Martin Luther

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Martin Luther ( Lucas Cranach the Elder's workshop , 1528, Lutherhaus Wittenberg Collection )
Martin Luther - Signature.svg

Martin Luther (born November 10, 1483 in Eisleben , County of Mansfeld ; † February 18, 1546 there ), an Augustinian monk and professor of theology , was the initiator of the Reformation . He found the essence of Christian faith in God's promise of grace and justification through Jesus Christ . On this basis he wanted to eliminate the erroneous developments of the Roman Catholic Church at that time and restore them to their original ProtestantRestore shape ("re-form"). Contrary to Luther's intention, there was a split in the church , from which Evangelical Lutheran churches and, in the course of the Reformation, other denominations of Protestantism emerged.

The Luther Bible , Luther's theology and church politics contributed to profound changes in European society and culture in the early modern period .


Origin, name, year of birth

Luther's parents Hans and Margarethe Luther (Lucas Cranach the Elder)

Luther was the first son of the smelter Hans Luder (1459–1530) and his wife Margarethe Lindemann (1459–1531). The parents had married around 1479 and moved to Eisleben, where the father leased a hut. His family had their last name in different variations. Luther chose his surname form around 1512 or 1517. He derived it from Duke Leuthari II or from the Greek adjective eleutheros (“free”) and temporarily used the form Eleutherios (“the free”).

According to memories of Luther's mother, which his colleague Philipp Melanchthon recorded after his death, he was born on November 10th at night and baptized in the name of the day saint Martin of Tours the following day . According to Luther's brother Jakob, the year of birth 1483 was the family opinion; However, Luther mentioned 1482 or 1484. For 1482, the fact that he stated in his master's examination in 1505 that he was 22 years old. In the second case, Mansfeld would have been his birthplace, where the family had moved in the summer of 1484.

Childhood and adolescence

The family initially sublet in Mansfeld, but soon moved into a prestigious residential building opposite the castle. Martin grew up here with his younger brother Jacob (1490–1571) and three sisters. In the Mansfeld Latin School (1490–1497) he mainly learned grammar and some logic, rhetoric and music. From 1491 the relatively wealthy father became a member of the city council. From the spring of 1497, Martin attended the Magdeburg Cathedral School for around a year . The brothers who lived together offered him quarters. He frequented the house of Paul Moßhauer, who also came from a family of mining entrepreneurs in Mansfeld and was an official of Archbishop Ernst II of Saxony .

To prepare for his studies, Luther moved to his mother's relatives in the small town of Eisenach , which at that time had three parish churches, several monasteries and thus proportionately many clergy among the approximately 4,000 citizens. At the parish school St. Georgen (1497–1498) Luther learned to speak and write Latin fluently. He later kept in contact with the teacher Wigand Güldenapf, to whom he said he owed a lot. At first Luther had to make a living as a caroler . Then he was accepted in the house of the bourgeois families Cotta and Schalbe in the Georgenvorstadt (not identical to today's " Lutherhaus Eisenach "). Luther got to know the Collegium Schalbense , a prayer and reading community of monks and citizens shaped by the Franciscan order . He also took part in meetings in the house of the priest and vicar Johannes Braun , where music was played, prayed and spiritual and humanistic texts were discussed. Saint Anne was also venerated in this circle .

In the summer semester of 1501, "Martinus Ludher ex Mansfeldt" was enrolled in the artist faculty of the University of Erfurt . Since he was estimated to be wealthy, he had to pay the full registration fee. It is uncertain whether Luther lived as a student of Artes in the Georgenburse or in the Collegium Porta Coeli . Student life in a Burse was strictly regulated and had features similar to a monastery. On September 29, 1502, Luther took the bachelor's degree as early as possible and passed it as the thirtieth of 57 graduates. An injury to his thigh with the sword he wore as a student forced him to stay in bed in 1503 or 1504. During this time he learned to play the lute . The death of some colleagues and professors as a result of the plague that raged in Erfurt and the surrounding area in 1504/05 plunged Luther into a crisis. On January 6, 1505, he completed his basic academic education as the second of 17 candidates with a Magister artium .

Luther referred to Jodocus Trutfetter von Eisenach and Bartholomäus Arnoldi von Usingen as his academic teachers and was in closer contact with them. As a basic philosophical training he had studied Aristotle in medieval-scholastic interpretation. Aristotle had explained his habitus concept using the example of the zither player: through playing practice, he becomes a virtuoso who acts “easily, confidently, with pleasure and perfectly”. Scholasticism related this to being a Christian: the virtuous Christian do easily, spontaneously and joyfully what God demands.

At his father's request, Luther studied law in Erfurt in the summer semester of 1505 in order to later be able to take over the administration of the count and manage the family business. But on July 2, 1505, on the way back from visiting his parents in Mansfeld near Stotternheim , he was surprised by a severe thunderstorm. In agony, he vowed to Saint Anne that he would become a monk if she would save him.

It is unclear why Luther made this vow and then entered the monastery. According to Martin Brecht (1981), he wanted to cope with a life crisis triggered by studying law . After Thomas Kaufmann, he was oppressed by law studies and possibly parental plans for a money marriage. The plague in Erfurt and the thunderstorm experience showed Luther the defenselessness of his existence and God's grip. The gift of self as a monk seemed to him an appropriate response. On July 17, 1505, Luther asked for admission to the Augustinian hermit monastery in Erfurt .

Training for priests and studying theology

Luther as an Augustinian monk (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1520)

Initially, Luther was accommodated as a guest in the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt and made his first general confession to Prior Winand von Diedenhofen. He was accepted as a novice as early as the autumn of 1505 and handed over to the novice master Johannes von Paltz for a year of probation . This introduced him to the way of life of the community. During a visit to the Erfurt monastery on April 3, 1506, the vicar general of the Augustinian hermits, Johann von Staupitz, met Luther for the first time and became his confessor and pastor. The superiors of the order had confidence in Luther's development and expected something from him, while he himself felt an inadequacy.

With his profession in September 1506, Luther was finally accepted as a monk. His superiors determined that he should become a priest and then study theology. For his future main task, the celebration of mass, Luther studied Gabriel Biel's interpretation of the Canon Missae . On April 4, 1507, Auxiliary Bishop Johann Bonemilch von Laasphe consecrated him as a priest in Erfurt Cathedral . He invited his Mansfeld relatives and Eisenach friends to the first session on May 2, 1507 in the monastery church.

Keystone with portrait of Augustine, from the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt

Then Luther began studying theology. His most important textbook was the sentence commentary ( Collectorium ) by Gabriel Biel, who balanced Wilhelm von Ockham's teaching with other scholastic doctrines and represented a Pelagian understanding of free will. According to Johannes Wallmann, this contradicted Thomas Aquinas and the later Council of Trent . Luther's later Reformation theology was an alternative to Biel's Ockhamism.

On the recommendation of Johann von Staupitz, the German Congregation in Munich transferred Luther to Wittenberg on October 18, 1508 . There he was supposed to represent a confrere at short notice and teach moral philosophy at the artist faculty . According to the way the university was organized at the time, Luther was now a lecturer and student at the same time. In March 1509 he acquired the degree of Baccalareus biblicus . After another semester he disputed for the next degree of Baccalaureus sententiarius . Before he could give his inaugural lecture, however, his monastery surprisingly called him back without consulting Staupitz. Perhaps the Erfurt Augustinians were protesting against Staupitz's election as Saxon-Thuringian provincial. Luther returned to Erfurt in 1509. As his note on a printed edition of Augustine's work in the monastery library shows, he had been reading the writings of Augustine of Hippo since 1509 . These included De trinitate and De civitate Dei , but not yet those works in which Augustine dealt with the Pelagians. In the autumn of 1509 Luther gave his sentence lecture in the Auditorium Coelicum at the cathedral in Erfurt and was then appointed Baccalaureus sententiarius . He taught as sententiar in Erfurt from the winter semester 1510 to the summer semester 1511. Then he moved entirely to Wittenberg.

Luther owed his interest in biblical languages ​​to humanism, but his theology hardly affected him. As early as 1506 he acquired Johannes Reuchlin's textbook De rudimentis hebraicis and used it to teach himself the Hebrew language . In 1512 he also acquired Reuchlin's edition of the seven penitential psalms ( Septem psalmi poenitentiales ) with Hebrew text, Latin translation and grammatical explanations. Luther had contact with the Erfurt humanists Crotus Rubeanus , Mutianus Rufus (from 1515) and Johann Lange , but did not belong to their group. He was interested in authors from antiquity and owned the Greek NT from Erasmus at an early age.

Rome trip

On behalf of his order and accompanied by a confrere, Luther traveled to Rome at the end of 1510 or later. The date and the exact purpose of the trip are unclear. According to Heinrich Böhmer ( Martin Luther's journey to Rome , 1914) and following him Heinz Schilling ( Martin Luther rebel in a time of change , 2013) should the two Erfurt monks in Rome against the leadership of the German Augustinian order commanded Association of strict Observant with the more liberal Augustinian monasteries of the Saxon order province protest. Hans Schneider and, following him, Thomas Kaufmann, Bernd Moeller , Volker Leppin and Ulrich Köpf , on the other hand, date the trip to Rome to 1511/12. Then Luther would have traveled from Wittenberg, not from Erfurt, and would probably not have acted against the unification plans, but continued to support his confessor von Staupitz. Luther had never left his region of origin before and never traveled that far or long again. He also used his four-week stay in Rome to make his third general confession and visited numerous places of grace. According to Johannes Wallmann, Luther did not doubt the Roman practice of penance and indulgence , “did not let the rich opportunities for acquiring indulgences pass”, but was appalled by the lack of seriousness and moral decline there, without indulging in his belief in the church through the “sharply observed signs of decline” to be confused. According to Volker Leppin , Luther's early testimony does not yet show any such observations; only Luther's late dinner speeches emphasize signs of decay in Rome, which he may have known from other sources. In 1519, Rome was still the church of Simon Peter , Paul of Tarsus and the many martyrs to whom God paid special attention. Since he only mentioned his private travel impressions again and again later, it was possibly a pilgrimage, not a business trip.

Tasks in Wittenberg

On von Staupitz's initiative, Luther moved in September 1511 from Erfurt to Wittenberg, which at that time had no more than 2500 inhabitants, and applied for a theological doctorate. The Leucorea was still under construction, and the Wittenberg monastery building was also unfinished at the time. However, Wittenberg was the capital of Saxony. Luther thus entered a field of political power that was important for his further development. At the chapter of the Augustinian Hermits in Cologne on May 5, 1512, Luther probably supported von Staupitz in the conflicts within the order. He was appointed subprior and head of studies as well as monastery preacher of the Wittenberg monastery. He was to take over the Bible professorship that Staupitz previously held for life; the elector was therefore prepared to take on the costs of the doctorate.

Frederick the Wise around 1500; Portrait of Albrecht Dürer

Since the Electorate of Saxony belonged to several dioceses, Luther's sovereign Friedrich the Wise was in the stronger position in terms of church politics. The All Saints Monastery in Wittenberg, including the incorporated town church, was directly subordinate to the Pope and was thus beyond the control of the Brandenburg bishop. Because the cantor of the All Saints' Monastery, Ulrich von Dinstedt, did not perform his job as a preacher at the town church, Luther received the sermon assignment. For a long time he received his only personal income from it (8 guilders 12 groschen per year ). His first well-dated sermons come from 1514.

At the Congregational Chapter in Gotha on May 1, 1515, he was appointed Provincial Vicar and thus, in addition to his teaching activities in Wittenberg, took on leadership tasks in his order, which were associated with considerable visitation and travel activities. As vicar, he was subordinate to ten convents, including his former home convent in Erfurt. There he installed Johann Lange as prior in 1516 . In Wittenberg he was second in the hierarchy of the monastery as a subprior, and as vicar he was also the superior of the prior.

Professorship for Biblical Interpretation

Handwritten notes by Luther on the first psalm reading (Wolfenbüttel Psalter)

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate theologiae from Andreas Bodenstein at the Leucorea . His doctoral oath committed him to the Holy Scriptures , i.e. the Bible, and to the theological development of its content. He referred to this in the later conflict with the papal church.

In Wittenberg, Luther offered a two-hour lecture per semester. Some student transcripts and working texts have been preserved, including the Wolfenbüttel Psalter , Luther's personal copy of the first psalm lecture ( Dictata super Psalterium , 1513–1515). Luther interpreted the Latin text of the Vulgate with the traditional method of the fourfold sense of writing , but emphasized something typical for him: all the psalms were about Jesus Christ. Since they arose before the earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth , they did this in the literal sense , but in a prophetic way ( sensus litteralis propheticus ). Luther owed this hermeneutic approach to his mentor von Staupitz.

Luther prepared his lecture in Romans (1515/16) based on the Greek New Testament (NT), but continued to base his students on the Latin text. Here, too, he often used the fourfold sense of writing, but gradually moved away from it and very often quoted Augustine. The eighth volume of a work edition printed in Basel in 1506 he had probably taken to hand in preparation for his Roman Letter College. Anti-Pelagian texts contained therein such as De spiritu et littera also gave him "systematic-theological help for understanding Romans and Pauline theology in general."

In the winter semester 1516/1517 Luther read about Paul's letter to the Galatians , then two semesters parallel to the indulgence dispute about the letter to the Hebrews . Interrupted only by important life-historical events, he read regularly until November 1545 about a biblical book ( lectura in biblia ). It was noticeable that he often chose topics from the Old Testament (OT) - probably because he rated his knowledge of Hebrew higher than his knowledge of Greek. He dedicated only four of the 32 years of his Bible professorship to NT scriptures.

In August 1518 the University of Wittenberg appointed Philipp Melanchthon to the newly established chair for ancient Greek . He became Luther's closest collaborator.

Reformation turning point

When Luther first formulated the pure gift of God's righteousness solely by grace ( sola gratia ) is a main point of contention in Luther research. In a later self-testimony, he described this turning point as an unexpected enlightenment in his study in the south tower of the Augustinian monastery in Wittenberg. Some date this tower experience to 1511-1513, others around 1515 or around 1518, and still others assume a gradual development of the Reformation turn. Their dating and more detailed definition of the content are mutually related. In retrospect, Luther described his experience in 1545 as a great liberation during the preparation for his second psalm lecture (i.e. between spring and autumn 1518).

As a letter from Luther to Staupitz shows, problems with the sacrament of penance were the reason for his great inner tension at the time: despite his impeccable life as a monk before God, he felt as a sinner, unable to love the punishing God. In the solitary meditation on Rom 1.17  LUT he suddenly discovered what he had been looking for in vain for a decade:

“For in it is revealed righteousness which is valid before God, which comes from faith and leads to faith; as it is written: The righteous will live by faith. "

This Bible verse led him to his new understanding of Scripture: God's eternal righteousness is a pure gift of grace that is only given to people through faith in Jesus Christ. No personal contribution could force this gift. Even the belief that the grace has been accepted is not a human work. For him, according to the current Protestant interpretation, the entire medieval theology collapsed. Volker Leppin, on the other hand, emphasizes that Luther's development was not erratic, but rather was linked to the late medieval piety of Johannes Tauler's sermons . The Christian mysticism is a source of Luther's theology of grace.

The young Luther often used the meditation instructions Rosetum (1494) compiled by Johannes Mauburnus from the context of the devotio moderna . He was also familiar with the writings of Bernhard von Clairvaux , Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita and Jean Gerson . For Bernhard, whom he particularly valued, humanitas , the earthly life of Jesus, is at the center. The reminding contemplation of his passion should move people to compassion for Christ. Staupitz conveyed this late medieval mystical tradition to Luther as a pastor and confessor.

In 1516 Luther published the Theologia deutsch of an unknown mystic whom he identified with Johannes Tauler. The work strengthened his growing rejection of external church rites. Karlstadt and Thomas Müntzer were influenced by reading the Theologia in German, Johann Arndt received it in Pietism , so Protestantism, on Luther's recommendation, was taught medieval and mystical traditions.

When Luther developed his theology of the cross , he also dealt intensively with mystical literature. God can truly only be known on the path of the cross, which he himself walked in his incarnate Son: this thought of Luther could have been shaped by Tauler's mysticism of the cross. Tauler identified the cleansing from sin that precedes enlightenment in the mystical experience with the inner tribulation that must be endured in humility and serenity. Nevertheless, Luther also contradicted some basic assumptions of mysticism, rejected human participation in the salvation sola gratia and finally also denied the possibility that man could unite with God or man's will with God's will in this life ( unio mystica ). All in all, he denied the medieval assumption that justification and sanctification were linked in the process of salvation.

Indulgence, 95 theses (1517) and Heidelberg disputation (1518)

Letter of indulgence from 1513 (Kulturhistorisches Museum Stralsund)

Pope Leo X's bull of indulgence, dated March 31, 1515, was intended to be used for the new construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and also to provide the Archbishop of Mainz, Albrecht of Brandenburg, with income to pay his debts at the Fugger banking house . The plenary indulgence contained therein exempted buyers of the corresponding indulgence letter from the temporary penalty of sin in purgatory for almost all sins in the event of a confession made immediately and at the hour of death . Almost all vows (except monastery vows) could be converted and thus paid for. This indulgence was to be distributed in the church provinces of Mainz, Magdeburg and Brandenburg for eight years. Elector Friedrich III. was strongly against the promotion of the plenary indulgence near its national borders. He saw the sale of indulgences as harmful competition for his pilgrimage site, the reliquary collection in Wittenberg.

From January 22, 1517, the Dominican Johann Tetzel, as general sub-commissioner for the indulgence campaign, had a crude version of the indulgence order printed in order to increase its financial return. He himself earned 80 guilders a month and other perks. He was not allowed to be active in Electoral Saxony, but many Wittenbergers bought their indulgence letters in Jüterbog, 35 km away, or in Zerbst . Citizens and merchants paid three per person, craftsmen one guilder, and the poor should fast and pray. In the late summer of 1517, Luther read Tetzel's indulgence order.

The preoccupation with the topic of indulgence brought Luther outwardly into increasing conflict with church authorities and into the public spotlight. Inwardly, he also gained personal insights into the sacrament of faith, which had troubled him for a long time. As early as 1514 in the first reading of the psalms, he had said that the church made “the way to heaven easy through indulgences and with minimalist requirements - a sigh is enough - grace cheap”. Similar criticism can be found in the reading of the Romans and in sermons.

In the summer of 1517, Luther surprisingly turned to dealing with scholasticism. Alleged studies on the subject of indulgences were included in his treatise on indulgences , in which he still partially affirmed them. On September 4, 1517, he initially presented 97 theses in order to encourage a disputation on scholastic theology among his fellow lecturers. Ockham, whose interpretation was conveyed to Luther, considered it possible to win salvation through (good) works. With his publication Disputatio contra scholasticam theologiam he turned for the first time in detail against the prevailing scholastic theology, which was based on the philosophy of Aristotle.

Albrecht of Brandenburg under the cross (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1520/25; Alte Pinakothek Munich)

On October 31, 1517, Luther wrote directly to the Archbishop of Mainz in the submissive tone of a mendicant monk. As a pastor, he expressed his concern about misunderstandings that might arise in the population about the indulgence. He assumed that Tetzel's indulgence instructions were written without the knowledge and consent of Albrecht. He did not mention that the Pope was behind the campaign. He signed as a doctor of theology and enclosed his 95 theses with the letter . Luther seems to have addressed further letters to the bishops of Brandenburg, Merseburg, possibly Zeitz, Lebus and Meißen. In order to stimulate an academic debate, Luther also sent the theses to various scholars and asked their opinion on them, as the letter he received to Johann Lange in Erfurt (November 11, 1517) shows. In it Luther protested more against the wrong disposition to penance expressed in indulgences than against the financial practices of the Roman church, which are often rejected by princes and citizens. In doing so, he did not attack Pope Leo X directly, but thought he was still on his side, at least rhetorically. However, he saw his task only in the intercession for the believers and thus denied him the key power for the abolition of otherworldly penalties for sin, which the school theological doctrine of indulgence granted him.

Luther's theses circulated in manuscripts and were printed in December 1517 in Nuremberg, Leipzig and Basel. The Wittenberg canon Ulrich von Dinstedt sent the text to Christoph Scheurl from Nuremberg , who distributed it to his circle of friends. Councilor Caspar Bastel translated the text into German. Albrecht Dürer read it in this version and sent Luther a gift in gratitude. Erasmus of Rotterdam sent the theses to Thomas More in England on March 5, 1518 .

According to Melanchthon, Luther is said to have posted the theses on October 31st on the main portal of the castle church in Wittenberg. This was considered an ahistorical legend for a long time, but after the discovery of a note by Georg Rörer (2006) it is again considered more likely. Other researchers believe that Luther sent his propositiones to his university colleagues as chairman of a disputation ( praeses ). Because the indulgence theses were already circulating, the possible posting of the theses was in any case not the beginning of the indulgence discussion.

In February 1518, Luther, who was still unfamiliar with the effects of printed matter, perceived the great public echo of the theses as a miracle. An expert opinion of the University of Mainz dated December 17, 1517, requested by Archbishop Albrecht, recommended that the theses be examined by the Curia , as they apparently limited the Pope's power to grant indulgences and thus deviated from church doctrine. Independently of this, Albrecht had already informed Rome about the matter. The 95 theses also reached Tetzel. He opposed Luther not legally, but on an academic level, by disputing the indulgence on January 20, 1518 at the Brandenburg University of Frankfurt an der Oder . Konrad Wimpina had put forward his counter-theses ; they fought against Luther's theses as errors, interpreted penance strictly as a sacrament and affirmed the common practice of indulgence and the ecclesiology behind it .

Because only a professional audience understood the indulgence debate, Luther wrote the sermon of indulgence and grace in German for the general public at the beginning of March 1518 . Indulgence, it was now said, was something for lazy Christians. One should rather help the poor and donate money voluntarily to the building of St. Peter's Church. Whether the indulgences benefit the dead is uncertain; Luther recommended intercession for them instead. The Brandenburg Bishop Hieronymus Schulze had advised him to be silent for a while so that the matter would calm down. Luther agreed, but his sermon was already in print and became his first major literary success. At the beginning of April he let himself be released from the promise of secrecy. In the meantime, Johannes Eck in Ingolstadt, a literary and theologically adept opponent of Luther, had spoken out. Both engaged in a polemical exchange of blows, Christoph Scheurl tried to mediate.

On April 25, 1518 Luther appeared as district vicar in Heidelberg at the general chapter of the Saxon Reform Congregation of Augustinian Hermits. Staupitz was re-elected as vicar, and Lang became Luther's successor as district vicar. On April 26th, a public disputation took place in the Augustinian monastery in Heidelberg, which was not about indulgences. Luther led it and won some followers among the younger theologians present who later became reformers: Martin Bucer , Erhard Schnepf , Martin Frecht , Theobald Billicanus , Johannes Brenz .

Luther then had the commentary resolutions printed and sent one copy each to Pope Leo X and the Bishop of Brandenburg. In it Luther showed that the 95 theses did not simply reflect his opinion, but were intended to stimulate discussion, and further developed his reflections on purgatory: “Luther could not do anything with God's punitive treatment of the dead. Either their sins are forgiven, then the dead are in the fellowship of God, or they are not forgiven, then they are in hell. "

Roman Trial, Augsburg Diet and Leipzig Disputation (1518/1519)

Luther in Augsburg before Cardinal Thomas Cajetan , colored woodcut, 1557
Pontificate during Luther's Reformation work
Pope's name         Beginning         end
   Julius II       November 1, 1503       February 21, 1513
   Leo X.       March 11, 1513       December 1, 1521
   Hadrian VI.       January 9, 1522       September 14, 1523
   Clement VII       November 18, 1523       September 25, 1534
   Paul III       October 13, 1534       November 10, 1549

The Archbishop of Mainz and Cardinal Albrecht von Brandenburg “passed the matter on to Rome by sending the theses to the papal court on December 13th. […] Albrecht's reaction was somewhere between the assumption that this incident would have no major significance and the concern for order. ”Albrecht's letter probably arrived there in January 1518, thus becoming the case ( Causa Lutheri ) in the Roman Curia on record. Leo X turned with a brief of 3 February 1518 the Proto Master and Prior General of the Augustinian hermit Gabriel della Volta , Gabriel Venetus (around 1468-1537), to act on those priests of his order so that it no new to the people Proclaim teachings.

While the Saxon Augustinian hermits backed Luther almost entirely in March 1518, the Saxon Dominicans accused him of heresy in Rome in the same month. The Pope then commissioned a court theologian, Silvester Mazzolini called Prierias, with an expert opinion on Luther's theses. In his opinion ( In praesumptuosas Martini Lutheri conclusiones de potestate papae dialogus) Prierias clearly worked out the basic problem: the question of the authority of the Church and the Pope. Ultimately, he went so far as to declare not only doctrine but also practice of the Church to be infallible by formulating: “Anyone who, with regard to indulgences, says that the Roman Church must not do what it actually does, he is a heretic. ”Other officials commissioned by Leo X for the Causa lutheri were the papal fiscal procurator Mario de Perusco, who held one of the highest legal offices at the curia, and the bishop and later nuncio Girolamo Ghinucci , to whom it was in his capacity as an auditor generalis was responsible for examining the quality of legal cases in general. It was of decisive importance for the initiation of a canonical trial against Luther.

In July 1518 the Roman Curia opened a case against Luther, the result of which was served on him as a citatio on August 7, 1518. He was supposed to be in Rome within 60 days to justify himself against the charge of heresy . His sovereign Friedrich the Wise obtained Luther's interrogation at the curia at the Reichstag in Augsburg. When the resolutions in Rome became known, Luther's situation in the pending trial deteriorated drastically: in a papal brief of August 23, 1518, his notorious, i.e. overt heresy was established, the gathering of evidence was thus largely concluded. Cardinal Thomas de Vio called Cajetan, who participated as papal legate in the Diet of Augsburg, was commissioned to bring Luther under his control. The curia also tried to get hold of Luther's in other ways. On August 25, 1518, the Protomagister of the Augustinian Hermits wrote to the Saxon Provincial of the Order, Gerhard Hecker , that he should arrest Luther by means of apostolic authority, whereby the members of the Reform Congregation would like to support him in this. As protomagister he could impose the interdict on all of Luther's helpers .

From October 12 to 14, 1518, Luther met Cajetan several times in the Fugger city palace , which was also Cajetan's domicile during the Reichstag. Luther lived in the Carmelite monastery in Augsburg , whose prior Johannes Frosch was a Wittenberg licentiate; In return for Luther's accommodation, the elector had promised him that he would cover the costs of his upcoming doctorate. Cajetan was ready to accept Luther's revocation on a fatherly basis; But Luther wanted to dispute. On the third and last day of his interrogation by Cajetan, Luther submitted a written elaboration in which he emphasized the need for certainty of faith when receiving the sacrament and explained his newly gained understanding of the Bible passage Rom 1.17.

After the interrogation, Luther waited a few days, uncertain what would happen to him now. Nothing happened. He said goodbye to Cajetan with a letter dated October 18; since he did not want to withdraw, he could not return before the cardinal and wanted to go "elsewhere" from Augsburg. On the evening of October 20th, when the city gates were already closed, friends let him out of the city through a small gate in the north. The Ramsau Prior Martin Glaser had a horse ready for him, and he reached Monheim in a nocturnal ride . Luther reached Wittenberg again on October 31, via Nuremberg.

In Augsburg, Cajetan had recognized that the church's doctrine of indulgence was not dogmatically secured enough by the bull Unigenitus (1343). That had opened up possibilities for Luther for his own argumentation. On November 9, 1518, Cajetan co-formulated a dogmatic fixation: In the decretal Cum postquam , Leo X stated that “the Pope could, by virtue of his power of keys, lessen the punishment of sin by distributing the treasure of the merits of Christ and the saints. Let the indulgences for the dead work intercessionally. ”A justification through quotations from the Bible or the Church Fathers was not given. This subsequent specification made it possible to mark Luther's position as heretical.

In the meantime, Elector Friedrich the Wise had received a letter from Cajetan in which he stated how paternal and kind he had dealt with Luther, but how stubborn he had refused to revoke his erroneous opinions. It was now up to the elector to either deliver the monk to Rome or to drive him out of the electorate of Saxony . The elector, who was concerned not only with protecting Luther but also with the reputation of the Wittenberg University, replied on December 7th that Luther's cause had not yet been discussed sufficiently by scholars. Until this has happened, he is not regarded as a heretic in Electoral Saxony and he is kept in the country. Rome should have responded with the banishment of Luther, but this was not done for political reasons.

European domain of Charles V , who was elected Roman-German king or emperor in 1519 .
  • Castile (wine red)
  • Aragon's possessions (red)
  • Burgundian possessions (orange)
  • Austrian Hereditary Lands (yellow)
  • Holy Roman Empire (pale yellow)
  • On January 12, 1519, Emperor Maximilian I died in the castle of Wels. He had appointed his grandson Carlos I , King of Spain, to be his successor. But since he was also king of the two Sicilies , the papal state threatened to be embraced. In this context, Luther's sovereign Friedrich III came. as a member of the Electoral College to play an important role. That is why Leo X. initially put Luther's trial on hold and commissioned Karl von Miltitz to win the elector over to a peaceful solution to the question of faith.

    The agreements reached in the process remained ineffective due to the controversy between Karlstadt and Eck , which Luther was soon drawn into and which was held in front of an academic public at the Leipzig disputation (July 4-14, 1519). The initiative for this came from Karlstadt, who had challenged Eck. While it was still being examined whether Luther could be admitted as a further disputant at the event of the University of Leipzig , Luther published his series of theses against Eck, with the completely unprotected final thesis: “That the Roman Church is placed above the others is proven from the very cold Decrees of the Roman Popes, which have emerged over the past 400 years. Against them stand the recognized history of 1100 years, the text of [Holy] Scripture and the decree of the Council of Nicaea , which is holy for all, ”which established the equality of the patriarchates of the early Churches . Luther had thus isolated himself among his colleagues and delved into canon law and church history in order to be able to counter Eck's attacks on this thesis. This radicalized his positions: he was still able to recognize the papacy as an earthly institution, but without the nimbus of a supernatural foundation and vocation. The popes are not in error and do not have the monopoly of correct interpretation of the Bible. In the background, Luther began to question whether the Pope might be the Antichrist .

    The highlight of the event was the dispute between Eck and Luther about the papal primacy. Luther argued with the equality of the patriarchates of the early church; Eck then referred to him as a supporter of Jan Hus , who was burned as a heretic and who represented this opinion. By confronting Luther with the authority of the Council of Constance , which Hus had condemned, Eck brought him into argumentative difficulties. Because Luther tried to hold on to the authority of consensus decisions of the assembled bishops, but then had to admit: “Even councils can be wrong.” In Eck's judgment, he was thus outside the church fellowship.

    After Charles was elected emperor on June 28, 1519, the curia resumed Luther's heresy trial in the spring of 1520. After another unsuccessful interrogation before Cajetan, the Pope issued the exsurge domine bull threatening the ban on June 15, 1520 . She condemned 41 sentences which, with the exception of one sentence, are literal quotations from Luther's writings. The subjects of penance, indulgence, purgatory, papacy and anthropology were addressed. There was no argumentative refutation of these sentences; Luther and his followers were given 60 days to retract their errors. Johannes Eck (Saxony, Electoral Saxony, Upper Germany) and the humanist Hieronymus Aleander (Netherlands, West Germany) were commissioned as papal nuncios to announce the bull .

    When there was an open confrontation between Luther and the papal envoy and Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg in 1518, Staupitz released his protégé, whom he had followed to Augsburg, from his obligation to obey the Augustinian order. If this was a measure that probably served to protect Luther, Staupitz's resignation from his religious offices in 1520 can be understood as a distancing from the radicalizing development of the Reformation.

    Reichstag zu Worms, Reichsacht and feigned capture (1521)

    Charles V around 1520 (painting after Bernaerd van Orley)

    In October 1520 Luther dedicated his work On the Freedom of a Christian to Pope Leo X and appealed to a new council. On December 10, 1520, a book burning took place on the Schindanger in front of the Wittenberger Elstertor , to which Melanchthon had invited the university members. Johann Agricola organized this action and threw several volumes of canon law , the Confession Manual of the Angelus de Clavasio ( Summa angelica ), as well as some writings by Eck and Emser into the fire. (He had also requested the sum of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus's commentary on sentences , but the Wittenberg theologians did not publish them.) Then Luther stepped in and threw a print of the bull threatening excommunication into the flames.

    On January 3, 1521, Luther was excommunicated with the bull of excommunication, Decet Romanum Pontificem . This and his main Reformation writings made Luther known throughout the empire. The printing press , the general social dissatisfaction and political reform readiness helped him to an extraordinary journalistic success: By the end of the year he had already published 81 individual fonts and collections of fonts, many of them translated into other languages, in a total of 653 editions . Similar reform efforts arose in many countries, which were largely determined by the political tensions between principalities and central powers.

    Luther at the Diet of Worms. Colored woodcut from 1556

    Elector Friedrich the Wise managed to negotiate that Luther was allowed to explain and defend his position again before the next Reichstag.

    Luther and his companions set out on a journey to Worms on April 2, 1521, for which the city of Wittenberg gave him food and a trolley with a protective roof. Since monks traditionally traveled in pairs, he was accompanied by his brother Johann Petzensteiner . The travel company also included Nikolaus von Amsdorff , the Pomeranian nobleman Peter von Suaven and (from Erfurt) Justus Jonas .

    On April 17, 1521, Luther stood before Emperor Charles V and the Diet of Worms , was interrogated in front of the princes and imperial estates gathered in the bishop's court there , and was asked to withdraw for the last time. After a day to think about it and knowing that this could mean his death, he declined on the grounds:

    "... if I am not convinced by scriptural testimonies and clear reasons of reason; for I believe neither the Pope nor the councils alone, since it is certain that they have frequently erred and contradicted themselves, so I am overcome in my conscience and imprisoned in the word of God through the passages of the holy scripture which I have quoted . Therefore I cannot and will not revoke anything, because doing something against the conscience is neither safe nor salutary. God help me, Amen! "

    On the morning of April 19, the emperor negotiated with the estates about how to proceed. The stands asked for time to think about it. The emperor then had his own position presented: Conscious of his dynastic tradition, he saw himself as the protector of the Catholic faith, and certainly a single friar would be wrong if his opinion was against that of the whole of Christianity. He would do everything in his power against this notorious heretic; He also expects the same from the stands. However, on April 20, the estates wanted to attempt to compensate. Another scholarly discussion was to convince Luther of his errors. The emperor granted three days for this on April 22nd, after which the imperial ban was to end immediately. A commission from the empire then tried to persuade Luther to give in for the sake of the unity of the church. Hieronymus Vehus (Chancellor of the Margrave of Baden ) and Conrad Peutinger (for the city of Augsburg), two humanists, were very accommodating to Luther as negotiators. However, these conversations also remained fruitless. On the evening of April 25th, an imperial council officially informed Luther that he should leave. But Luther was also informed that his sovereign would bring him to safety. On April 28th he wrote openly to Lukas Cranach: "I let myself be drawn in and hidden, I don't know where myself yet."

    From Worms, the tour group started their way back to Wittenberg on Friday, April 26, 1521. About Frankfurt am Main , Friedberg , Grünberg and Hersfeld was Eisenach reached on May 2 Luther let Hieronymus Schurff , Jonas and Suaven travel on alone because he wanted to visit his relatives in Möhra . He now only had Petzensteiner and von Amsdorff, who had been informed about the planning, with him. On May 4th, the planned attack of several horsemen armed with crossbows on Luther's carriage took place in a ravine near Altenstein Castle . Petzensteiner fled, Amsdorff protested loudly, and Luther was detoured by the gunmen to the Wartburg , where he arrived late in the evening.

    On May 26, 1521, the Reichstag imposed the Edict of Worms drawn on him by the Emperor . It had been dated back to May 8th. With reference to the bull of excommunication, it prohibited the entire empire from supporting or hosting Luther, reading or printing his writings, and ordered him to be detained and handed over to the emperor. The edict was an effective tool in suppressing the Reformation movement for over a decade. Although only scant data prove the connections, they are stored in the German Reichstag files, younger series (DRTA.Jr) , on Thursday, May 23, 1521, shortly before his departure, Frederick the Wise had an agreement with Charles V regarding the application the Reichsacht hit on its territory: The Electorate of Saxony received no eight mandate. The emperor did not risk a conflict with a powerful imperial prince, and this constellation saved Luther. "For years the Saxon elector could pretend that the Edict of Worms didn't exist for him."

    Wartburg period (1521–1522)

    Luther as "Junker Jörg". Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1522
    The wintry Wartburg (2021), where Luther translated the New Testament into German in 1521/22. The arrow points to the Luther room.
    Reconstructed Luther room on the Wartburg

    At the Wartburg there was quarters for noble prisoners (room and bedroom); Luther was housed here from May 4, 1521 to March 1, 1522 under the supervision of the castle captain Hans von Berlepsch . He removed the monk's external characteristics ( habit , tonsure ) and assumed the identity of a knight ("Junker Jörg") in clothes, hair and beard. All external contacts went through Spalatin , who passed on or withheld the incoming and outgoing writings in accordance with the Saxon politics. Luther developed an intensive literary activity. He tried to influence the social and religious changes triggered by the Reformation in Wittenberg ( Wittenberg Movement ). These were advanced by Karlstadt as preacher at the city church and Gabriel Zwilling as preacher in the Augustinian monastery; Melanchthon was not accepted as a layman in this role (Luther tried to get him a preaching assignment, but the All Saints' Monastery refused). The momentum of change was considerable. Karlstadt celebrated the Last Supper on Christmas 1521 in a simple form. The numerous parishioners, including representatives from the city and university, received bread and wine without having confessed or fasted, and took the chalice into their own hands. On the New Year, the following Sunday and on the festival of Epiphany , over a thousand people took part in this form of communion, which is new compared to Holy Mass .

    The first priests married in May 1521, following Luther's criticism of celibacy , whereupon they were subjected to disciplinary measures from their bishops. Nevertheless, numerous clerics followed their example in 1521/22 . There was also a movement to withdraw from the monastery, which increased the problem of the validity of monastery vows. Luther's own convent got into a serious crisis. Wenzeslaus Linck therefore convened an extraordinary chapter for Wittenberg on January 6, 1522. In this situation, Luther wrote an expert report on monastic vows ( De votis monasticis… iudicium ) in November 1521 . In it he found his solution to the question of vows in the freedom of the gospel : A vow that violates evangelical freedom is void if it was taken on the condition that the religious status is necessary to find justice and salvation. Spalatin withheld this explosive text until February 1522.

    At the beginning of December 1521, Luther took a ride to Wittenberg to get an idea of ​​the situation incognito. He lived with Melanchthon. In a letter to Spalatin, he said he was pleased with the changes. At this meeting, Melanchthon suggested translating the NT into German, which Luther occupied for the rest of his stay in Wartburg. The basis for Luther's work was the second edition of the Greek NT published by Erasmus. This edition also contained Erasmus' translation into Latin and explanatory notes, "which Luther often made use of, even if he did not fully exhaust them in a hurry." Luther completed the work in just eleven weeks ( September Testament ).

    At the turn of the year 1521/22 the so-called Zwickau prophets came to Wittenberg. Melanchthon and Amsdorff were particularly impressed by the biblical exegesis of the former Wittenberg student Markus Thomae called Stübner. They thought it possible that the people of Zwickau were inspired by the Holy Spirit . Stübner criticized the infant baptism . For this reason the elector conferred with Amsdorff and Melanchthon in Prettin on the New Year . A recall of Luther, requested by Melanchthon, seemed to the elector unnecessary. The people of Zwickau were to be taught from the Bible, but not given a forum for a disputation. The explosiveness of the topic of infant baptism was not yet recognized at this point in time - not even by Luther, who responded by letter. He criticized the fact that the Zwickauers apparently did not experience any challenges, but that these belonged to an authentic experience of God. Of the Zwickau prophets, only Stübner stayed longer in Wittenberg and won a few followers here.

    On January 24th, the Wittenberg Council decided on a church ordinance , in which the professors were also involved in an advisory capacity. In addition to the abolition of the altars and images of saints and the reform of worship, social changes were planned. The “common box” was founded from the church income, a fund that was supposed to support the poor either directly or with loans. Begging was forbidden. The unexpected consequences were a violent iconoclasm and a migration of the students from Wittenberg - some of them were called back by their families, others had been dependent on begging for their subsistence. The electoral government banned all innovations on February 13th. It forbade Karlstadt and Zwilling, who were held responsible for the unrest, to continue preaching. On February 9, a new year in office of the city council began, which now included Luther's close friends Lucas Cranach and Christian Döring . They campaigned for his return to Wittenberg. The elector was undecided about the political risks. Luther himself had been striving back to Wittenberg for a long time. He lacked the collegial exchange that he needed for his writing activities, especially the translation of the Bible. The lawyer Hieronymus Schurff helped Luther to write a letter on behalf of the elector in which he explained the reasons for his return - care for the community, prevention of an uprising by the common man. It was hoped that future imperial law problems could be met through Luther's appearance in Wittenberg.

    Preacher in Wittenberg (1522–1524)

    Lucas Cranach the Elder (workshop), 1522–24: Martin Luther in the clothes of an Augustinian hermit, but without a tonsure

    From 1522 to 1524 Luther saw himself primarily as a preacher at the Wittenberg town church. At first he, the outlaw, did not return to the university. After his return from the Wartburg he appeared in public in Wittenberg in habit and with a freshly cut tonsure. From Sunday Invocavit , March 9, 1522, he preached eight days in a row ( invocavit sermons ) and commented on the reforms that the Wittenbergers had carried out: abolition of mass and confession, priestly marriage, abolition of the fasting commandments, abolition of religious images, Lord's Supper under both forms. “Luther consistently considers the reformers' demands to be correct, indeed he recognizes them as the fruit of his own thoughts. He attacks not what has been reformed, but how has been reformed: [...] that no consideration was given to the weak or the traditional ... ”He moved back into the Augustinian monastery and lived there with the few remaining monks. The monastery lost its income and its financial situation was precarious. In the end, only the prior Eberhard Brisger and Luther himself lived in the spacious building. On October 9, 1524, Luther appeared in public for the first time in secular clothing.

    The changes to the mass were completely reversed in March 1522, except for the possibility of receiving the Lord's Supper in both forms at one's own request. In his sermons, however, Luther continuously criticized the prevailing practice. With this he achieved, for example, that the sacrament was no longer carried in the Corpus Christi procession ; In 1524, Corpus Christi was no longer celebrated in Wittenberg, but it was in neighboring Kemberg . From the beginning of 1523, Luther considered the congregation to be so well prepared that the Lord's Supper was served in both forms; anyone who had a problem with that was now considered obdurate. The old rite initially asserted itself in the All Saints' Monastery under the protection of the Elector, but at the end of 1524 only three canons supported it, who bowed to an ultimatum from the council and the university.

    Luther was invited to sermons in other cities, so in April and May 1522 he made a round trip to Borna , Altenburg, Zwickau and Torgau . He considered the election of the preacher to be a right of the congregation and therefore stood up for Gabriel Zwilling, who had been elected in Altenburg - ultimately unsuccessful, because the court did not accept this appointment because of Zwilling's role in Wittenberg, and Wenzeslaus Linck took the position Altenburg. In Wittenberg, the city council elected Johannes Bugenhagen as the preacher of the city church, with which Luther found another close collaborator in addition to Melanchthon, and also his personal pastor.

    At the end of May 1522 the little prayer book appeared , which was a great success in bookselling. About 35 editions appeared during Luther's lifetime. The book contained interpretations of the Ten Commandments , the Creed , Our Father, and Hail Mary . It was to take the place of the confession mirrors and devotional books that were popular up to now . The approximately simultaneous Taufbüchlein was a very conservative transfer of the home in Wittenberg usual Latin form (exorcism, salt administration, ear opening, anointing Wester shirt , Taufkerze ); A revised version appeared in 1526.

    Luther's positioning in the Peasants' War (1524–1525)

    Against the murderous and predatory packs of the peasants (printed by Hans Hergot, Nuremberg 1525)

    Luther invented a number of evaluative terms for his opponents, which were taken over by denominational historiography and thus established themselves: "Swarmers" he called Christians who somehow caused unrest (behind this is the image of swarming bees). Anyone who removed religious images from churches was an “iconoclast”; anyone who met in separate groups was a “Rottengeist”; these two terms contain the aspect of the illegitimate and the violent.

    In German areas there was a Peasants' War from 1524 to 1526 . In some cities, too, the poorer classes rose up against the ruling patricians and the clergy. With the 12 articles , the insurgents set themselves uniform goals, ranging from the mere restoration of their customary rights to the abolition of serfdom and basic democratic rights. They invoked "divine law" and Luther's scriptural principle sola scriptura . Like him, they agreed to drop their claims as soon as they were proven wrong by the Bible. This gave her earlier religiously based hopes for social liberation for the first time impact.

    Luther distanced himself from the 12 articles because of what he saw as a false reference to the Bible. In the pamphlet Admonition to Peace on the twelve articles of the peasantry in Swabia , which was probably printed before May 6 , he took up some justified demands of the peasants (which, however, he had already labeled as "Rotten- und Mordgeister") and dismissed them as well the princes rightly. Although the admonition was widely used in 19 prints in 1525, it came too late in time to influence the course of events. On a trip to Eisleben at the beginning of May 1525, Luther preached about the willingness of Christians to suffer and met an aggressive audience. Here the farmers were under the impression of Thomas Müntzer's doctrine of the equality of all people. Immediately after his return to Wittenberg on May 6, Luther wrote his book, Against the Murderous and Rebellious Rotten der Bawren . In it he condemned the uprisings as the work of the devil and called on all princes of whatever denomination to crush the peasants with all necessary force. Müntzer is the "arch devil of Mühlhausen". He demanded: “So here should be thrown (smashed), choked, and stabbed, secretly and publicly, whoever can, because a rebellious person, just like having to kill a mad dog, does not hit you, so he beats you and whole country with you. “On May 15th the Thuringian peasants were defeated in the battle of Frankenhausen by Philip of Hesse, Georg of Saxony, Heinrich of Braunschweig as well as Albrecht and Ernst von Mansfeld. Müntzer was caught and beheaded a few days later. Later, in sermons and especially at table speeches, Luther liked to refer to Müntzer as his theological archenemy: “I (!) Killed Müntzer, death lies on my neck. But I did it because he wanted to kill my Christ. ”Propaganda writings from Luther's circle ( Agricola : A useful dialogue between a Münntzer enthusiast and a Protestant farmer , Melanchthon: Thomas Müntzer's history) had a strong impact on Müntzer's image in historiography.

    Marriage to Katharina von Bora (1525)

    Catherine of Bora. Lucas Cranach the Elder, around 1526

    At the end of May or beginning of June it was announced in Wittenberg that Luther wanted to marry Katharina von Bora , one of a total of eleven Cistercian women who had fled the Marienthron monastery to Wittenberg in 1523 ; she was then accepted into the Lucas Cranach house. The friends' opinion of this marriage was unanimously negative. In order to forestall further criticism, the next steps were now taken quickly. On the evening of June 13th the engagement took place in the Augustinian monastery as the wedding house; Witnesses were Bugenhagen, Justus Jonas, Johann Apel and the Cranach couple. Immediately afterwards, Bugenhagen celebrated the wedding. Back then, it was customary in middle-class families to get married in their own home. The witnesses then escorted the bride and groom into the bedroom, where the two lay down on the marriage bed. The following day, they invited the Witnesses to a small dinner, which made the event known in the city. Melanchthon had been ignored in the planning and expressed himself critically in a letter (written in Greek for reasons of discretion) to Joachim Camerarius the Elder : firstly, he disapproved of the time in the middle of the peasant war and secondly, the bride, a former nun. The wedding party with the foreign guests invited was scheduled for June 27th. The city gave Luther 20 silver guilders and a barrel of Einbecker beer .

    The couple was more or less destitute, but the wedding gifts provided the basis for the common household. Even Albrecht von Brandenburg donated 20 guilders. Elector Johann the Steadfast left the former Augustinian monastery to Luther as an apartment and offered him 200 guilders as a professor's salary. As usual in a professorial household, Katharina Luther ran a Burse , which represented an additional source of income.

    Martin and Katharina Luther had three daughters and three sons, all of whom were born in Wittenberg:

    1. Johannes (born June 7, 1526 in Wittenberg, † October 27, 1575 in Königsberg ),
    2. Elisabet (* December 10, 1527 in Wittenberg, † August 3, 1528 in Wittenberg),
    3. Magdalena (born May 4, 1529 in Wittenberg, † September 20, 1542 in Eisleben),
    4. Martin (born November 9, 1531 in Wittenberg, † March 2, 1565 in Wachsdorf ),
    5. Paul (born January 28, 1533 in Wittenberg, † March 8, 1593 in Leipzig),
    6. Margarete (born December 17, 1534 in Wittenberg, † 1570 in Mohrungen ).

    Confrontation with Erasmus of Rotterdam (1524-1525)

    Desiderius Erasmus around 1523 (painting by Hans Holbein the Younger)

    The Peasants' War and Luther's marriage were delaying moments in the controversy with Erasmus, the beginnings of which go back a long way. Since the 95 theses became known, Erasmus had expected that the reform of the church he had hoped for could develop from them; his correspondence shows that he had Luther's activities in mind without becoming his partisan. In order not to get involved in Luther's trial, however, from 1521 onwards he increasingly emphasized his distance from him, which Luther interpreted as “enmity”. Both sides had no interest in taking the conflict out on the open stage and for the time being left it with warnings that the other side should become aware of through indiscretions.

    On September 1, 1524 Erasmus' work "Conversation or Comparison of Free Will" appeared in print. It had long been completed and after rumors of its existence Erasmus could or would not hold it back any longer. He pleaded for a simple, practically oriented Christianity. He accepted "some force of free will". The Christian should turn to the precepts for a good life that he finds in the Bible and tradition, ascribe everything good that arises from it to the goodness of God and refrain from unnecessary speculations. There are obscure passages in the Bible which one needs the Church's interpretative tradition to understand. The tone of the writing was a non-polemical mediation proposal.

    At the end of September, De libero arbitrio became known in Wittenberg. Luther's response to this can be found in the preface to the preacher Solomon written at the time ; In Luther's opinion, this entire biblical book was directed against free will (which was to shape its reception in Lutheranism). Luther was urged from different quarters to refute Erasmus, since the Reformation lost supporters among humanists. But completion dragged on. On December 31, 1525, De servo arbitrio finally appeared in print. The title “From the enslaved will” quotes Augustine. Luther criticized the fact that Erasmus, although a skeptic, recognized the stipulations of the Bible and church tradition and submitted to them. The Bible is not a dark, but a clear book that can be understood from the center of Jesus Christ. Dark ones can be explained by clear biblical passages.

    Luther's concept of claritas scripturae , the claritas scripturae , as a principle of all theology, developed here became the Reformation turn, the exegetical and hermeneutical paradigm shift. Sola scriptura means that a proper interpretation of the Bible is to be given preference over church tradition and other possible sources for theological formation of judgment and teaching. The Bible can only do justice to this task because, according to Luther's conviction, it is clear enough in itself. The principle that guides knowledge is twofold. Thus the content of the Bible presents the external clarity of the text and is confirmed by the internal clarity that the Holy Spirit works in the heart of the listener or reader. The Bible gains the necessary clarity where it interprets itself, sacra scriptura sui ipsius interpres , that is, Scripture itself takes care of its interpretation, it is its own interpreter. Scripture thus interprets itself because it is made accessible through God's Spirit - through the inner word, verbum internum of the Holy Spirit, which is added as verbum externum - in this it also shows its inspiration and its revelatory activity. The reader can only adequately interpret and understand the text if one is concerned with “their words”, claritas externa and is moved by “their cause”, claritas interna .

    Erasmus responded to Luther's sharp polemics directed against him and his beliefs with a written self-defense ( Hyperaspites , "shield holder [to ward off points]"), but Luther was no longer interested, so the dispute broke off. According to Martin Brecht, de servo arbitrio was not understood by contemporaries as a blanket rejection of humanism. "Humanism initially lived on in the framework that the Reformation or the old believing side granted it."

    Consolidation of the Reformation

    Johann the Steadfast, 1526 (Lucas Cranach the Elder)

    Frederick the Wise died in the middle of the Peasants' War. It was known that his successor John the Steadfast was benevolent towards the Reformation. While Luther's communication with his sovereign had previously only taken place via Spalatin and the court pursued a policy of braking and waiting on many points, this changed under his successor. Johann the Steadfast was in direct contact with Luther and met him several times. The seven years of his reign enabled the establishment of new ecclesiastical orders in Electoral Saxony.

    German fair

    After some cities had introduced Holy Mass in German in 1522 , Luther began work on a German liturgy in 1525. He was advised by Johann Walter and the electoral conductor Konrad Ruppsch. On October 29, the draft was presented to the Wittenberg community; the celebrant was Georg Rörer . Deutsche Messe was launched at Christmas and was published at the end of the year. It was there for the population ignorant of Latin, who thus became more involved. Latin masses should continue to be held for those familiar with Latin so that they would be able to attend worship in other countries in the future. In addition, Luther proposed a third form of communion service for “those who are serious Christians want to be and confess the Euangelion with hand and mouth”. Luther probably had a kind of “core congregation” in mind that meets in private homes. This form of worship was not implemented in Luther's time. Luther probably owed this impulse to Kaspar von Schwenckfeld , who visited him in December 1525. It was important to Luther that his ordinances should not be viewed as generally binding. Rather, he saw them as examples of gospel worship. In January 1526, Matthäus Alber presented him with the Reutlinger worship order (Upper German preacher worship ), and Luther approved it. The acceptance of the Deutsche Messe in Wittenberg was unsatisfactory from Luther's point of view. A year later the congregation was not yet familiar with the new melodies, and two years later the songs were not yet mastered.


    After the previous Catholic system had collapsed, the task was to provide the individual parishes with suitable preachers and teachers and to regulate their maintenance. The visitation trips that Luther and others undertook on behalf of the elector from 1526 onwards served this purpose. In the instruction given by the visitors to the pastors in the Electorate of Saxony (1528), Luther and Melanchthon assumed a one-off reformatory reorganization that was to be carried out with the help of the authorities. But the course was set: "The reorganization in Electoral Saxony took place according to a supervisory system derived from the episcopate from above and not through a presbyterial-synodal representation of the congregations."

    Antinomial dispute

    The first antinomist dispute was a theological controversy sparked in 1527 over the question of the validity and meaning of the law (the Torah ), especially the Ten Commandments, in the life of a Christian.

    During their visitations, Luther and Melanchthon had observed that the preaching of the gospel was carried out carelessly in some congregations and led to an unbound freedom. Melanchthon came to the conviction that the law, the commandments of God, had to be proclaimed more strongly again. In 1527 he wrote the article Articuli de quibus egerunt per visitatores , to which Luther wrote a preface. In his essay, he demanded that Christian preaching must contain the sermon of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. But the preaching of repentance presupposes the law. Johannes Agricola , meanwhile rector in Eisleben, contradicted this position . He claimed that the Christian's means of revival to repentance is not the obedience of the commandments of the OT, but only the gospel. At the Torgau Colloquium (November 26-29, 1527), Luther was able to reach a compromise in which Melanchthon was largely right and no actual clarification was reached. Agricola subsequently became estranged from the Wittenbergers, and since both he and Melanchthon persisted in their opinions, the conflict between them broke out again a few years later.

    Last Supper Controversy and Marburg Religious Discussion (1529)

    Marburg Religious Discussion, Signatures: Oekolampad, Zwingli, Bucer, Hedio, Luther, Jonas, Melanchthon, Osiander, Agricola, Brenz

    In 1523, Huldrych Zwingli had emphasized his agreement with Luther's doctrine of the Lord's Supper. Then he got to know the symbolic interpretation of the words of the Lord's Supper by Cornelisz Hendricxz Hoen , which was an aid to understanding for him and Johannes Oekolampad . He now saw the Lord's Supper as a celebration of thanksgiving and confession for the congregation. The Strasbourg reformers Martin Bucer and Wolfgang Capito were impressed by Zwingli's understanding of the Last Supper and asked Luther for a statement in December 1524. In the so-called Syngramma Suevicum , on the other hand, 14 reformers from the Swabian region acknowledged Luther's understanding of the Lord's Supper in October 1525. Both sides were now expecting a large text on the Lord's Supper, but Luther did not set about elaborating on it. The simple sermon of the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ against the crush was probably published without Luther's intervention and was hardly suitable for the theological discussion with Zwingli.

    Unlike Luther, Zwingli now devoted a large part of his time to the subject of the Lord's Supper and worked through Luther's writings on this. The Amica exegesis was, according to its title, a "friendly discussion" of Luther's theses, but tough in terms of the matter: none of them met Zwingli's scientific standards. On April 1, 1527, Zwingli sent Luther his Amica exegesis . Luther reacted bitterly. Practically at the same time as the Amica exegesis he published his Last Supper with the programmatic title That these words of Christ, "This is my body," etc. are still firm against the swarming spirits ( doctrine of ubiquity ). The two writings made no reference to each other, but provoked responses from Luther's side: From the Lord's Supper. Confession (March 1528). Luther's emotional and polemical argumentation met with rejection among the Swiss.

    For political reasons, Landgrave Philipp von Hessen sought to overcome the theological conflict. After the protest in Speyer , a Protestant defense alliance was the obvious consequence. The Wittenbergers did not expect much from a religious talk to which Philip had invited both sides to Marburg in June 1529, but agreed after Philip had put pressure on them through the elector. On the initiative of Margrave Georg von Brandenburg-Ansbach , Luther and Melanchthon wrote the Schwabach articles as a common belief base for a future military alliance. The Wittenberg delegation traveled to Marburg with this confessional text, which they had formulated differentiating them from the Swiss, as a basis for negotiations: Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas, Cruciger and Rörer. Friedrich Myconius joined the delegation in Gotha and Justus Menius in Eisenach . She arrived there on September 30th; the Swiss delegation (Zwingli, Oekolampad, Bucer and Hedio) had already arrived. Osiander and Brenz as well as Stephan Agricola from Augsburg met on October 2nd. All participants in the discussion were accommodated at the Marburg Castle. The first contact was friendly, with Zwingli staying in the background.

    After separate preliminary talks, they met in a large group on Saturday, October 2nd in a room in the castle. Luther declared that the words of institution (“This is my body”) should not be understood otherwise than literally, that it should be refuted from the Bible. Oekolampad quoted John 6 as evidence that the body of Christ must be eaten spiritually. Luther admitted that there was such a spiritual meal, but did not deviate from his literal understanding of the words of institution. Christ is invisibly present in the Lord's Supper. In the next round of talks, Oekolampad argued that after the resurrection Christ was exalted with God the Father and that he could not be in two places at the same time. Zwingli added: Christ now has a divine and not human form (Phil 2: 6 ff.). Luther then turned back the velvet tablecloth and one saw the words Hoc est corpus meum , which he had previously written on the tabletop in chalk. This made no impression on Zwingli. He could not understand why the Wittenbergers stiffened so much on this article of faith.

    The discussion continued on Sunday without result. The Hessian Chancellor Johann Feige now called on both sides to look for an agreement. Since the illness of English sweat was rampant, the discussions should be shortened if possible. On Monday, the Landgrave asked Luther to list the articles on which there was agreement or disagreement ( Marburg article ). Luther largely used the Schwabach articles he had brought with him as a basis. The participants showed a willingness to approach each other on many points. The only difference that remained was the question of the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper. The landgrave worked towards a conciliatory conclusion: that one should show Christian love to one another and ask God for the right understanding. The Wittenberg delegation then left on October 5th.

    Diet of Augsburg (1530)

    Luther room in the Veste Coburg

    At the Reichstag in Augsburg in 1530, after a nine-year absence, Charles V wanted to devote himself for the first time to the conditions in the empire and to overcome the religious division there in order to bring together all military forces to defend against the Turks. The occasion was the first Turkish siege of Vienna in 1529. The invitation to tender was therefore kept in a conciliatory tone. Elector Johann the Steadfast traveled with his entourage, including Luther, Melanchthon and other theologians, to Coburg. On the night of April 23rd to 24th, 1530, Luther was brought to the fortress above the city. He stayed here until October 4, 1530, while the rest of the delegation moved on to Augsburg. Veit Dietrich acted as a kind of secretary for Luther and a contact person to the outside world. However, Luther's stay was not too secret. He received numerous visitors and learned about his father's death. Various occasional writings were created at the Veste Coburg, for example the translation of some of Aesop's fables . Luther could only participate in the Diet of Augsburg indirectly through his correspondence with Melanchthon. However, the latter provided him with sparse information, as he was pursuing a strategy that deviated from Luther: Melanchthon feared that Philip of Hesse would go together in a possible war with the Swiss and Strasbourgers and therefore sought a compromise with the old believers (here above all: Albrecht von Mainz) and the emperor. His minimal suggestion was the restoration of episcopal church authority, if the Protestant side were granted lay chalice , priestly marriage and Protestant mass. The Augsburg Confession , written by Melanchthon on the basis of the Schwabach and Torgau articles, was given the status of a confession of the Lutheran princes and estates due to the preface by Gregor Brück, Chancellor of Saxony ; it was read and handed over to the Reichstag on June 25, 1530 by the Electorate Chancellor Christian Beyer on June 25, 1530. Luther accepted this text, but criticized the fact that the subjects of purgatory and papal primacy did not appear in it.

    Wittenberg Agreement (1536)

    The understanding between the Upper German reformers and Luther on the question of the Lord's Supper was initiated by Martin Bucer. Philipp von Hessen sponsored the project and invited Melanchthon and Bucer to Kassel for Christmas 1534. Melanchthon received a harsh instruction from Luther with him on the way. Luther emphasized that the body of Christ is truly eaten with or in the bread and that its reception cannot be detached from that of the bread.

    Melanchthon and Bucer agreed in Kassel at the end of December on the formula that the body of Christ with the bread would be essentially and truly received. Luther expressed his agreement in principle in January 1535, but wanted to wait for reactions from the Upper German cities, which should first prove their trustworthiness to him. One such signal was the appointment of Johann Forster as a preacher in Augsburg . Now Luther proposed a meeting in a town in Electoral Saxony for the conclusion of the Agreement. Elector Johann Friedrich invited them to Eisenach. From April to June, Luther suffered from acute urinary stones for the first time . Therefore the meeting took place from May 21st to May 28th 1536 in Luther's house in Wittenberg.

    Luther saw the fact that Zwingli's writing Fidei christianae expositio had just been reprinted in Zurich at this point in time as a provocation and, right at the beginning of the talks, demanded an express revocation by Bucer and the representatives of the Upper German cities in an “unexpectedly harsh and downright intimidating manner”. Thereafter the negotiations were interrupted because of Luther's weakness; the guests were shocked and considered leaving. At noon on May 23, Bucer presented his position: He had not understood and taught everything correctly so far. The other Upper German theologians declared that they agreed with Bucer. Luther was therefore able to assert himself to a very large extent. The atmosphere relaxed, the guests had the opportunity to get to know the unfamiliar German Mass on Ascension Day and were invited to feasts by Luther and Lukas Cranach.

    Schmalkalden Bundestag (1537)

    Johann Friedrich I (Lucas Cranach the Elder 1528/30)

    On June 2, 1536, Pope Paul III wrote. a council in Mantua . In the course of the explorations, the Nuncio Pietro Paolo Vergerio and Luther met on November 7, 1535 in Wittenberg Castle , who agreed to appear at a council. Since his state of health was considered a political issue, Luther made preparations to appear as agile as possible to the nuncio, which he succeeded in doing. In fact, at the end of 1536 he was so sickly that the elector asked him to write a theological testament (article of faith with biblical reasons). Luther wrote a confessional text that served more to distinguish it from the old-believing position. The focus is on the doctrine of justification; it is “the article with which the church stands and falls.” In the question of the sacrifice of the Mass, according to Luther, one was “forever divorced”, because this was a competition to Christ's atoning death. The Pope cannot be the head of Christianity by virtue of divine right, and it is also not advisable to accept him as head by virtue of earthly order. That was how far the work had progressed when Luther suffered one or more heart attacks on December 18 and 19. He then dictated the second part of the document in a concise form.

    At a meeting between Luther and the other Wittenberg theologians, as well as Agricola, Spalatin and Amsdorff, another article was added (against the invocation of the saints). Luther did not take Melanchthon's requests for changes into account. The members of the meeting signed with personal comments; on January 3, 1537, Luther sent the document to the elector and left him free as to what use he wanted to make of it. Johann Friedrich I planned to bring the articles to the convent in Schmalkalden as an Electoral Saxon confession . This was originally supposed to begin on February 7, 1537, but was delayed because of the large number of delegations that had arrived. In addition to the Wittenberg theologians, Urbanus Rhegius (Lüneburg), Erhard Schnepf and Ambrosius Blarer (Württemberg), Johann Lang (Erfurt), Johannes Aepinus (Hamburg), Andreas Osiander (Nuremberg) as well as Brenz from Schwäbisch Hall and Bucer from Strasbourg had come to visit.

    Luther continued to advocate that the Protestants should send the council in Mantua, but the Schmalkaldic federal states rejected this because it was not the required free Christian council. Luther's Schmalkaldic articles contained so much potential for conflict that they were not used as a basis for theological deliberations; rather, these were the Augsburg Confession and the Wittenberg Agreement. Melanchthon wrote a supplement on the primacy of the Pope and the jurisdiction of the bishops, which was added to the Augsburg Confession. Luther himself only took part in the Bundestag sporadically, because the urinary stone disease reappeared and caused him severe pain. As a result of the mistreatment of the landgrave's personal physician, Luther became so fragile that his death was expected. Luther wanted to die in Electoral Saxony, so a traveling car was prepared for him. The papal legate present in Schmalkalden suspected that Luther's body should be removed. In fact, this ambulance saved Luther's life because the tremors released the urinary retention . On March 14th he was back in Wittenberg, where he slowly recovered.

    Luther's death

    Portrait of Luther after his death (Lukas Furtenagel)

    Despite a long-standing heart condition, the 62-year-old Luther traveled to Eisleben in January 1546 to help settle the inheritance and legal disputes within the Mansfeld family of counts. Luther was weakened by the winter trip and only took part in the roundtables for a good hour until February 16. A piece of paper dated February 16, which Johannes Aurifaber copied, is Luther's last written statement: “ No one can understand Virgil in his Bucolica and Georgica , unless he has been a shepherd or a farmer for five years. I take it that Cicero in his letters does not understand anyone who has not worked for an important state for twenty years. Nobody thinks that they have tasted the Holy Scriptures enough if they have not led the congregations with the prophets for a hundred years. a quote from Statius originally related to Virgil: "Do not try your hand at this divine Aeneid , but humbly worship its traces!" In Luther's final sentence, the first three words are German: "We are beggars, that is true."

    On the night of February 18, 1546, Luther woke up with an attack of pain. He was now expecting his death, received the last medical help, and a number of people met in his room: the landlord, the town clerk and his wife, the two town doctors, and Count Albrecht with his wife. Justus Jonas the Elder and Michael Caelius asked him if he would confess his teachings until death. He answered yes. He stopped responding and died at 3 a.m. Luther was buried on February 22nd in the castle church in Wittenberg below the pulpit.


    Assurance of salvation

    This motif is very important for Luther's Reformation turn in 1518. Luther thus formulated something new. Western theological tradition taught that man could never be sure whether he was in the “state of grace”, because firstly God was free to bestow his grace as he wished, and secondly man would be certain of his state of grace , reckless and presumptuous. Luther identified the lifelong insecurity and thus fear that characterized piety under the papacy as “monster”, “hell”, “plague”. What Luther meant by certainty of salvation must be protected from a number of misunderstandings: it is neither a security that means that the way of life is irrelevant and one can do what one wants. Also, according to Luther, belief and the subjective feeling of consolation cannot be recorded as permanent possessions - both are endangered and can be lost. After all, the Christian should not speculate about God's plans for man ( predestination ). Assurance of salvation in the sense of Luther is "the knowledge side of faith, the awareness of what happens in faith: the receiving acceptance of the saving communion with God."

    Word - Faith - Sacrament

    In the lecture of the Hebrews , Luther's interpretation of Heb. 5: 1 breaks the question of the sacrament so urgently that recent research sees a connection with the Reformation turning point. Luther's understanding of the sacrament is then fully formulated in 1520 in the main text On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church . The background to Luther's argument is the sacramental practice of his time. One of the seven sacraments was of extraordinary importance for the normal Christian layman at the time: the sacrament of penance. Around this a rich pastoral offer had developed; A key principle was that the sacrament works through its execution (ex opere operato) , provided that the recipient accepts it not only in appearance but in the affirmative (non ponit obicem) . The interest shifted to the objectively ascertainable, enumerable fulfillment of certain conditions under which the sacrament of penance could develop its effectiveness. A corrective to this development was the high medieval doctrine of the sacraments, trained by the church fathers, for example with Thomas Aquinas : in the sacrament the "saving act of Christ is remembered, its present saving effect celebrated and distributed, the eternal perfection is anticipated and anticipated in the" deposit. " Word (specifically: the NT foundation word) turn the ambiguous sacramental act into the unambiguous sacramental sign. Luther valued Augustine's formulation, which he often quoted: Accedit verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum. However, this great theological blueprint remained apart from parish piety and was not understood by many clerics either. Here Luther came in, who wanted to anchor the connection between word, faith and sacrament in the piety of every Christian in ever new formulations; an example: God is everywhere “in all creatures and I would like to find him in stone, in fire, in water or also in rope, as he is certainly there, he doesn't want me to look for him there without the word and me throw it into the fire or water or hang on the rope. He is everywhere, but he does not want you to tap for him everywhere, but where the word is, tap there and you will get hold of him. "

    Freedom of a Christian

    The pamphlet Von der Freiheit einer Christenmenschen (1520) has its point in ruling out many of the pious activities that were common in Luther's day as superfluous. God did not command them, and everyone only sought his own in them, namely his own salvation. Really good works, however, are those that benefit others.

    In contrast, Luther rejected human free will in pointed formulations. After the fall of man, free will is a “matter of mere name” (res de solo titulo) - this was already the case in the Heidelberg disputation. In contrast to Erasmus's criticism, Luther affirmed in 1525 that he stood by this thesis of the lack of freedom of the will, that it was even the "pivot of the matter" (cardo rerum) . Luther does not advocate determinism , but denies that man could put himself in the “right” relationship with God. This is a consequence of the doctrine of justification: man is passive towards God's saving act. On the other hand, according to Luther, man is free to decide in his everyday actions; the everyday experiences of freedom that he makes are by no means unreal. Even more: man is able and free to answer the justifying God through his everyday actions. He could voluntarily participate in the building up of the kingdom of God in the world.

    Righteous and sinner at the same time

    According to scholastic theology, it was inconceivable that sin and grace could determine man for even a moment "at the same time". He is always in the state of sin or the state of grace, and that whole. Luther's thesis that man is at the same time just and sinner (simul iustus et peccator) becomes more understandable when one realizes that he thought in relationships: "Sin is the relationship begun by man of enmity against God, of resistance, of contempt [...] . Grace, justice, on the other hand, is the relationship [...] that God continually re-establishes with man despite his sins, against his sin. "


    God alone can accept and justify man. In Reformation theology, this process is an act of God solely out of grace ( sola gratia ) . No work, no good deed of man can, according to the Reformation understanding, bring about this justification. The act of grace of justification is based, according to Reformation theology, in the election of man by God in Jesus Christ , in Jesus Christ's death on the cross and the redemption achieved therein.

    In his interpretation of the 51st Psalm, “God, be gracious to me according to your goodness”, Ps 51.3  LU , Luther's position on the justifying God and on sinful people can be found. According to Luther, this psalm contains the main parts of his religion, namely the truth about sin , repentance, grace and justification. This psalm is not only about David and his sinful relationship with Bathsheba , but rather about the "root of godlessness", about the understanding of sin and grace.

    According to Luther, true repentance involves two things:

    • first, the knowledge of sin and grace,
    • second, fear of God and trust in his mercy .

    Both have to be learned again and again; for people enlightened by the Holy Spirit also remained dependent on the word of God. However, it is not the individual misconduct that is at issue, but the entire nature of sin, its source and origin, must be considered. Sin is not only in thoughts, words and works, sin is the whole life that we have taken over from father and mother ( original sin ), and on this basis the individual offenses then arise. The natural constitution of man is not intact, neither in the civil nor in the spiritual realm. As a result of sin, people turned away from God and sought their own glory. The believer feels the wrath of God and just as sensually he experiences the grace of God when he finally realizes with joy: Although I cannot stand before myself, I am justified and justified in Christ, justified through Christ, who is just and justified . That is why the central content and decisive criterion of Scripture is Christ, because if you take Christ out of Scripture, you can no longer find anything essential in it: all of the Holy Scriptures speak of Christ alone everywhere.

    Luther advocated a theologia crucis in which the cross of Christ , the cross of the individual Christians and that of the entire church belong together. In a theology of glory, Theologia gloriae , which only seeks the greatness and power of God and allows itself to be impressed by it, the path of a believing Christian would not exist. The Theologia crucis , on the other hand, leads on the path of the knowledge of sin to the acceptance of the redeeming grace of Christ. The cross is not an idea that can be visualized in the abstract. Only those who, according to Luther, get involved with the cross, understand what the cross is all about. Hence the cross in Christian theology is not just one topic alongside others, but the topic par excellence.

    His intensive engagement with Paul and Augustine led to a deepening and radicalization of his understanding of sin. Luther was supported by a conscientious and scrupulous self-observation. As a result, he abandoned the doctrine that man can use his natural powers to fulfill God's commandments and questioned the tradition of distinguishing mortal sin and venial sin .

    Solus Christ, sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura

    At the center of Reformation theology was the change from work righteousness to religious righteousness. God's righteousness is the fulcrum of Luther's doctrine of justification, around it the question revolves: How does sinful man become righteous before God? The real subject of his theology is guilty and lost man and God who justifies and saves. Originally, Luther understood righteousness before God to be punitive justice in which God judges people like a righteous judge. At first, this drove Luther to the described self-doubts and to a deep fear of precisely the punishing God, until he dealt intensively with Paul's letter to the Romans . From this he drew the conclusion that justice before God in the justification process differs fundamentally from punitive justice and thus also from all other forms of justice in human interaction. God's righteousness is expressed in the righteousness declaration of the believer through God's mercy, the penitent believers their guilt would not be imputed, but graciously forgiven. God's righteousness be righteousness by grace. It is graciously given, but not earned through human works. The Lutheran interpretation stands for this in the sense of his theologica crucis that the all-encompassing redemptive act of Jesus Christ on the cross cannot be diminished and thereby devalued through human cooperation. It is only through faith in salvation through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross that sinners receive God's justification and redemption by grace.

    In the 62nd thesis of his 95 theses, Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum (1517), the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God is regarded as the true treasure of the church. This counteracts the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to the Treasure of Grace , Thesaurus meritorum or Thesaurus ecclesiae . Not the merit of the saints , but only in the gospel is the glory and grace of God found, it is the true treasure of the church.

    Luther's complex theology is systematically summarized with the fourfold "alone" (solus / sola) :

    • solus Christ : “Only Jesus Christ”, the true man and true God, creates through his vicarious devotion on the cross once and for all the justification and sanctification of the believer, which is given to him in the oral gospel and in the Lord's Supper. This is the main reason for the remaining three principles:
    • sola gratia : “Only by grace”, without any personal action, man is justified by God.
    • sola fide : “Only through faith”, the acceptance of Jesus Christ, man's salvation comes about.
    • sola scriptura : “Holy Scripture alone” is the source of this belief in and knowledge of God and therefore the critical standard of all Christian speech and action. But it should be judged critically from its “center”, Jesus Christ.

    Early and main writings

    In his German texts, Luther used the Meißner Chancellery German and Middle High German words also flowed into his written language ( Thuringian-Upper Saxon dialect group ). Luther's intensive work on the texts of the OT and NT makes up the greater part of his overall work . Luther was an exegete . The examination of the scriptures became decisive for him and thus for the Reformation. The criticism of indulgence and the dispute with the papacy were only secondary and as a consequence thereof.

    Schematic representation of Luther's doctrine of justification, modified from Peter Blickle (1992)

    Already in his marginal notes on Augustine and Petrus Lombardus (1509/10) Luther emphasized against scholasticism, but still with Occamism, the opposition between faith and knowledge and the authority of the Bible over church tradition. He distinguished faith from a human habitus and emphasized its identity with hope and love, so that it could not coexist with wrongdoing (sin).

    In radicalizing the human response to God's Word, Luther made God's righteousness itself a problem for him. Although he knew all the theological schools of thought at that time, he interpreted the Bible in his first psalm lecture (1512/13) with almost no scholastic terms and delimited its wording from the traditional, especially the Aristotelian, interpretation models. In doing so, he understood the literal sense of the Bible text directly as a reference to Christ: For him, Christ himself was the interpreter of the Psalms, the spirit in all letters, the basic text that communicates itself and creates faith in him. Man can only understand his existence either from the law or from faith, from the visible or the invisible, from sensory perception or from being known by God. What people from this perceptible world regard as the highest, divine being can only be the peak of their self-righteousness and hypocrisy in the face of Jesus Christ. Mediation is unthinkable. The theologia crucis (God's current judgment in the Crucified) and the theologia gloriae (the Aristotelian metaphysics concept of God created for the glory of human knowledge) are absolutely mutually exclusive ( Roman Lecture 1515; Heidelberg Disputation 1518). The concept of the theology of the cross, theologia crucis , was formed in 1517. The correspondence with Christoph Scheurl shows that this means a rejection of the scholasticism and humanism of Erasmus .

    To the Christian nobility

    With the writing To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation from the Christian Stand Besserung (German), Luther called on the princes to carry out the Reformation in practice because the bishops had failed in it. Because the “Romanists” had placed ecclesiastical authorities above secular authorities and claimed that only the Pope was allowed to interpret the Bible and call a council. Education should be accessible to everyone, not just the clergy. Celibacy and the papal state should be abolished, interest-taking should be restricted, and begging should be prohibited in favor of regulated welfare for the poor.

    He rejected the papacy, the Catholic episcopate and the sacrament of ordination because the NT taught the "general priesthood" of believers. The clergy should only lead the congregation, especially in worship, with teaching and pastoral care. Each parish may elect its teachers (pastors) and, if necessary, deselect them ( that a Christian assembly or congregation has the right and power to judge all doctrine and to appoint, install and remove teachers , 1523). This principle was not pursued after the Klevian War in 1543 and the Schmalkaldic War in 1546/47, which Luther no longer lived through. The provisional "sovereign church regiment", which also included the appointment and removal of "emergency bishops" (Luther), remained in place until 1918.

    From the Babylonian captivity of the Church

    The writing On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520) reduces the seven Catholic sacraments to the three that Jesus instituted in the NT himself: baptism, the Lord's Supper and penance (confession). In Scripture he emphasized the fundamental components of the sacrament: a) the sign, b) the meaning and c) the faith. Luther attached the greatest importance to faith in particular, thereby denying significance to the Catholic concept of the ex opere operato . On the other hand, he emphasized the importance of the believer as the subject and thus the concept of the opus operantis . Above all, the theological justification was groundbreaking: Jesus' own preached word mediated salvation. The sacraments illustrated his promise and served to reassure it, but added nothing to it.

    Luther's writing About the Freedom of a Christian Man (1520) sums up the “ evangelical freedom ” of a Christian, following Paul, dialectically in two sentences: “A Christian is a free master of all things and is not subject to anyone - through faith. - A Christian is a servant of all and is subject to everyone - through love. "

    In De servo arbitrio (1525) he turned against Erasmus' doctrine of predestination for salvation and the will to good. Luther himself attached great importance to his writing. With the topic Erasmus hit the cardo rerum , the linchpin of theology. As Klaus Schwarzwäller points out, justification through Christ alone and through grace alone cannot be thought of without man's unfree will to salvation.

    Two kingdoms and three estate doctrine

    An order of estates shaped the Europe of that time, whereby the forms of exercise of rule and power-sharing varied considerably from region to region. The participation of the stands in the individual European regions in the agencies and administrations was divided into two parts. In principle, the higher Roman Catholic clergy and the aristocracy had opportunities to participate in the ruling institutions and decisions, but there were hardly any opportunities for the farmers, artisans and citizens to participate in the ruling institutions or decisions. The existing class boundaries were not easily permeable. You were born within a class and mostly died within your own class boundaries. The order of the estate was considered to be given by God and founded by creation. At the head of the society were the emperor and pope, the (high) nobility, the ruling princes and kings, as well as the high clergy, the bishops, abbots and prelates, who were essentially recruited from them.

    In Luther's book Von der Freiheit eines Christianmenschen (1520), he restricted freedom exclusively to the relationship of the individual to God. In earthly life, on the other hand, everyone has to remain in his place in the order of the class without rebelling. For Luther there were basically two divine regiments led by God: The secular regiment (civitas terrena) was carried out by the agencies and administrations; their responsibility was the observance of law and order. The spiritual regiment (civitas dei) was guided by the word of God. Luther's view found its origin in Augustine's theology; he saw God's position of power divided, so Augustine divided it into the “civitas dei”, the kingdom of God and “civitas terrena”, the worldly kingdom. The two regiments were not allowed to be mixed and their respective representatives were not allowed to influence the other realm.

    Nevertheless, in Luther's three-tier teaching, one can recognize certain modifications within the current tier scheme. Due to Luther's strict separation of the spiritual from the secular kingdom ( doctrine of the two kingdoms ), the old question of who had supremacy in the secular area (emperor or pope) was clearly decided for emperors and princes. The third estate was now primarily defined as a household, within which the head of the house ruled over the other members of the household. Luther and his successors no longer defined the subordinate relationships within the scheme between the three estates, but shifted them to the three main estates:

    • in the ecclesia (church) the preachers faced the congregation,
    • in the politia (secular government) the authorities to the subjects and
    • in the oeconomia (household) the parents, the children and the servants.

    Since Protestant clergymen were supposed to be married too, they were also part of the household. In this way, all people were located in all three classes at the same time, which were therefore also referred to as genera vitae (areas of life). Theoretically, the three stands were arranged next to one another and no longer one below the other. In reality, however, the power relations were not affected. The third estate remained (in contradiction to the theoretical model) at the same time also the subordinate estate.

    Polemical late writings

    After the death of George of Saxony, Duke Heinrich II of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel was one of the most prominent princes on the Old Believer side. He also emerged as a journalist. In his polemical duplicate directed against Elector Johann Friedrich I (1540), he described him as a “drunkard of Saxony” and claimed that Luther would call him “his dear devout Hans Wurst ”. Luther wrote a counter-writ ( Wider Hans Worst , 1541), which stands out with its sharpness and coarseness among his other polemical writings; but it also contains an account of his ecclesiology .

    Luther expected the end of the world in the last years of his life. He was more concerned with the Apocalypse of John, which he had considered problematic in his younger years. He identified the Pope as an Antichrist after he ordered Luther's writings to be burned. The Turks and the papacy were the two powers that posed the final threat to Christianity. He was shocked to react to the peace agreement that the emperor and pope reached with the Turks in 1544, which in Luther's view was a “criminal and insane process”. The Jews also belonged to the triad of the alleged enemies of Christ, which Luther covered with polemics in his final years. The writing About the Jews and their Lies (1542) was prompted by Luther not accepting that Jews were tolerated in some Protestant territories. Like all of Luther's anti-Jewish writings, it found very little public interest. But the Electoral Saxon mandate for Jews from May 6, 1543 explicitly referred to Luther's writing, and Luther was the Elector's guest on the day of the exhibition.


    Luther came into contact with music at an early age, and the time in Eisenach from 1498 to 1501, where he improved his livelihood as a kurrend singer and sang in the chorus musicus of the George Church , were important points of interest . His studies of the seven liberal arts, Septem artes liberales in Erfurt also introduced him to music theory topics. When he was injured by a sword stab near Erfurt in April 1503, the heavily bleeding stab wound on his thigh forced him to go to bed for a long time. During the sick camp he learned and improved his lute playing . Luther received lessons from Erfurt students. During this time, he also increasingly dealt with the writing down of pieces of music, such as the intabulation , a method customary at the time to transfer singing parts ( vocal music ), i.e. chants, into instrumental music. So he knew how to compose in the polyphonic style of his time. The compositions by Josquin Desprez and Ludwig Senfl , with whom he kept in touch by letter around 1520, found his particular esteem . Because during his trip to Rome from 1511 to 1512 he got to know the changing church music in Italy. He was greatly moved by the compositions of Josquin Desprez; his works had a lasting influence on Luther's ideas of Reformation church music.

    Elector Friedrich the Wise, who was concerned with lavish court music, hired Johann Walter as a singer and composer in the Electoral Saxon court orchestra in Torgau around 1525 . The elector died in the same year. His successor, Elector Johann the Constant , however, did not value figural music and dissolved the court choir in 1526, after Walter had initiated the reform of the German mass in Wittenberg together with Martin Luther in the autumn of 1525. For the Reformation, congregational chanting, which had been unusual in the Roman Catholic Mass until then, became an essential element of church services. Although books of liturgical chants, such as graduals and antiphonals , had existed in the Roman or Latin Churches since the Middle Ages , they were not intended for congregational chant . They contained Latin chants of the Gregorian chant and were designed for the choir or the choral schola .

    Luther attached the greatest importance to music and theology for the salvation of man's soul , because it was "repugnant to the devils and unbearable" and "can do what only theology otherwise provides, namely calm and a happy mind." He was himself an experienced singer, lute player and song composer and knew works by composers such as Josquin Desprez, Ludwig Senfl, Pierre de la Rue and Heinrich Finck .

    Now rejoice, dear Christians, in the book of eight songs

    In contrast to the medieval understanding of music practice, Luther attached greater importance to musica practica than to music theory and philosophy , musica speculativa . In his preface he rhymed with all the good hymn books from 1538 in praise of “Frau Musica”: “Here you can't have bad courage / where journeyman sing well. / There remains no anger, quarrel, hatred, or envy / All heartache must give way. / Avarice, care and whatever else sticks on hard / goes there with all sadness. [...] For the devil it destroys his work / and prevents much bad murder. ”According to Friedrich Schorlemmer , he summarized the therapeutic, cathartic , sublimating and peace- making functions of music.

    Luther saw music as a necessary part of school and university education. Every schoolmaster must be able to sing and the future pastor should also have theoretical and practical skills in music. He said, for example, in a speech at the table : “Kings, princes and lords must receive the music. Because it is due to great potentates and rulers to hold good free arts and laws. […] Musicam has to be kept in schools because of necessity. [...] The youth should always be accustomed to this art, because it makes fine, skilled people. "

    Luther's chorale From heaven high, there I come , 1567

    Luther turned against tendencies in the Reformation movement to forego art and music for a purely inner-spiritual understanding of faith: "Also that I am not of the opinion that all arts should be knocked down and perish through the Evangelion, as many supra-spiritual people admit, I want to see all the arts, especially music, in the service of those who give and create them. "

    In the Reformation liturgies , congregational singing was one of the fundamental elements of the divine service from the beginning. In order to involve the congregation more actively, Luther advocated German songs at certain points in the service. According to his writing German Mass and Order of Divine Service from 1526, German-language church songs, so-called Ordinariumslieder, should replace or supplement Latin parts of the mass. He not only wanted to translate the Latin text, but also to adapt the melody to the requirements of the German language: “Both text and notes, accents, manner and givers must come from the right mother tongue and voice; otherwise everything is an imitation like the monkeys do. "

    36 songs by Luther have survived. He probably wrote a total of 45 songs and chants and composed the melodies himself for at least 20 of them. He was supported by the electoral singing master Konrad Rupff and the cantor Johann Walter . Luther used many forms of translation, expansion and counterfacturing and also created free new songs and texts. He translated traditional Latin Gregorian hymns and, if necessary, changed the melody to adapt it to the style of the German language. He viewed his own poetic abilities with utterances such as "nasty and disdainful poetry" quite critically. In addition, he used melodies from folk or Christmas carols as well as student or church hymns and sometimes modified them slightly. With new texts he wanted to gradually dedicate popular secular songs at the time to spiritual use: “Gassenhauer, rider and mountain club Christian, morally and morally changed, so that the evil, angry sages, useless and shameful little songs can be sung in the streets, fields, houses and elsewhere want to go away over time when one could have Christian, good, useful texts and words underneath. "

    Luther's songs are divided into genres:

    The Luther choirs appeared for the first time in 1523/24 in the eight-song book and in 1524 in Wittenberg in a Protestant hymnbook. They became a pillar of Reformation worship and had a lasting impact on the history of the sacred song on the European continent .

    Relationship to Judaism

    Relationship to the Anabaptist Movement

    In his early writings, Luther campaigned for tolerance for deviating religious positions. In 1524 he wrote that heretics should be met with writing and not with fire. In his essay From Re-Baptism to Two Pastors , written at the end of 1527 , Luther rejected the demand of the Reformation Anabaptist movement for a confessional baptism , but he also criticized the persecution of the still young movement that had already begun. He writes that he is “not really and truly sorry that such wretched people are so miserably murdered, burned and horribly killed [...] Everyone should be allowed to believe what they want. If he believes wrongly, he has enough punishments against the eternal fire ”. Only the Anabaptist leaders should be expelled from the country.

    From 1530, however, Luther no longer wanted to rule out the death penalty for the Anabaptists. This turnaround is possibly due to Melanchthon's influence and the Anabaptist mandate issued by the Reichstag a year earlier . In 1531, Luther and Melanchthon signed a report expressly in favor of the death penalty for Anabaptists. Luther saw the Anabaptists primarily under the aspects of rebellion and blasphemy . Government agencies should persecute them not because of their dissenting beliefs, but above all because of the riot they stir up . For him, the Anabaptists had a "murderous, rebellious, vindictive spirit, whose breath stinks of the sword". The meetings of the Anabaptists, which were held in secret as a result of the increasing persecution, were “a certain sign of the devil” for Luther. Luther himself always spoke of Anabaptists with an anti-Anabaptist tendency.

    Relationship to Turks or Islam

    In the Turkish Wars (1521–1543), Luther initially used the threat of Ottoman expansion for his ecclesiastical purposes. He explained that the first thing to do was to defeat the “inner Turk”, that is, the Pope, before one could set out to attack the Great Turk of Istanbul , both of whom he believed to be incarnations of the Antichrist. When Vienna's siege by Sultan Suleyman I also endangered Central Europe in 1529, he differentiated his stance. In his work Vom Kriege gegen die Türken , he explained that the Pope had previously only used the Turkish war as a pretext for collecting indulgences. He explained the failures in defending against Ottoman expansion with his doctrine of two kingdoms: It is not the task of the church to call for wars or to lead it itself - this is a clear allusion to the Hungarian Bishop Pál Tomori , who as one of the commanders was responsible for the devastating defeat in the Battle of Mohács (1526) . The secular authorities alone are responsible for the defense against the Turks, to which every person owes obedience, but which has nothing to do with faith. Any idea of ​​a crusade against the Ottomans was incompatible with this line of argument . Luther justified the war against the Turks themselves as a war of defense and urged joint action.

    Luther abolished this strict separation of spiritual and secular responsibilities a few months later when, in his army sermon against the Turks in the autumn of 1529, he presented them as enemies of Christ and eschatological omens of the Last Judgment and declared it the task of Christians in particular to “strike confidently” ". With these decisive tones he wanted to remove the ground from accusations that he had made himself the Turkish henchman by undermining the unity of Christianity.

    Luther mainly drew his knowledge of the Koran from the work of Ricoldo da Monte di Croce from the Florentine monastery of St. Maria Novella. The Koran refutation, Contra legem Sarracenorum (1300) (Against the law of the Saracens, i.e. the Koran), written for his mission to the Orient, was of great importance and was translated several times, including in 1542 by Luther into German under the title Laying of the Alcoran .


    Martin Luther, woodcut by Albrecht Altdorfer , before 1530

    Language-defining effect

    Luther's linguistic form was the East Central German of his homeland, in which North and South German dialects had already partially merged, which enabled his writings to be widely distributed. According to Werner Besch (2014), Luther's language is also integrated into Wittenberg's authoritative Saxon writing tradition. It was only Luther's translation of the Bible that gave the Upper Saxon-Meissnian dialect the impetus for general-language early New High German throughout Germany, especially in the Low German region, and later also in Upper German. "The German in his Bible is probably the most important control factor in recent language history", concludes Besch.

    With the translation of the Bible , a joint effort by Luther, Melanchthon and other Wittenberg theologians, the reformer achieved a wide impact. Luther reserved the final linguistic design so that the name Luther Bible is appropriate. Before that, there were fourteen High German and four Low German pre- Lutheran German Bibles . Luther himself presented the principles of his translation work in detail in his letter on interpreting from 1530 and justified it against the Catholic allegation of text falsification.

    Luther did not translate literally, but tried to translate biblical statements into German according to their meaning (sensus literalis) . In doing so, he interpreted the Bible according to his conception of “what Christ does”, and this meant for him to proceed from God's grace in Christ as the goal and center of all scripture. He understood the Gospel “more as an oral message than as a literary text, and that is why the translation received its spoken language, hearing-related character.” Its linguistic design has shaped the style and language up to the present day. In the area of ​​vocabulary he came up with expressions such as “scapegoat”, “stop-gap”, “decoy” or “gutter”. Even phrases like "throwing pearls before swine" go back to him. In addition to these innovations, he also preserved historical forms of morphology that had largely disappeared through apocopes , such as the Lutheran e . As for the spelling, his translation meant that the capitalization of the nouns was retained. Luther's Bible is also considered to be a great achievement from a poetic point of view, as it is thought through down to the rhythm of the syllables ( prosody ).

    Luther research

    Luther's theology has been researched since 1800, systematically since around 1900. Its interpretation has always been closely linked to contemporary history. Important Luther researchers were Theodosius Harnack (denominational Prussian-conservative restoration), Albrecht Ritschl and Wilhelm Herrmann (neo-Kantian individualism), Karl Holl and Erich Seeberg ( Luther Renaissance ), important Luther interpreters were Friedrich Gogarten , Rudolf Bultmann , Gerhard Ebeling (existential interpretation), Walther von Loewenich , Ernst Wolf and Hans Joachim Iwand (socially critical Lutheranism after 1945).

    The critical Weimar Complete Edition was created since 1883. By 1920, many Luther manuscripts were discovered (lectures 1509–1518, sermon transcripts, disputation protocols 1522–1546). In 1918 the Luther Society was founded, which is dedicated to researching the life and work of Martin Luther and publishes the Luther magazine and the Luther yearbooks. An international congress for Luther research has been held in various cities every year since 1945 , and since the third meeting in Helsinki, Catholic experts have also taken part.

    Numerous studies on certain phases of life or individual questions have appeared. For a long time, the Protestant turnaround was primarily researched on the Protestant side. More recent text finds and interdenominational research projects gradually lightened the differentiated and complex relationship between Luther and the Catholic tradition. The church historian Otto Scheel was the first to establish that Luther had not come into contact with any heretical, humanistic or church-critical currents of his time before he began studying theology. In 1958, the psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson tried to explain Luther's theology from early childhood deformations of his sexuality and pent-up feelings of guilt and hate against his father. The approach of Joseph Lortz is important for the more recent Catholic Luther research , whose top sentence was: "Luther wrestled a Catholicism down within himself that was not Catholic." What was meant was Occhamism and the lack of familiarity with Thomas Aquinas, during Luther's lifelong reference to Augustine was welcomed as the "Catholic heir" of the reformer von Lortz.


    Luther is one of the most frequently depicted people in German history. During his lifetime, the Cranach workshop created around 500 pictures of him, at least 306 of which were portraits . Many of them are based on eleven portraits that Lucas Cranach the Elder and his sons made as court painters to the Saxon Elector and for which Luther was the model. Lukas Furtenagel created the picture of the dead . In addition, almost all of the important artists of the time painted Luther pictures that were not personally authorized. Only Albrecht Dürer , who adhered to Luther's teachings since 1520 and wished to be allowed to depict him, is missing for unknown reasons. In addition, a high number of lost Luther pictures of all kinds is suspected.

    Various image features characterize certain aspects of his biography: Luther as a monk (with tonsure and monk's robe), theologian (with doctoral hat), Junker Jörg (with full beard), husband (with Katharina von Bora), preacher or church father (in black robe, with book or scroll), professor (in a hood with a fur collar ).

    The Cranach d. Ä. Luther types were not only copied, but also interpreted over the centuries. Artists claimed Luther either affirmatively or critically for their own historical situation and position. “The history of a nation becomes recognizable in the mirror of the portrait history of an individual.” (Albrecht Geck) On a portrait of Gottfried August Gründler (1710–1775) Luther appears z. B. as a mildly smiling pietist. Johann Martin Preissler (1715–1794) portrays him as an enlightener, Emil Ludwig Grimm (1790–1863) as a romantic genius, Karl Bauer (1868–1942) as a visionary of the Empire, Otto von Kursell (1884–1967) as a 'National Socialist' . Representations from the GDR show him as part of the rulers. Luther uses more recent edits as an advertising medium (BILD newspaper) or as a medium for digital works of art (Matthias Missfeldt).

    Commemoration and museums

    On the 450th anniversary of the Reformation, Luther's portrait with a doctoral hat appeared in the postage stamp year 1967 of the GDR Deutsche Post . For Luther's 500th birthday in 1983, the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR each minted a silver commemorative coin and special postage stamps, for example in the 1982 stamp year of the GDR Deutsche Post , in the 1983 stamp year of the GDR Deutsche Post , and in the 1983 stamp year of the Deutsche Bundespost .

    Many church buildings are called Luther Church . His gravestone has been in the church of St. Michael in Jena since 1571. The Evangelical Church in Germany intends, according to its Pericopes (2018) on June 25, the Augsburg Confession, on 31 October the Reformation. The Evangelical Name Calendar also provides for a day of remembrance for Martin Luther on February 18. Anglicans also celebrate Reformation Day on October 31 each year.

    In September 2008, the Lutheran World Federation opened the Luther Decade , which should lead to the 500th anniversary of the posting of the theses in Wittenberg and convey the global significance of the Reformation. A Luther Garden in Wittenberg is being created for this purpose.

    Also a plant genus Luthera Sch.Bip. from the Asteraceae family is named after him.

    Work editions

    • Weimar Edition (WA): D. Martin Luther's works. Critical complete edition. 120 volumes, Weimar 1883–2009 (special edition 2000–2007), ISBN 3-7400-0945-4 .
    • Kurt Aland (Ed.): Luther German. The works of Martin Luther in a new selection for the present, 10 volumes, a register volume, a supplementary volume. (from 1957) 4th edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1991, ISBN 3-8252-1656-X . - As CD-Rom: Martin Luther, Gesammelte Werke. Digital library volume 63.Directmedia, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89853-639-4 .
    • Martin Luther. Study edition in 6 volumes. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig, 1987–1999.



    • Josef Benzing , Helmut Claus: Luther Bibliography: Directory of the printed writings of Martin Luther until his death. Volume 2 with appendix: Bible and parts of the Bible in Luther's translation 1522–1546. 2nd edition, Koerner, Baden-Baden 1994.

    Historical overviews


    Volume 1: His Path to the Reformation 1483–1521. 1981, ISBN 3-7668-0678-5 .
    Volume 2: Order and delimitation of the Reformation 1521–1532. 1986, ISBN 3-7668-0792-7 .
    Volume 3: The Preservation of the Church 1532–1546. 1987, ISBN 3-7668-0825-7 .

    Individual biographical topics


    Individual theological topics

    • Hans-Joachim Böttcher : The Turkish Wars in the Mirror of Saxon Biographies . Gabriele Schäfer Verlag, Herne 2019, ISBN 978-3-944487-63-2 . Pp. 21-39 (The Turkish threat and Luther).
    • Peter Zimmerling : Evangelical mysticism. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2015, ISBN 978-3-525-57041-8 , pp. 37-57
    • Thomas Kaufmann: Luther's "Judenschriften": A contribution to their historical contextualization. Mohr & Siebeck, Tübingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-16-150772-4
    • Volker Stümke: Martin Luther's understanding of peace: Basics and areas of application of his political ethics. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-17-019970-5 .
    • Josef Pilvousek , Klaus Bernward Springer : The Eremite Augustinian Hermits: a Protestant "Brethren Congregation" before and with Luther (1266-1560) . In: Lothar Schmelz, Michael Ludscheid (Hrsg.): Luther's Erfurt monastery. The Augustinian monastery in the field of tension between monastic tradition and Protestant spirit. Erfurt 2005, ISBN 3-937981-10-1 , pp. 37-58.
    • Martin Treu : Martin Luther and money. Luther Memorials Foundation in Saxony-Anhalt, Wittenberg 2000, ISBN 3-9806328-9-X .
    • Jörg Haustein: Between superstition and science: sorcery and witches in Martin Luther's view. In: Rosemarie Knape (ed.): Martin Luther and mining in the Mansfeld region. Luther Memorials Foundation in Saxony-Anhalt, Lutherstadt Eisleben 2000, ISBN 3-9806328-7-3 , pp. 327–337.
    • Jörg Haustein : Martin Luther's position on magic and witchcraft. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-17-010769-0 .

    Web links

    Commons : Martin Luther  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
    Wikisource: Martin Luther  - Sources and full texts
    Wikisource: Martinus Luther  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
    Commons : Images of West German DM commemorative coins (1948–1990)  - collection of images, videos and audio files



    Luther and the Jews

    Luther and the Old Testament

    Luther and the witch hunt

    Luther and his wills (1537 and 1542)

    Theology and philosophy

    Individual evidence

    1. Horst Herrmann: Martin Luther , Munich 1999, p. 14.
    2. Bernd Moeller, Karl Stackmann: Luder - Luther - Eleutherius. Considerations on Luther's Name. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1981
    3. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1. Stuttgart 1983, p. 13
    4. Jens Bulisch: How old did Martin Luther get? On the year of birth 1482 or 1484. In: Albrecht Beutel (Ed.): Lutherjahrbuch Volume 77 , 2010, pp. 29-39, here pp. 33 and 37
    5. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 24
    6. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 27f.
    7. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 29
    8. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 30–32
    9. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 39
    10. ^ Josef Pilvousek: Asceticism, brotherhood and science. The ideals of the Erfurt Augustinian hermits and their efforts to innovate. In: Christoph Bultmann et al. (Ed.): Luther and the monastic legacy. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-16-149370-6 , pp. 39-55, here p. 50
    11. a b Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 41–43
    12. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 55
    13. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1. Stuttgart 1983, p. 44
    14. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 86 f.
    15. John Balserak: The medieval legacy of Martin Luther. In: Alberto Melloni (Ed.): Martin Luther. A Christian between reforms and modernity (1517–2017), Part 1 , De Gruyter, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-11-049825-7 , pp. 147–162, here p. 150
    16. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 55–58
    17. Thomas Kaufmann: Martin Luther , Munich 2006, p. 32 f.
    18. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1. Stuttgart 1983, pp. 65–68
    19. Thomas Kaufmann: Martin Luther , Munich 2006, p. 34
    20. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 77 f.
    21. ^ Johannes Wallmann: Church history in Germany since the Reformation. 4th edition, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-8252-1355-2 , p. 17
    22. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 82
    23. ^ Johannes Wallmann: Church history in Germany since the Reformation. 4th edition, Tübingen 1993, p. 18
    24. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 98
    25. a b Thomas Kaufmann: Redeemed and Damned: A History of the Reformation. Munich 2016, p. 98
    26. ^ Hans Schneider: Martin Luther's journey to Rome - newly dated and reinterpreted. In: Werner Lehfeldt (Ed.): Studies on the history of science and religion. De Gruyter, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-11-025175-3 , p. 102
    27. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 83
    28. ^ Andreas Lindner: The long shadow of Erfurt in Luther's work. PDF pp. 1–15
    29. ^ Hans Schneider: Martin Luther's journey to Rome - newly dated and reinterpreted. In: Werner Lehfeldt (Ed.): Studies on the history of science and religion , Berlin 2011, p. 45 f.
    30. ^ Johannes Wallmann: Church history in Germany since the Reformation. 4th edition, Tübingen 1993, p. 64
    31. ^ Siegfried Hermle: Luther, Martin (AT): Luther's Hebrew knowledge . In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (eds.): The scientific biblical dictionary on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart, January 2008
    32. Albrecht Beutel (Ed.): Luther Handbook. 3rd edition, Tübingen 2017, p. 91 f.
    33. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 51
    34. ^ Hans Schneider: Martin Luther's journey to Rome - newly dated and reinterpreted. In: Werner Lehfeldt (Ed.): Studies on the history of science and religion. De Gruyter, Berlin 2011 ( text online , PDF)
    35. ^ Hans Schneider: Luther's trip to Rome. In: Michael Matheus et al. (Ed.): Martin Luther in Rome: The Eternal City as a cosmopolitan center and its perception. De Gruyter, Berlin 2017, p. 23
    36. ^ Johannes Wallmann: Church history in Germany since the Reformation. 3rd edition, Tübingen 1993, p. 19
    37. Volker Leppin: "Salve, Sancta Roma". Luther's memories of his trip to Rome. In: Michael Matheus et al. (Ed.): Martin Luther in Rome: The Eternal City as a cosmopolitan center and its perception. Berlin 2017, p. 35
    38. a b Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 111
    39. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 126f.
    40. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 116
    41. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 150
    42. Christoph Burger: Luther in the field of tension between the pursuit of sanctification and the everyday life of a religious. In: Christoph Bultmann, Volker Leppin, Andreas Lindner (eds.): Luther and the monastic heritage. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, p. 181
    43. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 155
    44. Albrecht Beutel (Ed.): Luther Handbook. 3rd edition 2017, p. 108 f.
    45. a b Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 63
    46. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 70
    47. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 83
    48. Christoph Markschies, Michael Trowitzsch (ed.): Luther, between the times: a Jena lecture series. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 978-3-16-147236-7 , p. 28
    49. ^ Siegfried Hermle: Luther, Martin (AT) (1483-1546). Wibilex, January 2008
    50. a b Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 219
    51. Volker Leppin: The foreign Reformation. Munich 2017, pp. 39–43; Pp. 46 f. And pp. 204-211
    52. Volker Leppin: The foreign Reformation: Luther's mystical roots. Beck, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-69081-5 , pp. 35–60
    53. ^ Gerhard Wehr: Martin Luther. Mysticism and freedom of the Christian man. Marix, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-86539-264-0 , p. 13
    54. Theo MMAC Bell: The Reception of Bernard of Clairvaux in Luther. Archive for Reformation History, Volume 90, Issue jg, pp. 72-102, doi: 10.14315 / arg-1999-jg04 .
    55. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 137
    56. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 142f.
    57. ^ Rudolf Hermann: Luther's Theology. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1967, ISBN 3-525-55314-5 , p. 70; Thorsten Dietz: The concept of fear in Luther. Mohr Siebeck, Heidelberg 2009, ISBN 3-16-149893-3 , pp. 144f.
    58. Volker Leppin: Luther - Reformer with mystical roots. (Excerpt from The Foreign Reformation , Munich 2016, PDF); Hartmut Rosenau: From the freedom of a Christian: Basic features and topicality of Reformation theology. LIT Verlag, Münster 2017, ISBN 3-643-13606-4 , p. 54; Berndt Hamm: The early Luther: Stages of Reformation Reorientation. Mohr Siebeck, Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 3-16-150604-9 , p. 242
    59. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 175–177
    60. Lyndal Roper: The man Martin Luther - The biography. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-10-066088-6 , p. 110.
    61. See also Bernd Moeller: The last indulgence campaigns. Luther's contradiction to indulgences in its historical context. In: Hartmut Boockmann, Bernd Moeller, Karl Stackmann (eds.): Life lessons and world designs in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern age. Politics - Education - Natural History - Theology. Report on colloquia of the commission for research into the culture of the late Middle Ages 1983 to 1987 (= treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen: philological-historical class. Volume III, No. 179). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1989, ISBN 3-525-82463-7 , pp. 539-568.
    62. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 179-181
    63. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 173f.
    64. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 182
    65. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 186
    66. Sascha Salatowsky: De Anima. BR Grüner, John Benjamin Publishing, Amsterdam / Philadelphia 2006, ISBN 978-90-6032-374-8 , p. 39 f.
    67. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 187-189
    68. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 198
    69. Christiane Laudage : The business with sin. Indulgence and indulgences in the Middle Ages. Herder, Freiburg 2016, pp. 243–245
    70. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 199 f.
    71. Joachim Ott, Martin Treu: Fascination Theses Attack - Fact or Fiction. Leipzig 2008, ISBN 978-3-374-02656-2 , p. 143
    72. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1. Stuttgart 1983, p. 200 f.
    73. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1. Stuttgart 1983, p. 202 f.
    74. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 203 f.
    75. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 212
    76. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 205-208
    77. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 208-211
    78. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 215
    79. ^ Robert Kolb: Luther's appeal to Albrecht von Mainz - his letter of October 31, 1517. In Irene Dingel, Hennig P. Juergens: Milestones of the Reformation. Key documents of Martin Luther's early effectiveness. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2014, ISBN 978-3-579-08170-0 , p. 88.
    80. Christopher Spehr: Luther and the Council: on the development of a central topic in the Reformation period. Mohr Siebeck, Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-16-150474-7 , p. 52
    81. Bernhard Alfred R. Felmberg: De Indulgentiis: The theology of the indulgences Cardinal Cajetans 1469-1534. Brill, Amsterdam 1998, ISBN 978-90-04-11091-5 , p. 74
      Hans Schneider: The question of authenticity of the Breve Leos Χ. of February 3, 1518 to Gabriele della Volta A contribution to the Luther trial. Archive for Diplomatics, Volume 43, Issue JG, Pages 455–496, ISSN (Online) 2194-5020, ISSN (Print) 0066-6297.
    82. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 201
    83. Volker Leppin: The foreign Reformation. Luther's mystical roots. Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-69081-5 , pp. 89f.
    84. a b Karl-Heinz Zur Mühlen: Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Part 1, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 978-3-525-34014-1 , p. 57
    85. ^ Heiko A. Oberman: Luther. Man between god and devil. Siedler, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-442-12827-7 , p. 206
    86. Volker Reinhardt: Luther, the heretic: Rome and the Reformation. Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68829-4 .
    87. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 239f.
    88. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 242f.
    89. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 246
    90. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 250
    91. Rolf Decot: History of the Reformation in Germany. Herder, Freiburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-451-31190-1 , p. 81
    92. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 251 and 254f.
    93. Volker Leppin: The Reformation. WBG, Darmstadt 2017, ISBN 978-3-534-26875-7 , p. 34.
    94. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 255–260
    95. Luther fulfilled them inter alia. with his conciliatory pamphlet teaching on several articles from February 1519.
    96. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 289
    97. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 291-294
    98. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 302–307
    99. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 372–378
    100. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 248
    101. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 403f.
    102. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 406f.
    103. Bernd Moeller : Germany in the Age of Reformation. 2nd edition 1981, p. 62.
    104. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 424f.
    105. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 427
    106. German Reichstag files, Younger Series, Volume II, n. 80, pp. 581f.
    107. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 440–442
    108. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 442-447
    109. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 448
    110. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, p. 450
    111. Volume 2 (1896) Reichstag files under Emperor Charles V (1519–1523), DRTA.Jr 2 (659) Note 1
    112. Christopher Spehr: Luther and the Council: on the development of a central topic in the Reformation period. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-16-150474-7 , p. 318
    113. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 1, Stuttgart 1983, pp. 451–453
    114. Albrecht Beutel: Luther yearbook 79th year 2012: Organ of the international Luther research. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-647-87444-9 , p. 66 f.
    115. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 15
    116. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 34
    117. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 42 and 46
    118. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 32
    119. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 38
    120. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 55
    121. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 44f.
    122. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 46–53
    123. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 64
    124. ^ Johannes Wallmann: Church history in Germany since the Reformation. 3rd edition, Tübingen 1993, p. 50
    125. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 99f.
    126. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 125-132
    127. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 74 and 77f.
    128. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 123-125
    129. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 139
    130. Bernd Moeller: Germany in the Age of the Reformation. 1981, p. 94
    131. Martin Brecht: Order and delimitation of the Reformation 1521-1532. Stuttgart 1986, pp. 174-178
    132. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther, Volume 2. Stuttgart 1986, p. 179
    133. a b Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2. Stuttgart 1986, p. 184
    134. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2. Stuttgart 1986, p. 197
    135. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 198
    136. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 200
    137. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 210-212
    138. Christine Christ von Wedel , Sven Grosse : Interpretation and hermeneutics of the Bible in the Reformation period. De Gruyter, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-046792-5 , p. 48f.
    139. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 216-220
    140. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 220-223
    141. Ulrich HJ Körtner : Introduction to theological hermeneutics. WBG, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 978-3-534-15740-2 , p. 94
    142. Friedrich Beißer : Claritas scripturae with Martin Luther. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1966, ISBN 978-3-525-55121-9 , p. 75 f.
    143. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 231
    144. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 235
    145. WA 19, 75, 5-6.
    146. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 246-252
    147. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 261
    148. Heinz-Erich Eisenhuth: Luther and the Antinomism. In: “In disciplina Domini” - In the school of the Lord. Berlin 1963, pp. 18–44 (PDF; 168 kB).
      Theologische Realenzyklopädie 13 (1984), p. 86
    149. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 259f.
    150. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 287
    151. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 298
    152. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 301
    153. a b Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, p. 317
    154. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 319–321
    155. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 322-324
    156. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 2, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 356, 359, 363f., 374f.
    157. ^ Johannes Wallmann: Church history in Germany since the Reformation. 4th edition, Tübingen 1993, pp. 79f.
    158. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 52f.
    159. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, pp. 54f.
    160. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 34
    161. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 58.
    162. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 59f.
    163. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, pp. 174-181
    164. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, pp. 182-184
    165. ^ Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 219
    166. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 367 f.
    167. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 369
    168. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 131f.
    169. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 136f.
    170. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, pp. 139f.
    171. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 167f.
    172. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, pp. 155–157.
    173. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 155.
    174. Albrecht Beutel: In the beginning was the word: Studies on Luther's understanding of language. In: Hermeneutische Studium zur Theologie, Volume 27. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1991, p. 473 (quotation in Tractatus in Iohannis Evangelium 80,3)
    175. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 159f .; Quoted in WA 19, 492, 19.
    176. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, pp. 201f.
    177. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, pp. 203-205.
    178. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 218.
    179. Hans-Martin Barth : The theology of Martin Luther. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2009, ISBN 978-3-579-08045-1 , pp. 117f.
    180. Hans-Martin Barth: The theology of Martin Luther. Gütersloh 2009, p. 154.
    181. Hans-Martin Barth: The theology of Martin Luther. Gütersloh 2009, p. 180.
    182. Bernhard Lohse: Luther's theology in its historical development and in its systematic context. Göttingen 1995, p. 32.
    183. Martin Heckel: Martin Luther's Reformation and the Law. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-16-154468-2 , p. 130.
    184. Athina Lexutt: Luther. UTB, Böhlau, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8252-3021-0 , p. 67.
    185. Athina Lexutt: Luther. Cologne 2008, p. 29 f.
    186. Peter Blickle: The Reformation in the Empire. 2nd edition, UTB 1181, Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-8001-2626-5 , p. 44.
    187. Bernhard Lohse: Luther's theology in its historical development and in its systematic context. Göttingen 1995, p. 55.
    188. ^ Gerhard Ebeling:  Martin Luther . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 3. Edition. Volume 4, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 1960, Sp. 499.
    189. WA 6, 406-407.
    190. WA 18, 614.
    191. Klaus Schwarzwäller: Praise to God of the contested community. Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1970, ISBN 978-3-7887-0003-4 .
    192. Thomas Kaufmann: Church, State and Society around 1500. aej Conference Reformation, April 24, 2015 (PDF).
    193. Luther's class teaching graphically represented. From: Thomas Schirrmacher, Titus Vogt, Andreas Peter: The four orders of creation: Church, State, Economy, Family - with Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. VTR, Nuremberg 2001 ( online ).
    194. Erwin Iserloh, Gerhard Müller (ed.): Luther and the political world. Scientific symposium in Worms from October 27 to 29, 1983. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-515-04290-3 .
    195. Takashi Kibe: Peace and Education in Martin Luther's three-tier teaching. A contribution to clarifying the connection between integration and socialization in political thinking in early modern Germany. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 978-3-631-49485-1 , p. 223.
    196. Dieter Demandt: The disputes of the Schmalkaldic League with Duke Heinrich the Younger of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel in the correspondence of the St. Gallen reformer Vadian. Zwingliana XXII, 1995, pp. 45-66.
    197. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, pp. 185-189.
    198. Bernhard Lohse: Martin Luther: an introduction to his life and work. Munich 1997, p. 103.
    199. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 328.
    200. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1987, p. 344.
    201. Ursula Jürgens: Luther's influence on church music. On the cultural revolution from Heinrich Schütz to Johann Sebastian Bach. Lecture as part of the Blankenese Talks on September 5, 2017 (PDF) ( Memento from December 26, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
    202. Karin Bornkamm, Gerhard Ebeling (ed.): Martin Luther: Selected writings. Volume 6, Insel Verlag, 1982, p. 134 (letter to Ludwig Senfl, October 1, 1530).
    203. Horst Herrmann: Martin Luther. A biography. 2nd edition, Berlin 2003, p. 488.
    204. ^ Oskar Söhngen : Theology of Music. Johannes Stauda Verlag, Kassel 1967, p. 84.
    205. Friedrich Schorlemmer: Here I stand - Martin Luther. Structure, Berlin 2003, pp. 95f.
    206. Christoph Krummacher : Music as praxis pietatis - for the self-image of Protestant church music. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1994, p. 17.
    207. Helmar Junghans, Johann Aurifaber (ed.): Luther's table speeches. New edition. Edition Leipzig, licensed edition for Drei Lilien Verlag, 1981 (No. 6248).
    208. Christoph Krummacher: Music as praxis pietatis - for the self-image of Protestant church music. Göttingen 1994, p. 16.
    209. Quoted from Georg Merz, Hans Heinrich Borcherdt (Ed.): Martin Luther. Selected Works. Volume 3, Christian Kaiser, Munich 1962, p. 322.
    210. ^ Karl Heinrich Wörner, Wolfgang Gratzer, Lenz Meierott: History of Music - A study and reference book. 8th edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1993, p. 233.
    211. Horst Herrmann: Martin Luther. A biography. Berlin 2003, p. 487.
    212. Helmar Junghans, Johann Aurifaber (ed.): Luther's table speeches. Leipzig 1981 (No. 6739).
    213. Horst Herrmann: Martin Luther. A biography. Berlin 2003, p. 490; Friedrich Schorlemmer: Here I stand - Martin Luther. Berlin 2003, p. 97.
    214. ^ Karl Heinrich Wörner, Wolfgang Gratzer, Lenz Meierott: History of Music - A study and reference book. Göttingen 1998, p. 233.
    215. ^ Manfred Lemmer: Contributions to the language effect of Martin Luther in 17./18. Century. Part 2. Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 1988, p. 98.
    216. Andrew Wilson-Dickson: Sacred Music - Its Great Traditions - From Psalms to Gospel. Brunnen Verlag, Giessen 1994, p. 63.
    217. Friedrich Blume : History of Protestant Church Music. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1965, p. 20.
    218. Birger Petersen-Mikkelsen, Axel Frieb Prize (ed.): Church music and proclamation - proclamation as church music. 2003, p. 33.
    219. Christoph Markschies, Michael Trowitzsch: Luther between the times - a Jena lecture series. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, pp. 215-219.
    220. Martin Rößler : Songwriter in the hymn book, Volume 1 with Martin Luther, Ambrosius Blarer, Nikolaus Herman, Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann. 2nd Edition. Calwer Pocket Library, 2002, p. 21 ff.
    221. Marc Lienhard : The limits of tolerance. Martin Luther and the dissidents of his time. In: Norbert Fischer , Marion Kobelt-Groch (eds.): Outsiders between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era. Brill, Leiden 1997, p. 128.
    222. Gottfried Seebass , Irene Dingel , Christine Kress (eds.): The Reformation and their outsiders. Collected essays and lectures. Brill, Leiden 1997, p. 270.
    223. Reinhard Schwarz: Luther. Göttingen 1998, p. 219.
    224. ^ Christian Hege , Christian Neff (ed.): Martin Luther. In: Mennonite Lexicon , Volume II, Frankfurt am Main / Weierhof (Pfalz) 1932.
    225. Clarence Baumann: Nonviolence as a hallmark of the community. In: Hans-Jürgen Goertz (Ed.): The Mennonites. Evangelisches Verlagswerk, Stuttgart 1971, p. 129.
    226. Christian Hege, Christian Neff (ed.): Martin Luther. In: Mennonitisches Lexikon, Volume II, pp. 703f.
    227. a b Michael Klein: Historical thinking and class criticism from an apocalyptic perspective. Hamm 2004, pp. 69-78 (PDF).
    228. Klaus-Peter Matschke: The cross and the half moon. The history of the Turkish wars. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zurich 2004, pp. 249–252.
    229. ^ Commented Latin-German text edition by Johannes Ehmann
    230. Werner Besch : Luther and the German language: 500 years of German language history in the light of more recent research. Erich Schmidt, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-503-15522-4
    231. Martin Brecht: Martin Luther , Volume 3, Stuttgart 1986, p. 57
    232. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 22
    233. ^ Gerhard Ebeling:  Martin Luther . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 3. Edition. Volume 4, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 1960, Sp. 495-496.
    234. Otto Scheel: The development of Luther up to the end of the lecture on the letter to the Romans. Leipzig 1910; Documents on Luther's development (until 1519). Tübingen 1911. On this, KD Schmidt, p. 276
    235. Erik H. Erikson: The young man Luther. A psychoanalytic and historical study. (1958) Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 3-518-46711-5
    236. Otto Hermann Pesch: Introduction to Luther. Mainz 2004, p. 32
    237. ^ Günter Schuchardt: Cranach, Luther and the portraits. Thuringian Theme Year "Image and Message" Catalog for the special exhibition at the Wartburg, April 2 to July 19, 2015. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-7954-2977-5 , p. 9
    238. Johannes Ficker: The portraits of Luther from the time of his life. In: Luther yearbook. 1934, pp. 103-161
    239. Cf. Albrecht Geck: Luther in the sights of the pictures. Luther portraits from five centuries . Münster 2017; Albrecht Geck: From Cranach to the BILD newspaper - 500 years of changes in the image of Luther as a mirror of church and cultural history . In: Elisabeth Doerk (ed.): Reformatio in Nummis. Luther and the Reformation on coins and medals . Regensburg 2014, 78-103.
    240. Illustrations: Albrecht Geck, Luther in the sights of the pictures. Luther portraits from five centuries, Münster 2017.
    241. Martin Luther in the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints
    242. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [1]
    This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on January 10, 2007 .