Some Protestant s complaint about The Church added 7 books

I thought of a new response. (At lesst I’ve never heard ths)
The response is to act slightly baffled and admit that the Catholic Church did indeed add books. However thats the wrong number. We added not 7 but 27 books.:slight_smile:

But we didn’t even add the 7. I think it’s best to tell them straight up – we didn’t add them, Protestants removed them.

:thumbsup: Specifically, Martin Luther removed them because they didn’t fit with his theology.

…and he was thisclose to removing the Book of James because it shoots down his Sola Fide -]heresy/-] concept. His fellow “reformers” felt that was a step too far; but Luther referred to that particular epistle as “the epistle of straw”. True story.

…he even sought to remove the Book of Revelations.

The guy really acted like he was Lord over the Word of God, for all this banter about its supremacy.

My personal favorite anecdote/true story about Martin Luther–his ultimate discrediting–was when he claimed to be prophet. The claim was made tongue in cheek–but the fact that he made it, betrays his confession of the ultimate failure of sola scriptura–the FACT that in order for it to have been consistent with the Bible itself…it required support of divine revelation.

He had none; there is none.

So he had to manufacture some–even if done TIC ("…they want a prophet…tell them I’m their prophet…")–it was clearly done so, to brush the issue aside as though it were not necessary.

But he knew damn well it was, and there was no such Div. Rev. supporting his man-made theology.

fwiw.

I never ever knew that. Fascinating.

The guy really acted like he was Lord over the Word of God, for all this banter about its supremacy.

My personal favorite anecdote/true story about Martin Luther–his ultimate discrediting–was when he claimed to be prophet. The claim was made tongue in cheek–but the fact that he made it, betrays his confession of the ultimate failure of sola scriptura–the FACT that in order for it to have been consistent with the Bible itself…it required support of divine revelation.

He had none; there is none.

So he had to manufacture some–even if done TIC ("…they want a prophet…tell them I’m their prophet…")–it was clearly done so, to brush the issue aside as though it were not necessary.

But he knew damn well it was, and there was no such Div. Rev. supporting his man-made theology.

fwiw.

Yep. The Book of Revelation gives us these magnificent little nuggets…

Rev 20:13 ~ The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds.

Rev 22:12 ~ “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.”

No Catholic or Protestant or removed anything. It was the JEWS.

In the Apostolic Era, the various Churches simply adopted whatever OT was in use by the Synagogue down the street. This is why there are also variations in the OT of the Latin and various Eastern Churches (because there were differences in the Jewish “canon” of Scripture in different regions - the Jewish “canon” evolved over centuries and was not standardized).

This has never been a point of contention.

When Luther sought to create a translation from original sources, he did EXACTLY THE SAME THING that our Catholic forefathers did - he used the OT that was in use by the Synagogue down the street.

But he was doing this 1500 years later, and, by this time, Jews were routinely excluding texts which had originally been written in Greek during the Hellenistic Age.

Christians, of course, have no problem with Scriptures written in Greek (since the NT was written in Greek).

So Christians never added anything, and Protestants never removed anything. It was the JEWS that did the removing, and Luther happened to come along after that happened.

To elaborate on this point here just a bit…

The trend of the Jewish authorities to remove those books (Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom (of Solomon), Sirach, and Baruch), came about after Christianity had taken strong hold within Judaism, and posed a threat to the Jewish authorities. The 6-7 books that were excluded by the Jews, were done so due to their Christological support.

When Pope St. Damasus commissioned St. Jerome to translate the Bible into Latin in the late 4th century, St. Jerome sought to follow the Jewish authorities, and exclude those books. But Pope St. Damasus over-rid his inclination, and instructed St. Jerome to keep those books, because those books were included in the Septuagint–the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures (OT), with which Christ and the Apostles were familiar.

Worth noting–when the Septuagint was drafted in Alexandria, all 12 tribes of Israel were represented, all approved, and at no time until long after Christ lived and the relevance (i.e. Christological support) of those books became apparent, was there any resistance to those books or the Septuagint.

Additionally, one of the strongest arguments the Protestants point to, is that all though the Septuagint is quoted repeatedly in the NT, the NT never quotes any of those books. The enormous flaw with that argument however, is that the NT never quotes Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, either (which of course, are found in both Cat. and Prot. Bibles).

The bottom line is that those books were excluded precisely due to their Christological implications, in support of Christ as the Messiah, so that provides a ridiculous basis for Christians to join the Jewish authorities in their removal, and they were included in the Septuagint, which Christ and the Apostles were familiar with (NB: no one in the NT ever disavowed those books), and that provides very good basis for their inclusion.

The Jewish authorities determined to remove those books after Christianity had taken strong hold within Judaism, and posed a threat to the Jewish authorities. The 6-7 books that were excluded by the Jews, were done so due to their Christological support.

That is true, but I’m not sure it is relevant. The Septuagint was the Greek translation of the Hebrew text. The Deuterocanonical books were not part of the draft of the Septuagint because they were already in Greek and required no translation (and some of them had not yet been written).

This is the real reason why there is such a tendency to group the deuterocanonicals apart, and regard them differently. They were always grouped apart. You had the (translated) Septuagint, and after those books you had the “Greek” books (even though such grouping is not chronologically correct based on the subject matter). The Jewish “canon” was always a moving target, with stuff getting written and added over the centuries. As new Greek texts were added, they were put at the back of the Septuagint.

The grouping thus has no theological or authoritative significance, but was merely done according to language of origin.

During the Helenistic Era (which extended into the Apostolic Era) most (perhaps 90%) of Jews spoke Greek as their first language, so this is why the Septuagint was so widely used (and 2/3 of the OT quotes in the NT come from it). But, when the Jews threw out the deuterocanonicals, they ALSO threw out the Septuagint, keeping only the Hebrew texts. They purged themselves of all Greek-language influences. That’s something that I don’t think Christians want to do…

Luther’s translation has 74 books.

For example, how did 1 Maccabees not fit his theology?
Or Tobit?
Or Judith?
Or Wisdom?

Jon

True, and Luther adversary Cardinal Cajetan held very similar views.

Jon

Here is Luther’s preface to the Book of Revelation.

Preface to the Revelation of St. John (1522) **

“About this book of the Revelation of John, I leave everyone free to hold his own opinions. I would not have anyone bound to my opinion or judgment. **I say what I feel. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic.
First and foremost, the apostles do not deal with visions, but prophesy in clear and plain words, as do Peter and Paul, and Christ in the gospel. For it befits the apostolic office to speak clearly of Christ and his deeds, without images and visions. Moreover there is no prophet in the Old Testament, to say nothing of the New, who deals so exclusively with visions and images. For myself, I think it approximates the Fourth Book of Esdras; 8 I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it.
Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly – indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important – and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep.
Many of the fathers also rejected this book a long time ago; 9 although St. Jerome, to be sure, refers to it in exalted terms and says that it is above all praise and that there are as many mysteries in it as words. Still, Jerome cannot prove this at all, and his praise at numerous places is too generous.
Finally, let everyone think of it as his own spirit leads him. My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it. But to teach Christ, this is the thing which an apostle is bound above all else to do; as Christ says in Acts 1, “You shall be my witnesses.” Therefore I stick to the books which present Christ to me clearly and purely.”

Now, that sounds like a man stating his opinion, not trying to remove a book.
Further, it seems to me had he wanted to remove these books, he wouldn’t have included them. :shrug:

Jon

However there are evidences some of these deuteros were written in Hebrew and used in Rabbinic literature. Alberg C. Sundberg in his “The Old Testament of the Early Church” Revisited cited Pfeiffer (1941:66) “tells us that the Hebrew text of Sirach was still being copied as late as the twelfth century C.E. It is cited by name in Sanhedrin 100b (= Yeb. 63c), which quotes several verses. According to L. Israel (1905:390) single verses appear in: Yer. Ber. 11b; Yer. Hag. 77c; Yer. Ta’an. 66d; Hag. 13a; Niddah 16b; Gen. R. 8, 10, 73; Lev. R. 33; Tan. Wayishlah 8; Tan., Mikkez. 10; Tan. Hukkat. 1; etc.”

"There are evidences of a continued use of this apocryphal literature in rabbinic literature of later times. Sirach is quoted three times in the Talmud as scripture. It is twice quoted with the introductory formula, "for so it is written in the Book of Ben Sira."Ben Sira is also sometimes quoted as “Writings” when the rabbis were proof-texting, e.g., “This matter is written in the Pentateuch as written. . . , repeated in the Prophets, as written. . . , mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, as written, (here Sirach 12.15 is quoted), it was learned in the Mishnah, . . . .”

"Origen knew a Hebrew name for the books of Maccabees, "Sar beth Sabnai el.“37 Jerome obtained Hebrew texts of Sirach, I Maccabees, Tobit and Judith in Aramaic (“Chaldee”), presumably from Jews, which he, with the help of a hired expert in Aramaic and Hebrew, translated into Latin.38 Marx (1921) noticed that Moses ben Nahaman (Nachmanides, ca. 1194 -1270 C.E.) knew and used an Aramaic (!) text of Wisdom, citing 7.5-8, 17-21 in the introduction and 1.7, 8, 11 on Deut. 20.14 in his Commentary on the Pentateuch; he also noted some acquaintance with the story of Bel and the Dragon and Judith by Jews in Spain in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.”

This is the real reason why there is such a tendency to group the deuterocanonicals apart, and regard them differently. They were always grouped apart. You had the (translated) Septuagint, and after those books you had the “Greek” books (even though such grouping is not chronologically correct based on the subject matter). The Jewish “canon” was always a moving target, with stuff getting written and added over the centuries. As new Greek texts were added, they were put at the back of the Septuagint.

The grouping thus has no theological or authoritative significance, but was merely done according to language of origin.

During the Helenistic Era (which extended into the Apostolic Era) most (perhaps 90%) of Jews spoke Greek as their first language, so this is why the Septuagint was so widely used (and 2/3 of the OT quotes in the NT come from it). But, when the Jews threw out the deuterocanonicals, they ALSO threw out the Septuagint, keeping only the Hebrew texts. They purged themselves of all Greek-language influences. That’s something that I don’t think Christians want to do…

Besides the Septuagint, there are also other versions of the Greek Bible. Sundberg mentioned “The Kaige Recension, at the end of the first century B.C., revised the Greek Bible to accord with the protorabbinic text, not with the later fixed Rabbinic Recension. Similarly, the revision embodied in the Kaïge [sic.] Recension extended to the book of Baruch and the longer edition of Daniel, works excluded from the Rabbinic Recension. This effort to update Baruch and the longer edition of Daniel would be most difficult to explain if at the same time of the preparation of the Kaige Recension, the book of Baruch and the additions to Daniel had already been excluded from the Pharisaic canon. Since the recensional labors in the Kaige Recension can be dated to about the turn of the Common Era, and its Pharisaic bias is clear, it follows that as late as the end of the first century B.C., an authoritative, canonical list had not yet emerged, at least in its final form, even in Pharisaic circles.”

Based upon current understanding, different Greek OT Bibles :Septuagint, Theodotion Kaige Rescension, Aquila, Symmachus were being used in varying degrees for a number of centuries by the Hellenistic Jews in Palestine and elsewhere. The Septuagint adopted by the early Church was probably a Palestinian version of the Alexandrian Septuagint. Hellenistic Jews do have a need for Greek Bibles and by avoiding the Christianized Septuagint, other Greek Bibles such as Aquila without Christian influences became in voque later. Emperor Justinian’s decree in year 553 exhorted all Jews who wished to use a Greek translation, he recommended the Septuagint but permitted the Aquila’s version as well.

Hi Goya,

Luther’s claims to being a Prophet could be viewed as being some kind of over the top rhetoric, an exaggeration in order to make a point. But the fact is that he ACTED as if he believed he had Prophet-like authority, meaning that he had more authority to teach, correct, and rebuke, etc, than any man on earth. His actual words verify this unprecedented claim to personal authority.

His disrespectful and blasphemous approach to the canon of the New Testament, and specifically to 4 books that are part of the NT, are relatively little known amongst Protestant laypeople. Luther had a real ‘problem’ with the book of James, (among three others) and made several statements about it which are extremely revealing in regards to his ‘approach’ to Holy Scripture:

“In a word St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that is necessary and salvatory for you to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. **Therefore St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it. But more of this in the other prefaces.” **Luther’s Works, 35:362, “Preface to the New Testament” (1522 version)

Luther denigrated the Book of James because it taught against Salvation by Faith Alone (SBFA).
**
“Luther read the New Testament in the light of the Pauline message that the just shall live by faith and not by works of the law. That this doctrine is not enunciated with equal emphasis throughout the New Testament and appears to be denied in the book of James did not escape Luther, and in his preface to the New Testament of 1522 James was stigmatized as ‘an epistle of straw.’” **Bainton, pg. 341

So – if writings of the Apostles are infallible, AND books which teach against Luther’s Salvation by Faith Alone are not inspired – then what is the solution for James? Obviously, that James was not written by an Apostle. However, we know that James WAS written by the Apostle, which means that Luther was horribly wrong on a matter of supreme importance. This leads (again) to the question – how are we supposed to trust this guy?

**“I will say nothing of the fact that many assert with much probability that this epistle is not by James the apostle, and that it is not worthy of an apostolic spirit; although, whoever was its author, it has come to be regarded as authoritative." **Luther’s Works 36:118, from 1520

**
“We should throw the Epistle of James out of this school [Wittenberg], for it doesn’t amount to much. **It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning [Jas. 1:1; 2:1]. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, ‘Wait a moment! I’ll oppose them and urge works alone.’ This he did. He wrote not a word about the suffering and resurrection of Christ, although this is what all the apostles preached about. Besides, there’s no order or method in the epistle. Now he discusses clothing and then he writes about wrath and is constantly shifting from one to the other. He presents a comparison: ‘As the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead’ [Jas. 2:26]. O Mary, mother of God! What a terrible comparison that is! James compares faith with the body when he should rather have compared faith with the soul! The ancients recognized this, too, and therefore they didn’t acknowledge this letter as one of the catholic epistles.” Luther’s Works, 54:424, 1542

Really? Some Jew who had never encountered any Christians wrote James? Given Luther’s ‘attitude’ towards the Jews, his comment that it was written by ‘some Jew’ is doubly insulting. How would we in the 21’st century judge a young theologian who said such a thing? The answer I think is - pretty much the way that Catholic Theologians judged him 500 years ago.

In fact, Luther believed that the writings of the Apostles should be considered to be Authoritative. So, what was his reaction when he came to understand James as being opposed to his radical belief in Salvation by Faith Alone? He ‘judged’ James to have NOT been written by an Apostle.

As we know, Luther took an astonishing amount of responsibility upon his own shoulders, claiming that his Interpretations of Scripture were to be believed by all. AND YET, he showed tremendous disrespect for the writings of an ACTUAL Apostle!

With all that being said Goya, do you think that Luther’s ‘approach’ to James should cause us to be wary of all of those other things that he taught which were also opposed to the historic teachings of the Church?

God Bless You Goya, Topper

PS, there is MUCH more in the way of ‘details’ on Luther’s disrespect for Scripture if you would care to see it.

Since the Deuterocanonical books are Old Testament books that were written 200 to 300 years before Christ, we didn’t add them but the Hebrew people at the time.

Hi rf,

I think you hit the nail on the head. Luther’s ‘problem’ with James had everything to do with his radical new ‘understanding’ on Salvation. This fact is supported by a wide range of Scholars.

With all ‘things Luther’, one must always be aware of the motives involved, and always, the motive was to protect his radical belief on Salvation – Salvation by Faith Alone, even if it meant writing and publishing disrespectful comments about Holy Scripture!

Luther was very much aware that James contradicted his beliefs about Salvation by Faith Alone (SBFA). In fact, Luther rhetorically ‘offered his Doctor’s beret’ to anyone who could reconcile James and Paul. Luther claimed that it couldn’t be done.
**
“Once Luther remarked that he would give his doctor’s beret to anyone who could reconcile James and Paul.”** Richard Marius, “Martin Luther, The Christian Between God and Death”, pg. 341

James in fact, doesn’t agree with Luther’s ‘gospel’, which is ‘Salvation by Faith Alone’. But it does contain the Christian Gospel, inspired by the Holy Spirit and through the hand of the Apostle James, who by the way, is a far more reliable Authority on Christian doctrine than Luther.

The following is more evidence, straight from Luther’s pen, of his disrespect for Scripture. And this from the man who was supposedly so reverent towards Scripture, from the man who ‘gave’ the Bible to the German people.
**
Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 1546** (1522)

“Though **this epistle of St. James **was rejected by the ancients, I praise it and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God. However, to state my own opinion about it, though without prejudice to anyone, I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle; and my reasons follow.

**In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works [2:24]…….**Now although this epistle might be helped and an interpretation devised for this justification by works, **it cannot be defended in its application to works [Jas. 2:23] **of Moses’ statement in Genesis 15:6]. All the genuine sacred books agree in this, that all of them preach and inculcate [treiben] Christ. And that is the true test by which to judge all books, when we see whether or not they inculcate Christ…Whatever does not teach Christ is not yet apostolic, even though St. Peter or St. Paul does the teaching.

But this James does nothing more than drive to the law and to its works. Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the apostles and thus tossed them off on paper. Or it may perhaps have been written by someone on the basis of his preaching…….

In a word, he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task. (54) **He tries to accomplish by harping on the law what the apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love. Therefore (55) I cannot include him among the chief books, **though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him.” Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 35: Word and Sacrament I. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 35, pp. 395–398). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Footnote 54: “Editions prior to 1530 here added, **“in spirit, thought, and words. He mangles the Scriptures and thereby opposes Paul and all Scripture.” **WA, DB 7, 386, nn. 14, 15.”

Footnote 55: “Editions prior to 1530 read from this point, “Therefore, I will not have him in my Bible to be numbered among the true chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him. One man is no man (cf. the proverbial expression: Einer ist keiner. Wander [ed.], Sprichwörter-Lexikon, I, 784, ‘Einer, ’ No. 44) in worldly things; how, then, should this single man alone avail against Paul and all the rest of Scripture?” WA, DB 7, 386, nn. 17–21.”

These comments were written by Luther and were included between the covers of the New Testament that he ‘translated’ in 1522.

Who, specifically and exactly, did Luther think he was that he could place himself as the judge of Holy Scripture and place his own personal opinions above them in such an arrogant manner? Of course the Catholics of his day skewered him for his blasphemous comments and teachings about the book of James.

rf, do you think that Luther’s (little known) comments about the book of James diminish, or possibly enhance his reputation as a Scriptural Exegete?

God Bless You rf, Topper

I’m pretty sure you can guess what I think, Topper.

My views on this topic in particular are very simple and I see no need to complicate this any more than is necessary. As far as I know; Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, 1st & 2nd Maccabees, chapters 10-16 of Esther, Daniel 3:24-90 (Song of the Three Young Men), Daniel 13 (the story of Susannah), and Daniel 14 (Bel & the Dragon) were ALL part of the Hebrew Canon during the Life of Jesus Christ. He MUST have and discussed them when He was in the Temple (Luke 2:41-54).

I have always said - if these books were good enough for Jesus Christ, they are good enough for all Christians. That’s really the long and short of it.

Topper17;13048206]Hi Goya,

Luther’s claims to being a Prophet could be viewed as being some kind of over the top rhetoric, an exaggeration in order to make a point

I don’t deny that at all; I recognized it as being “TIC” (tongue in cheek). But be that as it may, that claim didn’t come out of thin air–it came about, because he was challenged on his authority. He was challenged to cite the source of ‘divine revelation’ upon which he was relying. He could not cite any in earnest, as there was/is none–so he conjured up this little TIC maneuver, as if making light of the need for prophecy or scriptural support, and thereby deviate attention from it.

IOW, it was a matter of diversionary tactics.

But the fact is that he ACTED as if he believed he had Prophet-like authority, meaning that he had more authority to teach, correct, and rebuke, etc, than any man on earth. His actual words verify this unprecedented claim to personal authority.

Indeed. His claim to prophecy although delivered TIC…was in fact, a betrayal of his shear arrogance, born of his undeniable narcissism: . IOW: "yeah sure, other aspects of the Bible need divine support…but this is me we’re talkin’ about here…I am your divine source of revelation".

His disrespectful and blasphemous approach to the canon of the New Testament, and specifically to 4 books that are part of the NT, are relatively little known amongst Protestant laypeople. Luther had a real ‘problem’ with the book of James, (among three others) and made several statements about it which are extremely revealing in regards to his ‘approach’ to Holy Scripture:

Concur. I think it’s clear that he had a problem with authority in general–secondary to his narcissism. He couldn’t stomach the idea of ‘assenting’ to authority…or even not being the pope.

With all that being said Goya, do you think that Luther’s ‘approach’ to James should cause us to be wary of all of those other things that he taught which were also opposed to the historic teachings of the Church?

God Bless You Goya, Topper

Yes, it certainly calls Luther’s sincerity into question, in terms of the reverence he pretended to have towards the Word of God/scripture.

PS, there is MUCH more in the way of ‘details’ on Luther’s disrespect for Scripture if you would care to see it.

Sure, if you can refer me to some sources, I’d be interested. :coffeeread:

:tiphat:

Excellent points. Very informative. :thumbsup:

Hi Goya,

Thanks for your response. Please let me apologize in advance for the length of my response to you. For better or worse, there is a LOT to say on the subject, and in fact a lot more.

I agree that it was a diversionary tactic, at least in part. He definitely refused to allow others to challenge his authority. In fact, when challenged on the level of authority that he claimed, he usually evaded the question:

**“But what and this is the main objection entitles Luther’s doctrine to be regarded as the standard of belief? This point Luther usually evaded.” **Grisar, Vol. VI, pg. 259

Dave Armstrong tends to call Luther’s astonishing claims to authority “infallabalistic”. A smattering of Luther’s completely over the top claims to authority:
**
“They accuse me of setting myself up all alone to be everybody’s teacher. **I answer, I have not set myself up, but have preferred at all times to creep into a corner. It is they who have drawn me out by wile and force, that they might win glory and honor at my expense. Now that the game is going against them, they think me guilty of vainglory. And even if it were true that I had set myself up all alone, that would be no excuse for their conduct. Who knows but that God has called me and raised me up? They ought to fear lest they despise God in me.

Do we not read in the Old Testament that God commonly raised up only one prophet at a time? Moses was alone in the Exodus, Elijah was alone in King Ahab’s day, Elisha, after him, was alone, Isaiah was alone in Jerusalem, Hosea alone in Israel, Jeremiah alone in Judaea, Ezekiel alone in Babylon, and so forth. Even though they had many disciples, called “children of the prophets,” God never allowed more than one man alone to preach and rebuke the people. …
**
I say not that I am a prophet, but I do say that the more they despise me and esteem themselves, the more reason they have to fear that I may be a prophet . . . If I am not a prophet, yet for my own self I am certain that the Word of God is with me and not with them, for I have the Scriptures on my side, and they have only their own doctrine. **This gives me courage, so that the more they despise and persecute me, the less I fear them. There were many asses in the world in the days of Balaam, but God spake by none of them save only by Balaam’s *** . . .” (An Argument in Defense of All the Articles of Dr. Martin Luther Wrongly Condemned in the Roman Bull, 1521; from: Works of Martin Luther [PE], Vol. III, 12-14,17; translated by C. M. Jacobs)

“In order to get things started, I call myself an ecclesiastic by the grace of God in defiance of you and the devil, although you call me a heretic with an abundance of slander. And even if I called myself an evangelist by the grace of God, I would still be more confident of proving it than that any one of you could prove his episcopal title or name. **I am certain that Christ himself, who is the master of my teaching, gives me this title and regards me as one. **Moreover, he will be my witness on the Last Day that it is not my pure gospel but his. Thus your raging and raving is not going to help you at all. Rather, the more you rage and rave, the haughtier we shall be toward you, with God’s help, and shall despise your disgrace.” (Against the Spiritual Estate of the Pope and the Bishops Falsely So-Called, July 1522; LW, Vol. 39: Church and Ministry I; translated by Eric W. and Ruth C. Gritsch, and appears on pp. 239-299; this citation is from pp. 247-248)

Therefore, I now let you know that from now on I shall no longer do you the honor of allowing you – or even an angel from heaven – to judge my teaching or to examine it. For there has been enough foolish humility now for the third time at Worms, and it has not helped. Instead, I shall let myself be heard and, as St. Peter teaches, give an explanation and defense of my teaching to all the world - I Pet. 3:15. I** shall not have it judged by any man, not even by any angel. For since I am certain of it, I shall be your judge and even the angels’ judge through this teaching (as St. Paul says *) so that whoever does not accept my teaching may not be saved – for it is God’s and not mine. Therefore, my judgment is also not mine but God’s.” *(Ibid., 248-249)

To be continued**

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.