Peer-reviewed explanation of Luther’s canon?


Brainerd Nisswa and merrifield mn, at my church in Minot we’ve switched to divine service 3 or 4 out of the new book and when we for some reason go to 1 or 2 everyone 25 or younger seem lost.


Yes! I’m working my way through @JohnR77’s link now. It’s from a website I’d never heard of till now, called Defending the Bride. It’s a list of approximately 40 passages from the deuterocanonicals, with the corresponding NT verses. My first impression is that in some cases the similarity is so slight as to be negligible, and in others the similarity points to a common origin of the two passages rather than one of them being the direct source of the other. There is, however, a numerous third group of passages that would repay further investigation. Tomorrow morning, or possibly even later today, I’ll post a list here with my first reactions to them, to see if you agree with me.


You’re kidding! My father served a dual parish in Breezy Point and Pequot Lakes back in the 1970s-80s. Small world. He mentioned that many of his parishioners liked to sing carols in German.


The vacation churches. As grandpa Paul put them.


Following on from my earlier post, I’ve had a first look through @JohnR77’s list of NT verses that echo passages in the deuterocanonicals. I’m no expert, I’ve never had any formal education in theology, NT studies, Biblical languages, or anything of that kind. and I welcome everybody’s corrections and emendations. My first impression, as I said yesterday, is that in some cases the similarity is so slight as to be negligible, and in others the similarity points to a common origin of the two passages rather than one of them being the direct source of the other. There is, however, a numerous third group of passages that would repay further investigation, and that I would shortlist as potentially indisputable cases of a verse in the NT being derived from a passage in the deuterocanonicals. In this list I have abbreviated the three categories as follows: N for “negligible similarity”, C for “common origin”, and S for “shortlist”. There are several borderline cases, which I have invariably listed here as S, giving the compiler of the original list the benefit of the doubt.

The list appeared on a website called Defending the Bride. It is made up of two separate tables, the first titled “Allusions & prophecy” and the second “Prophetic”. In both tables, the entries are unnumbered. For convenience’ sake I have simply run the two tables together, numbering all the entries sequentially from 1 to 45. Nos. 1 to 33 correspond to the first table and Nos. 34 to the end to the second table. For ease of reference, I have abbreviated the wording of the verses to what I believe to be the minimum necessary for recognition. Here, once again, is @JohnR77’s link to the original table:

(1) 1 Mac 4:59, “dedication of the altar”, John 10:22, C
(2) 2 Mac 5:19, “the place for the people”, Mark 2:27, N
(3) 2 Mac 7:7, “seven brothers tortured”, Heb 11:35, N
(4) 2 Mac 7:28, “God did not make them … ”, John 1:3, N
(5) 2 Mac 13:4, “King of Kings”, Rev 17:14, C
(6) Bar 40:35, “demons dwell”, Rev 18:2, C



(7) Sir 2:1, “prepare for temptation”, 2 Tim 3:12, N
(8) Sir 2:15,“keep his ways”, John 14:23, N
(9) Sir 5:8, “dishonest wealth”,Luke 16:9, S
(10) Sir 5:11, “swift to hear”, Jas 1:19, S
(11) Sir 9:8, “lust burns like fire”, Matt 5:28, C
(12) Sir 11:19, “time is short”, Luke 12:20, S
(13) Sir 15:11-12, “Because of the Lord … ”, Jas 1:13, S
(14) Sir 23:1-5, “Our Father”, Matt 6:9, S
(15) Sir 27:6, “the tree and the fruit”, Matt 7:16, S
(16) Sir 28:2, “forgive your neighbor”, Matt 6:12,c S
(17) Sir 29, 10-12, “treasure in heaven”, Matt 6:20, S
(18) Sir 51:23-27, “neck under the yoke”, Matt 11:29, S
(19) Wis 9:1, “made all things by thy word” John 1:1-3 C
(20) Wis 9:16, “what is in the heavens”, John 3:12, N
(21) Wis 9:17, “Counselor, Holy Spirit”, John 14:26, S
(22) Wis 13:1, “architect is God”, Heb 11:10, N
(23) Wis 13:1-19 & 14:1-31, “worship of idols”, Rom 1:19-32, C
(24) Wis 15:3, “to know thee”, John 17:3, C
(25) Wis 15:7, “potter and clay”, Rom 9:21, S
(26) Tob 2:2, “bring a poor man”, Luke 14:13-14, C
(27) Tob 4:10, “darkness”, Jas 2:13, 1 John 1:57, 1 John 4:16, C
(28) Tob 4:15, “what you hate, do not do”, Matt 7:12, Luke 6:31, S
(29) Tob 12:8, “prayer, fasting, almsgiving”, Matt 6:2,5,16, C
(30) Tob 12:8, “almsgiving and righteousness”, Luke 11:39-42, N
(31) Tob 12:9, “almsgiving purges sin”, 1 Peter 4:8-10, C
(32) Tob 12:15, “seven angels before God”, Rev 8:2, S
(33) Jud 13:18, “blessed are you, daughter”, Luke 1:42, S



(34) Wis 1:5, “counsels, injustice”, Mark 3:6, N
(35) Wis 2:1,12, “Let us lie in wait”, Luke 6:7, N
(36) Wis 2:1,12, “He opposes our actions”, Matt 23:27-28, N
(37) Wis 2:1,12, “He reproaches our sins”, John 5:45-46, N
(38) Wis 2:13, “knowledge of God”, John 8:55, N
(39) Wis 2:13, “a child of the Lord”, John 10:36-38, S
(40) Wis 2:14, “a reproof of our thoughts”, Matt 9:4, N
(41) Wis 2:16, “God is his father”, Matt 27:43, John 5:18, S
(42) Wis 2:18-20, “God’s son”, Matt 27:40-43, S
(43) Wis 5:4, “his life was madness”, John 10:20, N
(44) Sir 15:3, “bread of understanding”, John 6:35, S
(45) Sir 15:3, “water of wisdom”, John 4:10, S



Are you sure? I believe you believe that, but Luther did not! He explicitly condemned any type of cooperation of grace on our part, i.e. grace-infused works of love, in being justified before God! Hence, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness in being justified before God.

“There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith.” - Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 34: Career of the Reformer IV


“If anyone says that man’s free will moved and aroused by God, by assenting to God’s call and action, in no way cooperates toward disposing and preparing itself to obtain the grace of justification, that it cannot refuse its assent if it wishes, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive, let him be anathema.” - Council of Trent


Hi there

You are being trolled.

There will be no harm done by letting this go. I really admire the way you tried to do this. But no worries. People actually following this thread see it for what it is.

Blessings and regards


Would you care to explain how a bona fide Catholic on a Catholic forum could possibly be a ‘troll’? :smirk::thinking:


A lot of the misunderstanding of Luther here is rooted more in differences of terminology and definitions than in much substantive stuff. (Don’t misunderstand me - there is still much where we differ, but this is closer than many want to see.)

Luther subscribed to one definition of “Grace,” which the Roman Catholic might associate with “initial justification.” On this point, the RC would agree that this Grace is wholly and completely a gift from God. A gift can in no sense be earned, else it is no longer a gift. This is why we see Benedict making a statement that ‘being justified means simply means being in Christ, and this suffices.’ So far, agreed.

Contrast Luther’s understanding of Grace with the CCC, which in sections 1987-2000ish gives no less than 20+ definitions and descriptions of “grace,” including “actual,” “sanctifying,” “habitual,” etc. Obviously, terms diverge here. This leads to confusion among both RCs and Lutherans.

Some Lutherans mistakenly see RCs as promoting full-on Pelagianism, and some RCs mistake Lutherans for Antinomians who don’t see works as necessary because they recieved the gift of Grace. Both are mischaracterizations.

The Catholic still acknowledges Grace to be a gift. The Lutheran still acknowledges the necessity of works and cooperation after conversion and the conformity of the regenerate’s will to Christ’s will.

Read more of actual Luther, rather than anti-Luther internet apologists, and you’ll find his theology isn’t what modern evangelicals wish it was.


They aren’t necessary for justification (for Lutherans). Do you disagree?


But, not for justification. Do you disagree?


Define Justification. That’s what I’m driving at. If we use Pope Benedict’s definition of Justification from the papal audience quoted above, then both Roman Catholics and Lutherans agree works aren’t necessary for Justification.

If one really wants to ask overly-simple questions to score polemical points, we might ask the Roman Catholic:

Are works necessary for your “Initial Justification?”

Of course the answer would be “no.”


Well, what does Pope Benedict state?

“… the question of justification. How does man become just in God’s eyes?..”

Being just, viz. being righteous before God, i.e. ‘in God’s eyes’; not merely/solely declared just and/or being just only before men.

If you wish for this: “Being just simply means being with Christ and in Christ”, to mean what Luther taught, I suggest you read further:

“Thus in communion with Christ, in a faith that creates charity, the entire Law is fulfilled. We become just by entering into communion with Christ who is Love… It is the Gospel of the judge whose sole criterion is love. What he asks is only this: Did you visit me when I was sick? When I was in prison? Did you give me food to eat when I was hungry, did you clothe me when I was naked? And thus justice is decided in charity.”

Notice, he says ‘we become just’, not declared just. And, how do we become just? ‘Did you visit me when I was sick? When I was in prison? Did you give me food to eat when I was hungry, did you clothe me when I was naked’?

“Christian freedom is not libertinism; the liberation of which St Paul spoke is not liberation from good works


Of course he would - that’s in keeping with Roman Catholic definitions and language describing a ‘broad’ view of Justification. He is harmonizing what Catholics call 'Initial Justification" (the only sort Lutheran language and terms acknowledge) with the post-Trent Roman Catholic ‘broad’ definition of Justification. The terms and understandings are what separates the two theological schools here; not so much the mechanisms. (Comical side note: this is why a few Hyper-Trads disdainfully joked about Benedict being “the first Lutheran pope.”)

This is certainly not what Luther taught; I’ve already noted that Lutherans are not Antinomians. What Benedict is doing here is expertly and deftly nipping in the bud that false assertion against Luther. As I’ve already said:

This is why the JDDJ was able to be written in the first place: agreement on the mechanisms of Justification (rather, what Roman Catholics call “Initial Justification”), in and of itself, and the cooperative life of the Christian after conversion (what Roman Catholics also call Justification) have essentially always been there. Terms and definitions largely separate the concepts. It’s when we get to other important doctrinal issues that we differ. Most notably on Original Sin and the level of depravity within man (this is why the LCMS, for example, did not sign the JDDJ).

Is this becoming a little clearer to you?


Thank you for your kind words.

Sometimes people troll, sometimes they have earnest questions, sometimes they’re too young or too old to see possibility for agreement, sometimes there are still other personal reasons they have for certain animosities. It’s difficult to know which is which over the internet. I won’t speculate as to what is happening here, but I’ve tried to assume posters are asking in good faith. For the sake of lurkers (thank you for your private PMs and emails), and especially in the interest of fostering better understanding between Christians, I’ll continue to teach as long as I have the patience and time to do so.


Is what becoming clearer? You said works are necessary; I rebutted that works are not necessary in terms of Luther’s view of justification. I asked you if you disagreed. You did not answer. You dodge, equivocate, and supply all these presuppositions that don’t help you answering my question in a clear, succinct way.

  • That the differences between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on Justification (and specifically on Justification) are largely due to the very definitions of ‘Justification,’ and not as much on the mechanisms of the soteriological concept, whatever we call it, itself?
  • That the Roman Catholic view of ‘Initial Justification’ fits neatly with the Lutheran understanding of Justification, in general?
  • That the ‘broad’ view of Justification, as understood by Roman Catholics, is not absent from Lutheran soteriology, despite different terminology?
  • That Lutherans, like Roman Catholics, believe that Grace can be lost, and that this is evidenced by a lack of works? That works are a necessary component of a regenerate life?

I said works are necessary in the cooperative life of the regenerate. You misunderstood both me and Luther, because you understand neither the Lutheran approach to this issue nor the Lutheran terms. So your question starts from a faulty premise; it is loaded. It is broken from the start.

No, I certainly answered. What you mean to accuse me of is not answering in the way you wanted me to because your question was flawed. You see things in such black and white certainty, that you are unable to consider any other way. You perceive me as not answering your questions, but you’re asking the wrong questions. Our theologies have two different languages with separate concepts.

You crave the ‘clear and succinct’. History is neither of those things. Theology cannot be those things when two schools of thought use different terms and concepts. To truly dialogue takes listening and an earnest attempt to understand. There will be no direct translations of concepts; you must be open to seeing through a different worldview to understand it. To “take off your [Catholic or Lutheran] hat” and think as “they” do. Are you willing and able to attempt this?


My bad. Which post was this from?

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