Sunday, March 19, 2006

Outrageous Luther Quotes: Patrick O'Hare's "Facts About Luther


Have you ever read outrageous Luther quotes like these, these, or these? No, these Luther quotes in these three links are not the result of painstaking research from primary German sources done by the gentleman who posted them. Most of these outrageous Luther quotes come from one book: Patrick O’Hare’s Facts About Luther.

I’ve been working on compiling a list of these quotes from The Facts About Luther:

Master Index: The Luther Quotes from O’Hare’s Facts About Luther

The book has wide popularity among Catholics. Numerous pro-Catholic websites give O’Hare’s work tremendous accolades, and cite it frequently. It is not uncommon to engage Catholics in discussion about Luther and hear the words, “Patrick O’Hare says…” or “Martin Luther is quoted as saying in The Facts About Luther…”. Or, most often, the reference is given as O'Hare cites it- which is usually to an out-of-print source from the 1800's- very few people have the books O'Hare cites. Many times references are given to Luther, when in fact, the references should be given to this book. Those who use this book as a reference try to pass off Luther quotes as if they've actually read Luther- they usually have not.

The above link is a list of quotes i've either found in cyber-space or my own study of The Facts About Luther. I will be updating the link as I come across quotes. I do this because of my love for ad fontes research. It's one thing to read Luther and critique him- this is perfectly acceptable- and I challenge all (especially Roman Catholics) to do this. It is quite another thing to read a book that slanders Luther, and then use out of context quotes to prove how awful he was- without ever actually reading a page from Luther's actual writings. Not all the quotes will seem outrageous- this is because O'Hare's interpretation and usage has not been brought in. The quotes found in the later chapters are most vicious (Chapters 6-9 are used often by those writing against Luther).

5 comments:

Churchmouse said...

Jim,

The way most Catholics continue to cite O'Hare as if he were presenting real "facts" is what really gets me. They never bother to corroborate it in any way, but merely assent to O'Hare's polemics as truth, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And, when you attempt to tell them differently, giving them the context of Luther's statements, and putting the proper face on Luther, their own prejudices appear, thus, O'Hare's book is merely gratifying their own misconceptions--those they wish to keep.

Blind leading the blind, bro...blind leading the blind ;-)

Peace,
Ray

James Swan said...

Ray-

The guy who posted the O'Hare quotes has his own blog, and I tried to reason with him about his usage of O'Hare-

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/02/church-fathers-luther-tabletalk.html

His comments on Luther are a perfect example of your point. He says,

"The time is long over due for the myth of Luther to be exposed. Far too many sincere and well-intentioned people have been misled by the errors of Luther. Let us look past the facade of flowery commentary to the evidence of his writings, wherein Luther is exposed and condemned by his own words. "for by thy own words thou shalt be justified, and by thy own words thou shalt be condemned" (Mt. 12:37).

"It is true that if one reads his writings, he seems to have, what we today call, Bipolar.

What's true, is that the guy who wrote these words hasn't really read that much of Luther's writings. He read primarily O'Hare, and an on-line version of the Tabletalk.

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