In Memory of Martin Luther

Pt 1

“No book,” says The Cambridge Modern History, “was more frequently republished than the Latin Vulgate, of which 98 distinct and full editions appeared prior to 1500….From 1475, when the first Venetian issue is dated, 22 complete editions have been found in the city of St. Mark alone….This Latin text, constantly produced and translated, was accessible to all scholars.”
Germanic translations of the Bible: In Germany, prior to the issue of Luther’s new Testament in 1522, no authority enumerates fewer than 14 editions in High German and 3 in Low German.
Protestant historian Wilhelm Walther published a book entitled, The German Translation of the Bible in the Middle Ages, in which he proves that previous to the year 1521, before Luther ever thought of translating the Bible into the German language, there existed 17 editions of the whole Bible in German, besides an almost countless number of German versions of the New Testament, the Psalms, and other parts of the Bible.

Luther expressed remorse on the effects of his “faith alone and flee from good works” doctrine on the German people at the time:

“Since the downfall of Popery and the cessations of excommunications and spiritual penalties, the people have learned to despise the word of God. They care no longer for the churches; they have ceased to fear and honor God….I would wish, if it were possible, to leave these men without a preacher or pastor, and let them live like swine. There is no longer any fear or love of God among them. After throwing off the yoke of the Pope, everyone wishes to live as he pleases.”

“I confess…that I am more negligent than I was under the Pope and there is now nowhere such an amount of earnestness under the Gospel, as was formerly seen among monks and priests….If God had not closed my eyes, and if I had foreseen these scandals, I would never have begun to teach the Gospel.”

In studying Luther, we must remember that his cardinal dogma when he abandoned Catholic teaching was that man has no free will, that he can do no good, and that to subdue animal passion is neither necessary nor possible. He insists that the moral law of the Decalogue is not binding, that the 10 Commandments are abrogated and that they are no longer in force among Christians. “We must remove the Decalogue out of sight and heart”(De Wette, 4, 188). “If we allow them — the Commandments – any influence in our conscience, they become the cloak of all evil, heresies, and blasphemies.” (Comm. Ad Galatians). “If Moses should attempt to intimidate you with his stupid 10 Commandments, tell him right out: chase yourself to the Jews." (Wittenb. Ad 5, 1573). “As little as one is able to remove mountains, to fly with the birds, to create new stars, or to bite off one’s nose, so little can on escape unchastity.” (Alts Abenmachlslehre, 2, 118)

Pt 2

Even when he was engaged in the translation of the Bible, Luther, in the year 1521, while living in Wartburg — to which place this “courageous” Apostle had fled in the disguise of a country squire and lived under an assumed name — wrote to his friend Melanchthon to say: “I sit here in idleness and pray, alas, little and sigh not for the Church of God. Much more am I consumed by the fires of my unbridled flesh. In a word, I, who should burn of the spirit, am consumed by the flesh and by impurity." (De Wette, 2, 22)

“He was so well aware of his immorality,” we are informed by Melanchthon, “that he wished they would remove him from the office of preaching.” (Sleidan, Book II, 1520).

Luther himself recognized the devastating effects of such admittedly insincere preaching: “The Gospel today finds adherents who are convinced that there is nothing except a doctrine that serves to fill their bellies and give free reign to all their impulses” (Werke, 33, p. 2, in ibid., p. 212).

As for his evangelical followers, Luther added that “they are seven times worse than they were before. After preaching our doctrine, men have given themselves over to stealing, lying, trickery, debauchery, drunkenness, and every kind of vice. We have expelled one devil (the papacy) and seven worse have entered.” (Werke, 28, p. 763, in ibid., p. 440).

“After we understood that good works were not necessary for justification, we became much more remiss and colder in the practice of good … And if we could return today to the prior state of things and if the doctrine that affirms the necessity of doing good works could be revived, our eagerness and promptness in doing good works would be quite different” (Werke, 27, p. 443, in ibid., p. 441).

On conscience he said, “What harm would there be, if a man to accomplish better things and for the sake of the Christian Church, does tell a good thumping lie” (Lenz, “Briefwechsel”, I, 382; Kolde, “Analecta”, 356)

On Justification by Faith, Luther said, “Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders” (Enders, “Briefwechsel”, III, 208) Don.

I see why you’re getting at, but you may want to change the title. Also, how could he be a nazi if the national socialist German worker’s party didn’t exist during his time?

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It’s called rhetoric. Everything is Nazi’s, even Martin Luther.

Luther wasn’t a “nazi” at all, didn’t adhere to the theory that Judaism is a “race” or that Germans were “aryans”

The fact that Hitler, hundreds of years afterwards, invoked Luther just shows that Germans during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s were more educated in their history, so they would understand the rhetoric

I’m not sure I see any good purpose to this thread. What are we doing other than vilifying Luther?


I think that when investigating Protestantism, Catholics should have at least little bit of self-criticism themselves.I mean the critical thinking.Let’s not be too biased and one-sided in our anti-Protestant arguments.

Agree…why the bitterness by this person’s post?

It’s not going to change history, and is not going to change Luther’s mind, and is counter productive if we have any hope of getting other’s to listen to Truth.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if all the hatred is really caused by the discomfort of the realization of their own weakness of faith!

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The truth doesn’t need justification, but it can be justified. If more Lutherans were aware of the truth about Luther then some of them might begin to question their own prejudices and beliefs and be saved.

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In some regions of the Christian world, Protestants are sharply condemned and demonized until now, despite their very disciplined lifestyle.
(they are often condemned in the Orthodox community, for example)
I think that against the background of alcoholism and debauchery, nominalism, sterile fetishism, and dead pretense, - the conservative communities of Protestants are certainly - the salt of the earth.
Since we started with Martin Luther, we must confirm that in the Puritan spirit, which evolved in Protestantism, there is much that is good.


Title amended.

I realised later today, that I should be more charitable and I apologise for my extreme stance.

Also, I have removed Luther’s anti-Semitic writings, as they are the most offensive.

I’am sure there are many wonderful people in the Lutheran Church, and that they are quite removed from the heresies of Luther.

God bless.:green_heart:

God bless you for helping to expose Martin Luther for who he really was.

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While we must show love, it is not true love to believe and accept damnable lies, and our Lord Jesus desires that His Church be One not 30,000+.

He was a heretic no doubt, so many people believe the myths of “the great reformer”, and they would be shocked to read what this man wrote.

Lord have mercy on us all.
Ave Maria.

You make some good points.

I am a convert from Protestantism who used to idolize Luther until I read his writings (eventually).

Before, and while undertaking my doctorate (early music history + performance), I had learned to read primary sources, this is what also lead me to the Catholic Church - the Apostolic Fathers + St Augustine + Aquinas.

Today many people will watch a movie about Luther and think they are well informed about him.

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