Over on the CARM boards there have been a few threads specific to the Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin on Mary’s perpetual virginity. For instance, a person called Opus Dei” submits the following:
After hearing so many people talk about Protestantism, I've come to a conclusion. Martin Luther would call many of these denominations heretical institutions. I think he would even be disgusted at some of these obvious flaws in theology. Calvin might even be upset. The basis for my conclusion is that all of the main three reformers, Zwingli, Calvin, and Luther all supported the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, how many protestants uphold this?” [source]
And the proof:
Luther: "It is an article of faith that Mary is the Mother of the Lord and still a virgin." Works of Luther, Vol. II, 319-320 Volume 6, 510
Calvin: "There have been certain folk who have wished to suggest from this passage [Matt 1:25] that the Virgin Mary had other children than the Son of God, and that Joseph had then dwelt with her later; but what a folly this is!Sermon on Matthew 1:22-25, Published 1562
Zwingli: "I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure virgin brought forth for us the sone of God and in childbirth and after childbirth, forever remained a pure, intact Virgin.Zwingli Opera, Volume I, 424 [source]
Leaving aside the main argument for another day (for it is a flawed argument- as if it actually matters what the Reformers thought about Mary's perpetual virginity!), I’d like to explore the proof offered. For the Luther quote, the bibliographic citation given is “Works of Luther, Vol. II, 319-320 Volume 6, 510.” This reference to neither of the English editions Luther’s Works (The earlier Philadelphia edition, or the standard 55 volume Concordia set).
Others in cyber space reference the quote as “Weimer's The Works of Luther, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, v. 11, pp. 319-320; v. 6. p. 510”. Weimar is the German translation- Pelikan had nothing to do with it. So, in this reference, the German and English translations are cited together, combined to give a big inaccurate reference. This site documents it, “It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a virgin. (Weimarer Ausgabe 11:319-320)”. That last one may actually be accurate.
Now the Zwingli reference is given as “Zwingli Opera, Volume I, 424.” In my understanding, this is a reference to Zwingli’s works from a Latin set. In print? No. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:
"Zwingli's works were first collected and published by his son-in-law, Rudolf Gwalter, and entitled: "Opera D. H. Zwingli vigilantissimi Tigurinae ecclesiae Antistitis, partim quidem ab ipso Latine conscripta, partim vero e vernaculo sermone in Latinum translata: omnia novissime recognita, et multis adiectis, quae hactenus visa non sunt" (4 fol. vols., Zurich, 1545; reprinted, 1581). The first complete edition was edited by Melchior Schuler and Johannes Schulthess (8 vols., Zurich, 1828-42). Volumes VII and VIII, containing Zwingli's correspondence, are especially important. A new edition of his complete works prepared by Emil Egli (d. 1908), George Finsler, and Walther Kohler is appearing in the "Corpus Reformatorum", LXXXVIII (Berlin, 1905); three volumes I, II, and VII, have already (1912) appeared. "Normally when I interact with someone on this topic, the person quoting this stuff becomes silent when ask for a little more bibliographic information. I do so to find out if the person putting forth the information has actually read Luther, Calvin, or Zwingli, or if the information is a cut-and-paste job taken from Catholic apologetic web sites. The person posting this stuff made some impressive claims:
“I didn't get them from a site, but from the actual material.”
“I didn't type all of any of their statements [sic]. Trust me that is the context. if you still don't agree, look up the material, I cited everything.”
So of course, I asked for some specifics:
I would like to take you up on looking up the actual material. Is the Luther reference to the earlier Philadelphia edition of Luther's Works, or the Concordia 55 volume edition of Luther's Works? Also, which Treatise is being cited? You should know, since you got the quote from the "actual material. Can you quote Zwingli on Mary's virginity and also supply a context? The key is the later request.
The answer given for the Luther quote:
“I'll have to dig it up, I got it in college and I'm currently in the process of moving, all of my books are boxed up, I'll let you know when I find them, I just wrote down the basic works cited for a paper I did for my church, for adult education on the faith.”
And the answer given for the Zwingli quote:
“Zwingli Opera, Volume 1 424."I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin, brought forth for us the son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact virgin."I'd give you the rest of it but I'd have to dig it out of a box to do so, I'll look for it and get back to you, a couple others are waiting for it too.Note: Just to clearify [sic], I did not rip this from a website, I wrote an educational paper for an adult faith education class, and that was all I needed to put on the article, I'll look for the book after I move and unbox things. Should be in a couple of weeks or so."
It will be long couple of weeks. Now this takes guts, but then again, it’s the Internet, and anything goes. I strongly doubt I’ll get the bibliographic material I asked for. I only point out tedium like this to show that many times, people are putting forth information as if they’ve actually studied a subject, and made an informed decision. For most people though, it seems one makes a conclusion and then looks for information to support it. Such is the normal folly of the defenders of Rome.