unthinkingly by people who don’t bother to check the facts. This is not responsible behavior, much less behavior worthy of a would-be defender of the Faith.

Edwin


#17

[quote=Contarini]But then he went on to give his reasons, arguing that the sense of the original was best translated in German by adding the word “allein.” You can disagree with his reasons, but he gave them, and his approach to translation is actually one that most translators today would accept (translating the sense rather than trying for an impossible word-for-word equivalence). Of course, for some strange reason, Catholics always take this bit of bluster out of context, omitting the following passage which completely gives the lie to the idea that he was simply being arbitrary.

Luther explicitly said that the “Martin Luther will have it so” stuff was sheer bravado directed against his opponents, who (he claimed) lacked any skill with translating and so didn’t deserve an answer. Polemicists have dishonestly excerpted this bit of bravado to give the entirely false impression that Luther had no reason for translating as he did. I know that most people who use this are not being dishonest. But you are being careless by failing to go and read the original passage.

As for James–Luther gave James a lesser status but included it in the Bible. He saw it as dubious and thus gave it a separate pagination. Many other scholars had similar questions about James and other NT books, as well as about the OT “deuterocanonicals.”

Edwin
[/quote]

Luther appendixed James along with the Deuterocanonicals and the book of Revelations. He evidently considered them worth a look at, but the only reason he considered James contradictory is because it contradicted his addition of “sola” to Romans 3.

I’ve read his letter a couple of times on why he added the “sola”. He talks a lot about translation and tries to make it sound like it was a necessary addition. It was not. Anyone thinking while reading that letter can see that he is purposely talking about translation so much to make it sound like he had to add “only”. The addition of that word changes the whole meaning of that passage. Luther thought he knew better what Paul was saying than Paul himself. And he also considered himself a more reliable source on what God’s wishes are than James, an apostle of Christ himself.
“My will is reason enough”…so was Lucifer’s. I realize we all say things in anger that we dont necessarily mean, but Luther sat down and wrote this letter; thought it out and sent it off. He didn’t just say that in an outburst of anger. He had time to think about what he was saying.


#18

I hope that you will go to the links that I provided, Edwin, that will fill you in on the previous Luther posts in which Tertium Quid among others have been commenting. Perhaps you will be able to answer my question from those posts which no one else has.

Here is the background from my perspective:

Jesus established authority within His Church by giving the apostles the authority to speak for Him after He was gone. He specifically gave Peter “the keys”. Deacons and bishops are among the structured design given to us by Jesus illustrated in the Bible. Since we can see that Jesus desired but one Church (His “bride”) and established authority in that Church on earth, Luther would have had to have the authority to speak for the Holy Spirit*. *Isn’t it in direct opposition to Jesus’ own design of authority to say that we each individually can interpret the Scriptures on our own? And if the Holy Spirit intended to change that design, how did He confer that authority on Luther to begin doing so? By extension, how did Luther have the authority to give “James a lesser status” and remove it to the back of the Bible?

Edited to add that I just read your response. Have you read the links from previous thread that I provided to see the progression to my conclusion?


#19

Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: “Whatever has he been doing with her?” Secondly, with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery whom he dismissed so lightly. Thus even Christ, who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.

from this source (this is the site from which I quoted):

ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ29.HTM

“Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tell’s us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has He been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.”[57]

geocities.com/Athens/Rhodes/3543/matluther.htm

and in the strangest context!

catch-them-cheating.com/relationships-affairs/cheating-affair103.html

These are just the first three sources that I could find. It’s a very well-known quote. This troubling question of translation! I wonder if we can reliably quote anything that Luther wrote as translated into English as it’s *all *translated from German.


#20

Wow there are a ton of very frustrating things going on in this thread…

First off some of the links about Luther’s quotes are deceptive at best…

One quotes as such,

“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin . . . It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day” (WA vol. 2, p. 372; Letters I, Luther’s Works, American ed., vol. 48, p. 282).

As it stands it is problematic but look what the writer intentionally left out of the quote:

**If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. ** Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly–you too are a mighty sinner.

Can you trust someone that would be that intentionally selective and deceptive in their quoting?

The issue about Christ having sinned is completely taken out of context and changed. First off this was taken from what we commonly now called Luther’s Table Talks. This is where he would get together with some of his students and talk about Theology. He would often bring in a predicament and have his students come up with the appropriate answer. It would be like if a Catholic Priest came in and quoted parts of Romans saying, “This seems to be talking about sola fide – prove me wrong.” Table talks was not a written work and there was not a stenotyper at his table.

Luther constantly spoke of the Spotless Lamb – he used those very words incessantly. He did not think that the Christ had sinned.

Luther considered an apostle named by the Lord un-apostolic…interesting.

No he thought that the work was not actually written by James. He always and forever thought James as an apostle.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.