Questions about Martin Luther


#1

Thank you to all who helped me get my Lutheran knowledge up to speed prior to the crash of the forms. Of course I have few more questions that came out of some of the answers.

  1. What were the real reasons that Martin Luther left the church? Was it what the church was doing that made him so mad that he left? Or, was it the beliefs of the Catholic Church? Or, was it something else?

  2. There were also a couple of Posters that made the comment that after changes were made in the CC, Martin Luther wanted to come back? Is that true and how do we know that?

Thanks again!


#2

Martin Luther had some changes he wanted to see in the Church
Thus, the 97 thesis

However, it seems very few people if any would listen to him. Over time (from his writings) he became more and more upset, even to the point of thinking the Church was out to get him. I would say it is a mixture of him wanting to change the Church and the Church wanting to change him.

I would also point out that many of his writings are quite bitter after the break, so it is possible that this monk did not want to leave.

A lone Raven


#3

Luther did not break away from the church, nor did he intentionally start his own. The church excommunicated him and put a price on his head.


#4

If a price was put on his head, it was rightly so given his beliefs about certain books of the Bible as shown below.

With Luther the Bible superseded the church as a divine authority. And yet this greatest of Protestants rejected no less than six of the sixty-six books composing the Protestant Bible.

Luther rejected the book of Esther. He says: “I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist.” In his “Bondage of the Will,”

He rejected the book of Jonah. He says: “The history of Jonah is so monstrous as to be absolutely incredible.” (Colloquia, Chap. LX., Sec. 10).

He rejected Hebrews: “The Epistle to the Hebrews is not by St. Paul; nor, indeed, by any apostle.” (Standing Preface to Luther’s New Testament).

He rejected the Epistle of James: “St. James’ Epistle is truly an epistle of straw.” (Preface to Edition of 1524).

He rejected Jude. “The Epistle of Jude,” he says, “allegeth stories and sayings which have no place in Scripture." (Standing Preface).

He rejected Revelation. He says: “I can discover no trace that it is established by the Holy Spirit.” (Preface to Edition of 1522).

Imagine how things would be different if he had succeeded in having these books removed from the Bible as he did the Apocrpha! If had succeeded, us Catholics would not now have a ground to stand on for some issues. But thru the intervention of God thru his councelors whom persuaded him not to remove at least these six books,

I would hazard a guess that his thesis was based on the future removal of these books.


#5

Joey,

When you say that he “rejected” these books, what do you mean?

Do you mean that he just didn’t favor them? What do you mean?

If this is what you mean do you think a doctor of Sacred Scripture and a Catholic priest might be permitted a negative opinion of some books as they compare with others?

What about you? Do you have favorite passages of Scripture? Favorite books? Are there parts of Scripture which trouble you and which you find hard to understand?

I know I do. Does this mean I am rejecting these in favor of others?

The only way it could be true to say that he “rejected” them is to see if he included them in his German translation of the Bible.

He did.

Are you also aware that he changed his opinion about many of these books, especially James which he later calls a very good book which teaches law very well?


#6

He didn’t leave, he was excommunicated and a bounty was placed on his head.

His main problem was the trafficking in indulgences, where, for all intents and purposes it was presented to people that paying a certain amount of money would free the souls of loved ones from purgatory.

Furthermore he, and a lot of Germans didn’t like the fact that money was being taken out of Germany to pay for St. Peter’s in Rome. This was considered yet another example of them being bilked by the Vatican. They (and Luther) felt that Rome considered Germany their personal milch kuh.

There is a lot here, but, just theologically, Luther didn’t really get off the doctrinal reservation even by Roman standards until after he’d already been excommunicated. An important historical fact is that no good theological reason was given for his excommunication at the time that it was accomplished. And even then he wasn’t as far gone as he got to be by the time Trent hardened up even further.

There is nothing in the theses which was heterodox by any standard.

I never heard anything like that although there does seem to be some evidence that Melanchthon wanted to reunite.

Luther did say that he’d rather drink blood with the Pope than wine with the enthusiasts.


#7

When you say that he “rejected” these books, what do you mean?

He wanted them removed from the Bible all together along with the deuterocanicals. He did not believe they were the inspired word of God.

The only thing that kept him from removing them was his personal council of advisors.

He had is own idea as to what was inspired by God and what was not.

The book of James was detrimental to his “Sola Fide” stance because of the “Faith without Works is Dead” statement.

Revelation was even more detrimental since Jesus was more concerned about works than faith.

as noted:

Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Rev 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Rev 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Rev 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


#8

Do you mean that he just didn’t favor them? What do you mean?

Let his quotes speak for themselves:

“I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist.”

“Epistle is truly an epistle of straw”

“allegeth stories and sayings which have no place in Scripture."

“I can discover no trace that it is established by the Holy Spirit.”

“The history of Jonah is so monstrous as to be absolutely incredible.”

rejection or disfavor?


#9

Joey,

  1. Then why did he include them in his translation?

  2. Are you at all interested in the fact that he changed his opinion about a lot of these or are you only interested in culling his work for damning commentary?


#10

What about you? Do you have favorite passages of Scripture? Favorite books? Are there parts of Scripture which trouble you and which you find hard to understand?

No scripture troubles me. There are some that do trouble some Protestants because they are so Catholic in nature.

I dislike the Epistles of Paul. Thank God that Peter and James wrote clarifications to these works. Would I attempt to have them removed? Hell NO!


#11

Joey,

You are an emblem of all that is wrong with Catholic e-Pologetics.

You’re not interested in learning anything. You’re not even interested in being honest. You’re only interested in cackling after you regurgitate half-truths and extra-contextualized remarks and dancing on the graves of men long dead and who forgot more about God than you ever knew.

You’ve shown me all that I need to know about you.


#12

If this is what you mean do you think a doctor of Sacred Scripture and a Catholic priest might be permitted a negative opinion of some books as they compare with others?

Yes people are entitled to their negative opinion, but they do so at their own risk. One will one day stand before God and have to answer for that negative opinion. And you don’t rewrite the Holy Bible because of your negative opinions and you don’t support a schism because of your negative opinions.


#13

And who has done this, Joe?


#14

Martin Luther did. He inserted words into his versions of the Bible to fit his belief.


#15

You’re moving the goalposts, Joe.

This particular exchange is not about him adding a word (something translators always do in order to translate the sense of the biblical languages into vernacular and which RC translators do as well a great example is the translation of kecharitomene in Luke 1 to mean “full of grace” a very poor translation, doctrinally driven.).

This particular exchange is about him “rewriting the Bible” in the context of your original charge that he “rejected” books from the canon.

Let me ask you straight:

Did he neglect to include these books in his translation?

Did he neglect to include even the OT Deuteros in his translation?


#16

It is my understanding that the Gutenberg Bible (the oldest printed translation of the Latin Vulgate) contains the same books as the present-day bible. So if Luther did not subtract any books from the bible, why are Protestant bibles and Catholic bibles different? And who did the editing and why?


#17

Sorry, that post should read that the Gutenberg bible contains the same books as the present-day Catholic bible.


#18

The only way it could be true to say that he “rejected” them is to see if he included them in his German translation of the Bible.He did.

Only at the advice of his councilors/advisors.


#19

Let me correct and unpack this:

This particular exchange is not about him adding a word (something translators always do in order to translate the sense of the biblical languages into vernacular).

If your point is that Luther drove his theology into his translation of the text, beside the fact that I dispute his doing so at all and contend with him that his inclusion of “alone” is necessitated by the text itself, what about what the translators of the Douai Rheims did with Luke 1? When it got to the angel’s salutation to Mary and his use of the word kecharitomene, they translated it “full of grace”. This is not only a bad translation, it clearly represents the importation of an alien theological principle into the text.

But this is just for the sake of clarity…back to our discussion and your contention that Luther bowdlerized the Bible.


#20

He was holed up in the Wartburg, having been saved from certain death at the hands of the Emperor’s henchmen.

He had no councillors or advisors.

You’re spitballing and exposing yourself.


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