Martin Luther

Hi! I’m something of an aspiring author and I’d like to write a historical fiction book about Martin Luther. I just recently saw the movie Luther and, while it was a good movie, I found it to be inaccurate. The more I hear about what Luther believed and what kind of person he was, the more I am confused. So I decided to look into his works and the works of the Church concerning him. The problem is, I haven’t the least idea of where to start. A little help please???

His own writings would be a good start. As an aspiring author hopefully you will be an aspiring historian as well. Primary sources are a must :thumbsup:

God bless you

What does “historical fiction” really mean?:confused:

I think JonNC is Lutheran and he is very well respected here as a poster. I’m sure he’ll be able to point you to factually accurate records that will help.

Apolgies if I’m getting JonNC mixed up with someone else.

I like Jon, not sure if it is NC or C, or N but I know who you refer to. I try to read as many of his posts as I can when in this section. :thumbsup:

There is quite a bit of Luther material out there, including the American edition of his works which runs to some 55 volumes. In addition, there are a number of biographies including those by Roland Bainton, Heiko Obermann, and James Kittelson.

Also, the website for Project Wittenberg has provides online texts of some of Luther’s writings.

Hope that gets you started.

Someone once quipped, “God writes lousy theatre.”

The remark clearly meant that things just don’t unfold as dramatically in the real world as they do on stage, on the screen, or on TV.

Yet people think that what is intended–at least on the surface–as entertainment has to be 100% true.

Want examples? Song of Bernadette, Gone with the Wind, Da Vinci Code, and especially The Deputy, which last has formed what’s “common knowledge” about Pope Pius XII.

All of these took liberties, in varying degrees, with historical fact.

Although perhaps a word of caution should be added here: apologists back then could be pretty crude in their language. I haven’t read them myself but I’m told that e.g. the letters that Martin Luther and Thomas Aquinas wrote to and about each other, are somewhat shocking to modern ears.

If you don’t mind that, then have at it. :slight_smile:

Thomas More.


And Marius’ bio.



I tried to read some of his things, and I had to realize that all men of that time were simply really vile by today’s standards in dialouge.

But, his story is compelling. I believe the anglicans in the UK have his head?

No, they lost it.

The tenor and manner of speech was different then, and differed further depending on the occasion. Not everything More wrote sounded like the exchange with Luther.



You are not serious I hope. :frowning:

The tenor and manner of speech was different then, and differed further depending on the occasion. Not everything More wrote sounded like the exchange with Luther.

I take your word on it, because I really think they all sounded bad. Even one I like, St John Chrysostom was really harsh sounding even though he said so many good things like Luther and Like Moore, and like many others of that time. I just think religion fires people up no matter the time period.


Peace to you.

Bear in mind, I rely heavily on christian viewpoints on this, and am open to correction if you feel the need, please do so I really need viewpoints here.

Thank you for all the replies. I found the link provided by Leonius to be especially helpful. I’ll ask Jon if he can help me as well.
gcnuss, can you post a link to Project Wittenberg’s website?
Thanks. :thumbsup:

What Pastor Gary here said. :thumbsup:
Here’s the Wittenburg

Thanks Guyonthestreet and Strwberryjam for the kind words.


Hey Jon! I was just about to go look for you. :smiley:

Thanks for the link BTW. :slight_smile:

Regarding Catholic opinions on Luther:**

In 1984, Cardinal Ratzinger gave an interesting interview on the subject of Luther:

Here is a lengthy article called “The Catholic Luther: A Critical Reappraisal” which summarizes Catholic attitudes toward Luther throughout the centuries:;col1

Regarding Luther’s works:

Project Wittenberg is a great site, and because its free, that’s a big advantage. However, it is free and online because it has primary older translations of Luther’s works into English that are now in the public domain. Newer, much more readable translations are not in the public domain, and have to be purchased. If you are serious about researching Luther, I would strongly recommend that you obtain the newer translations.

As noted above, there are 56 volumes of Luther’s works that were translated into English during the 2nd half of the 20th century. If you don’t want to read 56 volumes, there are two books that have compiled his primary works into one volume. One is “Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings” by John Dillenberger:

The other is “Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings” by Tim Lull:

Thomas More.


I was just making sure you’re paying attention. :wink:

No, seriously I don’t know how I made such a slip. :blush: (I wonder if it was Freudian?)

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